When Real Life Intervenes

I have just returned from Binghamton, NY, where I’ve spent the last week helping my daughter find an apartment in my grandson’s school district. It’s been physically and emotionally exhausting, and I’ve had no energy to blog, finish my YA novel in progress or submit my work. Reading and surfing the net have been the extent of my activities other than apartment hunting. I did manage to read some of my favorite blogs. This post by Tess Gerritsen sums up how I feel: Sometimes Real Life Intervenes.

I had cut back my hours at my day job to 80%, giving me every Friday off, starting September fifth. I anticipated finally finishing my YA novel. I have only about ten more hours of work to finish, and I thought between Friday and the weekend, I would be done. However, when my daughter called Wednesday night, I put my writing on hold and flew to Binghamton to help her apartment hunt. She is going though a very necessary break up with her fiancé–due to irreconcilable differences–and she needed an apartment immediately.

I booked a hotel, where my daughter Lynn, my grandson Erik and I stayed. We called ad after ad, looked at apartment after apartment, with my eight-year-old grandson in tow. He was his normal gregarious and curious self, which didn’t help the hunt, but added some much needed humor to an otherwise arduous task.

We had nearly given up on finding an apartment in Erik’s school district. Then Monday night, after an apartment fell through that we had hoped to get, desperate, we called the number on a sign posted on the side of a building. It was the one. Today, Lynn and Erik are moving into a newly renovated apartment with new hardwood floors. It is everything we had hoped for in her price range and at the very edge of Erik’s school district.

I enjoyed watching how grown up Erik has become. He is a little scientist. He wants to know everything about everything. He spent some of the time uprooting moss in the courtyard of the hotel and replanting it to see if it would grow in various places. He told Lynn’s new landlord what he recently learned off the internet, that moss reproduces by spores. I now have a picture of moss sporophyte stems on my laptop computer, courtesy of Erik.

I actually had two days in the hotel to myself while Lynn went to her classes and Erik was in school. I went so far as to open the file containing my YA novel, scrolled to the last section I was editing, but I couldn’t concentrate. I thought about posting a blog, but simply couldn’t do that either. I was mentally fried. Instead, I ended up reading Diane Chamberlain’s book, BREAKING THE SILENCE. It was fascinating reading and helped me escape for a while.

Traveling is always tiring. I’ve never figured out what exactly makes it so. Is it the flights? Sitting in airports? Or just being away from home? Whatever the reason, it usually takes me a day or two to recover. My suitcase will be waiting for me to unpack once I get home from work today.

On days like these, I wish I had Katharine’s magic locket. I hope to escape to her world soon, but for the time being, I’m just trying to get through the day.

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