Yesterday (Sunday) I had to get up earlier than I have been because my dad had reserved us seats at the 8:45 service at his church. They’re doing multiple services to make social distancing possible. Afterward, we drove to the cemetery to visit my mother’s grave.
I had not realized it was in that cemetery. The one I had to drive through every time I visited her in the nursing home. I found it very sobering at the time, the constant reminder of what the next step for my mother would be.
There has been a ridiculous string of errors concerning the headstone, most of them stemming from the fact that my mother requested that she be buried on the “left,” and by tradition the wife is always buried on the “right” of a double plot. Which means the headstone has to be in a different order too.
But anyway, it is hard to stand in front of a rectangle of grass and realize that the earthly body of your mother is there. Dad prayed to thank God for Mom’s life, and then we drove away.
Since church got out so early, I had time to go back to my hotel and have tea before meeting my dad for lunch. Afterward we went back to his house and I was able to get some final sorting done, but not as much as I wanted, because we were invited to have supper and an informal church service at the home of some of Dad’s friends.
It was a spectacular day, and we ate on his friends’ deck and then sat around a fire to sing and listen to a brief message. Everyone was so kind and friendly. There was no social distancing whatsoever.
Afterward we went back to Dad’s house and had tea and I stuffed as much as I could into the car before saying goodbye and heading back to the hotel one more time. It has been weird staying in a hotel, since I normally stay with my aunt, but it also sure was nice having internet in the evenings and enough hot water to take a luxurious shower.
This morning I was up and packing right when I planned to be. I am not a super early riser and I have learned that trying to leave early on a road trip is counterproductive for me, because I just end up getting sleepy and having to pull over to rest. So I was on the road at about 8:30, which worked out well for me.
If you’ll remember, on my way to my dad’s town, I had a killer story idea and then spent the next two evenings writing the story. This morning as I set out, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could have another idea on this trip? Because I have several stories to write.
And you know what? I did. I had to turn the music off so it wouldn’t distract me. And then when I stopped to get gas, I pulled a grocery list out of my handbag and wrote the basic plot points on the back because I was so afraid I might forget it. And then I remembered another story I wrote as a piece of flash fiction, but that I could expand to make it much more powerful (I hope).
What is going on here? I haven’t had two great story ideas in one week since . . . ever. Here’s what I think. I have limited real estate in my brain. And for the last few years, most of it has been dedicated to teaching. Now that I’m getting a break from that, suddenly the creative part of my brain is being unleashed with a vengeance. So watch out! I may have to reactivate my writing blog to keep from boring you all to death with writing posts here.
And yeah . . . I did make it home this evening safe and sound and with a car FULL of stuff!
Favorite sight of the day: Eight camouflage-clad soldiers, sitting around the table in the hotel’s lobby, praying together this morning.