Stanford entered the kitchen chuckling to himself, but Laurie and Agatha were in conversation and didn’t notice. He stepped toward them, leaving space between himself and Laurie. “Good evening,” Stanford said. “That smells delicious.”
“Well, I made plenty.” Agatha’s tone was clipped, but her smile couldn’t be hidden. Then she turned off the flame. “Let it sit about fifteen minutes or you’ll burn your tongue off.”
She gazed at Stanford, but Laurie laughed. “Whatever you say. My God, it’s good to be home.”
“Yes it is.” Agatha wore the hint of a smile, then she sighed. “All right, time for me to go.”
“So soon?” Stanford cleared his throat. “I mean, of course.”
Laurie looked away, but Agatha met Stanford’s gaze. “You need me to spoon it up for you?”
“No, but I just got home and….” While he looked forward to time with only Laurie, Stanford had grown used to a houseful. He sighed, then stepped back. “We’ll see you in the morning.”
After reading that scene, I had to set aside my morning work on The Hawk, as I was struck by a truth which required further reflection. What tripped me up was how Stanford let down his guard, or maybe it was that he’d become accustomed to more than only himself and Laurie. My husband and I have been hosting The Burrito for several days, but he left yesterday, and suddenly I’m back in my regular routine, and perhaps feeling like Stanford, not quite sure what to do with myself. I’m itching to return to the written work, currently reviewing the recently released Part Eleven, which had taken a back burner while caring for my grandson. Once that’s completed, I’ll begin to read Part Twelve, and then….
But before I get too far ahead of myself, I want to explore the notion of who I am at this very minute, and that’s a complicated kettle of fish. I’m a wife, mum, abuela, author, quilter, Stanford’s cook…. Say what? Agatha Morris also makes up who I am, because when I write, I truly do become my characters. Her retort to Stanford made me smile this morning, as for the last few days I’ve heard my grandson’s refrain of “Help me”. He’s an energetic toddler, but appreciates (or more rightly requests) assistance. Stanford was looking forward to company, but Agatha has other places to be. And while right now my home is quiet, when I’m poking at a book, I’m not actually alone.
Okay, that’s the writer part of me explained. However, I’m not merely the spinner of yarns, nor the seamstress of threads. But when I began this writing gig over ten years ago, small children weren’t in my daily realm. My kids were teenagers, and even when homeschooling, I had time for myself. Now those moments have been split apart and reformed into a life not only far from Yorkshire, England, but eons away from the woman I was even three and a half years ago when The Hawk basically took over my writing life. Writing life, what’s that? Now my world is full of grandmotherly musings, more so when toddlers are near, but even when they aren’t, I’m still tied to them, sort of like fictional characters, only somewhat more physically taxing.
Well, a lot more physically taxing when they are close, ha ha. I don’t expend as much mental energy as a grandma, for the parental gears easily kick into Drive. Yet I rely more on the internal combustion; I’m only as strong as my back permits. And while this might come across as not making much sense, that’s totally how I’ve been feeling lately. Who am I and where am I headed?