There are two white vans in my driveway this morning as I write this, one belonging to the painter, Bert, and the other to the electrician, Ralph.
Bert is outside hammering on the shutters after painting them and the back of the house, and Ralph is upstairs banging on something while he installs a new bathroom fan. Bert, a politics junkie like I am, is listening to NPR while I have on "The Daily Rundown" at the same time as I am getting the day organized.
Things fall apart, and it is expensive to put them back together, but I like the sounds and activity even as I miss the camaraderie and commotion (when it was full) of the newsroom.
Bert, a history major at UMass, became a painter because it was something he loved. He also loves to discuss life and politics, which we do one snippet at a time when he is here.
The pine needles drift from the trees outside my kitchen, where I write. If a combination of leukemia and the decrease in the newsroom staff hadn't cost me my job, I would still probably be working. But I can't complain about being at home, because when I looked across the room to the window nearest my desk in the newsroom, I saw Route 91.
I am lucky to have interesting and varied work now, but with the unpredictable nature of freelance writing, you never know what's around the corner.
I just finished a story for Mount Holyoke on a fascinating trip that students took to Sicily, complementing a class that they had taken on the island's culture, history and literature. This afternoon I am going to Chef Rufus's Full of Flavor Diner in Springfield to write a profile of the owner for Holyoke Community College because the owner went there.
Tomorrow I need to go to Boston for another medical appointment. I don't need permission from anyone but myself to take the day off.