Unexpected Detours


June turned out to be quite a turbulent month, to put it mildly.

It started out pretty decent. We finally pulled the trigger on getting a second car, something that we’ve been needing to do for a while now. My lovely wife Pamela took over our other car, and I became the proud owner of a deep olive-green Kia Soul. I always obsessively name both my cars and electronic devices, so the new car was christened “Etta” after the incomparable Etta James, both because I got a new ride “At Last” and because, well — Etta’s got soul.


Then a few days later, things got nuts. Medical issues popped up with Pamela that lead to two urgent care visits, three emergency room trips, and two hospital stays, one of which was for four days. As a preacher’s kid, I was used to visiting the hospital, though I’ve never had the misfortune to have to be admitted myself. It’s a totally different beast when you’re there with someone you love, especially when they’re hurting, and there’s nothing you can do but rearrange pillows and refill ice and water every once in a while. I won’t go into details here, but she made it through and everything is looking good.

Outside of my primary concern (her health), this means some of my best-laid plans are taking a necessary detour. The MFA applications are on hold until next year, and writing has temporarily taken a back seat to other things. I’m not completely stalled, though. I’ve done more work on the Civil War-era novel in terms of research and planning. It’s still the big project. I just need to find make the time to write.

It also hasn’t helped that work has also been really busy this summer. Last month alone I wrote and submitted eight total grants. Just for comparison, my typical average is around 2.5 grants per month. I can’t complain, as it means lots of potential good things for the people in need that we serve at Employment Connection. It does tend to burn me out on typing/looking at a computer screen, though. Motivation to do anything outside of work that doesn’t involve sitting on the couch has been really tough to come by.


June wasn’t without some good things, though:

1.) Pamela came out of the health problems relatively unscathed, with pretty minimal hospital time, considering. That’s the biggest plus, and I’m infinitely grateful to all her healthcare providers and to our friends and family for all their support and concern.

2.) We went to the St. Louis Renaissance Fair just before all the trouble hit, and it was cool. I’ve never been to anything like that, and I’d definitely like to go again next year! The costumes were fantastic, the performances were fun, and it was just nice being out in the woods enjoying the nice day.

3.) Our friends Mary and Austin gave me a wonderful gift: A beautiful, handcrafted leather journal, complete with handmade paper. I had to force myself to write in it, but now that I’ve started, it’s my go-to journal. I’ve been making notes and puzzling through things on the Civil War novel in it, and it’s just gorgeous.



On a somewhat unrelated note, I also finally got out all my typewriters and took a nice group photo of the whole collection:


Beautiful, no? The metal container by the lamp is my mineral spirits, used in cleaning them. There’s a full album with an individual picture of each on Imgur here.


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