A good question, I think

My favorite part about holiday days isn’t so much how the town empties out (and its pretty empty here even on a work day) but how the whole world seems to quiet down. My internet world is quietly muttering about chocolate. My email inbox is empty. MetaFilter is subdued. The lack of buzzbuzzbuzz in the periphery gives me some freed up cycles to do a lot of weird maintenance things.

  • I upgraded WordPress on both my blogs. If you are reading this, it worked.
  • I added a few new stories to the Donald Barthelme page and contemplated a redesign but I don’t think I’m there yet.
  • jailbroke and customized a loaner iphone; no good for calls, good for everything else.
  • I’m bringing a ton of stuff into my apartment that I brought back from Topsham

Topsham is my “rise from the dead” story for today. I have friends moving in to caretake the place and it needs a lot of work. I’m approaching this work like a long distance runner, but it makes me bolt awake eyes wide open wondering “what next? What now?” Yesterday I went with a friend and brought home some books (OED and Encyclopedia Britannica, you are home now) and my tent and some photos and a big container of clothes. When I looked at the clothes there was this whole “Oh wow, I forgot all about that t-shirt!” experience. I’m generally pretty good at compartmentalizing; this brought back a big chunk of time I’d long since filed away, in good ways and bad. I looked at my Burning Man outfits, my tie-dyed socks (really?), my orange coveralls, and my shorts that were too big on me even then and now aren’t even options as clothing. There were a lot of Greg’s clothes too, things he left behind that I never even knew were still there. I’ve split the stuff into “to wash” and “to get rid of” piles and I’ll be looking at old photos today and hanging up my spurs that were a 30th birthday present from a friend I’ve lost track of.

A few people got in touch with me to say that they thought my last post might be a “hey I think I need to leave Vermont” post, which it wasn’t. I’ve been a little melancholy lately — family stuff, not too much personal stuff — and looking at other people’s plans makes me investigate my own more closely. This is the best time of year to go see Topsham. The snow has melted, the grass is greening up and not yet so tall that you can’t see the shape of the land. I feel like such a weird schoolgirl having a dysfunctional love affair with a piece of property. Every time I go up there, even as the house continues to silt in and deteriorate and the barn leans more and the taxes go up, I look at the 40 acres of field and hill and woods and things seem rich and full of possibility. It’s a tonic to an otherwise bumpy set of weeks.

What do you think?


  1. Well, here’s hoping that Jack and I can do the old place some good. And feel free to come out any time…you can always help with the inevitable onslaught of produce eating. :)

  2. I am one of those people who is usually off the Internet for holidays….but it’s nice to come back and see that I haven’t missed much!