When I used to write letters, I would stop at six full pages of script, fearing I might overwhelm the person to whom I was writing, and of course I was right to fear. I go long, often, when I describe. When friends wrote me back, I would carry letters around in my pocket, reading and rereading, feeling the companionship of that particular friend, that hand, writing on that page, to me. I miss those days. No post online is the equal. But I try anyway.
In effort not to exhaust you, let me sketch a catch-up list:
- Google my full name and you should find my new website.
- Moved to a rental house on The Great Marsh in Ipswich, last year. Unless something marvelous comes along, we will live here for the next five years.
- Surprisingly at home at Christ Church. I am done teaching church school—done for a long time, though I do think The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd might have saved my life in my time at our beloved St. Mary’s.
- Kids: I love parenting teenagers. They still love us so openly, which is a gift. However, I’m posting less public writing about them, as their need for privacy grows.
- Scott is well and busy, enjoying sixteen years of teaching junior high students. Happily distracted by baseball season. He is also writing for the alumni magazine of his school, and he’s good!
- Money is an ongoing question, while parenting, teaching part-time, and writing. While this question gnaws at me, this seems like this is the moment in which we live. So many people are wrestling with mortgages, income, student debt. I hope I can write into this, in a way that other people can embrace.
- I love teaching my two sections of incoming students each fall semester. I felt I was at my best, as an educator, last fall.
- Temped full-time in the editing department at a gorgeous corporate publishing headquarters in January, February and March—great company, but the work itself was so dispiriting. (For the last three weeks, I inched away at a 500,000 item spreadsheet of date formats that needed corrected. Hell. Just hell.) We were glad for the money.
I am writing, revising, working on stuff for publication, thinking about the future and thinking about loving this place where we live. I need to put in a garden, soon. I need to unpack from last week’s trip. I need to be a more disciplined lover of God, but God is very patient, very present with me. In six weeks, kids will be out of school for the summer. I am applying for a summer school teaching job, and they are applying to be volunteers at a day camp for four weeks.
This is the point in the letter when I would become bored with the natter of talking about myself. Will it surprise you if I say I’m taking a notebook outside to write by hand, now? Saturday morning, and the wind has kept me awake for two nights, whistling through windows, shaking the walls. Kids are sleeping late, because they need to. Coffee and sunlight and a notebook, my friends. And maybe a novel, too? So much good in the world.