Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sometimes I'm so deep into a book that when I have to take my head out for real life, the difference is startling. For example, I've been writing a book where the horses are trudging through crunchy snow, their breath visible in the frigid air when I have to take care of reality. Like go pick up someone from school. I go out and am surprised to find it's eighty degrees and the sunshine is beating down.

Last night the irony of the world I write about struck me when I ran out for supper. It's deadline month, so everything is quick. This time it was Sonic. My daughter asked me to grab her prescriptions on my way. I took her debit card and got into my car in the garage. I drove a few blocks past a lovely recreational area, drove through Walgreens window, where I didn't even have to sign because her signature's on file, then moved to the connecting parking lot and ordered supper where I used my debit card and again didn't have to sign. Then I drove home -- into the garage, stepped into the house -- without ever leaving my car or being out in the weather!

Only minutes before I'd been in 1880's Kansas with the dry prairie wind blowing and people boarding the Santa Fe passenger cars for trips that would take days.

Back to the topic of deadline:
I've always cooked for a crowd. I have four children. As they grew up and moved out it never got easier to cook less and think smaller. But now I make it work to my advantage. I still cook a large meal, and then I place meal-size portions in divided containers and stack them in the freezer. These are our deadline frozen dinners and they're healthy and homecooked! Hey, I should write Heloise, eh?


  1. I would love to live in your brain while you're writing your books. It sounds really fascinating. It would be interesting to see how you make the transition from doing the everyday things like drivethru pharmacies and all that then switch back to a time when druggists have to actually formulate and mix up the medicines. It's amazing how much life has changed - do you ever wonder how you would fare if you lived in the times you write about? I grew up with wood stoves, pumping water from a well, growing our own veggies, trading for eggs and milk - so I think I would be able to survive but it would take alot out of me.

  2. I think we've romanticized periods in history so much that they are appealing. Of course we never mention the nasty smell of the outhouse or the flies swarming around their unrefridgerated foods. I love to write about the early Americans because they are such heroes. But I would never want to live the way they did. Give me my shower and my mousse and my comfy king size bed with all the pillows and comforters! And my large capacity washer and dryer and my dishwasher...okay, 'nuff said. I'm spoiled.

  3. I'm grateful for garage door openers, cruise control & hot water for showers, dishes (still by hand) & laundry. I remember hanging clothes on the line to dry & blankets to make tents. I was 14 before my grandparents on an Iowa farm had drinkable runnning water in 1965; there was water for bath, toilet & to wash dishes, just not drinkable so we pumped it from the windwill & carried it in a pail & all used same dipper. And our water in the country (an SID near Omaha NE) is not floridated. Co-workers were reminicsing (SP?) about penny candy/some 2 for a penny and a quarter filled a small brown paper bag. What was your favorite? Mine were caramel bullseyes, jelly chews & black & red licorice. I remember when popsicles went from 5 cents to 7 before they jumped to dime. I turned 55 in Jan & just got my first Sr citizen discount, at a bookstore of course!