When I was writing my book, I blogged constantly. Now that the book is done, I seem to manage only two posts a week. I hope you don't mind. Maybe it's better this way, better to have a little restraint than the flood of words and pictures I inflicted on the Internet in years past.
I've been back from Oklahoma for a week now. My broken-into house no longer feels violated. I am tussling with the insurance agent, who is not a generous man. Or maybe it's the policy; he says it's the policy's fault that he can't pay for this, and can't pay for that. But that's a small thing; in the end, they will probably pay us about $2,000 and we will be out another $2,000, and after all it's only money. The dogs are OK. We are OK. We still have most of our stuff.
Okahoma was a wonderful little break. Yes, it's insane to go to Oklahoma in July, but I've done it before, several times, and each time I've been glad. My brother and his family--wonderful funny kind and quirky people all--live outside of Oklahoma City, but this summer they've been commuting back and forth to Tulsa, where one of my nieces was studying dance. So one of my sisters flew in from Seattle, and I flew in from Minneapolis, and we made a party of it.
The first day we drove Route 66 from OKC to Tulsa--not as neon-and-old-car-drenched as the hype would suggest, but a truly pleasant drive, through small towns with fruit stands and little bakeries. I love the back roads, always. I am not about speed. I am about laid back and interesting.
This veggie stand had lovely peaches.
The woman at the bakery sold us some great whole wheat habanero bread (you bite it, it bites you back) and also handed my little niece a sack of doughnut holes, saying, "You take these, then I don't have to sell them."
Once we got to Tulsa, where the rest of my brother's family was gathered, there were babies.
A girl baby.
And a boy baby, the girl's cousin.
There was dance.
My niece is in there somewhere, all lovely long arms and poise.
And, later, back at their own house, there was a dog.
Shadow is a rescue dog. She and her three sisters spent a year at the humane society before my niece picked her out and brought her home. She was sweet and loving from the start, but terrified of many things. They've worked with her, kept things calm around her, nourished her, loved her. She's thriving. She's still terrified of men--though not of my brother and his son anymore--and she remains terrified of balls of any size. My niece theorizes that Shadow was tied up in her previous life, and probably someone threw balls at her for sport.
She was very skittish the first day I met her, but she soon calmed down and lay on the couch between my sister in law (whom she doggedly shadows) and me.
We took her to the athletic field both days, for exercise. And now look at her run!
Oh, and yesterday..... my editor stopped by the paper to hand me an advance copy of my completed book. Here's the back cover, with my ID from when I was at Duke University, and the little tape recorder I used in Russia, and, best of all bestness, a lovely picture of Toby, my dear golden boy.
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