2019, the first year I turned the heat on all 12 months of the year. We have cooler periods in the summer, and so a few years ago I burned the paper trash and added a small, dry piece of firewood to keep the fire burning. This happened a few days that July. August is usually the month I start grumbling about the heat but that isn’t so this year. This morning, I turned the heat on. We seldom ever use the backup furnace. It’s here in case I want to travel in winter and am not here to feed the fire. My personal comfort doesn’t have to depend on a date on the calendar.
I turned off the heat on myself off in one aspect. I’m sad about this. Writing has been difficult. Four years and 60,000 words into the memoir, I stopped writing a memoir. Focus on Wildlife, the column I’ve been writing for Maine Woodland Owners, became a burden, something I never wanted to feel for a column I do honestly enjoy. I sat down at the last minute to throw together 600 words, grumbling through the process. Time is precious. Leaving work I do get paid to do to write something of quality for free was a thorn in my side. Last week, during a conversation with the new editor (who already knew how I was feeling), we agreed that I should be writing where and how I want to write, and that grumbling was not the way to enjoy my craft. I’ll continue to write from Maine Woodlands but probably once a year. Sad. <sigh> It takes some heat off myself and I do feel better. She’s write. Squeezing writing in, the way I’ve done here for too long, isn’t the way I should be writing.
Giving up this column was the right thing to do but it’s hard. I know it will be missed but someone else will have the opportunity to pick it up, and that makes me happy.
About Memoir that Isn’t
Giving up my column made me start missing writing. I’ve been working on the memoir for four years. I took Jenn’s words about writing the way I enjoy writing to heart. After our talk I took I deep breath and started dismantling the memoir. I’m pulling out the best to put into a book of short stories, and from there I’ll add more shorts. I think I already told you this? Middle-aged brain. I’m enthusiastic again and wish I could chat with John Ford about the decision.
Preparing the Woodstove
Before I go out to hunt this afternoon I’ll clean the glass on the wood stove’s door, wash up the outside, change the gasket that provides a tight seal for the door, and have it ready for the first fire of the season. It’s going to be damp and cool on Thursday, and so it’s probably the first day I’ll turn on the heat in the form of wood. Autumn has come early. It’s my favorite time of year, and it seems that this year, it brought personal change along.