November was a singularly unproductive month.
I became sick at the beginning of the month. Really sick. At first I thought I had a cold—it started with the usual suspects: sore throat, runny nose, congestion, etc. I figured, no biggie. It was a hassle, but I should be over it in a few days. But it went on and on, with all the unpleasantness of a body fighting a serious infection (I took so much vitamin C that I was in danger of turning into a orange tree), and I realized that it wasn’t a piddling cold I had caught, but the flu. I had over two weeks of misery and feeling sorry for myself.
Then, just as the last fever chill left, it was time to travel to my stepmom and dad’s place in Texas for Thanksgiving. The house was full of family, which was fun, but it meant that there were plenty of distractions and very little quiet time to spend with Rabbit and the crew.
I wrote about a half chapter for the entire month.
Now, I can and do resent getting sick (and the fact that I don’t bounce back as fast as I used to), but I don’t resent the time spent with family, especially my dad. See, Dad has Alzheimers and while he’s physically doing pretty well for someone in his 80s, mentally he’s sliding away. Sometimes it’s hard to see him so reduced, but my stepmom for one enjoys the quirks and twists that have arisen (or maybe have been set free) in his mind; one morning when they awoke he told her “let’s get married!” (they’ve been married 32 years) and I’ve seen him ambush her with hugs as she’s working in the kitchen (she’s a fabulous, fabulous cook—and yeah, I’ve carried extra poundage back with me from Texas).
Of course, it’s not all sweetness and light. He’s easily confused, has great difficulty separating fact from fantasy, and many of the things he once enjoyed, he no longer does. Can no longer do. I guess I’m grieving the man that my father was, while enjoying who he now is. It’s bittersweet, but he still knows who everyone is, including me, so all in all, it’s good.
In any event, I’m back in California and on track with writing. Not quite up to speed yet, but I’m getting there and I’m hoping that December will be a more productive month than the prior one. It certainly couldn’t be worse. Even with Christmas around the corner. . .
Hmm, well, yeah. Maybe January will be a cranking month.
Anyway, a very belated Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays to everyone. May you all have joy in the season.