I’m going back to work. Part-time. And I’m not doing this on a typewriter because I have a very plugged up six month old nephew finally taking his nap on my bed. Sis-in-law dropped him off an hour ago after she found a waterfall in her basement. Temperatures dropped 20 degrees (Celsius) last night and froze the main pipe going into the house. And my brother is flying to Toronto as we speak. So to give this even greater perspective…I have never changed a diaper in my life, but I have the patience of a sloth. I sometimes think not having the Mother Gene in me is actually what makes me the perfect Aunty. I let that poor buggaboo scream himself asleep for over 45 minutes, and never flinched once. And now he’s out cold, poor monkey.
So, about that work thing, and cutting the sabbatical short, kinda. It’s a bit of a money thing. I racked up a few extra expenses with the vehicle once I got to Canada, and it took over two months just to get it registered. My little Southern Belle didn’t like the cold too much at first and I needed to get her a higher cranking northern battery and block heater. Forgot about those things. And just little stuff here and there. New phone, insurance, food, gas, writers retreats, road trips, seven new typewriters. You know, the essentials.
I got in at the office my late step-father used to work for. There’s a new owner there, and Frank actually was the one that gave him his first job in the business. So when he asked me why they should hire me, I said, “Because I’m family.” I know that’s what got it for me. That, and the fact that they are looking for someone with a wide array of skills, all of which I have over 3 or 5 years experience in all of them. Sometimes it’s very beneficial to be a Jack of all, Master of none. I start on Monday. Four days a week. Off by 1pm every day. I’m not complaining. But in a small way I am, because now I can’t take the trip to Europe this summer, as I’m already taking 3 weeks off for the Ossabaw Writers Retreat in March, and possibly another week for my 40th in July at an Artist Residency. That’s asking a lot for a part-timer and I haven’t even started yet. But they said yes, and still want me.
I’ve enjoyed my time. (I don’t want to say ‘time off’ because though I am not formally employed, I am working and definitely not ‘off’.) I’ve been productive. I did NaNo WriMo again, booking in over 65,000 words again this year, this year on my Olympia SM9. Right now, I’m rewriting and editing the first 20 pages of that manuscript so it can be critiqued at the retreat, and trying to put together a very rough short story for the submissions call for the post-apocalyptic typewriter anthology, Cold Hard Type. Both are due February 1st. Since I got here, I have renovated and built my writing studio in the old fishing room downstairs, taken a road trip on the North Shore of Lake Superior, gone to one weekend retreat in Falcon Lake, and a workshop in Dryden. Plus did I mention SEVEN new typewriters?! Including an Underwood 3 and an Oliver 3.
It has been worth it. It is worth having all my stuff still packed and in the garage. It is worth not having the alone time and the cheese and cracker dinners because-I-can time. It is worth it, because while Mom is at sewing, and brother is off flying for work, I am here when baby needs an emergency sitter. It is worth it when grandma has been in the hospital for a month and Mom can’t do all the driving back and forth on her own. It is worth it because grandma is finally getting into the nursing home, and Mom certainly cannot pack and get the house ready to sell on her own.
I have my writing time and space. I still will when I start working. I will have the weekends off to make the trips with Mom and be around in the afternoons for babysitting and whatever else is needed.
It is worth it, because I am needed and wanted, and appreciated. I am with family here. Finally.