Thursday, September 3, 2009


Hit a low point this week. I can usually pull myself out of a funk and am not generally given to paranoia; I believe things turn out, and we typically call whatever that is the best, and that's just fine with me.

But this week, this summer, I am beginning to take things personally.

Case in point:

My family is homebound right now, with a four-year-old who is recovering from major surgery. She is doing well, but it has been frustrating for all concerned in its departure from routine. She is missing her first six weeks of pre-school this year, and I am putting off poetry until then. She is eating only soup. We are eating only soup.


Then there are the fires. You may have heard. L.A. is burning, and it happens to be directly out our window. We are not in imminent danger, but the air has been determined to be at a hazardous level for toxins, and more falling ash covers the fig tree and basil plants every morning. Not that we were going out anyway (see point one above). And there are, of course, people all around us who are much more directly affected than we are, not the least of whom are the firefighters, to whom we all are in deep debt.

Check. Check.

And then there is the little matter of the flu. On Sunday night, I started to have the chills. Serious. Cold. Shakes. Should I mention at this juncture that it is 100-106 degrees out this week? As in, what in the hay is going on? By Tuesday morning, it was clear that what was going on was some serious viral business. I am dressed in my winter flannels, several layers, woolen socks, huddled outside in the 106 degree heat, in the direct sun, trying to get warm.

Check. Check. Check.

Did I mention it was 106 degrees?

Check. Check. Check. Check.

But none of that did me in. I was cranky but still sought causes for these effects, as if there were rational explanations for such a confluence of ick.

No, what did me in was the serpent in the garden. As I'm curled up in the direct sun, in my woolies, on the chaise longue, shaking with cold in the 106-degree heat, in the falling ash, my homebound daughter comes over and sits next to me on the cushion. I glance down and see a rather aggravated, brown-widow spider wiggling out of the cushion onto her leg.

That was a low point.


  1. Hang in there. Yes, this is a lot.

  2. Oh dear. I am so sorry. I was complaining about all that I have going on in my life right now and how I am feeling overwhelmed but now I am going to take it all back. I hope your fall is healthy and happy and magical and full of poetry.

  3. No worries, Tracie. Everyone gets their valleys. It isn't comparative. It just is what it is.

  4. We had a brown widow spider drama in the summer! Everyone fine, but still we were all pretty freaked out. Sorry that you are ill and that you've been through such a harried time. Life is sucky, sucky, sucky sometimes.

  5. Aw, poor thing. While I'm sure yours was a virus, I've heard all us fire babies are suffering flu-like symptoms from the crap in the air, stress, etc.

  6. Oh, that last bit gives me the chills. No more flu and creepy crawlies, please.

  7. I've never heard of a brown widow spider. Did you squish it?

  8. UGH! What happened to the kiddo?

  9. I've been catching bits and pieces of this on FB, but it does sound like you're having a life-is-an-electric-fan period. I'm sorry to hear that. My wife would say "Remember, everything is darkest right before it goes completely black."

    Seriously - hope the Disney day and cooler weather are helping.