Writing, the Easy Life

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I heard Scott’s mom say to Scott, “Scott, dad’s cleaning house.”

Scott tells Jesse, “Mom says dad’s in that cleaning mood again.”

Jesse sees his Sister Jaime coming down the hall and tells her, “Dad’s got the vacuum out!”

Brian pokes his head out of his bedroom and he sees his dad, with vacuum cleaner in hand, coming down the hall. He pulls his head back into his room and quietly closes the door with the old “pre-turn the doorknob and shut the door quietly, trick”, hoping he wasn’t seen. He’ll exit his room to escape, behind my back, as soon as he thinks I’ve gone past his door.

Kathryn, my wife and mother of my offspring, exits the house through the back patio door, and waits for the episode to end with a book and a beer. She’ll stay seated at the patio table until its safe.

All living things have learned to flee the house the moment I open the closet door and pull out the vacuum cleaner. When I’m in a bad mood, or have something on my mind, I clean house!

I have done this for years. I’m only guessing, but I think I attack the house because three things happen; I relieve stress, the house gets a once over and no one gets hurt. It seems the amount of cleaning I do is directly proportional to the amount of stress I’m having.

I’ll be the first to admit, I probably don’t clean well. Because of my state of mind, I have no patience. Then there is a problem with space. A middle class ranch home in the burbs of Tucson doesn’t have a basement, and every area of the no car garage is already used up. I do, however, move the piles and clean the places where the piles were.

Now that I’ve retired from the factory work, and all of the other trials and tribulations of the last fifty years, I’ve decided to make life easier and start my new career as a writer.

I mention this because, now, I find that when I’ve reached a cerebral impasse, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, or doing yard work, often cracks open my vault of genius. It may not happen immediately, but I know from past experiences, sooner or later, if I keep on working, I’ll settle in and get brilliant again.

When I first retired, I could see my wife (a geriatric nurse) was stressing a little about the loss of income. I could hear it in her conversation threads and hear it in the pitch of her voice. I’ve been married for thirty-seven years. As a man, I didn’t make it this far by failing to remember what I have to do to keep her happy.

I write every day. I show her my dedication to my new craft. Come rain or shine, hell or high water, I keep my nose to the grindstone. When my writing motor won’t run, I do whatever it takes to start that engine again. I clean. I paint. I plant. I remodel or do the dishes. I know that sooner or later that celebrated American novel will come pouring forth. I will make millions, and she’ll be so proud! They all will be!

I watch her relax and smile a little more as each week goes by. I’ve learned to arrange my writing time around the things she’s come to expect. When I take my grandson, Mark, to school to save my daughter and her time, I only lose about an hour of my writing day, and dishes only take about one-half hour to whip. Sweeping and vacuuming do keep me away from my writing machine a little longer, but one cannot write every minute of every day.

Of course, being the hunter gender of this union, I cannot let her, the gentler, weaker of the sexes, know this. I do not want to shatter her image of me at the keyboard each day; hammering out those combinations of words that the world doesn’t even suspect are going to be unleashed on them someday.

I’m so thankful the world understands that excellent works of art take time. I know my wife now does. I will have to admit my new life as a writer does exhaust me; but I’m going to get right back to it as soon as I get done folding this load of towels and put the baked potatoes in the oven.

© Copyright 2012 gottagosee (UN: gottagosee at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

gottagosee has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

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About Ronald D. Drobeck

I've read, learned, been discriminated against, patronized, lied to, laughed at, laughed with, and ignored. I'm not a minority, not tall, not good looking, not skinny, not hairy, and can see 10 miles, but not two feet. I've been a paperboy, college student, licensed nursing home administrator, professional musician (swing drummer), duck and goose hunter, fisherman, conservationist, Eagle scout, camp counselor, canoeing instructor, lifeguard, comedian, restaurant owner, licensed exterminator, insurance agent, warehouse manager, carpenter, conservative, father of 4, baseball coach, husband, worrier, writer, embryo gardener, and nice guy.

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