Stories. I have written about our habit of starting the day with breakfast and me reading aloud this blog. Sometimes the thing that motivates me to write is the need to have the breakfast story. That is the way it is tonight.
I am tired having worked till the wee hours yesterday and then painting cabinets into the night tonight. I took a nice long break during which we went to the bank to close on a loan for the house and to the grocery store. We had our Friday night pizza and watched a movie. It was a very satisfying day.
Yesterday we hauled up to my temporary cabinet shop we have up in the library loft the doors, face frame and the side that is not nailed to the walls for the pantry cabinet. It is 24″ wide, 24″ deep and 84″ tall. It is not inconsequential. It took me a couple of hours to tape it off for painting and then another couple of hours to put it up on the saw horses and sand it.
This cabinet was a lot more expensive than my other cabinets and it actually was finished. However, it was a very bad, and lightweight finish on inexpensive wood. I had no trouble sanding it right off and replacing it with paint. This morning I wiped all of the cabinets down to remove all traces of sanding and applied the primer. Tonight after the movie I went upstairs and put the first coat of paint on the cabinets. Tomorrow, if I work early and then late, I should be able to get two more coats so I can install the pantry before Monday when the professionals descend.
But this story is not about cabinets. That is only why I am really tired and I am writing because it is disappointing to me if there is not a story to share. I have written 419 stories that are around 800-1000 words each. The longer stories are 1400 words. I have written about a third of a million words. Six months after the fire I calculated that if strung into a line I had written a mile or words. I have not done that calculation tonight but I feel pretty certain I have a couple of miles of words.
Words on a page are a curious and astonishing thing to me. They sit there waiting to surprise, delight or deject a person who comes to read them. They are not specific, the words and or house or book or wisdom are imbued by the writer and the story that they have to tell.
Stories can be for the writer or for the reader. Sometimes they are for both. Most of the time this blog is for both of us. Sometimes the words are for my spouse and sometimes for me. Once when I finished reading a story he said, “Hm. I did not now you felt that way. I am glad to know.” Another time he said what I had written that day was churning around in his head making him think differently about the world. I thought the story was sort of mundane but my listener found it profound.
That is why words need pages. When written, words convey meaning and carry their own life. Not written down they get forgotten and lost.
In these years following such a life-changing event as losing everything to a wildfire it is important that we not lose anything else. We need to record our words. With them we rebuild our lives.