So for the past few weeks, most of the posts here at Pinwheels have been about my book. As you can imagine, it’s a very big deal for me, having this project that I’ve been working on for nearly 3 years come to its conclusion. But! I can imagine it might not be as exciting to everyone else, as it is to me.
With that in mind, here’s a post NOT about the book. Instead, I offer you this: news from the home front. As some of you know, we got a puppy. The puppy is named Bailey, but is also affectionately called Baby. Baby is a mutt, or as I like to say, an original. But he seems to have the worst combination of his 3 breeds: he has the curly hair of the Australian Shepherd, but only along his back. He has the long, white hairs of the Border Collie, but those jut out at odd angles around his ears, or his chin.
His coat is blue-gray and covered with black spots, like a Blue Heeler, but his spots are not arranged in any pattern, or with any pleasing balance. He has, simply, a lot of spots. Even his spots seem to have spots, and they cluster together around his eyes, giving him the look of a raccoon. His paws are too big for himself, and he trips over them constantly. He might be the only 3 generation cow dog who is a clutz.
He has a puppy pot belly and dog-breath. When he barks, he sounds like a rooster. He eats deer poop when he can find it; he chews on sticks and he bites rocks. And if you think we love him less for any of these faults, you’d be wrong. Everyone is smitten. Puppy love is alive and well at our house.
On the home renovation projects, we have completed one wall. I’ll say it again: one solitary wall. It’s the only place in the house in need of nothing: no paper to peel, no priming, no structolite, no 2 topcoats of egg-white semigloss. It’s just one wall, but it’s a beginning, and it’s beautiful.
Outside, the single remaining lilac (one was chain-sawed by a former tenant) has begun to grow fat, green buds. Is it a white lilac? Or pale purple? Or will it bloom deep, bluish flowers? Time will tell. And there are more mysteries, some solved: the giant, gnarled bulb behind the fuel oil tank has sprouted leaves. It’s rhubarb! And the tangle of thorny, bright green shoots is, I think, a sea of naturalized poppies.
The kitchen no longer smells of grease but instead, more often, of baked goods. I’ve discovered that the old Chambers gas stove makes the most delicious, flaky pie crust, and that the moist, hot heat makes cinnamon rolls rise and brown perfectly.
I’ve learned more, too, from the neighbors about the house, and its former inhabitants. But the lady of the hats is still elusive: no one knows who she might have been, or why the hats are still here. I like imagining her; some days I think she’s one woman, other days she’s another. When I eventually do find the answers, a part of me will feel a little sad. It’ll be like reaching the end of a good book; I’ll miss wondering about her.