Ringing Through The Changes

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Yesterday, in the middle of nowhere, I just felt like sitting down and bawling my eyes out.  Now if this had been ten years ago, when I was more ah captive of the changing moon, I’d know where it came from and ignore it.

You see, I don’t talk too well to my body, which perforce includes my “thinking meat” as well as everything that influences it.  When I start feeling something that has no basis in my immediate reality, that’s when I look at what’s going on with the body, to see if there’s something off.  Yes, I’ve literally gone “My eyes are closing and I’m yawning, but this is really interesting work, how can I be bored? Wait, it’s 3 am.”

Now I know the inability to listen to the subtle signals from your body or anything else is a mark of being on the spectrum. (Autism spectrum, they mean.)  But in this house, younger son and I have been exempted of that by psychologist decree.  Because younger son has the sensory stuff, and because we feared it since both of us are “math brains” and he was, through no fault of our own, born after we were thirty, we had him tested.  The psychologist who did the test said he had picked up some social behaviors from Aspergers, most likely because that was most of his group in school, but he and I were almost anti-autistic, in that we are very conscious of other people’s emotions.

She might have been right, or she might have been toking — hey, it’s Colorado — but I do know that neither us nor the rest of this household is any good at judging what our physical side is up to.  Which is why we tend to become obsessed with something or other and push till we drop.  Husband will literally tell me “I’ve worked four fourteen hour days, and today I just can’t concentrate and want to sleep. I don’t know why.” (Looks at beloved husband over glasses.)

In my case and younger son’s I suspect we learned to ignore our bodies because they were never quite on point.  Mine has been trying to kill me since I was born, and his just threw up enough annoyance often enough he sort of blocked the signal. (This is the kid who used to announce he was going to be ill by throwing up. And looking very surprised.  He would have temperatures of 104 and be acting completely normal to that moment.)

Anyway, this has some problems.  Recently it had the problem that it totally missed a drug interaction.  In the past it has had problems with my not realizing I was sinking into hypothyroidism or suffering from sleep apnea, or all sorts of good stuff.

These days, being late middle aged (shut up wretches. I’ll use “old” when I’m over 65) I’ve learned to pay attention to little weird feelings.  Because that bizarre exhaustion in the middle of a clear blue day might very well be a sign that I’m coming down with something.  Or it might foretell something serious.

So I was completely shocked when, having wrapped up for the day, I suddenly felt I’d very much like to sit down and bawl.

It would make perfect (well, somewhat) sense for me to wish to sleep. It had been a busy and weird day.  Or to wish to go for a walk, since I’d only had  short one. But why, in the name of Sweet Dance Fandango did I want to cry?

I did what I usually do in those circumstances, and asked friends.  They pointed out there have been a lot of very fast changes in my life, starting about three years ago when we moved.  But the changes seem to be picking up speed, instead of slowing down, which ain’t fair.

I had some inkling of it. In fact, I’ve talked about it here.  I had figured out that I was caught in the middle of a tidal wave of change a few months ago and told older son “I think I might be going through a mid-life crisis a bit late.”  And he looked at me and said “You might be. But think about it, mom, if you were a human in the wild, by now you’d be dead twenty years.”

Which has a way of putting things in perspective, right?

Though not all the changes, some of what’s happening is that I’ve fobbed older son off  er… while older son still lives in the house (kind of. It’s an independent apartment in the basement) he legally has his own family unit (soon de facto as well as de jure.  I mean, as an independent couple.  To allude to sir PTerry we don’t think there will puppies in the basket a while yet, since they’re both perhaps TOO financially prudent. That would be another and rather fast change, but not yet.); my career has taken a sudden sharp turn, which changes my view of myself and where I’m heading (in a hand basket. With greased tracks. And little multicolored streamers.) This is not bad, but it is a big change; I haven’t suddenly become aware of my parents’ age, but I’ve suddenly become aware of the toll it’s taking. As for my non-fiction career, let’s just say I’ve got a feeling something is just waiting to pounce, but I have NO idea what.  (I’d still like to find funding for something like instapundit but international.  I have enough immigrant and fluent in other languages friends to do a multilingual news aggregator and maybe start chipping away at the mass media dominance in the rest of the world too.  But it would take money, because we’d need someone to coordinate it and keep an eye on it. And dear Lord, not me. I want to write fiction again before I die.)

There’s other stuff.  Friends who are moving on.  Not friendship break, as such, we’re just drifting past in different different directions.  This is something I’d never thought of, because in the village friendships were lifelong. In fact, one of the most predictive things in your life was your first grade friends.  But of course, it would be. People lived nearby and with very little change to their lives.  Our friendships seem to move more like people on different currents in a very slow river.  Eventually an entire group is replaced, and while you might keep contact and still love people, you’re not that person anymore, and the group has changed.  When this is abrupt, which only happened to us once, when our writers’ group fell apart, it is a major trauma.  But most of the time it just goes on, until you look back and realize either you have a new group, or you just don’t have anyone.

I’m not either place, and some people we’ll keep, thank you (they’re recent acquisitions, in the last 10 years or so) but there has been driftery (totally a word) going on, which I probably became more aware of because of older son’s change of status. And of course, we lost — or perhaps realized we’d long ago lost — our oldest friendship in the last couple of years.

There’s other things.  You could measure our life by cats. We had the old firm: Pixie, (Best cat evah!), Petronius the Arbiter of blessed memory, Pixel’s crazy brother Randy, and our fluffy sweet girl DT.  It seems when we have four, the configuration is stable, and the cat gods don’t send us new ones.  But as one shuffles off stage left, the replacement shows up. The second firm, Miranda, Euclid, D’Artagnan, Havelock and Greebo (outside, now inside and an editor, poor thing.)  Of those Miranda is now on the mantle shelf, and Euclid probably not with us more than a few months. There is a mass over his thyroid.  D’Artagnan being mostly older son’s cat lives with him (Well, we got tired of the howling in the empty room when older son moved away to medschool, (before we moved nearby) and showed up one weekend with D’Artagnan in a carrier.)  As soon as Miranda shuffled off we got back a little girl cat, Valeria Victrix, which I’d raised since she was two weeks old and with an eye infection, and her mom abandoned her at a bookstore’s door step.  (Older son named her. He was reading Operation Chaos at the time.)  Alas getting her back is tied up with the breakup of that long standing friendship, and the insurmountable “will never be forgiven” is that idiot decided 8 week old kitten was “mean” (I suspect because being idiot he didn’t realize she was too young to retract her claws.)  He’d lost a cat, so he wanted her, but never told us they didn’t get along. This despite the fact that Dan loved that girl cat and really wanted her. Instead, out of stupid pride (I’d guess) he kept her, ignored her and feralized her for eight years.

The amazing thing is that given all that she’s a very sweet girl. She was skittish and hid for a year and a bit, but is now demanding pets and dive bombing at all our ankles.  She’s still afraid of strangers and still periodically yells at Greebo for no reason. (Or some reason. I think they’re siblings. They have the same belly-markings in white.)

Anyway, the second firm is starting a turn over.  Two nights ago I dreamed of a little cornish rex cat, so maybe Miranda’s replacement is warming up.  Because Dan and I have dreams of having only two cats, or maybe a cat and a dog someday, I’m hoping she’s coming for younger son, not us.  Which, as I told him, means that he needs to finish up with studies (Stupid university scheduling tricks has extended him till next May) and find a job.

In exasperation, because he’s looking for work for the summer/next year after graduation/part time work for the next year with marked lack of success, but at the same time he has a couple of ideas that if they come to fruition are sort of like shaking the money tree [the odds are SLIGHTLY better than the lottery, let’s just say that] I said “so are you going to be an unemployed bum or a billionaire?”  And he said “Probably both, alternating, mom. I am your son.”

Now, when I was about his age, my mom told me she’d given up on ever being rich. Have I?  I don’t know.  My world is very different, and I have a lot more options.  There is this idea for being ready to replace Amazon when it comes to ebooks that I’m cooking with a friend. Our goal is mostly not to be dependent only on Amazon, but in a couple of years it should pay us living salaries.  Billionaire?  Not aiming for it, but the future is wide open.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I hate being caught in the middle of changes. And rather than slowing down, they seem to be ramping up.  Both boys graduate (G-d willing, and the creek not rising) next May or thereabouts.  It will for sure mean a move for one, and I hope it means a move off our family unit (in terms of self-support, though as I’ve indicated, I’m ready to shuffle him off have him find a woman of his very own.)  And I doubt we’ll have poor Euclid another year.  Worse, Greebo-the-editor has started losing weight. He still moves very well for 16 years, and is sassy as ever, but he wants pets and cuddles more often (his time is early morning, when mom is gathering her wits and making her plans before getting up, but he has been coming up for pets at night, too.)

There are other things going on, which are none of ya’ll’s bizwax.  Small ones, big ones.  For the first time since the kids were toddlers, I’m having trouble carving out a slice of three/four hours to write uninterrupted before one of of the family or friends pings me with an emergency.

Of all this, of course, the kids and being more or less (almost) done raising them (well, I’m done raising them, just not launching them, if that makes sense) is the big thing.

This morning, I remembered when Robert was 9 and Marshall was 6 and, for the first time in ten years, I went to the grocery store by myself, (I was on strict bed rest with Robert.)  And suddenly I felt like I’d forgotten something/didn’t know what I was doing.  It grew into being normal, of course.  Now it would be weird to lug them both to the store.  In fact, I think the last time I did so was almost 10 years ago.  (And it was because I needed help carrying stuff.)

I know this too will grow.  And this new thing Dan and I are doing, trying to find who we were before kids will be okay too. (No, there isn’t a problem in our marriage. Honestly, it’s about the only thing that is still stable in this storm that’s been overtaking me. But we’ve been a family so long, we’re having trouble figuring out how to BE just a couple, without making the cats substitute children or trying to be the YOUNG couple we were and aren’t anymore.  I know this all sounds very silly. And we should count our blessings.)

At the same time, possibly because of physical changes not unusual for women my age (though more usual for younger women. Eh) stuff about me is changing.  Mostly little stuff.  Like, why on Earth do I now like Mexican food? I never did before.  And where did the interest in needle arts come back from? I hadn’t done that since the kids were tiny.  And…

This morning I thought I didn’t care, but I was exasperated the changes didn’t wait till next year. Because it’s an election year, and therefore I’ll be fairly useless anyway. Then I realized things probably won’t slow down next year anyway, as G-d willing one son will move out of state and maybe two sons will move, and honestly we’ll probably lose another cat (and hopefully not gain a new one! Forlorn as the hope might be.)  And… and… and…

All of this of course hit us because of the major holiday.  It might be our last one with everyone nearby.

None of this explains the crying, except from stress, of course.  Most of the changes are good.  The ones to career haven’t been (I really must try not to get fired, okay fired and rate-limited twice in the same week again.  That was a fun time.) But I’m not done either.  One door is closed, but there is a little daylight coming in around one of the rocks, and I have a spoon.

Finding time to stop and write would help.  Probably.  The health stopping throwing bigger and brighter challenges would help too.

But apparently life is change.  And somewhere over the ridge the change will slow a little, and I’ll catch breath for a while before it starts again.

I’m not upset, I’m….

When I was little and standing in the sea (I never learned to swim. Long story) sometimes a wave would roll me.  If you open your eyes under water, you see yellow sand swirling around, and light and you can’t tell if you’re up or down, and you desperately want a breath.

That’s kind of where I am.  But I’ll find a foothold here, any minute, and poke my head above water soon.

And older son isn’t wrong, either. I’m lucky to live in a time where the period of equilibrium ahead can be relatively long, relatively healthy, relatively productive.

This morning I woke up with this Agatha Christie quote in my mind:

I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find – at the age of fifty, say – that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about…It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you.

I’ll drink to that time coming.

 

 

 

70 responses to “Ringing Through The Changes

  1. I know you know this but I will repeat it anyway — because I know it too, but sometimes you’ve helped me with the reminder, even if you weren’t talking to me personally.

    Even good changes take getting used to.

    Prayers and best wishes.

  2. Forever damned be that ancient Chinaman who first uttered the curse “may you live in interesting times!”
    The irony being that all of recorded history has indeed been interesting times with only brief fleeting periods when one might stop and catch one’s breath.

    • It’s the third curse that gets me: “May you get what you desire.” IMHO, it’s what you think you desire, before the side effects come into play.

      • William H. Stoddard

        The version of that third curse I’m used to is “May your dreams come true.” Certainly that’s no less scary!

      • May you get all you desire hits the problem that if there are side effects, you desire them to go away.

        • I think it’s the difference between “what you desire” vs “all you desire”. The first allows the possibility that the grant is a limited time offer. At least that’s the way I took it. Only three wishes from the Genii, to mix cultures.

      • …and then there’s the parental curse: “I hope you have children just like you!

  3. I know you know this, Sarah, but try and feel it too–we’ve got your and Dan’s backs. If you need us for anything you have but to ask.

  4. As you recently pointed out, the one surefire thing that causes a population to rebel, is change. This is also true on the personal mental level.
    We don’t likes it, does we? Support is there for you though.

  5. I was going to say what PK already said: Even good changes can be stressful. And of course, we’re all here for you, but you knew that, too.

  6. “I’ll use “old” when I’m over 65”

    Sorry, you have to be 80 now to use that term.

    • Seconded; you can’t be old since you’re only a few months older than I am.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Thirded, I’m a few years older than Sarah and I refuse to be OLD! 😉

        • I’m 66, and feeling OLD depends on how the wakeup stage is going. OTOH, I’ve outlived Dad by 13 years, and Mom is in her mid 90s, so I might get to stay an old curmudgeon a long time. God willing.

          • Exactly. Mom is 84+. Her siblings are still alive (81 and 72 respectively). Her folks weren’t “old” until a few months before their deaths, and if they hadn’t been blind in one eye and couldn’t see out the other, respectively, doubt mid-90s would have kept them from doing anything. Technically it didn’t. Grandpa they had a chance to adapt to the change. It was grandma’s eye sight that was the trigger that they finally couldn’t over come. Even then, turns out her health was worse than his, but she never let on. Shear will power. Things were going to get done her way come hell and* high water. Lets just say there is a gene for stubborn.

            * Forget “or”.

            My point? I can’t be “old”. Not allowed. Short, overweight, out of shape, unable to do what we did in our 20’s, or 30’s, yes; old no.

            • My family constantly claims to be old and about to kick the bucket from about 40 or 50. And then they keep complaining and being about to die until they are 90 or 100.

              Not quite as drama as the guy on Sanford and Son, but pretty close.

    • Funny (“interesting”) how ‘old’ seems to get older faster than one does. While I’ve claimed encroaching geezerhood for nearly a decade, I have to yet to claim genuine geezerhood. And I am unsure I ever will. As it is, any midlife crisis (if I even have such a thing) seems to remain somewhere in the uncertain future. That or I blinked when it whizzed by ages ago. One of those.

      • Depends on how you define “geezerhood”. Discounts? You bet. Honestly, been claiming those since hubby got to start … He’d order with Senor Discount, and I’d chime in “me too”, *4+ years before I “qualified”. Didn’t hurt that gray/white started appearing in my mid-20s for all that I’ve been covering it since 30s. OTOH, the rest, the attitude, not so much.

        * not the National Senor Golden Eagle Pass however. Hubby got his when it was still $10. Now that I qualify, it is $80. Figures. Oh well, as long as he is around don’t need one, but still … Yes, at $80, it is 100% worth the cost, but … darn it!!!

    • Yup. I passed 65 and hardly noticed. “Old?” Come over here and say that, sonny, I’ve got a knurled cane handle with your name on it…

  7. Grief, and rage. Ignore it and presently it will go away.

  8. The life expectancy of an American man born in 1960 is 75 years. I was born in 1959, and feel far too healthy to be dying in only 15 years. On the other hand, the NYT reported in 1959 that the life expectancy of a child born in 1958 was only 69.5 years; so the target moves. Two years ago, 86.3% of my peers born in the U.S. in 1959 were still alive. Since I had about 200 people in my HS graduating class, supposedly 28 of them should be dead by now.

    • I was born in 1951 and graduated high school class of ’69.
      About 100 in my class and I’m afraid several did not return from their field trip to Southeast Asia. Personally, I volunteered to enlist, but the army wouldn’t have me.
      I do recall a story years ago about a black man who moved to a small town in the northeast. Friends cautioned him that it was pretty much universal that everyone there called men “boy” as a generic term. The African American said that did not bother him, but he was fearful of the day they started referring to him as “young fella” which was reserved for really old guys.

      • I’m of the same vintage as you Uncle Lar. Haven’t counted up the memorials from my high school, but there are many. Not going to the 50th reunion because it’s unlikely any of the 5 people (out of 500) who were my circle are going. Well, 2 are dead–one a genius who fried his brain on drugs in college and went to work with his dad in a quarry, the other a young victim of either accident or disease. Even though I am now literally a gray-beard, it’s rare the person at work who thinks me that old. I try not to talk about SS and Medicare with my younger colleagues.

        That many of our contemporaries died much younger renders the stats about your birth cohort’s (in the statistical sense) average lifespan meaningless for those of us who survive. A better stat would be your life expectancy if your are your current age. I feel the occasional creak in my knees, but mostly when I see a hunched over or semi-incapacitated person emerging from a handicapped parking spot, I can’t help but wonder, “How old is he?” Mostly I’m just grateful for God-given health. My wife the chemist describes me as a field instrument: you can drop it out of the back of a pick-up and still get a decent reading, but not like the one you get from the lab instrument that breaks if you breathe too hard on it. My senses are dull, but my health is better.

        • Born late 56. My classmates, class of ’74, was one of the first classes to not loose anyone in Southeast Asia. Doesn’t mean we have lost any along the way, a few almost immediately, and at least one before (leukemia).

          My mom’s class reunions, small town, very small graduating classes, is defined as “classes”, I think they span now for any survivors of graduating classes on or before ’65; which is a moving target …

  9. William H. Stoddard

    I’m sixty-nine, and calling myself “old” just seems totally unnatural. . . . On the other hand, over the past year, four people I knew, all younger than me, have died. That’s a measure of something.

    • On the other hand, over the past year, four people I knew, all younger than me, have died.

      I’m only 48. So I’m not old yet by modern standards, although I kid about being old sometimes when the weather changes and my arthritis acts up (early signs of it started when I was in grade school, had no clue that’s what it was until much later though). However, I feel your pain. A good number of my high school friends are gone (most of them younger than me), and I find my current core group of friends to be much smaller than it was just a few years ago. And lately, we’ve had an awful lot of “Hey remember _____ we used to hang out with? He died last week.” going on.

    • The deaths in my grandparents’ generation were not such a big impact, even when they had all died, as when my uncle died.

  10. I want to be the 11th-sigma old guy for the species, and still be reviled socially for robbing the cradle with 30 and 40 year old women,

  11. “Yesterday, in the middle of nowhere, I just felt like sitting down and bawling my eyes out.”

    Grief, and rage. Some existential fear. Let it roll out, and otherwise ignore it. Presently it will go away.

    The Phantom (Its still me, I am trying to change my WordPress account because the old one was completely broken.)

    • I see WordPress has me leaving double comments now, but telling me I haven’t left -any- comments. How fricking broken is this thing?

      • Very. Yesterday it refused to acknowledge any of my log-ins unless I went through my blog first. G-mail was balking, too.

      • Well, at least I can still comment here without having to create an account with Google first…

        • This kind of thing is why my Phantom Soapbox is still on Blogger. I’d -like- to get rid of Google, but its free and it actually works.

          WordPress, now I get to re-create all my accounts etc, and it still mostly doesn’t work. Good thing I didn’t put anything on that old account, eh?

          And 36 hours for changes to take effect? When all other platforms are instant-on? So stupid. It feels like its running on a PC in some kid’s bedroom.

  12. Michael Whiddon

    Shot by jealous husband at the age of 93

    • How about shot at, but still managed to dodge?

      “Oh but I still get my pleasure
      Still got my greatest treasure”
      – Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls

  13. There’s something in the air, or perhaps the wind. Something’s… shifting, for lack of a better word. I think it’s registering in my hind-brain, but the rest of me can’t quite identify what it is. I have some fears of what it might be (active imagination+a little knowledge = not an unmixed blessing), but the metaphorical air tastes a little different. I was warned that I’m taking on more duties again next year at Day Job, but that’s sort of been lurking in the background as a possibility for quite a while. This is different. I’m hoping good different.

  14. Two comments, here is the first: Once you and Dan are just a long-married couple like Char and I became just in time for the 2002 Olympics. We were able to plan ahead and saved for years so we arrived the day of t he opening ceremony and left the day of the closing ceremony. Just the two of us. You don’t have to be that exravagant – just a week at the Comfort Inn where you can eat the free breakfast, arrive in solitude for several hours then go to the zoo or a museum. Then a quiet, romantic diner together, then turn in. Rinse and repeat. You owe yourselves a break.

  15. Second thought: I shouldn’t give advice to RAH and Blake, but you are never financially ready for kids, and younger is better for raising them. (Don’t you wish you had RAH when you were 21, not 28?) They well find a way.

    • I know. They’re waiting for having insurance though. Given the size of babies in my family, I can’t fault that.
      We started TRYING at 22. Ah well.

      • Insurance is nice. I liked my hospital birth with pain meds available, but the listed prices are something special. And there is no way to price shop for that. Alternatives such as a home birth may cost less, but they aren’t for everyone.

        • Home birth would have killed me with #1 son. Apparently just on size of shoulders, #2 son came close to doing me irreparable injury.
          I hope the next generation has it easier, but the one son who is married didn’t pick woman with dainty shoulders.
          I think they’re wise.

          • I tried an out of hospital birth, transferred to the hospital and turned out to be a really good thing to be at the hospital in the end. How would that have gone if we lived in a different place or time? Would baby or me and baby have died? It felt possible. So I decided the whole anybody can do it without pain meds at home is a bunch of wishful thinking and didn’t consider anything but a hospital for the next. It was so much better. Oh, and the planned hospital birth was much cheaper. Soooo nice to see the bills with “paid by insurance” covering most of it.

        • Oh, and we paid almost full price for #1 son (no insurance.) Took us 3 years to pay him off. (YES we did make jokes about his being repossessed. He was 12 before I figured out he’d thought we were serious.)

          • I asked Mom and Dad Red once if there was a 90 day “return if you are not satisfied” clause on Sib. I wasn’t joking. I was informed that Sib had come with a “no deposit, no return” tag. (In my defense, I was four and a bit years old at the time.)

          • My sister’s first is adopted (were told they couldn’t have kid’s naturally and IVF didn’t work 3 times). When the first (of 3) of natural kids came their response was “well she was ‘cheaper'”. $300 copay VS $15,000 for the adoption. Which (then) no tax write off of the expenses, nor would insurance chip in on the hospital portion because she wasn’t “theirs” at time of birth (24 hours mother signed the papers) even tho they were there with the birth mother and got to hold the baby after the mother. At that the adoption was inexpensive. (Know of coworkers whose first adoption was $24k, second was $30k, and both were through the state. About the same time period, so “current” medical costs not the reason.) Sis’s adoption was a private one. Yes, they paid in installments. I think, was paid off about the time the second one was born.

      • Yep. Us too. Wasn’t the intent but Birth Control shouldn’t have been working. Not that I needed to use it to keep from having kids but live and learn. Really started trying at 24. That’s when discovered the physical problem that meant the method being used shouldn’t have been working. The problem shouldn’t have prevented pregnancy. Doctors never figured out why I had problems.

  16. OK, all you youngsters, here’s some fun advice from almost 80: I loved being 75. For that whole year, when anyone asked about age, I’d say “3/4’s of a century” and watch their eyes roll as they tried to figure it out. I pass it along as a fun thing to do.

    • That provided a stumbling block? Wow. A few years ago I could and did reply with a line that only works for those of a Certain Age (or historical cultural awareness): “Ten years older than Jack Benny.”

  17. Grandma will be 96 in May. She’s old. Mom is 63. She’s middle-aged. I’m 36 and the people who love me tell me that I am still young.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      The people who tolerate me don’t like it when I complain about being old. 🙂

    • I decided I’d officially entered Middle Age when the Playboy centerfolds started being described as born in the year I graduated from High School.

  18. Doubtless you’ve been badgered about this many times but for the love of everything holy Sarah give low-carb/Keto a shot. I can testify it works spectacularly well. It flat out cured my type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, esophageal ulcer, and restored a clarity of mind I haven’t experienced in thirty years. And oh yeah I’m fifty pounds lighter but the weight loss is just a salutary benefit. It is, without doubt, the utter bomb for all things anti-immune.

  19. Sarah, I couldn’t find an email for you, so I’ll make this public.
    Thank you for your writing, fiction and non. I’m a libertarian woman, slightly over a generation older, and going through major changes of my own. You’re helped me laugh, remember, think, and stay grounded. Helped me keep things in perspective. Thank you.

    • Thank you. My email is s a hoyt at hotmail dot com. Email sent to me care of pjmedia often almost finds me.

      • Unless the e-mail has cash in it, or catnip. Somehow that never gets through the system intact. 😉

        • That doesn’t even get through the postal system intact. It took Sarah forever to figure out that I was the culprit who’d sent catnip toys, once, because A Certain Feline found the mail first when an unsuspecting male brought it inside, and shredded the package and the packing slip to get to His Precious.

  20. I’ve been diamond painting –a combination of nail art, cross-stitch, and paint-by numbers. 🙂 For some reason I needed to have time away from writing– Yea, I know I had a little breakdown a few weeks ago. But I know I’ll write more. I’ve been having a feeling quite recently that things are tightening up on Amazon– it is not the wild west anymore and it is harder to get seen. It means there is change in the air. I’ve been feeling a big change coming or at least I am in the middle of it too.