Cows are in the barn these days. The pasture is a little behind and I want to give it a moment to rest. The summer sun is unbearably hot so we are grazing the cows on open, flat ground during the night then returning them to the barn in the morning. That way they are still getting fresh greens but they are also protected and have easy access to fresh water. Finally, it makes pinkeye treatment a snap. Salt and kelp are in the feed trough and we can easily spray the infected eyes without fear of a multi-acre rodeo. It is costing us a little hay right now but I think it is worth it.
All that to say, chores are pretty easy these days. So Julie and I kissed the kids goodbye for a short anniversary getaway.
Did you know we live next to my parents and near to hers? Yup.
Julie and I are currently (as I write on July 4) in Anna, IL at the Davie School Inn. We have a big classroom all to ourselves. King-sized bed, couch, giant bubbly bathtub and even a kitchenette with real dishes!
I brought a stack of books. Julie brought her notebook and a book she has been reading about writing: Jump Start: How to Write From Everyday Life.
Julie wrote the following while we enjoyed our dinner:
The sky is overcast but I can still feel the sun coming through the clouds. The chairs are of black iron – yours was broken in the seat. You exchanged it for one at the next table, fearing it would snag your jeans.
There is a small group of people on the balcony chatting and laughing. I can hear frogs creaking – sounds like rocks being struck together, crickets, a few birds chirping, light jazz music in the background and far away a soft thunder boom – must be fireworks.
There is a brick patio under my feet, a small decorative pond next to us, a larger pond down the hill. The hill is neatly mowed with a few trees sloping down to the pond below. I can see the rows of grape vines on the top of the next hill.
The restaurant is empty except for the group upstairs. I wonder if it is the family who runs the vineyard or the employees.
They had events here Saturday and Sunday – the restaurant has a laid-back feel. I wonder if they are all exhaling after a very busy weekend.
Even the menus looked tired with a “N/A” sticker covering many of the selections. I don’t mean tired in a run-down kind of description, but more of an exhaling, like a well-deserved rest.
That is somewhat edited from what she wrote in her journal but that’s it. She misspelled some words, crossed through others but that doesn’t matter. What do you think? Can you see it? Were you there with us? Did she succeed in taking you to Rustle Hill Winery on July 4th at 5pm? Can you taste the sweet glass of chambourcin? Could you hear acris crepitans chirping next to us?
Maybe. Maybe not. But Julie is trying. And if you want to learn to write you have to write…and you have to write every day.
One of my initial goals with the blog was to write daily and I succeeded for a long, long time. I began by imitating the style of writers I enjoyed. Now I seem to have found my own rhythm.
But I think it is time for me to grow again. It is time for me to be challenged further. It is time to improve as a writer. (and the people said, “Amen”.)
It is a little bit like work.But the act of writing is itself an escape…one that does not require willing grandparents or long trips in the car.
What did you write today? What is holding you back?