Throw Another Log on the Fire

Nancy Flynn Neighborhood, Stream of Consciousness Archive, Writing

Actually, now that we are city folk, all we have to do is flick a switch and the gas fireplace with its ceramic log pile comes to life. Been there, done that re: the hauling of wood for the past nine years. It’s nice to have a touch of luxury, to be able to move from the oak chair to the couch with this laptop and assuage my aching back with the support of the cushions. I wonder if I should try writing my novel pages tomorrow with the iBook on my lap. Today my upper back definitely decided it had had enough.

Cozy inside the house tonight. I’m alone as J. is down in Corvallis for powwows with the Chief of the Forest Service among other luminaries. Today’s big event was my first trip to check out the books on hold for me at the public library. The North Portland branch is on Commercial and Killingsworth, across the street from the McMenamins Chapel Pub—a former mortuary and now their business offices as well. I parked the truck on Commercial and walked around the corner to the library front steps. On the way there, I passed an elderly black man making his way with a cane, his vote-by-mail ballot in his hand. Today is Election Day in Oregon, the last day to turn them in. He seemed like one of those proud-to-vote citizens, taking his duty more than seriously.

Today, Baby (the skinny but quite exotic-looking Siamese stray who has been taken by the neighbor next door) came up to the screen on the front stoop and howled, wanting to come in. Ping hissed a few back and Ryman skulked off in slow-motion just as he did when confronted by Carmen, our other neighbor’s cat last Sunday. Today boxes arrived via the Post Office and Federal Express. The first was another floor pillow for the TV room/writing studio so each cat now has one of his own for napping and I have two options for HBO and movie viewing if I want to sit on the floor. A patchwork quilt and pillow shams found in the half-price sale for half-price at The Company Store were the other arrival. At long last, we have a quilt that covers a queen-sized bed with its horizontal bars of color in madras plaids, stripes, shiny solids on an egg-white background. After fifteen years of too-small and now-threadbare patchwork coverlets, I have to say I love the new look. It’s brighter and “ties the room together” to quote The Dude. I can’t wait to crawl under it to go to sleep tonight.

I sit here, relaxing, reveling in what surrounds me, how comfortable it feels to be here. This house really does feel like home. Our art is on the walls, the kitchen is organized, and the dehumidifier now empties directly into a drain so I don’t have to haul buckets of water up the narrow basement stairs. The newly-recovered seats on the dining room chairs are a perfect fit with the color of the rug beneath the table and the colors on downstairs living area’s walls. The Tiffany lamp in the reading room, a.k.a. mirror room, shines its warm yellow light on the spines of the hardcovers in the bookcase angled into the corner. I feel so much luck, so much good fortune to sit here with this quiet, the warmth of this fire, this utter ease. Why would anyone trade this for running around crazy in the maniacal world?

The public domain image above is from the book, Cats and All About Them, published in 1902.

Nancy Flynn
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