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I’ll Fly Away

That’s the hymn I sang to myself last night as we dished up six huge pans of vegetarian chili at the homeless shelter in Frenchtown. The question about one HDMI connector or two on the big-screen TV can seem pretty small when you’re serving up a hot meal to someone whose life is stuffed into a 12×12 locker.

I frequently sing to myself–something I may have to watch at my new job, though I recall Betty, the accountant in upstate NY, thought it was amusing, sort of a way she knew I was alive and happy–and the songs usually reflect my life. I have indeed flown away–first from California, not the state itself, but the childhood memory I was trying to relive, and now I’m flying away from a job I’ve had for five years that overall was a pretty good time but now seems a little threadbare and tight in the wrong places, like the ancient skirt I tried to pull over my hips last week. (We’ve done several Goodwill deposits since our arrival; it can be easier to part with something once you’ve brought it several thousand miles and it still doesn’t fit.)

At FPOW, I’ll have amazing challenges and great benefits and finally full-time pay again, and I’ll see people at the water cooler (or whatever passes for a water cooler at the Future Place of Work), and I’ll even get to wear something other than torn sweatpants to work, though that strikes both joy and fear in my heart, since as a petite I am not very easily pret a porter. But I’m trying hard not to think about MPOW or FPOW, but about next month, which is my personal transition time.

My current job ends October 31, my new job starts December 1. I will spend most of November as a domestic goddess, overseeing the electrical upgrades to our home (things like a fixed light in the back of the house, so I don’t have to jump up and down to trigger the motion-detector lights when I’m grilling, and a separate circuit for my office, which could almost use its own generator), preparing the bake-ahead cookies and freezing dough for our Christmas open house (will this be the year when I get such a running start on things I can do Pfeffernusse again?), and painting a bookcase and a trunk.

November is also when I am posing as a serious writer, and I will be sending out essays for publication, or at least for kind rejection. I plan to fill five envelopes every morning before I am done with my regulation cup of Peet’s french roast (never more, never less). I am actually starting this project next week; this week’s personal time is given over to transcribing two years’ of class notes, something else I know if I don’t get done now will never get done.

November also starts with what will possibly be the last talk I give as a free agent until I retire: I’m headed to Michigan to present on new technologies (for libraries, not cookie-baking, though I’m open to both). I’m looking forward to networking with people I enjoy, and being whisked around on a grand tour of libraries from friend Christine; I am even looking forward to the plane time, as I work on another essay or two.

November is also time to visit the Female Parental Unit, who conveniently lives in Santa Fe, which is a very nice place to visit. Since we’re thrifty, we stay at the Santa Fe Sage Inn, a decent motel that is walking distance to downtown and is also very close to Tomasita’s. You can spend much more on meals in Santa Fe and not have better New Mexican eats; if we can have at least one meal at Tomasita’s, breakfast at Tecolote, and drag home something fun from Jackelope, it will have been a good visit.

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