What’s Chasing You Down the Hall?

Photo by Sasha Martynov on Pexels.com

Early this morning, when the sun is peeking over the horizon, I leap out of bed, well sort of, with this thought chasing me down the hall, “there will never be a day exactly like today.”

Larry is taking a training course which starts at 6:00 am sharp, I faintly hear the alarm go off before it’s quickly shut down, he rustles into a pair of sweats as beloved as a teddy bear, and just as shabby. I appreciate how quietly he shuts the door. I hear him setting up computers at the table in the living room, then the faint voices of people around the world greeting each other, “good morning, G’day mate, buenos dias,” before he slips on headphones, and all goes quiet.

I try to return to my dreams, but my bed is a little bitchy, she wants us all in, or all out. Sitting up, I reach for my glasses, and mumble something about rumpled attitudes. She absolutely does not give a sheet. Okay, blanket apology, I’ll linen up! Bahaha, love a comforting analogy, don’t you?

Not bothering to dress, I amble down the hall in my wrinkled pajamas, wink at Larry (because I don’t want to alarm people from around the world by smooching on my man during a Zoom call), before disappearing onto the back deck, I run back in for a warm blanket, my appreciation gene on overdrive.

Truthfully, there will never be a day with the same cloud formation, the same rippling on the serene water, or the crispness of the air after a brief rain last night. I watch the sun rise, the dazzling colors emerge as if watching an artist in motion, and an arresting idea comes to mind, nothing is stagnant (aside from these thoughts pooling in my brain).

This is pre coffee, go easy, and besides I have absolutely nothing else to write about.

Okay, it might not be arresting for you, but it’s the last day of the semester, and I’m plum tuckered out. One whole semester on Zoom has finally come to a blessed end, it was a arduous learning curve, but we held on, and although no one is enjoying this ride, we’re coasting comparatively. I have a million papers to grade, I feel as if I’ve become an indefensible thesis, with unsupportive topics, and no application.

As you can see I am doing all I can to avoid the inevitable grading frenzy, it’s my gift, I might clip my toenails next.

In the meantime it’s as if the entire world is having a post inauguration marshmallow roast around a roaring bonfire, it’s been happening since the beginning of time, not the marshmallows, this love affair with fire, raw, etherial, efficacious as a sacrament, and now you’re all warm and sanctified. I’m just hungry?

I get like this in the morning, don’t worry, by noon I’ll return to normal, a new normal, which gets sticky if you dig too deep, it not only means ordinary, but wonted, free from mental disorders, containing the same salt concentration as blood (that could be useful at a dinner party).

Words are just bloody awesome.

Larry and I have been up at the lake for over a week, the kids were with us for the weekend, but they headed back to the Bay Area (within the 150 mile CDC travel restriction mind you), returning to the longest remodel in the history of man (not inclusive), work, and school. Truth be told they can only take so much of us, can you imagine living with your elderly (but well preserved) parents for the better part of a year, during a pandemic, with three kids.

It’s Disneyland on steroids, honestly, the happiest place on Earth. This is my truth, I do not speak for anyone else, two days after they left, Julie calls to ask, “when you coming home?”

They miss us, yes siree, or they’re running out of Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Photo Credit: Jim Goudreau, summer, Kono Tayee deck.

It’s very quiet during the week at Kono Tayee, maybe twenty percent of the homeowners live here year round, and the rest slip in and out during the weekends.

The restrictions in Lake County are much more relaxed than the Bay Area, outside dining is allowed, wine tasting, and most of the local shops are open for business. I think the Drive-in Movie Theater is even open. That might be an interesting field trip?

“When you coming home?”

What a ripe question, so many associations, because really what is home? Webster claims it’s not only a place, but a structure, social unit, goal (home plate), a space where something flourishes. The word is of Germanic origin (for those of us who adore words), the traditional meaning is so cool, “move accurately towards a target.” A multi purpose word if there ever was one! One never reaches home, but where paths that have an affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home says Hermann Hesse. So home is actually a moving target if your affinities are scattered?

Goosebumps, not because this is a rousing subject (well, maybe for some of you), it’s freezing outside. It’s like 46 degrees, seriously, I caught me a chill.

In another attempt to avoid grading papers I browse through a few of the blogs I follow. One of them broached the subject of spousal fights? She’s a brave one. Her questions have to do with what is considered an acceptable amount of fighting in a marriage (daily seems excessive), how do you fight (with words of course), what’s off limit (the past), what are the rules (no blaming). This all came about after the blogger read a book that claimed without fighting there is no intimacy in a relationship? So there you have it, we should be celebrating our conflicts, the panacea to love.

I couldn’t resist, I asked Larry what he thought about fighting and intimacy, and with a rather wicked smile on his handsome face, he says, “making up is always fun.” If anything, the man is predictable.

“Profound,” I mutter.

“We could fight about it?”

“I hope you’re muted,” he looks aghast, fiddles with a few keys, gives me the look.

Maybe I should let Larry focus on his training, moving along, I click over to new comments on my latest post which is a complete slug, this is when avoidance queen landed on LaDonna’s captivating words, she said, “I am hopeful 2021 will bring the changes that 2020 brought to our awareness.” Don’t you love that, and yes, I refrained from asking Larry’s opinion.

All this isolation has definitely expanded my interior life, bloated my mind (and body) with savory insights, maybe we should “uncork” the constrictive lessons gleaned from the bowels of 2020?

I’ve labeled it the Pepto Dismal year. Bahaha

We’ve been forced into continued incertitude while the world shoots up with the latest vaccine, I’ve conceded my mask doesn’t need to match my outfit to go grocery shopping, and while we’re burying the loss of life, latitude, and liberty in the backyard, we’re falling in love with people we’ve only met on zoom.

“You’re still muted,” has become our universal tag line, and after a long day on Zoom the family table is a welcome respite, we might be keeping it together with rubber bands and glue, but we’re holding.

I’ve stumbled upon treasures in my own neighborhood as I continue to walk the El Moro de Campbell (the El Camino de Santiago will have to wait) and God willing my international son will move accurately towards a target (home).

My 3 Grandbabies! Photo Credit Julie Jensen

Sheltering in place has not only stretched our patience, but we’ve learned the beleaguered art of compromise, oh we shed a few tears over the run on toilet paper, and our grooming standards have gone primal, but thank God the raccoon stripe is all the rage.

We’re obsessed with puzzles and giant Jenga because it mimics our current passion of knocking down that which we have built, clearly a sense of humor is required, and a full refrigerator. Yes, I’m referring to the wine refrigerator.

May we continue to fight the good fight, then enjoy making up, because if 2020 has taught me anything it’s how sweet it is to be loved by you.

What thoughts are chasing you down the hall? I’m Living in the Gap, seizing the day, join me in the comments!


  • “How you do the little things is how you do everything.” Sharon Pearson
  • “If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” Leo Tolstoy
  • “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Henry Stanley Haskins
  • How we Walk into the Crisis of Our Lives Together, On Being, a conversation with Brene Brown and Krista Tippett.


Leave a Comment

  1. You have so much more ‘get up and go’ than I do at 6am, Cheryl. The last time I was up at that time was only because I couldn’t sleep for the sound of rain, so I was less than happy.
    I looked up your Kono Tayee estate in Lucerne, California. Now I am jealous of having a second home in such an idyllic retreat. Perhaps if I had been in Kono Tayee, I might have woken up feeling happy at 6am? 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m an early riser Pete but I also hit the hay earlier than most! Last night a storm came in and it slamed us all night and I slept like a baby? We so need the rain in California, it was the first good storm of the season. I think it was two weeks ago when we were under severe fire alert?

      You mentioned looking up Kono Tayee so I just went into the blog and added a photo from our deck. It’s a beautiful spot, not very popular because the lake is shallow and during the summer the water can flow a lot of algqe. But hey, it keeps the prices of houses down, the lake calm, and the restaurants uncrowded!

      I believe you would not be able to resist the sunrise at the lake! C

      Liked by 2 people

    1. The gratitude I feel for this cabin on the lake has not diminished one bit since the day they handed us the keys over ten years ago. I’m smitten with her and she was worth the sacrifice. Something about being by water is so healing, even the torrential rains were getting in California right now are calming to me. Sending you warmth and love, C

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What’s following me down the hall? You’re kidding, right neighbor?
    The same question that always follows me down the hall: “Now, why exactly did I come into this room???”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris! Bahaha, I do that all the time! Sometimes I’m driving and think, “what did I need at Safeway?” When I return home and open the refrigerator I realize we’re out of ketchup. Now what do o do with these corn dogs? Meh! C


  3. Love this! “Words are just bloody awesome.” Yes they are. I love the way you write. It is a way I understand. That pulls you into the moment. The silent observer. What fun 😁 And I keep asking people about the “New Normal.” Has anything really been “Normal” before?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, there is nothing better than hearing, “I understand,” and “you’ve been pulled into the moment.” I suppose if I were being honest, which I’m not, I would admit fun is the motive for most of the things I do? Glad to have good company. And yes, life has never been normal! Porcupines are proof enough! C

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hear you on avoiding grading. But you are blessed to live so close to your children and grandchildren. There isn’t a whole lot to report from St Pete. I’m writing a novel, but then I’m always writing a novel, unless I’m doing promotion for one. Oh, hey you gave me an idea for a blog post. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cynthia, always good to hear from you. I am so grateful to live close to family, and have a job, so I really shouldn’t be avoiding the grading! So you’re writing a new novel? Is this a sequel or a whole new plot? I’m curious! And now I’ll be watching for your next post to see what idea inspired you? Good luck with the writing, all my best, C

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Look at that young James Taylor. Wow! I need to turn tail and chase my manuscript down the hall–been in a bit of a slump. We got snow, and my kids had two snow days, so I feel a little too loosey goosey. Haven’t gotten much done, but then I must remind myself, something like what Tolstoy was saying there, to look around. I didn’t tackle my to-do lists, but I did manage to get together with friends in the snow–at a fairly socially-distanced bonfire, what else? While the kids played in the snow. It was a lot of socializing for me and it took me a day to recoup, but I needed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in the same slump with my writing Rebecca, there’s not much happening around here, and it’s as if my words went into lockdown. I understand the exhaustion of socializing, we’re out of shape, but a necessary evil especially for the kids. So let’s make a deal to write 1,000 words this week, even shitty ones, we can always edit later! Here’s to our illusive words! C

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 1. You followed Tolstoy’s advice with the sunrise…and your bed metaphors 😂.

    2. I just want to bottle your wit and drip it into my ear in hopes it reaches my brain.

    3. So much to love about your photo at Kono Tayee—sheer joy and sunshine in your glass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crystal I love this response! Tolstoy is obviously a morning guy! Bahaha, wit dripping into your ear! My neighbor captured that image, I’ve told my children that’s my funeral photo! I so appreciate your observations Crystal, C


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