The Rabbit Hole is Beckoning

Photo Credit: Gail Severance

And while the white rabbit is scampering about yelling, “Oh my fur and whiskers! I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”

I am late with my blog.

I am late in responding to your comments.

I am late in reading your posts. 

Forgive me. It appears things might get worse before they get better.

Retirement is obviously going well, I’ve completely lost track of my mind, and that seems to be lauded in retirement land. 

The truth is we’re all navigating life without a map and sometimes we find ourselves in the most unexpected predicaments.

As you know, on a whim, I pitched my book to a few literary agents and publishing houses several weeks ago. I left it dangling in the murky water until I felt a tug on my pole. What the hell? 

Someone took the bait. 

As William Shakespeare is known to say, “Oh, I am a fortunate fool!”

It’s a small publishing house by industry standards but it’s viable and they want to publish my book. After signing a two-year contract we settled on February 23, 2023, for the debut of my book. This gives you all plenty of time to save up!

I was over the moon for like three, maybe four minutes, because when you have ninety percent of a large project completed, finishing up the final details will take another ninety percent says, Kevin Kelly.

For the last few weeks, I have been diligently responding to questionnaires, trying to collaborate on a seductive book cover and appealing biography. I know. We’ve got so much to work with. A retired educator from the suburbs with a compilation of essays. 

What’s not to love?

More importantly, I’ve been tasked with rewriting the intro which the publisher said, and I quote, “the introduction might be a turn off to the reader.” 

Might be? Bahaha.

Thank God they liked the rest of the manuscript and decided to take a huge risk on an unknown author. Anne Lamott says, “I just try to warn people that publication is not all it is cracked up to be.” 

Right now it’s all about first impressions, the cover, apparently is key to a successful book. And here I was always told you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Especially old ones. 

But not all adages turn out to be true.

Speaking of old…it’s Larry’s last day of work, he’s been donning the daily armor, entering the dreaded arena, and battling a slew of high-tech opponents for forty years. 

Time to hang up the shield and rest on his laurels for the foreseeable future.

We have big plans. Tandem biking events all over California and abroad. Impromptu trips to visit our kids who have settled out of the area. And a couple of trips to see new parts of the world. Well, new to us at least. Kevin Kelly writes if you’re traveling to a place you’ve never been, listen to an album you’ve never heard before. Forever after that music will remind you of that place.

Might I add, make sure you want to be reminded of a place before selecting a memorable tune?

Just between me and you, Larry’s been a little crabby of late. I think he’s worried about the cessation of a regular paycheck and a wife with a honey-do list that would rival that of Santa’s naughty list.

I heard him talking civilly to some guy on the phone, a coworker, and the gardener. But when he’s addressing me it’s as if I’m fish bait! Or worse, pond scum.

I can be as patient as the next gal but let me just say the theory is blatantly untested. 

I put up with several unpleasant interactions all morning and finally pulled out my Meryl Streep persona in the afternoon.

I innocently reminded Larry, “Honey, we’ll need to leave Julie a check for the lake.”

Larry snapped, “I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT.”

“Hum? And here I thought you were retired?”

“WRITE IT YOURSELF.”

“Thank you, that will be all,” and I walked elegantly away, tossing my hair to dramatize the exit. 

Controlling your emotions so we don’t unwittingly take out our angst on those near and dear to our hearts (that auto corrected to hearse). LIKE YOUR WIFE. 

I’ll give him a twenty-four-hour hall pass and then….I’m channeling Elsa.

Tomorrow we’re heading back to Missouri to celebrate a wedding, our dear friends Mic and Lynelle O’Connor’s son Tom is marrying his college sweetheart, Jodi. 

The morning after the wedding we’re driving to New York City, passing through several states Larry and I’ve never visited before, to rescue Kelley, who had to eat one meal alone! (Tim has been covering the NBA finals) Oh, and she and Tim just bought their first flat on the Upper West Side.

We have much to celebrate.

Apparently, it’s hot and humid where we’ll be going, I’m not a fan, we’ll see how well I keep my emotions in check, sequestered in a rental car, with only Larry for company, for like 30 hours. They say marry someone you want to talk with for the rest of your life. This will be challenging as Larry’s not a talker, has a unique sense of humor, and minimal patience. I’ll be engaging my iPhone as a hot spot so I can accurately record the shenanigans.

You’re welcome.

We’re considering listening to David Wiffen’s Coast to Coast Fever, recorded in 1973, during the long drive?

We’re like seven hours in and I might be regretting that decision!

Larry says, “drink some water.”

I say, “I’m not thirsty.”

“Don’t be like your mother.”

“Really?”

“You need to stay hydrated.”

(I guzzle half the bottle to shut him up) “There, now maybe you can go an entire hour without telling me what to do.”

“When have I ever told you what to do?”

“My whole fricking life.”

“Okay, Cheryl.” (with an emphasis on Cheryl)

Rethinking David Wiffen’s Coast to Coast…

Here’s what I think, if optimism is a frame of mind, and you believe that the world is a generous place, filled with mostly generous people, this is likely the kind of world you’ll encounter. 

The opposite is also true. 

F. J. Paye says, “the wise person always holds himself aloof from jubilation and sorrow, allowing no event to disturb his ataraxia.” Ataraxia is a great word, it means a state of serene calmness. Oh, that’s rich. 

Well, it’s something to aspire to, but today, I can’t seem to stop spewing, “Oh my fur and whiskers! I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”

I’m Living in the Gap, hopelessly scattered, how’s your week going?

PS ~ Today is Dante’s birthday! Happy Birthday to my son. Larry and I are driving to NYC, Julie and Nic are at the lake, Tony is in Portugal, and Kelley is in New York. Thanks to Martica, Tim, and Brighton for stepping up and celebrating the birthday boy while his entire family is out of town!

47 Comments

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  1. Congratulations on your book – I am looking forward to learning more. Trips all over? Sounds busy and productive – I know some people feel the draw to be productive after retirement and that includes me but now my goal is the opposite of work – 2 days on and five days off – instead of the opposite. ♥

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    1. Hi David, thank you! I’m still in shock about the book but the trip continues and we’re still speaking! Progress. Today we head to Niagara Falls. I’ve never seen the falls and I’m looking forward to walking out on the glass bridge! Tomorrow we head to New York City to join my daughter Kelley. I love your 2 days on, 5 days off philosophy! That’s brilliant and I believe I’ll have to adopt that particular wisdom. Thanks for reading and joining me in the comments, greatly appreciated, hugs, C

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  2. Hi Cheryl! Let’s rethink late and reframe your scenario with priorities. I’m rethinking my own priorities recently, and blogging (mostly) isn’t make the cut. I’m not too worried.

    Anyway, congrats on having a debut date! I’m saving up!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Crystal, I agree, it’s time to reframe the majority of my priorities! Retirement certainly messes with your mindset. We have some adjustments to make but there are still so many unknowns. I imagine you are nearing the end of the academic year and looking towards your summer break? I’m curious if you have plans or just plan to recover from nine months of teaching? I’m hoping to hold your book in my hand some day soon. Any news? Hugs, C

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      1. Poor Drew isn’t well. He’s doctor resistant, so we’ve put off a visit for awhile (maybe due to a new job for me) and had an appointment today with a general practitioner that turned into referrals for four more specialists. Wish us luck.

        I’m officially finished with school this Wednesday 👏🏻although my kids graduated last Wednesday 👏🏻, so I’m finished teaching!

        I’m looking forward to reading for pleasure and day trips to the beach and then back to work on my book and finding a home for it. 🤞🏻

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Keeping Drew and you in my prayers as you navigate health issues and the medical system! It daunting to say the least. Good for you, another year under your belt and now it’s time for your interests/needs to take priority. I want to see your book in the world! Go, go, go! Hugs, C

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      1. I was surprised how difficult it is to create an attractive cover, I’m thankful the publisher has an entire department that works with the author on developing the cover! I’ll have to do a reveal when it’s done! xxoo, C

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    1. Thanks Pete, I will pass on your birthday wishes to Dante! We are only 10 hours into the journey and only one altercation so far! And yes I won! Although I might rethink the allure of long road trips in the future! Hugs, C

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  3. Let me start by saying that I will pray for you during your cross-country road trip! I’m pretty sure Robby and I would possibly hate each other after that many hours in the car together! LOLOL So glad about the book and I know that your creative genius will land on a cover and intro that is amazing! Can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures. Best Wishes! Leigh

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    1. Thank you for the prayers Leigh, if you get a chance, remind God a wife should not be held accountable for her behavior during a thirty hour road trip. Just sayin’. We’re headed to Niagara Falls today! Should be a spectacular site! Thanks for the good wishes as I struggle to realize this dream of mine, covers and intros included. I’ll keep you posted on the rest of the journey. Love and hugs to you, C

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  4. If it makes you feel any better I’m not retired but I’m always late for things when it comes to blogging (and social media too lol). I’m soooo excited for your book I’m glad they took a chance on you.

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    1. I say husbands should put off retirement as long as possible! They don’t need to know what we’re doing with our days. Right? So far we’ve covered a lot of ground, we’re still talking, and enjoying our time in New York! Hugs. C

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  5. You always make me laugh, Cheryl. I love your perspective and shall I say honest sarcasm. I think Larry and my husband are brothers. We love them, but sometimes they just need to be put in their places! I’ve said it before, but super congrats on your book! February isn’t that far away! And retirement is a whirlwind as you’re finding out. Enjoy your travels and time with family, and deciding on book covers! Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Diana, I am ever so pleased to have been the source of your amusement. Laughter is good for the soul and what else can you do when you have husbands like ours? So far New York has not disappointed us, it’s a beautiful state with much to ogle at, and we’re still talking. So there’s that! May your week be extraordinary and may you be delighted by something unexpected! Hugs, C

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  6. Well, neighbor, given your life circumstances? Nothing like a cross-country road trip to give you both an opportunity to realign your new opportunities and map out a refreshed route to marital bliss until the “death do us part”, part in your new future.

    God bless, and St. Christopher’s protection to you and Larry on your travels.

    P.S. Oh, and with respect to the potential therapy costs for your 4 grown children? Try not to kill each other in the process. . . OK? 😉

    CT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris, what an amazing adventure this life has turned out to be! New York is an amazing state, absolutely gorgeous, so much to see and do, and we’ve resisted total mayhem! So saved the children the need for additional therapy! We do what we can. Hugs, C

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    1. It’s amazing that the body can sweat so much. It’s been raining for hours and the temperature is still hovering around 80 degrees. New York is an extraordinary state, We’re so enjoying driving across the state but can’t wait to land in New York City! Very excited to see Kelley’s new place! Hugs, C

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  7. So maybe you’re our next Erma Bombeck? Heaven knows we could use one these days! Happened to be reading this on the day of departure for my own almost cross-country drive. I have begun to think of some of the blogs I follow as a sort of happy place at the moment, and yours certainly fits that description and fills that need!

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    1. Oh how I loved Erma Bombeck! She was one of a kind! And I’m overjoyed that you drew a comparison! Where are you headed? I’ll pop over to your blog and see if you wrote about it. I’m still not home, we landed and California, both alive (Bahaha) and headed to the lake to meet up with friends. So this morning I’m playing catch up! I’m so glad you find this a “happy place” to spend some time. That’s about the nicest thing a person could say about Living in the Gap! So I’m giving you fair warning, the next blog is a little dark! Hugs, C

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  8. Hi Cheryl!
    Great to read your most recent post. Seeing the first photo brought back some good memories. I can sure use an ice-cold beer.
    I used to think that it was no big deal for you to be a little late on your blog posts (we are fortunate that you write them in any event,) but I miss them… I keep checking to see if there is a new one (not very productive of me.) I do understand that you are super busy now that you are retired, and also that you need to get the book just right. I am looking forward to my autographed, numbered copy.
    I hope you and Larry are enjoying your drive across the country. No better way to really get to know someone than hours together in the car. Enjoy New York.

    Remember, you are not late. The rest of the world is just running ahead.
    And be careful chasing white rabbits.

    Gail and I are thinking about visiting California this fall. Hope to see you and the gang.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike! Oh my what an odyssey we’ve been on and we’re still not home. We landed in San Francisco, dropped by the Campbell house to do laundry and repack, then headed to the lake to meet up with friends. This is my first quiet morning and I’m enjoying catching up on comments and blogs! It’s actually driving me crazy that my closely followed blog schedule has been so haphazard lately. Retirement is deceiving, I never know what day it is, and I’m never home! This pace would challenge a twenty year old. Just sayin’ It makes me ridiculously happy that you scan for new posts! And by the way you found the perfect song! How do you do that? Interesting that you mention “enjoying the drive,” that might be a stretch for Larry and me, we’re feisty! This weeks post sort of summarizes our time sequestered in the car! Yippee ~ you and Gail are coming to town! Maybe think about flying instead of driving! Tehehe! Love the fall, my favorite time of year! Let us know the details when you settle your travel plans! Hugs, Cheryl

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