1985: I turn 28

I wrote this as a note to yesterday’s post and then deleted it. But the concern is here again today. Although I don’t think about a particular year until I begin to write it, I worry that the years are about to get boring. I remind myself that each one is already whatever it is and that the task I’ve set for myself is just to spend a moment with each one.


1985: I like work, but the hours are killing me. Each day there’s too little time with Kathleen. In March Cal asks me to marry him in the kitchen of his house–in front of the sink. I love this. I love him. I say yes. We open champagne and sit on his front steps and talk about the future. I interview in Columbus and choose Cal’s firm. I think I work part-time even at the beginning–until two each day–but that may have been only later. Kathleen’s visits with T will dramatically increase if we move more than 100 miles from Atlanta. Columbus is 99 miles away. There’s the wedding June 29th, the honeymoon in Italy, and moving in to Cal’s house. Kathleen starts four-year kindergarten in the fall. This Christmas it’s T’s turn with her. In Columbus, there are arguments–there will always be arguments–but more importantly there’s this: Cal and I build fires we don’t want to leave so we drag our mattress from the bedroom into the living room and we don’t have to.

32 days to 60


Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver

14 thoughts on “1985: I turn 28

    • Louise!!! I was so happy to hear from you. I’d been wondering how you were doing, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your kind words. I just don’t have enough minutes in a day. When you have time, let me know how you are. xo


      • Oh, thank you!

        Where were we last time I touched based? I think I was still living in the UK? I aced my Viva and am now a doctor, yay, (that tile and £1.40 will buy me a coffee . . .) and back in Canada. I was awarded a Hawthornden, which was the best writing experience of my life. And – old dog, new tricks – I wrote a blog post!! https://canadianwritersabroad.com/2017/01/24/home-yet-not-home/

        Loving this series of posts. (I myself have a milestone birthday in May.)


        Liked by 1 person

        • Dr. Ells! I adored finally seeing who you are. And adored reading your essay. You’ve lived a fascinating life. And your writing career is equally fascinating. Congratulations on the Hawthornden! Wow, a month in a Scottish castle. I’d love to hear more about that… I’m happy to have links to some of your fiction–looking forward to reading. Early birthday wishes. xo


  1. It’s just the writer’s curse, Cyn–we’re always terrified we’re being boring. Ignore it.

    Did I read that right? You were married barely a year after your first date? WOW. (But then again, I knew I was probably going to marry Pat after one month of dating, and I was certain of it after three–that’s when I told him.)

    And: Pat and I did that very same thing when we lived in NC and figured out the whole fireplace thing. We’d wake up cold and uncomfortable in the middle of the night but it was worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. Barely a year later, down the aisle we went. And you’re the second person to tell me they pulled a mattress in front of the fireplace. There’s something very romantic about that… I still fear that boring potential, that one year all I will be able to write is I drove carpools and went to the grocery store and fed kids and put them to bed. We’ll see–still too early to tell.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But everything is boring and nothing is boring, right? All you have to do is grab that particular, telling detail that marks an “ordinary” thing as uniquely YOURS, and you’ve got us! Trust your instincts and enjoy the ride.

        Liked by 1 person

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