Monday, March 7, 2011

CKR: March - July 2009

(continued from January - February 2009...)

MARCH 2009

“CKR” Diary Post No. 40
Friday, March 20, 2009
Kid Rock’s playing with Lynyrd Skynyrd down the road from here in June. Tom wants to set up a meeting. My job between now and then is to finalize (for real) the ms, come up with a hook and a pitch to convince him to jump on board, and not let buying a house, moving, counseling, and/or Casey’s hormones get in the way.

I’ll let you know how that works out.

Post Script, 7/8/09: It didn’t work out. Borrowing money to buy a house from owners reluctant to sell while selling the place you live in while you’re living in it is harder than it sounds.


No entries were posted these months

JULY 2009

“CKR” Diary Post No 41, or Transmitting from the New Lair
Monday, July 06, 2009
Tom didn’t get us the meeting with Rock. But the West Palm concert was good. His best so far. Skynyrd opened. Scott and I drove to St. Pete Beach the following morning for Brandon High’s 25th Reunion, passing between the Tampa Amphitheatre and the Hard Rock hotel on I-4 about mid-day. The billboard flashed an ad for the Rock/Skynyrd show taking place that night. I felt a sense of déjà vu.

I’m not faulting Tom for missing the opportunity to pitch Rock. Since my last Diary entry, I haven’t done a thing to further this book. Or my writing career. Instead, we sold our townhouse (had 4 offers in under 2 weeks), bought a 1.8-acre slice of The American Dream, moved a decade and a half of memories and other shit we’d accumulated via POD and Uhaul from points A, B, and C to a destination some 20-plus miles north of where we’ve called home for 15 years, and have settled into an existence largely consumed by pool maintenance and mosquito warfare.

All of June was spent unpacking boxes, acquiring tools and equipment, servicing and/or (but most often and) repairing and/or replacing well water and pool filtering systems, emptying the septic tank, learning to operate a riding lawnmower, building a perimeter fence, and coming to terms with our new reality. Our pool has the same dimensions as our townhouse patio. We used to sit for hours and chat, surrounded by abundant and familiar greenery. Now the plants we used to think we had too many of sit dwarfed in a vast sea of oaks, pines, mossy cypress, cabbage palms, citrus trees, and too many bushes, vines, blooms, berries, and nuts to count.

Believe it or not, I haven’t missed hearing neighbors’ car doors slam at all hours of the night at all.

We worried every day that it might not happen. In the end – once the lender, realtors, and accoutrements stopped calling and demanding things and we no longer felt we had to will the deal to go through – we closed on the townhouse in Lake Worth in the morning and closed on the new house in Palm Beach Gardens later that afternoon. That was Friday, May 29. Sunlight has (both literally and figuratively) streamed in through our bedroom windows every morning since.

I like to sip my coffee by the side of the pool and just…watch. Most days the bulk of Wild Kingdom activity is attributed to the squirrels running up, down, and around the trees and bounding through the grass. A peacock visited us almost daily the first few weeks. We named him Charlie, and he liked the critter food I set out for the birds and squirrels. Cardinals, blue jays, and what I think are mockingbirds seem to appreciate the bird feeder on the grapefruit tree. A hawk regularly sits atop a high branch on a tall pine tree along the west fence to eat its prey. One day I saw a black snake take out a frog mid-hop. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s beautiful here. Like camping every day.

Scott especially likes that he can pee in the yard.

With the boxes now all unpacked, and despite the gnawing draw of the flora and fauna, I’m feeling the pull to write. On my Facebook status, I called it nesting. One of the more appealing attributes of this property was that it had a guest house: an entirely separate, two-story, two-bedroom, two-bath house. For me, that meant office space outside my living space. A commute that required I exit the house. Hell, the bedroom. I’ve been putting off moving in and getting attached because (a) Christopher was thinking of coming home for a couple of weeks and we thought it best for all involved that he not stay in the main house and (b) why settle in to a place in July when it’ll likely be a construction zone for the better part of August? But Chris isn’t coming ‘til fall, now, and I can’t wait another day to write another word.

So here I am.


To offer a perspective of where I’m coming to you from, the back house sits just across the pool from the main house. The ground floor consists of two carports, separated by a 500ish-square-foot, two-room, wall-unit air-conditioned Man Room (I don’t think the term “shed” does it justice). That’s where all the power tools are. The living space is all on the second floor. It’s built on pillars and has a deck along the entire north side, overlooking the canal. Scott’s sister is coming to stay with us for a while, so she’ll have most of the deck and house, including the larger bedroom and bath. The other bedroom, however, in the southeast corner, facing the main house and pool to the south, canal to the north, is my new writing space. My office. My lair.

It smells like Hell and a thousand enchiladas right now, but that’ll improve with the remodel (and time). For now, the perceived isolation and view out my 6-foot, sliding glass door of a window are worth enduring whatever amount of incense I have to burn to kill the smell. The kitten’s curled up on her box in front of the south window, and the daughter’s outside doing her chores. The sun is shining. The shade trees are swaying. Butterflies are fluttering by. Running alongside the vine-covered fence line, the canal could easily be imagined as the branch of a wandering creek, the towering pines and scrub brush beyond as the outer edges of a grand forest. Given the time.

Hmmm. Anybody else need a beer?

Which reminds me - to mark the occasion of my first writing session in the…the…I’ve gotta come up with a name for this place… I brought up a six-pack and a camera, so I could maybe write more colorfully and share the day with you. I’d be sharing with my husband, too, if I could. None of this bliss would be possible without him. Then again, I suppose that would defeat the purpose of celebrating my newfound solitude – and, therefore, my ability to write. He’s in North Dakota, anyway, bound for Des Moines this afternoon. But he IS with me in spirit. Every day.

And he knows I’ll drink one (or two) for him.

Dear reader – wherever you are - I hope you know I’ll knock a couple back for you, too.  :)

(to be continued...)


  1. Hey, I've knocked back more than a couple tonight. AND, I've got to go to work

  2. You'll be alright, old man. It's Friday. XO