the best news is, I have a new grandson and max has a baby brother! his name is eli benjamin and he was born last monday, labor day, september 6, weighing 8 lbs. 1 ounce. while my daughter was in labor on Labor Day, I sat reading on the beach, waiting for text updates. just around 4 pm, when I knew she was going to start to push, I began thinking about her birth, nearly 36 years earlier. I went into a reverie and relived much of her delivery, and when I came out of it, though I didn't know it then, eli had been born, at 4:12 PM--with the cord wrapped twice around his neck! but he was fine, and I am so blessed in the department of children and grandchildren. whatever I may lack otherwise, I am so very grateful for the most important gifts of all.
so I video chatted with eli when he was three days old, and I have to say, he has a voice like a lamb! I can't wait to sniff the sweetness of his baby head and kiss his cheeks in the flesh, which I shall do on thursday when I fly up to new york to spend some time with him and max and their mama and dada.
I haven't written much here for the past month...been busy ending summer and starting school, but more than that, my thoughts have often been unsettled. I don't want to just emote and complain, so I refrain from recording anything. but it's time to update, else why have a blog at all? even one no one reads.
in August, I visited my son in San Francisco and was reminded once again how it is a place where I feel I belong. of course, it's difficult to really know about a place when one is just visiting. I think I belong in the bay area , but a good deal of that assumption is based on progressive prejudice and some really nice vacations. after all, savannah looks like a lovely place, and, judging by the fact that its economy is largely based on tourism, lots of people find it worth visiting. but living here is something else. not that it isn't pretty (at least some parts; there's ugliness too); not that it isn't easy to navigate and for the most part free from the congestion problems of larger cities; not that the weather isn't attractive (often too hot, but, as long as one is willing to burn lots of fuel to run air conditioning, easier to live with than too cold), but living here, well... let's just say seven years here and I still don't exactly feel welcome. (I pick up the newspaper to see a notice about a tea party gathering on the front page!)
next to politics, which get me down to the point I don't even want to discuss, the bugs here in Savannah really get to me. I like to spend as much time as possible outdoors in the garden, and I don't mind insects--especially interesting ones. last summer I gave up one half of my porch for months to a banana spider and her offspring-- but here one is rewarded for any time spent outdoors with copious mosquito and fire ant bites and run-ins with palmetto bugs. ugh. I hate dousing myself with chemicals (and don't) but I also hate being bitten to shreds. also, despite its subtropical climate, savannah really isn't the best place to garden. sure, you can have palm trees--but not lavender. (in san francisco, of course, both flourish!) I doubt I'll stay here after I retire from teaching--though never say never.
I do love having a warm ocean in which to swim. and I can (just barely) afford to live here--something I couldn't do in new york or san francisco where my kids are. we'll see. but since jim has been gone (read about his lincoln highway trip here) I have increasingly felt and been alone and alienated.
you'd think that would mean I've been writing up a storm! but no... it's all I can do, apparently, to maintain the house and animals and yard and a semblance of sanity when I am not teaching. but I'm writing a bit, and trying to write more, and we'll see. maybe what makes a writer feel alienated and alone is not writing? you think?