When I’m tired, my memory is less sharp. This is perhaps obvious and yet it surprises me.

This morning, I remember that 1994 was the year my grandmother had a stroke and the year Sam and I began our Tuesday visits with her.

This evening, as I’m writing 1995, I realize that it’s this ski trip when Sam cried and cried.

1995: We all go skiing except Sam, who stays with the baby nurse and the housekeeper. He cries the whole time. We won’t go skiing again until he can go too. Over the last couple of years I’ve been reading more and more–mostly novels. I’m mesmerized by the way these writers mesmerize me. My favorite book is Ellen Gilchrist’s The Anna Papers. On one of the Tuesdays that Sam and I drive to Atlanta to visit my grandmother, I have the urge to write something. I pull over and write a paragraph. On March 26th, for the first time I can remember, I have some free time and the thing I most want to do is write something else. The same thing happens on March 27th–the free time, the writing. The spring is crazy–Kathleen is playing soccer, and Bobby and Jack are on two different baseball teams. They each have to be at practice at a different place at five, and Cal tells me their coaches will not be happy if they’re late. But Bobby and Jack are too young to drop off. I have a panic attack. I get a therapist. She suggests I find ways to relax. I start getting a regular massage. In May Amandah and I decide we want a challenge. We have no idea if we can do it, but we decide to hike all 23 miles of the Pine Mountain Trail in one day. We drop water because we can’t carry enough. We have various spots we can bail, but we don’t. We make it in 8 hours and 10 minutes. Cal and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary by returning to Italy–to Le Sirenuse, our favorite hotel from our honeymoon. Microsoft releases Windows 95 and we buy our first computer. On September 3rd, for the third time this year, I have some free time and nothing that needs my immediate attention. I write a little more. It’s women I’m writing about. Different women, different lives. Later that same day, my grandmother dies. In October I go to Seaside, Florida, for a few days to myself. But there’s a hurricane and I have to evacuate.

22 days to 60


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