So the music is back…

2007: Turning 50 gives me pause but not much. To celebrate, I want to go somewhere I’ve never been before. Cal and I plan a trip to a private island in Belize where we have a one-room villa with walls that can disappear to make it all open air. In June the iPhone becomes available but only with AT&T. In Provincetown, Pam and I take a walk on the breakwater. I begin to shed things–shoes, jacket, backpack with computer… She will write about this in Contents May Have Shifted. Pam invites me to join her private writing group. We’ll meet twice a year–once at her ranch and once somewhere else–we’ll exchange manuscripts four times a year, and we’ll read a book a month and have an online chat. In August, Jack starts his senior year and Sam starts 8th grade. In September I go to Pam’s ranch, taking 40 pages from a new novel I’m working on. The other women are from all over, but I’m the only one from the east coast. We hike and eat and talk reading and writing. In October Cal and I visit Bobby in Scotland. Early one Saturday, Cal and Jack make a 36-hour trip to California to look at Chapman University. Football fever takes over as Brookstone wins game after game. Jack plays offense and defense, and in a state playoff game, in as a defensive end, he intercepts a pass and scores a touchdown. It surprises me how excited I am. For the only time in my life, I enter a scrapbooking store and spend more time than you can imagine making him a scrapbook. Cal and I listen to Alison Kraus and Robert Plant’s Raising Sand over and over again. Stick with Me Baby… On Christmas Day, when we arrive in Atlanta around noon as we usually do, instead of finding my mother and father in the kitchen, I find only their breakfast dishes. My parents are in the bedroom having coffee. Because my mother continues to drink coffee, I head to the kitchen to clear the counters, get out the warmers, heat up the ovens, find the paper plates. I put out the food as people bring it. Cal carves the turkey. My mother doesn’t say I’m done with the kitchen on Christmas–in fact she says nothing at all about her stopping and my taking over. It’s past time for my turn, but this is so weird. There are 29 of us–my parents, 5 children, 5 spouses, and 17 grandchildren–and we all show up for a late lunch on Christmas Day. 50 books this year, the highlight being Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life. In my car, the Dixie Chicks sing Wide Open Spaces…

10 days to 60


She sees that she has before her an important task: to understand that all the things that happened in her life happened to her. That she is the same person who was born, was a child, a girl, a young woman, and now she is old. That there is some line running through her body like a wick.
Mary Gordon, The Rest of Life