A Challenge from Spring

From my desk, I stare out two large windows overlooking Burnt Ridge and Winter Star peak. If I look to the right, I can see Gibbs and Horse Rock peaks as well. Spring is late this year, which means I get a few extra weeks of this view before the leaves come out and the ridgeline disappears. This week, the view has been a schizophrenic panorama of weather, as well. One minute there’s mist and fog with patchy beams of buttery sunlight. The next moment, it’s total downpour. Water drips slowly through the bathroom fan into a bowl I’ve conveniently placed on the floor. Another towel is set along the back bathroom windowsill, because, despite best efforts, the trough still fills with rain and occasionally overflows onto the counter. I let the towel soak up this spring rain and hang it up to dry after each heavy downpour. My dad and I can fix these things, but in due time.

Drips and drops aside, I marvel every day at how self-contained this little 31×8-foot living space [video] is. Almost everything that makes up my home-on-wheels is 43 years old. A little leak here and there doesn’t dispel the magic of Airstream Living. In fact, it affirms, for the most part, that Dad and I did a pretty darn good job “sealing this puppy up,” as they say. I’ve been in here for 60 mph winds, lightening storms, Carolina downpours, sub-zero temperatures, and an 80 degree day. And I’ve never been happier for it. My gas and electric bills are within reason, my privacy is secure, and I receive visits from the neighbors’ dogs who clamber over the ridge or across Shuford Creek for their daily ration of Milk Bones. It is a good life.

A best friend helps, too.

And a life worth paying attention to, too. Just as I’ve made strides this week to clear my daily schedule so that I can mentally and spiritually prepare myself for the book tour…and so that I can answer daily emails and interview questions to coordinate all the PR…I seem to be tested. The Universe is funny that way, as if asking me: Are you sure you want to be balanced? How serious are you, really? Well, I’m serious enough to schedule a manuscript critique 4 months out (instead of starting it next week). And I’m serious enough to encourage my adult writers to take the summer months off. Likewise, serious enough to push back on a particular contract job that’s asking me to do more than I’m supposed to–when typically I’d take the heat, take the extra work, and figure it all out in the end. And I’m serious enough to tell a return client (4 years and counting) that I cannot run their national arts marketing campaign this year, rather, only their regional and large city campaigns. 

Those are big steps for a Type-A Capricorn! Big steps indeed. It feels good and right to be making the time, however uphill the effort seems right now. I’ll only get a first book tour once. And I won’t always have this chance to be neighbors with my parents, who I love very much. And I won’t always even have this protected little space to call my very own. Slowing down and exhailing lets me keep this gratitude close.

  • richelle

    Happy Spring, Katey! The weather here is crazy too. We had a warm week around the end of last month, and then thunderstorms and hail last week. We've seen four seasons in a day. I watched the video for the first time. Looks cozy! Hope to see you sometime soon, whether at the wedding or on your book tour. xo

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