Well, it's Tuesday, and tomorrow I drive to San Antonio so that at o-god-not-yet in the morning I can climb onto a train (the Sunset Limited, no less) and head for California.
Why? Well, California is where the Nebula Weekend is this year, and I'm a (ahem!) officer in SFWA. OK, you say, but why on a train?
Because sixty-one years ago, I rode a train from San Antonio to Los Angeles with my grandfather, step-grandmother, and mother. On that train ride, I wrote my first words...and after finding the tiny little spiral-bound notebook my mother had kept the rest of her life with my squiggly printing in it...I had to do it again. We got on a train in south Texas (at that time, Southern Pacific had a route to McAllen), spent the night at a hotel in San Antonio (probably the Menger, maybe the St. Anthony) and next morning got on the train west. For the first part of the trip, it was a steam locomotive; the train was called the "Argonaut" and it rocked and rolled--I learned to keep the soup in my spoon early. Somewhere (Santa Fe maybe?) we were hitched onto a diesel, one of the pretty ones, and things were smoother. I got restless and bored--that's when my mother started sketching in the notebook and teaching me to make the letters of my name.
My mother also saved photographs of me at that age: much cuter then than I am now (three-year-olds usually are.) In fact, I look at those and wonder how I ever ended up like this (61 years of dings, dents, repairs, and general Experience. Experience is broadening, you know. Sometimes VERY broadening....
But the problem I face today is that it's today, and all the things I should have done yesterday, last week, last month, are still there...well, not all, but enough of them that if I hadn't already paid the money for the nonrefundable tickets, and if my fellow officers wouldn't lynch me for not showing up, I'd probably cancel. I'm tired, I'm overwhelmed with work, and....you know the drill.
The first load of laundry is in. I need to wash my hair. I need to go to the city and buy some clothes (meant to last week--even dressed for shopping--but instead spent the afternoon chatting with friends whom I hadn't seen for several weeks. I sent the manuscript in yesterday, revisions all (mostly?) done, and now need to send back contracts, and do other business-type work....but I can't do that while driving to and from the city. I'd like to have lunch with a friend...but how? And there's packing. I want to get to San Antonio by midafternoon tomorrow, which means I need to leave here mid-morning. How long it takes depends on which road I take and what the traffic situation is like in Austin as I go through (if I take I-35) or on 281 coming into San Antonio (if I go that route, which is technically longer.) I need to print out the map of downtown San Antonio (used to know it well, but now...no. I don't think Commerce was one-way westbound when I lived there, and anyway, I used to come downtown on San Pedro and go to church on Pecan, a few blocks north. On the way home next week, I hope to get by Nadler's and pick up a long-overdue stash of bakery stuff. It's been twelve years since I had a Nadler's napoleon or their challah instead of my own.
Meanwhile--need to get off the computer and onto my feet and start running. And I hope I can still sleep on a train.