A group of people from the Writers’ Club and a few spouses will come to the house this afternoon for wine and hors d’oeuvres and a read-around. We’re expecting to have around thirteen people, all-inclusive. Early this morning (up again at 4), I started looking through what I’ve written recently to select something to read. I’ve written very little fiction of late and what I’ve written would probably take much less time to read than the agreed five minute limit; I want to fill the time available to me. So I scrolled through recent blog posts and selected a few to consider.

I was surprised, as I read the one of them aloud, I could not keep my composure. Something about it unleashed an emotional torrent I did not expect. I tried two more times with the same results. Obviously, I’ll not read that one; I would appear a blubbering fool. Usually, when I write something that kindles a strong emotional response, I know it as I write it. While I knew when writing that post that it was an emotional topic, I did not know just how much emotion it would provoke when I read it aloud. Odd, that. At any rate, I opted to keep that one silent. No matter how much I tell myself it’s okay to be emotional, I can’t convince myself that other people feel the same way. I’ve watched men express such emotion and I’ve seen the people around them fidget in excruciating emotional discomfort and embarrassment.

The one I chose is a tad longer, but still falls within the five minute limit. I wanted to read a different one, but a quick review revealed it would take considerably longer than five minutes to get through it.

The larger-than-normal-for-our-house group size requires me to do a bit of rearranging of furniture before people arrive late this afternoon. In order to have adequate seating, we’ll have to drag dining chairs into the living area and will have to pull a few chairs out of the master bedroom. And I’ll have to wrestle the monster recliner, the one we bought for my comfort as I recovered from chemo and radiation treatments, out of the way. While I like the recliner, it’s time to get it out of the way; it’s huge and heavy and utterly intrusive. But I do not want to get rid of it, because I like sitting in it and relaxing. I’m getting old and lazy.

Speaking of moving heavy recliners, my lower back is giving me fits this morning. I must have bent down wrong or otherwise wrenched the muscles intended to express anger and dismay at negligent bodily abuse. The pain and my weakness my present a problem in getting that monster chair out of the way. I will overcome it, though, one way or another.

Before our guests arrive this afternoon, both my wife and I will make some hors d’ouevres to share with the group. She plans to make a dip that goes with sliced apples. I intend to make small spicy cheese balls that are made to look like lollipops by stabbing them with straight pretzel sticks. I’ll also make some deviled eggs. I might do a veggie tray, as well. I know one of our guests is bringing shrimp; I suspect another will do the same. I explained that I would provide light hors d’ouevres and a bit of wine, but offered that guests could bring their own to share, if they wished, for more substantial nourishment. I probably should have suggested pot-luck hors d’ouevres so I would not feel compelled to make more than we might need. Maybe next time.

This morning’s sunrise was nothing short of spectacular. Brilliant streaks of bright orange, pink, red, and grey filled the southeastern sky a couple of  hours after I got up. The streaks were punctuated by enormous plumes of distant cumulus clouds whose colors were like those of the streaked sky. It was breathtaking. I’m glad my wife got up early to call my attention to the sky; I wrapped up in this blog post, oblivious to the world outside my window.

I’d better get busy preparing for the day.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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