SHARON RANDALL: The best and worst part of life is that it’s interesting

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Life stays interesting one way or another. That’s what I usually like about it. Interesting is good.

But sometimes it’s interesting in a way that makes me want to hide under the porch with the dogs.

If I had a porch. Or a dog. I’m not saying that I actually would. I’m just saying that is how I feel. I guess you know the feeling.

This morning, as always, I woke up thinking about what I had to do to prepare for the week ahead. First I kissed my husband. This is how we try to start and end every day. It makes the hours in between better.

Then I needed coffee. Two cups. Coffee helps me think.

When the coffee started, three main tasks occurred to me: First, I had to write a column. Tomorrow was my appointment. So I had to work on it today, tonight, and maybe tomorrow morning. I am a slow writer. It takes as long as it takes.

But I’d have to get it ready and send it to newspapers at noon tomorrow who are kind enough to print it. Well, I could do that.

The second task would also require writing. The day after tomorrow, over lunch, I should talk about what my husband says I can do in my sleep. But the last time I spoke to a crowd that wasn’t family was over a year ago before the pandemic ended a lot of fun things, even speaking engagements.

I was looking forward to the event, but felt a little out of practice. I told myself not to worry (I tell myself that a lot) because I would have plenty of time to work on a speech tomorrow after my column was posted.

Then I could do the really important things (wash my hair and change my mind five times about what to wear for lunch) and get a good night’s sleep before waking up and running out the door to do the third task: delivering the talk.

It was a good plan. I was proud of it. Looking back, I remember what my grandmother often said: “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

Shortly after I sat down to start the convoy, my phone lit up with a “red flag warning” from the district ambulance service. The local weather forecast called for two days of gusts of 60 mph winds for two days starting tomorrow in an area that is tinder-dry after a summer of record heat and no rain.

Californians know a lot more about forest fires than we’d like to know. Last summer my husband and I left our house three times because fires were burning nearby. One came within a mile of our place until it was stopped by fire departments working day and night.

We have seen a lot of smoke from distant fires this summer, but no evacuations for us – so far.

We hope and pray and try to expect the best. But we never take the threat of fire lightly. Or the risk of evacuation. Or the possibility of power outages.

So I made a few changes to my three day plan. The chances are good that tomorrow we could lose electricity through lines destroyed by the wind or through planned “safety failures”.

So I’m writing this column today and I’m sending it off tonight. I hope it gets where it belongs and that you enjoy reading it.

Even today (or late today) I am writing a lecture for lunch. You asked me to talk about writing. It shouldn’t be difficult.

Tomorrow who knows If all goes well, I’ll be done with the column and the speech and I can just sit back and watch the wind blow the chairs around the patio and knock the flowers off the pansies we just planted.

And the day after? Well, if all goes well, I’ll tidy myself up, go out to dinner and talk about writing and life as they both keep interesting, if only in a way that makes us want to hide under the porch with the dogs.

Stay tuned. God willing, I’ll let you know how it goes. Life stays interesting. Well worth waking up just to see what happens next.

Sharon Randall is the author of “The World and Then Some”. She can be reached at PO Box 922, Carmel Valley CA 93924 or by email at [email protected].


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