Life Might Not be a Bowl of Cherries

I just got news my idyll is coming to an end. I’ve been mostly lounging around the past week or so, as if I were on some sort of spa weekend instead of merely housesitting, but today the house owners texted me and said they were coming home.

I’ll still have a place to stay for a few days. When I mentioned leaving, she said, “Oh, no. You have to stay until Saturday.” She’s having her book club meeting here on Saturday, and I have been invited, though I still don’t know whether I’m to be the guest of honor, sort of a writer-in-residence, or if I’m to be a sacrificial goat. (A poor attempt at humor. I’m sure the invitation is more that . . . well, that I am an author, and it is a book club.)

cherriesI had planned to leave town for a few days next week, maybe practice camping for a night or two to make sure it’s something I want to do before I spend the rest of my savings on gear, but without a car, it’s hard to go anywhere. I could walk, of course, but we are having a spell of wickedly hot weather, and besides, it would take me two or three days just to walk out of town. I’m sure people would frown on my camping in their yards for the interim nights, or horror of horrors, finding me behind a city bush doing my business.

There are many differences between walking and hiking, most of which are uncomfortable, such as uneven footing and heavy packs when hiking, but the one difference I do appreciate is that when one is hiking, every bush has the possibility of being a restroom if one needs to go. (Hmm. Maybe I’m being indelicate? If so, scratch the last sentence.)

I wonder how I will feel when my car is finally finished. Nervous, perhaps. I haven’t driven in almost three months, and when I did, I was driving a throwaway car. After all, the thing is 43-years-old and it looked its age, with multiple dents and rust spots, so it didn’t really matter what happened to it. But after spending half of a fortune to get the body fixed up, it will be a responsibility. And I like having no responsibilities.

Apparently, the car is worth something, especially since it has the original engine, and even more especially since I have the repair bills for the past 35 years. (I don’t know what happened to the first ten years of bills or why I have the rest. I guess after ten years, I figured I needed paperwork to prove the low mileage. It has less than 160,000 miles on it.) The bug will be worth more after the body work is finished since he’s doing a true restoration, not just patching the dents and such with whatever goop it is that cheap body shops use. I have to remember my sole reason for getting the car fixed is so that when/if I finally take that cross-country trip, I won’t look like a bag lady in a rattletrap. And it will be even more of a conversation piece when it looks good than when it looked . . . not good. And for someone like me who is reluctant to talk to strangers, it’s good to give them an excuse to approach.

Here I am again, talking about what I am going to do. I feel silly at times still talking about my possible plans as if I’m all mouth and no action, but the truth is, I am doing things. Getting my car restored. Learning to live an unsettled life. Researching trails and backpacking equipment. Continuing to take dance classes, even though in a couple of classes I am way out of my depth. (In one sequence of steps in ballet class today, we were supposed to relevé on the left foot, bring the right foot to passé, and then do a backward turn — a turn to the right. The others turned as instructed. I just stood there, feeling foolish and inept. How the heck does one spin around on one foot when there is no momentum? I so do not belong in that class! And yet, there I stay, at least for now.)

Well, I still have one more night to myself, so I’ll log off. I hope you have as good an evening as I intend to have. Did I mention I have cherries to munch on? Life might not be a bowl of cherries, but still, a bowl of cherries is a nice thing to have.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

8 Responses to “Life Might Not be a Bowl of Cherries”

  1. jaynehubbell Says:

    I loved reading the story you wrote on your word press site. The bowl of cherries story regarding your housesitting experience is wonderful and full of humor. I had written my first book and was just about ready to send it to a publishing company who wanted to read it and possibly publish it when I hit the delete button instead of the save button. This caused my book to completely vanish off of my computer. It took me a year to write it. I since have given up trying to write it again.
    I do love visiting the other sites of people on Word Press. The stories that have been posted by others bring much happiness and enjoyment to my life as I spend time reading each one.
    I have seen the list of books that you have written and intend to see if they are in my local library. I am an avid reader and that is one thing I enjoy most. Curling up on the couch on a quiet evening and losing myself in a well written book by a noted author such as yourself.

    I hope you will be writing more books for us to read. Thank you so much for all the stories you write.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Your manuscript simply vanished? It didn’t end up in your trash file or recycle bin? Everything I delete ends up there so if I delete something I can restore it. I have done that- delete things by accident. I can’t even imagine the horror of all that work simply … gone.

      • jaynehubbell Says:

        I looked everywhere on my old computer before it crashed and I just simply couldn’t find it. I don’t think I have the heart to sit down and try to write it all over again. I was getting ready to save it to a scan disk when this happened. I am just not an experienced person or a good writer. If I had been I would have been able to save the book.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          To be honest, if it was your first book, it probably wasn’t worth saving. Most first books aren’t. Mine sure wasn’t. Why not forget about it and write a completely different book, remembering to back it up as you go rather than at the end?

  2. Constance Koch Says:

    Ballet is good exercise, especially for stretching. Bowl of cherries, that sound delicious. Have a good night.

  3. ROD MARSDEN Says:

    Cherries are a summer treat here as well as apparently in the USA. The first time I can remember eating cherries was in December of some year in the 1960s. I was in kindergarten and it was the last week of school. We had a picnic and the food was taken from home. Mom packed my lunch box with grapes and cherries. I’m sure there was other food in there as well but the grapes and cherries are remembered as a real treat. It was the year I got my record of Snoopy vs the Red Baron. A small 45 if I recall. I still love that song and have a fondness for dogs like snoopy and airplanes but not kennels. I reckon a bowl of cherries beats a box of chocolates but that’s just me.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      The best cherries I ever had were the Montmorency cherries I picked at one one of those u-pick-em places. Sweet and tart. I wish I could find those fresh somewhere, but I can get them dried at a local grocery store.

  4. Coco Ihle Says:

    Pat, a couple of days after I was adopted, my new mother and I drove to visit her friend, Mrs. Robertson, who lived near Niagara Falls. I was four years old then and I was feeling pretty happy that I finally had a “forever home” after all the temporary foster ones of the previous several years. I was soon to discover the joy of picking and eating cherries at Mrs. Robertson’s cherry orchard and farm. I’d never had them before and I remember them better than the two collies and the cat, Snow Cloud. Now that’s saying something! My fridge now has a bowl of cherries in it. Thanks for the reminder and the delicious evening I have ahead!

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