Monday, August 23, 2010

Our families react to our new obsession with writing a novel!

Nanc and I were on a roll! Aside from our smaller boys painting her couch in bright yellow enamel paint -- and taking advantage of our preoccupation to climb on top of the kitchen counter in search of cookies and leftover Halloween candy -- things were going swimmingly. At least we thought so. Evidently our husbands, and my six older children, were not quite as thrilled with our exciting new project.

At first, both families tended to regard our writing efforts as the new "hobby" their wives/mothers had taken up. But as PLEASE STAND BY -- YOUR MOTHER'S MISSING took up more and more of our time, the natives began to grow restless . Although my older kids were fairly good at helping out around the house, the rule was that school and homework came first. Consequently, loud complaints began to be heard in the morning regarding a shortage of clean underwear and socks for school. Later than usual dinners were also a bone of contention, as was our "hogging" the phone in the evening when their friends were supposed to call. (I know it's hard to believe, but remember this took place before the emergence of the cell phone and email). Clearly it was time Nancy and I remedied the situation before the troops staged an all out rebellion!

For those of you who read PENNY PINCHERS back in the day, this will explain the new spate of "How to fill your freezer with homemade dinners" that began to appear in my columns along about then. I had developed a new respect, and deep sympathy, for mothers who spent their days working outside the home, and was determined to make life easier for all of us. Instead of preparing a single dinner at a time, why not double the recipe, freeze the leftovers, and reheat them a day or two later, I thought. It was truly amazing how many meals could be prepared ahead of time, including desert, then alternated with other pre-cooked meals to create variety.

The dirty clothes issue was solved by moving our "office" into one of our laundry areas when necessary (her back porch, my basement), the busy phone by resolving to make no more calls after dinner. We began jotting down new ideas in notebooks, and repressing our enthusiasm to share our latest brainstorm until we could do so in person.

(On Wednesday: No need to hold the applause, we finish our book!)


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