I’m sitting out on the patio at my friends Mona and Kelly’s house figuring it’s time to update the webpage. I have struggled trying to find time to put words to the page while I’ve been back in the US. Everyone I know wants to spend some time with me. Not time at a party, but individual time, spent in a moment in which we can relive the good times from the past on a more personal level. I want this too, but there are only so many hours in so many days and I have frittered away some of those precious minutes trying to get some business accomplished while I’m here. It’s been a rush from one place to another, one home to another, one lunch or breakfast to another. I like having my time occupied here but I have come to realize that I am not going to make it to see every person I wanted to. Sadly, those visits will have to be put off till next year. Of course, they are all welcome to visit me in Peru.
My friend Amanda recently updated her blog with a day visit to the countryside. She felt the need to leave the city and enjoy the quiet clean life that can escape you in the Lima. Southern Illinois doesn’t have any cities. The rare large town, in my opinion, is all that exists here. Carbondale, my home before moving to Peru, is a good example. The population is around 25,000 with another 20,000 students who attend the University there. Certainly nothing like Lima with a population of 9,000,000 crowded into it’s walls. I can see what she means though. Sitting here on the patio writing this, it’s a beautiful day. A breeze floats through the air with the chill of winter on its breath. The sun’s rays beat down on my skin, warming the skin on my arms and causing a glare on my screen as I type. It’s quiet yet noisy. A wind chime tinkles in the background. Leaves rustle before falling to the ground as the slight breeze sways the boughs back and forth. The colors of fall surround me. Golds, greens, browns, blacks, grays and many more take on an unnatural beauty as they reflect the autumn light. Everything twinkles as if they are coated with small diamonds. The smoky smell of wood fires reminds me of camping, smores, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. I have picked the perfect month to return for a visit. Still, I miss my Lima. I miss the bustle of her millions, the noise, the colors, the grey of her winter, the brightness of her summer, the Pacific lapping at her shores. I want to feel her wrapped around me, a blanket of comfort. She is my mistress, always exciting, always changing, a book with never ending stories.
Since floating south after the Sorghum Festival, my friends have kept me busy. Breakfasts and lunches dominate most of my time but there are a few things that I need to mention separately. My first weekend in Marion, my friend Cyndi invited me to a Saluki Football game. It was home-coming weekend and although the team isn’t that good this year, a lot of old students came back into town for the game. I went for a small walk through Carbondale’s arboretum with Tim and Deb one day. Mona and Kelly threw a nice party for me at their home. It started at three in the afternoon on a day that allowed us to sit outside. Somewhere between twenty-five and thirty people showed up. They were friends, acquaintances and coworkers. I enjoyed my time with them all immensely. There was enough time to catch up with everyone and more importantly invite them all to visit me in Peru if they have the chance. Mona laid out a spread fit for a King’s Court and Kelly had the lawn and patio area set up. They brought out heaters to warm us up as the chill of the night air set in and as always, people gathered in the kitchen to catch up and graze on the plethora of food that occupied all the counters. I hated to see it end and there were others I wish had made it to the party but hopefully I will see them another time. The next day a golf outing with Robert, Kelly and Joe was humorous to say the least. I hadn’t played in almost four years, bad knees kept it from being too much fun, but this time I had a blast. My score is meaningless as it was all about spending a beautiful day on a nice course with good friends. Thank you Robert for setting it up and to you Lisa for the delicious lunch afterwards.
As I stated, I have found little time for writing. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t thought about it though, and my friends continually ask me about the progress of my book. My characters visit me at all times of the day and night. They occupy my dreams, my conversations, and my mind perpetually floats into plot and character development. Some of my friends are interested in Lourdes, some in Detective Rodriguez, and then there are the Tacito fans. Everyone loves a good villain, just look at Hannibal Lector. I have managed to work on a couple of chapters but that’s it. When I get back to Lima, I am going to have to return to my regular routine quickly. I want to get this first edit completed. I know I’m going to have to go in for a second round on the book. The comments I have received from Tim and Deb tell me that I need to work on my dialog. It’s too formal and I already had a feeling that I was going to have that problem. It’s been so long now since working on the book, I am going to have to re-read chapters 1 – 80 to get my groove back.
Six more days and I return to Peru and my family and friends there. I will miss everyone here in the US terribly but I have a great life in South America. One that is free of stress, a life of creativity and the pursuit of my passions. I could enter into a discussion of what a wonderful life I’ve had and how it continues to get better but I will save that for another day. Special thanks to my Sister Rita and her husband George, Mona and Kelly, and Mike Daily for putting me up this visit. My next entry will be after I’ve returned to Peru, sometime after November 1st, in the meantime have a great time and embrace your inner child.