It's been a very trying holiday season. My best friend died just before Thanksgiving. It was very hard to find anything to be thankful for.
I lost a tenant the last day of November, so December has been a month of scarcity. If I'm going to be able to finish paying property taxes and utilities this next month, I'm going to have to get a loan. And the weather has been dreadful. The temperatures have remained below 25 degrees for our highs most of the past month. We are sitting in a bowl of worsening air quality each day the temperatures stay that low. We are close to 0 degrees every night. It's too cold to walk dogs and the air is dangerous to breathe. The elderly (that would be me) and those with chronic conditions (that would also be me) are warned to stay indoors. The dogs and I are getting cabin fever.
Today I have to make a grocery run or the dogs will be out of food. So like it or not, I have to scrape ice off my car and hope to hell it starts, and like it or not, I have to scrape up some money for dog food. Fortunately when times were not quite so dire I put some things in the freezer. I'm slowly emptying it out. I qualify for food stamps, but haven't the energy or gumption to jump through the hoops necessary to actually get them. Maybe I can talk someone into helping me navagate the food stamp paperwork, the standing in line, the having to tell my hard luck story. It's awful being down and out. Well, maybe not "out" quite yet. I'm pissed off about so many things I can do nothing about, but I have been able to use this time to write.
I have visited a few of you over the last few days and found that most of you are making the best of difficult times. Maybe I'll learn something new this year that will make coping one of the tools in my skill set.
And Cyrus is just maintaining. He keeps getting abscesses but I'm just keeping him on antibiotics so they don't get quite so horrifying. Aside from the abscesses he still has a good apatite and still manages to haul himself out of bed to go outside at least three times a day. But Cyrus's days are numbered. I see that. I just don't want to think about it.
The one bright sopt in this bleak picture is the novel. I have embarked on rewriting the novel in a whole new way and it's working. I can see the finish line and I think I'll be ready to begin grappling with a query letter sometime in January.