A candle flickers over on top of the mantel in the living room. It's one of those candles that changes colors as it burns. Blue, then purple, turning to red, and then yellow and orange. The lights are low, and the sound of a soft, evening breeze rustling leaves outside drifts in occasionally through the open front door. The wall around the fireplace is painted red, and there's a framed Texas flag hanging high and proud. Next to that is a white wall with about 40 family photographs arranged eight-feet high and 10-feet wide. Girls, boys, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas, friends.
It's a little after 6 now. Everything's quiet. My daughter took me this afternoon to retrieve my wife's car from the airport parking lot, then drove on to work. I'll be asleep by the time she gets home tonight. I'm on my own for a month, while my better half works an assignment out of town. It was hard to say goodbye last night. She's been home for a total of about 12 days so far this year.
Today was a pretty good day, though, it really was. Clear, blue skies, short pants and T-shirt temperatures, and a not-so-beautiful golf course combined for a pretty darn good start to this year's Spring Break.
The day actually began about 8 a.m. with me trying to apply on-line for renewal of my teaching certificate, a formality that rolls around every five years. It took a little nail-biting and phone-calling -- and a trip over to my school -- to get mission accomplished, but I finally got it done. Then it was over to the gym for my first workout in a couple of weeks (new spring resolution), and then back home to change clothes and grab my golf clubs.
I decided to give our little local course a try, since I haven't played there in a long time. Well, the course has definitely seen better days, but I played pretty well in spite of the rock-hard, cow pasture fairways and ridiculously weed-infested greens (putting was damn near impossible, although I did sink a few). Still, a sunshiny day on the golf course -- any golf course -- is hard to complain about. One young fella playing a couple holes back was even nice enough to retrieve my trusty 9-iron for me, after I left it beside No. 8 green following a really nice little chip up and that sweet left-to-right, five-footer for par.
I made myself a sort of to-do list for spring break this year, so as not to squander these five blessed days of relief from school. One thing on the list is to work out every day. Check. So far so good. One day in a row. Another is to play lots of golf. Check. So far so good. One day in a row. I also wanted to work on my website and my blog, and I am doing that. Check. So far so good. One day in a row. There are other important items like get the oil in the pickup changed, get a haircut and do some yard work, along with practicing my saxophone and working on my Camino book. I think all of those will get done.
I'm developing a book based on my blogs from the Camino de Santiago, a 780-kilometer pilgrimage across Spain that I walked twice, in the summer of 2011 and again in 2013. Actually, I thought I had the book pretty much finished already, but after a few rejections from publishers last year, I finally chatted back and forth with a really nice lady publisher who told me that for her to be interested, my book needed a hook, a twist of some kind to "hook" the reader. She explained what might make it a more marketable story, and I understand what she meant. I've considered trying to turn it into some sort of novel based on the Camino, since there is no real-life hook, other than it being the most amazing, life-changing experience of my life. But I kinda like it the way it is, too, and I've got an idea on how to improve it. Then, I'll just self-publish again. I don't feel like going through the hassle and time of submissions, trying to find a publisher who loves your work and wants to send you a nice check.
Well, maybe just a few more times.
If you're interested, my Camino blog is at www.golfnman13.blog.com
Ciao, y 'all ...