Coda: Frances, part I

By the time it was over, all over, we had paid our fifty-seven dollars for parking and aimed the fully-loaded Jetta back to Brian and Suzan's, just the three of us. We had escaped the worst of Hurricane Frances thus far, but we knew it was just a matter of time before she came to pay her respects.

After verifying that the alarm code Brian gave us had worked, and that the police wouldn't be called just for us wanting to put our stuff in the kitchen, Jake and Chris and I went back out to Publix to hunt up enough food for dinner. Last year, we learned our lesson: trying to find an Atlanta restaurant open on Labor Day that didn't have a three-hour seating wait was nearly impossible. This year, I offered to be sane, leave the hotel slightly before load-out was done, and get to Brian and Suzan's ahead of the crowd so that I could cook up some kind of stir-fry for everyone.

Hot food. Vegetables. We hadn't had much of those in a few days.

Eventually, after hot food, and the realization that once again it was over, really over, we drifted off to our beds … our futons … our daybeds … and our couches.

Well, most of us.

Frances began hurling wind and rain in earnest as Chris and Jason and I settled in on the back porch; Jason taking a single seat while Chris and I settled in on the couch. The wind howled, unsettled, through the trees, sending a fine, chilly mist of rain through the screens and onto us.

I've always loved storms, and this one felt special; the wind screeching through pines and making the screens vibrate and whistle.

The rain it brought was cold, and I was too tired to fight the chill; it was well past midnight and I had to be up before five a.m. to drive the Colorado boys back to the airport. I turned sideways and put my legs up in Chris' lap. Even though I wanted to sleep, and sleep for days, part of me knew that giving in to sleep meant acknowledging that the insanity that was 'con was really and truly over for the year, and that it was time for real life to take precedence again.

But my friend's hands were warm against my legs, so I propped my head against the slowly-dampening pillow, letting the warmth soothe away the shivers I didn't want to admit to. It was so strange to have him here, sitting next to me, close enough to prop my feet on and talk to, when for all but five days out of the year he is just a voice on the phone.

We admitted defeat well after midnight, him retreating to the bedroom he shared with Jake, and I retreating to the one I shared with Jeff, and he promised to wake me when it was time to go.

When he did, just a couple of hours later, it was far too soon.

I thought I'd be ready to dive right back into writing after 'con, but I've been in full-on retreat mode since arriving home. The short version is that I came down with either food poisoning or stomach flu at dragon*con, and shortly after I came home, it quickly migrated into a full-blown upper respiratory infection that I'm just now getting over. I'm in the middle of a major housecleaning right now - the spring cleaning that got postponed by several months due to DCTV - and I am determined to finish it, along with the final spate of tech staff work, before I board a plane next week for my vacation.

I go through times on this site when I don't want to share, don't want to talk, and just want to live my life for a while. Most of the time I don't mind sharing, but lately I've needed a lion's share of peace and quiet. Why? I don't know.

The short version is this: life is quiet, the cats are sleek and happy, the spouse is a bit overworked but happy, and I am doing some heavy preliminary work on my costumes for dragon*con 2005.

I don't think the quiet period is completely over yet, but hopefully the total silence is, at least.


The nite was quite late by the time we retired - I remember that well. However, when I finally crashed (ah, how fleeting that was) it was on the loveseat in the living room. :-)

You had a bed and didn't take it? Crazy like a fox, you. I shudder to think what it would have taken to keep me from mine...

I didn't want to wake Jake up... plus, the loveseat involved fewer steps. :)