Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

About Those Dishes

Filed in Memoir, Stories, voices, Writing :: November 1, 2011

I’ve told the story here before about how my maternal grandmother, Anne Jones, cleared off her dining room table and then covered it again with a Vogue pattern and beautiful fabric, pinning and cutting and finally taking the whole thing into to a closet-turned-sewing-room to transform it into a dress.

And during this process, often there were–yes, this is a family secret–dirty dishes in the sink.

Yesterday I got ready for NaNoWriMo by taking care of some important items on my short- and long-term to-do list. A marked-up lime green post-it note went into the trashcan before I went to bed.

The decks felt clear.  Nothing would come between me and my daily 2,000 words, since I have learned the hard way that it’s hard to pick up extra words at the end of the month, and I’m committed to picking them up at the beginning.

But overnight new emails came in that had to be dealt with.  I created some dirty dishes, literal and metaphorical, before I even left for the office.  And of course there was work to be done.

A phone-lunch with Jeanne confirmed my suspicions.  It was happening for her, too.

The newsflash that we already knew?  The to-do list never ends.

I hung up and sprinted for 672 words in fifteen minutes.

My friend Michelle emailed her own advice about a completely different topic, and it fits here, too: Compartmentalizing: Just Do It.

So as much as it makes me a little nervous, I’ve left dishes in sinks all through this day, and I have written 2080 words because of it.

Now I can wash a few of them.