Process Part One

It seems like a small thing yet we need a place to spread our work during a writing project.

I moved all the books piled on this table to the chest freezer for the time being. Hope we don’t have to get in it for a while.

The books in the photograph are cook books produced in the neighborhood where I spent the years from 1959 until 1970. I don’t understand the extent of cultural artifacts presently scattered around our home and will use this table top on sawhorses to transition them into some kind of order. That’s the plan, anyway.

Conceptually my present writing is coming together. It will be a compilation of thematic sections, some drawn from past writing and some new. I’ll use longer fragments written over the years, some of them quoted verbatim, and others highly edited.

Framing this will be brief historical essays about important places, including about Piety Hill and environs, where Mother was born; Lincoln County, Minnesota, where Grandmother was born; and Glamorgan, Virginia, where Father was born. Other important places are Davenport, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Mainz, Germany; Tallahassee, Florida and Southern Georgia; Lake County, Indiana; and of course Big Grove Township where we settled in 1993.

There will be a second frame about work: Mother, Father and Grandmother during the period before I left for college; and highlights of my work history including high school jobs, summer work while in college, military service, the interim period between finishing graduate school and marriage, my transportation-related career, and the varied work experiences after my July 2009 retirement.

By reducing these topics to brief, separate sections I expect to provide background so I can focus on more interesting subjects.

Even though I have a table on which to lay all this out, not everything will fit. That will force choices — a good thing.

It’s clear from the progress of the coronavirus pandemic the state will be stressed for a while. Cedar Rapids to our north is doing poorly. State Senator Rob Hogg reported yesterday, “Cedar Rapids is now number one in the country for the fastest increase for coronavirus cases in metro areas with more than 50,000 people.” With cooler weather and winter coming, it’s a good time to work on indoors projects. So, I shall.