One of the perks of having to move from my beloved pond-front home is having an office now. My very own corner office with a door I can close—and lock, if I must. It’s a converted bedroom, of course, and I have to admit that considering how very little I’ve written since we moved, I was beginning to wonder if it shouldn’t just stay a bedroom. But it’s starting to look like an office, and with each day that goes by and each thing that gets done, I get more antsy to start back on my neglected manuscripts.
Here’s a tour of my almost-office, starting with the silliness that’s visible all the way down the hall:
What do you think of the Holstein? These are a few of the gifts folks have blessed me with. I wish my carrot had stayed up, but its string broke. Yes, I said carrot. A long time ago, a friend gave me a stuffed carrot with a green-leaf forelock and bright eyes. It has a tiny nose and a great big smile as it waves at me with one of its root-hands. I’ve had that thing around 40 years, and I hate that the string broke. I need to get it back up on my silly wall.
Here’s my brag wall and my old desk. The desk once belonged to my great aunt, so it’s old and all stained up. I intend to refinish it or maybe paint it. Daddy bought the secretary’s chair for me when I was in college and paying for my books by taking in typing. Just me and my IBM Selectric III. I clocked 160 words per minute and managed to earn quite a bit of money from those who barely mastered the hunt-and-peck style of typing or couldn’t type at all. I sold the IBM just before moving here. Can’t imagine what anyone is going to use it for in this day and age.
In the corner is my new desk, the one my sweet Billy just assembled for me. And I do mean assembled. It came in two boxes, each the length of one of the desk tops, but they were barely four inches thick. MSB put this thing together with a close eye on the instructions. All it needs now it the desktop computer I have yet to buy.
The desk chair is actually the one I bought Mom for Christmas last year. Since it can be raised and lowered, I thought we’d be able to set it at a height she could easily get up from. Great idea that didn’t work, and now the chair is mine. Good thing, I guess. It’s horribly uncomfortable, so I’m glad she’s not stuck with it.
The comfy chair is a recliner, and I just love it, though it’s not the one that was supposed to go in here. I found this chair in another fabric that is wild and bold and just plain fun. MSB hated it at first, so I bought it, then I bought another one just like it and picked out upholstery that I thought would match in our family room. Well, it doesn’t. And that’s why this one is in here and my fun one is in the family room. MSB has grown accustomed to it.
Oh, did you notice that my windows are bare? We’ve been living in a fishbowl since we moved in. One of the thrills of moving during a quarantine. But by this time next week, they’ll at least have shades. I got super frustrated with trying to pick out curtains/shades/whatever for the windows all through the house. I’ve never done it before, and all the choices confused me. During one of the rare times we were allowed out, we went to Lowe’s, and I found some shades I just loved. So the helpful clerk pulled out a book of that brand of shade and all the other shades the brand makes—a big heavy book with so many choices and colors I was like a kid at a dessert buffet who’s allowed only one dessert. How to choose?
These cabinets are one of the reasons I chose this room as my office. The reason is apparent—they hold some valuable things. Mostly books that pertain to my work as an editor and a writer, but also some of the coffee cups that have been given to me by fans and friends over the years. They aren’t all in there yet; that’s what’s in the box on the floor.
And in this corner are my printers, but the corner holds more than that. Daddy made the cabinet the printers sit on back in the early 1970s. The two doors in front slide, and inside are my supplies—paper, file folders, mailing envelopes, etc. Next to the cabinet is his old Royal typewriter. Daddy would use his thumbs and index and middle fingers to peck away on that old thing. Typed at a pretty good clip too. Next to it, though not visible, is one of his dog tags, and under it, on the typing stand he gave me to hold my IBM, is the flag Mom received when he died. Daddy served with a recon unit in Korea—something he never talked about until months before he passed away.
Anyway, the bare space above my printers is reserved for a wall-mounted TV. When I wrote Give the Lady a Ride, I did a lot of my research by watching the PBR events. Now I feel I can use that as an excuse to get a TV in here.
So there ya go. I still have a few things to hang on the walls. Still need curtains. Still need my desktop computer. Still need to organize the desk drawers. But it’s almost an office. My very first at-home office. I hope I’m not sorry I didn’t just leave it a bedroom. I miss writing. I hope I get to do it again someday soon.