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That Didn't Suck At All! June 9, 2009

Well, now. That wasn't bad, not bad at all. I actually liked being home at Dad's, which I didn't expect. I thought it might be too painful. Or confusing. Or both.

But it wasn't. I'm here to tell you that a year later, you can really start to remember the good stuff. You can paw through the cabinets while making bread and pull out the beat-up bread pan without your heart breaking into ten tiny pieces and clattering onto the floor. You can eat at her favorite restaurant and not cry (very much) in public. You can marvel that your dad still writes his grocery list in the same notebook she used: a continuity both unexpected and lovely.

And last night I was lucky enough to hang out with some of my writing pals from the old days. At Cal Poly, Al Landwehr was the best creative writing teacher there was. A posse of six of us glommed on to each other and called ourselves Al's Gals, stopping just short of posing with him as Charlie's Angels. We wrote, we cheered each other on, we critiqued. Five out of the six of us finalled in the college's end-of-year writing competition, and five out of the six of us are still writing (Wendy Conti: where are you?). We were TIGHT.

Twelve years later, three of us met up last night at Al's house, and it was like no time had passed at all. With the three of us and Al and his lovely wife Lynne, there were five story-tellers at the table, all of us equipped with huge laughs and a sense of comedic timing. There were cocktails in the garden, next to the fountain. At the dinner table, there was fresh bread and the first tomatoes of the year, along with pasta alfredo and ceviche and rhubarb pie. The talk ranged from publishing to motherhood to hospitals and back to editing. It was the nicest evening in recent memory, and I've had some damn good nights lately.

Now I'm home, and I'm getting reacquainted with the fish and the cats and the dogs and the wife. Lala and I have a date planned tonight: Neko Case at the Warfield. There will be a burrito found along the way, I'm sure. All is well.

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Comments

Brava!

Sounds like a sweet trip- I'm so glad. Miss you. Hugs.

Apropos of nothing, other than I saw your Reading list again....I ordered and read "Girls of Summer" because of your list. Really enjoyed it - a good summer read. Thanks! :D

I'm so glad the visit went we

Glad you had a good visit.

I got my Engl degree there and took AL for creative writing as well. I learned a lot in that class. Peggy Lant was another favorite -- I took every class of hers that I could.

When I saw my dad using Mom's stuff after she died, it broke and mended my heart all at once. I'm glad you had a better time than you expected.

Yay, Neko!

Welcome home.

Rachel, I'm so glad that it was good at your dads. I was sending good warm thoughts your direction.

I am so glad it was a good trip down south and that you were able to enjoy being with your Dad and seeing your old friends. Time does help to heal.

good for you! sounds like the best of times...

It is nice and reassuring to read you today, Rachael. ;)

Giulietta

All is well. So glad you finally went.

I am so glad (just like the last 8 comments!) that it went better than you expected. I have to feel good for the human race right now, there is so much good will right here and out there. We just have to tune into it and have faith.

Yay that you had a better than expected (and, it sounds like, Really Good!) time down here.

Hopefully one day we'll get to meet IRL, have a glass of wine, knit & share a laugh.

See ya 'round the intronets, Chicken.

April (in SLO)

So glad to hear that it went great. ::hugs::

Good. All of it. I envy you the professor, though. The only teacher I had for creative writing...well, we didn't get on. Everyone else loved him, but we just...we didn't get on.

The grief, it comes in waves here. I was talking today to a friend who walks this path just ahead of me--our moms were diagnosed with different cancers at about the same time. She got six weeks with hers, I got six months, and we seem to grieve similarly. Which is probably why today is the first time we've talked about it in months.

Waves, I tell you.

Glad to hear the home visit went well. Am sure your Dad was thrilled to have you stay :)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

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