October 18, 2009

Home Office and My Helper

Working at home has huge advantages over working in an office or out of your car, as I did for nearly thirty years.

My office, which has sunny yellow and white striped wallpaper, has a big window which overlooks our yard, the woods, and lake beyond. I often see a mama deer and her two babies running through the yard, or a fat old ground hog I've named Gary sunning himself after a nice nap under our barn. We have raccoons (thankfully not in the attic anymore) and rotund squirrels that make their home with us.

Above my desk I have a favorite picture of Number One Son and his cousin when they were four -- complete with a Band Aid on Son's scraped knees. Below that is a picture of the group at my 50th birthday party, many in tiaras. I have a larger-than-life size poster of Eleanor Roosevelt hanging above my desk, a Vitamitavegamin clock, my grandmother's graduate nursing portrait, and a school picture of my Sweetie, Darian the Librarian.

Amazingly, I have another picture of Eleanor Roosevelt, this one framed, and she is wearing a tiara on the occasion of her birthday.

On the adjacent filing cabinet I hung my Troop 204 Brownie Scout sash, my 1971 Regional Science Fair ribbon, and a postcard my friend Char sent me of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, lots more Eleanor paraphernalia including a stuffed ER puppet, and on top, my Magic 8-ball.

My private retreat also features New Yorker cover magnets, my blue marble egg like the one Fanny Brice had in Funny Girl, my framed Elton John autograph, numerous stone and ceramic turtles, and ticket stubs from Broadway shows. Side by side photos hang on the wall of Son and Husband on different beaches, photographed at sunset, showing only their similar outlines, twenty years apart.

Beloved books on my desk for easy access--Favorite Poems Old and New for Boys and Girls by Helen Ferris (one of my dearest possessions), Selected Poems by William Blake, The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson, St. John's Lutheran Church cookbook, Roget's Desk Thesaurus (Word's editor doesn't do it for me), my grandmother's New Testament, and the Fountain Pen Hospital catalog.

Is this paradise or what?

As Steve Martin said in The Jerk, "Everything I need is right here. Everything." Well, maybe not everything.

I've been working at home now for ten months. In the last week those two sleepy beasts that live inside the house with us, the small furry ones, discovered my office.

Sisy likes to sit right next to my computer when I'm working. She is very helpful as I search my creative juices for the next story. Quoth the raven.

UPDATE: Sisy and I have reached a compromise about sharing my desk. See our solution below.