One week into Trump’s campaign I am amazed at the damage he has managed to do in just one week. Reading the NYT in the morning has become a different experience with worse news following bad news. The most disconcerting is that he and his entourage deny that what he does is illegal, heart breaking, outrageous or plain wrong. His supporters are cheering in the background.  The one thing I don’t know is whether their numbers are going up or down – I hope the latter.

I have written to my representatives, asking them to lean on their more generous and rational colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but I fear that republicans won’t break ranks until after they have secured a republican supreme court.

In the meantime our lives here in Manchester-by-the-Sea are not physically disturbed as they are for so many others. At work we are still recovering from the RIF shock and trying to regain our footing. But, having passed 65, I am also starting to look at options for what to do when work starts to move to the background. We both believe it is art that will dominate our lives in the future. Next weekend we are cashing in a Christmas gift Axel received from Sita: two days of personal instruction at the studio of a great silk artist in Rockport (Maine), Fiona Washburn.

I will tag along and am fantasizing about what to do those two days while Axel is busy. I wrote to a children’s book writer who lives there to see if we could meet, but she isn’t around. She recommended I join the Society of Children Books Writers and Illustrators which I promptly did. I’ve got to make some headway with my story that has been lingering in first draft for some years now. I will also be enjoying my Christmas presents when in Rockport: the New Zealand wool that Tessa gave me and a drawing kit from Sita.

I also plan to sleep in and read a lot. Last night we went to a mystery writers’ talk at a local bookstore featuring mystery writers. One of those is our friend Edith Maxwell who churns out cozy mysteries one after another. She already has three Agatha nominations on her resume – a high honor for mystery writers. We left the event with three new books under our arm.

To forget about all the bad news we joined a contra dancing group in a neighboring town and danced the night away accompanied by several fiddlers, a guitar and a flute. We met wonderful people who had come from wide and far. It was quite a work out. This, it turned out, was not so great for my left foot which is turning into an ever greater arthritic mess – a side effect of the fusion I could not have imagined. Some things (the arthritis in the heel) are now obvious as documented on an MRI; the nerve problems need another round of diagnostics. My future plans cannot, it is clear now, involve hiking or very long walks. Art it is!

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January 2017
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