Thank you so much, dear readers
I was very unsure whether to publish the story A BIG RED COUCH POTATO. Although it came to me in one go, was it really a good idea to reveal my bouts of laziness so easily? So I turned off the computer, put my head on the pillow and asked the night for guidance.
Strangely enough, I slept like a baby and awoke with a smile. I didn't feel like I was confessing an embarrassing personal flaw, but rather a simple truth: a reflex of sorts, a way of making up for the confinement and immense sense of loneliness brought on by this relentless pandemic.
The letter was published on Sunday, January 23, and you all responded with respect, compassion and friendship. As I read your comments, I no longer felt isolated in my home or inconsolable on the red couch. Instead I felt like I was sitting with you at your kitchen table, like two friends discussing the local news.
Your many comments entered my heart like an early spring that arrives without warning. Your delightful comments encourage me more than ever to continue writing. Each week your unfailing presence reassures me.
I’ve told you all about the Company, the restaurant openings, the creation of the menu items and my childhood adventures. And yet, every time I think of you, dear readers, a miracle seems to transpire. A forgotten story resurfaces; a lifeless memory is resurrected; a crow strikes up a conversation with me; a wolf enters my kitchen. Yes, it seems as if your constant reading of my work is nourishing my expressiveness and creative imagination... As if a good fairy was pulling the magical threads of the written word towards me.
- Many thanks to all of you, dear readers. And a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Ms. Madeline R., who gave me the very good idea to try learning something new. A technique she employed herself when she signed up for guitar lessons at the age of 69. An accomplishment she is rightly proud of.
- Thank you to Jennifer R., for suggesting a subscription to a few popular magazines. I devour magazines and never thought to consider a subscription, but I will now. Thankfully my small country post office box will ensure I remain sensible.
- Thank you to Doris S. for her kind words. I do puzzles too. I love them, and like you, I now do 500-piece puzzles that are slightly bigger than average. It seems doing puzzles soothes my mind. And I listen to wonderful music, especially from the Baroque era, as I do them.
- Thank you to Kathy S., who made me realize that without the pandemic, I might never have had the opportunity to write these “Sunday Letters,” nor the opportunity to reconnect with my old passion for writing. You are so right, dear Kathy.
- A big thank you to Mireille T., who urges me to be less severe with myself. All my life I have set the bar very high like someone possessed with the need to succeed. It’s time to calm down and enjoy a good movie from time to time.
- Congratulations, Michelle M., on your stationary bike. I've been wanting one since the beginning of the pandemic, but I’ve only ever thought about it. You, on the other hand, are a doer!
- Thank you, Louise M., for your great advice. As you say, “when you get a bit older, you have to be more vigilant because you’re on auto pilot. If you don’t restart the machine it may clog up and stop.” I'm going to turn it back on, I promise you.
- Thank you, Jonathan K. of Red Deer, Alberta, for your valuable advice. But will I ever be able to donate my television to goodwill? I fear I won’t have the willpower.
- Thank you, Michelle D., you have given me an excellent suggestion. When the red couch gets too comfortable, I will get up and walk around the house. Even if it simply means a few turns around my big kitchen table. Your grandfather walked down the hall, you say? Mine did exactly the same thing when he came to visit us in winter. I'll get on with it, I promise!
- Thank you, Murielle G., for the lovely virtual bouquet full of pretty butterflies. A delightful nod to summer. Oh, how I can't wait for the warm weather to return!
Dear Irene S., who has been active all her life as a travel consultant and hostess for senior groups, you are right to regard your present life as rather pathetic; I agree with you that this pandemic is robbing us of precious years. But, as you say so well: “WE ARE BLESSED TO BE ALIVE.”