Hours had passed since Dockland’s first reading that Shiner had crossed the twenty-five hour radius. On the bridge, Captain’s expression was grim as she ordered Lissa to send the acknowledgement reply which dan Broque had purposely misdirected to suspected Isolated Radical sympathizers.
“We need a still holo and a still vid. This is a big moment! Here, right here. Come on, Daddy L, you too.” Trevor’s mom paused in organizing where the members of her expanding family should stand to take off her smart and hold it out to Captain.
It's been a busy week again. Well, at least for the first half of it. Yesterday and today are quieter. Not by choice.
A couple years ago the metatarsal arches in my feet collapsed (those are the arches across the balls of the feet, where the toes connect). It's a really painful injury, but does heal back up with rest and gentle increases in activity to strengthen the area. The arch doesn't come back but the pain goes away and stays away with properly supportive shoes. If I'm not careful with my footwear or I overuse my feet, however, it basically bruises the bones of my toe knuckles on the bottom. And, well.... I haven't been very good at being careful with my shoes due to budget tightening. I have very cranky toe knuckles at the moment, and one swollen li'l right foot.
This weekend I should be able to rest a bit, thankfully, and also have time to talk to my husband about if our current budget can be squeezed for better indoor shoes than I've been wearing. Today I guess I'll wash off my outside shoes and gift myself a few hours of orthotics while getting through my standing-up tasks.
Trevor and Leo theorized why the change in bridge personnel had occurred so suddenly as they changed out of swimming clothes before going for lunch. Unknown to either of them, the ideas they came up with hedging the closest to the truth were the ones they believed to be the most ridiculous… until Captain requested a private vid with Trevor.
Content Warning: This section has violence and injuries mentioned, with some blood details.
As Captain predicted, Shiner passed the destination proximity radius without sending the regulation required Notification of Arrival message twenty-five hours in advance. Captain still ordered the standard Receipt of Message reply to be sent. The lead bridge crew InterStel Officer, Chester dan Broque, hesitated on sending the reply, winning him a small grin from Captain.
“Let’s make Shiner uncomfortable, dan Broque,” she said.
This week has been very, very hot. We're in the north west of North America, which has been affected by an extreme-for-us heat wave. Thankfully we live on the east side of the Rocky Mountains so we don't have to battle humidity at the same time. Clouds showed up in our sky last night and today is about 10C cooler than previous days, but it's still over 30C before noon... it's hot. As a bonus, my husband strung up a temporary clothesline in the back yard on Tuesday to avoid running the dryer. We have outdoor fresh clean sheets!
“What are you grinning about?” Trevor asked, sleep making her voice wispy.
“I’m just happy,” he said, hugging her a little closer.
“And yet you went to sleep scared of the dark.”
“No, I went to sleep scared of all those things like sleeping, walking, eating, and defecating around an enormous amount of ammunitions.”
The hallway crowd was disbursed the next time Leo looked toward the door, but tension in the room still prickled at his skin. Below decks was as quiet as when people were watching, and the lead shift crew members Leo worked with were each as focused on their panels as they had been a few cycles ago while still learning.
Summer seems to have officially arrived. Finally! We've been able to turn off the furnace for most of the past week, even with it being cooler and rainy since Wednesday, because our house is awful for air circulation and refuses to release any captured heat. (Unless it's winter, then the house is chronically cold and completely unable to fully warm up. It's really annoying for a house built only 14 years ago.)
The weeds are growing strong in the gardens... and the lawn lol. I don't complain about clover in the grass at all – I like clover a lot better as it's lower maintenance, and the blooms are awesome for bees – but the grass in the garden is frustrating. Probably the beds will have to be completely dug out to get rid of the invasive grass roots in the next year or two. This year I'll just keep pulling and digging.
Leo watched Trevor inhale a shaky breath and hold the clunky, antique microphone in front of her mouth. “You already trust me, Charlotte, and as your sister I’m telling you to trust Captain and her requests and orders to Dockland’s crew,” she said. “Captain’s word is as honest as mine.”
“Trevor?” the voice asked, incredulous.
As of today there are only two weeks left in the school year. That means only a few months until my oldest hits the age of double digits and my youngest turns the official age of Big Kids. Having my kids be 10 and 7 sounds so... old. I'm not really prepared for this yet. Good thing I still have a few months to wrap my brain around it!
As for writing... I had a few hours where my creativity and my "free" time lined up! Drafted up a new beginning for a short story and loved every moment of creating words. It's going to be sooooo nice when there's a routine again that gives me these hours of writing time a week. I feel like, especially this school year, the unpredictability of school closures and classroom quarantines interrupted so sporadically that it was really difficult to shift modes as needed between in-person and online learning. Fingers crossed that next year will be more predictable. I hope you have a good weekend!
Captain jogged into the control room as her second message finished transmitting. She nodded approval to her Officer regarding the speedy use of the first generation InterStel in spite of the lack of efficiency in the system, and then joined the rest of the below decks crew members in anxiously waiting for the next reply.
Dockland established a high orbit above the hastily made assembly yard. The final ships returning to the planet surface disappeared from visual monitoring once they’d slowed enough to lose the flaming tails marking their passage back to the landside construction site.
Another week down and oh... oh no... only another month and then we're half way though 2021?! I was – apparently – not prepared for time to go so fast this year. (It's not like I'm ever really prepared for how quickly the calendar pages turn, but things seem accelerated right now.)
Flip side, the acceleration appears to be mostly for good happenings at this moment in time. So... I suppose the feeling of daily lacking hours despite mountains of tasks being completed and mentally riding the line of being overwhelmed by my anxiety monsters is... good? Sort of?
I know I've told you that we'd purchased a freeze dryer and it was delivered a couple of weeks ago. It had a designated place before arriving, and since then has been happily running almost constantly. However, throughout the past couple of weeks we've been developing labels, designating / setting up house space for working and for product storage (ie: moving furniture and shuffling stuff, which now requires a garage sale once life is less restricted again), making up orders and getting sales, creating a website (freeze dried food! FliedersFoods.ca), and all the other tasks that go along with having an in-home small business (ie: side hustle). While at the same time the kids were online learning. And my husband works full time.
Shit's been busy, y'all lol.
With everything else going on, writing seems to just not be a priority. Again. And it sucks so much. The online communities I'm part of prove I'm not the only Independent Author in this predicament right now, and while that does give a solidarity between acquaintances and friends, it doesn't make it easier. The stories are all stuck in my head with no time to let them out, and my hands are barely working at the needed level at this point anyway.
A collective whimper shuddered through the crowd of crew members as the deck hummed under their feet. The over distance engines powered up for the usual two second count and then Dockland smoothly transitioned to full speed for inter-stellar travel.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!