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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07


I got out of bed at 5 AM Saturday morning and at 6 AM on Sunday. Let me be clear, I am not, nor have I ever been a morning person. But this book haunts my dreams. I’m at the stage where I’m pulling it down off the cloud, where it’s in pieces, and putting it into one single document that I can submit. I have to read it aloud or have MS Word read it to me before I submit - which is a good idea because you catch where you’ve written the same phrase twice within a few sentences. I caught a copy and paste error - which meant I had the same paragraph twice. I also found citation errors. Citations. If the book haunts my dreams, citations are my nightmares.

I certainly learned a lot from this experience - writing a book is a difficult, time consuming ass ache no matter what kind of book but non-fiction is a special kind of ass ache because you have to cite your sources. I recently asked is I had too many sources. I was hoping they would say yes and I could delete some. No such luck.

The contractor we met when we bought the cottage is coming to Richmond on Monday to begin to put our bathroom back together. It had a leak late last year. But we were dealing with the cottage, Wrigley, the holidays, home owners insurance due to the leak, and my never ending book project at that time. Andrea learned of a store called Floor & Decor so we went there last weekend, after which time Andrea promptly did our taxes to see what we owed before we booked a design appointment at Floor & Decor. This year was okay. Mainly because I didn’t have a Virginia/Massachusetts state tax hiccup like I did in 2021 which resulted in us owing. A lot. Oops.

Today we checked out new to us vintage shops. I love antique, vintage, upcycled &/or repurposed furniture. I will come across something and ohhhh and ahhh over it and Andrea will say, “You don’t have a spot for that.” I will reply, “Well, I’ll get rid of something mass produced! Something crummy.”

“You don’t have anything like that anymore.”

I love that these things are still available in the world, cycling between generations and owners. Today’s adventure led us to Petersburg, Virginia. We had never been before but I read of their antiques shops online. It seems a part of the town shuts down on Sunday’s and another part shut down years before. It reminds us of Lawrence, Lowell and perhaps even New Bedford, MA - except, unlike New Bedford, there is no ocean. There is, however, a nearby Civil War battlefield which was the longest military event of the Civil War, stretching to nine and a half months. Over 800 buildings in the town of Petersburg were struck by Union artillery. The battlefield website (note...this is NOT in Chicago style citation) by the National Park Service indicates there were 70,000 casualties, the suffering of civilians (see part about their house getting hit by artillery), thousands of U. S. Colored Troops fighting for the freedom of their race, and the decline of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of No. Virginia. It was in Petersburg that Gen. Grant cut off all of Petersburg's supply lines ensuring the fall of Richmond on April 3, 1865. Six days later, Lee surrendered.

When I was in school, I thought history was so dull. All those dates ran together in my head & I couldn’t be bothered to remember them. It’s interesting now that I’m an adult who is terrified that other adults aren’t too familiar with history and are unable to make a connection between past and present day events. I don’t entirely blame them - I think public school systems are woefully inadequate. Why did they teach us to square dance or play a recorder? When have you

needed either skill in your entire life?

Anyway - I wonder if Petersburg will be be upcycled someday?

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