"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Promise of Spring

Here's that daffodil I received on Tuesday at the State House. This morning it opened up.

Outside my window it doesn't look much like spring. Not the lavish, colourful sort of spring I've encountered in the UK or below the Mason-Dixon line. But I can definitely feel the change taking place, despite so many feet of snow and the grey dampness.

Because yesterday was Wednesday and the House was in session, we had morning snow, lasting half the day before regressing to sleet and rain.

Another of those long, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. days. I realise how many people in this world work in offices for as long as that, or nearly. Or even longer. But I don't think the average office worker's movements are as restricted as a representative's.

In an office, you can get up from your desk at will, head for the loo at nature's call, chat with colleagues, grab a cup of coffee, stretch your legs, check email.

Sometimes I can do that, too. But most of the time I'm trapped. If a roll-call vote is expected, I must stay in my seat no matter what. When I head for the anteroom or the members' lounge (where the coffee is!), I risk missing an important development on the floor (the the audio from the podium is piped in, but if lots of people are talking it's hard to hear.) I'm not important enough or political enough to be sucked into the wheeling and dealing that apparently happens in the anteroom or the corridors.

As usual, our day's business started oh, so slowly--sometimes we can spend 2 whole hours on only 2 bills. During lunch break, the Majority Office threw a pizza party for our gang on the 3rd floor of the LOB. I picked a table near the window, with friends and young staffers, and watched the snow falling upon Diocesan House, which looked very pretty.

By day's end we'd voted all the House Bills that must cross to the Senate--leaving only the House Resolutions for another time, because they don't pass to the other chamber.

Miraculously, we met our Crossover Day deadline--we didn't have to return today to finish up! For the time being we're recessed until the call of the chair. I don't expect the call for a few weeks.

There were two concurrent receptions last night--one hosted by the insurance industry, another by the automobile dealers' association. I did the anti-social thing and headed straight home.

The Chap and I have been like ships passing all week. He had no evening meetings, and I gladly gave up those two parties in order to have dinner with him.

Tonight we can go to church together, too, for the Maundy Thursday service. There's a soup-and-matzo supper beforehand.

Between now and then, I'm catching up on things neglected all week, confirming appointments and social activities for next week, wrapping up some promo, maybe even writing.

Oh, how I welcome this respite from legislating. Not that I'll be idle. Next week, for change, I'll be almost entirely focussed on my career--I can revel in being a multi-published author in the thick of the ever-volatile publishing industry. And I'll be helping coordiante the diocesan spring event.

But mostly, I'll be thinking about spring!

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