Things are changing around here

Within twelve hours or so, I’ll know the situation with my neck, as I’m seeing the physical therapist first thing tomorrow morning. At some point in the near future I have to hit up the skin doctor as well to check out a mole on my back that has become quite painful. That wasn’t TMI, was it? I apologize for playing the world’s littlest violin and over-sharing more than usual these days, I’ve just been feeling like my body has declared war on my spirit. Want to know the sad part? It’s a just war, as I sometimes forget I’m not invincible. Having lost an immediate family member to cancer, I’ve never taken my health for granted, but I am of course getting old, so things don’t work quite as well as they used to. We’re mortal beings for a reason. Otherwise we’d be unappreciative vamps like Edward Cullen, who is so twisted he doesn’t eat or sleep. What kind of a life would such an individual lead? A terrible one, I’m sure.

I may be closing in on my retirement years and what not, but I haven’t lost my mojo yet. Nikki and I are reuniting in Vegas in a few months. Don’t worry, I plan on behaving myself and have no interest in emulating “The Hangover” or anything, not that I’m even capable of such debauchery. I mainly want to slowly sip one of those foot-long margaritas by the pool and chat about our shared dream of publishing the books we’ve written (more on that later). No insanity for me, just downtime by the water with one of my favorite west coast friends. I also need to absorb the desert sun again. I’ll have that opportunity in Tucson next month, so I have quite a fulfilling and hot summer ahead.

Eighth grade graduation at my house!

It’s unlikely that I’ll make it out to California until Christmas, which is quite a shame since we may sell the childhood house before then. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ll still miss the old pad a lot, particularly how bright it is. A lot of amazing events took place there: My first break-up, most of the sleepovers Lauren, Nikita, Crystal and I had, the tea and hot chocolate-filled breakfasts with my dad, and parties my friends and I put together (with Mountain Dew and pizza, mind you. We were good kids). It lost its homely feeling after I headed off to school and enduring a series of indoor and outdoor makeovers, but I could still return to the place I called home. I visited two months ago and during Christmas. It’s always humbling to take the dog out every morning and hang with my nephews, who know me as Aunt LaLa–the pseudo grown-up who likes to make funny faces and do cartwheels–not Laura Donovan the writer who really, really, really wants a literary agent and book deal. It’s always amusing to run into my neighbors and their kids, many of whom I babysat way back when. Many of the kids are in high school now, and every time we cross paths, they bring up some of their memories of me watching them in the early 2000s. We would laugh at that Jessica Simpson/Nick Lachey reality show, run around the park, play baseball by the cul-de-sac, and chase our dogs around the field. Youth really was quite liberating. Same with that house.

Roxy with all the diaries I kept as a child

The only true portal to the past, however, is my dog Roxy, so as long as she’s around, I’ll have something that has never, ever changed. The house has been repainted multiple times over the years and my room was given to someone else three years ago, but Roxy is still just as spry and fun as she was in 2005, before things got ugly and broken. Unbeknownst to her, she taught me a lot about being an adult during my early teen years and keeps me grounded to this day. I wish I could do more to thank her for it all.

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