Last night got off to a difficult start. A newly arriving cough and cold kept me from falling asleep, I was frightened, and I cried. Frightened about what? Leaving Gregory to fend for himself (even though friends and family will be with him?) About myself and my ability to be alone? Would I even be able to go to Ragdale feeling so ill. A little bit of “Why me Lord?” crept in there. But I din’t make any final decisions about my leaving knowing that I could sleep in until early afternoon. Everything was in place, clothes packed, supplies lined up, books chosen. Maybe I would feel better and get to go to Ragdale. How could I not go to Ragdale. Perhaps I could feel sick there as easily as at home?
I arrived with what seemed like an inordinate amount of luggage but I realized that basically I was going to spend the next two weeks on a room working. I would have use of the Ragdale house and grounds but this was different from a usual vacation where you only slept in your room and were out the rest of the day sight seeing. So the things I brought were necessary, at least so far it seems that way.
I was exhausted by the time I got all of my bags to my room. I was short of breath because of the number of bags that had to go from the car, through the court yard, into the “Barn House” and up to the second floor. Several times I sat down to catch my breath and rest.
The room is passible. Large enough with a comfortable armchair, a clean nice size desk, enough lamps, a night table with drawers next to the bed, and a bookcase jammed with books by authors who have been through Ragdale and with reference books.
The room was uncomfortably warm and the windows did not open but I discovered that on the other side of a door near my bed there was a narrow stairway that led up to a cupola. Windows on four sides (that did open,) a small desk and chair, a lamp, a heater. It was very claustrophobic but magical. I am sure that I will have to do some writing up there. I left a window open and the little door by my bed and the room has cooled down enough that I should be able to sleep comfortably.
The bed bears discussion and was a source of humor for me. When is the last time I slept in a twin bed? Gregory and I do well in our queen and we also do fairly well when visiting friends and sleep in their full. But this twin bed looks like even I by myself won’t fit. The pillows seem to take up a disproportionate amount of room.
The bathroom is down the hall which at first was a disappointment but then I realized that there was a sink and mirror at one end of the room. So at least I could brush my teeth and shave in the comfort of my own room. ... and I could pee in the sink during the night.
Dinnertime was wonderful. First we met with Regin who gave us a tour of the Barn House where we were introduced to all the amenities that are available to us. Then we had a glass of wine while he continued his introduction/welcome. Linda, our chef, prepared lightly breaded and baked Talapia; steamed carrots and snap peas with crunchy chow mien noodles; a roost with mushrooms and asparagus; a spring lettuce salad with cucumbers, garbanzo beans, grape tomatoes, sliced eggs, and feta cheese; and warm whole wheat rosemary bread and butter.
After dinner each person, there are twelve of us, introduced themselves and talked a little about what they hoped to accomplish when here at Ragdale. Approximately half of the artists were back for their second, third, or fourth time. The rest of us were newbies. The entire experience was friendly as well as exhilarating, personal as well as large as the Ragdale Foundation and its history of creativity, humbling as well as WOW, I am an artist, I am a writer.
I have unpacked and am now about to go to bed even though it is only 9:00. It’s been a long day.