Daughter still goes out in the morning and doesn’t come back till noon. She comes home and talks about things that have happened. You just have no idea what a relief it is.

Here; this will give you an idea how drastically different this is. I cleaned, today. That’s right; I cleaned. (I was stunned myself.) I found things I’d forgotten about, like my salt cellars, and yet another box of pens and pencils. Apparently, I’ve been hoarding for years. This is like the 15th box of pens/pencils I’ve found in the last eight months. (I have eight boxes and pencil cups within arms reach of where I’m sitting.) It’s weird and unnerving, but it’s also sort of affirming, in that I have always been going in this direction. Now I’m just admitting it.*

pensI like how the pink one is snuggled up to the green, like “hey we’re colorful let’s avoid those boring pens.”

From the far right, my mother’s Parker, which is the champ. I fill it once a month, and write and write and write. My Rotring, which is secondary champ. I used this one at school, and filled it up once a week. It leaks a little, and it has burgundy ink in it, so I frequently look like I’ve lost a big battle. The third one in is my dad’s, a big old Sheaffer.. I had it overhauled, but I haven’t gotten an appropriate ink. Beautiful, with a lifetime guarantee on the nib.

The rest are miscellaneous pens I’ve picked up over the years. Mostly used, except for the Sheaffer cartridge pen and that pink one, which supposedly has a calligraphy nib on it, but what really happens is the ink just runs out of it.

The “Made in America” in the back is a bottle of ink from Noodler’s. I like their ink (everybody likes their ink), but I’m not sure about their politics. Last thing I got had a screed on Free Trade with it. But the ink is good. Don’t get it shipped when it’s -20º out, is all. There’s stuff on line for fixing old pens, so I’m going to have to go for it one of these days, and return the beaters to working order. These are totally not your cheapo “refillable” ballpoints.

*I told Daughter a while ago that it’s fine with me if she just backs a dumpster up to the house and pitches all my stuff when I am no longer available. It’s got no meaning for her. She doesn’t know any of the people connected to most of it. But she has to keep my fountain pens.