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Two weeks. Fourteen Days. 336 Hours and a lot of minutes before the next meeting with Beth. Plenty of time to knock out some words on paper? Right?

I gave myself some time to come up with an answer to that question. In my methodical, sometimes boring, Capricorn manner I set the scene in which words surely would come into my head and onto paper.

(1) Clear desk of anything that might distract me. Crossword puzzle. Library book. Clean laundry that hadn’t been put away. (2) Rev up that Laptop and do not go to Email, the Internet or stare at the screensaver. (3) Pull up a blank page on the screen and name it “Dubrovnik First Draft” Think Big. (4) Get “Dubrovnik: 1973-1974” folder out of drawer and place it, closed, in front of you. (5) Take deep breaths and do a few shoulder rolls and arm stretches. I was ready.

I went downstairs and made a pot of tea.

The distrustful, doubting cats followed me back up the stairs. They took strategic positions to keep an eye on me. Rose plunked herself on my lap so I couldn’t escape without her permission. Nick perched himself in my basket-of-bills (maybe he could figure out how to pay them) daring me to switch the screen to Freecell.

I opened the folder. Letter One.

“16 October 1973
Dubrovnik, Yugoslavija (I went local right away)

Dear Everybody,

Yugoslavia is … like nothing I have ever seen before. Here I am in the middle of October and we are having 70 weather. The Adriatic Sea is fantastic–bluer than I imagined and right out my front door….”

(I swear at this point I heard the cats humming Memories from their favorite musical.)

“…All around are very stony mountains filled with pines and tropical plants and palm trees…”

I was having a nostalgic moment mixed with a panicky, “now what do I do with this” reality?

I switched the screen to Freecell.

The cats, disgusted, left the room.

I shouted after them “It’s how I write, you guys. I’ll do it..I still have lots of time.”

They didn’t even look back. I would do it, tomorrow…for sure….