On Being a Less Than Good Host
I'm going to New Mexico in May for the Rio Hondo writer's workshop (did I mention that? Maybe many times? I clutch that fact as I go through all these treatments.) Bob is a little concerned about it, because I will not exactly be well when I get there. The place where we stay in Taos is at 10,000 feet, and although my red blood count is good, it isn't normal. (When I get the print out of my blood counts, it's always amusing. Pamela or Jeanette or Tammy hands it to me and says, 'Your counts look good!' and I scan them. Over half of them are flagged as 'abnormal' but by chemo standards, they're great!)
This may mean that I am dependent on others for things like getting my suitcase upstairs, and more importantly, that I might not be able to pull my weight at the workshop. In the morning we critique each other's stories, and in the afternoon, we hike or read or socialize, and someone or a couple of someones make dinner. The dinners are wonderful, and I've always been involved in cooking, as well as doing some dishes. But this year, I don't know how well I'll cope. I'm not sure what the alltitude will do, but I suspect I will find it tiring--I do in years when my health is good. Added to that, Walter Jon Williams, the guy who founded the workshop and who is a cooking god, had his appendix rupture a few weeks ago. He's doing really well for someone who spent a week in the hospital and had abdominal drains. He still plans to be there, but he, too, is not sure how much he can do.
And we're the hosts.
But selfishly, I'm going anyway. If we have to order pizza every night, I don't care. If all I can do is sit in a chair and look at the extraordinary blue of a New Mexico sky, that's what I'll do. Next year, I'll make it up to all of the attendees. I'll cook, I'll wash dishes, I'll do laundry. But I love those mountains and this year especially I want to be in them.