August in the Midwest can be a relatively gentle time on the farm despite the ripening of much of the produce. Kitchens are busy with canning tomatoes as quick as they drop from the vine and between the sounds of back porch corn shucking and the screen door slamming, batches of apple butter and fruit preserves are being put up to carry the family through until next season. Mason jars still warm from the pressure cooker and rich with the colors and the labors of the season are taken down the road and exchanged with neighbors and relatives amid bushels of tomatoes and apples and that oft repeated “just won’t be able to get to all this” during gravel driveway conversations of catching up that last just long enough to stay on top of the latest and are always cut short because, “you know how it is. Got to get back to it.”
A few days ago, as I checked most of my self-assigned coronavirus projects off my list I took advantage of a free offer to watch a documentary for which I’d neglected making time to see in the theaters last year. As much as I knew I needed to see it and wanted to see it, I also thought it would be a difficult 95 minutes of viewing. I can’t remember any other film that I ever had the same hesitation. Watching it at home seemed a better plan since I could pause the show whenever I wanted.
The dogs have
been fed and had their first fetch of the day. I’m hopeful I can have a quiet
moment to write, so I’m sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee; the window is
open to chirping birds, budding trees, and the crisp smell of spring.
There is a playful growl to my left and I look over to see this. Yes, Tiny
Charlie is in fact trying to eat Emma’s ear.
So much for a quiet Sunday.
It is Sunday, isn’t it?
attended my second Transgender Spectrum Conference in St. Louis. This year I
also agreed to participate in two ways I had not the previous year.
I spent a chunk
of the morning being interviewed by a volunteer interviewer for the Trans
Spectrum Oral History Project for the Washington University archives. It was
basically 45 minutes or so of narrative with a number of questions and conversation
with the orator/interviewer. The subject was the story about my transition from
female to male. It was a pretty laid-back exchange and the time passed quickly.
As with most surgical procedures, one must have follow-up
visits or therapy to improve the healing and overall outcome. My vocal cord
surgery was no different. I had made the decision to switch vocal therapists in
the department and met with the new therapist. She explained her background as
an opera singer and her plan to work with me to strengthen my voice, try to
reduce the raspy sound that resulted from the surgery, and see if she couldn’t
return some of my singing ability. She advised me that she could give no
guarantees and that it would be a long process. She taught me the first series
of exercises and sent me with instructions for alternating the process with
some vocal rest to prevent a repeat of my first attempt at therapy exercises.