It's been difficult to write today. It's been difficult to even think coherently. Construction work is being done on the apartment directly below us. I don't know what they're doing but the sounds of hammering and dragging and drilling have gone on for hours. Sometimes, the whole floor shakes. Sometimes, the sound moves from the floor below to the ceiling above and it sounds as though a very big, very dead body is being dragged across it. I suppose that walls are being torn down and floors being laid and cabinets being nailed and oh, I don't know what. The mice and the vermin got chased out by all the noise a week ago. They came upstairs to visit us. For a while, we had twice as many mice, roaches and water bugs as usual. Things have calmed down now. Sort of. I wish I could run off like they did, but I'd go to the south of France.

This morning, the doorbell kept ringing. First, it was UPS to deliver a package. I was happy to see the guy because I'd was starting to worry about the package. Then, it was the super and a plumber. Apparently, the pipes in our apartment are leaking down into the walls of the apartment they're renovating. They wouldn't fix the leaky plumbing when we complained about it, but now that it's leaking on the new construction, they're concerned.

Of course, the plumber and super arrived while Mom was busy in the kitchen doing laundry. Not that that upset her. No, she was already upset because I'd just found out from our local post office that they won't deliver our mail as long as our mailboxes are broken.

Oh, did I forget to mention that?

Yes, a panel of boxes, one including ours, was either pried open intentionally or bent open accidentally (hard to imagine) last week. We haven't had mail delivery in a week. Personally, I'm relieved. I could well do without the tons of junk mail we get every day. But Mom's going ballistic, although all she ever gets are bills or letters from rich televangelists who're already millionaires but are still asking her for money. (I've never understood why people respond to ministers who essentially are offering to sell their prayers for money. Why would anyone believe in them? Oh, well.)

When the men downstairs weren't making a racket and the front doorbell wasn't ringing, then the telephone was. Calls about real estate. How many have I had today? I don't know, but enough. Sometimes, I've had two telephones to my ear: my cell phone plastered to my left, the regular phone plastered to my right.

In between, I answered emails.

Good grief, the thumping downstairs ... the whole apartment just shuddered.

So how much writing have I actually gotten done today? Not much. But hey, I'm proud of what I did manage to do, and I continue to have faith. I sit down and say, "One day, this noise too shall pass."

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