Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Forty Days

That's how many student days are left in this school year. Any teacher in the building can tell you. It has been a long year. We are all worn down. It didn't matter what we did over April vacation last week - it just felt so good to have a break.

Teachers have zero control over snow days. The superintendent consults the director of public works about the roads, and he talks to other area school districts to see what they plan to do. Then by 5:00 a.m. he makes a decision to call a snow day or a late start if it looks like the roads will be passable in an additional two hours time.

Funny aside: Early one morning in mid-December Ken and I were just about to get up. We heard some lovely orchestral music coming from somewhere. Ken got up and checked the kitchen and living room. There was obviously music coming from somewhere but neither of us could identify from where. I got up and saw my phone blinking. No one calls that phone. I checked the number and then the message; it was a robocall from the superintendent's office that December 12 would be a snow day, our first one. I still don't remember giving them my cell phone number. From then on if it looked like weather would be an issue I went to sleep with my phone on the bedside table. It rang several more times throughout the winter.

The seven snow days were wonderful in real time. I didn't have to drive in bad weather, and each was a gift of a day where I could go back to bed and then spend the day doing whatever I wanted.

Now we pay the piper. The last day for teachers is June 22. That is the second day of summer.

I need to plan something really spectacular for June 23.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Loose Ends And Frayed Edges

A few days after my last post, where I shared that my word for the year is breathe, I moved a bookcase and found behind it a vision board I made six years ago. I had forgotten I stashed it there once it was obvious there was nothing on it relevant to the way my life was working out. However, something caught my eye before I moved the board to the garage, a small piece of paper in the corner. It is a poem titled Climbing The Ridge by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer:
        one step / one step / i stop / i take
one breath / one breath / warm sun
above / white snow / below
i breathe / i take / one step / one step
It turns out that there was something relevant to my life on that vision board, and it now sits in a place of prominence on my desk.

I was moving furniture that day to make room for a new couch I was finally ready to order. I have been looking for the perfect sectional for two years. The search has been fun, a reason to explore furniture stores and talk to salespeople. Early February I invited an interior designer to take a look at the living room to see what she thought of the fabric and sectional I had decided on. She agreed the colors and size would work. Then she called in early March to say there was a sale on, and I told her I would be in before the end of the month.

Well, you know what they say about best laid plans. 

There was a heavy snowstorm March 14, and our seventh snow day was the result. The next day schools started two hours late to allow time for roads to be cleared. It was a sunny day. My morning was relaxed. I headed into work. Less than two miles from my house I saw a neighbor plowing out his driveway. I hit the brakes and the horn, and I would have had time and room to stop if I hadn't hit ice. I went as far to the other side of the road as I could, but he backed into my front end at full speed. The airbag deployed. I was okay but stunned. The driver took full responsibility but that didn't help my car, which was in excellent condition with many years of traveling left in her. He was driving an uninsured, unregistered heavy duty tow truck that hadn't been inspected for decades.

Nine days later I learned that the collision center, which was originally going to do the repairs, determined that the damage was too extensive. My car was declared a total loss. There were many phone calls to follow up, and three and a half weeks after that the claim was finally settled. 

I have a new car instead of a new couch. I named her Bluebelle. I need to go back to the dealer to meet with one of their tech gurus to learn how to use all the bells and whistles. 

Two weeks ago I saw my osteopath. I described the accident and how I felt frayed, on edge and jumpy. It took some time for me to realize the full extent of how the accident affected me. I would burst into tears at the oddest times and was having weird dreams. She treated me, which helped, and prescribed rest during April vacation, which was last week. 

I did get some rest. I was also able to tie up some other loose ends. More on that next time. 

In the meantime, remember to breathe.