I love being a teacher. Well, not every second of every day, but still, I mostly love being a teacher. One of the biggest reasons is the week before Christmas break. This week, in any school, is just such a trip. All of a sudden, there is spasmodic giggling and unrest in the classroom, whining in the office, and a general who-gives-a-partridge-in-a-pear-tree attitude towards work of any kind. And, the students are almost as bad.
Well, it’s just a couple more weeks until Christmas in Ohio with my family, which numbers around a thousand. I’ll get to see all of my sisters, brothers, in-laws, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and about twenty-three assorted dogs. And, as I drive away into the Blue Ridge of Virginia and West Virginia, I can imagine you smiling, gently waving good-bye and calling warmly, “Be of good cheer -- you could still drive off a mountain!”
I’ve always said it’s important to have friends. Good friends are there when you need them, and are willing to share your grief, listen to your gripes, and be happy for your triumphs. Sometimes friends become family in almost every sense of the word, including the times when they tell you not to wear a certain outfit or that you need to take off a couple of pounds. The good thing is that it’s OK to tell them to shut up, whereas with your mother...well, anyway....
I had planned a quiet Thanksgiving. Just me, all alone, with a Stouffer’s turkey dinner. Sure, it’s pathetic, but I’m not the daughter who married a guy from Charlotte whose family might want to see them at Thanksgiving. And, I’m not the son who decided to go visit his cousins in New York ... cousins who, I might add, never went through 12 hours of labor to bring him into this world. So, I guess we all know whose fault it was that I’d be eating Stouffer’s turkey all alone on Thanksgiving ... but, you know me, I don’t complain.
Mom, says my son, I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of coconut oil. They say that it’s really great for your skin and even your hair. You should try it on your hands ... and your arms ... so you don’t let your skin get all thin and papery like Grandma’s, you know?
In preparation for the humongous amount of food I will consume during Thanksgiving -- which includes my birthday a few days before and the leftovers for a few days afterward -- I’ve started exercising right after I get up in the morning. Well, right after I brush my teeth and make my bed. And, I don’t actually do the actual exercises, per se, I just sort of ... uh ... watch them on TV. But that is the first step, as any personal trainer will tell you. I mean, everyone knows that the path to recovery ... or thinness ... begins by admitting you have a problem, and I’m able to announce proudly now that I have always had a problem with exercise, so I’m trying to do something about it, GET OFF MY BACK!
So, yesterday I broke down in tears, and I am totally not making this up. Didn’t plan it -- simply a spontaneous eruption. Granted, being mostly Italian, my tears are not shocking news, but still, this was not due to the typical causes: loved ones injured, lost shoes, brownies burned, wounded soldiers returning from overseas, puppy mills, wishing I could eat the burned brownies (shouldn’t the process of burning them burn out the calories? Just saying...).
Just read another “news release” on the Ebola crisis in the United States ... boy, those are six words you never thought you’d say -- “Ebola crisis in the United States.” And, I’m no genius, but this didn’t have to happen, did it? I mean, here’s what essentially occurred:
Everyone’s back in school now, including me. No, not as in TAKING classes to BECOME, say, a doctor, but as in TEACHING classes so that I can afford to GO to the doctor. I’m very excited to return to the classroom, though, especially to teaching middle and high school students, because I am totally out of the loop on what’s cool nowadays ... for example, it’s probably not cool to say “nowadays”.
She was born five years ago today. She had lots of silky brown hair, tea-rosey cheeks, 10 fingers, 10 toes, tiny cherry lips, and a hefty set of lungs. She had her own ideas about things from the moment she was in the world, and she believed everyone needed to hear them immediately ... strongly ... loudly. She refused to open her eyes for quite a while, squeezing them shut throughout her howling disapproval as she was being weighed, cleaned and measured. In fact, the only thing that began to soothe that angry tirade was ... her grandmother’s voice.
I had a speaking engagement last week, before a group of wonderful, kind people...plus the men were hot. The topic of the meeting this month was Child Safety. I thought they were kidding. I’m a humor writer, I reminded them. Yes!, they answered delightedly...Funny!...about child safety.
So, there we were: Moving Day, 2014. Hotter than the basement of hell, with humidity that was flown here personally from the darkest tropical jungles on the African continent possibly by a swarm of tsetse flies, one of which had bitten or stung Kevin (one of the six hunky moving men) five or six times after becoming trapped inside his T-shirt ... or, it could have been a bee, but still ...
Moving Day is lots of fun, so much so that I’ve decided to capitalize it! This way I’ll never forget ... how much fun it is, I mean. Otherwise, I might make some silly pronouncement like I Will Never Move Again As Long As I Live, and miss out on all the big fun!!
Thursday was September 11 – my daughter's wedding anniversary. They were married 15 years ago, on a hot September day in Charlotte ... a really happy day. Thirteen years ago, on their second anniversary, my daughter and her husband had taken off work at Wachovia Bank, and planned to spend the whole day together, starting with a romantic breakfast for two. They were just sitting down, watching "Good Morning, America," when that first plane hit the first tower.
I’ve finally sold the house, and in a desperate attempt to be able to pack up this entire house in only three or four boxes, I decided to have a yard/garage sale ( I use the two terms interchangeably because, please, you take the stuff out of your GARAGE and put it in your YARD -- what’s the dif?!)