One day in January 2011

We have new windows.  It feels like we’ve just moved in–windows so clean and curtainless.  It’s Maine, though, so when my alarm goes off at 5:09 am, I can’t see the maple tree out back, or the lightening sky over downtown Brunswick.  I carried Just Friends downstairs to the shower because I’m joining Kate and her bookgroup Wednesday night, but I played bathroom yahtzee instead.  Had a shower that went cold too soon.  Today, though, I had new sweater to wear, something that gave me pleasure disproportionate to the size of the treat.  Adding to the pleasure is the deep plum sweater comes with a scarf of the same material that drapes down the front, but looped over my head an extra time, I didn’t have to wear a scarf with my coat!

For Christmas, Jim gave me a chocolate brown down coat that I didn’t know I wanted.  I did want it and I’m so much warmer.  And he found my recycled charcoal and pink sweater mittens.  Mmmm, mittens.  So dressing in the dark of our room in a new sweater, things shouldn’t seem so bad, but it’s a worrying-time.  Jim roused to talk with me a little in the dark and I felt a little better.  Breakfast was cereal and rare winter blueberries that I had forgotten in the fridge.

New kleenex, new lollipops, computer, Curtis canvas bag full of college recommendations to write and tests to grade, Zabar’s lunch bag with the yogurt I didn’t eat replaced with a new one that I will later eat with granola from the drawer while my partner and I lose Pitch, although not by much in the end.  Getting all of this to the car from the back door is a feat.

Driving on Pleasant hill road, I am momentarily disoriented by the widespaced jumping lights but then see two joggers, running in the dark, one coming toward me on my right, one going away on my left.  The one on my right skirts a big patch of ice and snow and ends up running down the middle of the road, still a ways away but close enough to make me nervous.  Anna Pigeon’s still in the Dry Tortugas searching for ghosts on my zen, but once at school the acoustic playlist on CLZ is a nice sound in the empty math room, littered with things in an unfamiliar arrangement because a substitute was in charge yesterday.

This close to midterms week (next week) with Jen T. coming on Thursday to talk with the class, I ran Midterm Jeopardy with the class to make sure that all happened well.  My 1/2 class was loud and game (20 young people in a boy-heavy class will do that for you) and my 6/7 class was quiet and intense (11 girls and 2 boys will do that for you).  3/4 was one of those shortest of preps, with individual discussions with PLG members, tweaking the Jeopardy powerpoint/keynotes for later classes and responding to email.  Lunch-pitch and granola and interesting jazz thanks to Gus.   8/9 Jeopardy worked out in the end, but this class was contrary and aggressively disengaging at the beginning but worked through it basically to the end.  Whew.

Part 2:

  • Car to Longfellow–Jim on plumbing and bringing Maggie’ s electric guitar, and Sheryl, to offer to take both M and G, accepted.
  • Parked and got four girls, Josie hollering for them to hurry up and them wandering off to find each other only for two of them to show up without the third.
  • Finally in the car, home.  Four giant backpacks in the trunk or elsewhere.
  • Bowl of popcorn, juice boxes, hard pretzels.  SET, voting on the best science fiction and fantasy books of the decade at TOR.
  • Race for the car.  Race to music lessons.  Once grown up, four girls, five spots, two guitars, three backpacks, one amplifier.  We need a rainbow colored van.
  • Dump and run.  Drive to the library.  Greta and I read and Josie makes her virgin foray into the numbered stacks for a book on Ghengis khan.  So happy reading almost forget to go get girls.
  • Race for the car.  Race to pick up.  Make it.
  • Drop girls at home.  Us home.

Jim has made us spaghetti with meat sauce, it’s deliciousness not at all impacted by the smell of bleach coming from the sink where we have a clog of epic proportions.  Called plumber who will come tomorrow.

We may have a snow day tomorrow.  The snow is projected to start at 7 am or so.  I have spent the last 2 hours reading Just Kids in Patti Smith’s lyrical–in the truest meaning of the word, the whole book seems like song lyrics–style.  It’s probably rubbed off.

Josie and Maggie had their heads bent together over Josie’s computer this evening, and Maggie worked on her book project and math homework.  Josie did her math homework at the library, sharing some with me to check.  They are just phenomenal people.

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