No, I'm NOT having a problem in this area: it's writing. So much happening in my life, and the Muse NEVER kicks my ass these days!
Chuck suggested this evening that I just try treating my blog like a ..well, 'blog. Logging the shit that makes up my day until the Muse returns from wherever the hell she went. Vegas? Burley?
Chuck often makes suggestions that I like - which is one reason I love him.
OK. (Sigh) Kate's Day, narrated without artistry, but with attention to detail.
I wake up at 6:15, 6:30, 6:45, 7:00, 7:15, 7:30 and 7:45. Each time I grow gradually more conscious until I am able to prop myself up in bed and contemplate my day.
Before waking the kids, I take a minute to write some words of encouragement in a card for Sara to open at Girl Scout Camp this week. I remind her to have lots of fun with her regular buddies, but to try to make at least one new friend.
8:00: I wake up the kids. Breakfast, newspaper, tea. Does Sara have bug repellant? Is there a cup in her mess-kit?
9:20. Time to get going. The Scouts need to arrive at a certain time for check-in. I drop Nate off at Simon's house, so he can spend the day with his nana and granddad. I go over to the home of Sara's friend J. J. and toss her stuff in the truck, admiring her fuzzy, pink animal print suitcase... Gas up the truck.
To get to Camp Cloud Rim, I need to drive all the way up Big Cottonwood Canyon, go over Guardsman's Pass and down the other side. I used to live up there years ago - hiking distance from Camp Cloud Rim. I know the Big Cottonwood Canyon road very, very well. Know where to look for moose, where the passing lanes are... Coming up here makes me homesick. Sara points things out to her friend as we drive along: here's where our mailbox used to be! As I drive up toward Guardsman's Pass, I see that we are ahead of schedule, so I stop at the parking area for our cabin and ask Sara if she remembers where to go to find it.
Sara and I sigh and point a few things out to J. J. , then slouch back to the truck.
Up and over the pass, where the blacktop changes to very potholey and washboardy dirt. I rattle along to Camp Cloudrim. I arrive at the gate, check in, and am given a slip with further instructions. Just to give you a taste:
1. Sign in at the yellow gate with Rasta and Foxy.
2. Follow the road up to the Cloud Rim gate, where you'll sign in with Kanga. She will send you to the parking lot when there is room.
3. Sharkbait will greet you at the parking lot. [LOVE that moniker! If I were a camp counselor, I would totally want to be called Sharkbait!!]
4. Lucky, Zazoo and Piper will help you back into a parking spot. [What if one of them is missing? Can I still back in?]
5. Walk down the stairs.
6. Complete Health Check [AKA Cootie Check] with Lily, Cookie, Squen, Kat and Moosetracks.
Strikes me as a bit...uh... micromanaged? Or maybe that's just me? There were 16 points on the instruction slip.
It takes a long time to get the girls checked in, mostly because cars have to wait outside the camp for other cars to exit, freeing up parking spaces. I have done this before and am used to it. I amuse myself by gazing at wildflowers, annihilating mosquitoes and watching the Subaru eight cars ahead of me. I know that Linda C. is in that car with her daughter J. C.. She didn't want me to bring J. C. up to camp - wanted to bring her personally, so she could check things over. Make sure she can help J. C. "get settled in". Linda is
I do not see the girls "settled in". They are both rareing to go. I drop off "mail" for Sara to receive during the week, kiss Sara, hug J. J. and leave them to the counselors. Don't let the door hit you on the butt, Mom...
When I reach Salt Lake again, I call Si to let him know that Sara is at camp and excited about her week. I try to be pleasant, but it's hard. Si generally just says, "Yes" at the beginning of our conversations, says nothing during, and hangs up without saying good-bye. As he informed me only yesterday that he thinks I am an "asshole", this doesn't surprise me.
I arrive at Guadalupe at about 12:30. There is a huge homemade burrito waiting there for me, courtesy of Chuck, who dropped it off at reception. I eat with gusto - it is super-delicious.
Phones. Incoming messages, mostly from tutors and students. I call my Internet provider to complain about my bill. The proverbial brick wall. I talk to a colleague from Job Corps about some Ethiopian refugees she would like to send us.
E-mail. I proceed methodically through the in-box. I write some copy for our new website. I call our floor manager because I notice that none of the applications for our new tutors are anywhere to be found. I leave a voice mail that makes it clear that I need to know where those applications are ASAP. I do some volunteer recruitment via e-mail. I receive the following texts from Chuck, who was in a motorcycle accident over the weekend. He is doing well, but got a bit battered and bloodied. Unfortunately, when you are in an accident and are transported by ambulance; even when it is not your fault; even if you are too badly hurt to do anything about it; your vehicle will be taken to an impound lot, where it will wait until you feel well enough to retrieve it.
$170 tow $125 storage $30 fuel surcharge $30 admin fee
Seeing their smiling faces taking my "cash only": Priceless.
I mail out hand-written thank you cards to tutors who have stopped volunteering and to tutors who have anniversaries. Sign a letter to thank a donor who has given money to Adult Education.
Take a phone call that goes a little like this:
A: Hey, you remember me? My name Maria Chavez. I student in past. Wanna come back go school. When I come?
B: Uh.... You were a student in the past?
A: You no remember me?
B: Hang on just a moment.
I go to my archive drawer and open it. Let's see, how many Maria Chavez's do we have here? I trot back to the phone.
B: OK, are you the Maria Chavez born in 1968? Or 1957? Or the one born in 1973...?
A: Whew, she is able to tell me which one she is. I look in the record and note that the last time we saw her face was two years ago. I think privately, "WTF!?! Of COURSE I don't remember you!" I say, "Ah! NOW I remember!"
I listen to Willie Nelson's "Redheaded Stranger" album while I archive all of my spreadsheets from the previous school year and get new ones ready.
5:00. Leave Guadalupe and head to Simon's house to pick up Nathan. We go back to my place and I do my usual Monday routine: clean out the fridge, disposing of anything that looks like a science experiment; decide what I want to cook this coming week; make a shopping list.
Nate and I go to Maceys and do our shopping. Sometimes, I miss my old supermarket. The people who worked there knew me; I got a discount for using canvas bags; they carry stuff that is exotic at Smith's, like polenta. Or soy crumbles.
Home we go. Quick round of cheese and chicken quesadillas. Nate wants a cup of tea. I brew some.
Off to the apartment complex pool. It's kind of cold. I only go in for a few minutes, then I hit the hot tub. Nate joins me there after a bit and we talk about a lot of things: the upcoming school year; his soccer team; problems he's having with his best friend; his feelings about the divorce, his visiting grandparents, his dad. We watch the sunset fade and the moon come out. I decide to embarrass him by howling at it. He suggests that perhaps we should return to the apartment.
9:00: Jammies, teeth. We read a chapter from his book, "The Prophet of Yonwood". Lights out at 9:30. He has pretty much stopped wetting the bed. I decide he can sleep without the waterproof sheet. Hope I made the right decision. Night night. Dishes. Outfit for tomorrow. Long conversation with Chuck. We do this, even though we see each other a lot.
And now, on to...
1. Catch up with household accounting;
2. Get all the papers ready for Sara's middle school registration tomorrow morning. I get to do that with Si. Oh, joy.
3. Take a peek at Facebook.
4. Look at the resumes I have gathered for the new job opening on the Adult Education staff and e-mail the candidates that I would like to interview
What time is it? 1:15 AM. Shit.
The new tenants directly below me are having a party. They are making a lot of noise and their cigarette smoke is drifting in my bedroom window. This doesn't bother me much. After all, I will now be totally justified in throwing the party I have been mulling over in my mind, which will be a hundred time crazier than theirs. Suck it up, young'uns! And I don't mind the noise of conversation. College beat that out of me. And I don't mind secondhand smoke. My Polish faculty room beat THAT out of me. Good night.