Latenight chats

Tuesday morning, 12:45am

………………….

I am sitting at a red light, on my red scooter, contemplating the cool air and my decision to stick with my shorts for the short ride home, instead of putting back on the still-damp bluejeans I had worn earlier.

A large red, lifted truck pulls up next to me on my right, and stops at the light.

I both hear and see the driver’s window going down, just before he, the driver, leans out toward me and, in a completely sound and sober yet slightly twangy voice, says to me:

“Hey(!)…”

“Hi-ii,” I reply with with an extended double syllable.

“The other day,” he continues, without missing a beat, “I was out drivin’, and I saw you out goin’ down f**in’ 59…, and I thought, ‘Shit…, she can go anywhere on that thing.’ You can just drive it everywhere, huh?”

I laugh and give him a ‘basically, yes,’ kind of reply, and tell him how it is 300ccs of power that allow me to drive so comfortably and easily on the highway.

“Did you just one day decide, ‘Okay, I’m not doin’ this anymore,’ and you switched to this so you could reduce your carbon footprint?”

Though his words somewhat shocked me, they were rather applicable to my situation…

“Haha… I mean, kind of, yeah…”

He then tells me how he has one that he rides, but it is not over 150ccs (so he can’t really go much more than, say, about 35 miles per hour on it).

Mine, by the way, can go just enough speed with me on it to time travel… I lack merely a flux capacitor… and some Plutonium, of course. πŸ˜›

The light turns to green, but no one else is around, and I am delighted both by the conversation itself, and the absurdity of it all – plus, the guy is clearly sane and sweet, and paying a compliment while being genuinely curious – he wanted to know how it was even possible, since his scooter wobbles even when big four-doors or fast two-doors pass by.

After the next cycle of the light, however, a car was pulled up behind me, so I went ahead and slowly started moving as we finished up our final exchanges and wished one another a great and safe night.

I then sped my way home in the slightly too cold for comfort air, and rushed to lock up, shower, and get to sleep, grateful for the lively experience of Southern Hospitality and connection – my day certainly has ended on a lovely note.

Now for the sleep part of my nightly plans…

Post-a-day 2019

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Another day full of energy

I asked God and the World to have me do what was best today, what was perfect.

Apparently, that turned out to be waking up at 3:37am to use the bathroom, and then going back to bed, only to go ahead and get up at 3:47 and begin my day, instead of waiting for my 4:10 alarm.

Then doing a solid workout at the gym, and heading to school for the team’s morning working, and catching just about every traffic light along the way, adding a full ten+ minutes to the drive – I kept asking, What are you having me avoid by being pushed back in my time path here?

Then forgetting until it was too late to grab a student and schedule a meeting with him.

Then passing a different way in the way to my room, only to discover that we could have great breakfast in the mornings – and then to have a delicious omelette and few sips of orange juice that satisfied every nutrient need for my body post-exercise and the general morning activity of the previous four hours.

Then organizing class materials, helping someone develop a good idea into a great one while I got myself some autumn tea, grading a bunch, and then sitting down outside in the shade for twenty minutes with an old priest on my way to lunch, discussing various aspects of the workings of his community’s life, plus a bit about language and culture – I’m working on getting him to offer masses at least weekly in French (which would be a great increase from the current ‘zero ever’ frequency).

Then my being shown love by a couple students as I obtained my lunch and took it to eat.

Then happily chatting with coworkers and showing a test to the department head for approval.

Then kicking a kid out of class and partly scaring the rest of the class.

Then forgetting about the kid for most of the class period, and eventually remembering and finding him sitting outside on the floor, joining him, and having a wonderful talk with him in which he Fi-Na-Lly got it, and due to which he now intends to pause to consider before Everything he does – you see, he discovered that he just really doesn’t think at all before acting, thus resulting in some terrible behaviors.

Then being silly yet helpful with my next class, and having an oddly at-home comfy environment for class as they did their test review work, and scheduling a morning meeting to help a student.

Then perfectly running into the person I was seeking when I was only halfway to where I was going to find him – and my being slightly disappointed at the journey being cut short, as I would not be able to run into another person I sought to schedule a meeting.

Then having to pause to use the bathroom, running into some students, and finally heading out.

Then, just as I was about to pull out of the parking lot, being flagged down by the exact person I’d hoped to cross earlier, and talking for a bit and scheduling our meeting for tomorrow.

Then singing, unsure as to why, a German praise and worship song that repeats, “Ich vertraue dir…” (“I trust you…”), and laughing at myself, first for singing that song with such sudden delight, and second for the struggle that is riding a Vespa/motorcycle with an open-faced helmet while singing – better watch out for bugs…

Then having to order a new helmet… πŸ˜›

Then running a silly errand to print something and it taking a crazy amount of time, while I gladly enjoyed the presence of someone I love and rarely see.

Then sharing something wonderful with my mom.

Then finding Crown Maple Syrup (not alcohol, but syrup that was aged in the barrels after the alcohol was bottled out of them, allowing the odor to soak into the maple), and sharing the discovery with family who were delighted.

Then coming home to Sunflowers and stacks of colored paper just inside my back/side door, sitting outside on the porch for a while, cooking and eating dinner, and heading up to shower and to ready myself for bed.

Then reflecting on the day, and discovering how so much of it were things that I could have seen as bummers as they happened, but that I allowed just to be as they were, without meaning…, and how beautiful it was – without forcing anything or stressing about anything – to have all that I desired in the day to fall beautifully into place, loads better than I had initially anticipated.

Life really does go beautifully when we let go and let God… that was my high school junior retreat theme, and it was awesome then, and remains to be awesome now – it works every time. πŸ™‚

Well, I’m off to sleep, for an early morning meeting, preceded by an early morning workout, waits for me(!).

(I promise I’m still not a morning person…)

Post-a-day 2019

No School Blues

Well, I woke up this morning to an e-mail declaring school to have been canceled for the day…

And I was disappointed.

I had actually been looking forward to the day, to being on a schedule, to having to be somewhere, to being able to be with my kids…

And it all was canceled.

What’s worse, I had gone to bed early, and missed getting ran adjustment from the chiropractor while he was in town, because I needed to have enough sleep to be able to get through the day and my workout and everything today…, but school was canceled just as I was going to bed, a while after I had checked my e-mail for the last time…

And then, it didn’t even rain almost at all today – my one consolation was going to be glorious and beautiful rain, and we only had that for maybe an hour this evening, and hardly at all did it even sprinkle during the day(!!!).

Sigh…

Anyway, I still went to the gym at noon, and it was great.

(Although the gorgeous individual was, naturally, absent – why would I expect such good luck on a day like today, anyway, right?… I somehow knew it would be that way, so I was already mentally prepared for that one, anyway…)

I even visited with my mom a while afterward, while she was working in town.

But then I came home and ate and cooked food and ate some more, and watched a movie… I didn’t even go dancing tonight… Instead, I am sitting on my bed, getting ready to go to sleep so that I can get up early for the 9am workout tomorrow…

The only positive part about all of that is that tomorrow’s workout will be my 100th workout since joining the gym.

That’s five and a half months that we have been members at his gym (after tomorrow, that is, of course)… and one hundred classes will have been accomplished as of tomorrow morning at 10am…

Weird for me to consider all of this…, but I’ll give some solid reflection and then dedication to expressing my findings tomorrow, after the workout at some point…., acknowledge how well I’ve done and how far I’ve come and all that Jazz…

Anyway, goodnight…

P.S. On that last note, I was invited to an Astros game today, and the game starts after 6pm tomorrow (aka loads later than I care to have one start), and I actually agreed to go…, so things have definitely changed for me these past several months…

Post-a-day 2019

Productive in the storm

I went to 5:15am workout class.

I impressed a coach with my stretchiness (which has been a recent acquirement due to my routined stretching each night the past few months), and then worked really hard, almost to the actual point of hurling… πŸ˜›

Then I went to 6:45am lacrosse practice (morning weightlifting practice + conditioning), and I even helped make the kids do the weightlifting properly and fully.

I felt super knowledgable in the weight room, and thereby discovered that I had never expected in my life for that to be such an easy and comfortable terrain for me – and was through that pleased.

I then helped care for a kid who hurt himself.

Then I taught class at 8am.

Then I hosted a secret meeting with a few students who are now collaborating with me on an awesome project for our class (partly as my goodbye party and present for them all, and partly as something I have wanted to do for years, but for which I have always lacked the desired collaborators).

Then I taught more class.

Then the rain was so bad that more than half of my next class could not come to class, and so they played a bit of ball in the classroom while listening to two French songs, and then we talked French culture and fun facts, before heading outside to observe (from a safe location) the storm and the flooding all over our campus.

We listened to Prince Royce and talked about how I really want them all to come to the dance club I am helping teach for partner dancing, and several totally agreed and with genuine enthusiasm (‘I’ll come… it’s senior year – why not?’).

Then I talked with students, as they waited for class and I ate lunch.

Then we were told that surrounding roads were flooded, and no one could get in or out.

Then I graded a bunch, because no one was allowed to change buildings anymore due to lighting all over the place, and so my last class was canceled.

Then we were told that the roads were clear enough to get in and out, but with caution, and not all of them were…, but we could go ahead and leave on time.

Then I came home, did my necessary laundry, fixed a toilet – a first for me, and a task that truly impressed me – and then visited with a neighbor for an hour or so, and then came back home and found some desired photos to help with the secret project, showered, and, for the third night in a row, listened to music while getting ready for bed (including right now)… (and it is lovely)…

Then I remembered an art opening that was forgotten in the rain…

Now, I write this, and prepare to sleep and do more wonders tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Story-time

Staring at the ceiling, slumped backward over the sofa cushion that had been knocked onto the floor at some unknown time in the evening, Ch—- inhales sharply, and releases in a heavy sigh…, “Man…, I wanna do something!” he declares.

“Like what?” responds C—, only half interested in his little brother’s response.

“I don’ know…. just something….”

M—- chuckles from his spot in a chair across the room, resuming his tossing of a Hacky Sack into the air over and over again with the same hand, having abandoned actually standing and kicking it around in the air half an hour earlier… Ch—- always says this.

“It’s not like we can actually go anywhere, anyway, Ch—,” M— reminds him, “seeing as how it’s already nine o’clock and all, and your parents have gone to bed.”

Ch—- is silent for a moment, reflecting, ignoring M—‘s comment.

“I wanna go swimming,” Ch—- says, “That’s what I wanna do: go swimming.

Let’s go swimming, you guys!”

“In which pool exactly?… None are open and, in case you forgot, we don’t have a pool,” C— calmly reminds him.

Silence.

M— speaks up, “Swimming actually would be pretty nice right now.. zI could totally go for a swim.”

Baffled, C— regards him, eyebrows scrunched together, raised.

What?” asks M—, defensively, “I’m just saying I’m not against the idea.”

“Again, where would we be doing this swimming? Nowhere is open.”

“Too bad we don’t live near the ocean – the beach is always open!” Ch— chimes in, somewhat passively.

Silence…

C— turns to look at M—, then slowly tilts his head to one side, eyebrows raised…

M— regards C—, questioning at first, and then raises his eyebrows in recognition, drops the sides of his lips, and raises a shoulder, as if to say, ‘Why not?’

“Whadda you say?” asks C— to M—.

Ch— sits up suddenly, looking back and forth between the two older boys, jaw dropping in disbelief.

M—- smiles.

“Let’s do this,” declares C—-.

The three jump up, and each rushes to grab a few items, including the keys, use a bathroom, eat a quick snack before moving silently and stealthily toward the minivan that is parked in the driveway – their mother’s minivan and the only vehicle C— has started driving since getting his license recently.

An hour later, the trio find themselves on the Galveston beach, Ch— frolicking gaily in the sand at the water’s edge, while the other two take another hit on their unsophisticated and uncaring palates.

Ch— and M— share a drink or two, but they forbid C— from drinking – he is still driving them home later, and even the stupidity of the youth has its limits when dealing with genuinely smart and somewhat self-aware teenage boys.

By three a.m., they are careening back toward Houston, searching for a gas station with a vacuum to clean out C— and Ch—‘s mom’s minivan – it is filled with sand, though no one quite remembers when or how it all got in there – the haze of the fun was kind of in the way for them.

Eventually, they find it, and somehow manage to clean the minivan up really well, returning it to its nighttime place in the driveway.

Finally back home, the boys head silently into the back of the house, and lapse into total unconsciousness in the form of sleep.

It is five a.m.

At seven, their mom wakes up, and heads off to work, leaving the boys to their usual sleeping in routine, unconcerned.

When, after a week, no parent has mentioned anything, the boys begin to believe fully that they actually away with it.

And, somehow, they did

Post-a-day 2019

Memories in alcohol

Walking through an absurdly large and diverse (product-wise) Kroger today, I was struck with a sudden and momentary shift back to Japan, as I passed one of the drink aisles….

There was something about its seeming chaotic orderliness, and its crowded feel that took me back to the alcohol aisles in the store near my house in Japan, and, at first, of this one particular store near the train station in a nearby town where I went to help with English stuff…

And the memory was really nice… it was a very good feeling of transportation, and I felt very much at ease, belonging, and comfortable…

Weird to see Japan as such things, but I also totally get it – it is part of me, and certain points of life were stable there that are not stable for me here and now, thus the feeling of stability and comfort from the memory, despite the fact that Japan as a whole was kind of nuts and really hard on me… πŸ™‚

The aisle…

It is definitely more spaced out in the middle than Japan’s comparable aisle, but the setup and feelings were quite the same for me… who’d’a thunk alcohol could be so warm and fuzzy for me? πŸ˜‚

Post-a-day 2019