I set my alarm for 8:00, with all the good intentions of getting up and working on my class. But my snooze alarm wins, and I don’t get up until 9. You know how hard it is to get up on a day you don’t have to work? It’s even harder when it’s still dark out. Like, still solid dark out. But at 9:00 I drag myself out of bed, wash my face, make some coffee, eat cereal and read my devotions, then drink the coffee and read a chapter in Lemony Snicket’s latest book, via the library app on my phone. I feed the dog, and then let him outside and back in, and he curls up on the couch and goes back to sleep. I start a load of laundry and then settle down to work on my homework.
At 11, I wake up Drew to see if he wants to go on a walk (he says to wait till the afternoon, and goes back to sleep). I want to get some Christmas presents mailed, so I go out to start the snow machine. The post office isn’t very far, but it’s nice to zip down there on a snow mobile instead of trudging through the snow, and in case we have any packages it’s easier than carrying them back. Since it’s only 1 degree out, I go out to warm it up before getting ready. As I pull on my coat and boots, some dogs are playing outside our house and a couple run up the steps to our door. Churchill is wagging his tail by the door, so I let him out to play. They four of them wrestle near the bottom of our stairs. One tries to come to me but I tell him “Mosh” (like in a mash pit) which is Eskimo Dog speak for “Shoo!”
Since we acquired a snow machine last February I have learned the delicate art of starting one in cold temperatures. First make sure the kill switch is up, then turn the choke to full. You have to turn the key several times before the engine finally catches (it also has a pull start, which I guess technically is better to use, but it’s nearly impossible for me to pull hard enough to do anything, so I rely on the electric start). Once it roars to life you put the choke to half and let it sit for a minute, or until the engine seems pretty stable, then turn the choke switch off. If you leave the choke on for too long you’ll flood the engine, and have to wait a while before starting it again. If you flip the choke too early, the engine will die. Like I said, it’s a delicate art. Then with the choke off, you have to listen for a minute to make sure the engine is going well (if it starts to die you put it to half choke again to rev it up), and then head back inside. By this time I’m fairly cold, especially my head and legs.
While the snow machine warms up (you have to let it run a while before driving it, especially when it’s really cold) I get the rest of my gear on and my stuff together. I peek out the window to see the machine died. Drat. This time with hat and snow pants on as well, I head back outside, start it again (it goes much faster this time) and then go back inside. With a few more minutes to kill, I switch the laundry around and start a new load, then head out.
The presents are small, so I just hold them on the seat in front of me between my knees as I drive down to the post office. On my way in I see one my students, and he hangs out with me for a few minutes while I check my box. He’s getting ready to go “other side” to check nets. The post-mistress isn’t at the desk so I ring the bell and wait. More people come in an out, and a kid and an older man sit down on the bench to wait to claim packages. The kid reaches a finger toward the doorbell, then pulls it away when he sees me looking. I raise my eyebrows at him (the nonverbal “yes”) and he rings it. After a while she walks in from outside and goes around the counter to help us. With my packages successfully mailed I head across the “street” to the store to pick up a few things. They don’t have the thing I actually want, but I grab some hot dog buns since they’re in, a small bag of chips, and a couple of ice teas. They don’t have any bags, so I put the teas in my jacket and hold the buns and chips on my lap as I drive home.
Churchill is ready to go inside when I arrive home (his friends left) and he dashes inside as I open the door. My glasses fog over almost immediately, and I start peeling my layers off, now hot from walking around inside with so much clothing. I take the dry clothes out of the dryer, fix myself a little lunch, and go back to working on homework. I’m still in my pajamas.
Around 2, I take a break from my reading. Drew wakes up. One of the neighbor girls knocks on our door, asking if she can go through our house to get to her side (their parents are out of town and they’re staying with someone else). Pastor Jason calls to give me the numbers of the hymns for tomorrow so I can run through them on the piano. I change the laundry, considering as I put the clothes in the dryer, the wisdom of whoever put the notice on the lint container: Change lint before every load.
Our neighbor girl (the older one this time) knocks on the door and asks for my help with a quilt she’s making. She’s in my sewing class at school. I go over and help her figure out how to pin on the binding.
Drew and I get bundled up to go for a walk with Churchill. He’s so excited to go out he can’t sit still and keeps yipping and running into the entryway. Drew makes him sit and wait for the okay, and finally he succeeds and is allowed outside. We bundle up and head out for a walk. We go over the bridge and up through town towards the rocks on the southwest edge of town. It’s right around 0 degrees, but I’m plenty warm except for between my mouth and forehead. A little too warm, actually, since we’re walking uphill. Both Drew and I are sadly out of shape. Sigh. Churchill enjoys himself running around and sniffing everything in sight. We climb up to the rocks and take some pictures. It’s a beautiful day: clear and calm, and the colorful houses stand out like Christmas decorations against the white snow and blue sky. When we get home my nose is frozen, but the rest of me is almost sweating.
I change the laundry again and work some more on my class assignments. Now it’s after 4, and probably time to do some school work. I’ve got a small stack of grading to do, and some lesson plans to finish. We’re coming up on the end of the quarter, and I need to make sure I’m going to have all the necessary grades in. We’re also out of bread, so I should probably get some going in the bread maker. (Also notice I haven’t been folding the laundry, so there is now a GIANT pile of clean clothes on our bed!)
I decide to make some bread, and while I’m waiting for the yeast to warm up, post pictures from our walk on facebook. The internet is slow, so it takes a while. Now it’s 5:00, and already almost dark outside. I work on some lesson plans and watch some of the special features from “Back to the Future,” which we watched last night. Drew makes some fajitas for supper. We eat. I finish reading my Lemony Snicket book, which has a melancholy ending. The bread is done. I’m almost done with laundry, though not with folding it.
I’ve reached that point in the weekend when Saturday, my one day of the week where I can do whatever I want or need to, is ending. Tomorrow is Sunday, which has church and youth group and the added pressure of planning and grading needing to be done. And I’m frustrated, and annoyed, and the cheerful, productive mood I had this mornings is gone. It’s not that I don’t like my job; I do. Or at least, most of the time. It’s just that I don’t like doing my job all the time. I don’t like all the hours of work that go into preparing for my job. I want to do other things, or do nothing. Instead I feel like I’m working all the time. And it makes me irritable and impatient and angry. I don’t like feeling irritable and impatient and angry. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, or maybe I’m a bad Christian.
When I was in school, I spent most of my free time doing homework or reading. And I was fine with that. I guess I’ve gotten over being fine with it.
So now it’s about nine. I have most of my lesson plans done, but still have to figure out some of the preps for the week, and haven’t even started on grading. I still have homework for my class I should do. My neck is sore, and I have a headache. I want to do something fun, but I don’t know what I want to do. It’s hard to enjoy something when I know I have all this work to do tomorrow, and know that I’ll be unhappy tomorrow because I’ll be busy and tired and dreading Monday. I guess I can control how I think and feel, and should be happy anyways, but somehow that just makes me feel worse.
I read another chapter of my book for my class while laying on the floor, doing some Pilates stretches to try to make my neck and back feel better. It works, though I’m sure if anyone was watching I would look pretty ridiculous.
Drew helps me fold and put away all the laundry. I tell him how I’m feeling, and he reminds me that I’m human, and I don’t have to get everything done or have it all together. I feel a little better. I put our comforter (the last of the laundry, yay!) in the dryer for a second round and make a chai tea. It’s just after 10:00. Drew and I play Ticket to Ride (an awesome train board game), and around 10:50 a couple of my students stop by and want to visit. Drew sends them away, as it’s almost 11 o’clock at night, and we keep playing. I win! I take our comforter out of the dryer and officially finish the laundry for the day. I’m feeling much better.
I get ready for bed and say good night to Drew (who’s washing some dishes) and Churchill (who’s sleeping sprawled out on the couch). It’s 11:32 now, and I plan to read for a bit one of the books I got at the book fair and then go to sleep.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of this VEERRRY long post. I almost took out the bit about my little pity party, but in the end decided to leave it in there. It’s honest, if maybe a little irrational, and human. And maybe someone else feels the same way too. Or maybe not, and you can just see how crazy I am. :)
Thanks for reading. I promise the next post will not be this long!
|A view of Scammon Bay from up near the rocks.|