Saturday, April 13, 2013

on over packing

"... You don't happen to have any power steering fluid, do you?"

Ha. Do I have power steering fluid. Well, I don't any more, but I did in a crate in the trunk of my car, which is a mobile Auto Supply Store. One of the Mothers from my parish mentioned needing her car jumped after a service in a sermon a few years ago, and none of the partitioners in the parking lot, all of us known for our hospitality and resourcefulness, had jumper cables she lamented. About five heads in the pews around mine turned around and looked at me, and someone mouthed "Where were you?!" Motor oil, power steering fluid, jumper cables, bondo and patches, wiper fluid, antifreeze, and a first aid kit. Almost better than Triple A.  Almost. All this from back in the days when my last car, Roxanne, a candy apple red VW Passat with a black leather interior was breaking down every 5 minutes. [no, she wasn't named for the song.] I learned to travel prepared for [almost] anything. I began to keep a spare change of clothes in my trunk,  and a small cooler stocked with bottles of water and granola bars. Can't even begin to say how much those have come in handy.

So how much junk stuff did I have to sift through to get to so I could find the crate in my trunk? Jeezum crow. There was still a bike rack on the back of my car. I did eventually get to the PSF. Past the bike rack and the lunch box and the step ladder and the yoga mat [that's where that went...].

Thankfully, my desk at school looks nothing like the trunk of my car. Or the back seat, which desperately needs to be cleaned out and vacuumed. The top of my desk has been slowly being emptied all week. I took a few of my books home every day. The last batch came home on Friday [kid's picture books, en masse  are deceptively heavy]. Monday may be my last day, Friday is when I started crying at school. My desk looks empty. It's over. It's really over. I'm glad I have a large bag to carry everything home in bits and pieces, but I can't believe how much stuff I brought with me to school over the last 15 weeks. I got cozy.
I'm upset about going, but more upset than I feel like I should be.

There isn't a plan right now except to stay here and watch the climate. I can't say I had better plans after undergrad, because my original career goal of teaching had been derailed midway my sophomore year and since that's what I should have been doing all along, I wandered a little aimlessly through college. I exited undergrad with a fabulous job that involved working with kids, which was [serendipitously, though I wouldn't have said so at the time] cut short because of the failing economy, which led me back to teaching. Which is what I should have been doing in the first place. The difference between exiting undergrad and now is that I had a job waiting for me in the fall. There's going to be summer jobs and training for subbing and finding a new equilibrium. We're going to celebrate the memory of the lives of a set of grandparents and the 90th birthday of the other grandfather this summer. I don't have a light shining ahead for the next 12 months like I did the last time. It makes for interesting, but with everything that's happened, sometimes interesting is the last thing you want. I'll take not bad. I'm not going to England this summer, it's not the summer of the great road trip or ferrying and biking around the San Juan islands, or sailing the Great Lakes as part of the volunteer Niagara crew. Maybe it's the summer for volunteering at Project Linus, since I'll be driving past an office on my way to and from a job this summer. We'll see.

irony: quitting my MuEd career track as a sophomore coincided time-wise with the sudden death of the grandmother who was married to the grandfather we are burying this summer; we've come full circle, as now I'll finally be a certified teacher. When she died, it was two days before Christmas; they were living in Florida. Grandpa had just buried his son six months earlier. So when he came back to us, we waited until June, on what would have been their 55th anniversary, and interred my grandmother's ashes. And that was it.  That's all anyone felt like doing. We're going to celebrate them both this summer; their lives and their boundless generosity to others. We're working on the how.

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