Friday, September 18, 2009


I went yesterday to orientation to be substitute teacher. It was okay. I have to spend 6 hours observing various classrooms before they put me on the official "sub" list. I've become such a couch potato, it's hard to imagine actually being someplace where I have to interact with human beings other than my family.

If this works out, it may be the catalyst for my decision to become a real teacher. That would be very practical of me.

But all I really want to do is sleep.

Friday, September 11, 2009


On this morning, eight years ago, I was driving my kids to school, listening to the radio just like we always did every morning. Zach was a junior at Milby High School, Nathan was in his first year at Chavez and Katie went to Patterson Elementary. Joseph was three years old and Savannah was in her car seat. It's funny how when you're in a routine, you think it will always be that way. That the life you're in at the time is the one you'll always be in.

We had dropped Katie off already and were headed to drop off Nathan when we heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. It perked our ears up, but we kept on talking about whatever we were talking about. My first thought was that a student pilot must have erred off course and crashed into the building. We let Nathan out and pulled back onto the road, and then the radio announcer said a second plane had hit. That's when I knew. I told Zach, "This is no accident. It's an attack."

When I got home that morning, I turned on the tv and watched the world change in an instant. I fed the babies, changed a diaper or two and did everything I usually did around the house every morning. Then I sat on the couch and watched buildings collapse and people die right before my eyes.

For a few days, I lived in a world that mourned and feared and was horrified together as one. For a few days, I lived in a country that was undivided. There weren't democrats or republicans or black people or white people or people who couldn't speak english. There were only my brothers and sisters. For a few days, I understood what it was to be an American, to be the member of a nation that is powerful and great and proud. And for a few days, I grieved for all that was lost.

The life I was in back then is not the one I'm in now. It's changed in ways I could never have imagined. I don't change diapers anymore or even have all my kids together under one roof. I don't live in the town where I was born and raised and always thought I'd live forever. I'm divorced and remarried, our house is in the country and we own a John Deere riding lawn tractor. I've experienced the death of my dad and my son and learned a different kind of grief. But I've had a lot of laughter and love and good surprises, too.

And the road just keeps rolling under my wheels. Sometimes I'm glad I can't see what's coming around the corner.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


I'm working on a crappy romance novel in hopes of getting something viable to make a little money off of. It's been in the oven for a couple years, but I pulled it out to see if I can make it less horrible. So far it is slightly less horrible.

I tried shopping around my column to some other newspapers. It was a resounding failure. Nobody cares what a middle-aged professional underachiever has to say about anything. I wasn't surprised.

I've decided that in my old age I want to become a white-water rafting enthusiast. I love being outdoors and I love water, so it makes sense. Now if I can only follow through, instead of dreaming about an ephemeral "some day."

I, I, I. I'm full of I's these days. Maybe that's my problem.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rockin' the GP situation

Okay, here's the thing, lest there be any misconception based on my last post. I am going to be a fantastic grandparent. Grandparenting is the ultimate reward (and revenge) for all those years of thankless parenting.

My kids may only remember that I broke a wooden spoon on their butts and the stuff I never let them do, but my grandkids are going to remember how much icecream I let them eat and how fun it is at grandma and grandpa's house. I can't wait!

I will play with them, watch cartoons all day and let them stay up way past their bedtime. When their mom and dad are being mean to them, they can call or come over and I'll listen with endless sympathy and baked goods.

At last I get be dessert, good cop, delightful partner in crime, the voice of unreason.

Oh yes, it will be good. (Insert evil laugh and much rubbing together of hands in gleeful anticipation.)