Welcome to September, & Happy New Year!
My year begins now. I just began another year of teaching, & of course, last Thursday evening the 2014 college football season commenced with considerable flair provided by Tim Tebow & his lavender suit.
I don't spring clean. I don't summer clean. Spring & summer are endless seasons filled with mundane happenings & weather that denies me the opportunity to wear turtlenecks & boots & scarves. For months & months I feel that I have so much time to do what needs to be done, which of course means I delay, delay, delay.
Now is when things start to happen. The football. The elections. The boot-wearing weather (okay not now, but soon). The release of films adapted from young adult book series. The holidays & the ensuing food that makes you contemplate breaking out a pair of maternity pants like Joey. It's an avalanche of awesome.
Inevitably, every year I wait & wait, & then, the week before college football begins, I decide it's time to clean out closets & get the house in shape so I am mentally free to guiltlessly watch hour after hour of college football every Saturday for the next four months. After enjoying the lavender suit, the South Carolina/A&M game, & a few minutes of the Ole Miss game Thursday night, I spent a large part of Friday digging through all of the stuff we have & deciding what needed to go. After my day of digging, I didn't plan on going anywhere Friday night, but then my dad called & the grandparents were eating dinner at Newk's, so I stripped us all out of our pajamas, threw a hat on, & we were on the way.
So you don't think I am loosely, metaphorically using the phrase "threw a hat on" - -
Reagan wanted me to take a picture because she thought the hat was so funny. Oh to be three & equate unwashed hair with hilarity.
So, the digging & purging. You know what is quite the emotional experience for a mother? Going through your kids' clothes. The promise of more drawer space & better organized closets is so enticing, but when you're in the thick of it, weeping into the tiny pants they'll never wear again, it's not as rewarding an experience as it first seemed. The first year is the hardest, too. They wear a size for such a short time they don't even get the opportunity to thoroughly stain every item (at least this is how it's worked for my kids, who will likely both tower over me one day . . . & I am not short). Henry's closet had basically become a shrine to his former, tinier self (it was not unlike my closet back in May before I dropped fifteen pounds).
Alas, I persevered. By the time the sun rose this past Saturday, the kids' clothes had been (somewhat) culled. The floors had been mopped. The stove had been cleaned (fyi: even if you don't use it, a stove can still accumulate a nasty layer of dust). My Facebook feed had, for weeks, been inundated with various inspirational LSU videos. Tebow had worn a lavender suit on national television, which I like to think was a subliminal shout-out to the Tiger nation, whom he now regrets taunting at times during his years as a Florida Gator. Or maybe the lavender suit was meant to send a not-so-subliminal message like, I am so good-looking I can wear a lavender suit & still look better than these other yahoos. Who knows.
At long last, after months of nothingness, College Gameday & Kirk & his sensible suit returned Saturday morning, & I have to say, I think my coffee actually tasted better. I made my second cup during an extended segment Gameday ran on Nick Saban & his new offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin. Oh my word. I think it was titled, "The Odd Couple." You can do better, Gameday.
Just look at them behind the desk in their suits, ushering in the first season of college football in the post-BCS era. It's a beautiful sight.
A few random thoughts:
*Since they were playing Alabama, I set aside the animosity I'll likely always feel toward the people of West Virginia for their repeated reelection of the (now deceased) former KKK member, Robert Byrd, to the United States Senate & cheered heartily for West Virginia, unranked West Virginia, who could have beaten Alabama.
*The commentating suits Mack Brown. I am happy to see him off the sidelines. On that note, I know that one day, sooner than I'd like, Steve Spurrier will throw his visor for the last time & perhaps take a seat behind the commentating desk, & I will be sad. I've just always loved Spurrier, & when he hangs up the visor, I will miss him coaching the same way I miss seeing Jim Tressel on the sidelines in his sweater vest. I have no love for Ohio State, but you can't help but like a man who coaches football in a sweater vest.
*It needs to be said that while SEC football players may be notorious for their defenses, & their arrests, & their often thuggish behavior, at least these young men aren't inventing stories about rescuing a drowning nephew, or tweeting (& then deleting) nonsensical comments likening their coach to a slave owner. I'm not pointing any fingers, but I am looking at you, USC. Between USC's drama & Lane Kiffin running Alabama's offense, this football season is off to a promising start.
*Ah, LSU. I think it's going to be a long year (& by long I mean I'm picturing frustrating, hair-pulling disappointment), but right now, you're undefeated, & hey, you don't have Georgia on the regular season schedule this year, so that's another plus. Geaux Tigers!
Despite the cleaning & the mopping & the purging I did in preparation for Saturday, by the time LSU kicked off at eight o'clock Saturday night, the house was a mess. I have a vision in my mind of sitting on my couch sipping hot coffee, a roaring fire to my left & an LSU team led by a capable, intelligent, consistently fabulous quarterback flickering on the television to my right. In this vision, I am covered from head to toe in all manner of winter clothing, my recently vacuumed rugs are the only thing on the floor of my home, & the smell of something wonderful I'm cooking in the crock pot is wafting through the house. I realize there are about eight things wrong with those last two sentences.
In closing, thank you for the kind words you offered, on Facebook & in person, after last week's post in which I whine about the publishing industry. Your comments have ranged from, "I really enjoyed reading your book," to, "You wrote a book?" Either way, I appreciate your feedback, especially those of you who either genuinely enjoy reading what I write, or are incredible amateur actors.
I am toying with the idea of entering Dear Miss Moreau in a contest for unpublished authors that I recently discovered thanks to my new habit of spending too much time on Twitter. A stipulation of the contest is that all novels entered are unpublished. Technically, posting a novel on a blog might be construed as publishing the novel, since, once posted, it is copyrighted. Many consider a novel to be self-published only when the author makes it available for a price, which I haven't done. Why do you care? You may not, but this is a notice to anyone who wants to read it & has not yet done so that in about a month, I may be removing it from the blog. I'm not 100% on this, but it's a possibility. Eventually, I will likely self-publish it through Amazon, at which time it will cost you a whopping $3.99. So please, don't panic, unlike the ridiculous BCS system of yesteryear, it's not going away forever.