Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Crisp Again




Good Tuesday evening. 

Last I blogged (click here) we were in the middle of the long, hot July slog, and I told you I was on the hunt for some throw pillows for our living room. Reader, rejoice with me; I found some wonderful throw pillows. 

About a month ago I was putting together a syllabus for this semester. I typed Fall 2020 at the top, and then I paused. 

My first semester teaching at Delta Community College was the Fall of 2010. I turned thirty that semester. I was five months pregnant with Reagan when that semester began. By the time I delivered my last lecture that December I had to drag a chair to the front of the classroom and sit while I spoke. I turned in my grades and rosters and other required paraphernalia and had Reagan within days. It worked out well. By the time I returned to teach for the Spring 2011 semester she was a little over a month old. 

Reagan will be ten in December. If you are good with math you've already figured out that I will turn forty very soon. In fact, one month from today I will turn forty. How do I feel about this? Honestly, I am not sure.

Life continues to move regardless of whether or not I know how I feel about it, and here's what we've been doing. What we have been doing is reveling in the return of some sense of normalcy. 

Henry officially graduated from Kindergarten the day before he began first grade. 

I cried a little bit. I love him so much. 

The day after Henry's official graduation ceremony, Reagan began 4th grade, Henry began 1st grade, and I resumed my life as a mom/adjunct instructor who happily drinks coffee alone while her kids are at school:

After many months at home we were all delighted to slip back into a routine that involves in-person school for all three of us. Alas, this is 2020, and so our newfound routine was soon interrupted by Hurricane Laura. She left us without power for three days, three hot, unpleasant days during which time Trey was, yes, out of town. He flew to Pennsylvania the day before Laura arrived and returned home literally hours after our power was restored. I can now add, "Secured home and children all by myself during a serious hurricane and three subsequent days without power" to my list of accomplishments. 

To update you on the reading and writing front, I have still been writing for The Resurgent about once a week. My last piece addressed the most recent debauchery on Netflix, Cuties, and can be found - - - > here

Yesterday something interesting happened. Well, it was interesting to me. A former student messaged me to tell me she'd let a friend borrow her copy of Dear Miss Moreau. Her friend loved the book and wanted to know if I'd written anything else. Assuming the inquiring friend didn't mean political commentary, I sent my former student a link to the extra tidbits that are posted to this blog (here) to share with her friend. I should, though; I should write more fiction. I miss it. 

I am mentally working on a list of things to accomplish in my next decade. I tell you, my thirties will be hard to beat in terms of accomplishments given that I had two kids, battled serious mastitis in the hospital for a few days, learned how to handle diabetes, wrote and published a book, finally bit the bullet and began reading the Outlander series, and planned a trip to Scotland . . . that was cancelled due to my very first global pandemic. 

I am still reading the Outlander series, of course. I am in the middle of the fifth book, The Fiery Cross. My mother and sister (Outlander fanatics both) are both ahead of me on our reading journey, but that's okay; one day I will finish all these books, and I will be sad there is nothing new to read . . . until of course Ms. Gabaldon finally publishes another book.

I've also recently read Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani. These were both book club books, and while I cannot rave wildly about either of them, they're both interesting and well written. If I had to recommend one over the other, I'd definitely go with Beautiful Ruins. The Perfect Nanny is very creepy, and while I am not opposed to creepy, this book is translated, and my sister and I both agree there is perhaps something lost in translation. 

I have been asked often if I've read Midnight Sun yet. Reader, I have not. Midnight Sun is of course the latest book Stephenie Meyer (of Twilight fame) published. Years ago Ms. Meyer began writing Twilight from the perspective of Edward Cullen. She titled that book Midnight Sun, which is a perfect and lovely title you totally understand if you've read the Twilight series. Some horrible person leaked the chapters she'd written online, and Ms. Meyer, understandably upset, quit working on the project. She did make the chapters she'd written available on her website, and there they sat for many years. I did of course read the chapters available online way back when, and I am of course ecstatic she finally finished and published Midnight Sun. I have heard good things about it, but I am saving it. The plan right now is to devour it over Christmas Break when the kids and I are out of school and I can stay up obscenely late reading when the house is dark and quiet. I am excited, to say the least. 

So, anyway, my mental list of goals for my next decade is short thus far. Prior to yesterday it included two items:

1. Read Midnight Sun 

2. Go to Scotland 

Now, after a really inspiring message from a former student it includes three items:

1. Read Midnight Sun 

2. Go to Scotland 

3. Write fiction again 

Having experienced the process of writing and editing and publishing a book is an enormous deterrent to anyone who thinks she might once again want to write and edit and publish a book. You just have to want to tell a story even if you're the only one who ultimately loves it, but let me tell you, even one person who reads it and loves it too is so encouraging, sometimes encouraging enough to make you think it's a good idea to try all over again. 

This odd year marches on, and we are into the -ber months now, the best time of the year. It is of course still fairly hot in Louisiana, but hopefully we will soon enjoy cooler mornings and evenings that will, Lord willing, eventually give way to legitimately cold days on which I will float on the air with happiness clad in my sweaters, boots, and scarves. As my astute readers know, the image atop this blog is a page from The Great Gatsby, and that line, Life starts all over again when it gets crips in the fall, is one of my favorite lines in the novel (though there are countless exquisite lines). I hesitate to use the word crisp to describe much of the current Louisiana weather, but we're getting there. Despite what the calendar says, for someone who loves college football and has always, first as a student and then as an instructor, been tied to the school calendar, my new year begins right about now. 

I pray you are well. My intent is to return in about a month's time and share with you my completed list of goals for my next decade. I know you'll be on pins and needles waiting for that to drop. I suppose I will likely now sign off for the last time as a woman in her thirties. I was thirty when I hit Publish on my first blog nearly ten years ago on March 30, 2011. It is unbelievable to me that nearly a decade has passed since that day. It's been a good decade, a great one, truly, and to have shared much of it here with you, in this little space I carved out on the Internet, via pictures and words and the occasional gif, has been a tremendous blessing to me. Thank you for reading, for commenting, for praying when it was requested and maybe even when it was not. I will, the Lord willing, return with more words, pictures, and gifs to explain the myriad of emotions that accompany forty


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