On clear mornings I watch the sunrise over Mt. Wilson on my way to work. Sometimes the sight is a moment of glorious beauty, a last breath before I enter my classroom where Jesse Fuller draws stars on his warm-ups all period long, Paul Reese must ask me to repeat every set of instructions I give, Leo Doehring never has a pencil, and Jonathan Parenty thinks the squeak in his chair is a musical instrument. I love my students dearly. I love them even though they "drive me batty" as Becca Schoff says.
"No, you can't have a piece of candy for putting your name on your paper."
"Stop tapping your pencils."
"Look up here."
"I need your attention."
"Why are you over there? Your seat is over here."
"Give Alex his book back."
"This IS a test!"
Except for the occasional Harley on Beverly, home is a stark contrast to my work in the classroom. On a good day I get home about 2 p.m., and I have the quiet afternoon to myself until 6:45ish when Philip get home. Cups of English Breakfast tea, Enya, a little dusting, a little snacking, a little reading and writing, a nap perhaps. I've learned how to grout and make a delicious tortilla soup, and I finally discovered how I can use my chicken bouillon. (I grabbed a jar of chicken bouillon off the Albertson's shelves the first time I went grocery shopping, thinking, "I've seen some of this in my mom's pantry. I think I need it.") It's been over a month since I cut my fingers on a kitchen knife or my head on a ceiling fan. Philip still calls me on my lunch breaks regardless of whether I pick it up, or I forget I have a cell phone on silent at the bottom of my purse.
I think Phil and I were cut from the same cloth. In our preparations for Christmas we've both given each other gifts early because we couldn't wait. Last night was no exception. He carried in a ripped bag from REI filled with rock climbing hand holds. Aside from the month surrounding our wedding we've visited the rock climbing gym weekly. So now he's bought some grips to put up on the wall, which separates my grandma's house from my parent's house. (I hope my grandma doesn't mind.) In our excitement, we strew the pieces across the living room floor and planned out a route using our black and kaki rug as our hypothetical wall.
I once did something similarly as a child. I drew a picture of a rock climbing pyramid and brought the idea to my dad, hoping he could help me build it in the backyard. That idea fizzled out, as have many others. I've decided to let my dulcimer go. I loved playing it. I still do, but in order to make room for the new activities in my life, I've resolved to say goodbye to the old ones.