Sunday, March 31, 2019

Out Like an Angry Lion

What is it they say about March, "in like a lion and out like a lamb?"

The winds gusted today and yesterday's warm temperatures in the high 60s have chilled to the 30s.  Wait, and what is it I see on my always dependable Accuweather app?  "Snow starting in 108 minutes?" I didn't see that coming.

If it does decide to snow I'm afraid I'll have to sleep through it.  Yesterday's cough and cold have ante'd up to a full-blown ear infection.  So, I'm now wrapped up under a down comforter with my electric mattress pad cranked up in hopes of getting the chills out of my body.

Snow?  Ear infections?  Aches and chills?  It sounds to me like a lion is roaring somewhere.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Low Key Saturday

I'm sure there are throngs of people out and about in the DC area today.  With the pinks, purples, and yellows of spring popping up everywhere the outdoors certainly seem to be calling.  No doubt a mass of slow-moving tourists have gathered in the area of the Tidal Basin in search of the perfect shot of the bursting cherry blossoms.  They are close to peak bloom so the crowds are surely close to peak capacity.

I was out early this morning for a pancake breakfast with a friend at the local diner.  After breakfast, I headed to the Giant and picked up everything I needed to prepare a big pot of chicken soup.  I considered the possibility of getting my bike out and heading downtown but with a cold rattling through my chest and a cough that won't quit I knew there was nothing to do but stay inside and take it easy.

I'm hoping the blossoms will wait for me.  Hopefully, the crowd downtown appreciated that bit of extra space my absence created.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Cupcakes Anyone?

Today marks the end of the third quarter.  Even if it wasn't clearly defined on the school calendar I would have figured it out with all the emails I got yesterday asking about extra credit.  The smart ass side of me wants to respond by saying, "Yes!  There is extra credit!  Please bake me 50 perfect red velvet cupcakes and have them on my desk by 8:00AM tomorrow.  If you can rise to that challenge I will gladly raise your grade 2 percentage points."

I don't respond in that way (although I'd really like to), instead, I find myself trying to explain to each student that there were many opportunities to improve their grade throughout the quarter.  Apparently, when those opportunities came up they figured the end of the quarter was very far off and, obviously, they would pull it together soon.  Whaddaya know, before they could say wait, what the quarter was coming to a close.

Some may learn from their errors in procrastination this quarter.  Others may take a few more years or decades to figure it out.  In a way, those kids that are asking for extra credit do have on admirable quality- they really do want to do well in school.  I'll take kind of attitude any day of the week.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Chemo Thursday

It's chemo Thursday up here in Bel Air.  No worries, readers, my sister and I have been spending chemo time together for over a year now and we know how to bring the fun to the infusion center.  Some may want to make the sad face for chemo, but I think "Yay, chemo!  Get in there and do your work!"

We spend our time creating new Spotify lists, watching old excerpts from SNL, and pretend-buying houses on Zillow.  There's also time to review the hits of the 70s and 80s, reminiscing about bands like Bread, Blondie, and Wild Cherry.

Even better, we get to do this while we munch on Nutter Butter and Oreo cookies and sip on water and Ginger Ale.  And it's all free!  If we're really hungry the fabulous hospital volunteers are more than happy to bring us a sandwich.

Sister Jeen is comfortable in a hospital lounge chair, complete with a warm blanket across her lap and a handmade scarf around her neck.  My chair isn't as comfortable, but since I'm not the patient I think that's just fine.  I have a view of the bright blue skies outside and time to catch up on a little bit of schoolwork.

Two hours later we're out.  Another infusion in the books.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Attention Deserved

I pulled up to the light and sized up the young women standing in the median with a sign in her hand.  It read "Military family.  Single mom.  Anything helps."  Her blue backpack rested at the end of the median while she stared straight ahead into the line of traffic. 

Her golden brown hair was pulled back in a tight bun.  Honestly, if it weren't for the sadness and pain showing in her face she could have been mistaken for a mom heading to the gym after work.  Her outfit may have said exercise class, but her face, wrinkled and red from the sun painted a picture of desperation.

It's easy to look away from someone in trouble.  It's easy to turn up the music, pretend to look for something in the console, or even file your nails.  What's hard, what's really hard is to look them in the eye and see them...really see them.

As I sat watching I wondered about the path she had taken to this point.  What happened?  Where does she go each evening?  How hard was it that first day when she took a marker and a piece of cardboard to tell her story?  How hard was it to step onto that median?

Seeing her- really taking the time to see her made me sad and grateful at the same time.  Even so, I'm glad I took the time to look because she deserves that.  The next time I'm heading taking a left on Glebe Rd. I'll be sure to have a little something to help her out.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

DC Springtime

Scratchy throat,
itchy nose,
a sneezeasneezeasneeze,
bless you.

Cherry blossoms frenzy,
the pot hole brigade,
and rainy days.
Lots of rainy days.

Spring break plans,
yellow daffodils,
tulip trees,
and baby bunnies.

Dogwoods in bloom,
happy birds,
relieved squirrels,
purple crocus popping everywhere.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Slow Start

Spring chill hovers.  Wrapped up in my blanket I roll over and squeeze in the warmth trying my best to ignore the alarm.  Five AM is too early on a Monday.  It's early the rest of the week too, but it hurts just a little more at the beginning of the work week.

Without an ounce of pep in my step, I shuffle to the bathroom willing the warm water to loosen up my body and my brain.  It works a little, but I know the coffee in the kitchen is what I really need to get myself going.

My hand wraps around a warm mug of french roast as I settle onto the floor and stretch out the muscles in my back and neck.  The coffee begins to swirl in the recesses of my sleepy brain, offering a gentle push toward the business of the day.

With body stretched and my brain switching on I open my laptop to check on email, review the day's lesson feeling almost ready to go while thinking of the warmth I had under that gray comforter upstairs.