I have no excuse for being offline except that I've been busy getting the house organized, going to a funeral, folding laundry, making breakfast, and doing freelance work. And feeling a bit overwhelmed, emotional, determined, humored, and scattered. I can't always figure out how to juxtapose blog posts next to each other without it appearing like my life is one huge mood swing. Well, actually, my life is one big mood swing. But you know. Whatever.
So, without trying to weave any sort of context or theme, I bring you some stories from last week.
We here on the Family Farm didn't get our mail last Monday. When my aunt went to the post office on Tuesday to inquire about the missing mail, the counter clerk said, "First of all, I want to tell you that the mail lady was not injured."
Yeah, that's never a good sign.
Our mail wasn't delivered because the mail truck burst into flames. ON FIRE. OUR MAIL. They delivered the crispy mail later in the week, but it was quite singed. I was a tad bitter about it because how long does it take to throw the mail out of the truck? Then I got over myself and realized that my mail isn't worth someone's life. Even though there was a paycheck for me in the mail. Meh.
Moral of the story: they may deliver through rain and sleet and snow, but they draw the line at burning vehicles.
We went to a financial seminar last Tuesday, which was fine as far as financial seminars go. But one of the speakers really bugged me when he made a slightly disparaging comment about smart people. And people with college degrees.
While I wouldn't consider myself a genius by any stretch of the imagination, I think I'm moderately intelligent. At least, I've had some really amazing college professors from whom I learned a great deal. Plus, I happen to have a college degree. Two, in fact. I mention all this to explain why I got into a bit of a huff when some guy wants to pish-posh smart people and their college degrees.
So after the seminar, as Jason and I were talking with some other people, the guy comes over to start up a conversation. We chat briefly with him before he asks us what we do for a living.
"I'm a teacher," Jason said.
And then for the first time in my life, and much to Jason's shock, I said, "I'm a college professor." I never tell people that's my occupation. I always say something to the effect of "Mostly I stay at home with my kids, but a couple days a week a teach at a college." I'm usually very apologetic about it since I'm just an adjunct. Without a doctorate. My professional life is very, very small.
However, for a brief fleeting moment I didn't feel apologetic about my job. Also, let's be honest, I wanted the guy to feel uncomfortable. He did. Apologized about his smart people comment, and I felt vindicated. And a teeny bit pompous.
I have a reoccurring nightmare that I'm driving along a winding road and lose control of the car, sending me over the edge. Sometimes I'm driving by myself, sometimes not. I always feel the split second of utter panic before I wake up. It's one of my greatest fears.
On Wednesday, we went to the funeral of one of Jason's co-workers who lost control of her car along I-5. Although almost the entire drive from Salem to Portland has a wide shoulder, she lost control on an overpass, and her car went over the edge. She was 53, a grandparent of three, amazingly friendly and thoughtful.
I cried throughout the funeral. Her children had lost their father to cancer a year previously. "It's not fair," said her daughter at the reception following the service. It was a really sad day. My grief was compounded by the fact that I'm losing a loved one to cancer. It's not fair.
Life is a mood swing. One day we're mourning the loss of a too-early death, the next we're celebrating a life full of years.
It's true that life isn't fair, but many times we don't want it to be fair. Grandma turned 95...what a blessing.
Jason and I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It was good enough. Mostly I enjoy seeing Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson together, and there were some poignant and funny moments related to teen relationships. (Also, this comment made me laugh: "too much of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince resembles a lesser episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 with owls.")
In the end, however, I didn't think it did that great of a job capturing what book six is about (hardly a mention of the Horcrux plot), and the ending was totally flat (no battle scene?!). Also, while I'm certainly no purist when it comes to movie adaptations of books, I thought it took a few unnecessary liberties (Harry standing idly by at the ending's pivotal scene? the Weasley's house on fire?). I don't know if I would rank it as far as fourth place in the series, but definitely not higher than third.
I worked all day on the house, and it's practically done being organized and unpacked. There are still a few stray boxes hanging around, the basement is in some disarray, and the walls still have to be painted, but mostly? It's done. It's a good feeling. A really good feeling. (I am ignoring the feeling that there will always be projects that need to be done.) Dare I say it, I think we're finally settled. I can't quite believe it.
So, there you go. Last week in a walnut shell. I'm a bit afraid to look at my Google Reader. It's probably about ready to explode.
Eventually, though, I'll start to relax, and my to-do list will shorten. I spent about five hours hanging out at the creek today, watching the girls play in the water and sand. AND I got a blog post in. Yay me.
I'd say that's a good start.