These two purring, cuddling bundles of love have handled the last two weeks of prepping, moving, pounding and sawing mostly unscathed. When the loud voices and machines went away, the kitties sniffed and looked over the work with an air of superiority and wonder. Now that the floor project is complete, they are back to their usual antics.
The Wenatchee valley is truly spectacular at this time of year. I was thrilled that my friend N shared this special, straight up, thigh burnin’, panoramic hecka hike with me this morning. It was JUST what I needed to wake me up!
I think I need a break from being inside my head. I may in fact be the world’s biggest dork. Yesterday I sent an email to our AmeriCorps volunteer apologizing for my dorkdom. When a student overheard her telling me she loves my dorkiness (but not understanding the preceding context) the student came to my aid and defended me as not being a dork. It was sweet, but I assured that I was comfortable being a dork. Good thing, since the whole concept came up again today.
In a day where 85% of my time could be construed as dorky, the highlight came when I decided to ride my bike to my after school job at the high school. It would seem that such an event should be innocuous enough, yet my barely ten minute commute contained plenty of Glee-like moments. In fact, it’s amazing how much I feel like a high schooler whenever I’m on that campus.
My first challenge was riding with a large shoulder bag strapped to one side of my body. Normally I wear a backpack but since mine is currently being quarantined for bed bugs, I was left to my own devices. For a block and a half tops I felt oh so chic and European, casually pedalling with my bag slung over my shoulder all a-kilter. Until it fell. The rest of my ride involved swerving and muttering and almost falling off trying to balance the huge load on one side. Good thing I took the quiet neighborhood route instead of the main road.
I was running late and decided to leave my bike by the back, usually less traveled, door. There was no bike rack in sight, so I flagged a special ed class to assist me with ideas on where to secure my bike. Once I finally settled on locking up on a nearby stair rail, I plopped my bag down in the middle of the walkway and started negotiating the bike placement and lock procedure. I was firmly planted in mid-hoist (still wearing my helmet) when I heard first a faint creak and then saw a swarm of black t-shirt clad kids bearing PIONEER TRACK across their chests. There must have been 100 kids who barreled through right there between my bag (holding video camera, phone, and files), my bike, and me. And still there I was in all my glorified dorkdom–awkwardly holding bike and lock on the side of a hill, helmet still on.
Once secured and safely inside I started helping a student who I hadn’t seen in a while with a letter she had to write her college’s financial aid office. After I made a pretty bad typical pun about donuts, she quickly remarked that I am funny and such a dork. If she only knew! She was quick to point out that, “It’s ok. Everyone has their dorky moments. It’s what makes us unique.” I guess I should feel blessed to be fully endowed in the dork department.
Remember when you were little and pretended you were EVERYTHING? Doctor, actor, actuary, grocery bagger… I kinda never grew out of that. I wear many hats on any given day. Just today I have been an athletic inmate (ok, long story…I will explain in a future post), a writer, a promotions coordinator, a prospective job seeker, a mentor, a singer, and a parent. A parent? Without kids? Yes. Those who know me would definitely attest that I am a bit connected to my kitties, but really it is my kiddos to whom I refer this time.
I have been so privileged to work with the GEAR UP Scholars this year. Today a few of these awesome students went back to their old middle school (where their GEAR UP journey began) to inform their former teachers of their future college and career plans, and to thank them for being the first chapter in their future success.
I had tears in my eyes. My role as the group photographer (oops–one more job try on for the day) gave me the pleasure of listening to each of these students speak so articulately and confidently about who they are becoming. The teachers oohed and aahed, and later shared that it was better than any “teacher appreciation candy” they had ever received.
Afterwards I got to share the kids’ enthusiasm about how good it felt to say those things and to see them reflect on how much has changed since they crossed the street from middle schoolers to high schoolers.
I am proud of them and they are proud of themselves. It is incredible to see these students at this point. I wish I could be beamed into the future just a bit to see what the next road each of them takes will bring.
This has been a trying couple of weeks. In the grand scheme of things I know that these annoyances (bedbugs, spouse in ER, cat peeing, car rifled through, home improvement projects…) are pretty tame stressors (and for that I am lucky), but nonetheless it is stressful! Since most of us can’t do yoga 24/7 in order to keep ourselves sane we need to keep breathing, thinking good thoughts, and “going to our happy place.” This is one of my favorite places to go, in person or virtually. Where’s your happy place?
Toppenish Teen Fakes Pregnancy
Bridgeport Obama Commencement
Teens so often get a bad rep for being apathetic, lazy, aimless. But these two stories make me proud of our regional teenagers. It’s nice to see intelligent, engaged teens getting some press time. Go central Washington!
J and I were exhausted this weekend and thought we would “take it easy.” Apparently that meant endless house projects, cleaning, cooking, catching up on phone calls, organizing and EXERCISE. Today was supposed to be my rest day. We started with a five mile hike and later did a short four or five mile bike ride. Hmm… Will I be up for the Jail Yard circuit in the morning???
The hike was the first trip up Saddle Rock for the season. I love seeing how the trail changes at each time of year. Today I noticed the significant erosion damage that has occurred over the winter, the thick snowpack that still coats the mountains, the abundant fruit blossoms that are flowering around town, and of course I especially noted my favorite signs that spring are here–the hills are awash with golden balsamroot and periwinkle lupine.