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Too Much

At the end of each work day I am so tired, it is all I can do to drag myself into the house and package the eBay products that sold during the day. Then I list a few more — and suddenly the evening is shot and I am crawling into bed for a few hours sleep before something jerks me awake.

Sunday afternoon I stumbled into my room for a nap. My head hurt. My eyes burned. I needed sleep.

I fell across my bed and collapsed. Fifteen minutes later I heard shouting and cursing. It sounded close. Too close. In my yard close. I rolled off the bed and looked out the window. Some dude was trying to climb the chain-link fence that surrounds my backyard. It’s a low fence and I think he would have made it easily if it weren’t for the two cops holding on to him.

They lifted the guy off the fence and spread him across the hood of my car. Lovely. They spent about an hour in my driveway before they tucked him in their car and rolled away. After that I couldn’t get to sleep. Every little noise would jerk me to wakefulness, and I had terrifying dreams.

Monday at school we had the annual 5th grade barbecue. Hot dogs, sodas, kickball and 104F heat. I drug my butt home to a huge number of sales — that’s not a complaint, but I had to work rather then rest — and no air conditioning. I called the office and they had someone here within 20 minutes. He looked at the swamp cooler and told me it was an easy fix. All it needed was a new drive belt. That was the good news. The bad news was, he didn’t have one and since it was after 5, he couldn’t get one until morning.

So, I suffered through packaging and listing in 104F temps with no air. Luckily I do have a small unit in my bedroom window and it kept my bedroom cool enough that I could sleep — but again I had those horrid dreams. Cops, sirens, screaming, guns — I don’t need to watch TV, it’s all right there behind my eye-lids.

I need sleep. I need rest. I need school to be over.

Today we had the practice culmination ceremony. Traditionally at the end of the program I take the mic and introduce the outgoing students to their parents as next year’s sixth graders, and the graduating class of ____ (add seven to the current date). Today — at practice — I stepped up to the mic, had the kids stand and face where the audience will be — and couldn’t speak. My throat closed up. Tears filmed my eyes. I realized there is no way I am going to be able to do this for real on Thursday without seriously crying.

Usually the year end ceremony makes me a bit misty, but this is for real. This is good-bye. They won’t be bopping into my room next year to sit on the table and tell me about life in sixth grade. I won’t be there.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am looking very much forward to the next phase in my life, but while looking so earnestly ahead, I forgot how very much I hate saying good-bye.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Definately too much. You need a spa day, Quilly, and make someone else introduce those new sixth graders, you’ll have everyone crying.

  2. I agree with Kat – a spa day is in order. I wish I could give you something to send the bad dreams away. I guess now, more than ever, you are looking forward to the move.

    Elton John was wrong – Sorry isn’t the hardest word: Goodbye is.

  3. oh my sweet you do need some extra rest and i do hope you can get some. i too am so very happy for the next phase of your life but this interim is hectic ..

    thank you for your words my friend and believe me i believe them for real too. i think the machine will help me in boundless ways. my appt just got moved up to this thursday in the am and i’m so excited. i do believe that my life will change…

    here is to new beginnings for us both. i’m so glad you are selling so much. i took a look and you have so many good books and such, now wonder why you are so smart šŸ˜‰

    here is sending you many hugs and thank you deeply for giving me so much caring. love to you and your family and to your sweetheart of course.. xoxoxxoxoxox

  4. Oh my word! I take a blog break and come back to find you are going to Hawaii!! Best of luck with that move.
    Rest…what is that? Hope you find some! šŸ™‚

  5. I was going to call you an “old softy”, but thought old might be upsetting, so I thought “big softy”, but no, big might be upsetting, hey you’re just a softy ok.

  6. Goodbys are always filled with emotions, much like a fizzy drink the bubbles sweet yet often making us choke up. Personally, I believe you will sit quietly, write some magnificant statement of your experience with these children and the school system the audience will applaud and much to their dismay you will leave them rolling in laughter by comments of tender affection you have all along displayed. šŸ™‚
    I can hardly wait for the new chapters of life stories you will share.
    Big hug and best wishes!!!

  7. I never day good bye, but say “See ya!” instead which somehow makes it easier even though I probably will not see them again.

  8. I do not blame you for not being able to say the last part. There is no way I could. I got choked up reading your blog about it. I have known most of the 5th graders this year since they were 1st graders. I have really seem them grow up!! I want to see the completion ceremony but I think I would be in tears the whole time. Good luck tomorrow, keeping your eyes dry:)

  9. leaving something behind is always hard.
    hope you get a good and well deserved rest once this is over.
    fingers corssed!

  10. Quilly, excellent story, beautifully written.

    These will be the memories you keep and that define you to yourself. The strength you will gain at times like this will carry you easily through all the little problems of such a big move.

    Have fun at the ceremony and don’t leave any dry eyes in the house!

    *hug* Morgan

  11. OMG! Quilly…..Seeing that unsettling, true crime drama behind your eyelids is one thing, BUT, seeing it behind your house is another. RUN, Quilly, RUN (oh, ya!)…………FLY, Quilly, FLY………. to Hawaii and relax and rest the entire summer.

    You know we will ALL be thinking of you Thursday and sending good wishes to you for a successful completion ceremony. Tears…..everyone will understand and probably join you…………….Judy

    P.S…..(I certainly don’t relate your school ceremony to the following occasion, but, I did a reading, once, at a funeral and completely broke down. I was able to finish the last few sentences in a high pitched voice that would frighten small children and make dogs howl. When I sat down, my cousin lean over to me and said, “You made the whole place cry. I want you to speak at MY funeral!”)

  12. Kat — you know, I am not sure a spa day wold help. I am not good at letting people fuss over me.

    Bill — thank you, the prayer worked. I slept well last night.

    Mumma — good-byes are horrid. I prefer to left them unsaid and just slip away.

    Sister — no way. It is a 45 minute drive through horrids traffic. I really am safer here then on those roads.

    Chana — all hugs and prayers are deeply appreciated. And it’s good to see you out and abot again!

    DaBich — I should do a “how blogging changed my life” post, because I met OC here, and he is the reason I am going to Hawaii. You really should stop by more often.

    Bazza — old and big are bad vchoices — because of their truths.

    Believe me Pauline, if I am going to cry, I will indeed do my best to make you all cry with me.

    Lori — my heart knows the truth and sends the message to my eyes.

    Nessa — I am going to get through by focusing on the hello that is waiting for me when the craziness is finally over. (Well, as over as craziness ever gets in my life.)

    Stella — come to the party. Why should I cry alone? A lot of your former students are going to be on that stage.

    Polona — between here and Hawaii I am going to kick back in the Pacific Northwest and soak up some green and some sea spray. That and time with OC will help me unwind.

    Morgan — I don’t much like crying — and I’m truly not a fan of crying in public, but have a feeling the next two days are going to be very damp.

    Judy — in a couple of weeks I will be leading the prayer service at my church for the last time. i almost always choke up when I lead public prayer because I take each request seriously. This time — my last time — I am afraid that wobble in my voice will be much more pronounced then usual. I was going to turn the request down, then pastor said it wasn’t so much for me that she was asking, but for the people who love me. Talk about emotional blackmail.

    Dr. John — I don’t know. I am getting very fond of eBay. Don’t come to visit. If you sit in one place too long I may just take your picture and put you up for sale.

  13. (((((((Hugs Quilly)))))))) It’s okay babe! You cry all you want! You’ve earned it! And those kids and parents are gonna be cryin’ too….

    (hope the AC is fixed now!)

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