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.

Hemmed In

Somehow it seemed that, The Grownups Wanted Us Dead, less and less often. I suppose they considered their work done since it was obvious we were trying to kill each other.

The next morning I told Rumble to go ahead and go to school without me, because my friends Sue and Anna were coming by. If Rumble left with the impression they would be taking me to school, that wasn’t my fault. We raided Gram’s sewing kit, grabbed a packet of needles and a couple of rolls of white thread, then we descended the basement stairs and invaded Rumble’s lair.

The complete Rumble Stories:

The P.B. & J. Sandwich (part 1)

Bright, Shiny Red (part 2)

Tea Time (part 3)

Cosmetically Yours (part 4)

Hemmed In (part 5)

Tea Time

The world is a lot different now then it was when I was a kid. We certainly weren’t as coddled then as children are today. In fact, when I was growing up I was pretty well certain that The Grownups Wanted Us Dead. And when they weren’t trying to kill us, we were trying to kill each other. Pretty much anything could be pressed into service as a weapon, and the more ordinary and routine it was — like Tea Time — the better it’s potential for mayhem.

Our tea drinking during the news had come to be a ritual. Rumble and I took turns brewing and serving. Sometimes one or the other of us would add a special treat ….

The complete Rumble Stories:

The P.B. & J. Sandwich (part 1)

Bright, Shiny Red (part 2)

Tea Time (part 3)

Flashback in the Mail

This post is brought to you courtesy of my mailbox. Since I did not leave the house yesterday, I checked the mail today. There were three envelopes inside. One was the power bill. It was the only thing I received which I didn’t like.

From my sister, Jackie, came an ancient photograph (see left). She mailed it inside a gorgeous card (see above) made by my sister, Caryl. The photograph was taken in 1975. I was fourteen years old and I lived in Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho that year with my father and step-mother. We used to go Square Dancing every Wednesday and Friday night. We are dressed for that event.

My step-mother is on the left. My Gram is in the middle, wearing a dress I made. I am on the right, also in a dress I made. I am the tall one in the picture. That’s a rarity since I’m only 5’4″.

The third thing my mailbox yielded was the information that my poem, Substance, has made it into the elimination round in a poetry contest. I entered the contest knowing it is a money making gimmick, but I’ve made it into the “you don’t have to pay us to publish you” category, and am on my way to the, “we’ll pay you,” list. I am a bit curious though why the judges thought, Substance, a better poem than, Battered Rose.

Oh well, as a poet I’ll never make famous, but who needs fame when I have all of you?