There have been many moments in the past few weeks where I've looked up to wonder at the cyclical nature of life. What year is it exactly? Here are some examples:
--I'm teaching two online classes, which has made me feel like a first year teacher again. I'm so enthusiastic about my students. I'm so thrilled with how the classes are going. I'm a bit afraid that I'll screw it up somehow--although this time, it's more about the technology and less about the teaching. When I first started, there was no technology more complicated than my piece of chalk. It was years later when televisions and VCRs became standard fixtures in classrooms. And when I first started teaching, computers were so important that you wouldn't just leave them unattended in classrooms.
--I'm helping my spouse with a variety of home repairs. It takes me back to our early days of fixing up the wrecks of repossessed houses that we bought. The second house in Goose Creek, South Carolina needed lots of work. We built walls where there were none. We did wiring and plumbing. We put in every variety of flooring. We built a huge deck. We didn't have to do any roofing, but that's about all we didn't do (although in our first house, we re-roofed a shed, so we could have done it, if we had needed to).
--Those home repair/improvement shows don't show the mountains of wasted raw materials: the tiles that cracked in the wrong place, the carpet cut in the wrong place, the gobs of masonry/plaster/paste that we thought we'd need but didn't, the lumber that split the wrong way when the saw hit it. No one fights on a home repair show. No one hurls tools in anger/disgust/frustration. No one dissolves into weeping.
--Happily, these days, we have fewer meltdowns (either the sadness kind, the frustration kind, or the anger kind). We know that home repair comes with a particular kind of challenges. Fortunately, there are also joys.
--Yesterday we went to buy fabric for the curtains we will make for the cottage. It seems we've been making curtains for a long time. Or perhaps it's that we've come full circle. Once, when we were poor grad students, we made curtains out of remnants because it was a cheap way to cover the windows. As we earned more money, we bought a variety of blinds from foreign factories. No matter how much we spent, they always looked plastic and cheap to me--even when they were made out of wood. Now we're back to fabric and handmade curtains.
--But some things don't change. Yesterday I used a coupon that give us 25% off our entire purchase, regardless of whether or not we bought things on sale. So, the material was 30% off, and then we got an additional 25% off--and I was so thrilled.
--The woman who measured out our fabric did it very precisely--so unlike the days when you'd get an extra 1/8 or 1/4 yard of fabric. Perhaps that's why we no longer have Piece Goods stores.
--We finished the day with bowls of ice cream, the lowfat kind. These days, there are so many more delicious varieties of lowfat ice cream. If you have a Publix grocery store in your area, try Coconut Road lowfat ice cream. Yum!
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