Friday, September 30, 2005

Long Time No Blog

It's been so long since I wrote here, I couldn't remember my username or password. I tried all sorts of things last night to no avail, but now I've managed to get in. It's robinvanceatwood instead of robinatwood or robinvatwood. I can't remember why I used that; I never have before.

I think it might take me awhile to get back into the swing of writing. I kept a storm journal the first two weeks after Katrina, but since then I haven't done any writing. Ricky, our snack vendor, told me yesterday he kept a storm journal too. I was a little surprised because Ricky doesn't seem the journaling type. We talked a little about those first several days after the storm, and I was further surprised that he seems to have such good observational skills. About people, I mean. He told me that a lot of his journaling was about his observations of the way people reacted and how those reactions changed as the days passed. It made me feel pretty egocentric because my own journaling was mostly about my own thoughts and feelings.

Speaking of vendors, I got a haircut in Hattiesburg this afternoon and on my way home a little while ago I saw Bubba, our old Coke vendor. He was standing out in someone's driveway, talking to some people, and at first I didn't recognize him because he was smiling. I can't remember the last time I saw Bubba smile. He's not our vendor anymore, but the last several months he was there he was going through a bad divorce and he'd come in my classroom twice a week after he'd filled the machines to tell me everything that had happened between him and his wife since the last time we'd talked. It ate up my planning time, but what could I do? He'd come to the door and I'd ask how things were going and he'd start telling me and he'd be crying before he was four sentences into it. The poor man was sitting across the road from his own house every night, spying on his wife and her lover. He was pitiful, telling me over and over how much he still loved her and I'd say yeah, Bubba, but you absolutely have got to raise some hell; you cannot go around whimpering all the time and begging her to come back to you. And I'd be thinking that,in his present state of wimpishness, he was not at all attractive. Give her an ultimatum, I'd say. But he'd say he wanted her to know she could always come back, he'd always love her, he'd always be there. You're wrong, Bubba, I'd say. You're not her father, loving her unconditionally. You're her husband; adultery is not okay. She cannot think it's okay with you.

The same thing has just happened with my aunt and uncle. He had an affair; she wanted him back no matter what and did everything she could to hold onto him and let him know she'd be there no matter what. Don't these people read the bible? Don't they know about God and Israel? Spurned lovers raise hell. Period. I remember several years ago my friend Martha came to me and told me her husband was having an affair. She said she was doing her very best to woo him back to her--buying new lingerie, getting a new hairstyle, losing weight, being a perfect homemaker. She was desperate to keep him. I could not even begin to imagine myself doing that, and I told her so. She said oh, but she loved him so much. I told her I love Tim so much too, but I don't think that'd be the way to get him back. I'd shock him back to his senses and leave him no choices. And do you know what? She came to me several weeks later and told me she'd been to a Christian marriage counseling service and the counselor told her the same thing. That she absolutely was doing the wrong thing and to stop it right now. To get angry and let him know it. To tell him to stop that mess or else. To forgive the sin, but not if he continued in it.

All this has been on my mind lately because of my aunt and uncle and then the dream I had last night and seeing Bubba really made me want to write about it. Last night, I dreamed I was watching television and there was "The Bimbo". That's what Mama calls my uncle's lover. I always laugh when she says it, because it just sounds funny to me. But anyway, in the dream, there was the bimbo on TV. I don't know how I knew it was her, but I did. So I started watching very closely, checking her out. She's forty-five, I happen to know, the same age as my cousin, my uncle's daughter. That's just pretty dang sick to me, but anyway I was trying to see what he might see in her. She was attractive in a cheap sort of way, with a couple of surgically altered body parts. Well, the dream goes on, but it's embarrassing, so I won't go into all of it, but in the dream I was afraid Tim would come home and see her and be attracted to her. I turned the television off and thought about what I could do when he got home to distract him so he wouldn't turn on the TV. Silly.

I just registered online for the sessions I want to attend in Pittsburgh. One of the sessions I wanted was already full. Right now I'm planning how I might could get sick or something so I won't have to go. I always hate the thought of leaving home, but once I've gone somewhere I enjoy it. Especially NWP stuff. I checked out the Katrina blog while I was there. Elaine had written about TCs on the coast, but not any of the names I'm waiting to hear. I am desperate to hear from Kathleen, Stacy, Connie, Peggy, Robin. I know their homes must be gone because everything in Waveland and Bay St. Louis is gone. I need to know where they are. I'm checking the NWP blog several times a day.

The school year is still going well except that I'm just about fed up with all the rigmarole surrounding Lakyra. I love having her there, but I'm sick to death of all the mess going on with the adults involved. Her mother kept her out of school for seven days because she was holding out for the district to send a bus with a hydraulic lift to pick her up. The district had been paying Erisha (her mom) to bring the child to and from school every day. But now Erisha's decided it's too much of a strain on her back to get Lakyra, the chair, and the backup vent in and out of the building twice a day. So we met for two hours Wednesday morning and the district agreed to send the bus. Trouble is, now Melissa has to ride the bus to and from school and push Lakyra in and carry the back up vent, which weighs about fifty pounds. The chair is really heavy because it has a vent on it too. This afternoon at the pep rally, in the middle of the captain's speeches (my favorite part) Melissa told me she might quit and not be back Monday because she's strained her back when they took Lakyra home and none of this was what she'd agreed to when she was hired. She's right about that. She was hired to be a personal assistant to the child in the classroom, not to ride the bus to and from and transport heavy equipment. It's just all a big mess, and all we ever do is have meetings but never get anything resolved.

This was a long week, and Hannah's schedule has really gotten the best of me. It's just too much. There's something every single day after school and two nights on top of that. And there are band contests the next two Saturdays. After I've worked all week, and stayed after school until five or later, the last thing I want to do is get up on Saturday morning and go sit at a football field watching high school bands perform.

Shoot. I just remembered Daddy and Mama are going to the game tonight, and they'll expect me to be there. I missed them already Tuesday night when they went to see Hannah cheer. Tonight they're going to see Hannah and Morgan in the band. I'm already down to the smallest black iron skillet, but Mama told me if I'm very careful I can work my way back up. Now I'm thinking Angela and Harry will get them all. You can't beat a good seasoned black iron skillet.