Thoughts On No Electricity and Why Is School Still Happening?

Well, I hate to be the girl who brags, but listen:

I’m officially on summer vacation, because that’s part of the luxury of only teaching part time.  Of course, the opposite of EARLY SUMMER VACATION BECAUSE YOU DON’T EVER TEACH PE ON THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS is YOUR PAYCHECK REFLECTS THIS.

And really?  WHY are children still in school?  Why is my disheveled self still standing in the kitchen at 6:45 in the morning, with hair that looks like Medusa’s, while I try to find SOMETHING in the refrigerator that can work to battle lunchtime hunger for a thirteen-year-old boy?

(I’m beginning to think it might be cheaper for our family to just buy hay bales for the boy to eat.)

(I could just haul one up every morning in the back of the truck, like I was a genuine rodeo princess in a cute cowgirl hat, and I could set that bale of hay right on the deck.  And then, whenever the boy looked at me with those eyes that said, “I’m dying of hunger over here; it has been nineteen minutes since my last meal,” I could just open the backdoor and release him to a fine lunch of dried grasses that had been pressed into a brick by every manner of expensive farm machinery known to John Deere.)

Anyway, the rest of Small Town, USA is stuck in school until tomorrow, and I’m just over here shouting, “Hey!  Who wants to throw bologna sandwiches into a cooler and hit the lake?”

And then I wonder who this girl is writing my blog post tonight, because I don’t actually eat bologna.

In other news, we had a bit of a tornado / hurricane / waterless tsunami last night come through town.

I had just turned the oven on so that I could make dinner, and the boy had just announced that maybe he’d go on outside and mow the yard, if I had any cash available for him afterwards, because WHAT IS THIS CONCEPT OF FREE LABOR?  While he was changing out of his THIS IS THE ONLY PAIR OF SHOES THAT I OWN THAT IS PRESENTABLE ENOUGH FOR POLITE SOCIETY and into his THIS IS ONE OF THE PAIRS OF SHOES THAT MY MOTHER WANTS TO WATCH BURN UP IN A BONFIRE shoes, the wind came up.

And by WIND, I mean tree branches bigger than my thighs began sailing past our windows, while our deck furniture blew into a heap and the neighbor’s shingles started sailing off like some melancholy soul was flinging playing cards into a hat on the opposite side of the room.

Later, we checked Facebook, because all the reliable news is there, and people were posting pictures of their trampolines on their garage roofs… of entire trees laying flat in their yards… of semi trucks on their sides… and of shed roofs just flat-out MISSING IN ACTION.

Apparently, that’s what a 74-mph windstorm can do in the course of 15 minutes.

My sister’s kids now know the horrors of this, because their beloved trampoline will be buried in the city landfill later this weekend, after suffering a violent death last night.

The wind also knocked our electricity out from 4:30 yesterday afternoon until well after 10:30 last night, and this caused some reflection to happen at our house.

Mostly, I realized that I was placed in this time period for a reason, and that reason is that I ADORE electricity and all the things that come with it (like hot water and air conditioning and my Keurig and a good hair dryer).  Last night’s power outage assured me that I could never have lived on the prairie as Caroline Ingalls’ neighbor, because HOW DO YOU WARM UP MILK FOR THE BABY’S BEDTIME BOTTLE WITHOUT THE GE MICROWAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN?

No matter.  I got out of cooking, because NO ELECTRICITY, HUBS!  We went to Wendy’s, where I celebrated my night of cooking freedom with a greasy hamburger that left me with digestive regrets for most of the evening.

The boy was filled with a bit of anxiety last night for a while, because the lack of a working home computer was looking like it might last a while.  He simply said, “But!!!  I have homework!  And I can’t do it without the computer!”  Apparently he needed to access his school account to get to a document of a term paper he was almost finished writing, which was due THIS MORNING.  And do you know what happens when you have two days of school left and you don’t hand in an assignment on time?

It’s called YOU GET A BIG ZERO, KID, WHICH DROPS YOUR GPA, WHICH MAKES YOUR MOTHER LONG FOR A REFERRAL FOR HERSELF TO THE STATE MENTAL INSTITUTION.

Mamas worry about grades called BIG ZEROES.

The boy solved his own problem, because his mind is more gifted at technology than mine is.  He simply logged into the school’s website that stores his homework with his phone (His phone, people!), and then he used a microphone app to actually dictate the rest of his paper to his Samsung smart phone, and voila!

Homework done.  GPA assured.  Mama doesn’t need a horse-sized nerve pill any longer.

I just wish that someone would have told my old twenty-two-year-old self that one day I would have a teenage son who would access his half-finished paper from clear across town WITH A HANDHELD TELEPHONE, and that he would just talk into said telephone and finish the paper off.

Had I understood the ways of higher technology, I could have dictated my blog post last night to my iPhone and asked her to go ahead and post it for me.  As it was, my mind couldn’t think of anything advanced like that, because I was very busy wondering WHAT I was going to pack the boy for lunch in the morning, and trying to decide how long his brain could focus on two string cheeses and some dry Grape Nuts in a Ziploc baggie, because WHY WON’T ANYONE GO TO THE GROCERY STORE AROUND HERE?

And then we had an awards ceremony at the junior high this morning at 7:30.

Apparently the junior high staff thinks it’s dadgum funny to make mothers, who are actually wondering why school is still in session after Memorial Day anyway, get themselves dolled up and out of their yoga pants, so that they can see their young teen receive an award at the school AT THE CRACK OF WHAT THE HECK?, while they try to keep an energetic two-year-old quiet on their laps.

This is why people self medicate with Camels and cheesecake.

I did FORCE the boy and his gang of buddies to “squeeze together” and “sparkle and shine” a couple of times this morning.

Naturally, they were thrilled.

IMG_4799 IMG_4800And the answer is YES.  Patrick’s pose really WAS intentional.  When I herded them all together, Patrick (in the purple T-shirt) announced, “I want to look like I’m staring into a different dimension.”

Nailed it like a boss, Kid.

Y’all have a merry little weekend.

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