Thursday, March 06, 2008

'crazy busy' is a word i hear to describe times like these, trying to finish up a term which was disrupted by two ice storms, where students are coming forward with papers, after the deadline, and i have to be nice to them and either say no, or just let the resentment seep into the grading form. and just at the peak, yesterday, another ice storm, a march-type, freak thing that we knew was temporary but was ice just the same. it didn't even stick on the roads or walks, much, but it stuck on the trees, then it snowed on the ice on the trees; even then, the roads and walks were ok, so life went on as usual. but then it rained again, and froze on the snow, making the trees an icy, glazy white ghostly color. there had been buds on some of them, so it was icy ghostly and strange-shaped in many places, very beautiful in the morning sun, yet we had to hurry out the door and off to work as usual where demands and papers pile up (see picture below) the elementary school, at the drop-off (a name they actually use for a place, not realizing how often we've seen Nemo), the kindergartner struggles with his jacket and his pack, tries to organize himself in his own way, goes off to class. but at the daycare, the two-year-old gets out of the car, and looks around...he's always looking for a way to stall, something to divert himself so he doesn't run straight into the daycare. don't get me wrong, he likes the place, it's just that, well, it's a long day, and here he is, outside, with his dad's full attention on him, and, why not drag it out a little. so ice is falling in shiny, white-and-clear pieces, all over the place, hitting some cars and people but not doing much harm, making a sound like a chandelier falling, giving you the feeling of delicate glass breaking. and he finds an ice sleeve, cylindrical, came off of a branch i'm sure, yet it fell in that form, like a hollow paper-towel cylinder only made of ice and snow, clear and white. he picks it up with the intention of showing it, taking it inside, which he does. by then, it's fallen apart, a little, in his hands. it ends up in the sink. the day starts, social, busy, indoor projects going on- in the daycare, they're saying, it'll be nice when we can get outside again. i can second that. who am i, rushing him inside on a march morning? what has life come to, that i'm in a hurry to get to work?

vignettes from a weekend trip to paducah, kentucky, a truly different world, yet less than 90 minutes from here. a truck accident on the o-river bridge- forced to detour through a small town and then a metal bridge, very narrow, where i couldn't put my elbow out the open window. high above the o-river, felt like i could see all the way to pittsburgh, where i grew up, where the muddy monongahela washed into it and gave it that sickly color. but alas my window went west, and i couldn't even see the bridge with the accident on it, though i could see the sun shining on the river below. in paducah, a lot of swimming with the kids, a hot tub, exhaustion, yet spring was breaking out, even there, it was starting to be time to open windows. this was back before the ice storm, on a weekend when people were coming out, happy, relieved. i like to listen to people talk- down there, it seems like there is a whole different mix of speech patterns, and i often have to ask people to repeat. finally found an old arts section of the city, where fixed-up victorians are made into art galleries yet the wide streets and old trees give a lazy southern feeling, like it's very hot around here much of the time, which it is. but the place- the whole area really- lost a lot of trees in the ice storms, and many of them are still standing around, though life has gone back to busy. and it's hopping, commercially, lots of new cars around, as if all the japanese car factories are just leaving a few of them to give away, i'm not even sure where those factories are, but somebody's getting plenty of work. in the restaurant, a swordfish dinner, now that was a strange sensation, i'd never associate kentucky with swordfish, but i will, if that keeps up. and, a lot of driving, on busy roads. mccracken county, it's called, and they use the word 'bluegrass' much like we'd use 'egyptian'....bluegrass payday advance, bluegrass bmw, bluegrass toyota. i'd-a stopped to appreciate the irony, but there was too much traffic, kids hocking for a dairy queen, there was no way i could even find out what was on the radio, much less have time to even listen to it. another time, i guess- it's not going away, in fact, summer's coming, but that just means, more busy.

back home, illinois is cold, though the snow has melted. all trace of the third, freak ice storm, gone. march, its mixed messages, mixed blessings, all thirty-one days of it, & fixin' to go green, as soon as i can get the fiddle out.


Blogger Peggy said...

I hope you don't get any more ice storms. They make walking so scary and driving impossible! I'm glad you remember not to hurry so often. I am always forgetting to slow down.

I've always wanted to visit Paducah. I like making quilts and Paducah is home to some great quilting supplies (and bluegrass).

2:36 PM  

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