Thursday, January 25, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

it's king day, and i have to say, we white folks still don't quite know how to celebrate. i'm too tired to invite people over and have some kind of feast; in fact, my christmas tree is still sitting out there in the yard waiting for me to figure out what to do with it (my wife says, slash pit). i hauled in some wood and made a couple of pots of coffee. the twelve-year-old (girl) is gone leaving the nine-year-old (girl) restless with nothing to do. both girls love skating so she (the nine-year-old) has donned her snowsuit and jacket in hopes i'll get the hint. i'm not getting hints; we have three boy gamers over too, and they need supervision. my wife is down the hill getting supplies.

heart of the winter, is the best way you can describe this holiday. we used to talk about "january thaw" coming at the end of january, as it used to do, but i don't know if it still does or if it ever did, in this part of the country. we get snow and it tends to stick, as we have quite a bit now, but it didn't stop me from hauling wood in or even working outside; it's actually pretty mild and even sunny.

the big news here is that we took over a tiny house next to us, for minimal rent, partly because we needed space and partly because we'd like, ultimately, to start a quaker meeting. it has a tiny living space, and a view similar to ours, across the white sands, but it still has an unfinished kitchen and insides, so we got it cheap. the guy set about fixing it up with quality wood, quality insulation, quality windows, etc., but couldn't finish, and had to get back to washington state. he was in the habit of hanging around the local bar offering it to down-and-out locals, but we took it instead, partly in order to keep such people out. we'll move our oldest son in there first, probably, and go from there. he'll help with the internet fee out of his youtube earnings.

time for another pot of coffee, i think. the oldest son's dog is a pest, when his boy is away, and just made a racket when the internet serviceman came by. others are going strong too. i'm still exhausted, trying to gather up strength to 1) teach as a sub in the alamo schools, 2) take two courses to continue my ed degree, 3) tutor part time at an old writing lab job; 4) teach a class of chinese children, writing, and 5) keep visiting dad once a week, 90 miles away, a thoroughly exhausting chore; 6) keep the wood hauled, kids fed, dishes washed, laundry done, etc.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Tuesday, January 09, 2018


big snow coming in, and an unusual confluence: just as the temps go down below freezing, at about 4 am, the rain is supposed to come in, and turn to snow. which leaves the question, only to be answered at 4 am, if the rain will drop first, then freeze, then get snow on top of it. we are, after all, at about 9000 feet - well, the roads that count are at about 8650 anyway, and anything can happen. wind is supposed to come in with this snow rendering it all possibly slippery, with low visibility.

having been through this before, i know that it's hard to predict what's going to happen on top of an 8650 foot mountain, let alone at 4 am, on some random winter night. it's also hard to wake up in the middle of the night, go out there, and actually try to find out. i think i'll be ok (i have to drive down the hill at about 7) - i depend, basically, on those snowplow/beetheet guys to pink up the roads before i get there. i know the route. i don't look at the sunrise over the white sands and the san augustins off in the distance. i go 6000 feet straight down, on winding, hairpin turn, steep roads, with no shoulder....i don't text.

i've been subbing back and forth, this school here, that school there, on the assumption that my dad might need me any time. now that i look at it as something i do for my dad (having had opportunities for long-term positions, only to pass them up), i don't mind as much. i get a good general look at the whole system and have time to ask people about how each school works. i find out about people i already know, having worked in each school a little. i maintain friendships with various students, whom i've come to like.

of my own kids, i have two twelve-year-olds, which means that a day like today, when i saw virtually every twelve-year-old on the south half of alamogordo, is actually good for me, in terms of getting perspective on my own kids and how they are rising up through the years. today i was doing genetics, and i reminded them that their generation was the first that would have to deal with genetic manipulation of one's kids - whether it was possible, whether it was allowable, whether it would be affordable, and that kind of stuff. they actually listened to that. i have no idea if that counts for teaching. with each class - there were seven - i read a story about genetics and athletes, and with each one, i gave my little rap. students are determined to do nothing and be worthless when there's a sub, but, with a little manipulation, i can get a few words in edgewise. and, whether they actually do the exercise is really between them and the teacher; not my business. what's my business, really, is whether the classroom is calm, orderly, conducive to doing the work if one wants to do it.

the storm advisory has come in - the wind is a wild card in this situation - also, a situation where two extra boys stay at our house, has come to the point where this may not continue. it is, after all, a school night, and a work night. we have a cabin, a small one. one boy, however, we've forgotten to feed. he fit between the others, all of whom were eating different things, and we never called him upstairs. fill up, i say, weather's coming. to the rest, it's not a problem: they walk to school, and don't rely on good roads. it's me, who cares, and who will sleep with one eye open, so to speak.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018