Saturday, December 12, 2009


It isn't snowing anymore, and I am so sorry for that! It may snow again this weekend, though. Now, the snow melted a little and turned into ice on the sidewalks. That is no fun. But at least everything is still mostly white. Alas, our snow never got above the tips of our grass. They stick out the top of it and ruin the yard. Maybe we should mow if we ever get a chance so the snow can cover it up next time.

But I had a good time yesterday. Our elegant and clever department chair is retiring, so we had a lunch for her at work. We all piled into her warm office and ate beef stew and lemon cake and talked about what we're going to read this winter. I am so lucky to be part of this department. Your department makes all the difference. Good co-workers can make anything bearable, even five classes of freshman composition writing five papers each.

My classes were small. Some of my students were still snowed in. But we did our lesson plan anyway, and it went pretty well. Then they did class evaluations, and I hope that went well too! There is a lot to criticize this first semester. I hope to iron out some of the wrinkles by spring.

The campus closed at 4, and that's when the Christmas party started in the Commons. I sang back-up with the faculty band, and our fearless dean (actually, he was really nervous in this case) played drums in public for the first time. I was standing there singing Marshall Tucker Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs thinking, "There on the drums is my dean. There on the lead guitar is our head librarian. There on the bass and keyboards and rhythm guitar are my fellow professors. And here singing beside me is our all-knowing secretary. And there, dancing in front of us, is our college president. Outside is snow. I am the luckiest person in the world."

Unfortunately, Joe didn't get to join in any of these festivities. He had staff duty yesterday, which means he was up for 24 hours. Normally when you have staff duty, you are off work the next day so you can sleep. But instead of that, he was informed that he would be participating -- sans sleep -- in humvee rollover simulation! That's right -- They took my poor, sleep-deprived husband, put him in a fake humvee with a bunch of other soldiers, then rolled it over. By the time he got home, he was sore and positively hallucinatory.

I was sad to be without him, but I still had a good time. I kept thinking that this is how it is going to be again, once he's gone -- going out with couples, on my own. But at least these couples invited me even without him. Lots of couples feel weird having you there when your husband is deployed, I think. I wish he would have been able to get to know my co-workers/friends because it makes it easier when he's gone for there to be people who know him, so they can remember things about him, so when they ask about him, they really know who they are asking about. But this unit has kept him really busy, so he's only met them once. And I barely know the wives from the unit, either. Post feels like another country, and I never go there. Everyone has children, and they have a different kind of life. But I know I'll get to know them once the guys are gone, and I know we'll get along since we'll have that big thing in common.

But all that sounds sad...It's not. It's how the Army works, and it's fine. I've lucked out in deployments so far: I waited out two in Mississippi, by the ocean. Now, I'll wait this one out in New York, by Lake Ontario and in the snow. I guess I'm the luckiest person I know, really. I'm not being sarcastic, either. I wake up most days and can't believe it's turned out this good.

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