Saturday, March 28, 2009

Still raining.

It's still raining. Not with the thunder or lightning I love, just rain--drumming and drumming outside my windows, splashing against the central air conditioning unit in the yard. The rain is loud, dropping straight down from the high second story. (The landlord never cleans the gutters.) That's why grass doesn't grow properly back there: hard rain running off the roof and too much shade.

It's quiet today. Rakel and Todd are both out of town. Rakel's in D.C. for her niece's birthday, and a university in Florida has flown Todd down there. Their PhD program wants him so much that they've offered him $20k per year, flown him down there and even provided a hotel room. In this economy? Yowza. Good for Todd! It's sad to think about what it will be like without him next year. Not only does he drive me around, he's also my best friend here.

At least my parents are arranging a car for me. Mom and Dad are so generous. When J.B. and I graduated from college, we each got to take one of the cars our parents had on the farm. When I moved to NYC, I left mine with Mom and Dad, and the tornado got it. Oops. Now my parents might have a vehicle to spare again. (YAY! Have I written about this already? If so, sorry.) Dad thought he might send the parade car, the awesome '70s car with a working 8-track, to Virginia with me. The thing is, he loves that car, and I'm a little afraid it might attract too much attention (aka CRIME) in my neighborhood. As such, I have requested the slightly-tornado-damaged Buick...assuming it runs well. I have terrible luck with vehicles, so a car with a tempermental engine wouldn't be a good call.

Last week I mentioned my students' recent lethargy . Wednesday I joked, "What do I have to do, bring cookies?" They laughed, and one member of the armed forces perked up so much at the mere mention of cookies that I had to laugh, too. Friday before class, I whipped up some chocolate chip cookies. As I handed out napkins, one student asked with disbelief, "Wait a minute. You didn't actually bring cookies, did you?"

"Would I do that? Would I get up this morning and bake you chocolate chip cookies from scratch?"

The soldier could barely contain himself. "You really brought us cookies?"

"Still warm from the oven," I assured him as I passed out the treats. His reaction made me want to ship cookies to the front line. Hopefully tasty pastries bought me some goodwill, and my students will associate writing and composition class with happiness.

Meanwhile, I'm still home alone, listening to the rain. A train's whistle blows in the distance. Maybe it's headed to where you are.

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