Thursday, January 21, 2010

Observations from My Chair

It's January. It's cold. It's gray. It's either going to rain ice or snow - neither of which I anticipate with any amount of glee. I'm not a winter person. The fact is, I am so completely controlled by light and temperature that I am going to admit something that will blow the lid off my social cover.

I don't do much all day when the weather is cold. It's true. There is a red chair in my living room located right next to the large picture window. I begin my days there with the morning news, a cup of coffee and Special K bar. I then spend the next 2 hours trying to talk myself into hitting the elliptical. I literally make deals with myself, "After I check my email one more time . . . as soon as I hear the weather forecast (which is on a half hour loop and I've heard 4 times already) . . . when the latest on Tiger Woods has been broadcast." And I do pay my dues on said machine usually before 10 a.m. But what about the rest of the day?

Chances are good if you live anywhere near me, I know your schedule. Mary Jane, my next door neighbor has the energy and metabolism of a humming bird. I don't know where she has been so early in the morning but wherever it has been, she is returning home at 6:30 in the morning. The school bus picks up the little girl who lives with her grandma across the highway at 6:50 a.m. It's still dark out and the bus waits for a few minutes if she isn't quite ready. Shortly after, two sets of parents drop off their children at the M's house for daycare. One of the mom's always honks as she pulls out of the driveway and the little girl in the window blows a kiss. At about 7:30 Mike heads up town for breakfast at the Swedish Pancake House returning an hour and a half later unless it is Wednesday when he heads to a cemetery in Chicago to pay respects to his late wife. Yeah, my morning goes like that.

If, by some odd chance I have an appointment, social engagement or job then the routine gets switched up a little. Last week I subbed in the middle school of another district. I awoke, showered, dressed, had coffee and landed at the school at 7 a.m. I was "on" all day and I loved interacting with those kids (and yes, I was shocked!) We headed up to Spanky's for a Taco Tuesday dinner and I was ready for bed by 7:30 p.m. Thank goodness I wasn't scheduled the next day because I needed to sit in my red chair and recuperate. Yesterday, I was meeting my BFF Deb for coffee at 11 a.m. Thus, I was able to monitor the usual goings on of the morning before getting, dressed, doing my hair and putting on make-up. Why would I do this just for coffee with a friend? Because, if I am going to slog outside in this gray mass of cold and ice, I wasn't going to waste the effort simply on coffee . . . I was going to stop at the grocery store which in my experience is a golden ticket to run into every person you have ever known when you aren't publicly presentable. And by God, I was right. I not only ran into one of my Planning Committee gals (we get together to plan nothing in particular but we know it sounds important) but my old friend Nancy too, both of whom took one look at me and asked when I was headed to California. Glad my make-up and hair as well as my animated personality fooled em.

I am teaching first grade tomorrow. I will get up, get dressed and land at school for a full day of talking with a perma smile. Then, I will get on a plane and head to California for a week of vitamin D therapy. I hope I don't miss my red chair.