End of Year Sail
Or, the Sum of the Parts is Equal to the Hole in My Head
General Summary Execution:
This is my at least once-a-year daylog to bring the virtual vicarious drownzsurf into a more life-like character, whether that is what folks want to read or not. I'm not much of a LiveJournalist, or Blogger, though my wife thinks that the latter is something that I have when dried mucus seems to have my olfactory's needing a visit from the EPA. Anyway, I have saved the old man angst (kind of like Angie Dickinson or Emily Dickinson) for one package, instead of (here's where I sing Bits and Pieces) like the song sez.
I'm trying to decide while on the hoof (a poor analogy, as I think even anthropomorphic bovines -- or other species couldn't type) how to organize this treatise as I sing Mr. Pitiful. Chronologically, or tautologically. Let's talk cars and scars first.
Baby You Can Drive My Car
To save the poor reader (and writer) the trouble of backtracking through daylogs of demise and delight, I will sum up the fact that when I first came to E2 I was a Postal Worker. I retired during those Anthrax-filled days, but not before I had moved to south central PA, and needed a new (uh, newer) car to get
over the two mountains one must traverse to get to Gaithersburg, Maryland. That car was a '95 Lincoln Continental, which served me well until about a year ago when I need 'air bag shocks' to the tune of 1500 ducats. Well, I traded it in on a '92 Ford Taurus station wagon, which I wrecked this summer.
Wreck of the Ole '92
On July 31, 2004, I was headed with the missus to go help her sister unpack over at Taylor's Island. The story of her Charlotte sibling coming to stay with their aging parents is another story outside of the scope of this paultry tale, you'll probably agree. We left in the morning, and had crossed the Bay Bridge and had made it pass the split at around 10 AM. Unfortunately some clown (an evil Emmit Kelly) in some small SUV pulled in my lane just as I was cresting a hill that had obscured the stopped traffic on Route 50. I hesitated that fateful split second while I watched the guy who came from the left proceed onto the grassy median, then I hit the brake only to stop after hitting the Cadillac Escalade in front of me. Airbag deployed, I Oh Boy'd, wife in the void, a sickening sound was hoid. I got out, my left arm fileted from the plastic thingy that held the airbag on the steering wheel. The spouse was supine, and finally groaning. I said, "Get out!"
The midwife, complete with oxygen tank, who appeared out of her stopped car (lots of stopped cars, maybe you the reader was one delayed that dreadful morn) said, "No, don't move her!" While I wandered and wondered.
Another guy from his truck behind me calls out, "Did anyone call 911?" And finally he looks back to his wife in the cab, and motions her to actually use that cell phone she's holding. Finally an unmarked Maryland State guy shows up, and gets flares going, and we are all waiting for the ambulances, while it turns out the cop who arrived was off-duty trying to go on vacation. Eventually a Trooper shows up, who charges me, while I try to grope with my good hand for my pertinent papers.
Shock and Aw, Gosh
They called a Shock Trauma copter for her, and I ride off eventually in an ambulance while looking out the back doors, and saw the helicopter arrive. To make a long story shorter, I borrow a cell phone and ask assistance to dial up my in-laws, and get my Sis in-law on it, and get her to come out to Easton Hospital for me, then to proceed to Baltimore to that ER.
That wait and drive took us seemingly forever. But by 8 PM we finally find her room, and hours later get to see her, and Mary and I are presented with a much morphined up lady, but still in great discomfort. It then had to determined whether she could leave that night or not. Turns out they had no rooms, and they did release her, informing us that X-rays and CT's showed no breaks. But her hand looked like an eggplant, and the bruises on her torso from the seat belt were horrific. I shared her various pains for many months, though my sometimes lacking the exact and proper reaction would prove my faulty empathy.
Connected to the Neck Bone...
We made an appointment with our regular doctor, and with more X-rays and MRI's a fractured right hand, and three broken ribs were discovered. That injury (not previously discovered) was added to the insult that the folks in Baltimore lost her insurance card and driver's license. The misery of it all was compounded with dermatalogical manifestations on my arm and right fingers (of which the latter are still affected), and the drive to the Eastern Shore to pay the towing/storage of the totalled auto.
Through all of this I give my insurance company kudos, Geico, they've been top notch. After much therapy, though with much travail, and a specialist's second opinion, the wifey is using her right hand to write, and do some things without too much weight. In fact, she drove herself for the first time in four months to a session while I went to substitute teach, which is the segue to the next subsection:
I'm Going Back to School, Ta Da Ta Da...
Okay, another rehash of my oxymoronic boring but exasperating life, the part where while starving on my P.O. pension, I obtained and then lost my job as a frozen food manager, after which I became a server at a buffet, but then happily applied and recieved a position with a local Methodist church as their part-time custodian. Still not enough moolah, dough, denara, rupies, rubies, whatevah to make the cost of living become my own microcosmic national debt, so I looked again in our quaint town paper, the Public Opinion and saw an ad with words to this effect,
Have a college degree? Come to our seminar and become a guest teacher for the Tuscarora Unit II. Call xxx xxx.
So, I did, registered and attended; and discovered that I didn't want some of the school districts that were north of McVeytown. That little town was quite a hike across the mountain and up the valley from my stomping grounds. It took a while before they finally called me, and what an adventure I endured in my first day as a Phys ed teacher. The regular teacher that shared the gym took care of me, using me to make sure "...nobody kills anybody." That was followed up another day as English teacher, and still again taking on algebra. The latter of which I personally was the amongst the dullest of mathematical knives in the proverbial kitchen drawer. (The latter utensil brought by a student causing some concern on one of my days.) In my obvious obtuseness, I had to ask which kid knew the material concerning equations with x's and y's and had him come up and show me what the Hades was going on. At the end of the day he said to make sure I told the teacher that he did all the work. Humbling, I tell ya.
Why I became a Hyper-Calvinist
The English class was reading Great Expectations, and learned to my chagrin what ensued when I attempted to use humor, especially with the Miss Haversham character; but they pretty much hated the book, and keeping moral up only happened when they acted like complete and utter barbarians. I begin to understand as I had a few weeks under my belt what William Golding was writing about in Lord of the Flies. The friday before Halloween, some teen was dressed up as a Twinkie©, and I eventually was standing amazed as they were 'squeezing' the cream out of the break-dancing son of a snackfood. So, where was I? I guess that covers the important stuff, though my '90 Lincoln Town Car was making some horrible engine noises (the oil light was blinking), and I got chewed out by the spouse who's not a mouse, for not adding oil soon enough. I added a second quart tonight.
Today, I had the whole day with kindergardeners. Though they are cuter than newborn kittens, they have that sense that they can get the sub to be like their grandpas that spoil them. They are also amazing little people. One kid wrote in his journal that he'd punched Santa Claus. Must not be enough milk and cookies and nap-time. (The older teenagers would actually use History for the latter.) I was told after the instructions were given to draw lines to the similar pictures, that one little girl didn't have to do it on the page with the Jack o' Lantern as per parental instruction, and another boy blurted, "She doesn't like witches, too." I sympathized with the parents, the girl, the teacher and the class. I understood the dilemma of diversity at that point. I had fun at recess, too. Helped the kids who couldn't swing, learn to kick those legs out, now in, come on, harder!
Conclusion or Confusion
In hindsight, the not getting the auto paint counter job, for which I had turned in an application before the school districts called, was a big blessing from Above. I feel so much better about myself since allowing my pedantic self to shine.