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Entry date: 9-14-2022 - Wednesdays are for the Rats - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Happy Wednesday. My Wednesdays consist of me getting up and going on a walk then fiddling around the house for a bit when I get home. I give Teresa’s rats a treat. I typically give them either a carrot or a small tomato. They love both of those things and guilt me as soon as they see me puttering around the house in the morning.

I never thought of myself as someone who would be entertained by or care about rats, but I have grown kind of fond of them. They seem to appreciate the treats, although occasionally they look like they would rather take a bite of me. Perhaps this is normal rat behavior. I don’t know.

After I take care of the rats or sometimes while I am taking care of them, I talk to Rhondi for a bit. We check in at the beginning and end of each day. These calls are my lifeline to her right now and I need them quite a bit. Lately there is a lot of talk about how her hand is doing since she decided to break two of her fingers a few weeks ago. All I can say about that is be careful how you handle a dog’s leash if you are not the owner of that dog. Apparently broken fingers are caused by dog leashes a lot.

Speaking of dogs, if they don’t go out before the walk, they go out around this time. 6:30am or so, when the rats are taken care of and Luna, who is Ashton’s dog, is ready for a little time in the backyard after our walk. Benny and Frank are getting up there in age and I’m halfway scared each morning that I am going to find one or both dead each morning.

This sounds terrible, but I feel like I have dodged a bullet each time they get up and go outside. I am not rooting for the demise, by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m not looking forward to dealing with two old sick dogs. Maybe it would be a blessing if they just went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up. That’s what I would like, at some point, do so myself although I will preemptively feel bad for whoever finds me.

After the telephone call to my love is over, I have a little quiet time to evacuate the bowels and play a little scrabble or risk on the tablet. I enjoy these moments of solitude like most males (and probably a good number of females) and take pride in my regularity. Is that the right term? Regular-ness? This is why I could never go down the opiate addiction path. I like my morning constitutional too much.

Also, if you haven’t gone down the bidet path, treat yourself. I will just leave that right there for you to ponder. If you know, you know.

Some mornings I write for the 30-45 minutes I have before I have to wake the kids up. This is a time of high creativity for me, usually, and when I don’t take advantage of it, I get a little lost. After years of being the only person up early in the house, I have learned to make good use of quiet time. In the six weeks now that I have been back from Maine, I have gotten a lot of writing done during this time. Maybe today I will be so lucky.

I start the process of waking up the teenagers around 7:20 or so. If we get out the door by 8:15am, I am fine typically for my work commitments. Once we push beyond that, I can run a little late, although Wednesdays are not one of those days. I do not use the word “process” lightly here because it is, indeed, a process. I start with the warning shot and open each of their doors and say something along the lines of “Time to get up.”

Would that it was enough to get them up and moving, but alas, it is often not the case. This is when my role as human snooze button starts. For Liam, it can be a three and four snooze button day. Teresa is usually two and then she is up and getting ready. They are not morning people, so conversation is often one-sided and short. I should start playing records in the morning.

If I am doing some writing, I will usually go back to it and get some more time on the page while the kids are getting ready for school. If not, sometimes I get a little more video game time in as I do enjoy a little sudoku or Mah Jong, too. Puzzles get my brain going in the mornings and I’ve been waking up this way for as long as I can remember. I used to do the crossword puzzle when I got the daily paper, but I gave that up a long time ago. Perhaps I should get back to that. I miss knowing words that you never need to use except in a crossword.

At 8:15am, the kids and I should be on the road, driving south on 19th Avenue towards the Encanto area where their school is located. It’s a good drive, usually, with the two kids continuing to be quiet, although sometimes we talk. I listen to sports talk radio or music, and I remind them that I will be there at 1:55pm to pick them up and that I have a staff meeting then, so I will be on a Zoom call.

By the time I return home, it is time for me to hop in the shower and do a little intervention work with some students. I have some great kids that I work with and help them build their skills. Then I have time to do prep for the next week until I have to pick up the kids. Wednesdays are a pretty light day, usually, and let me get ready for the coming week. I’m also blessed with administrators that don’t feel like wasting our time in useless meetings is a good thing. This is a first, at least for me. If there isn’t pressing business, our meetings end early on Wednesdays and I can get on with being healthy and productive by either reading, writing, going to the gym, or making the children some nutritious food.

Hope your Wednesdays are swell, too.

See you tomorrow.

Where is my carrot? You appear to be a benign giant, but I don't believe my perception. I will survive, said the rat.

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