Category Archives: Daily Life

Creeping reality

The creeping reality was described this week by a colleague as “a certain joylessness.”

I get it.

The reality is more apparent that we will be teaching and learning primarily in virtual mode for the rest of this school year.

The now reality is that my teaching load is an overload of notable proportions while department-chairing while teaching a private studio while trying to be creative while being the chorus director for Variety.

The future reality is that Spring 2021 will be an easier semester in many ways.

The way-future reality is that normal operations may well be many, many months away.

And I’m just beat every day.

The new blue-light-reducing clip-ons are helping, no doubt.

But my sore finger is not improving.

So that’s symbolic of a constant duality, a yin and yang of hope and frustration, happiness and creeping dread.

The national political situation is not helping. Nor are the climate disasters of wildfire and hurricane and polar ice melt.

And most ugly: the lack of being able to touch others, to have that real connection of a hug or a handshake.

Now comes the death of RBG, a tragic loss for honesty, authority, and integrity in this country.

Creeping reality.

#TBT: From Flora

A letter mailed on 9 September 1975, to my parents from Flora Carter, my paternal grandmother.

The 10¢ stamp on the envelope shows the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

My grandfather had just retired from International Shoe Company.  Elsie is his elder sister.  Jim was my father’s brother; Marg, his wife.  She is the only one from this letter still living.


I’m rather chuffed.

For most of the two+ years that this Seth Thomas antique wall clock has been in my home, it’s not wanted to work.

A family heirloom from my mother’s side, this clock came home with me after Pop died in 2017. I took it to a local clocksmith, who cleaned it up, oiled everything, and replaced a few bushings. And it ran like, well, clockwork, for a few months.

Mind you, the clock had been in storage or on a mantel for more than three decades, so it needed some TLC and some preventative maintenance. But this clock that takes me back to my childhood when I finally was old enough to wind it — well, it shouldn’t stop working.

So yesterday I took off the hands and the face, and could see that nothing seemed amiss to my untrained eye. The strings to the weights were taut and on the guide-wheel. Nothing was touching something it shouldn’t touch. And then I realized that the tick and the tock were slightly out of kilter.

A quick web search. A couple of matchbooks. A level. That’s all I needed.

The clock, now leveled, is running perfectly. Seems that a clock like this must be perfectly level, and my 110+ year-old house is not level!

Here’s the original blog entry about the clock.