The sprinkler twirls.
The summer wanes.
The pavement wears
The playground grass
Is worn to dust.
The weary swings
Creak, creak with rust.
The trees are bored
With being green.
Some people leave
The local scene
And go to seaside
And take off nearly
All their clothes.
by John Updike
It’s time for a postcard from August, just before I head back indoors. Out of the redwood forests, away from the shore. No more time to dig holes in the garden, or pull grass, or fill the green bin with giant clusters of old aeoniums. Stacks of thorny bougainvillea. I must carry my books and journals inside the house and off the porch. Curtail my weekday morning walks. Close the windows to the warming day. Leave the cat posse behind to stir up all manner of unsupervised mischief.
Yes. The time is nigh. I must climb into my chariot and head downtown. Over the bridges, across the LA river, and all the cars of the other working stiffs heading to the salt mines. Away we go!
Let’s do this.
For there is a classroom to be organized, unpacked, and sorted. A sea of new faces and stories to greet. Important meetings to attend. And so on and so forth.
I shall leave behind the cat posse and birds and step through a new door. School marm Moss is headed back to school.
Thankfully, I will hurry home each afternoon after tending to class business. Since 1996 I’ve been playing this tune. I can do it with my eyes closed, but what’s the fun of that? I’ll keep them wide open. Monitoring the radio transmissions. One never knows where one will pick up the scratchy signals coming across the wires. Sometimes above us in the vast dome of night sky. And other times right in front of us. In broad daylight!
Do not grow weary working souls. Retirement draws closer. I shall make the most of the time I have left.
I took the old photos I kept (from the great summer clean out) and pasted some of them into my journal.
I like to keep my parents close. Despite the fact that they’ve been gone for 23 (pop) and 11 years (ma) they are paradoxically closer than ever. I carry them with me.
Tonight Liseli is coming for dinner and our 2-woman poetry sangha. Like me, she’s a teacher (1st grade). I had her daughter in my class a couple of years ago.
Kelli and I had fun this summer. In the photos below we are at her house giving the old sketchbooks a workout. How nice it is to have friends that live close by with whom one can spend time.
Time machine photo from the summer of 1976. Cousins plus Dottie, Mama Moss, and yours truly at the tender age of 13.
Moss Cottage patio circa January 2003.
Right after purchase and waiting for escrow to close.
My tiny shipwreck. How I love it.
I found some information about a former tenant from 1940! Vincent & his wife Margaret. He was a private detective according to the census records. They paid $25 a month rent.
I’ve been posting stories on Instagram daily since I learned how to do it. I feel like I was just kvetching about the highly irritating nature of Instagram and now it’s possible I’m contributing to it. Such is the changing nature of everything under the sun. Dark and stormy one day with robins carrying tender messages on ribbon banners in their beaks the next. What can we make of all this? Nothing. Let’s put it completely out of our minds.
If you wish to donate a journal or notebook or sticker or some other useful item to my 5th grade classroom this year, you can find my newly updated Amazon wishlist HERE. If you don’t have 2 dimes to rub together, no sweat! It’s all good. Happy thoughts and well wishes for the new school year are free to give and a joy to receive.
Happy Sunday, friends. I hope you receive this postcard and that it comes to you on a gentle breeze by carrier pigeon or American Robin whichever is your preference. If you wish to regale me with stories of your life in the slow (or fast) lane, I’m all ears.