May 22, 2007
I really hate that lately, the "real world" seems to be interfering with the things I want to do in the cyber world. There was a time when this was very nearly all I did. Then, I started taking my house-care a lot more seriously and that got into some of the time. Then I started making an effort to externalize more and broaden my social circle. I didn't have many friends before and in the past couple of years, I've made some really wonderful ones who I truly cherish. Prior to that, nearly all of my personal connections were via computer. I didn't realize how low-maintenance most computer friendships actually are until I started having face-to-face ones and it had moments of being a little rocky, but I am really grateful for the experiences I've had and the things I learned about myself as a person.
I never imagined I would be the kind of person who would be "out there" in the world working with others as a part of the community. I wasn't sure if I liked it at first because it was so different from what I had lived for so many years. Now, a year or so into it, I know that I do like it very much. I like having to add an extra 30-45 minutes onto my mail route because I'm going to see people along the way who actually want to talk to me. It's nice to have face-to-face validation on a nearly daily basis and in some ways, I regret all the years I spent avoiding it because I was afraid I'd be rejected. It's nice to be part of the community.
Friday is the last day of school for my kiddies. I am not ready. It will be very nice to not have to get up early each morning. Delena catches the bus at 6:15, so I am normally up by 5:30 to pry my own eyes open and be with her as she gets going. She's tremendously independent and could do it on her own, but I like to start her day with love and make sure she's well hugged and blessed when she heads off on the hour long trek down the mountain to the high school. I'll be able to catch an extra couple of hours in the morning this way, which is when I get my best sleep.
Still, I'm just not ready to give up my quiet house time. I think that doing the mail this year left me in deficit, if only for an hour a day, and so I feel as though I'm skidding down a greased hill into hell. My kids are really good, don't get me wrong. I rarely have any kind of behavioral problems from them at all. It's just a matter of ANYone being in the house and wanting something from me or having an expectation of me being a certain way or doing a certain thing. I really value my "me" time. I'm sure it will be fine as I get into it. It's just that "change" thing again.
Tomorrow, I have to run up to the school at 11am and get Dylan. Today at the buttcrack of dawn, they took a school bus into Sacramento to Sutter's Fort where they will stay the night. They have authentic costumes and have adopted the identities of people who actually lived at Sutter's Fort and have been answering to those names, even putting those names on their school papers, for weeks now.
They just look so awesome! (That's about 1/3 of the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in our school just in that photo) The teacher arranged for them to be bussed to Old Sacramento, which is a preserved Western (now commercialized) part of town with wooden sidewalks and a lot of the original buildings and storefronts from the 1800's. They they got on two covered wagons and were taken to the fort in them, about 2 miles away. Parents were set up at different stations (they had to go through several days of training to man a station) to teach the kids the types of carpentry done, weaving baskets, weaving cloth and spinning, cooking in a stone oven and such things. They will sleep in 21st century sleeping bags under the stars, then take a school bus back up here tomorrow.
Thursday night, we have our annual End of the Year celebration. The families and people from the community bring their own picnic dinners and sit outside and eat together, then the kids put on a program, awards are presented and such.
After that, the world should calm down a good bit. Eric has a big job that he's starting in June. He has several others that he has bid on that are possibilities, so his business is really taking off as he'd hoped it would. He's going to keep the mail route for a while, but may subcontract out at least his part of it.
The postmaster at the Grizzly Flats post office asked me today if I would be interested in applying for a PMR (Post Master Relief) job there. Basically, you're an on call employee who the post master can call if s/he needs a sub for a few hours at a time. It pays almost nothing, $9 an hour, but after a year, a PMR is eligible for medical benefits at a really reasonable rate, which is something I have not had for a long time. It's a matter of sorting mail into PO Boxes and working the counter in case she has a doctor's appointment or has to go out of town or something. I have to tell you, I'm not excited about the idea, but the lure of having actual health insurance is fairly enticing. I can always say no if she calls me in. She already has two other PMRs, but wants a third on standby. I was worried about that because I am already good friends with both of her other PMRs and wouldn't want to get the job because one of them was let go or something (!). She assured me they would both stay on.
Ah the changes...
The other side of this situation is a little grim and morbid, but the fact is that I am 45 and have been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years now, so that's 10 years of no work history, plus the 20 years or so before that when I was in the work force, I was working for the Air Force in a civilian capacity, which is great except that all of the bases where I worked are now closed thanks to the Graham-Rudman Act and I wouldn't even begin to know how to find the supervisors I had back then for references. Most are likely retired by now. I did about a million things back then. I was a waitress, a hostess, a bus girl, a librarian, an office manager for the front office of an OB/GYN clinic, a medical transcriptionist, a data-entry person, an in-flight transcriptionist, a preschool administrator, a traffic ticket processor for the base police, a telephone operator, an environmental protection assistant... and that's just scratching the surface. I also taught Lamaze childbirth classes for 18 years and apprenticed as a midwife for a while. Whenever we would relocate to a new base, I would go through a series of different jobs (as is usually the case with civilian employment on AF bases) until I settled in one for a while.
Being 45 and having no reliable work history makes it tough to get a job and although I don't expect any such thing to happen, being 45 also means that I am fairly pragmatic and understand that husbands can come and go due to a number of different owie circumstances. This way, if something awful DID happen, I'd at least have SOMETHING on record. Plus, I've been 7 years now with no medical insurance and I'd like to have that back up. It's scary to think that a person can be one gall bladder attack away from several thousands of dollars of new debt.
So yes, that's on my mind as well.
I am also thinking of starting a new site that would move all of our Eye on Soaps' off topic material to it and leaving the Eye on Soaps again, so to speak. Of course, there would be a prominent link to our off topic material so that you don't miss an entry, but I thought it might be fun to have an off topic site written by these wonderfully empowered women.
And with that happy thought, it's time for me to return to the land of no keyboards.
I am a happily married broad of a particular age who lives in a rural mountain community on the edge of the El Dorado National Forest. Grizzly Flats was once a thriving mining town (think "Deadwood"), but is now a quiet, remote town with a few hundred year-round residents and several city folks with a country home up here where they come to rough it a few times a year. No more saloons or hotels or livery stables, just an unmanned fire station, a 2 room schoolhouse, a ranger station and a post office.
I am a writer and webmaster. I am also a rural route mail carrier and a student of life and the world around us.
I deeply honor all religions and whatever (harming none) path others use to reach God and their most sacred selves. I completely reject the premise that there is one path/ one religion that "fits all" and is the "right" one. Just as people speak in different languages to one another, I believe God also speaks to us in different languages. God knows us well enough to understand that our spirits vibrate on different levels and must be accessed in different ways with different words and practices.
Mike Rowe ("Dirty Jobs"): "Are you a religious man?"
Septic Tank Cleaner: "No, but I am a spiritual man."
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May 4-13, 2007
April 16 - 25, 2007