A Day in the Life: Winter

2:00 am- Ed’s sleepwalking again.  Not out of bed this time, sleep sitting is more like it.  I realize he’s sitting up in bed and say “What are you doing?” In his sleep-talking voice, he says “Watching the deer run across the lawn.”  I say “Honey, there are no deer.  It’s time to sleep.” He rolls over and says “Okay.”

4:30 am- The alarm goes off.  Ed shuts it off, gets up to take a shower and I drift back to sleep.

5:00 am- I wake up just long enough to kiss Ed goodbye, ask him to set the alarm for 6 and tell him to drive carefully.

6:00 am- Alarm goes off again.  The house is 55 degrees.  I wish it wasn’t so cold, imagine for a moment it was Saturday, then get up and turn off the alarm.  I count the six chimes of the Congregational Church bells.  I rush around to get ready, quickly dressing in a warm aqua sweater and khakis, brushing my teeth, washing my face, brushing my hair and putting it in a low ponytail, quickly putting on a little bit of make up, then choosing earings.  Shells or sea glass today? Shells.

6:30 am- I walk downstairs and it’s a little warmer.  Fill my Klean Kanteen with water and pack lunch.  I look all over for a pyrex container, then remember that Ed unloaded the dishwasher last and am annoyed that he put them in the wrong place.  Remind myself to just be thankful he did it.  Find it and fill it with leftovers, then a few clementines get thrown into my bag while the homemade bread toasts.  Glance the temperature out the kitchen window.  15 degrees.  Spread on some home canned strawberry jam, grab a cloth napkin, my keys, bag and purse, and head to the car. 

7:00 am- Pulling into the school parking lot, I turn down my country music so nobody will be on to the car karaoke that I’ve been doing.  Bundle up again with my gloves and scarf, grab my things and head into school.

7:10 am- I’m sweating by the time I get to my classroom on the third floor.  Remove the layers, set up my computer and I’m ready to go.

7:35 am- First class of the day.  We take some notes on water pollution and then read an article about Long Island Sound and the effects of non-point source pollutants.  Kids check their grass in the greenhouse for the eco-friendly lawn-care lab.

9:00 am- Second class.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance.  I show my botany class pictures from tapping trees over the weekend.  We plant seeds in the greenhouse: Johnny jump-ups, pansies, morning glories, cosmos, phlox, sweet peas, petunias, sunflowers.  Students write reflections on planting in their field journals.  I ask for volunteers to clean up the greenhouse and get more than needed, since I’ve bribed them with extra credit.  I’ve cleaned it enough by myself to know that the five points is worth it, plus they seem to enjoy chattering away while sweeping and wiping off the counter.

10:30 am- Preparation period.  I continue to plan for lessons, always trying to conserve paper.  It’s not always possible, so I spend time at the copy machine, which inevitably jams.  I’m smudged with toner by the time I’m done.  Grade some papers, visit with some students from last term that stop by to check on their plants in the greenhouse, and finally get to make that pit stop.

12:00 pm- Lunch with my colleages in my classroom.  We discuss lots of things: virus transmission in swimming pools, global climate change, what’s going on in the green house, field trips, common assessments, standardized tests, and plans for the weekend.

12:30 pm- Last class of the day.  Students set up their experiments to test the effects of road salt on Daphnia.  We discuss LD50, salinity, and spend a lot of time trying to keep the Daphnia in the viewing field of the microscope.  Kids look at their fingertips, papers, hairs, and anything else they can think of under the microscope as time allows.  They clean up and I remind them to wash their hands with soap as I compliment them for their maturity with the eye droppers.  Not a single kid got squirted.

2:00 pm- School’s over.  A few kids stop by to visit and check their plants or Daphnia from yesterday.  I swing by colleagues’ rooms to visit, ask questions, borrow equipment.  Make sure everything’s ready to go for Monday.

3:00 pm- Headed out the door to my car.  How can it still be so cold outside?

3:30 pm- Home.  Head into the basement, clean out the ashes and start a fire in the woodstove.  Go upstairs to change into comfy and warm clothes.  Do the dishes still sitting in the sink from last night.

4:00 pm- Sit down to catch up with some blogs.  Check personal emails and work emails, too.

4:15 pm- Mom calls on her way home from work.  We’re both happy it’s Friday.

4:30 pm- Ed comes home and heads to the basement to check the fire.  He asks what’s for supper.

5:00 pm- Start cooking supper while Ed works in the basement, painting the pantry cabinets.  I pay special attention to the forecast on the news as I cook.

6:00 pm- Count the six chimes of the Congregational Church bells.  Listen to the six o’clock siren from the Firehouse.  Sit down to eat supper.

6:30 pm- Swear that I’ll do the dishes later on tonight as I drop them in the sink.

7:00 pm- Head upstairs to take a bath and read while Ed watches the History Channel or Discovery Channel.

8:00 pm- I count the eight chimes of the Congregational Church bells and head back downstairs with wet hair.  Wish for summer.  Watch TV while going online, trying to think of something to post and regret not taking any pictures this afternoon.

9:00 pm- Ed heads to bed after snoring on the couch.  I watch TV, talk to my mom online and try to write a blog post.

10:00 pm- I check the fire in the basement to make sure it’s out.  Lock all the doors, shut off all the lights.  Wish I did the dishes after supper, but decide to do them tomorrow.

10:30 pm- Ed’s talking in his sleep.  He thinks it’s time to get up, but I remind him it’s bed time.  He’s happy and rolls over to go back to sleep.  I climb into the nice warm bed in my thick PJs and socks and drift off to sleep while thinking about what I’m going to do tomorrow.

11:00 pm- Awaken for a moment and count the eleven chimes of the Congregational Church bells.  Good night.

7 Comments

Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

7 responses to “A Day in the Life: Winter

  1. What a nice day you had! I cleaned most of the day. I’m sorry about the paper jam… my copier hates me, too.

  2. I know the annoyance of your loved one putting the dishes in the wrong place- you have the right attitude- Has Ed been checked for apnea? The reason I ask is I talk in my sleep ( I narrate my dreams) and sit up in my sleep, too- I got diagnosed with apnea, (after I wooke up half the patients when I was in the hospital a few years back with my snoring)got on a C-pap machine and all is fine-

  3. Our lives are so similar! Minus the church bells and the different jobs.😉 I don’t have to be to work until 9:30 most days so I’ve learned to get up when Brian goes to work (then we don’t crowd each other in the kitchen) and do my laundry, dishes, etc. before work. That way when I come home I can just eat dinner and relax. I feed the animals in the morning and Brian does it at night. Except he doesn’t feed the chickens because he and the evil rooster don’t get along and I don’t want them to hurt each other. I don’t want checking on them though.

    It sounds like you have a great job that perfectly meshes with your interests and values. I can’t help but think that more schools need teachers around who want to teach them all those important things. That’s really great!

  4. Love the church bells.

  5. I wish I was in your classes. Your students must really have a lot of fun and enjoy learning with you. And I too enjoyed the church bells throughout this post.

  6. Yes, the church bells ring each hour. We like being able to hear them and I find them to be helpful throughout the day, especially if I’m outside in the garden.

    As for Ed, he’s been a sleepwalker throughout his whole life. It used to be much worse when he was a child. Most people grow out of it, but he still walks around sometimes and talks pretty much every night. It happens the most when he’s stressed, and I even found him standing on the bed unscrewing light bulbs a few times. There’s really nothing I can do to help him except tell him it’s time to rest and that usually works.

  7. Ruth

    Ab,

    I second what Jena and Jessica said about your students; they are so lucky to have such a dedicated teacher who’s so up-to-date with environmental issues. You also know how to motivate your students.

    Do you think this schedule may change a bit next week during February break from school? Enjoy!

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