Day 52: Sick Day and Falling Action

Warren, David, and I with Julie in the Red Sands

It is never fun being sick, especially if you have to prepare for someone to take your place and teach your students. Sometimes, it is just easier to go in and not feel well. Yesterday, I was sick and stayed home but not until I had prepared substitute plans driving to school to drop them off with materials the sub would need, including student papers to be handed back. I took a nap and rested when I got home. It was a beautiful fall day, sunny and warm and Beth was taking advantage of the Indian summer day by cleaning the windows and taking out the screens and getting ready for winter. I took the screens to the basement for her, but I did not feel well and did not do much else, except write the falling action. It took a while to get it finished but it is below. I will be sharing it Tuesday in class.

We were getting closer to Riyadh, to morning, and the hot desert sun of daylight. Sugar Land can get hot during the summer into the nineties, but dad reminded us temperatures in the hundreds, and sometimes even over hundred-ten were normal in July. The difference between home and here was in the desert it was dry heat with no humidity at all. The car was quiet except for the rush of air rolling through the open windows as we sped down the highway. The ride made me curious about this place there was enough moonlight to show the road ahead or far off to the side. It was flat and empty. There was the occasional car crash and dead camel, but not much else, even other cars.  Dad lived in a gated compound with houses just for Westerners like Julie and he. It had a pool and he told us we could swim while he was at work. Earlier in the ride, Julie chatted about visiting the markets and told us about some kids our age who were visiting relatives. Despite the day’s ordeal, she remained cheerful and tried to make us feel at ease. It sounded fun to have other kids and a pool all to ourselves. I wondered; what else could we do during the day? Suddenly, we pulled off to the side of the road beside my dad’s stranded car. He, Mr. Muffla, and the driver lifted the hood, looked at the engine trying to get it started, after a few adjustments it rumbled to life, but it was stuck in the sand. The three of them worked and tried to get it out, but dad would have to come back later with a tow truck. Our journey to Riyadh was almost over and we piled back into the car and continued on our way. I had slept, but not well and I looked forward to climbing into bed when we arrived home. I thought of my friends Robert, Jimmy, and David wondering if they had done anything this cool, ride across the desert in the middle of the night.

Tuesday we learn about the resolution and begin the process of putting it all together. The final paper is due this Monday and I am looking forward to reading them. It was good to talk with Julie on Sunday and get a different perspective on the ride and the entire summer. During our days with Julie we went to the markets, played in the pool, and played pool with our new friends in the rec room. At night when dad came home from work we had dinner and played in the pool. One weekend we went to the Red Sands and visited an Oasis in the desert not far from Riyadh. It was a better summer than I had expected and I was glad to get to know Julie better, it would be a friendship that would flourish later in life, when we both needed good friends.

All in all, Monday was a good day. I needed to feel better and the day accomplished it. Tuesday has to be a million and six times better, so I had better jump up, jump in and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time.

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