Conflicted Monday

I am conflicted. It’s Monday morning and everyone is up. I got up early this morning, well early for a day off and instead of working, I read. It was good to read, but the opportunity cost is that I’m writing and it’s time to work to get things done, move, shake, rattle, and roll. But, I want to write. I also, need to grade and plan for the coming week. Before I know it, the day will be gone.

Instead of working, I read. I have been reading Son by Lois Lowry for almost a month. It’s the final book in The Giver quartet; a friend had loaned me an advance copy and I eagerly began reading it. However, the time to read is not what it was this summer or during any summer or break, for that matter, and I could only read in little bits at night before I fell asleep. And there were a few nights when I fell asleep without reading at all. So, I crawled through a book I had eagerly anticipated. The book was released last Tuesday, October 2nd, and Lowry was in Naperville for a promotional event, I bought a copy and attended the lecture. I took O along with me last Thursday night to listen and we got a few more books as well. I was worried that O, who asked to come along, would be bored, but she listened intently to Lowry as she explained how she wrote and how and where an author begins. O had recognized the Lowry’s books as one her fourth grade teacher was reading aloud to the class and we bought a copy for her.  After the lecture, we waited patiently in line to have out books signed and personalized. O was excited and took my picture as Lowry signed my copy and the other books for us. O had a good time and we stopped for dinner at Five Guys and Fries before heading home. It was a good night and I was glad to have shared it with O. That was Thursday evening and I finally finished the book this morning. It ended well and I am glad I read it.

I am finished with the book but I have so many other tasks, jobs, wants, and needs to get done I am conflicted. It’s fall and that beautiful tree I posted Monday is in full flame and bloom today. It got cold this weekend and we had frost grace the rooftops this morning. I was outside late yesterday afternoon to blow and rake some leaves and mow the grass. As I mowed, I could feel the chill of the evening on my shoulders. Today, I’ll start to trim the hostas and other perennials down to the ground before the cold turns them into a sodden mass of vegetation making raking the beds that much more difficult and get the yard ready for winter. I have to balance the checkbook and the pay bills, I have to grade and prepare for the week to come and beyond, and I would like to simply sit and watch the trees. It’s fall and a beautiful time of the year. Each season has its own beauty, but fall is in its colors. The sky is never so blue and the sun never as bright as in the morning after a cold chilly night. It makes the trees and their leaves stand out even more.

W is at football practice, O is upstairs, and B is planning to do’s, and I’m in the basement writing.  There is much to do, there always is. It was our 21st anniversary last Friday and we celebrated by going to a high school football game together with the kids. The Tigers came up short in overtime and two games remain on the schedule. Both are must wins if the Tigers want to make the playoffs. It was homecoming Saturday and Sunday was gone in a flash. A celebration of 21 years together looks like just any other weekend, which is what life with kids looks likes. You do what you need to, what’s important, what’s pressing. But, sometimes you get to do what you like and enjoy. If you choose well, you get to do both.

Today is gonna be a great day, it’s not gonna pass me by. It’s bright sunny and cold. On the way back from football practice, I asked W to harvest some leaves for me – he got some bright reds, a few oranges, and I need to add some yellows in the mix. I’ll carefully put them in the mail to my mom in Texas where fall is a day or two. Making the Days Count, one fall day after another and doing what is most important, living.

What are your fall memories? What is important today?

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