Saturday, June 1, 2013

First day of summer break

Yesterday was the last day of school.  I survived.  Today was the first day of my summer Great Valley Writer's Institute.  I thrived.  I love the mix of teachers (most half my age) and the general spunkiness of the cast of characters.  Today was just the coaching day to prep us for how we'll be presenting for the other teachers.  We now get two weeks off and then will be meeting every day for the following four weeks.  I can hardly wait -- I've been ready for this for years.

The workshop in Turlock started at 8:30 this morning and the drive from Frogpond took a little under an hour.  I decided to notice things along the way.  Here they are:

1. Right at the Calaveras County line, there was a highway patrol officer with a radar gun clocking car speeds.  I was a little over the limit, but not so much so that he noticed me.  I was infinitely grateful.

2. On the small highway between here and Oakdale, I passed three people wearing neon green vests.  Two were riding a horse by the side of the rode -- a woman with a child hanging on to her waist behind.  Walking beside them was a man.  They looked happy.

3. In Oakdale itself, while stopped for a light, I watch an older man smoking a pipe cross the street.  It's been many years since I saw a pipe smoker.  Where does one even buy a pipe these days?''

4.  A dead dairy cow lying right next to the fence by the road caught my eye on the way to my workshop and again on the way home.

An interesting day in many ways.


  1. Sheesh, it isn't often you see a dead dairy cow! At least I hope you don't. My grandmother had a dairy farm in Tillamook and I never saw a dead dairy cow! Around here we have a lot of cattle - beef cattle - and I love seeing them and their calves in the fields on my way to town.

    Your passion for your writer's institute is wonderful - following through on a passion is so fulfilling.

  2. Dead cows along the side of the road used to be much more common -- sometimes I'd pass some poor bloated cow for three or four days before the rendering truck came for her. I think that now health codes (and public sentiment) speed their removal. I'm grateful for that.

    I agree with you about the good feeling that comes of following through on a passion. Part of me hated to give up four weeks of my summer to yet another workshop, but this one is worth every minute.