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February 24, 2011

[cue SUSPENSEFUL music]

Voice-Over: Previously on Spynotes

AJ scored 13 out of 22 points for his team in his basketball game last Saturday for a win. Afterwards, he turned down a trip to see a college game because “I’m too tired.” That should have been the first clue. Sunday he had a fever and missed his game. They won anyway (they’ve only lost one game all season and they very nearly won that one). Monday he still had a fever and his neck began to swell up. Tuesday was even worse. He missed school and we headed to the doctor where he tested negative for strep and she told us it was either mono or a lymph node infection. Wednesday the fever finally broke in the afternoon. Thursday we took another trip to the doctor who gave him the all clear to return to school but not yet to sports. Will he miss another game? The last game of his winningest season?

Meanwhile, Harriet drove to work on Wednesday evening and found herself driving home in an unexpected storm of snow and ice so intense that at one point she could not see the end of the hood of her car. Did she make it home alive?

[Roll opening credits]

It’s been quite an unexpected week here at Spy Headquarters. AJ, the kid who never gets sick, has been in bed for 5 days. I have been homeschooling all week. It has been time consuming, but not all bad, until today. Today, AJ was starting to feel better. This meant he started to complain and argue and was generally much less fun to be around. He did confess to me partway through the afternoon, with a mix of surprise and embarrassment, that he really wanted to go back to school tomorrow. AJ thinks he’s not supposed to like school. And sometimes he really doesn’t. But most of the time he’s okay with it. Or maybe he’s just sick of hanging out with me. I’ll try not to take it personally.

We’ve had plenty to keep him busy, though. He worked hard on his science fair project, which didn’t involve anything too physically strenuous, just a lot of number crunching — he was testing Pinewood Derby cars of various shapes under various types of conditions to see what things most affected their speed (shape of car, friction, wind, steepness of launching ramp, etc.) This is the first year where he’s really done the project pretty much on his own. The experiments were all his idea. I mostly just helped with presentation and organizing the data. His teacher was great about sending schoolwork home every day, and he got started on a book report due in a few weeks without my even asking him too.

In the outside world, the school district is going through yet another round of cuts and it’s déja-vu all over again. Another school may be closed. Classes are to rise to 35 students. More teacher layoffs. Another 6 million and change to lose from the budget. I can’t even stand to watch this dog and pony show anymore. The big school board meeting is Monday and while I’ll feel a little guilty for missing it, I am mostly grateful that I have to work and can’t attend. It’s all so depressing. We voted for a tax referendum that was supposed to prevent this from happening, but through some miscalculations, we’re right back where we started.

I did, in fact, make it home alive from teaching last night. I’m sure you are all relieved that I am not typing this from beyond the grave. But let me tell you, it was touch and go (The driving that is; not the typing. That’s just touch.). Those were some of the worst driving conditions I’ve ever been in. The storm rolled in fast and started as freezing rain, enough to thoroughly coat the streets with sheet ice, then turned to heavy wet snow coming down with the intensity of a hurricane rain, all while claps of thunder boomed and lightning lit up the sky. I’ve never seen anything like it. It would have been impressively beautiful if it hadn’t been so goddamned scary. To get home from Studio 2, I have to cross a limestone quarry, which is always windy. About halfway across, the wind kicked up and the snow was coming down so hard that I couldn’t see out the windows in any direction — it looked like I was floating in a cloud of white. I couldn’t even see the front of the hood of my car. Fortunately, the road is ramrod straight and I know it well and there wasn’t anyone else stupid enough to be driving on it. Once I got to the other side, I emerged from the wind tunnel and could see again. Sort of. I was never gladder to walk in the door at the end of the day.

And now it is snowing again. They tell us that tonight’s storm will mean our snowfall this month will break a record set 115 years ago. I am hoping that we don’t have a snow day on the day when, after more than a week at home, AJ will finally go back to school. That kind of irony I can live without. And it would be a shame if the science fair were canceled. Wish us luck.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    February 25, 2011 8:57 am

    That’s exactly the kind of irony I get these days. Perhaps they’ll just postpone it? After all the work the kids did? I am glad you made it home safely.

  2. February 25, 2011 9:52 am

    The snow ended up being a total non-event — less than an inch, although by the looks of all the branches down this morning, there was probably a lot of ice. In any case, AJ is in school as we speak. Here’s hoping he makes it through the day. He’s still not feeling great, but he practically sprinted out the front door this morning.

  3. February 25, 2011 11:10 am

    You have certainly had one heck of a week. We got that icy rain and then snow early this morning; I don’t think I’ve ever seen snow come down in sheets like that. Luckily, I was inside the house watching it.

  4. February 27, 2011 10:57 pm

    Inside the house was definitely the place to be.

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