It was a simultaneously tough and great week, as full of ups and downs, twists and turns as the mountain roads here…or the weather, which went from 74 degrees and sunny Monday to an overnight storm that still had some Western NC communities left without power and with lots of wind damage as of yesterday. It also had Penland wake to icy, stinging snow, cold and terrific winds on Tuesday.
Wednesday, once again, was lovely, sunny and mild. The tenor of my teaching days approximated the weather: great Monday, awful Tuesday, excellent Wednesday…so, when yesterday came with equally lovely weather, I anticipated another good teaching day, and was blindsided when it was not. I don’t know why, but it took all day for six people to do prep that a dozen or more have done in previous classes in less than two hours; it still wasn’t done by 4 when I wanted to leave. I gave up and took off, intending to just head into Spruce Pine (the nearest town) to replenish personal supplies and come right back.
Instead, I kept driving, onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. I drove its lovely curves, stopped for many of its breathtaking views, and to take several short hikes. I skipped dinner and stayed up there, feeling the caress of the sweet soft air and thinking of old dear departed friend Ed, Mary’s husband. He was in a lot of pain, often, in his last years, but he had his motorcycle, and he would ride the Parkway often; he told me, “It’s good for what ails ya.” It was.
Today we wrapped up what I thought would have easily been done yesterday, and I demonstrated what needed to be done to progress the project; the class has the weekend and Monday to do the prep, much more than ample time. As for me, I’m taking a three-day weekend, and I’ve thrown the syllabus out the window. From here on out, my demos and talks and access to my expertise are optional. It’s not a credit course, so if someone wants to throw away the tuition, that’s their decision. Mary is gone for the weekend, but she told me where the spare key is, and said, “Mi casa es su casa, mi refrigerator es su refrigerator.” and I intend to have some R&R, hang out with the cats, and maybe explore Asheville. And I’ll take the Parkway back.