Iʼm actually finished with the Census. I turned in my badge and bag yesterday morning. I donʼt think my FOS had quite realized it was my stuff I had to submit, but she accepted it all, and so I am free at least, free at last (although the money was nice, and the work wasnʼt too bad overall).
I shouldnʼt explain in detail, but things had gotten a little messy with the LOC, leaving me and one of my crew hanging for an entire week on an importantly sensitive issue. We were both supposed to await a summons to the CR office over this problem, supposedly last Thursday. My crew member went pretty much sleepless about it all that Wednesday night and called me, still very much worried, after 10:00 on Thursday when no summons had yet arrived. Although I called my boss to ask, nothing happened Thursday, so we both hung on tenterhooks all day Friday, too. Again, absolutely no word of any kind. Finally, after seven days of noncontact, I decided it was time I truly had my time for myself, whether the issue was resolved or not. Now I can get on with my life without worrying about sudden phone calls to perform tasks unexpectedly and immediately (as happened even two weeks after the previous operation ended and before I knew I was signed up for the just-completed one). My boss was excited about two upcoming operations (I donʼt think she really had me in mind for either one, but…), and I think all that had distracted Cedar Rapids from my crew issue. I donʼt know. I am just glad itʼs over.
Unfortunately, I had an appointment in Mt. Pleasant at (or by) 11:00, and my FOS wanted to meet yesterday rather than Thursday afternoon, and at 9:00. You really cannot get from Maquoketa to Mt. P in two hours (well, maybe Janet could, but probably not even her). But I tried, driving mercilessly and boldly far faster than I am comfortable over the limit. Except for getting held up by road construction at the city limits of Lost Nation, not even a quarter of an hour beyond Maquoketa, for about ten minutes, I did the run down in maybe two hours and five minutes, having left town exactly at 9:00. With the hold-up, however, that meant I arrived at Kevinʼs about 11:15, somewhat late.
My appointment was to take him to the airport for his annual vacation in Maine, Dawn having left, as always — but more importantly this year with her fatherʼs condition — just after the Fourth of July. I had offered the same service last year as a way of celebrating my being retired (and making supposedly good use of my extra time), only that flight was out of the Quad Cities Airport. This year his plane left from Cedar Rapids at 1:30. So I essentially raced all the way northward as well, through really heavy rain that started pouring down sometime north of Ainsworth Corners (and north of I-80, into really heavy, slowish-moving traffic with lots of trucks throwing up blinding spray, even for my pickup). He leapt out at the arrival door at 12:25, so I hope he was early enough to get a boarding pass and clear security (with that rain, the plane might have been delayed anyway — good thing from my point of view).
I drove out of the rain into blue skies as I came around from Highway 30 to 13, heading up to intersect 151 to Anamosa and then back home, so even if there was a delay, it would not have been long. I bought gas at Wal-Mart on the corner of 13 and 151 and drove on home, at a more leisurely and comfortable pace, arriving in time to write this post during the afternoon (well, a piece of it) before Janet got home from work.
I also visited Andrew School on Wednesday (to drop off magazines: I donate my copies of the three major news weeklies, Archaeology, Astronomy and whatever else I thought the students might find useful; it saves the library several hundred dollars on subscriptions — and I donʼt think many students even touch most of those mags anyway). And I signed up for substituting again this coming year. At not yet $100 a day, itʼs pretty good pay, if I get many calls. Iʼm still on the wire about registering with Maquoketa or maybe Preston, but weʼll see (Maquoketa pays better). Of course, my teaching license runs out on my birthday this fall, so I will have to send for a Substituteʼs Certificate. I downloaded the form from the Department of Education (or maybe the Board of Educational Examiners) website last year, so all I have to do is fill it out and send it in. (And a sub certificate will cost a whole lot less than a new teaching license, even excluding the necessary hours of courses that would have been required for that).
The school sent me a form — new to me this year, but then the district has a new superintendent/principal (a very nice guy, by the way, as I got to meet him on Wednesday, and his wife as well) and a new superintendentʼs secretary (also a wonderful person, who seemed actually excited that I was registering to sub). Iʼll get it back Monday, probably in person as I have more magazines to deliver to the library.
School starts soon. Andrew has registration next week, with classes starting on, I think, the 19th (and I was told other area schools — well, at least one — begin on August 16). So I could be back at work, irregularly, I hope, within just a few weeks (he wrote with a somewhat worried gleam in his eyes). I also need to retrain myself to accomplish actual writing (in addition to blog posts) each day. I just read that some expert believes you can establish a new habit solidly after 21 days of repetition. Those days start now.
And I just hit that magical thousand-word mark, so this post is done, once I figure out what I can use for an illustration to this hodge-podge of contents…