February is always weird. I met my husband in February. He was born in February. The post-Christmas let-down always hits hard in February.
It probably doesn't help that I'm still exhausted from the Obama-inaugeration-mania of January. Never before in a long and eventful life have I gotten so emotional about someone I didn't know directly. I have never written a fan letter or asked for anyone's autograph, but there I was -- completely ga-ga over a person I will never meet directly.
Is second childhood with its intensity followed by a second adolescence?
Back to February. I hurried through my monthly newsletter due on February 1 for the church where I am a member. On the morning of February 1 I delivered the newsletter to church #1, then moved on to church #2 to play for a 9:30 AM service. The I moved on to church #3 to play for an 11 AM service. Finally at noon I was free to visit a dear friend that is ill.
The rest of the week was spent updating a mailing list which contains the names of 500 people most of whom have changed one or more of the following in the past year: their names, addresses, phones, church affiliations, e-mail addresses or providers, or their positions in the organizations. This took three days. I also managed to have my cat neutered during this process, which did not please anyone involved, least of all the marmalade Tom who lives next door and was camped on my back step for the duration. That was the first week in February.
The second week began (on Monday) with news of the demise of the mother of another dear friend. I was also very fond of my friend's mother. I volunteered to create the funeral programs. I finished up the mailing list chore and sent labels to the person responsible for the next phase of this procedure. On Wednesday I received the information needed to create the programs and went home to begin the process. My granddaughter walked in with my three-year-old great grandson and begged me to let him stay overnight because she had a two-pronged problem that had to be solved the next day, and had no baby sitter.
I finished creating the programs at 3 AM and dropped into bed. Eli was still awake and wanted to watch the Disney Channel. My response bordered on abuse. The family members of the deceased came for final proofing at 11 AM, I made corrections, fed Eli (or tried to) and he and I got to the copier at 3 PM. The job was to have been completed by 4 PM at the earliest. Eli fell asleep on the way home. Thank you, Lord! I alerted the family that the cost of reproduction was prohibitive because of the color graphics and we decided to have fewer color copies. I made the arrangements for this change with the copy shop which had only one frazzled clerk on duty. Meanwhile I was due at a meeting at 7 PM, my granddaughter was in a class scheduled to end at approximately 7 PM. She mercifully arrived at 6 PM and we had dinner before I left for the meeting. She called the copy shop to see if the order was ready; they put her on hold for several minutes then told her they couldn't find the order. I took off at 8 PM for the meeting scheduled for 7 PM. I sped through a room where another meeting was in session with my cell phone ringing. The person conducting my meeting calling to see where I was. I told her I was in the building but couldn't stay. She was not happy, noting that I was telling her I could't stay before I actually got there. My heart was pounding and I was really short of breath. I handed the papers they were waiting for to another attendee and raced back to my car and back to the copy shop. When I arrived there, a familiar clerk said "Your order's ready," as I threw my purse and keys on the counter and raced to the ladies' room. When I got back to the counter I looked at the order and the entire job was in color. I told them I could not pay the higher fee for total color. The other clerk was back by now and said "It's OK, it's not your fault. You only have to pay the original price." I left before somebody could come and change that decision! I went home and folded and stapled 200 programs. I got to bed by 1:30 AM.
I arrived at the funeral the next day with the programs at 9:45 AM. I got home from the funeral at 5 PM.
The following day was my husband Collon's 80th birthday. My daughter Felicia, my granddaughter Jacquline, my great-grandson Eli and I had a celebratory dinner for him.
He was the happiest I've seen him in 55 years. He is still talking about it.
I am now into the third week in February and I have to complete a quarterly news letter, create an annual directory and find a way to handle the newsletter electronically; and do a status check on a brochure. Then I will play for a breakfast service on Saturday before attending a meeting and by that time it will be time to do the March monthly newsletter.
Maya Angelou knows why the caged bird sings. I don't know why a hampster runs around endlessly on a wheel but I do know how he feels. Maybe he's trying to find the exit.
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