After School on Wednesday in CinCity

I have a few moments to collect my thoughts this afternoon before picking up Miss HoneyHaired, so thought I'd share.

School seems to be going well. I'm pretty happy as a clam, though I wouldn't mind winning the lottery and taking one or two more classes each week and working one or two days less each week.

Our class today was about occupational infectious diseases, including those spread by animals and animal contact. You know, it's a damn wonder mankind ever propagated and survived generation after generation given all the bugs and viruses afoot. Almost makes me fearful of the little squirrel family which has built a rather intricate nest on the outside sill of our kitchen window. They carry all kinds of bad bacteria and ticks and fleas. So we shall only wave to the little baby squirrel who likes to look in around dinnertime and raises his little paws. No air kisses.

Yesterday's class was Occupational Health Workshop and involves actual research, meant to get the students acquainted with designing survey questions, setting up focus groups and getting data returned. This class is centered on firefighters. Determining their understanding of cardiovascular risks, how to better get out information of cardiovescular risks, and designing a process to report "near miss" incidents and maintaining absolute confidentiality. So, for me, it's been a blast and really interesting.

Kind of waiting for a shoe to drop and finding out this was a huge expensive mistake, but so far, so good. I won't look too hard. If there's trouble around it usually makes itself known.

Still is sunny and beautiful here. Hubby and I have taken to walking in Spring Grove Cemetery a couple of times a week. There are three walking trails there: 1 mile, 2 miles and 3.5 miles. Last week we tried the 3.5 mile trail and somehow got off-course turning it into a much longer jaunt. I was so happy to see a familiar tombstone! Might get up and take a walk today, but Hubby's gone and I have plenty to do around the house, and actually, I wouldn't mind reading a little bit about the Tudors--C.J.Sansom style and taking a nap. The nap is looking better and better...

please note: art by John Agnew

After School on Ordinary Days

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

After school on ordinary days we listened
to The Shadow and The Lone Ranger
as we gathered around the tabletop radio
that was always kept on the china cabinet
built into the wall in that tenement kitchen,
a china cabinet that held no china, except
thick and white and utilitarian,
cups and saucers, poor people's cups
from the 5 & 10 cents store.
My mother was always home
from Ferraro's Coat factory
by the time we walked in the door
after school on ordinary days,
and she'd give us milk with Bosco in it
and cookies she'd made that weekend.
The three of us would crowd around the radio,
listening to the voices that brought a wider world
into our Paterson apartment. Later

we'd have supper at the kitchen table,
the house loud with our arguments
and laughter. After supper on ordinary
days, our homework finished, we'd play
monopoly or gin rummy, the kitchen
warmed by the huge coal stove, the wind
outside rattling the loose old windows,
we inside, tucked in, warm and together,
on ordinary days that we didn't know
until we looked back across a distance
of forty years would glow and shimmer
in memory's flickering light.


  1. Just read about the sanitary (or lack thereof) conditions during the time of the Tudors. You'll feel...well, better about those squirrels, maybe!

  2. Glad you are loving class and I absolutely love your literary contribution this day!

  3. Congratulations on getting into the groove at school! It sounds very interesting and stimulating. I'm happy for you!

  4. Your enthusiasm for school is positively infectious. I'm so pleased you're enjoying yourself and that fact that you are should be proof enough that the cost of it all is money well spent.

  5. Loved the poem post today. Thanks for posting it. And thanks even more for sharing your life with all of us.


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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)

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