So today the wind is blowing hard. Hard enough to shut down governments and schools and force people inside their homes. Power lines are tumbling and trees are dropping. The airports are closed and railroad trains are stopped. All because of wind. Strong winds changed the daily life-plans of millions of people. Maybe strong enough winds blowing long enough can change the direction of history?
Bad Storms Ahead
I’m home today on account of a storm variously called “Nor’easter,” or a “cyclone bomb.” Whatever meteorologists want to call it, my outdoor five-burner bar-be-que was already lying flat on it’s back when I woke up this morning and the winds are continuing. All government buildings are closed, which made my telecommuting decision pretty easy. Winnie insisted on driving to work even though I encouraged her to stay home.
So today is a good day to catch up on my home stuff. I’ve been really busy at work these past several weeks, but I’m using the winter months to rest and recuperate at home in preparations for planned spring and summer activities.
Home Improvement 2018
Our home improvement projects are continuing, but slower than the past couple of years. This winter’s project is to finish off a “bonus room,” attic space over our attached one car garage. The house as built had access to this space via a pull-down ladder in the back of the garage, and ever since moving here we’ve stored empty boxes and other priceless junk. Winnie has also had plans for finishing this room almost as long as we’ve lived here.
Last year when we replaced all carpeting on our second floor with bamboo flooring, we created a doorway from the one bedroom into the bonus room. This winter we started finishing it with framed interior walls and insulation, in preps for wiring and drywall. The work has gone slow for several reasons:
- Without heat or insulation, most weekends and evenings it was too cold to work in the room.
- Out of sight, out of mind, so not a priority over other important weekend stuff.
- Generally feeling exhausted by almost three years of steady home improvement projects.
We’ll be finished when we’re finished, and then I’m not sure what we’ll work on next.
Back in the Classroom
Besides home improvement, I’ve been working on my rapidly approaching retirement plans. Two years ago I earned a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification through my local community college. I then landed a part-time teaching job as a part-time English as Second Language (ESL) teacher through a private language school in Washington, D.C. However, I could only stick with it for a few months due to intensive five nights per week program. With my schedule I was getting home about 10:30 PM each night and then back up at 5:00AM to start my day.
I dropped back to tutoring ESL, and this past week I was picked up as a part-time ESL teacher though our local public school system. These programs are three and four night per week close to home, so I should be able to handle this routine. Winnie has already been attending ESL classes through this program and likes the quality of instruction. So we’ll see how this works. I’d really like to do some part-time teaching after retiring. The work will keep my mind active, and offer a chance for me to give something back to my community.
Winnie is continuing her swimming. She keeps a fairly constant routine of swimming three mornings each week before going to work. We’ve started a routine of also going Sunday afternoons together, which gives me the only real exercise I get each week. It’s been too cold most of this winter to be outside much, even though we haven’t had any real snow.
So this is most of the big news for today’s edition of “This and That.” Winter weather and home improvement and working and school. Another season in the life of the Charest family, Virginia edition.