So we’re having our first snow for Winter 2018 – 2019. Not too much; the snow just lightly blankets the grass and covers the roofs. But schools are all closed, roads are snarled, and normally-bustling offices are half-empty. All for a little snow.
And now, just like that, the snow stopped. Life goes on.
So it was another busy autumn in the Virginia edition of the Charest family. Besides managing repairs to our rental property, Winnie and I have been working on what may be the final major home renovation project we tackle. In this house.
Catching Up News
So we already had a light cold rain when I woke up yesterday morning, but it didn’t seem like a big deal so I came into the office. During my commute I learned that all Prince William County schools would be closed due to “inclement weather.” By the time I arrived at my office it was actually snowing pretty hard and I decided I should have stayed home.
Closed schools are bad news for me. Last spring I started teaching English as Second Language (ESL) part-time through the Prince William County School system. Unlike a previous attempt at part-time teaching, so far this seems to be working well. The classes run 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at a school local to home. So I have time to commute back to Woodbridge after my day job and get to class. I’m usually home by 9:30 PM so I can still get some sleep. During the spring session I was teaching four nights per week, this current session and probably for the future I have a two-night-per-week class schedule. Classes have been small with under ten people so I’m able to really work with the students.
If the schools are closed then my class is canceled, and last night would have been my last class night before our potluck graduation dinner. Hopefully I’ll have some of these students back next session starting in January.
Continuing Education Starts At Home
I’ll also be going back to school for my own continuing education. Starting in January I’ll be working on my gradate degree program. I’ve been accepted to George Mason University’s “Instructional Design and Technology” program. I’m hoping to earn my graduate degree before I formally retire from full-time work, and then work part-time/whenever-the-fuck-I-feel-like-working in teaching and developing adult training programs. I know I’ll need to do something to keep myself occupied at least part of the time after I retire. But the work needs to be on a not-to-interfere basis with important stuff like boating, fishing, traveling, and just hanging around the house.
Winnie is also working on her own continuing education program. In September she enrolled for a class in real estate and ever since has been busy studying for her license. It’s a really tough slog for her, given her limited English language skills. She’s essentially learning new vocabulary simultaneously with learning real estate code. But Winnie is a good student, far better than I am with formal book learning. She’s plugging along taking practice exams and reading her texts. I’m pretty sure she’ll soon earn her license and move from being a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) to a real estate agent. I’m pretty excited for her.
Running Out of Home Improvement
We’re on what may be our final major home improvement project – in this house. While replacing our second floor carpeting with new bamboo flooring last year, we also opened a door between one bedroom and our garage attic “bonus room.” This past year we’ve been slowly converting this space into a finished room.
We put in framing for interior walls, electrical wiring, insulation, drywall, finish flooring and trim work, along with duct work to use a portable A/C-heater as a permanent installation. The room should be finished in another few weeks, just in time for me to start grad school. It looks nice and we may used for a home office or hobby room. For a family with children (future owners of this house), this room would be a great playroom connecting to the children’s bedroom.
Once this room is completed, we’re about out of major home improvement projects. Over the nearly 12 years we’ve lived here, we’ve remodeled every room in the house except for the laundry/utility room and garage. Winnie would never admit it, but I think she enjoys home improvement projects as much as I do.
So maybe I need to plan out remodeling projects for our laundry room and garage…I’ve acquired all these tools and need to find some use for them…