Friday miscellany: Snow and speaking

I was running around a lot this week, with the first rush of winter weather adding to the fun. Actually, my travel wasn’t so bad. My husband got back at 3:30 a.m. last night because his flight from Europe landed at Newark at 9 p.m., and then they proceeded to sit on the tarmac for 4 hours. No planes were taking off, so none of the international gates were open. I was only 40 minutes delayed, and since choir rehearsal was canceled, I wound up home long before I would have been.

Some highlights:

I visited an art museum. On Tuesday, I had a morning meeting in NYC, and then I was giving a speech in Somerset, NJ. I took the train to New Brunswick, but had some time to kill before needing to be onsite. So I walked around the campus of Rutgers (spotting an Alexander Hamilton was here sign!) and visited the university’s art museum. It was a small collection, but an interesting way to spend an hour. I learned about Soviet non-conformist art, and cartoonist Alison Bechdel. After, I stopped in the local Barnes and Noble and was happy to see they had Off the Clock.

I spent 20 minutes outside…in Florida. I flew to Orlando on Wednesday to give a speech Thursday morning. Since it was 28 degrees and snowing at home, I took advantage of the 70 degree weather, and went for a walk outside through the hotel’s nature preserve trail. The signs warning about alligators were disconcerting, but it was a beautiful sunrise, and nice to be outside in a short sleeve shirt. (The speech went well! Also, I saw an old friend from choir who now lives in Seattle but happened to be at the conference.)

I visited some of the kids’ schools. On Wednesday morning, I read a story to the 3-year-old’s preschool class (Owl Moon; I decided to take some artistic license and turn the owl sounds into a call-and-response interactive bit, which I think the 3-year-olds appreciated). Today, I am serving Thanksgiving lunch at the middle school, reliving some previous food service experience in my required cap. I was going to attend parent-teacher conferences for the two elementary school aged kids, but those have been rescheduled due to the snow early closures/delays.

I’m reading to the kids. I started reading A Christmas Carol with the boys, and finished Danger in the Darkest Hour (a Magic Treehouse book), which my daughter and I had been reading for the past two weeks (it’s a lot longer than most Magic Treehouse books! I think I might give myself credit for this one in my own books-read list). The 3-year-old and I read Grumpy Trucks several times.

My 11-year-old learned a valuable lesson. We bought him a phone before he started middle school so we could get in touch with him if we had important messages. On Thursday, thanks to the snow storm, all the schools closed early. I learned this while waiting to go on stage to speak to 900 people. So I called G (nanny) and arranged for her to go pick everyone up. We have learned from past experiences that the buses can be hideously delayed with snow storms, so best to go get the kids. I emailed the elementary school teachers the new dismissal plans. I texted my son, and G texted him too…and he elected not to check his phone. He got on the bus. The bus subsequently got stuck with the snow and he was on it for the next 3 hours. Fortunately, I learned he had made it home before my plane took off so I wasn’t too anxious. And he learned to check his phone whenever something big changes.

My flight home from Orlando took off. Only about 40 minutes late. And unlike during last March’s snowstorm, I did not park on the airport garage roof deck so I didn’t return to multiple inches of snow burying my car!

Photo: Snow plus autumn leaves

3 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Snow and speaking

  1. Thrilled you were able to enjoy a bit of Orlando! Welcome 🙂 What conference brought you to town? As an Orlando resident and reader, I am intrigued.

  2. I attended Rutgers for graduate school and at one visited the art museum; I learned quite a bit about Soviet non-conformist art on that visit. An interesting, unexpected exploration.

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