I taught Spanish all day yesterday, then left in a hurry to feed and water horses and make my way (slowly and painfully) to Lincoln. It’s a drive of about five hours, but trips take me longer because I don’t “drive like an idiot.” I generally obey the speed limit and try to go easy on my poor car.
A drive like that gave me plenty of time to think. Not always a good thing. My main fuel on the drive was coffee, so you can imagine I was in need of a rest stop or two along the way. I (briefly) considered stopping at a rest area, but I’ve seen too many episodes of Criminal Minds for that!
I made the necessary stops for fuel (for me and my car) and arrived (later than I had hoped) at the hotel. All this in the name of continuing education. The whole trip was for a final face-to-face meeting for the UNL Foreign Language Assessment class I have been taking this semester.
The class was full of great information, and I can use the units I created to improve instruction, so it was well worth the work. It was also an awesome experience to collaborate with like-minded professionals. Making contacts is the key to exchanging information and improving instruction. We all spent a long day collaborating and sharing. The meeting was over by 2:15, and I was fortunate enough to have been able to follow Brenda to get back on the interstate. (I say “fortunate” because I can get misplaced in a paper bag. Brenda was staying at the hotel as well, so I made it to the meeting because of her.)
For some reason, I didn’t sleep very well last night, but I was glad I was mentally alert enough to make it home at a reasonable hour. It sure feels good to be home again.
My favorite beverage is definitely coffee (in its many forms). The first thing Bela and I did when we landed in San Diego was get coffee. 🙂
After our film presentation Saturday afternoon, Martha drove Lexi and me back so they could change for a gathering at a friend’s home. I was outside waiting (and smoking, if the truth be told), and one of Martha’s neighbors, Mr. Ali, greeted me from his balcony. It turned out that he had attended the film presentation at the high school. He asked if I was a coffee drinker, and I replied in the affirmative. He told me he’d be right down. True to his word, within three minutes, he was downstairs with a cup of coffee! OH, JOY! He told me to just toss the cup when I was done since it was a “throw away.” I looked at the cup—it was quite sturdy, and it said WOLF TRAP on it. Martha later explained that it was from a cultural or artsy park where cool things happened. I decided I was taking it to Nebraska with me. 🙂
My cup made it safely to Nebraska.
The “girls” came downstairs, so we left. Lexi and I were treated to a fabulous supper by Martha’s friends and church family. We were surrounded by good food (TACOS!) and great people. I will never remember all the names, but the faces are tucked away in my mind. I wish I had some pictures of the people there that night. The fellowship was so amazing! There were people everywhere! Lexi was peppered with questions about Nebraska in general and ranching specifically. She even showed a video of her dad riding a bronc. Her audience was captivated.
After supper, Renee got us organized for a game of Family Feud. I just love that game! It was a super evening, and I hope to keep in touch with many new friends. I want to hear their stories.
Dear friend Judy called in the moment I was deciding to stop, and that sealed our fate. Judy said for me to rest. I was tired (almost weepy), and I had to sleep.
The Motel 6 in Cookeville was passable, but not stellar. We had a room on the second floor, the bathroom was tiny (barely room for a butt on the potty because the walls were so close), but there was a queen bed. It was around 11 (p. m.), and I had a wake-up call coming at 6. We had just enough energy to drag our “devices” (laptops, Nooks, etc.) and our carcasses up the two flights to the room. We were settling in when our friends, Joseph and Pam, called to check on us. (To meet them, see Mother Trucker-Part 1) They are the COOLEST! After connecting the phones to charge, we crawled into bed.
After being told about breakfast at 6, we trudged to the car with our devices, drove to the office area, and went looking for food. We found only coffee. I was slightly (!) annoyed. We drove across the street (in a huff), grabbed a coffee and topped off the tank. Cookeville was a memory in no time!
Ysabela kept helping watch signs for Bluefield. It finally appeared. When it was 14 miles away, Ysabela was ready to do a happy dance. I was too, but I explained that we were NOT going all the way to Bluefield—our exit was SOONER! I finally spotted the exit we needed, gave a war whoop (we are part Cherokee) and felt like
I don’t know about you, but I need a shot of coffee in the morning. My first cup is always the best, of course. When I worked in Charlotte, North Carolina, I had students offering to get me a cup of java from the office. I get a little….testy….without it!