Actually, the first sounds I heard last night were the crackles and pops of my backyard neighbor’s fire–they have fires a lot and small parties. Six years ago they were louder and more obnoxious and I wasn’t yet on year-round anti-depressants so I may have reacted irrationally to their constant and late (like past one a.m.) and loud parties. Even a year later I found myself less bothered even though the only concession they made to having neighbors was no more live bands in the back yard (yes, that is a thing that totally happened). Now, I close my back door and my bedroom windows if they are too loud for my comfort–I love having my doors and windows open on summer evenings and summer mornings. I have learned to put it in the same category as neighbors who park in front of my house: so what?

Back to last night, it was kind of soothing to hear the fire, then to hear the rain as it started and picked up. I’m not a huge rain person, but I do like seasonal transitions. There’s something wonderful about the first few days of rain or the first snowfall (the first ice storm will never be a thing I love). I admit that I worry a little about how icy last winter was because I lost my beloved Honda to black ice on the way to visit the folks for Christmas and I have real concerns about driving my used Prius through windy Gorge days or icy conditions anywhere. The gas mileage may be great, but it often feels like a breeze could knock the car off the road.

It’s not the first of the month, my birthday, New Year’s, or any other day that most people would look at as “hey, I should set a goal and stick with it.” However, the randomness of October 6 fits my aesthetic. Once again, I am going to try to write (and publish) more. I’m shooting for at least three days a week. I’m also trying to remind myself that in five years I can buy a new car because my retirement funds will be repaid the down payment which will free up a lot of my disposable cash. I don’t stick to budgets or plans very well, so I’m trying to remind myself that a little less frivolity now will be better for me later–then I can buy my Subaru or my Honda CR-V. I’m also hoping that publishing my random writing might lead to people responding to what I write or at least help me feel like a real “writer.”

After I get that new car, I’ll still have another fifteen years of teaching (I’m shooting for a full forty years). I have toyed with the idea of applying to an MFA program for Creative Nonfiction Writing to help me do a better job of building my students’ voices and confidence. All I ever want to do is be a better teacher.

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