Stay Beautiful

Life still hasn’t gotten back on track after the little Utah vacation. I returned to piles of homework and assignments that needed completed. In addition to my school work, there was a homebuilder’s show in the football stadium last weekend. I volunteered to work the food stand on Friday and Sunday; money raised goes to a student who demonstrates ‘academic excellence and high levels of community involvement.’ On Saturday I helped with a dodgeball tournament to fund this same scholarship. Teams of 6-8 people signed up to play at $5 a person. There were around 70 people playing and everyone had a lot of fun. All prizes were solicited from local businesses. The team I was on didn’t make the finals but we had a lot of fun.

Aside from the local events I had several exams to study for and papers to write. I was too busy to work at Habitat and I got behind on homework. Then Grandpa was laid up and passed away last Tuesday. I got a plane ticket and flew to PA for the weekend, dropping all plans and homework. I had to email 8 people cancelling weekend plans and postponing assignments and getting excused absences from class. I bought my plane ticket on Wednesday at noon and flew out of Phoenix at 9 AM Thursday morning. It is amazing how plans can change so quickly and smoothly. A week ago I would have never guessed I would be in Pennsylvania with all my cousins and relatives. I had a good trip and am glad that I went. I had a 12 minute flight (my shortest ever??) from Harrisburg to Philadelphia in the evening yesterday, flying low in the Cumberland Valley over towns, houses, and small farms all the way. I recognized a lot of landmarks and jobsites, etc. The flight to Phoenix was 6 hours long –much too long, I thought. It was a nice 78 degrees in Phoenix at 11 last night.

Pennsylvania was greening up and I enjoyed a warm spring day on Sunday. I took the opportunity to lay on the grass under the huge trees in the front yard and went to see the cabin, or rather the chimney, as that is all that is left of what was once a log cabin. Now I know how those chimneys I stumble across in my ramblings through the mountains come to be. There is really nothing burnable left. There are maybe five small pieces of charred wood lying here and there; everything else that is burnable or meltable is gone. The windows are puddles of glass, the potbelly stove is a melted pile of scrap metal. There is a stone foundation, a hearth, nails, and a chimney. It’s how it would’ve wanted it to end.

So what’s ahead? I have yet to open Outlook and scrutinize it, but I fear the worst –a busy week with impossible looking assignments and volunteer commitments. I am tired and groggy from a practically sleepless weekend and three days of family gatherings and church services. The remains of my doppio espresso are cold and I seem to be immune to its normally stimulating properties.

Now I must begin on the first assignment; a 10 page extended argument paper on electronic books and their benefits, problems; I also need to research and present some solutions for internet piracy of intellectual property. The thing is due Thursday morning. My mind is still blank. It will be an interesting week.