The Turkey Vulture

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Ding Dong! The strike is dead!

Let us all rejoice as we head back to class three weeks into the school year.

Resuming regular responsibilities after the never-ending summer requires some adjustment. In addition to the early call of the alarm clock and the daily dilemma of what to wear:

1. Normal cooking has now been resumed. No more grazing on bags of salad, frozen pizza and ice cream because I’m too fraught to cook. I’ve got a hearty chicken and vegetable stew bubbling in the crock pot and I’m gearing up to make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for lunch box treats. Now we’re talking!

2. Not everyone is thrilled with the new schedule. After three months of constant companionship, our needy Chihuahua is less than pleased to be left alone all day when we go to work/school.

3. Kindness comes when you least expect it. Last week, I received something in the mail. I called my sailor.

“Someone sent us a Turkey Voucher!”

“A turkey vulture?”

“Voucher, not vulture.”

Turkey Vouchers are a local thing–a coupon we can exchange for delicious turkey goodness–mmm! Someone, who only put their return address on the envelope, sent me one.

Using my well-developed detective skills (and a reverse address search site), I discovered who sent it and was able to call to thank them. Apparently our turkey benefactors had noticed my stress level going through the roof as the strike progressed and wanted to do something nice for me.

Thank you!

4. Best of all–I had time to contact the Christmas tree farm lady and cancel my journey into the wilderness. I remain gloriously bear bite free as I go back to my real job!

The Ghost of Walmart

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My sailor and I went to the mall on the weekend. Normally I have to twist his toned and muscular arm to get him near any shopping venue, but he needed to get some man stuff–duct tape and batteries–so he suggested the trip.

As usual when we go shopping together, I ditched him as soon I arrived in my happy place (the mall!) It’s not that I don’t enjoy our time together–he lurks.

He follows me from shop to shop, silently observing. He’s doesn’t judge or try to control my spending (although he has been known to exclaim, “Seriously? Another purse? How many do you need?”)

Nothing takes the fun out of shopping like a lurker…nothing except being on strike.

The stores were buzzing with back to school sales and school supplies–they were everywhere! I don’t know who’s buying them as there’s still no word on when we’ll be back in class. I haven’t bought my boy’s because a stack of unused supplies in a corner collecting dust and dog hair will just depress me.

Since school supply shopping was out I drifted to the clothing and shoe stores. Big mistake! After a summer in swingy little dresses, I’m ready for cozy sweaters and socks and boots–I love me some black leather riding boots!

But not having an income changes the shopping dynamic profoundly. I was like a TV ghost–I could see the shopping action but couldn’t participate in it because I’m not in the zone with the people who get paid. It was so unsettling, I stayed away from mirrors, half afraid I wouldn’t see a reflection.

I’m luckier than many because I know we’ll have food in our tummies and a roof over our Chihuahua no matter how long this drags on.

I believe in what we’re striking for and I support my union.

I’m taking a huge financial hit to stand up for quality public education for ALL kids, not just mine.

That actually feels better than another new purse.