As promised by the weather forecasters, it is wickedly cold this morning, minus one with wind chills of minus twenty three. It looks sunny and bright out, but it is bitingly cold.
Providence has cancelled school for the day, which seems like a smart thing to do. Julia needs to get to school in Cranston though, so I go out to move Alex's car so she can leave for school. I put the key in and the engine won't turn over. I email AAA to come out and give us a jump, and then put the car in N and let it roll down the driveway far enough so Julia can get her car by. In less than and hour AAA comes by and gets the car running. We let it run in the driveway for a while to recharge. Alex is going to pick Chauncey up from an appointment at Rhode Island Hospital later so we are hoping the car will start. When he gets back from that he calls to get a new battery installed.
It is much too cold to take the kids outside today, but a great day to warm the house up baking cookies! At our usual walk time the temperature has risen only one degree, dangerously cold for little fingers, cheeks and toes. Instead we play movement games inside and run around and around the house.
Towards the end of the day I am feeling so tired. This is not particularly unusual, these days I am tired sometimes, and I have also been this tired in my precancer days. How do I tell the difference between regular tired and tired from chemo, detox, cancer?
Kaileigh is getting out of work late tonight, so I skip stained glass. I can't imagine the studio will be warm on a night like this.
It is not as cold today as it was yesterday. A light blanket of snow has fallen over night and the world looks bright and clean. We manage a very slow walk around the block, but no one seems to be happy about it. It is true the snow is rather disappointing. It is dry and won't hold together for a snow ball, the only thing it seems to be good for is drawing in. The appeal of this activity wanes before we round our second corner. There isn't even enough of it for a ride on the sled. By the time we get back to my house, one of the boys has decided he would like to shovel. The rest of us watch from the window as he and Sara push the snow off the sidewalk. It's snow tv!
My neighbor from two doors down stops by to say hello. Although she lives so close, we seldom see each other. She has been out shopping and saw some olive bread, thought of me and decided to check in on me. It is such a nice and welcome surprise. We have a nice chat while I am cuddling with one of my just waking nappers.
This evening my happiness friends and I meet at Sweet Indulgence in Pawtuxet Village to celebrate Nancy's birthday. It is the cutest little bakery, all pink, white and brown decor, with beautiful cakes, cupcakes and candy. I get a hot cocoa, and it takes me five minutes to find the cocoa under all of the home made whipped cream! The cakes and cupcakes are amazing looking, but with the hot cocoa, they seem too sweet. I am glad to be invited to sample from other people's plates, because I don't think I could manage much more.
It is fun to celebrate in such a charming little spot!
Steve and I bundle up and walk down to North Main Street to catch the bus. We are going to see a morning showing of Selma, The new Martin Luther King Jr movie about the historic march in Alabama. We arrive at the mall just about eight thirty, and wait in the company of people of diverse ages and backgrounds. There is a cluster of people who know Steve who have come to the show, aI run into a few people I know too.
Jim Vincent, the head of the NAACP in Rhode Island is supposed to be introducing the movie this morning, but because there are so many people here, and the theater has opened late, he has to wait until after the show to talk.
It is an excellent movie, well scripted, acted, directed and edited. There are some places where the sound could have been better, it was at times difficult to hear what was going on. There are things in the movie that shock me, and many things that sadden me.
I did not grow up knowing about Selma, I don't even remember when I first heard about it. I would have been only three when it happened. As an adult I learned about it, and saw still photos of the event. I don't ever recall seeing the historic footage that was used in the movie. It was horrifying to see people being bludgeoned by other people, to hear them being spoken to with such disrespect.
After the movie there was a question and answer period, with people speaking about their experiences in life. There were a couple of people who grew up in Alabama who remembered the march, one man who even hitch hiked from here to participate. Our Congressman David Cicillini was there, and two representatives from the Providence police force were on hand to answer questions about current problems.
Some of the most amazing observations came from the youth that were present.
It was nearly one o'clock by the time we left the theater. On our way out, I had to stop and change my bag for the first time ever in a public rest room. All that sitting. It wasn't the most difficult thing ever, but it was awkward. I suppose if I knew I had to do this for the rest of my life, I would adjust, but knowing that it may soon be coming to an end seems to make things worse.
We get home around two, and I spend the rest of the day trying to get to the things I didn't do in the morning.
This morning is a child dedication Sunday, so everyone starts out in the big church. This is a ceremony where parents, children and the congregation take a pledge to help raise the children being dedicated in a loving community.
When we get to our classroom, we make a poster for the mitten tree collection basket, and then bring the kindergarten class out to restock the tree. There are still some hats and mittens on it from last week, but it is supposed to be cold this week, so we need to be sure there are plenty of items available.
Steve picks me up in a zipcar. We are going to help Alex move back to Amherst today. We pick up Ayla from her apartment on our way home, Kaileigh is going to meet us there.
Before making the trip, Alex and I check the fluids in his car, and run to Benny's to get some auto essentials he may need. Once that is done, he leaves to get Filipa, and we start off for Amherst. We will meet up there to see his new room.
He had been planning on taking classes at UMass this semester, but things have not worked out
financially. Instead, he is going to move up there to be with Filipa while she finishes up a couple of classes she needs. He has applied to University of Rhode Island to take classes this fall. On Tuesday Alex will interview at the Hadley Whole Foods, where they need a new produce person. He is confident he will get this job.
We arrive shortly before Alex and Filipa, so we go to Target to pick up a few things he might need. By the time he catches up with us, everyone is hungry, so we stop off at Chili's for a bite to eat.
We drive to the room he is subletting until this summer. It is a nice sized room in the back of an old farmhouse. There are grad students living on the second floor of the house, and other students on the first. He doesn't know any of his room mates yet, and it appears that no one is home when we arrive.
When we first enter the room, we notice it is furnished with a full sized bed which is under a loft. You can get to the loft by the rope ladder hanging down by the bed. There is a desk in one corner and a chest of drawers kitty cornered in another. At the end of the bed there is a coat rack and some plastic drawers which contain video game equipment. The ceiling is high and pitched, with two sky lights. It is cool in the room, but there is a baseboard heater near the bed. It looks like a nice room.
As we start to unload Alex's things, we notice there are woodchips on the floor underneath one of the windows. We realize that something has gnawed the panes off of a few of the windows, and that all of the blinds are askew. There are bite marks in some of the slats in the blinds. There is also a box of shredded tissue, and bits of foam on the bed and floor. We figure out that an animal must have been in the room, but we don't know what kind or where it might have come in from. We search the room, but can't find any animal. There don't seem to be any droppings anywhere, and the room doesn't smell like urine. I notice there is a piece of foil that is duct taped to cover a hole in the chimney. It is untapped on one side and looks like this may be where an animal could have entered.
By now it is seven, dark and cold. Alex tries to contact the landlord, but has no luck. We decide he should come back to Providence and see if the landlord can repair the damage, find the animal and clean up the mess in the room. As we repack the car, we notice a branch from a pine tree is close to the chimney that is on one of the walls of Alex's room. We are confident now that there must have been or could still be a squirrel in the room somewhere.
We climb back into our cars and head back to Providence Ayla goes with Alex and we drop Kaileigh off in Somerville on our way back home.