Today was Friday, and not too soon for me. I was having lunch in the cafeteria with my friend and colleague Jill. Just as we sat down, another friend and colleague's husband came over to say hello. He has lost his dad this week. We talked briefly about how he was doing, and I sensed he was still too upset to talk about it and we changed the subject. Not long after he left, one of our other colleagues came in and joined us, to be also joined by his wife and our colleague shortly after. What's the point?
I was thinking how easily we become "family" with folks we see on a regular basis: how their troubles become our troubles; their joys our joys. I tell people about Kim's blog and how to find it, as we all miss her, yet are wanting to see what new adventures she has been up to. I find myself always saying, "Did you read Kim's blog last night?" Debra says, "No, but I TALKED to her last night." Jim is coming back to us next year after a stint in the dean's office as associate dean. I have missed him and am glad he will join us again as faculty. I am starting two new research projects, both with colleagues, and looking forward to the camaraderie that such work engenders. Life is good even when it is hard.
I finally finished up enough work to head out of the office at 4--needing to fill my car's gas tank, drop cleaning off, and restock the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator. (My husband and son apparently do not know where the grocery store is located. :) Yet again today, I find it interesting what living in a small town brings. Yesterday I went to the Taylor post office to pay postage due on a package. They don't even leave a slip, just so note on the mailer. I went in and told the post mistress I owed her postage due and she asked how much; I paid it and she said, "I told him to leave it; she'll pay it." Today, when I said my last name at the cleaners, she wrote "Randy" without asking. I went in to the Star Package and Fred and I chatted about things as he was checking me out. While sometimes I miss the adventures of living in a bigger city, I must admit that rural Mississippi life has its advantages. As a university town, we also get a few of those big city perks without the hassle. Like, Colin Powell coming to campus to speak next week, even if all the tickets were gone by the time they opened it to faculty and we still have to watch him on TV. :)
And finally, a break on the house. We actually got a check this time: the roof that was damaged by wind and then rain is going to be replaced--minus our deductible of course. But I will take spending a thousand of my money over spending 4,000 of my money these days. Now, the only thing is to find someone here who will DO roofing without building the house underneath it first. :)