Letters to Holly

Monday, November 9

Mister Fix-It.

Because of a recent episode of This Old House, Your Sister was paranoid (her word) of the dryer causing a house fire. Some installations use a vinyl duct to connect the dryer to the outside vent. Lint can get stuck there, and if a gas dryer's intake line is to close to the outtake connection, the vinyl can melt, and the lint can catch fire. Our dryer has a pipe extension that goes under the house. I went to Lowe's for a new dryer duct and clamps. I also bought gutter sealant for the leaky gutters. Saturday morning, I went under the house and found the dryer's outtake is a solid pipe. We're safe there.

I got on the ladder and saw the gutters needed more than a sealant. They needed spackle. I'd rather replace that bad section, but the gutter spanning the back of the house seems to be all one piece. It would take three people just safely remove it before a replacement connection can be made. I took the dryer stuff back to the store and traded them for a hardcore spackle. I caulked the gutter with that and let it dry before sealing it the next day. We should get rain this week, and I'll see how it worked. I also gave the lawn what will likely be its last mow this year and mulched and bagged the leaves with it. Could be the last hurrah for our ancient mower, and it's served us well with its insatiable grass hunger.

As we ate at the soda shop on Saturday morning, Your Sister said, and I'm paraphrasing here slightly, "For the love of God, get me out of the house." And so I got her out of the house for the love of God. We window shopped. We browsed. We shared a Starbucks drink. We talked about Thanksgiving and students. The senior and I were to meet that afternoon, but he informed me that he hadn't done the homework I assigned him, and I told him to get it done for next week's rendezvous. Your Sis thinks I handled it right.

Meeting without that work in hand would be a waste of time, and this kid now has a month to write and draw and package a comic book among all the other assignments he'll receive. I want to help him, but he has to learn that you don't simply vomit through a pencil and make a comic. I told him this early on: It's a research paper that you draw. There are outlines and rough drafts. Plus, I argued, he ahs to show a progression of ideas and art to fill out his project portfolio. Without it, it doesn't matter that the finished comic looks like. Fail the portfolio, fail the project, fail senior year.

We walked along the county bike path Sunday enjoying, as you noted on FB, weird-ass November weather.

I've seen many references to the Wall coming down 20 years ago, and I can tell you exactly where I was when I found out: In my drama classroom, five days later. I missed the whole thing as we were on a drama trip to Columbia, and we didn't turn the TV on once. It wasn't mentioned in my house when I got back, and My Parents hated watching the national news as it was "always depressing." So, no, not until my drama teacher mentioned it Monday morning did I have a clue that the world has changed. And I made myself a promise that I would never be that clueless again.

Picture of the Day
I like to get all my opinions at the same time.

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