~If I had chocolate on this day, it would be melted all over my fingers and lips because I’m a chocolate kind of girl. I have two sons who feel the same way. Picture the Allegheny Mountains on a clear summer day. You can see mountain ridge upon mountain ridge and the surroundings are always bathed in rich green. Autumn makes you think you’re in a whole different area when the trees change color and everything looks like an artist’s palette. But, now we’re talking about June, my birthday month. This particular summer, our youngest son escorted us because we felt he was still too young to leave at home. He complained the whole trip. Our oldest son would drive up the next day.
~No one mentioned my birthday. Okay, no big deal, I guess. I have this birthday every year on the same date. Couldn’t someone remember? We went about our typical first day at the cabin which meant three hours of cutting grass, dusting the furniture, and making sure there were no mouse droppings all over the kitchen counters. Remember, mountains and forest equal mice and other rodents.
~Saturday our oldest son would arrive in his first, unpredictable car. Still, no one mentioned my birthday. One of our rituals, and necessities, was to go to town and buy groceries. Fine, I’d buy my own birthday cake—yellow with chocolate frosting. I didn’t need candles, but I sure needed the chocolate frosting.
~Out of cake!
~I swore to remember this the next time one of these guys had a birthday. Well, it sounded good at the time. At home we put the food away and started lunch then my son pulled in the driveway. When he got out I went to meet him and when he turned to me, he handed me a big sheet cake brought all the way from Michigan and decorated especially for my birthday! Was it chocolate frosting? No, but it was a beautifully decorated cake just for MOM, and even though the frosting wasn’t chocolate, the cake batter was. So, I had birthday wishes from my guys with candles and a chocolate cake. They all knew he was bringing me a cake and they decided to keep it to themselves so I’d be surprised. To this day, I believe that was one of my most special birthdays.
This week’s prompt was to write a 400 word memoir piece using one of the following. –wine, coffee, or chocolate. For more information and to read more pieces, visit Remember Red at Write on Edge.
Tomorrow I have to go back to work. In Michigan, we don’t start until after Labor Day. It’s supposed to promote tourism. That might work if the gas prices weren’t so high now. Anyway, I am returning after being laid-off. In June I received a letter saying that there would be a lack of work for this school year; therefore, I wouldn’t be needed. Okay, it was the third time in three years for me anyway, so it wasn’t a surprise. I’ve only lived in West Michigan for four years. Sometimes I wonder why I left a twenty-six year stable job to come here. I did it to marry a man who lives here. Little did I know work would be so bad in this area. Now, I take it one year at a time.
It will be good to go back and see friends and students. I’m in a new position this year. They received extra funds from Title 1; therefore, I get to return! I haven’t slept in much so getting up early shouldn’t be a problem. The problem will be going to bed at night. I’m a night person, and a writer, and nighttime is when I write, mostly. We didn’t go on vacation this summer, and I don’t have to leave lake property or a cabin in the woods to come back. I shouldn’t have a problem at all. That probably isn’t so with others who love their summer vacations, and the “no summer schedule” to give up. Since I didn’t go wild all summer and didn’t do anything special, it won’t be hard to go back to work. It will be hard to leave my writing, though.
MONEY! That is one of my biggest motivations, other than loving the type of job I do. Yes, I was laid-off, and I did apply for unemployment. Guess what? I missed it by seven cents. So, all summer I didn’t receive unemployment conpensation. I applied for an extension, which was recently reinstated. Last week I was informed that I qualifed for an extension of unemployment benefits for eight weeks. That’s four checks. Now I’m going back to work. Hmmm, how does this work? I’ll know tomorrow when I call them. There’s a form to fill out, too. My employer received one. How confusing that will be to them, knowing I am coming back to work, and filing for an extension. Again, I wonder how this will work. Will I receive it for the three weeks left of lay-off after they approved my extension? I’ll find out tomorrow. I’ll find out everything tomorrow, when I go Back to Work After Summer.