This was my first summons, so I was pretty interested in the process. You show up and wait in a line for security. You pass security (hopefully) and wait in a line to enter the courtroom. You enter the courtroom and wait for the process to begin. I live in a suburb of Austin, so I am actually in a much smaller county. But, Hello! There must have been over 600 people in there. Sure enough, the first thing they do is dismiss anyone with a summons that is over the number 600. Drat. My number is in the 300s. The bad news for them? They do not get their $6 cash for serving.
Next, they release everyone who has Extenuating Circumstances or who has committed a crime. The crowd continues to thin. Then the judge asks for those who would suffer a hardship for serving to raise their hands. My GriefShare leader has told me I have enough on my plate emotionally, and recent loss of spouse would constitute a hardship. 52 of us are dismissed, but we are handed $6 cash for surviving the first cut. It is 11:00 a.m., and now officially too late to return to my classroom to even serve half of a day.
My first grade class eats lunch at 10:30 a.m., so I am already feeling pretty hungry. I take my money and head across the street for the gingerbread pancakes I missed last week. And then I head home for a nap, because I am feeling unusually exhausted. I slept hard for about 2 hours, and there may or may not have been a little drool on the corner of my mouth from my carb-induced deep sleep. And now there are some chores I have to complete.
Cancel D's AAA membership. Order the new front door. Shop for the new chair and ottoman that will replace D's lift chair in the den. Buy boxes to ship pictures and mementos to D's siblings and daughters. Will even a simple to-do list ever return to just normal activities and not be so emotionally exhausting? Jury is out on that one. (And have I mentioned I'm not on the jury this time?) Go to bed tired. Even after that long nap.
But today? It is the first day of autumn and it actually feels like it in central Texas! 66 degrees after a summer of 100+ degree days feels like a blue norther blew in. My first graders have brought in all manner of things that represent fall for our "Fall Museum". They are also bringing in apples because we'll be celebrating Johnny Appleseed's birthday on Friday. A student's mom has sent organic apple juice for the class to enjoy. We drink it while we make fall leaves out of coffee filters for the class tree. Life is definitely good in the first grade.
And would you like a tip for how your life could be good? Blue Bell's new "Groom's Cake" ice cream. You're welcome.
Happy Fall, Y'all.