Friday, March 26, 2010

Unexpected Windfall

In the sea of stress and frustration, I found a little island of relief yesterday. I drove up to Manassas to finally close out my credit union account up there. After finally convincing the woman I dealt with that no, it would not be useful to keep the account open "just in case" (you know, since driving three hours up there to do banking would be SO convenient), I was successful. And then, a very unexpected thing happened . . . the woman told me how much money was in the account.

To give a little background here, I was convinced that there was about $20 in that account. The last statement that I recall reading said as much (unless I was in such a hurry that I skimmed the wrong line). So when she informed me that I had $400, I kinda shrieked. And startled a few people. But what else could I do in light of such an unexpected (and NEEDED) windfall? Between this and my tax refund, I may be able to pay for all of my remaining books (assuming that I manage to graduate in spring of 2011, like I'm shooting for).

After closing the account, I stopped by the dollar store to buy Jasper a new frisbee. He broke his old one in half when I took him to the park the other day. You've never seen a dog so wild about fetching a frisbee! After he broke it, he practically leapt at my throat trying to keep me from throwing it away. Eventually, we made a compromise - I threw half of it away, and he carried the other half in his mouth for our entire half-hour walk. I can hardly wait to introduce him to his new frisbee, once I finally finish all this work I have this week (and the additional student loan research that I mentioned in my previous, rather angry post).

By the way, I apologize to those who may dislike reading political posts - but that last one just had to be said. It was either blog about it, or march on Washington. Blogging requires less gas, and doesn't take as much time away from my papers. If you come from an opposing viewpoint, read the bill and the US Constitution before posting any comments. If you can back up an opposing viewpoint using the Constitution, then please post it. I welcome educated opinions and dialogue. If your only facts come from a political speech or CNN, then please go do some research - I say this not to be haughty, but out of genuine concern. Back to yesterday . . .

In the evening, I went out to dinner with two former coworkers. We ate at Noodles, one of my favorite restaurants. It was great to forget studying for a few hours, and even greater to be among friends. I'm still pretty solitary here in grad-land, although I do have my biweekly writing club meetings, which are a blast. The drive back to Lynchburg was pleasant, as any country drive in Virginia is. I love the way dusk turns the mountains to shades of rose and lavender, the sight of blooming dogwoods and redbuds, and the way the smell of the blossoms wafts into the car whenever I drive past. Tulips and wildflowers were already in bloom by the sides of the road, and green leaves were finally creeping out amidst the trees. It was a lovely night.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"