Two weeks ago, I began a series of final thoughts in my mind during my drive in to work. To be honest, I thought it would be easy to walk away; there were children 2 weeks ago Friday, I was glad to see the back of for the last time.
But by the same token, there will be many more than I will miss, that I will worry about, that I will think about for a long, long time. Of course, I’ll wonder if *this* one or *that* one will even finish high school, will they survive the end of high school, how quickly before they’re on the street, in jail. There are several who were in the process of turning it around this last year. How many of them will end up with no skills, working menial jobs and demanding to be paid a wage the job doesn’t warrant because, after all, they’re victims.
But that’s not what this post is about.
Monday two weeks ago, I began what I nostalgically referred to as ‘the last ride’ – the last ride into and out of work. And it made me sad.
Now I’m quite sure you know that I taught in one of the poorest districts of Savannah. An old district. Old neighborhood. Houses so close together, only felines and small dogs and rodents could roam between. Can you imagine living in a HOUSE that close to your neighbor? Just think, if you needed to borrow a cup of sugar or a stick of butter, all you had to do was open the window – Bessie! You got some sugah I kin borrow? and hold out your hand. (and chances are when you held out your hand, it would be IN your neighbor’s home!) Homes had been in families for generations. There were historical people living in those houses. Two old men I will always adore simply because of their friendly waves.
You git yor boy to safety. Don’t be stayin’ in this weather…
Ah, that goes for you too!
Ah no. I’m tough. Ain’t no puff of wind ‘n rain gonna blow me away!
But I became addicted to that drive. Those 7 miles… I didn’t mind the traffic. I didn’t mind getting out late to go home and spending time in that shady drive. That drive settled me coming in and relaxed me coming out.
Look at that! 7 miles from my left turn onto it at the Interstate to the front porch of the school. It was beautiful! And in the spring, azaleas are planted in the median and crepe myrtles. They would bloom and I would get lost in all the Southern Color. And I know why Sherman couldn’t destroy it, like he had the rest of Georgia!
And the homes, my lord, the homes. I would dream. Please Lord, let me win the lottery!
This building, condos, were my first love.
Prices start at 275K for an itty bitty 1 bedroom with a kitchen smaller than the bathroom (no room to fart) and I don’t know if you noticed, but with AC units in almost every window, no central air or heat on this Front Porch of Hell is a big deal-breaker.
There were more beautiful homes I fell in love with on this glorious ride I drove 10 times a week.
Homes over storefronts. Those are cool, but think about it – everything you own goes up the stairs. Groceries go up the stairs. Shopping sprees and mail go up the stairs.
My back already hurts.
The home I fell in love with the most, that I always drove slowly slowly by was this one.
It was for sale for a long time. 4.3 million. 4 bedrooms, a carriage house with 2 bedrooms and a kitchen of it’s own. HUGE back patio area. And unlike the kitchens in the homes in the area, it was big. For the most part, as I stated earlier, kitchens are smaller than the bathrooms, makes the one we have now look gargantuan and it’s not. I love the 2nd floor front porch, all of it. The price, not so much, but Spawn and I decided if I won the lottery, this would be home. Oh. Did I mention it’s been around a long, long time? Like pretty much every other structure on this street?
1863. It’s had a few face lifts.
But believe it or not, the drive isn’t what I intended to write about. I thought I would miss the drive the most.
But by Wednesday, I realized that wasn’t the case. I”m going to miss the room. Why?
I was first.
Nobody can take that from me. I’m going to miss that piano, those drums. Thank you for those buckets. They were purchased for the school, so I couldn’t take them with me. My children got so much joy from those buckets – you don’t know how much JOY how much we learned on those buckets!!! I remember when I FINALLY passed out the drum sticks – the awe and reverence on their faces… drum sticks are cool, I”m telling you! I hope they will continue to use them. I’m going to miss the mimeo board – huge ass touch screen computer is what that is!
I spent Wednesday packing up and thinking, Damn. I’m really going to miss this room! I thought about finding a way to graffiti Zee Was Here somewhere hidden, where it wouldn’t be seen for ages and ages and then whoever finding it – who the hell is Zee?
I am Zee!
But in the end, I left no marks, no scratches, no defacement. Just some sweat and tears and a lot of hope.
I hope the most for this room. I hope that it is never taken away from the music teacher, as I’ve seen happen in ages past. I hope much music is created and I hope the fights become fewer. I hope they learn. I hope they grow. I hope they remember and take it with them.
and I was first.