Dear Gramma,

Sunday, January 10, 2021

So, I want to make a habit of writing in order to catch you up on what’s going on in the Oyerinde world. Or, if that’s too boring, to let you know what’s going on in my mind – which could be more exciting than the reality of my life.

I was told that you like to read. Since I like to write, and you like to read, then I thought we’re a perfect match – except that I like to read, too, and would love to read something from you, too, every once in a while. (I did enjoy reading your letters you used to write and send.)

Speaking of writing, I joined a writing group in October last year, (which I think will really help me to keep up writing to you). It’s a teacher writer’s group. We meet online through Zoom for “Time To Write” several times a week. It’s a group that is mostly made up of teachers, who teach writing, and who are trying to be better writing teachers by being writers first. Us writing teachers tend to neglect our writing life, and that’s no good, we’ve discovered. How can we really teach writing if we ourselves don’t write?

Some arrogant, spoiled and irresponsible people in society like to say the following about teachers: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” The thing is that “those who can’t”, actually can, but it’s just that we have to make a living, because we have ourselves and a family to support – we can’t be starving, irresponsible artists, divorcing our spouses and abandoning our children, bumming off of our parents and social security.

And so the thing is, is that as teachers, it’s hard to find time to write. So, that’s what this group is for. It’s a group where (mostly) teachers meet together for a time to write… and that’s what it’s called, too: Time To Write. We don’t just write, though. We set goals out loud, encourage each other, and get ideas and challenges from each other. Being a part of the group costs money every month (because we CAN pay money, because we have JOBS, because we are RESPONSIBLE), and so there are other perks. But, these are the only ones I’ve taken advantage of right now.

I am looking forward to being a part of the group for the next six months – I have committed by a subscription. So, I imagine that I’ll be at Dunkin’ Donuts or at my kitchen table every Saturday morning for the next six months, from 9:30 to 11 AM. (And then probably tap, tap tapping away at the keyboard, somewhere in my home, at various other times throughout the week when we meet.)  

Because of the pandemic, as I’m sure you know, there are not a lot of places open to the public for sit-down dining. Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the rare places open around here, and so I’ve been going there on Saturdays. It’s not ideal, as they have their annoying “Dunkin’ Radio” playing way too loudly, with all kinds of cheesy and obnoxious advertisements playing in between contemporary radio hits. But, I’ll take what I can get when I need to get away from the kids, so I can focus.

I would normally love to go to a nearby local coffee shop called Alcove Coffeehouse. (Mom and dad discovered it when they visited here one time, and they got me hooked on it.) But, they are not open for sit-down dining at this time. (I hope their business can survive through this pandemic. I suppose I could help them by at least going to pick up a coffee and bringing it home.) It’s a nice little coffee shop, overlooking a serene little lake, and offering a quiet, social and study atmosphere along with locally roasted coffee and other miscellaneous breakfast and lunch items. I do miss going to that place.

I miss being able to freely take the kids to different places. We had been going to the indoor trampoline park, the public library, and other public places before the pandemic. For now, the only outings we take are to the different nearby outdoor parks and to church. I sometimes take one or two of the kids with me to the store, but I don’t take all four of them because they’re hard to control and it stresses me out. I’m kind of a pansy and don’t have the energy or the gumption to beat them into perfect orderliness.

Anyhow, I am going to stop here for now. I hope I’ve not made you bored with my thoughts.

How’s the weather? Do you get out much?

I miss you and Grampa, and I’m hoping and praying for a chance to come visit you again soon.

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