pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Hail to Thee, Our Alma Mater -- Literally

I was still at school until nearly 7, thinking I could finish up easily this morning. Ha! I spent all morning fixing up an AR order, which a gal stopped by to pick up minutes after I got done... and it went downhill from there. I had spent more money than he asked me for, but since that part was ready to go, it probably will go through, as all he had to do was make ONE phone call and say, "I authorize it", which is about as painless as I can make it. I'd gone through the library to make sure we did not own any of the volumes, through the list of quizzes to be sure we did not already have any of the titles (yes, we DO have title-less quizzes, as odd as that sounds) and was in the process of checking another list that was books we had, but did not have quizzes for, that now had quizzes available. That project got interrupted by lunch.

Lunch was quite the deal. Normally, all the staff who were retiring/moving on get honored, then the golfers go to Corydon. Each year, one of the elementary teachers hostesses the event, having each "regular" (non-retiring) staff member bring a salad and/or a dessert. Most make elaborate dishes, which others dutifully ask for the recipe of. A few of us dodge this cooking convention by pleading lack of talent, and bring Hy Vee bakery/salad goods. Sometimes I just bring some WEIRD food nobody local has eaten yet. This group, unlike the church circles and harvest home meals, will TASTE a bit of it. I've learned to bring something I like, in a quantity I can safely finish before it goes bad...

Everyone known to be coming finally arrives, the last having driven through HAIL between school and farm... We were about 5 miles from town, down along the Missouri border. The large screen TV was ON, as it always was at one of these events, without volume (why, when 35-40 people were there, talking?) and suddenly a weather interrupt displayed the name SEYMOUR boldly on the screen. Since half the teachers were facing the TV, it was promptly remarked on how unusual it was for lowly little Seymour to be written in large letters on the TV for ANY reason. The gal sitting closest tried to turn up the volume, but the child-proofing feature defeated her.

Cindy said, "You have to use the remote."

Forty heads bobbed this way and that, hunting for the remote. It reminded me of children during an Easter egg hunt. The county lines for Wayne and Appanoose appeared, the Missouri border, the angry red patch splashed over them.

Cindy said, "I think we're south and east of it."

The smokers trickled inside, gossiping about the huge black clouds off to the northwest. Someone's cell phone went off. Soon, others were chirping. Everyone was checking to see if it was theirs. We had the wife of an officer from Centerville, the wife of a sheriff's deputy from Corydon -- we were in a "warning area" for tornadoes. Doppler radar indicated the conditions were "favorable" for hail, high winds and tornadoes. (Favorable??? I'd call that list pretty UNFAVORABLE!) A debate was held. Did we want to go to the basement, or begin to eat? "We'll be cozy, but I think we'll all fit," quipped Cindy, smiling disarmingly.

Eating won. Cindy said, "Sheila or Sally will lead us in grace." (This is probably true, literally. Although the room held many devout people, they by earthly judgments probably would lead the divine pack. Both were staunch Christians who went the the Methodist church and were community leaders. Sally retired a while ago; Sheila was being honored this year.)

Sally got the first word in, "Sheila will say grace."

Everyone laughed.

The map changed again. Sheila had stood, as well as most of the people. "Shall I pray, or shall we listen to the weather?"

A loud chorus erupted, "PRAY!" The screen dissolved on the word as if it had been choreographed. More nervous laughter.

The cell phones went off again. "Funnel cloud SIGHTED, so we were no longer in a "warning" area." We clouded over and got light sprinkles. The northwest was positively black and angry looking.

Dennis, a gruff perfectionist, was NOT going to golf. "Stupid game," he pronounced as he passed.

"Well, from his perspective, that's probably right. He gets frustrated when it won't go where he wants it to." A discussion of chasing the ball into various terrains followed, along with colorful idioms about how it made the shooters feel. It was funny chatter to keep minds off the storm, and whose family members were unaccounted for where, and who's vehicle beat whose into the local car wash to avoid hail damage. The mayor (cum science teacher) normally gets that spot, but the principal had prior warning, and all were betting he beat Tom out for the prized location. The former board secretary had pulled her car into the three car garage and lowered the door behind it, making everyone standing around laugh. The other two bays remained empty.

The golfers resumed. Dennis said he might go anyway, and carry a plastic tarp along. "I could stop every once in a while and pretend to be a porta-potty."

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