To Every Season

Greetings from a basement out here in the middle of Minnesota. I hope this missive finds you feeling hearty and hale.

I’m a couple days late on the weekly post, but I still wanted to publish to help me maintain the building of a regular writing routine.

Hit a brief hiccup in writing output this week…I may have hit my daily goal once, maybe twice. I was supposed to be up to 15 minutes each day. I shouldn’t make excuses, but I’m going to. It was a busy week chock-a-block full of long days.

Delivered some PD on Tuesday, looking at how to teach individual words as a part of providing rich instruction for expanding our students’ receptive and productive vocabularies. Right after PD, we had One Act practice in which we continued to prepare for the Mississippi 8 Festival. When I went to start my car after practice, the dang thing wouldn’t so much as hint at starting.

I’d had a feeling this might happen for awhile.The key fob indicator had been illuminating on my dash off and on for quite some time, but I’d assumed it had something to do with the key fob itself. I changed the battery, and the warning seemed to go away…for a time.

Audrey and the kids picked me up, and for the remainder of the week I got rides from them and my friend at work. I did a little digging, and it seems as though this problem is common in Nissan Altimas. There’s a part underneath the steering column called the steering lock actuator. When this goes out, the car doesn’t recognize the key fob, which means the car won’t start. My normal mechanic wouldn’t tackle the problem, and encouraged me to take the car to a Nissan dealer. The closest dealer in either direction was a hefty clip away, and I wasn’t looking to pay for that kind of tow.

Online forums indicated the replacement part at a dealership would run around $500, and I figured this, in addition to the cost of the labor and a tow to get it there would put me over the $1000 mark. The car’s only worth $1700 at most, so it felt foolish to want to invest that kind of money into something that may not last too much longer.

Over the weekend, the team went to the One Act festival. This is a non-competition conference in which schools get the opportunity to perform their shows without formal judging. We got a chance to see what’s working and get feedback on what wasn’t. The students’ performances were top-notch, and the costumes looked great. Our big barrier were the technical elements. We have just three practices before our subsections competition to make revisions and tweaks, which means another bout of long days. But that’s okay. It will be worth it when we put on a stellar show on Thursday.

Sunday after church, ALP and I drove the van over to the Nissan to empty it out, and to give the interior a good cleaning. It was a bit on the brisk side, so we warmed up with hot chocolate before heading home. I put the car up for sale on Facebook Marketplace (you apparently need a FB account to use FB Marketplace, which meant signing up for FB again…I’m planning on deleting the account after making use of the marketplace), and got a few hits while I was at work.

A couple of the gents from the tech department helped me out after school today with a potential temporary fix for the car. Apparently if you smack the steering lock actuator, the car will sometimes start. We did just that, and the old beast fired up. This caused a slight change in plans. I took the ad off FB Marketplace, and will see about trading the car into a dealership.

The current sermon series at church is exploring the book of Ecclesiastes, and this week’s passage was the famous series of verses about everything having its season. The takeaway from this passage is that it’s important to identify what kind of season we’re in, and then to do the best we can in that season, whether the season is one of triumph or hardship. The last step is to invite God into the season with you, so you don’t have to do it on your own.

It’s a challenging season, a busy season I’m in right now, and I’m trying to do right by it.

I missed the first half of the Niners game last night, but was thrilled with their victory over Dallas. There’s a tough game ahead of them in Philadelphia next weekend, but I think they can pull one out against the Eagles. It’d be grand to see them make it to the Super Bowl this year.

I best close for now. It’s getting late, and the alarm starts chirping early. Hoping to get back to some of the fiction writing soon.

Be well. Take care of yourselves and others. Huzzah!


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