It’s been a very strange week.
I woke Monday morning to the news that highway 37, my usual route to work, was completely closed due to a fire. That was the first I’d heard of it. My reclusive neighbor, who rarely leaves his house, soon showed up at the front door to make sure I knew what was going on, complaining about the smoke and vaping the whole time, but still, it was very nice of him to come over at a quarter to five in the morning.
If highway 37 is closed the only alternative route I have to get from Vallejo to Novato is to drive south and around across two bridges which takes three hours during commute time, so I called in and stayed home.
Actually, C.J. and I headed to Berkeley later that day to get supplies at the art stores there.
There were three days of school for me this week. Three days of children kept indoors during all breaks, as much as possible. I got to tell students no, they cannot go to the bathroom until lunch time because of the smoke, which was a bit surreal even for seventh grade. Lots of kids wondering between classes wearing face masks.
To be honest, by the end of the day my eyes were watering and my throat was sore.
The district administration cancelled school on Friday since so many parents were pulling their kids out of class during the day, others not showing up at all, and–because of the high cost of housing in Marin Count–large numbers of Novato teachers live in the next town north, Petaluma, which was under threat of evacuation.
No one on staff, nor any of our students, have been hurt by the fires, nor have their family members as far as I know. There were a handful of students I didn’t see all week. The parents of one of the teachers lost their home in Santa Rosa and there were stories of just how close the flames came from a few others.
I’ve no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I suspect we’ll be much closer to normal.
Since I had so much time on my hands, I was finally able to photograph the most recent batch of mail art I have received. Here’s a sampling
I’m currently working on a very ambitious mail art/book arts project that will take some time to complete. I’m doing a bunch of mixed media sketches that I plan on putting together as a book I can print and bind myself in a very small edition, say twenty copies, maybe thirty.
I think it will be fun.
I’ll post some pictures of what I have so far in a couple of weeks.