I love Date Night. I love going out and enjoying great food, cocktails, live music, and just being out in general. Here’s the problem; Date Night is going through some restructuring due to the fact that I’ve recently received a pay cut. No wait, you’ve got to hear this story.
I’m a teacher in my real life. My other blog, I’m Not Miss Beadle, chronicles those adventures. Anyway, for the last two years, my school had an extra instructional hour because we have traditionally performed poorly on the state standardized tests. One extra instructional hour turned out to be way more exhausting than you would think, but it also brought extra pay, which was exceedingly welcome.
It turns out that last year, our students did very well on the high-stakes tests, raising our school grade for the second year in a row. So shortly before school started this year, we were informed that we would no longer have the added hour. The reality is, they need that money for other schools that performed worse.
“Congratulations! As a reward for your hard work and success, we’re lowering your salary about $400 a month.” Of course, we also no longer work the extra hour, and believe it or not, I can feel the difference. I no longer roll home utterly exhausted. But Mr. R. and I are seriously missing that $400 a month of disposable income.
We’ve been in our house for almost three and a half years. I really pushed Mr. R. to think about buying in this area because of its large lots and affordable prices. The downside is that we are several miles out of town. We had to consider gas mileage and commute time.
But he has said many times, “Thank you for talking me into this.” We have peace and quiet out here. The night time sky is full of stars. It’s an equestrian community and it’s business as usual for cowboys to go riding past the house. And designated bird sanctuary or not, we always have tons of birds. In the past we’ve seen a bald eagle fly over the house. And two separate times, I’ve seen a pink flamingo flying nearby.
So yesterday we found ourselves sitting on our back patio enjoying the back yard. Don’t misunderstand. When I say enjoying, I really mean it. We sat chatting and laughing about ‘thangs and stuff’ (for him who has ears to hear, let him hear). I asked Mr. R. to make a fire in the chiminea and he sweetly complied. Yes, I know, it was eighty-four degrees outside. But I love the smell of the pinon wood and the peacefulness of watching a wood fire.
We sat there watching two different kinds of woodpeckers snagging berries from the scrub. We watched bluejays fussing and squawking at others who dared to rest on their trees and mockingbirds as they snagged dragonflies out of the air. We saw a hawk soar low over the lawn before swooping up into a pine tree.
We laughed hysterically as our eighty-five pound land shark, Jack, tried unsuccessfully to catch the squirrels that taunted him just out of reach. If German shepherds could climb trees, those squirrels would be toast.
So this was how we spent our Date Night time. And it was lovely. We’re saving up, you see. We have an anniversary in a couple of weeks, and my birthday after that. More on those things in upcoming posts…