Hybrid school year, here we go

A post about today. And Thursday. And a little bit of Friday.

From Monday, Gabbi’s first day of Kindergarten

Today is Tuesday. That means it’s online school day. We don’t have online assignments yet. Teachers sent home some papers. Dom and Gabbi did them with Maeli and Sadie. They’re the neighbor girls I hired as tutors. It was quiet for a bit. Now they’re running around, yelling, playing, and bouncing off the walls. I suppose they finished their work.

I told Dom he should start piano at 11:15. He said he would check the microwave clock to know when to start. It’s 11:29.

I’m in a meeting with Lydia (in Virginia), Dasha (in South Jordan), Julie (in Texas), Matt (in California), and Doug (in Washington). So I ignore the noise and don’t worry about the piano practicing.

Grandma DeeDee died last Friday. So piano practicing feels a bit different, obviously.

She called last Monday. She told me it hurt to talk and breathing was difficult so she would no longer teach piano. She told me to keep having Dom practice Anitra’s Dance with me. She told me to have Gabbi “spell” words with the keys on the piano: CAB, GAB, DAD, BEG, etc.

Mom sent a text on Thursday: “Come visit Granma DD today if you can”.

I was out on the patio at the time. Dom and Gabbi were inside watching GoNoodle. I was kicking and punching the air with my iPad playing a Les Mills Body Combat workout. I was 30 minutes in so I stopped it.

“I’m going to shower,” I told my kids. “Go do piano, k?”

I cut up a peach from my neighbor, Stacey’s tree, peeled it, put it into a cleaned out sour cream container and called for Dom and Gabbi to come with me.

When we arrived at Grandma’s, she was sitting in the chair in her piano room. Laura, Annabel, and Phil were there, along with Candace, someone who I think they hired to help clean and garden. My mom showed up not long after.

I sat next to Laura who sat next to Grandma and we watched her go through a pile of clothes. We took turns graciously taking them from her as she donated things. Mom brought in her wedding dress from the upstairs closet. Candace helped Laura find her bag with her temple clothes in the front closet. Mom also pulled out a bag of plastic masks that Grandma liked to wear to her Halloween ward parties. I took a video of Mom holding them up to her face. Grandma put the hat on and laughed. I took some pictures. I had no idea that would be my last picture of Grandma, wearing her sister’s hat, laughing, with her oxygen tubes in her nose and wearing her Columbia sweatshirt.

When I left, I grabbed Grandma’s hand. Thane had arrived and was now sitting next to her. I leaned down and told her I loved her. I figured I would be back again. I wanted to bring the music for Anitra’s Dance so Dom and I could play together for her. I had forgotten to bring it with us like I wanted.

We passed Laina and her kids as they pulled up to the house.

We went to Ikea. Wearing our masks, we stood in line outside, standing under a giant tent set up with a winding line and social distancing markers on the ground.

Eventually, we got in and walked around, looking at furniture, hunting for desk chair pads (which I never found), and getting items to finish organizing Dom’s desk. I wanted a standing laptop desk for my office. It was sold out. I wanted a patio storage unit. It was sold out. We found the things for Dom’s desk and got in line. The line went all the way back through the self-pickup area, then split into two and wound through piles of items for sale. I picked up a duvet cover. We shuffled forward, keeping socially distanced from those in front and behind us. Eventually, we made it through the checkout, loaded up our car, and drove off to home. It didn’t look like I would get much work done before Dom’s soccer practice.

Our day changed in an instance when Mom sent her text. I was glad for it. And glad for a job that gave me that flexibility.

Friday afternoon, Gideon (15-year old neighbor) babysat Dom and Gabbi. I drove up to Layton to pick up Karen with some river tubes and life jackets. We met Sabrina up along the Weber River to put our tubes in the water in Henefer.

Grandma taught piano students in Henefer, Coalville, and Hoytsville for years.

When she first married, she and Grandaddy lived in Hoytsville. He had a job as a seminary teacher. She taught lessons.

I was floating the river from Henefer to Taggart when Grandma DeeDee, resting in her bed, passed away. She had done her NYTimes crossword the night before. She got up and dressed that morning to meet the hospice chaplain. Around lunch, she went back to bed to rest. One last time.


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