Every season as I'm rushing around trying to get everything done I tell myself the next season will be different and life will slow down.  Ha!  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If anything, each season seems to

be busier than the one before.  It's sure not the slower paced life I long for.
    These days with Tim working in Erie and only coming home every two weeks or so due to the high gas prices (it takes about $70 to fill up the truck!) I am getting a good taste of what it would be like to be on my own.  There are some good points (like having a neat house all the time, getting to watch whatever shows I want to watch and the household expenses are definitely lower) but on the whole I'd rather have Tim around.  It does get kind of lonely and after a while it stops being "fun" to make all the decisions and handle everything that comes up.  It's nice when he comes home and takes some of the weight off me.  Thankfully, we think he will only be working out of town until mid-November and that his next project will be much closer to home.  He is looking forward to finishing up just before Thanksgiving and enjoying a few vacation days at home with us during the holiday.  That will be nice as Matt will be home then, too.
    My Nana passed away at the end of August.  My mom had moved her down here from Cambridge Springs to be close to us since both of my aunts live so far away-one in Arizona and the other in Florida.  Nana had been in various nursing homes for 11 years and she had gotten to a point where she couldn't see, couldn't hear, didn't speak, and had a lot of health problems so it really wasn't that hard to let her go.  I wouldn't want anyone to have to continue on like that and especially not Nana.  She was one of the most alive people I ever knew.  She loved life and the world around her and is the person I most credit with teaching me to appreciate the little moments.  We took her home for the viewing and funeral and buried her in the little country cemetery across the road from the house she'd lived in all her married life.  Cambridge Springs isn't far from Erie so the kids and I went two days early and stayed with Tim so the kids could go to the beach and do a few fun things.  We stayed one day after the funeral, too.  Nana was the last of her family of 9 and at 87 the one who came closest to living as long as their mother (91).  Mom called me last night and told me that Aunt Ann, the last surviving spouse passed away, so that whole generation is completely gone now.
    School started up right after we got home from Nana's funeral.  Megan is 13 and in eighth grade this year-her last year in the middle school.  School has never been easy for her due to her Attention Deficit Disorder.  She's easily distracted and just can't focus well on things she isn't interested in.....which, unfortunately, includes most things taught in school.  Last year was a particularly bad year and she came very close to failing the year.  It shook her up, I think.  Her pediatrician changed her medication to Adderall and she went from a time-release form back to the type that has to be taken every 4 hours.  It seems to be working.  She still doesn't like school, but she is really trying to do the work and has even been doing her homework everyday before I get home.  She got a C on a math test the other day-amazing stuff from a girl who failed math last year.  I am so proud of her!  My mom comes to the house every morning and makes sure she gets up and gets ready for school.  It's working out pretty well so far.
    Back to school meant back to work for me.  I am not enjoying it at all this year.  I have a lot of new children on both my elementary and high school runs and they seem to be stirring things up.  I used to have things under control fairly well, but it seems like no matter what I do this year it is always loud and chaotic.  I have one second grade child whose parents are in an ugly custody battle over him and he is completely out of control.  Fortunately, his father has been cooperative, my boss has been supportive and the school is working with him, too.  I'm hoping we can modify his behavior before I lose my mind.  I'd really like to not have to keep driving a bus so last week I started taking the classes to get a real estate license.  Two nights a week I have to go straight from work to Monroeville and the class runs until 10:00.  Talk about long days.  It's 11:00 by the time I get home and I am exhausted the mornings after.  What makes it better is that my friend Deb, who also drives bus, is going with me and we have a lot of fun.  My mom stays with Megan the nights I have classes, too.
    Matt is doing great at school (he tells us he has a 4.0 so far)!  He's also happy and really thriving in the environment which is a huge relief.  He's made a lot of friends that he keeps pretty active with and he works in a big sporting goods store in the local mall.  With $700 tuition payments to make every month I have been having to "trim the fat" everywhere possible.  It's been tight, but still a good thing because it's forced the rest of the family to start being more frugal, too.  I've always fought an uphill battle there and it's nice not to be in it alone for a change.  I have to admit that rising gas and fuel prices are really a challenge.  All the heating oil/propane/gas suppliers are promising outrageous prices this winter.  We called one company about having large propane tanks installed and they want a $700 deposit.  Wow!
    It's been a hot, dry summer and fall so far.  We are well below normal for rainfall and all the lakes and reservoirs are low.  If we don't get a good amount of rain soon I can imagine water use will be limited.  The trees are beginning to lose their leaves, skipping the color this year and just turning brown and falling in most places.  The beautiful weather seems so unfair when watching the images from New Orleans and Mississippi, but that is nature's fickle hand at work.
    Well, I am off to get ready for church.  I hope all of you are enjoying these last days of warm weather and preparations for the winter months.