All I did this morning was grade papers.
Well, maybe that is not exactly right. I also checked my email a few times, like maybe a hundred times or more, surfed blogs just a little bit, ate fourteen snacks, stared out the window eighteen times, checked all the pens in my desk drawer to see if they were working, threw away four dead pens, moved piles of stuff from my desk to the floor, yelled repeatedly at Mama Cat to get off the papers I was grading, stared at the ends of my hair in the sunlight to check for split ends, took nine short breaks for dancing, wrote a blog post, walked out to get the newspaper, walked out to get the mail, which wasn't there yet, read just a story or two in the newspaper, read the comics and the advice columns, moved email from my inbox into neatly labeled virtual folders, checked my email one more time, exchanged just a few emails with Artist Friend, who was also grading papers and who is awfully fun when he is supposed to be grading papers (nothing like procrastination to bring out the creative side of an academic), surfed just a few blogs to make sure I wasn't missing anything exciting, decided to put on a warmer pair of socks, which led to the cleaning of my sock drawer, and drank four cups of chocolate soy milk.
So, like I said, I did nothing this morning but grade papers.
Then about noon, the phone rang. It was my mother. She was baking pies, she said, using up all the apples she brought home weekend before last when she took With-a-Why and Suburban Nephew apple picking. She said, "I know you have to drive by here when you take Boy in Black to his guitar lesson. The pies should be ready by then, and you can pick one up on your way through."
My mother makes the best apple pie in the world. No, I am not biased. Other people, people more traveled than I am, say so too. Her pies taste nothing like those godawful way-too-sweet with weird crust pies that get sold in supermarkets. No, she uses tart apples with just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon. Her crust crumbles on your tongue before you even start chewing. I doubt even that Dr. K's peach pies, which he claims are famous throughout the land, can compare.
Moments like this are why I am glad I chose to stay in my hometown. It's 9 pm. My papers are graded. My boys are finishing up their homework, my husband reading the newspaper. And I am relaxing with an evening snack: a cup of hot herbal tea and a piece of my mother's homemade apple pie.