You know how you can have a momentary flashback to something you haven’t thought about for years? Well…..
I ventured out in Watertown this morning, in advance of the Big Snowstorm. Not many people out and about. The chairs inside the Starbucks were as empty as the chairs outside (featured above). I was thinking about how my kids’ school had been cancelled for two days, even before the first flake of snow fell. I was thinking about necessary preparations for the extreme cold forecast.
That’s when I thought about Mark Bronner. I used to teach at a school outside of Milwaukee, and Mark was a colleague and friend of mine. Mark is an enthusiast – he incarnates “carpe diem” and very little deters him from creating fun. In the deep mid-winter, when school was cancelled because of snow or, more often, because of extreme cold, Mark would call all the teachers and announce “Lunch at Chi-Chi’s!”
Off we went, skidding across Waukesha County in our Tercels, our convertible LeMans, our 13 yr old Civics. We generally had the whole restaurant to ourselves. And we had a really great time, celebrating just being together without having to rush off to classes, grade tests, or wrestle with the copier to get the readings ready for the next period.
I’m not saying that school shouldn’t have been cancelled today. Nor am I advocating that people careen around Middlesex County tomorrow, risking their lives. But I am thankful that Mark’s enthusiasm was a part of my life, and since one of my new year’s resolutions is to make more time for my friends, I salute him as a Friendship Mentor. He’s still teaching at that school, which is awesome – He’s outlasted Chi-Chi’s, which filed for bankruptcy years ago — and he’s probably seizing the day even as you read this.
Happy snow day!