Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Change Of Venue

One of my two jobs is as a school zone crossing guard for a local police department. Since August, 2017 I have taken my post dutifully at a specific location. Yesterday, it all changed.

Due to a resignation, a different location became available two weeks ago. It was actually one I thought I would be working the start of the 2019-2020 school year, but the supervisor at that time changed her mind. Last week, I expressed my interest in transferring; that request was granted. Last Thursday, as was a custom I started (at Hallowe'en, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, and the last day of the year), I passed out miniature candy bars to those students who used the crosswalk along with a note letting them know I would be leaving.

It was somewhat a tough decision. While the wage I receive is just, that location has some rewards I greatly enjoyed. It had great psychic pay.

It is a great spot to spot wildlife.  There is a ravine about 100 yards north which does its best to add color during the fall. It is also another crossing spot--for deer. (I have jokingly said I should get addition compensation for "helping" them.)  I have seen a coyote cross the road there. One or two red-tailed hawks patrol the skies above on occasion; I also might have seen a peregrine falcon perching on a light pole one time. Just to the west of of the street is an enclosed reservoir used for an area-wide irrigation system; it hosts Canadian geese and mallard ducks in the spring and makes for a great nesting ground at times. A pair of jays make their home there. I also have photos of two unusual but beautiful insects which investigated me.

And then there was a long distance encounter with a cougar in December, 2017 during my morning shift. It was sitting on the other side of the reservoir facing west; when it rose and gave me a side view, I will swear to this day it was a pregnant female. And just as stealthily as it came, it left. (I think it might have been the one which was captured and relocated a couple of years later, as I was just arriving that morning to see that process begin.)

The street is also a great place for exercise. While it is technically a two-lane street, it is wide enough to host a parking lane and a bicycle lane on both sides. Plenty of walkers and runners come by frequently; the occasional cyclist as well. Some of those walkers also had a dog or two with them; I saw a variety of breeds pass by. A blind runner and her guide were also using it for their training, although I haven't seen them much post-COVID 19.

But the best thing there were not things; they were the elementary students I escorted morning and afternoon. For almost six years I saw them grow before my eyes. Their behavior was exemplary; it was a rare moment when I had to gently but firmly remind them of a rule. I hope their futures are bright.

But now, it will be something completely different. While it a route for that elementary school, my new assignment is the final street crossing from the east for a junior high school. I will be dealing with "Tweens" instead. Add to the mix the road is actually one of the city's main four-lane arteries, with more traffic with which to contend and just two blocks away from the senior high school campus, I will have more of a challenge every shift. And with more time spent there, I will have the maximum hours at this job.

I will miss the old crossing.

But I was ready to take this on.

St. Christopher and my guardian angel, your help is needed even more.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

March 2023 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:
For victims of abuse. We pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.
(UPDATE--3/5/2023) A reflection for this intention is found here.