Feature Writer Lynne Tatum – Updates and a Changing World

Previously, I casually wrote about the fun of being a computer software and hardware instructor at our Computer Center. Little did I know that I would be laid off in the coming months. We sat in shock as our director made the dreaded announcement. I then faced six weeks to ponder the daunting prospect of not having full-time employment after working there for almost eleven years. To be perfectly honest, I believe I emotionally and mentally slipped down the rabbit hole for a bit as my powers of concentration became strangely fragmented. Having no choice, I stoically continued to teach and perform. Given a bit of a reprieve, I was kept on through the month of July. From there on, I’ll be hired as an adjunct on an as-needed basis. Firmly believing that when one door closes, another opens, I’ve inquired about offering beginning guitar lessons at a well-known volunteer establishment, but am also exploring several professional opportunities as monthly expenses wait for no one.
Readers will recall that my mother has been living in a temporary apartment since a fire in the kitchen forced her and my niece out in January. I’m happy to report that they are back in their old place and she is quite pleased. In addition to replacing and repairing items damaged in the fire, the maintenance staff painted and put new doors on her closets. Closets are at a premium here in New York. My mom and niece have four, plus a large, shelved area for linen. How we salivate for even one more here.
Very recently I wrote how joyous it is to wake up to the beautiful sound of birdsong. On a hot-as-Hades Friday, we awoke to the irritating sound of what I, in my sleep fog, thought was drilling being done on some rental space below us. Sadly, it turned out to be the awful sound of an electric saw cutting down the trees and shrubs on our deck. Stunned into immobility, I emerged from my stupor to call our Building Superintendent, who contacted me later that evening to assure me that all would be replanted. Our trees and foliage had died and were filled with wasp nests. We eagerly await the day the birds return and merrily sing once more.
I’ve also truly learned what it is to be the leader of a small ensemble. We’ve had a pianist change, taken promo photos, and added and subtracted songs–and to say nothing of the fun of scheduling rehearsals. We’ve even written what we think is some snappy patter to be spoken between tunes. That was unexpectedly fun, causing me to explore the idea of writing a stand-up routine. In times like this, no option is dismissed.

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