4 days after I mail the card, a sweet wonderful woman called from Le Cordon Bleu, her name is Dena and she is not the least bit snippy. She keeps me on the phone until the first interview is complete and we schedule the next for the next afternoon...whew! I SNATCH up the phone and kind of sang "Hi Dena!"When she calls the next day and she asks me if I have time to do another interview and maybe she can transfer me to financial aid and we can get me enrolled...Heck Yeah! BRING IT ON! Er except one thing...financial stuff is jibberish to me. So I grab Joe and make him sit in while I switch to speaker phone. The first half is like talking to a friend. I tell her how when I was 12 I made a runny batch of fudge and swore to myself to make the worlds most perfect fudge one day, and I do, I also talked about being 6 when I stood on a chair and helped make dinner for my 10 siblings and parents and about what a terrible cook my mother was and how much I just wanted to make good food. Without guile of any kind I just talked honestly. Freeing and thoroughly delightful.
Now is the phrase around which everything orbits. Dena says I sound perfect and would I like to attend Le Cordon Bleu. Tears spring and my throat tightens as I say "I would love that". We are transferred to financial aid and there is a blur of government speak and way overly worded stuff, Yeah, I understand I gotta pay this back. Not real sure how that will go. My credit kinda sucks and I feel like I need to put my head between my knees. 72 hours...blah.
Wringing my sweaty palms I tell Joe how apprehensive I am. This tough New York bastard tells me "Honey no matter what it takes, you are going. Go tell the world!" I'm pretty sure I levitated all the way to my desk. First I call Sis, then Tony my brother and then text my niece Ashley....drum roll please because now I announce it on facebook! 49 congratulations later I'm flushed with a combination of humility and pride. I am also completely committed. Now for the hard part. My family isn't exactly close, actually I'm the black sheep, so telling the rest of the family is risky because they are likely going to gossip. So I call Tony and arrange to carpool with him to Sis's house for the annual Christmas caroling and while we're on the phone he asks if I'm going to make an announcement. Yes, I think that's best, just get it over with.
I've noticed that big events in ones life are roller coasters of emotions. Apprehension over telling the family one minute and excitement the next. While I wait though, my financial aid comes through and everything is covered but $71.00! Texts go out and come back and once again I am jubilant! I pack up the pie dough I froze, pie filling and all the do dads I need to make pies for Sis and her husband, a change of clothes and layers of warm outer wear. It's supposed to be 30 degrees caroling night. Lawd it looks like I packed for two weeks. Tony calls to say he's out front and we have a wonderful warm talk on the way. I love road trips with my brother. When we pull up, Sis is still asleep, so we grab the hidden key and I get started on the pies while Tony tries to sleep. Cooking in anyone else's kitchen is always a challenge. But when Sis wakes up the house smells like heaven. I work all day baking, helping Tony wire WiFi, decorate, plate up snacks, assemble song books and my feet hurt and I'm feeling tired when the rest are supposed to arrive.