Sorry I’ve been quiet lately. The sleeping giant that is Route 66 appears to have awakened from its long winter’s nap, because I’ve been at 100 percent occupancy all week.

Joey and I now have a system: As soon as the guests leave, he strips the beds, takes out the trash, and puts all the laundry in the utility room. I fire up the Speed Queen while he cleans the bathrooms (his favorite chore, as he is inexplicably obsessed with the Scrubbing Bubbles) and takes out all the trash. Once the laundry is clean, Joey hangs it on the clotheslines while I make the beds. It’s a pretty good system, and it makes the work go much faster than it would otherwise.

After lunch, Joey and I have school. I never imagined myself as a homeschooler, but I guess that’s what I am. There was no such thing as special ed when Joey was in school, so his teachers mostly just let him sit in the back of the room and color quietly while they taught the rest of the class. That’s a real shame, because Joey loves to learn new things, so I’m trying to backfill some of the gaps in his education.

One thing we do every afternoon is put pins in a big map on the lobby wall to show where our guests came from and where they might be by that point in the day. Sometimes we get out Route 66 guidebooks and try to guess where people went for lunch or what places they might have visited.

Another thing we do is count Joey’s tips. Joey is allowed to keep all the tips people leave for us, but he has to count them (with a little help from me if necessary) and write down the amount in a little ledger book. I make him keep track of what he earns, what he spends, and how much money he has saved. He is very proud of this and is getting pretty good at budgeting.

I guess some people might think it’s a waste of time to try to teach Joey anything new at his age, but I think everybody ought to have a chance to live up to his potential, and Joey really hasn’t had that opportunity.

Besides all that, I’m kind of bored now that the remodeling is basically finished, and it’s kind of fun to watch Joey learn.

— Sierra


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