It is early Thursday morning and still on the lake and in the house. I am in the front room, Ivy is curled up on her cushion, and everyone else is still asleep. Last night was a beautiful sunset and moonset on the lake. I tried to capture both with the camera. Another beautiful day at the lake, Ivy and I enjoyed a long walk toward M72 along Danish Landing. There was a good breeze coming off the lake and it cooled the shore. The sun was bright high in the sky and walking along the road with the wind blowing through the trees was peaceful.
Today marks four weeks until I go back to school. It has been over seven weeks since school let loose and I began writing Making the Days Count. It has been quite a journey and I have written more than I imagined and about more than I realized I could. I was looking back at my writing from my trip to Paris in June. My stepmother does not have access to the internet and I am not sure she is there, too many things for her to worry about, and I was printing the pages I wrote to send to her. I realized that I make mistakes, not large ones, but small typos that I read recklessly over and miss before I post to the blog. Nonetheless, I reflected on what I have learned about writing and the writing process.
First, writing must be real; at least it must be for me. I know I have invented a few things such as the Coyote Moon post and the deer with sunglasses post at summer camp. But, all of what I have written is true, at least from my perspective. Second, writing is never finished. Each of my posts needs to be edited for content and mechanics. But, I won’t because I don’t have time and it is not necessary, at this point. When I re-read the draft before I post I skip over the mistakes – reading recklessly. I do spell check and am mindful of the red and green squigglies underneath my draft, but it misses the ‘almots’ and other similar misspellings caused by my fingers not correctly communicating with my brain. Thirdly, I realize that the way I learned to write and how I write has changed. I learned to write the painful way – pen and paper – skipping lines and writing by hand. With the advent of the computer and ease of use of MS Word, it is easier to write by computer. I can write more effectively using this technology. I am not sure if it improves the quality or the quantity of what I write. This coming year, I am going to be teaching writing in my Language Arts classes – I have two this year – and my students do not have access to PCs in the classroom. Sure, there are one or two computers in the classroom, but I will have 30-35 kids in each class. It is not practical for them to all write on a computer, so they will have to learn to write the old- fashioned way – paper and pen. Lastly, writing, at least this style, must have a purpose. My purpose is to help me think about how my summer has counted or rather made a difference. Last summer drifted away. I had distractions and really did not want to go back to school in the fall and I paid, dearly. It was perhaps the worst year of my professional career. This year will be better it has to be better.
This leads me to the following quote:
May I never miss a sunset or a rainbow because I am looking down.
Sara June Parker.
I discovered it when I was planning the day. My electronic planner has a daily quote to click on and Sara June Parker’s quote popped down. I liked it, but I have no idea who she is and a search on the net produced links to her quote but no substantive information on who she is. So, I am left with the question, does that make her quote insignificant? Simply because she is not known by me does not make her words insignificant and it leads me back to another quote:
“Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”
Now, he is famous and known and what his quote referred to is about what I am writing and reflecting on. We all have a stake in our lives and I am dependent upon who I meet, what I do, to make sense of the world and grow. This summer I, blogged from summer camp about the troop’s activities and opened my blog up to the parents in my troop, some I knew well and others I did not know at all. One of the parents had read the camp posts and had gone back and looked at other posts. He commented that he appreciated the camp posts but also asked me if it was okay to read the other posts because they were personal, that my writing was personal. Yes, writing is personal, and it should be; if I am not willing to share it, I should not write it. Therefore, the most important part of writing is that it should be meaningful and have some purpose.
Yesterday, screamed past us all. Beth and the kids went to town and I stayed behind with Ivy. I was looking at the inside of my eyelids when they left and I did not miss the excursion to town. I used the time to print pages of the blog for Julie, my stepmother. Ivy and I went for a walk. I was able to get a few other tasks completed. After all, I was going to town in the evening for the scout meeting with William to finish the troop’s float. William got his connection to the troop through wanting to complete his fishing merit badge and trading council patches with the troop’s scoutmaster. He was invited to the meeting Tuesday and worked hard lashing logs together to build the tower. It is really cool and the float will be awesome. He is also going to be marching in the parade Saturday afternoon. I am very proud how much William has grown and developed through scouts and his other activities. After the meeting, we took the long way home and saw nine wild turkeys in two spots, but no deer. We returned to the cottage and the sun was setting with the moon seemingly coming across the lake in its path through the sky. Beth took the kids to town for dip cones and Ivy and I watched the lake playing fetch. I took a few pictures and tried to capture the sunset and the moon over the lake.
Another day at the lake well spent. Four weeks, twenty-eight days remain.
“This could possibly be the best day ever
and the forecast says that tomorrow will likely be a million and six times better
so make every minute count, jump up, jump in, and seize the day
and let’s make sure that in every single possible way
today is gonna be great day.”
chorus from Today is Gonna be Great Day by Bowling for Soup
Today is gonna be a great day!