I looked at my calendar last week and was stupefied that May was so close. It felt like the wording on the passenger-side side-view mirror: OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR. I suppose it is a lesson, which I need to heed more often. I have a habit of letting things creep up on me; it is along the same lines as not reading the fine print or asking for directions. I asked myself how it happened, but I already knew the answer. Ferris Beuller said it best, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop look around once in a while you could miss it.” Life does move fast and sometimes the only thing you can do is look around.
I’ve been looking around a lot lately. My seventh grade ELA students finished their Mask and Identity unit and we are now on The Road to Perseverance unit to finish the year. There are four units – one for each quarter. The bad weather days in January messed up the schedule and we finished the third unit in the fourth quarter and started the final unit a few days late, hence my ‘closer than they appear’ observation. It has been a good year. The students have been great and I will miss them, but I won’t miss all of them because I found out after Easter that I’ll be moving with them to eighth grade. After fourteen years in seventh grade, I finally was promoted!
I am a little late on this week’s photo challenge, by now it’s last week’s photo challenge. I’ve been overwhelmed with many things since my last post, but mostly family, for the past week, or rather the past couple of months.
School and my students have kept me hopping, too. The kids have been wonderful. There is another story in this, it’s just waiting to be written or for time to sit down and write, actually there are several stories.
It’s been a tough time in our home. My sister-in-law last week passed away last week. I think her passing was hardest on my wife, she is, after all the little sister. It was hard on all of us, but I think B took it especially hard. She’s been helping and has been there for her sister since she became ill in mid-February. In a way, I’ve been there, too even though I’ve been here, and there and seemingly everywhere.
It seems that as a family we gather only now for big occasions – we are scattered across the land. There are the holidays, but they seem so rushed and then there are funerals. So far there have been two in B’s family – separated by over a decade. We gather somberly almost on cue. The kids and I drove home last Saturday afternoon and evening. The wake was last Sunday and the funeral and burial followed on Monday. We had a gathering afterwards, it was lovely and a perfect ending for a sad day. The two days could not have been more different – Sunday was clear bright and sunny and Monday the exact opposite – sad, gloomy, grey with overcast and rain.
It was good to see the family, even on such a gloomy occasion. it was best for the cousins – there are my two, B’s other sister’s two boys and her brother’s children – two boys and a girl. All of the cousins are out of college and working, except one who is in college. But they all visited, W trying to be older and O, being O. I think B’s sister would have been glad we gathered, shared, and laughed. It was good for all of us to remember, and perhaps forget – even for a moment – some of the pressing issues weighing on us all.
Afterwards, W and I packed the car, loaded Ivy, and drove home. We both had school the following day. O stayed behind with mom and her aunt and grandma. W and I stopped at the cemetery on our way out of town. I took in all of the markers, the monuments to lives gone before me.
It’s Friday morning, four full days have passed since we laid my sister-in-law to rest. It’s Good Friday, a perfect day to reflect on those who have passed before us. There is no school today. W and I will be loading the car and driving back to Ohio this morning. It’s gonna be a great day, but I can’t sit and wait for it to happen. Making the day Count, one day at a time, thinking and remembering.
A threshold is a point of entering; that point just before a new beginning — that split-second moment in time, full of anticipation. All the hard work is over; relief is palpable.
It has been a challenging winter here and across the Midwest. We have had over 80 inches of snow and normal or average snow is 35 inches. We have experienced extreme cold weather – below zero multiple times and school was cancelled for four days due to excessive wind chills (in the -15-40F range). By all accounts, it was brutal. But times are a changin’ and we are on the threshold of something new, great and wonderful. Spring blooms, spring flowers, and green gardens.
I came across this lovely idea by following Mary and A Wilderness of Words. If you’re interested in the Weekly Photo Challenge, you can check it out here.
The sun is shining and I saw a robin in the backyard as I poured coffee into my mug earlier this morning. It’s chilly now, but it’ll warm up this afternoon. It’s the last bit of Spring Break, today, tomorrow, then school resumes. It is always the best part of the year for me; not because the year is almost over and summer is on the horizon, but because what I’ve taught my students begins to blossom like a field of daffodils bursting with color on a bright spring afternoon.