Thick clouds enveloped the lake, as if to keep it safe for another generation, a new season.
This morning, I awoke a few degrees further north, a smidge from being halfway to the North Pole or halfway from the equator. Yesterday afternoon, we drove east, then north and arrived at a lake shrouded in darkness. It felt good to unfold after the long drive, stretch the legs, and breathe in fresh air.
It is the time of year, when few folks are here, except for a few permanent residents along the lane, the lake is deserted. Next weekend is Memorial Day, and summer’s official start, but we’ll kick off our summer this weekend. We’ll open the crawl space, pull out the deck furniture, pull weeds and breathe fresh clean air basking in the freedom of the lake. We’ll make lists and dream of warmer days. I’ll referee arguments, grill steaks, and sit beside the first campfire of summer, hopefully. And, if the clouds recede, I’ll gaze up to the heavens and soak in the wonder of the night sky. Continue reading Enveloped→
The last couple of days began with reminders from my students – one present, and the other a former student.
Friday morning started with the quote above and it was a wonderful way to begin the day. It is getting close to the end of the year and tests err, I mean assessments, are on the menu. My advanced chemistry students were finishing their two-day quest and my regular science classes were getting reviewing for their environmental science test on Monday. And, in US History, it was VE Day, and the WWII assessment. Giving assessments also means grading – and homework for me, too.
The end of the year brings closure and squirrely behavior, too. I’ll admit I am looking forward to summer, but not like, I was when I started writing MakingtheDaysCount.org. With 20 days remaining in the year – not counting weekends or Memorial Day – I am constantly reminding my charges that summer goes much more quickly than time in school. Especially for me.
Spring is in full bloom. I can see it and I can feel it. It’ll be gone before I know it. That’s the way things to work – gone and replaced by something new. The flowering trees and shrubs are in full bloom and they are absolutely stunning with their pinks, reds, and whites.
Ivy’s head rests on my knee and she gazes through the window, watching the shadows in the yard searching for movement protecting her home. Her warmth and the coffee help bring the day to life for me.
I enjoy getting up early, sipping coffee, and catching the day’s first lights as it creeps across the yard and illuminate the trees. It is quiet in the family room, at least on Sunday morning. Usually, on weekdays, W and I are out the door on our way to school and O is just rising readying for school. However, Sunday morning is different – the day begins much slower and quieter. It is just Ivy and I, peaceful and serene.
I have been trying to stay afloat all year. This year’s trek began almost a year ago when I learned about my move to science from English Language Arts. There have been days when I have felt like a turtle with its nose just barely above the surface gasping for air. Then, there are the days, like yesterday when I felt I was floating in the air; and the day before when I could have been tumbling through air.
Change is never easy, especially when it is not of your choice, and as the school year winds down, I look back and reflect on the successes of the past year as well as the many opportunities for the coming year. At present, I do not know next year’s teaching assignment, so change could be in the air or not, I just don’t know. However, what I do know is that the coming year will be full of chances to teach my students life lessons, regardless of the content area. I teach kids, that’s what I do. I’ll focus on what I know and what I can do for now and float.
We are in DC, as you can see. It is Spring Break and we needed a getaway place. There other reasons we are here, but for now, we are here to take in the sights, sounds, and the tastes of our nation’s capital. I have been here before and so has B, but this is the first trip to DC for our kids. By the time, I was W’s age, I had visited several capital cities across the globe, but never had been to DC.
Ephemeral – \i-ˈfem-rəl, -ˈfēm-; -ˈfe-mə-, -ˈfē-\ – lasting a very short time
That’s how life is. You blink and it’s gone. Life is about being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not good. It depends, and my good might be your not good and vice versa, it’s perspective.
It’s Sunday morning and I’ve had a good start to the day – I’ve read the paper, caught up on news, and finished watching CBS Sunday Morning’s weekly broadcast. I am full of ideas for the day, and the coming week – which usually stares me down at this time in the weekend. Tomorrow is martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday holiday and I have an extra day to prepare for the coming week. Friday was a planned teacher workday – school without kids and NO MEETINGS and I spent several hours yesterday working on school work.
I took these photos last week at a Forest Preserve I pass on my way to and from school. A narrow shallow rock-bottomed river runs beside the road and the cold weather has iced over much of it, except for the space where it trickles over a natural dam and opens up before running downstream. I visited the preserve last weekend. The sun was shining and the world was full of shadows. I found tracks in the fresh snow which I could only see because of the shadows and I startled a Canadian goose. I took my shots, captured the shadows and retreated home to where it was warm.
It’s a new year, with the some of the same responsibilities. Perhaps, I need a new outlook?
Normally, January 1st is not the day I choose for resolutions, usually my resolutions fall in early June when school lets out for summer and I have more time to reflect, rest, reset, and restore. But, that is summer or rather ‘some ‘er’ which sounds like summer but means some are – as in some are and some aren’t. Some summers I am more successful with the ‘reflect and reset’ than others. This past summer was one of those in which the reset was not complete. Now, I find myself in the beginning of winter and new fallen snow is beginning to cover the landscape. It brings a new outlook to the world; it’s fresh, clean, pure, and powdery. Ivy tested it earlier and came inside, curled up on the hassock, and went back to sleep. It’s a new beginning, sort of.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Angular.”
On the way home from school yesterday I stopped at a local independent bookstore in downtown Naperville. Downtown was bustling with activity and I waited patiently in line to purchase my books – Truce, Shooting at the Stars, and The white House is Burning: August 24, 1814 as well as to get B’s wristband for the author visit Monday, 41‘s author will be speaking and signing books and B had purchased two copies to be signed. Very cool.
Downtown Naperville is a busy place. It has local merchants as well as the big guys – Barnes and Noble, Williams Sonoma, and Starbucks all nestled in mostly older buildings with new construction and updated storefronts along city streets just wide enough for street parking and two lanes of traffic. The sidewalks are usually crowded with shoppers and yesterday was no different.
As I left, I looked around – up and down and stopped to notice the buildings and there intricate moldings and brickwork along their roof lines. Such lovely structures dating back to the early twentieth century. It was a lovely day and the blue sky and bright sun finished the scene.
It felt wonderful to be outside and breathe the cool late fall air, even though it felt more like the dead of winter. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in America and the holiday shopping season begins the following day. Tuesday afternoon the shoppers weren’t waiting, they were making their days count – early and often. I have much for which to be thankful, Thank you for following along, reading, commenting, liking, and helping me Make the Days Count.
Achievement – something that has been done or achieved through effort; a result of hard work (Merriam and Webster)
Last weekend our high school football season ended. The Tigers were one of eight teams left in their class – one of sixty-four left. When the siren sounded last Saturday afternoon, there were sixteen teams still standing – two teams for each of Illinois’ eight classes from 1A to 8A. The Tigers have been there before and it was the team goal at the beginning of the year. It’s the goal every year. It’s the ultimate Achievement.
High school football season. It was a long season and long journey. It began the day after school let out in June with summer practices and weekend summer 7 on 7 tournaments. There was a three-week break between summer workouts and the beginning of August practices. The break was long enough for W to break away to the cottage and a squeeze in a 50-mile canoe trip to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota.
The Tigers played twelve games. They lost the first two games, won the third and then, lost the next two games to reach mid-season 1-4. In early October, the playoffs looked unreachable. However, through hard work, determination, and a little good fortune – I am not calling it luck, they won their next four games and qualified for the playoffs and were seeded 13th of 16 teams in one side of the 7A bracket. Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement→