In response to yesterday’s post W^2 – black and white, a reprise of sorts.
In hindsight, yesterday was a million and six times better than the day before.
Our nephew arrived with his wife and young children just as the storms began to roll across the lake. A few minutes later his brother, another nephew arrived. It was wonderful to see them. Since my wife’s parents died, our paths only cross for weddings, funerals, and graduations.
The kids were reluctant to get out of the car, but slowly warmed and by the end of their visit they were playing in the water, exploring the lake, toys, and all that our lake home has to offer.
It was delightful to visit, to catch up, and share our home with them.
Then storms rolled across the lake, one after another, and we stayed off the lake and out of the boats. More than once, we waded out to the boats, turning back when we saw lightning until we decided that we would get wet regardless of whether it was raining or not.
While they boated, Fern and I stayed ashore. I waded into the lake and took the photos for this post. By the end of their visit every single beach towel was soaked, and the kids (and adults) were spent.
Yesterday WAS a million and six times better than the day before with family – our nephews and their kids bringing color to the lakeshore on a stormy day.
This morning began with steady rain, but the sun is breaking through and sunshine is on the way. Today is going to be an amazing day, it could be a million and six times better than yesterday. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, black and white or in color.
W^2, W2, or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Today is Day 23 and yesterday, I took the train from Chicagoland all the way to St. Louis. It was my first real train ride in the United States. Trains in the US were once a BIG deal, but with the advent of the car, a national road system, and air travel trains declined in my lifetime. I don’t recall ever riding a train to go anywhere until my brothers and I visited my father in Europe after my parents divorced. My first rail trip was to Glasgow from London on British Rail. We have a commuter rail system in Chicagoland, but I don’t use it often. However, I did take commuter rail into Union Station yesterday morning.
Last night I added to my list of cities where Major League Baseball is played, twenty-three. Every game reminds me of how baseball is an integral part of our culture. I could say sport, but I don’t get this feeling with football, basketball, or other sports and I don’t know why. But last night I sat amongst St. Louis Cardinal fans whom I’d never met and had a great talking baseball and life.
Last night’s seats were the best seats I have ever had for a baseball game. I decided to splurge on these seats when I was planning my trip. To my right were two couples out for the ballgame and to my left was a group of friends, and in front of me were a father and son. None of us were regulars in these seats. The woman to my right was a mom whose thins were headed off to college this fall, JP to right was a graphic artist, and the young man in front of me reminded me who was winning the game – the Cardinals. It was a great night at the ballpark.
I have seven cities left on my list: Denver, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Miami, Baltimore, Boston, and Toronto.
Today, I have a visit to the Gateway Arch, another baseball game tonight, and a train ride home tomorrow.
Today is going to be an amazing day, it could be a million and six times better than yesterday. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, watching a baseball game, or enjoying the sights and sounds of a new city.
It’s Monday, Day 21 and I wasted yesterday. Really wasted it. I spent the entire afternoon on things unimportant and certainly not urgent.
One day summer won’t be summer break, it will be life in retirement. I’ve often told folks who marvel my summer break (envy) that I think of summer break as an audition for retirement. If so, I am not going to get a call back.
In my last post I referenced the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was replying to a comment and I found a great resource from the folks at FranklinCovey, it’s an overview of the 7 Habits – click if you like. I’ve been using their products for over twenty years to plan my day and organize my daily and weekly tasks. Every year I get a little better at it learning from my failures and successes.
One of the parts of my daily routine playing the New York Times Wordle. I don’t remember how I started, but I did. It could’ve been my daughter, or the buzz on social media as folks posted their solution to the day’s Wordle. If you haven’t played it, it is a simple game. You have six guesses to guess the day’s word. The word is five letters long and with each guess you get feedback.
Green squares mean that the letter you guessed is in the correct position in the day’s word.
Yellow squares mean the letter you guessed is in the word day’s but not in that space.
Gray squares mean that the letter you guessed is not in that day’s word.
According to an article in The Ledger, there over 158,000 five-letter words in the English language, but the Official Scrabble Dictionary puts the number at about 9,000 words. Somewhere I read the Wordle game has a dictionary at just over 2,300 words and doesn’t use plurals as solutions.
I find Wordle challenging, and I find it frustrating, too. Most mornings, playing the day’s Wordle is the last thing I do before getting started on the day – showering and heading off to school. But in the summer, I have more time and less urgency (and thus more time to write and dream).
Some days, the puzzle takes five to ten minutes or as quickly as two minutes like it was this morning. And there are days when I can’t see a solution and come back later.
Last summer, I began to track my daily results and approach playing the game as a scientist. At the point, it took an average of 4.46 attempts to solve the puzzle. Since then, my average slowly declined and is currently 4.05 attempts to solve the puzzle, though the month of June has been awful with a miss and several five and six attempt days and a monthly average of 4.23. Continue reading Wordle, is it a game or a challenge?→
This morning as I stumbled through my morning routine, I noted in my reflection and gratitude app that it was Friday. Normally Friday would bring joy and be amazing, but during the summer when it is summer break, Friday is simply another day.
Fridays during the school year bring joy and anticipation of weekend plans and a less structured day. During summer break, almost every day is less structured! I try to keep that in mind as I plan and execute my day and my week. As the summer winds down, structure is what I look forward to about returning to school.
Years ago, I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Reading the book was difficult. It was full of ideas about personal management and was more of a textbook for life. I finished it and every so often, I open it, and re-read or leaf through the pages. The habit I rely on most during the unstructured summer is Habit 3: Put First Things First. Reading that book, changed my life. Continue reading Day 18 – Friday, not just another day?→
Last summer I got serious about my bucket list goal of visiting every major league baseball stadium with a seven day, seven game, six city, and ten baseball team trip beginning in New York City winding west finishing in Cleveland before driving home to Chicagoland. In all last year, I attended ten ballgames and watched one half of the teams in the MLB. I finished the 2022 season having seen 20 of the 30 present day ballparks.
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, May 31, 2023
It’s been, too long since I’ve published a post, but there have been many I’ve done in my mind. Things just get in the way of writing and posting.
Speaking of which, there are two school days remaining in this school year and I harken back to a school year gone awry and the birth of Making the Days Count dot org, at first a dot com. That was thirteen years ago; this post is the first of year fourteen.
I spent the evening marking papers, then realized I needed to run a quick errand and walked outside to discover the moon and the flag.
A lot has taken place since that first post thirteen years ago, but theirs is more to tell in the years ahead, just like the flag and moon. There’s more left and beginning Monday at noon, there are 76 days to practice for the time when I won’t be teaching.
Today was a great day, I think I got 140 sixth graders to think about energy transfer when they really wanted to think about summer break and sleeping in. Tomorrow we are on a walking field trip to a local park and Friday will be here and gone before I know it and I’ll be outside waving to school buses as the leave the parking lot one last time.
I’ve got a little formatting to do and then I’ll press publish and this will go live. The day is done, and I am headed to bed to catch some rest before it starts all over anew. Making the days Count, one day at a time, it’s all in a cycle.
It’s been five years since my mom, our mom, died. I miss her dearly. Especially on Mother’s Day and her birthday.
When I started blogging, she became my reader and my critic. I miss those conversations and so much more. She taught me how to be who I am today. She taught me to be curious, to ask questions, and so much more.
Last year her sister, and our aunt, died. Those two sisters taught us more than I realized, and I miss them both.
Today, we are non-sequential, 61-60, and 58. In October, we we’ll be in order again until I mess it up and turn 62 a month later in November.
It’s because of mom that I keep working at Making the Days Count. Each day, in some way, I work at it. I am thankful and full of gratitude for her patience and kindness when what I really, I needed (and deserved) was a kick in the pants and tough love.
It’s Mother’s Day and I’d better get going on it and jump in, jump out, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, looking back, looking forward, but always remembering.
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, March 29, 2023
For this week’s Wordless Wednesday, I have the old section of the historic Seven Mile Bridge which is the dividing line between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in the Strait of Florida. I love how in the evening light the line between the ocean and the sky blend together.
My wife and I are enjoying a spring break vacation in the Florida Keys. Sunrises and sunsets mark our days and are often spectacular. Sadly, after three days in the Keys, this was our first ‘watched’ sunset though I have yet to miss a sunrise.
The bridge was constructed as part of the Overseas Railroad extension from Miami to Key West in the early twentieth century. The railroad operated until 1935 when massive hurricane wiped out a portion of the railroad. The right of way was sold to the state of Florida and the bridges were used to build a highway from Miami to Key West. The railway bridges were replaced in the early 1980s and the old bridges were disabled and left in place. A portion Seven Mile Bridge and several other bridges were set aside for fishermen. Additionally, a two-mile segment of the old Seven Mile Bridge connecting Knights Key with Pigeon Key.
It is always peaceful and calm when we visit. The temperatures have been in the 80s (28-31C) and there has been plenty of sunshine in between sunrise and sunset.
This morning, I watched the sunrise and I know today is gonna be an awesome day, I know it and I can feel it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. And press publish for the first time in a long while. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, always looking, always watching, wondering.
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, January 4, 2023
I’ve been in northern Mississippi since Monday afternoon. I flew Southwest Airlines, yes that Southwest Airlines. The airline that melted down and cancelled hundreds of flights for an entire week beginning the day after Christmas. It’s been my go-to airline since I began travelling to Mississippi to visit my stepmother or care for the house these past three years.
Yesterday, I engaged a realtor to sell the property. The day began with thunderstorms racing through the area and a tornado warning. By noon, the skies were clear. I took care of a few errands and decided to walk around her neighborhood one last time. Oxford is a beautiful town, and I understand how she and my dad came to love it.
As I finished my walk, the sun had set, and the moon was rising. I’d gotten a message from an app that the moon and mars would be in conjunction and the best viewing time would 5:06 PM. It was still light out and the moon was visible, but Mars wasn’t. I pulled a lawn chair out onto the drive and sat and watched. Within twenty minutes Mars became visible as a small dot above the moon.
I savored the moment; it was a beautiful January evening, and it was pleasant enough to sit outside without a jacket.
I’ve enjoyed my visits over the years, but I am hoping this is my last trip to Oxford.
I had entertained the idea of driving to Vicksburg and staying at the Baer House and visiting the Vicksburg battlefield one more time but decided to get home and finish up a few things before school restarts Monday.
It’s a beautiful sunny day at the Memphis airport, but it will be good to get home later this evening.
Today is already an amazing day. I got to the airport ahead of time, I am checked in, and waiting on an airplane. I know it and I can feel it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, looking forward to getting home.