W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday October 14, 2020
What is the view from where you stand?
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday October 14, 2020
What is the view from where you stand?
It’s been a long time since I wrote a post, I am out of practice. Somehow over the past year, I’ve fallen out of my routine of writing. When I began writing making the Days Count dot org I embraced the writing routine. Writing is a healthy habit and I am thankful that my fall from blogging hasn’t been a health issue, but rather a time issue.
View this post on Instagram
A year ago, last summer, I had my right knee surgically replaced; six months later in December 2018, I had my left knee replaced. My writing took a back seat to recovery and almost a full year later, I am fully healed and pain-free. I can’t tell you how much better I feel and how much easier it is to move. This past summer I was able to do things I couldn’t have imagined doing before the two knee surgeries.
This afternoon my son, W, and I went for a walk at the Morton Arboretum. Continue reading Fall day…
It’s Thanksgiving break and I am thankful. I was thankful Thursday morning and I am especially thankful as the break winds to close. It’s Saturday morning, I’ve been on break since Wednesday, really Tuesday night. Three days have passed seemingly in the blink of an eye, or rather two eyes.
I’ve been taking advantage of the break to a couple of nights of good rest. Wednesday and Thursday morning, I was up before the sun rose. Friday morning, I slept late and the sun was up and Ivy was gone. This morning, I was awakening as the sun was rising and Ivy was still nestled up against my leg.
On Thanksgiving Day, the turkey is my job. It’s a pretty simple job, though I have leared that some people make a mess of it. I follow a simple plan.
That’s what I do. I use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey when the oven probe reaches 175 – just as a backup. This year, I added another 5F to finish the turkey and removed the turkey from the oven and covered it with foil until we were ready to eat.
When we were ready with all the fixings – mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with coconut topping, Brussels sprouts, dressing, and gravy, I carved the turkey and re-heated to make sure it was hot. Then we sat down for Thanksgiving Dinner. It was delicious, but it tasted better because the family was together.
After Thanksgiving dinner, W cleaned up. An hour or so later, I finished the job and got down to the business of transforming the turkey into turkey vegetable soup.
I removed all of the meat from the turkey and broke the carcass into smaller bits that fit in the stock pot. I cover the bones with cold water and placed the pot on the stove over medium-low heat. The stock then slowly simmers uncovered and it takes several hours to render the turkey stock. Before I went to bed Thursday night, I turned off the heat and covered the stock pot.
It’s Sunday morning and I am slowly getting a start to the new week. I am on my second cup of coffee and Ivy has been outside on patrol and she’s back inside. She’s curled up at my feet beneath the desk where I do much of my thinking and writing.
Friday was my birthday. It was also the coldest day of school year so far. I checked the temperature and it was 16°F. I smiled and thought back to when I was 16 years old. I’ve grown up, but in many ways, I am still that kid who at the age of 16 was looking ahead at the future and wondering and dreaming. It’s been 40 years since that birthday. You can do the math, but I don’t feel like a 56 year-old, however a 56 year old should feel.
Age is a number and it’s temporary. I am constantly learning and growing, or I should be.
Yesterday, I slept late. It was nice to sleep past my normal weekday wake up time of 4:30 AM.
It’s Fall and the cold weather has zapped the trees and the fallen leaves have covered the lawn like a thick blanket with leaves sticking in the beds along the foundation and fences, wherever there might be a stopping point from the wind.
The leaves are temporary. They sprout in the Spring and last until the Fall. The cycle is lasts a little less than 200 days from mid-April to early November, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter depending on the year. We have a couple of trees that are now leafless and several trees which are relentlessly holding on to their leaves. By the end of the month, the trees will release their grip and the leaves will fall to the ground. Continue reading temporary: birthdays and fall leaves
It’s Saturday night, it’s late. It’s the night before we fall back and return to standard time.
It’s been a full day. I’ve set the all the clocks back an hour in anticipation of the time change. I am looking forward to driving to school in the morning light, it’s been slowly getting darker each morning over the last couple of weeks. But, conversely, I am not looking forward to driving home in the dark either. There is hope, though the days are getting shorter, they will begin getting longer again soon. It’s the cycle and I don’t need to peek ahead, I know the days will get longer soon.
I ran errands this afternoon and took a side trip to the Morton Arboretum. It’s nestled along a highway, though you’d never know it. It’s bounded by housing developments and a river runs through it. It’s a peaceful place to visit and walk. This afternoon I enjoyed the view from the top of the hill facing west into the rainy Saturday afternoon. I’ve watched the sun set from the same spot before and even though I tried, I could not see the sun peeking through the clouds today.
While I was there, I stood beneath a pine tree and marveled at the pine cones and the water dripping off the needles and branches. It was peaceful and calming. Rainy fall days tend to bring a sense of calm and serenity. The pine cone seemed to be just peeking through the needles at me.
Sunday was a beautiful day in the Midwest. Actually, Saturday was a beautiful day, too and I am not referring to the Chicago Cubs.
We’ve had a run of beautiful days. Warm sunny afternoons followed by cool nights. Tonight, the sky was clear again when I took Ivy outside. Since she and Mr. Skunk met in August, she gets an escort out in the evening. I looked up and I could see several stars. Living so close to a major city, my stargazing is limited by the light pollution. I am thankful for the stars that shine bright enough for me to see.
I spent most of my day hunkered down in the basement working on school and other things. I popped out of my cave to enjoy a slice of O’s birthday cake. It was O’s birthday and W was over to help celebrate.
It was that time in the afternoon when the sun’s angle illuminates and shines across the landscape in a special way. It makes the grass greener and the fall leaves redder, oranger, and yellower than they are in the midday sun or morning sun.
The backside of our home faces west and is surrounded by mature maple trees and a lonely ash tree. Among the maples is a maple tree that turns the brightest orange-yellow in early fall. It is so bright it appears to be afire. The other maple trees turn a pale yellow and drop almost simultaneously after the first heavy frost in mid-November. One of the maple trees has a vine that climbs the trunk and had turned a brilliant red-orange. Continue reading shine/sunshine: a photo challenge
The turkey is roasting and it smells delicious. B and O, my wife and daughter, are still out of town. They’ve loaded the car, but haven’t hit the road, yet.
I’ve alluded to it in the last several posts but haven’t been direct. B’s mother and my mother-in-law, my favorite mother-in-law, I might add, passed away a week ago Monday morning. The funeral was last Saturday. Her wake, funeral, post-funeral gathering was a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman who led an extraordinary life. She leaves behind three children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and seven grandchildren. We will miss her.
I drove home with W, my son, Sunday afternoon. He slept, I drove thinking about the two days I had to teach my 8th graders.
Instead, I thought of all of the parts of my life for which I have to give thanks.
I am thankful for so much. I am third.
I am thankful for my faith in God, who has sustained me over the last several years as our families have struggled with loss.
I have a wonderful family, a great wife and kids, and a great dog, too. My mom, step-mom, my brothers, my wife’s brother, sister-in-law, her sister, and all of nieces and nephews, who are strong role models for my two children and always make time for them. Continue reading Thankful, once more and always…
Monday was our anniversary. It was our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. It seems like the other day I was waiting for my mom and step-mother on the sidewalk outside the church. They had gotten lost on the way from the hotel to the church. I can’t blame them, it’s easy to get lost on country roads. I still get lost when I go back to Ohio for a short visit and I get off the beaten track.
My brother David and I had been pacing outside the church, waiting. My other sister-in-law, B’s older sister had checked on us and asked what was up. It was the time before cell phones or at least inexpensive cell phones and few folks had one. I had no idea, I explained I thought they were lost. She seemed to accept it and went back inside the church. I can only imagine what was going through B’s head.
They arrived, more than several minutes late – my mom, step-mother, and sister-in-law climbed out of the car and hurried inside. My mom apologized and I smiled a nervous smile and muttered, “You’re off the Christmas card list,” under my breath.
I was kidding, of course. She gets a Christmas card every year and a call Christmas morning to wish her a Merry Christmas. She reminds me she got her Christmas card. And, we laugh.
She also reminds me that if they had arrived on time, the sunbeam, that had illuminated B and I at the precise moment we said our vows, would have missed us. Completely missed us, divine providence.
Much happens in 24 years – kids are born, parents and other family members pass away, there are job changes, career shifts, smiles, laughter, people change and grow, and all sorts of things that make a marriage strong. There are other highs and lows of life along the way.
I have much more grey hair than I did in 1991. Then, it was just coming in, and it’s longer, too. But, I still have my laugh and sense of humor and sarcastic wit, forged by experience and life’s hard lessons. I’ve learned to shovel snow, rake leaves, and be somewhat of a happy handyman that comes with being a homeowner.
Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can’t have one without the other
Frank Sinatra is right, you can’t have one without the other.
Saturday morning I was at the flower market and got a dozen pink roses. They are beautiful, like B. They’ll last the week and then some, if we care them, like a marriage.
It was a busy weekend and time got away from writing, but that’s okay. I had time for the important stuff – family and love. Continue reading Tuesday’s Tune: “Love and Marriage”
It’s been over two weeks since I wrote a post. It’s not because I haven’t had ideas. I’ve had loads of ideas and I even started a post last Sunday morning, but I ran out of time. That post died on the vine, it’s no longer relevant.
Since my last post, O has been to her first middle school social. The social was the day after her birthday and she had a wonderful time and could not stop talking about on our way to W’s final regular season football game. We arrived with a minute left in the second quarter to watch the Tigers score a touchdown and take 14-9 lead to the locker room. They needed to win the game to make the playoffs. This is how they did it.
Since then, W’s football team has ripped off two more wins and next weekend play in the state playoff quarterfinals. The team’s first playoff win was in the blinding snow and howling winds on Halloween night with a last minute field goal to tie and a touchdown to win in overtime. The second win was yesterday afternoon – it was a beautiful fall afternoon, perfect for a high school football game. Continue reading The Can Crush
It snuck up on me, I don’t know how it did, but it did. Today is O’s birthday. She’s 12 and it doesn’t seem possible. I remember the morning we went to the hospital. The delivery was scheduled and B’s parents were here from Ohio to keep an eye on W and help where they could. When we came home with O – she didn’t have an official name, yet – we would decide between two choices: O and Hannah. We stuck with O and I’m glad.
So much has happened between then and now – O’s growing up and is now in sixth grade. Sometimes, she’s sassy, but most of the time she’s my O.
Today’s her birthday; and there will be more birthdays to come. There will be more growing and probably a lot more sass, definitely a lot more sass; but she’ll still be my O, and B’s too, but I write this blog, so she’s mine for now.
Last night we looked through the photos of her first day and we snuggled, laughed, and cried. It was a special day twelve years ago and I captured it with our first digital camera. The photos look grainy but we don’t have similar photos of W – he’s pre-digital and I didn’t think to bring a camera into the delivery room when he was born.
Since that first camera, we’ve had five more – including the two we are using now. And, we have loads of photos, more than I can process. I am not including our phones, which happen to have better cameras than that first digital camera from 2002.
O came into the world about 8:35 AM on a Wednesday morning. I had a sub in my classroom and my students were researching in the library. I don’t have a sub this morning, but I’ll share the photo and a memory. Later this morning, my science students will be researching in the library – just twelve years later; my how some things change and some things simply stay the same.
Tonight, will have dinner and a cake – a delicious Italian Cream Cake. It’s our birthday cake, homemade with real buttermilk and frosted with cream cheese frosting. You can’t beat it. A birthday in our home isn’t the same without it. But for now, I’d better get moving. It’s gonna be a great day. I know it and I can feel it, so I had better jump up, jump in and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, one memory, and one birthday at a time.
Have you ever come close to forgetting a birthday? Or, let one sneak up on you?