Sunday morning. It’s cold outside and we’re between snows – yesterday afternoon it began to gently snow as we were finishing our outdoor Christmas decorations. This morning when I woke the eastern sky was cloudy and grey and the sun’s light struggled to dimly awaken the world to a new day.
I’ve had this weekend circled on my calendar since Labor Day. It’s been awhile since we’ve been up here, by the lake, in the early fall. The past few years, we’ve been able to come up only after football season was finished and even then it was for a short two-day weekend, not the longer three-day weekend that Columbus Day brings.
Last year, it was W, O, Ivy, and I for fall cleanup, the year before in ’14 we all of us left on early Saturday afternoon (after football practice) and only had Sunday to work, and in 13’ I came by myself.
I’ve been searching back in my memory and the cottage guest book and it’s been a long time since we’ve been Up North at this time in the year.
B and I reminisced on our way out of town Friday evening as the sunset in the rearview mirror about our trip in ’96. It was BK – before kids – her parents met us and we had a great time. We drove through the countryside looking at the fall color and we did some yard work, but I remember the deep breaths I was able take by the lake. It does that for me, the lake helps me relax and refocus. Continue reading water – a photo challenge→
Yesterday was the last full day of summer, in a little more than three hours fall arrives.
9:21 AM CDT – September 22.
Today is split summer and fall. Tomorrow is first full day of fall.
It was a good summer, but it had its moments. Yesterday, we got our last summer storm and it rolled through the area as I was on my way to school. Fortunately, it hadn’t started raining when I arrived, or I would have been drenched walking in.
At the end of the day, another wave of rain arrived as I was leaving school and it sprinkled on me as I walked to my car. That was it, summer’s last gasp. We’ve needed the rain, it’s been dry.
The shorter days are already here. Last night, I noticed it when I got home and I reset the front door light timer to come on earlier. Soon the leaves will turn and then fall. Cooler nights and then frost. And, we’ll probably get a few storms into fall, the worst storms seem to be the fall storms that blow up over the Great Lakes. Continue reading summer’s last gasp→
Each morning begins with a new perspective. It’s never the same in the morning.
I’ve been sipping coffee and enjoying the morning view for years by the lake. I miss grandma, who was often up before me sitting in her chair sipping coffee. I’d refill her coffee or brew a fresh pot and join her. She’s gone, now, and now I sit in the chair, sip coffee, Ivy curls up on the footstool and we begin the day looking out over the lake. Continue reading Look Up – a photo challenge→
It’s Thursday morning and it is the twenty-seventh day of summer break, almost two-thirds remain. There is a myth which persists that teachers don’t work a full year. It’s not true, it is nowhere close to being true and the myth misrepresents what educators do to be ready for the coming year.
Class starts in an hour.
This summer I am taking a professional development class, in fact the last several summers I have taken PD classes. Classes are taught by fellow educators and are filled with rich curricula and new methods to help students grow and learn. This summer I am taking a two-week long class at the local high school. The class is offered through Fermilab Education and W’s freshman biology teacher is the instructor, he was also one of W’s wrestling coaches. It has been an interesting eight days of being transported back to being fifteen again, and then morphing back to my real age. It’s been forty years since that high school freshman year, I’d mostly forgotten that very awkward time.
Saturday morning, again. It’s the best day of the week. Saturday gets the nod for the best day of the week because I get to pick the pace and choose how it begins. Sunday is a close second, Monday through Friday are tied for third place where the pace is dictated by getting to school and teaching.
Spring Break is over and we are home. My landscape is landlocked and the future is certain, Spring is here, though you wouldn’t recognize it from the weather we had yesterday or this morning. It’s cold this morning, but sunny and clear. Which makes a difference.
It Sunday morning. It’s a typical Midwestern January morning – cold and overcast. Yesterday was the same and tomorrow will likely be the same. It’s all right, cold and overcast January days are the rent we pay for the rest of the year.
Jonas bypassed us. We’ve had storms come through and shut us down, but nothing as severe as Jonas. Since, I’ve been blogging we’ve had several snow days, one in January 2011 that brought 21 inches of snow and shut schools for two days. We’ve had bitter cold and severe wind chills and we’ve had torrential rains that closed our schools, too. In all that time, we stayed inside and waited. When it was over, we went outside shoveled snow and cleared our drive and our neighbor’s, too. It’s the rent we pay.
Saturday was a bittersweet day, it was sunny in the morning, then overcast, then the clouds disappeared in the evening to reveal a full moon.
It was bittersweet for more than the weather; it was W’s last wrestling match. W is my son, my favorite son, and he turns 18 Wednesday.
W was born late in the evening Tuesday, January 27, so late it was close to January 28. Like all parents, especially dads, I remember the moment I held him for the first time, I remember the moment well. I can close my eyes and picture myself holding him and feel the tears well in my eyes and roll down my cheeks. They still do, the tears that is. I remember his first of many things, I remember his first day of pre-school – 9/11. I remember his first wrestling match, a loss in less than 15 seconds and I remember his first win – in overtime. He was our first, and only, for almost five years, then O came along and I had another favorite – a favorite daughter. Continue reading Bittersweet Sunday→
It’s cold outside, that’s why I am inside sitting at my desk in the basement. Yesterday, O, my favorite daughter, and I braved the elements and took off for the big city. She wanted to take the train in and I opted for the car. It was a good choice.
Saturday morning, she came downstairs to the basement and plopped down in the chair beside my desk proclaiming she an adventure and trip to the city. She wanted to visit the Shedd Aquarium and after listening to her plea, I decided Saturday wasn’t the day to go – I had too much to do and she didn’t ask until almost noon, too late to drive into the city. So instead, we planned and plotted for a trip Sunday.
Sunday was a beautiful sunny day even if temperatures hovered near zero.
This morning it’s -1 F, or -17C; yesterday it was a five degrees warmer when we drove in to the city. It was still cold. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill weather advisory for today because it feels like -21 F, or -30 C, and that is fine with me it’s safer and easier to stay inside and take care of business. I still have a lot to do.
Traffic was light on the expressway and the biggest hurdle was finding a parking spot close to the aquarium. We arrived just as another family was leaving and we took their spot.
It was a short walk to the aquarium but the cold and the wind in our faces made it seem longer than it was. The return trip seemed shorter a few hours later.
We had a good time. We both took pictures and took in the exhibits. O surprised me with her patience as she read about the exhibits as she passed them. We started with the Caribbean Reef and watched the diver feed the fish. The Caribbean Reef is in the center of the aquarium and in the rotunda with rooms shooting off like spokes of a wheel. Several years ago when we were in Florida, O and I visited the Turtle Hospital in Marathon. It was there we learned about the dangers sea turtles face as the human world intersects with the natural world. One of the biggest dangers to turtles are boat strikes. The boat strike isn’t always fatal, but it renders the turtle unable to dive as it creates an air bubble between the shell and turtle’ body. O and I watched as ‘Nickel,’ the Shedd’s green turtle, paddle around the aquarium with her rear pointing to the surface. O remembered our visit.
It’s is Sunday morning and life has turned full circle for me. A scant two weeks ago, Christmas Break began and now, two weeks later, it is over.
This year’s break is like all the others before it, I have enjoyed the time with my family and I have rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated for the new semester and I am ready to go back, to return to a routine and a schedule.
We’ve enjoyed the last several days Up North by the lake. Our place by the lake has incredible restorative properties; the kids spent a day skiing and snowboarding and another day resting and relaxing. I spent a couple of days cooking and enjoying the cottage with Ivy. B and I have enjoyed relaxing with friends and ringing the New Year in with a roaring fire and a full cottage. Now, it is time to pack up and return to our lives. For W, it is finals and his last semester in high school, for O it is seventh grade and halfway through middle school. Next year, is seemingly far away, but it is closer than we all realize. Continue reading Circle – Weekly Photo Challenge→
It’s Monday and the weather is awful. It began to rain and sleet this morning and it transitioned to snow, then rain. Normally, at this time in my day, I’d be on my way home from school, but it’s the second Monday of Christmas Break, the last Monday, I remind myself.
Christmas break has been good. We stayed home this year and it has been a good time albeit a bit awkward, the first Christmas without my in-laws, B’s parents, and a trip home to Ohio. Christmas day was a mix of new and old. It felt right. We’ll spend New Year’s by the lake, but for NOW, I am home. Christmas break has been what our family has needed.
This morning, I made sure w was up and off to wrestling practice. Then, instead of getting busy, I succumbed to the weather crawling back in bed to read a book, then fell asleep, and woke, then read some more. I am reading A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin. It’s an interesting read and the subject is right where I am in my history curriculum – pre-Civil War.
The weather changed throughout the morning. But the weather here is nothing compared to what the south has endured yesterday or on Christmas Day.
weather at 11
weather at 2
weather at 6
Screenshots courtesy of the Weather Channel app for iPhone.
Ivy knew, too. she’s been out twice – all day – content to curl up beside me and live the dogs life.