Forever in Blue Jeans

It’s Sunday, the day before Memorial Day, and the Indy 500 starts in less than a half hour. The pre-race is on and I wish I could watch it with my science students. It’s speed, physics, material science, and adrenaline all wrapped into 500 miles. I’ve been to the race track many times before, but this year I’ll be watching from the family room with B, W, and O. We’ll be thinking of B’s dad who was our ticket to the track. JD passed away last year after a long life of service to his country, community, and his family. He’s always in our thoughts.

JD Weaver (1926-2014), B, and my nephew - JD's grandson
JD Weaver (1926-2014), B, and my nephew – JD’s grandson

In my last post, I honored my dad, whom also is never far from my thoughts, either.

 There is irony in my last post because my dad’s birthday – 5/20/1933 – is also another birthday, of sorts: blue jeans were born, or rather patented by Levi and Strauss. Irony. I shared this with my classes and reminded them that education was the key to not wearing blue jeans as my dad believed deep in his core. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with hard, physical work – it needs to be done – but, most folks don’t aspire to it. Continue reading Forever in Blue Jeans

Taurus: The Bull

My dad was a Taurus. Today would have been his 82nd birthday. He passed away after a brief illness on July 20, 2009. He was 76, too young. His passing took me by surprise, though if I had been paying attention I would have known, or at the least been more prepared, more ready.

My dad and his mom - one year old - May 1934
My dad and his mom – one year old – May 1934

It seems like just the other day, but it was almost six years ago. It was at the end of the school year and I remember the entire event unfolding in slow motion in my memory, as if it were yesterday.

A year after my dad passed away, my brothers and I escorted his cremains to France and spread his ashes where he wanted to spend eternity in the countryside of northern France. Since that summer, I’ve been on a quest to recapture and gather my history, my story – who I am, where I have been, and where I am headed. In a way, MakingtheDaysCount.org has been my journal and my travelogue. Continue reading Taurus: The Bull

Enveloped

Thick clouds enveloped the lake, as if to keep it safe for another generation, a new season.

the morning's lakescape, quiet, peaceful, serene - enveloped
the morning’s lakescape, quiet, peaceful, serene – enveloped

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

Think like a proton

The last couple of days began with reminders from my students – one present, and the other a former student.

thanks, Alyssa!
thanks, Alyssa!

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.

Friday afternoon, the heavens opened and the Forces of Nature unleashed their fury. Continue reading Think like a proton

Intricate: Weekly Photo Challenge

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.

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at the corner – a shrub, I simply overlooked until this evening

Continue reading Intricate: Weekly Photo Challenge

Poem in my pocket – homework

Earlier today, I discovered to my dismay,
I had missed an important day.
I looked down into my screen
to discover what I had missed
National Poem in Your Pocket Day.

I didn’t have a poem in my pocket,
It – my pocket that is – was rather empty,
But I smiled, and moved forward,
One foot after the other,
And, made it count, anyway.

Sometimes, a day flashes past or the week disappears before my eyes without me realizing it.  This week has been a week full such days. It’s easy to miss a day, it’s not so easy to miss a week. Time waits for no one.However, thanks to Mary (one of my favorite bloggers) from A Wilderness of Words I was reminded about National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Thank you Mary!

courtesy Random House kids
courtesy Random House kids

Continue reading Poem in my pocket – homework

Earth Day 2015

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Earth Day was Wednesday this year. Last year it fell on Tuesday and the year before on Monday. Next year, it will be a Friday. The day – April 22 – moves according to the calendar just as Earth is moving – every year, every day, and every moment. We live on a dynamic planet. Earth Day 2015 was two days several days ago. As usual, my timing is askew.

We humans share the planet with all other living things – all sorts of plants and animals. We are a dynamic species always evolving, always searching for ways to change our environment to best fit our needs. In doing so we have changed Earth.

Originally, humans wandered from place to place in search of food. Sometimes these early humans were successful and other times not so successful. However, we humans are clever and always searching for a better way and those early humans sought ways to find food much more quickly. We eventually learned that it was much easier to domesticate plants, animals, and learned to farm. So, we made pastures and fields where forests and meadows once were. Once we harnessed our food supply, we used our cleverness to adapt Earth even further.

And, that is how we find ourselves in the mess that Earth is in today. Continue reading Earth Day 2015

Early Bird – Weekly Photo Challenge

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.

earlybird

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.

There is irony, too. Continue reading Early Bird – Weekly Photo Challenge

Afloat – Weekly Photo Challenge

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.

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the sun sets through the trees – soon, leaves will appear – spring is here

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.

When I came home last night, the air was crisp cool and clear and I wanted to walk. Continue reading Afloat – Weekly Photo Challenge

Ephemeral: The Wall – 03/26/1967

washmonWe 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.

There is a lot to see in DC and if you blink it will be gone, but I always try to visit The Wall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I visited it for the first time in 1995, and again in ‘08, and again yesterday. Visiting The Wall never gets old. I always look for the same name, Douglas E. Dickey. 17E 50. Continue reading Ephemeral: The Wall – 03/26/1967