Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Helping to load the school backpack.

The teacher in me goes a bit crazy this time of year.
Of course there is a high need for new pencils and markers in my house....

Instead of packing my teacher desk I am working on my grandson's backpack.

A fourth grader this year, and first time in public school.
Homeschooling got him his basics
and now for the icing on the cake!

Why would I bother with his backpack?
You never know when some things are going to be needed.

Kids just don't seem to grow up the same way as I did.
I rode my bike to school in elementary and most of the way through high school.
I also took the bus more then once (the school was five miles away).

So, here is the "emergency backpack" for the bottom of his locker.
Simple, small, will take little space.

Inside that will be two juice pouches (not boxes) two power bars, a hand flashlight
Last, but not least, a printed Google street map to show the way home.
Simple, ready to go if mom cannot meet him in time.
Everyone should always know how to get home and have a bit of a snack for the hike!

Back to school we go!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The problem of statues.

Today I was reading about the removal of the Confederate statues from various parks.
The remarks were all over the board for:
Why should we have reminders of such a dark time
If we take them down we will forget.

As a history teacher of many, many years
This is my opinion.

Remove them.
If you must have them up somewhere, put them on the battle fields.
I am not even sure that is appropriate, removing them is.

I am not a revisionist for history.
The Civil War period (both before and after) were dark times in our history.

There really is no excuse.
A confederate flag also makes me cringe.

What do they want to be remembered for?
That large plantation owners suppressed
and enslaved peoples so they could have beautiful mansions.
Do they really think the majority of the white people lived well in this time and place?
I know my family did not.
They were extremely poor, and had to move to Illinois in the 1850's to get away from the mess.
They did not own slaves and probably worked next to them in fields.
I am betting most of the KKK member families were the same.
Blacks and the government did not take their stuff,
 their families did not have stuff to begin with.
Like blaming the Jews in 1930's
scapegoating for being poor is an easy out.
The rich figure out how to harness that.
For years and years after the whole area was suppressed because of these people who convinced others that it was their duty to support their way of life?

We learned some horrible lessons after WWI.
If you suppress an area too much- they will raise up and come back.
That is what Hitler gained speed on, and Stalin, and Mao and Jefferson Davis.

If you  help the people rebuild after a war
then the people can come back stronger, united-
as happened in Germany and Japan after WWII.
BUT- in both Germany and Japan NO mention of the war was allowed.
They certainly did not have statues named after the top generals
even if those generals had been nice guys before the wars started.

But keeping the statues, the flags, even the words
there is not a chance for people to heal completely.
And let it go.
It has been over 150 years (four or five generations) since the Civil War.
The statues need to come down. The streets renamed. The people need to unite , like the good people of Charlottesville, and move forward. We don't need to suppress the past, we just have to remember it as the ugly era that it was. Statues are for the winners.....

Oh and don't think that the North was such a great place either
The work houses that people fled to after the war
were terrible..... Maybe we need to rename some of those "winnings" as well....

Monday, August 07, 2017

If you had the money for only one (First World Problem)

We are in a nice house
that needs remodeling and curtains and flooring and....
well, you get the idea.

It is the perfect size for this stage in life.
We are not "attached" to our houses
They are not us
They are a place to make a home
and this feels like home
a bit stripped down
but home.

It could really use a Master  upgrade
* Million gallon jacuzzi tub turned into a walk in shower,
* wood flooring through out
* good lighting
* curtains
* a real closet.

We are really enjoying traveling with our children's families
We shoulder much of the costs since
* we remember how devastating vacations are on a family budget
* life is so much better shared.

What to do?
This house will be our home for at least five more years
possibly ten.
Maybe less.
There is a ton of new housing in our area
and ours is totally outdated---but it has the best acreage in the area
and is one of the only ranch style houses in this area.
we are not getting any younger
At 67 and almost  60,
we realize that we want to leave the memories

and still be able to function at the house....


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Family, friends and summertime

Summer is flying by.
Sometimes sitting on the couch seems like a waste of time
but then a day of people comes along.

What has filled my summer?
My son moved across country with his family.
Ten days and two 400 mile trips up and back.
Seeing our grandchildren again--priceless!
Hikes in New York are fun.

My good friend came in from Kansas to play.
500 miles by car and 26 miles by foot in five days.
I once wondered if I could walk Hadrian's Wall in September,
and put if off for a year.
I should have gone for it.

The garden went nuts growing.
And then the invasions began.
Japanese beetles, Horned worms and blight!  Blight!
Still, there are about one hundred tomatoes on the vine,

the red peppers are beginning to turn and the summer squash has all been eaten.
The raspberry bushes look good. They should produce next year.
I know that next year there will only be three tomato plants, no exceptions.
Amish Paste, for sure.
The watering at 5 am continues. Fifer farm provides everything else that is canned :)

A high school friend's hubby found a job about 50 miles from my house.
Who knew that one day we would both be in Delaware.
Several days of entertaining and house looking. Life is good.

Weekly trips to see the "local" grands are pretty limited. I miss the babies.
Our trips to the pool have been few and the park is missing us.

Our old dog (13) continues to get older- having "opps a poopie" about once a week.
She can barely get up without help.
Dread is moving into my life.
We do not hang on to our dogs, submitting them to treatments while they are in pain.
As mean as it sounds as I write it down.

School shopping has begun.
My grandson will reenter public school this year
and his school turned over almost every intermediate teacher.
School shopping for me included a cool set of things for the teachers.
What a blast!

What are you doing with your summer? One more month!