Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

summer’s ending and things left unfinished

August 10, 2014

This summer is ending. Though I’m enjoying my last few days of *not working*, being a teacher, I am starting to think “classes” and preparation. So much for not having to set an alarm. It’s been great.

My summers off tell me that if I win the lottery, I will DEFINITELY quit my job. I am so busy in summer, while not working, that I go back to work to rest. Without having to worry about the cost of gas, I would drive– no, fly– all over the place to see places I’ve never been & be at each of my grandkids’ birthdays as they occur. I wouldn’t gain any weight because I could actually afford to join a gym and have a personal trainer. Wouldn’t that be the life. I would have my own personal swimming pool and swim laps without anyone else invading my space or peeing in the pool water.

My grandson & I have still never gone panning for gold. That’s been a goal for 2 years now. I never quite have the additional money for a trip north to North Carolina, where the best places are. We made it to the zoo, which left me broke for a week. The Columbia zoo is WAY expensive! Ridiculous. You almost have to win the lottery to get into the zoo, let alone climb the climbing wall, go to the top of the big climbing tower, buy a drink and snacks, all of which cost extra, and the new ZIP LINE?? Forget it. It takes 4-6 hours of your day and $45.00 per person. Sorry, ain’t happenin’.

I never had time to work again on family history this summer. Maybe I would have resolved the mystery of my ancestors who left absolutely NO trail I can find as to their parents and who the hell immigrated from Scotland. It is dang irritating. Did someone get adopted? Where did they come from to arrive in Cincinnati Ohio in the 1840s?? Darned if I know. And where are my husband’s ancestors buried– the one who immigrated from Ireland, married his great grandmother for his 2nd marriage who is said to have been Indian? Can’t find a gravesite for either of them. They just disappeared, and died within 4-5 years of one another. We even did the big family *DNA TEST* which led to: NOWHERE. Nothing worth noting, nothing that solved any mysteries.

So, family vacation over, grandson’s visit from 5 states away over, trips to the north & back– over, children’s class with 40 kids for the summer– over. I’m enjoying a few days of quiet before the chaos sets in! I even have a new job to begin. And we’re flat broke this week, awaiting next payday which contains overtime and extra summer pay. Until then, I’m watching where I drive so I have enough to get here & there until Fri. payday, & planning out our meals so we’re not having eggs & oatmeal for dinner on Thurs night. Lord help us.


Sunday morning

May 19, 2013

Sunday morning

A girl walks her bike around the pond,

She wears bright pink stockings,

a dress of key lime green,

and daydreams,

Our teenage neighbor

turns up the volume on the stereo,

his parents, baby sister, away at church.

Earlier, just outside our gate, a small boy asked him

how to catch a fish,

Sky darkens,

Clouds hang heavy and low,

Silence comes to the pond,

now the color of alligators.


May 15, 2013

Today I paid my bills. This is meaningful activity to me, and gives me great joy. It is my dearest wish to pay off our debts, to live well, to be trustworthy, to be wise with money. This is truly a life goal and we have a lifetime of struggle to prove it. Some have it easier than others. Our road has not been easy.

Most of the world lives in what we would call abject poverty. This is a distressing structure of current society and must eventually change. How most of the world can be denied access to resources to allow them to develop to their full potential is beyond me. Most people are not even aware of this situation. This is because we live in a manner that allows us to be blind to the great suffering of others. Is it our fault? No, but is it theirs? We were not put upon this earth in order to hoard its luxuries. We were put here to learn to serve one another, to accompany one another on this journey. We are social creatures, we do not survive alone. We need the company of others.

No, we will never all be the same, nor will we ever share and share alike. There is something about being human that wants to strive. To each is given talents & skills & our task is to discover our own. Those that work harder should be rewarded. But that is not how society works. Those that work the hardest, day in and day out, are barely surviving. Their reward is possible survival to the next day. Those born with money who don’t work at all— live a life of luxury. The truth is, most of the wealth of the world is held by a tiny percentage of the earth’s peoples. Not because of their own merit or their working hard, but just because they were born into it. All I’m saying is, we can do better than this. Everyone has a right to an education, a right to opportunity, and most of the world doesn’t see that in a lifetime.

Meanwhile, I paid my bills. I checked off those amounts on my payday budget and feel happy and accomplished. When you have lived through times in your life when you could not do JUST THAT, it feels incredible to just be able to pay them. I pray for good health enough over the next 20 years to make a huge debt go away, and leave something to my children. Inshallah.

As the sun sets behind the horizon, I will take a late walk around the pond.


so peaceful

May 14, 2013

So peaceful, another day goes by, bright sunshine all around but cool (about 70 degrees). Turtles in large numbers now congregate on the pond, telling each other about their day. They jump or “run” (slowly crawl) away from me as I walk by. One thing I love about this pond is the mistrust of all the animals on it, of humans. This means they are still “wild” life, untamed. They live as they live and do not interact with humans. The duck population has grown rapidly, as the Neighborhood Association decided it would be a good idea to place a floating “duck house” on the water…. I don’t mind a few ducks, but now one mamma has 10 ducklings that follow her. How many do we want?? There is one larger pair of snow white ducks, no babies yet. There is the one polygamist with his two females that swim around the pond, and I SUSPECT that he fathered the other 10. Shameful!

The exception to the above “wild” life is the pair of geese, who unfortunately are being fed by the idiot down the road– the same one with a trail of cats & dogs that follow her into her house and back out again. She throws pellets to the geese, who cover the walking path now with their excrement, and said lady doesn’t seem too inclined to clean it off, since she lured them there. The geese they could do away with and I wouldn’t complain a bit. They are disgusting. Besides that, they are likely to come up to you as you walk by, now expecting a hand out, and one of them actually bumped me in the leg! They scare me and I don’t enjoy walking past them. I’m sure if I were 3 years old, I would be completely terrified.

Got my 1 hour of sun and have been since sitting inside monitoring an online discussion and lazily watching the day pass by. Very peaceful. My left knee has decided to develop a problem, so I can’t walk. I manage to hobble around the pond once a day & go to the doctor next week.

It is relaxing to be out of class. I’m sure in 3 months I will be ready for it again, but right now relieved to not have to be up on all the latest depressing news, ready to lead discussion on the latest political arguments. Most of our politicians are showing their blatant greed and hatefulness and their absolute inability to come together to resolve any one issue. I believe change has to come from the people, from Ground Zero, from collective will. Nothing is coming down the pike from the folks at the top.

Summer has arrived

May 13, 2013

Somehow with today, Monday and not working, summer has arrived. It is the middle of May. Grades were posted over a week ago, Graduation was 9 days ago, Assessment of student accomplishment has been documented, and I have started cleaning out e-mail. Today, sitting in the glorious sun and watching life on the pond, I felt summer had arrived.

Wearing shorts for the first time in a year, I sat on the back porch and read Chapter 1 of Elijah Anderson’s newest book, “The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and civility in everyday life.” He took me back to inner city Philadelphia, walking along the Schuylkill river, hearing 4-5 languages on the streets of a city of millions of people, public parks where people sit for hours playing chess and kids go by on skateboards, coffee houses and foods from many international lands. Sometimes I miss the city.

I watch as a boy who looks no more than 4 comes to the pond, walks all the way around it and then, in an effort not to yet leave, sits in the grass and tries to catch perhaps a frog. He then continues on but stops one more time in grass further up, making contact and communicating silently with a Mother Duck & her 10 ducklings who then enter the water and swim away from him. He reluctantly climbs back over the rope and onto the not-busy street, making his way toward home.

Workers, now invisible to the street, pound continuous electronically-powered nails into wood, working on completing the inside of a house erected in the past 2 weeks from a vacant lot.

School lets out and the neighborhood golf carts glide up & down the street, filled to the brim with neighborhood children, giving them a quick and safe ride home. One of them drives around the pond, the young woman driver stopping to remark about a cat up a tree. Ferile cats are the norm in South Carolina. They run wild, hunting birds, fish and other small wildlife in the woodsy areas.

Shadows creep over me and I decide one chapter a day is enough, going back inside to finish laundry and clear out e-mails. Summer has arrived.