Time Traveling

sol#SOL18 Day 11                                                 the spinners

 

Feelings that come back are feelings that never went away. ~ Anonymous

I am celebrating the big 6-0 in October.  I can’t believe it! Well these days I can believe it because my body is always coming up with a new ache, or pain, or aliment to entertain me.  Sometimes I walk into a room and I forget why. If someone interrupts me mid-thought, that thought could be lost forever or until I remember it at a much later – totally unrelated time.

But tonight I was a time traveler.  As I sat in the audience and the Spinners took the stage I was transported back to the 1970s.  I was in high school again – reliving when I first met Chuck at age 15. I don’t think I can remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I could sing along with some of my favorite oldies almost word for word.

Could It Be I’m Falling in Love

I’ll Be Around

Cupid

It’s a Shame

Rubberband Man

One of a Kind (Love Affair)

There is only one original Spinner still remaining. Henry Fambrough is 80 years old and moving much better than me I might add.  The Motown swag and style remains. The choreographed moves and the soulful harmonies brought me back to a time when life was uncomplicated.  When falling in love was simple and staying in love was expected.

For an hour and 15 minutes I tapped, and clapped, and sang along.  I almost completely forgot about my aches and pains. You see – inside this almost 60 year old body lives the heart and soul of a teenage girl.

Thank You, Colleagues

sol#SOL18 Day 10

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be grateful. ~ Quotereel.com

Dear Colleagues,

I love teaching.  I love teaching 7th grade ELA and Religion.  I love Middle School. I love teaching at OLM.

Each and every one of you is part of the reason why I love all of these things. Teaching is a challenging profession as each of you know.  We all have our good days and our “not so good” days. Yet even on my worst day, I cannot imagine doing anything else or being anywhere else than right where I am.  

This year has brought me several challenges as you know.  They were pretty big challenges and they had the potential of knocking me to the mat and being counted out.  Yet I am still standing because each of you has helped me in some way great or small.

So, thank you.

  • For taking my duty on days I was in pain
  • For picking up my students in the cafeteria so I don’t have to do the three flights of stairs
  • For covering my classes when I had to go to a doctor’s appointment
  • For the generous financial gift that helped to tide us over while Chuck was recovering from his heart surgery
  • For offering to carry my bags
  • For giving me a shoulder to cry on when the pain is so bad I can’t hold back the tears
  • For giving words of encouragement
  • For asking how I am feeling or how Chuck is doing
  • For sharing in my joys
  • For keeping me in your prayers
  • For the professional conversation revolving around students and strategies
  • For your advice when I ask for it (and when I don’t)
  • For bringing me lunch
  • For listening
  • For smiles
  • For all the other countless gifts you have given me

Some of you I have known for many, many years.  Some of you for only a short time. I feel like I have known you all for a lifetime.  You are open and caring, kind and compassionate, selfless and merciful. I am honored to call you colleagues.  I am blessed to call you friends.

**Those of you who read my blog, please share with others in the building…..

Sitting in the Silence

sol#SOL18 Day 9

To hear, one must be silent. ~ Ursula K. LeGuin

Right now I have a pressure headache.  I am sure it is sinus related due to the ever fluctuating barometric pressure here in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Although I think it could also have something to do with the fact that grades close today, and all my grades need to be in by 8:00 AM Monday morning.  I have been diligently working at finishing up my grading and chasing down students who owe me assignments. It is about this time every semester that I start to question why I assigned so many things. On the flip side, I am really enjoying reading my students’ writing and seeing the gradual improvement. They are starting to get it, and that makes teaching even a bigger joy!  All this coupled with some stressful things going on at home, my head feels like it might explode, and I have been in a state of high anxiety all day.

That being said, my goal for the weekend is to stay in the moment and enjoy some silence.  We have a busy weekend planned, but that is OK, because it is filled with things I want to do.  Tonight and Sunday night we will be attending Jazz Band competitions. My son is the music director at a local high school, and we just love to hear his band and see the results of his hard work and dedication.  Saturday night we have tickets to see The Spinners in Atlantic City. For all you youngins – they are a R & B group from the 60s and 70s who had a string of fun hits. Granted the group we are going to experience on Saturday are not the original members except for one, but they continue to entertain with that fabulous Motown sound.

So I guess you might be wondering by now where the silence comes in. I have noticed this week that there is always something “on” in my life.  Whether it be the TV (which was tuned to the weather most of this past week), the radio in my car, or Spotify wherever I am working on one of my devices, I am never without some outside “noise” swirling around my head.  

When I get home today, I will not be turning on the TV to keep me company until my husband gets home.  I will not have the TV on when I retreat to my bedroom. I will listen. I will sit in the silence and really hear and listen to the sounds that are normally obscured by my need to “fill space.”

Silence can wonderful and silence can be scary.  I’ll let you know how it is for me this weekend. Who knows, maybe I will find some new sounds to write about.

Distractions

sol#SOL18 Day 8

You can always find a distraction if you are looking for one. ~Tom Kite

 

I can become distracted so easily sometimes.  Like take this post for instance. I have been sitting at my laptop for at least 90 minutes without writing a word. So what got in the way….well let me tell you.

  1. I checked my email – all three accounts – a couple of times.
  2. I perused many other slices – convincing myself they were all better than any lame idea I was envisioning.
  3. Talked to my daughter on the phone.
  4. Checked Facebook and Twitter
  5. Tried to reset our set top box because some of the channels were not working
  6. Watched the episode of This Is Us that I luckily DVRed because I fell asleep while watching
  7. Rummaged through my Writer’s Notebook
  8. Channel surfed
  9. Tried to fix the sound on my laptop so I could be inspired by Spotify – fail!
  10. Kept going over the events of the day in my head.
  11. Thought about my weekend plans
  12. Responded to other slicers.

The list could go on.  Why am I so distracted?  Why can’t I stay in the moment? Any ideas out there?  

The Dichotomy of a Snow Day

sol #SOL18 Day 7             snow day

 

When it snows you have two choices:  shovel or make snow angels. ~ Anonymous

How can something so beautiful cause so much damage? I am home today because we have a snow day.  We are experiencing our second Nor’easter in a week and some consequences are obvious, some not so much. Snow days can either be a beauty or a beast.  What do you think?

Beauty

  • Serene and picturesque settings
  • A surprise day off from school or work
  • Pajamas – the uniform of the day
  • Snooze alarms disengaged
  • Tea time
  • Snuggling in with a good book
  • An unexpected nap
  • Sledding
  • Building snowmen
  • Helpful neighbors

Beast

  • Power outages
  • Idiot drivers
  • Automobile accidents
  • Shoveling heart attacks
  • Wet boots, hats, and gloves
  • Higher heating bills
  • Cooped up with whining toddlers
  • Cabin fever
  • Over eating
  • Usually unproductive – “To Do” lists don’t get touched

How has your snow day been going – Beauty or the Beast?  Except for a little over eating and not much of anything getting done, my day is a Beauty. My neighbors are taking care of shoveling, and we have nowhere we have to be.  

I am going to force myself to do some grading  and then grab a cup of tea and a Hallmark movie. Bingo!

If You Really Knew Me

sol #SOL18 Day 6

 

Knowing a person is like music, what attracts us to them is their melody, and as we get to know who they are we learn their lyrics. ~ HPLYRIKZ.com

If you really knew me, you would know (in no particular order)

  • Autumn is my favorite season
  • I married my high school sweetheart
  • I am afraid of birds
  • I love the smell of coffee, but cannot stand the taste
  • I was once on a whitewater canoe race team
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches and French toast are the only things I cook well (or at all)
  • I worked at a Burger King during college
  • Music education was my first degree
  • I can play the string bass
  • My nickname in HS was Ritabook (Read a book) – needs no explanation

Day Five Funk

sol #SOL18  Day 5

 

Try but don’t try too hard. Just try hard enough and things will go better. ~ Rodney Crowell

Don’t know why this is happening
All I want to do is write
Yet I have spent so much time staring at the blank page

Feeling blah
Ideas are alluding me
Very strange
Every topic seems lame

Find myself just flipping through other posts
Unable to get into a groove
Nothing seems to feel right
Keep thinking! Have to come up with a post for tomorrow!

 

 

Book Club by the Numbers

sol#SOL18

Dedicated to my fellow “Chapter Chicks” – my book club buddies!

What is the point of having a book club if you don’t get to eat brownies and drink wine? ~Jami Attenberg

 

10 woman

1 octogenarian

2 septuagenarians

2 sexagenarians

3 almost sexagenarians

2 quinquagenarians

31 children between us

33 grandchildren

1 widow

9 still married to their first husband

14 years of meetings

116 books read

4 moves to different  homes

4 authors we have met

1 girlfriend’s weekend in Avalon, NJ

14 Christmas parties complete with games and prizes

 

Endless bottles of wine

Countless laughs

A few hardships

Some tears

Many hugs and prayers

 

10 lifelong friends

 

When Push Comes to Shove

sol#SOL18

Nothing has more strength than dire necessity. ~Euripides

I learned how to do two new things this because I had to.  First, the IT person at my school was collecting iPads to do some network updating. I was scheduled to turn mine in yesterday.  I had taken off everything and backed up most things, but I had a picture dilemma. Because of the way I had set up the iPad with my Apple ID all of my personal pictures synced to this iPad as well as all my other devices.  I had talked to my son-in-law weeks ago about how to get them off my iPad, and he told me to use my Amazon Prime account (which I am totally under using!!).  He was going to show me how to do it, even though he assured me I could do it myself. As you can guess, I never did it, but boy did I learn how to do in quickly yesterday, upload over 4,000 pictures to my “unlimited” space in their cloud, and get my iPad to the IT person before the end of the day.  Whew!!

The other thing I learned was how to stop telemarketers from repeatedly calling my cell phone to tell me I can consolidate my debt, or go on a trip to the Caribbean. I just couldn’t stand it anymore! I figured out (all by myself) how to block their calls on my iPhone.  Now you may be chuckling to yourself and wondering how I am even able to use technology at school, but let me assure you, I am more tech savvy than this post makes me appear.

Can’t wait to see what I need to learn next week!

 

Unexpected Blizzard

sol#SOL18

The only real things in life is the unexpected things. Everything else is just an illusion. ~Watkin Tudor Jones

Today we were supposed to get a Nor’easter that would bring us rain and maybe a little snow.  Well, it has been crazy blinding snow since about noon.  It definitely is blizzard-like conditions.   We did not get out of school early, so even going to the parking lot was hazardous. Lucky for me my principal walked me out to my car and a  young custodian cleaned off my car.  I work with fabulous people.

The ride home was treacherous.  I am so glad to be in the house. Once I know all my family members are safe and sound in their homes I will be able to rest easy.

Since I have a bad hip, and my husband had a quadruple bypass, neither of us can shovel snow. I hope one of my neighbors takes pity on us and shovels us out.  

I am making this short and sweet since I am afraid we will lose power and I don’t want to fall off the wagon on day two.  I also want to charge up my cell phone and find the flashlights and candles.

Wishing safe travels to all on the East Coast and a great weekend to everyone else!