Friday, May 28, 2010

The Light

At the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter. 
School is almost out!!!
 One more week and we can call it quits for another year. 
Summer is the BEST time of year for me. 
I love the heat, I love the Sun, I love the freedom summer brings. 
Most of all I love the time I have by being off work for a while. 
Teachers need summer to re-charge and re-fresh. I know I do.
While I will miss the students and the routine, I'll make up for it doing things I choose to do. 
So here's to you Summer  and may we have lots of Light!! 

Parker and friends many summers ago! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Am Happy and Nice

I like Jason Mraz's music, but mostly his attitude. He is so positive. 

 Why is it easier to affirm “something’s wrong” than to say “everything’s great?”
Isn’t it strange for us to say, “I’m lazy. I’m fat. I’m no good,” thereby creating our life experience to be one that is late, tired, and worthless. Leave it to our egos to keep us in that small game and hold us back. If you haven’t started yet, I invite you take on affirmations that brighten your day. Create a bigger life for yourself simple by saying things like, “I am tireless, perfect being. I have access to everything and I am complete.”(taken from his FB notes) 

The hardest part about my days when I have to work is when I'm fighting off a headache. I tell myself, OK it's survival just get through the day and I do. But lately I've been telling myself. Smile. Have fun~ headache or not. Absorb the day. Soak it in. It's so hard to make my frown become a smile. It really does take a lot more energy. But I think it pays off. My students who left my academy class had to pick their favorite academy teacher and say why they were their favorite. As I collected the forms for the administrator  I peeked at what they wrote, and one kid wrote. Mrs. Gloden is my favorite because she is always happy and nice. I thought to myself. I'm not always happy nor am I nice. However, I try to be to them.  And the more I try to feel, really feel happy, the more I become it. 
 It then radiates from me and the nicer I am :) 
 My little happy place. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rowena, Texas 1970


Going to Grandma’s House

Rowena, Texas 1970

I’m eight years old and
Eight hours seems an eternity.
West Texas heat is relentless
And hair misbehaves in the gusts of heatwind.
A typical midsummer and we
Head to Rowena.
Kinfolk Family Relatives  Home 
Grandma’s house is special.
I hope nothing has changed in Rowena.

Green station wagon loaded.
Baby and baggage in the back
Three cramped kids in the middle.
Me on the hump wondering what to do with my feet.
Eight hours between us. 
Dad never gets bored,
Just lights another cigarette….
Sips coffee.
Mom looks happy going home.
They talk.
Seems like everyone but me sleeps.
I am too excited…
I wait and wait and wait.
Now I see Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church
Poking up over the horizon.
Whoever sees the steeple first wins the game.
So I shout, “I see Rowena!” and
Kids stir awake. Smiles appear.
Nothing changes going to Rowena.

Soon we exit -
Cross the tracks and go
Past the tall water tower,
White-gray clad houses line the street,
Schuhmann’s Hardware on the left
Next to the First National Bank of Rowena, Texas.
Post Office on the right,
Down First Street we go… passing memories as we
Pull into the long caliche driveway,
Nothing has changed in Rowena.

I get out of the car… stretch…and look…
White washed shed shelters 1957 BelAir
Pomegranate bush…heavy.
Gray rainwater cistern…
Backyard hen pen…
Daylilies. Roses. Pyracanthas. The eloquent  Mimosa Tree.
Tall Crepe Myrtle next to the spidery cellar.
Fenceless grass grows aimlessly amid
Tall Evergreens.
Rusted push mower still graces the forgotten garden.
The path of rain-washed stones leading to the washhouse
 Is barely visible in the wild and free grass.  
All still there. All the same.
Doesn’t anything change In Rowena?

Grandpa’s sittin on the screened back porch
Smoking his sweet scented pipe.
His cedar cane is hooked
On his chair arm.
 His brown leather slippers so clean and shiny -
 Sweet Schlitz Beer breath, whiskery kiss.
Makes your eyes water. 
Grandma’s tight cream curls,
Faded perma- pressed dress,
Starched embroidered apron,
Black leather slippers scuffed and used.
Squeezes you so tight and warm
The scent of Roses Roses lingers on my cheek.
Rowena never changes. 

I hop up on the red tall chair
And look at the familiar scene:
 Two fresh loaves of homemade molasses bread,
Next to the German chocolate cake,
Fresh orange juice, not Tang,
July Eggnog, jug of tea and percolated coffee.
Roast, carrots and potatoes in the oven.
Green beans on the table begging to be snapped.
This…in the yellow kitchen where I watch
Grandma work her magic.
Thank goodness nothing changes in Rowena.

 In the morning we will go to Aunt Frieda’s
Rainy-day cloudy colored house and gather her.
Then we will go to Bill and Annie’s farm.
Dad will drive 25 miles an hour so we can
See the rows and rows and rows of cotton.
He will talk about things of the past,
Of the crops, of the soil and of
Childhood memories
Which I don’t understand.
We pass the cemetery
With the soaring evergreen giants.
Where generations of husbands and wives …..and memories are buried.
Time stands still in Rowena.

The adventure of Bill and Annie’s farm
Never changes.
We all visit and examine the cotton on
 Uncle Bill’s farm.
Another bad year according to him.
Has he ever had a good year?
We pay homage to the dog graves and
Remember sweet Amber.
We explore the forgotten rooms of the old farm house,
Childless, dank and dark.
And dare each other to go in the cellar.
We run from wasps and chase some cows.
I find the box on the top shelf filled with paper dolls.
Aunt Annie smiles.
 Soon everyone will pile in cars.
Uncle Bill will drive slower than Dad.
Eternally we go through more rows of country.
We eat steak fingers and onion rings at Lowake Inn
And drink iced cold Dr. Pepper out of a bottle.
I hope nothing ever changes in Rowena.

It’s been a long time since 1982, when the last of the
 Rowena kinfolk passed away.
“Once one went, they all went.” Mom sighs.
It’s now 2002 and Grandma’s house
Has been remodeled, the calichie roads
Are paved. Her yard - pristine.
Schuhman’s Hardware is now
A convenience store.  Uncle Bill’s farmhouse
Needs to be torn down and the cellar taken out.
Then more land could be farmed.
But… when I need to get away
From these responsible years,
 I just close my eyes
And remember a simpler time when ….
Nothing changed in Rowena. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My New Walking Partner

I'm finally walking.
I found a great new walking buddy.
 He also has the perk of being cute and full of personality.
We go and go and he never complains that I'm walking too fast or too slow even though I know secretly he'd like to go faster.
He is such a good sport.
He also is a great motivator and will never let me try and beg out of going.
 He makes sure I keep my end of the bargain. 
Thanks Jack!!! 
For keeping me walking which I so very much need. 
Never mind about the two bedspreads, flip flops, two reading glasses, 10 magazines, basketball shoes, rugs, socks, stains, and miscellaneous other articles you've managed to chew up. 
I know you are a good guy and I think I'll keep you around a bit. 
Who knew you'd be such a good dog after all!!