Mom's Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bolivia, coming or going?

Just read Miguel's couple of posts - lately his posts about Bolivian politics are making me nervous since it's less than 10 days away from my trip. He mentions stats on how many Bolivians are already out of the country and how many desire to leave. And we are thinking of returning? However, those statistics were somewhat the same back in the 70's. In fact your dad had told me that leaving his country was one thing he did NOT want to do. His feelings were that so many keen young and educated minds were leaving the country in search of any menial work just to get into the States. Many of his friends and acquaintances had done just that - smuggled themselves into the USA. It's the fresh keen minds that Bolivia needs, he told me. Besides, why sacrifice to study a professions if you are not going to practice it?
So isn't it ironic that we are now here and even considering a return, if only for short periods of time.
I went shopping today for some family gifts to take along. Always a puzzle of what to take and what size the children are now. Today I gathered such an odd assortment of things that I think the cashier was curious. Of course, everything was on sale - my one rule for shopping. Now how to fit a decorative jar of pickled peppers, wrought iron candle holders, three purses among other things into the suitcase.
I'm still working on grading all those projects, but will plow through a pile each night. End of the year - either kids are doing a fantastic job on them becuase their grade and their summer freedom (who wants to be grounded for bad grades?) depend on this one big grade, or kids have decided that they could care less and throw some lines on paper thinking that maybe I won't wade throught all of it to catch their ridiculous errors. Some have literally thrown their grades away - another reason I'm glad I'm heading out of town and won't be here when parents get the report cards and think I may need to 'explain' as our overly zealous parents sometimes do.
Well, the pile is waiting, can't procrastinate much longer.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

tending the garden

Memorial Day weekend. Ah, a three-day weekend replete with about 130 major projects to grade in order to keep ahead of schedule to finish the school year! I brought it all home plus a class magazine we have to have ready for the printer on Tuesday, but the sun and the yard are too inviting. I spent most of Saturday tending my flowers (had planted quite a few a couple of weeks ago) and getting the deck ready to use. All summer I enjoy sitting out on the deck swing or tending to the flowers I plant. Though my green thumb pales to most gardeners, I don't care. Each year I try some new flowers here and there, but have my best luck with hardy impatience, petunias, and geraniums. Not necesarily exotic, but certainly pleasant to the eye.
Parts of the garden and yard are not in the best shape this year due to the fact that with the visit of Daniel's parents, and the hospitalization and death of his dad, very little attention was paid to the outside. We also have some bushes that have been damaged from the heavy weight of snow storms during the last couple of years and we are thinking that they are beyond recuperation and may need to be yanked out.
This reminds we so much of some scripture I have been reading and re-reading lately. Jesus spoke to his disciples often using nature as the basis for his teachings. In John 15 he talked about our relationship to Him as that of parts of a vineyard. Just as in my yard, neglect and distrubing storms can wreck havoc, so it is in our lives unless we are firmly bonded with the vine that supplies our life support.
In looking over that passage there are several 'if's' that are used that we dare not neglect. So often we take our faith or God for granted. But if the garden that is our life is to flourish and be pleasant to the eye it must be tended with great care. We all want to be successful and most of us want to think of ourselves on 'God's side.' However, this scripture passage, makes it clear that there are some precise conditions.
IF a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.
IF anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers.
IF you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
IF you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. (How's that for conditional love?)
IF you do what I command, you are my friends.
I'm about to yank out a couple of bushes, and I hate to do that, but they are distracting from the beauty of the yard. Yanking them out they'll wither and die. But if they serve no positive purpose? How does God see me in the 'garden' of his children? Do I add beauty to the garden? Not if my roots are not firmly grounded can I hope to grow or develop into the healthy Christian I should be. I'll keep working on my outside garden and my internal one.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

no introductions needed

Well, I read everyone's comments. I don't need to introudce myself. Glad that was decided for me. I laid awake for hours trying to come up with 56 words about myself. I made lists - I could have 14 words each in 4 columns. 14 nouns, verbs, adjectives........Or a paragprah of exactly 56 words. So I lost a lot of sleep over that one!
Sam commented about his not getting a writing gene. You are a great writer; your sense of humor makes your writing. I'm not that great of a writer nor that intelligent. They say the more intelligent the writer is the more metphors and similes they can use. That's not me. I can recognize a great simile but can't think of them myself very often.
Today was an unusual Sunday in that your Dad and I didn't go to church. We seldom miss, but for some reason we were both tired. Yesterday I dragged him to a wedding and reception and so we didn't get much done at home. And so we thought we'd get some things done today and have a chance to sleep inand just enjoy each other's company. But it was rainy. So we just stayed home all day. We also had Valerie and she decided to wake up early and so I got up and rocked her for about an hour.
I've been struggling with guilt trips or anxiety I get often over my teaching. I feel quite unsettled about continuing. I am more and more just getting through the days and wishing the year was over. The students I have this year are not very 'exceptional', in fact I think they lack motication and imagination compared to other students and I'm just not connecting with them very well. Yet, the harder I work, the more of my personal time it takes and I have come to realize I don't want my teaching to be my whole life. I think I've lost touch with many people and activities because of being tied down with school work. Yet I do know many good teachers who don't have that problem. So give me some suggestions! I often feel my mind racing with things I'd like to do, ideas, interests. It's all like the puddle of socks I often have beside my bed. I just need to bend over, pick them up and sort them. It seems so simple. In the past I have experienced that when there is something different I should be doing with my life, God makes it very clear to me and a door opens. I gather I'm in one of those 'waiting' modes. Trying to sense if there is something else I should be doing. I'm not sure if I should be knocking on some doors. I do know that we are to do the very best in any given situation and that if we have faith and do our best, God will show us the next step. Trust in the Lord with all your heart - lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge him and HE WILL direct your paths. So I'm listening to hearand right now the clock strikes 11:00 and I know I can't teach well if I don't get to bed. Goodnight

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The attempt once again

Blogging is what most of my family does well. Actually I see them writing creative, engaging posts that make me smile at the end of a day, or perhaps make me worry as mom's tend to do too much.
But how does a 56 year old start to blog? Do I need to tell everyone who I am as if after 56 years I can in 50 words or less or in 4 terrifically engaging sentences (as I tell my students they should be able to do) grasp some reader's attention without boring or surprising those who think they know me the best. But writing is a means of exploring ideas and right now I have some ideas and questions about my own life and its direction, so maybe this blogging won't be so much about telling others as it may be an opportunity to think through and try to put in black and white letters what may be the hazy gray of a sudden fog at dusk that is certainly unsettling and clamors for clarity or at least enough light so I don't drive off the road.
I've journaled at many different times of my life. Prayers, poems, letters written mostly about the tough times. Tucked awayin my night stand,there are various notebooks with pages stained with tears, some spilled the day the words were written, some spilled when I go back as I do often and look at some of the hard spots in my life. I usually sing when I'm happy - yes, you guys know that I harmonize loudly to whatever is on the radio. But those are my happy times. I tend to write when I'm sad. So THAT has got to change.
Maybe I should start with 56 words that help define me, one for each year. But that'll have to wait until my next post. I started this too late and bedtime is calling me.
So if you're not one of my four children (all grown and on their own) , you've stumbled on the ramblings of a member of the AARP, a teacher and.... more to come next time.
OOPS - now that I've posted this, how do I send it????Sam where are you?

The attempt at defining me

Saturday, May 14, 2005

first post

Well, I've finally joined the family, blogging the thoughts and events of my life. I'm off to a baby shower, Sam is home - he's the one who set this up for me - and with my parents just arriving we're off to welcome a family baby.