A Quiet Day

Most of my days are quiet. With just Dale and I together, we live a pretty sedate life. We enjoy it and relish our time together.

Today, Dale was gone and my thoughts wandered back to other times when I would have a day just for myself. I was a stay at home Mom for most of my life. I started back to work when our youngest started school. I worked part time so that I could be with my girls and they could have a schedule. It worked for us.

Before our girls were born, I usually had every other day off for the most part. I worked days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and evenings on Thursday, Friday and once a month on Saturday. During those days off I would wander down to the villages we lived near in Japan. I would browse the shops and enjoy our surroundings. Stopping at the fruit and vegetable market, I would buy our produce and head home, either by bus or just walking. They were peaceful days and I loved the experience of living overseas.

When the girls came along, quiet days were very rare, although occasionally we would hit on one. Times spent at a park or at the beach didn’t feel quiet, but in retrospect they were wonderful memory filled times.

I stopped working full time when Dale finished college after his military retirement. His job required him to travel and I once more had quiet days to myself.

I enjoy quiet times and once we both officially retired, time together was what we have shared. I do confess, though, there are times when I ask when the next deployment is going to be. Those comments are met with laughter and I think only about the closets I would like to clean out and have things ‘disappear’.

That is what I have found. Retirement is a wonderful time, but, as a housewife purging unnecessary things is difficult. Also, just watching mindless movies that are predictable isn’t common. I find myself being cognizant of what I watch, what I snack on, what I do.

Today, though, was a throw-back quiet day. A day to myself. It has been relaxing. I haven’t really accomplished anything. I have sat back and absorbed the quiet. I have eaten brownies. The closets are still cluttered, the floors still need vacuumed, the ironing is still waiting, wrinkled, but I am almost relaxed. The dinner hour is approaching and I am drawing a blank, but I know I will bring something together.

For now, the quiet of the house has given me a respite. It has been nice. I have needed a quiet day.

Back to School

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

School started back this morning here in the upstate. My facebook page is filled with first day of school photos of kids either very excited or the middle school and high school kids with sleepy expressions and that first day of school look. I smile with each picture I see, as I remember the feeling of the first day of school and I think of my daughter’s first day of school each year.

It is the feeling on mornings like this that the school year looms ominously ahead. Going back to having to wake up early, starting a schedule again, and the uncertainty of what the year holds. To me, it is a reminder of when to plan my shopping trips so that I don’t end up behind school buses making the thirty minute trip to town more like forty-five minutes.

My Little Man started his school year last week. He is homeschooled, and in the fifth grade. I know his fifth grade teacher is much better than my own. Of course, I also know my youngest is an excellent teacher. Little Miss starts early September. She will head into second grade.

This fall, my younger sister will realize she is a retired teacher. She retired in June, but, like every year previous, she had the summer off. She is now realizing that there are no lesson plans to get ready, no classroom to prepare, that school is out forever. In years past, she said school was a word off limits for the month of July and August. I remember hearing that and still I smile. I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy for her this year. She touched so many lives which in turn will reach future generations. I admire her.

So, as I think of this new school year, all bright and shiny with new pens, pencils and crayons that have points I pray for each teacher, student, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and staff that helps everyone run. May this be a year of joy. A year of learning, not only head knowledge, but heart knowledge. May there be peace and safety on the school grounds and on the bus runs. May our Lord bless those who touch our precious ones with learning.

An Example

“Point your kids in the right direction-when they’re old they won’t be lost.” Proverbs 22:6 the message

My younger sister retired this week. She was a teacher for the greater part of her life. Honestly she has always been a teacher. Teachers are born. There is an innate gifting within teachers that are with them from the time they can talk I believe. I’ve always admired the profession my sister chose and she was good at it.

I was a teacher’s aide for a year and I loved each part of it. At the beginning of the year I considered going back to school so that I could become a teacher. The teacher I work with asked me to give a spelling test and I gladly obliged. But I found that the mom in me was much stronger than the teacher in me. I basically mouthed each letter of each word in the spelling test. None of the students got any of the answers wrong. It was then that I realized I was not a teacher.

Teaching is a gift. As parents we do teach our children. We teach them how to eat, how to walk, how to speak. We reinforce what they learn in schools. But there are those who are chosen to be teachers and I have known a few. I admire them and respect them, especially my younger sister. She has taught many many students over the years. Some she taught for two years as she taught a younger grade and then years later moved to an older grade and had the same round of students. She has touched lives in ways that they will always remember. How often do we think back to our own teachers? I had favorite teachers and I had some teachers that really scared me. The students, the people who the grown ups now who had my sister will fondly remember her. I don’t question that. She instilled in them a truth, faith, and the things that are taught from books. She also, I know, taught them several things that are never found in books. These are the things that these people were carry on in their lives. This will be what they teach their children. She will have inspired a generation. I stand in awe of what she has accomplished with her life.

So, congratulations to my sister. Enjoy your retirement I know now that it is summer and it is like every other year you finish school. Wait until August and September though and there’ll be no more Monday mornings that you have to scramble to get out the door. Have fun in this new adventure.