“I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe the best does.”      

The title of my post is a quote from L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables and it reflects my mindset going forward.

So much bad news lately – the Coronavirus and its heartbreaking consequences, the stock market plunge, and the day to day updates on new limitations within my community.  It can be difficult to stay focused and remain positive. In fact, some days it can be almost unbearable if I think too much about everything  – such as the impact it is having not only on a personal level, but in my community, our nation, and in our world.

How about you? Are you choosing to spend this time complaining, criticizing our authorities, or trembling in fear? Or are you allowing yourself to find gratitude, purpose and even some beauty during this trial? I am choosing the latter.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”  – Nelson Mandela

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This past Friday M. and I walked around Gibbs Gardens. The facility has done a wonderful job with the whole social distancing and made sure things were handled with much care and caution.  M. and I went pretty early so not many people were there plus the grounds are so vast (220 acres of gardens space) we hardly saw anyone.  Look at these beautiful tulips along the path,

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the azalea’s are just starting to bloom throughout the garden, and

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one of the peaceful streams.

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I found these lovely spots, this place, to be soothing to my soul.

No matter what your are facing right now please know I am praying for you, for our country and for our world.  Pope Francis, during his address on coronavirus and Jesus calming the storm, concluded with the following:

“Why are you afraid?  Have you no faith?”  (Mk. 4:40) “Dear brothers and sisters….I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord…May God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace.  Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort to our hearts.  You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful.  But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm.  Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt28:5).”

 

 

 

Has it Really Been 32 Years?

There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book….” Taryn Malik

This past Monday was kind of a big day for me.

My husband sat by my side as paperwork was completed, our questions were answered, and documents were signed. My official retirement date has been set for June 1st. In all honesty, it probably won’t actually hit me until July 29th when my colleagues will return and begin to prepare for another busy school year…. and I won’t ~ the first time in 32 years.

Has it really been 32 years?

During my first year of teaching, teachers at my school still wrote on a black board with chalk and we made copies of tests and worksheets on a mimeograph. (I loved the smell of those freshly printed papers.) Things changed pretty quickly and within two years we were writing on dry erase boards and using a Xerox copier to make copies. Now we teach our lessons using Clear Touch Interactive panels  which is a huge computer and very sophisticated copy machines that print from our laptop computers and who knows what else they actually do.

Has it really been 32 years?

To help me put this in perspective I looked up what was going on in the world when I first started teaching.  The nuclear power plant at the Chernobyl plant exploded and large amounts of radioactive materials and fuel were released a few months before the school year started. Big hair, shoulder pads and high-waisted pants were in fashion. The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers were popular TV shows. One of my top 10 favorite songs, “Livin’ on a Prayer” … Bon Jovi was released. The average cost of a new house was $89,430 – $92,000, a U.S. postage stamp was 24 cents and the average gallon of gasoline was 89 cents. Halley’s Comet made an appearance and Ronald Reagan was president.fullsizeoutput_2ee4Wow…Where did the time go? Where are all these kiddo’s today?  I clearly remember what a sweet bunch they were and I pray they are all living happy lives. Did I really look in the mirror that morning and like the way my hair looked? This photo was taken in the early 1990’s since I can’t locate photos from the earlier days.  But I am looking!

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The countdown is on ~ 117 days already checked off and only 63 actual school days remaining with the students ~ and yes, with a big smile I am ready to turn the page!

“Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has an Internal Monologue” (Ryan Langdon)

A friend of mine shared this article on Facebook and I was so intrigued I looked it up on the internet and thought I would share it.  “Today I learned that not everyone has an Internal Monologue and it has ruined my day.”  – Ryan Langdon

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The article talks about how some people have an internal narrative and some don’t. Some can hear their voice in their heads as if they were speaking out loud in full sentences. Others describe it as literally seeing the words in their heads or “concept maps”.  Another said if they looked at themselves in the mirror and tried to have a conversation with themselves without talking they would have to wind up talking out loud to themselves because they physically could not do it inside their minds.

I hear internal narratives in my head, yet the friend who shared this on Facebook does not.

For example, whenever I read a story I hear myself saying the words in my head and simultaneously envision the story as it is happening in my head as if I am watching it on TV.  As I type this post I hear myself saying the words, but I am not making a sound.  At any time of the day I hear myself thinking of all kinds of things such as a chore I want to complete when I get home or giving myself a pep talk if I have a rough day with some of the kiddos in my class.  Everything is visually played out as I am talking it over in my head.  I also absolutely talk out loud to myself on occasion, such as saying things like “unbelievable” when I hear something absurd on TV or when I am trying to sort something out.  But I can carry on a conversation in my head like no tomorrow.

My friend, however said, “I see things like in video clips, it is silent in my head.”  She also said that when she types she “thinks of the words she is typing and type them….not as a voice but from a concept or thought.”  As far as a grocery list she doesn’t hear the list being narrated in her head as she writes the items down ~ she “only sees the word or the actual item on the list.”  This is confusing to me and I can’t quite understand what she is trying to explain.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to have silence in my head.

If you read the article, what I am trying to explain may make more sense.

This is particularly interesting to me as a teacher.  To help teach comprehension I often suggest the children try to hear or listen to what they are saying as they read silently and even try to see the characters and the settings in their minds.  Most of them have always told me this is what they do and a very small percentage look at me like I have lost my mind.  When they tell me they don’t do this, I always try to encourage them to give this a try.  Now I am realizing maybe they just can’t?

Do you have an internal monologue?

Sunday Stills – Old things and stories

Sunday Stills – Old  – If you click on this link you will see what other bloggers have posted.  Click on this link to see the Calendar of upcoming photo challenges

After looking at some other photos bloggers submitted I decided to share a few things I own that are old and a little unique.

The first item is an old spelling book which is not in very good shape.  It has a copyright of 1883 and belonged to someone in my mom’s family.  The pages inside are yellowed with age and fragile, but you can read everything printed.  It is fascinating to see how different textbooks were back then and I am personally glad I was not a student back in those days.

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The next item is one of the first credit cards to purchase items at the former Rich’s department store in Atlanta, GA.  The store was a family owned business and operated from 1867 – 2005 when it was bought by Federated Department Stores, Inc. and was renamed Macys.  The card belonged to my grandmother.

The last item is an ordinary bow with an (I think) extraordinary story!

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My grandparents were married in 1894 and I especially love the story of how they met.  I don’t know many details, but here is what I do know.  They both attended an event in town where the young women would prepare a picnic lunch and place a bow (see above) in front of the prepared lunch. The young men would later walk around and look at all of the lunches. They would pick up the bow of the lunch they liked the best. The young men would then walk around and find the young lady with the apron that matched the bow and that is who they would eat lunch with.  So that is how my grandparents met.  She was 17 and he was 20. They were happily married for 53 years!