How lucky was I to get a phone call from a friend of mine…. such a globe trotter…who was in town. She came over and we had a 3-4 hour visit where I don’t think we took a breath.
So much to share. She had been a mentor and colleague of mine at the community college where we both spent many many hours at work and at home trying to make a difference in our students’ academic lives.
My friend, Lucy, has never retired. I don’t think one day or hour goes by without her coming up with a new plan to make the academic lives of students EVERYWHERE more successful. She hosts a study website. She travels around the country giving workshops or presentations to instructors. Add to that, she supports her friends across the country and visits family in Australia.
She continues to inspire me with her passion for learning and teaching others to make learning a part of their lifestyle.
Such a great visit. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Happy trails.
While I’m not a big celebrity watcher, I do enjoy a morning talk show “The View” where a small table to women discuss daily news. The one exception is that if I am star struck with anyone one the show, it is most definitely the most magnificent Whoopi Goldberg.
“The View” group often have guests that are usually there hawking their latest movie or book. Last week is was Caitlyn Jenner, arguably the most famous transgender woman in the US. She was talking about her new book.
Not being a huge fan and NOT keeping up with the reality train-wrecks on television (I do not keep up with the Kardashians.) I was half listening until I heard these two words “Graceland” and “Iowa.”
I came back into the room, backed up the DVR and listened. Before she was the famous Caitlyn….even before she was the famous Bruce Jenner- Olympic medal winner, Jenner attended a tiny college in Iowa, called Graceland.
My Graceland. That’s where I attended my first two years of college before transferring to the University of Kansas. Jenner? Olympic winner? Graceland?
I hit google and sure enough, Jenner received a scholarship to football at Graceland. I pulled out my Acacia yearbooks and his name was in the back of both my freshman and sophmore books. He stayed in a dorm named “Faunce.” I checked the pictures…..nothing. Either book. Hummmm. He was an upperclassman and I don’t remember him. But he did attend…. I checked all the yearbook snaps and BINGO! There he was on page 140 (pictured above).
Small world, indeed. The people you rub shoulders along the way….who knows their journey. Those in the stands cheering on the relay race. Did they know they were cheering on a future Olympian? Reality TV figure? Transgender Woman?
The world is a pretty interesting place, indeed.
I got such a feeling of “home” when we check into our room at the Sandcastle in Lincoln City, Oregon. The curtains are pulled back and I am once again in love with the ocean.
Friday was all sunshine and white wispy clouds. The ocean was jewel colored and slow moving. We got to town early and visited family having a reunion on the north side of town, high on a hill with a breathtaking view. We got a tour of the house, chatted a while, and then hugs all ’round before heading to the next adventure.
On PBS, we learned of a art community nearby. It was a lovely day for a drive, so we took off outside Otis and wound our way to the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. This lovely plot of land has a cluster of studios where people come to do workshops or residencies in a variety of mediums. Robert and I enjoyed walking the grounds and chatting with a couple of the folks there.
Returning to the ocean we enjoyed the afternoon watching beachcombers and kite fliers, more than last month. As the sun started setting, I marveled at how often the sky changed and how the ocean responded in its reflection.
Saturday and Sunday showed us a different side to the coast. The rains came and the wind blew so hard mist rose from the whitecaps. As much as the I love the ocean, this month I paid attention to the sky. To say the coast was cloudy or gray would be oversimplification.
There were 100 shades of gray, clouds moving fast and slow. Instead of deep blue, the ocean was the same gray as the sky. Were it not for the sandy beach, I would swear I was watching an old black and white movie. Stripped of color, the sky and ocean came alive with movement.
Our April visit was the same and different as the visits before. The ocean, rain or shine, is ever faithful as a charger for my spiritual battery. On the way out of town the traffic was noticeably heavier. Ah….so this is what April traffic looks like in Lincoln City. The quiet season is over. Now the town begins to come alive.
Worth every minute.
P.S. I was comforted to spot “our” seal again this month.
I remember a time when I could juggle countless activities with the agility of a pro. No matter how (or from where) the wind blew, I could face the new challenge.
The harder the wind would whip the weather vane, the more creative I became.
Over time the wind stilled and the weather vane stopped its movement.
That’s what I thought at first. But flying scarves, dancing leaves, and the sound of wind chimes told a different story. It was not the wind, but the weather vane that had changed. Broken? Rusty? Bent? Something was wrong.
In the last few months, I have focused so much in one direction that my weather vane had frozen. Creativity slowed…connections unraveled.
My task at hand is to take a clear look at the weather vane and bit by bit fix its frozen parts. Oil for rust, hammer for true calibration, and polish for beauty. This is the job before me. I prepare myself for the wind and accept the challenge.
Much has been written about the Women’s March on Washington, the day after inauguration. People wrote about it if they were there or not, supported it or not. My husband, my friend Susan, and I attended the Salem, Oregon march for as long as my health would allow. It was worth it.
There was such a joyous feeling. Strange, since this march was partly born from a woman’s sadness on election day. To win the popular vote by so much then to lose through the electoral college….she felt helpless. So she decided to do something. She set up a facebook events page inviting people to march the day following inauguration. The LA Times said she went to bed with 40 people joining and when she woke up, there were 10,000. If there is ever a lesson on wondering if one person can make a difference, here’s a good example.
This is the first sign I saw, and it struck me as a fitting way to begin the march. Love, not fear; bringing together, not pushing away. A sea of pink meant to me that we would stand up for those marginalized and insulted by our new president. We would stand together.
I love this picture. (I did not take it. I tried to find the photographer for acknowledgement.) It was said to be taken at the Portland, Oregon march. I am proud to say that throughout the country, there were no arrests, no destruction of property, and no break-out riots.
As I said before, for me it was joyous. There was such hope in the air. Women, men, children, and several doggies in attendance. The young and the old, united to say….we are together. We can make a difference together. We are united with those across the country, even the world, to say that fear and hate will not win. Not on our watch.
Since my knee surgery, I have not been able to easily leave by the front door without assistance. At first I could only leave through the garage using grab bars. Once I was able to leave by the front door, it was a little scary….I had to crab-walk my way down the three steps. (Hard to do that and look elegant, trust me on this.)
The weather finally cooperated so that my husband could cut, grind, weld, etc. a simple stylish handrail. We didn’t want anything with curls because it would not really go with the brick flower boxes in front of the house.
I must say, being able to take the steps on my own give me a sense of accomplishment. Now I don’t exactly “fly” down the steps, but I can take the stairs confidently. A shout out to my husband who can build/create anything.
It’s September and I’m pulled by the whisper “back to school, back to school.”
Most consider New Years Eve/Day the start of a new year. (I mean, it’s in the name.) But for me, that’s just another party. The REAL new year starts in September.
When I was young September meant fresh lined paper, big orange erasers, pencils and glue. Ooooo and that crayon box. As I grew older it meant seeing my friends again, new clothes, spiral notebooks and pens. College life was packed with new adventures but still had the same rhythms.
As I transitioned from student to instructor many of my supplies were purchased by the University or college. Yet there were always special items here or there purchased for the pure joy of a new year (I’m looking at you, multi-colored post-it notes).
I’m retired now. Education was my calling. It was hard and exhausting, joyful and exhilarating in equal parts. While it was never EVER easy, I still felt lucky to be able to earn a living by doing something I loved. Early retirement was a choice I don’t regret. As much as I loved teaching, it was time for me to pass the baton to others with the passion to teach.
Still, it’s September and I hear the whisper “back to school.”