Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

What a glorious week-end this has been! I've visited almost every nursery in town and Home Depot. (In fact I've already been out this morning and brought home a bunch of new stuff. I promised it is my last big push.) I can't even begin to list the things I've bought to put in the ground. I've enjoyed breakfast on the patio, drinks in the hydrangia garden and supper in the sunroom (only because of a late afternoon thunderstorms). Memorial Day weekend is our signal that summer is here. We really don't care that we have a couple of weeks before the actual first day of summer. We love to fireup the grill, stir up a little potatoe salad and chill the watermelon. Life is good!

My hope for today is as we play we remember we are able to freely go and do as we choose, because of brave men and women who are no longer here to enjoy the first sweet tastes of summer. Jesus died so that I might live. The brave soldiers, who we memorialize today, died that I might live freely. They humble me! I thank God for them and for their families, who now and forever will have an empty place at their table and in there home. May God continue to watch over and bless us all.

Friday, May 28, 2010

School is out for the Summer

Everyone who knows me well, knows that all I want to do, this time of year, is work in my gardens. It is my spring obsession (my obsessions are a subject for another day). I say I play in the dirt. I know so many folks who are true gardeners and their work is fabulous. I play! It gives me joy, time alone to think, and to heal.

Several years ago while finishing (I'm never truly finished) a bed, I started thinking how teaching is a lot like gardening and my children a lot like my plants. There is a lot of planning, a lot of evaluating and a lot of modifing. Children and plants come in all different sizes with different needs. Some will grow and thrive no matter where they are, some need a little extra attention. Sometimes I get it right the first time, but more often than not I have to change things up and move things around. Children and plants need dirt, sunshine, water and nutrition, and a few earthworms never hurt anyone. They both need protection from pests and illness. There are always surprises popping up.

As this school year passes, I sigh. It was a very good year! I started the year out with ten little sprouts. Each had their own design and needs, but once planted in my room they thrived together. We had challeges. We had to move our classroom to a temporary location just before springbreak; they never missed a beat.

There is a difference between my plants and my garden. I put my plants to bed in the fall. Hoping that I fed them and protected them well enough that they will return to me in the spring. If I did my best as a teacher, my children leave me just before the summer solstice; and, when the weather becomes crisp, and the leaves begin to fall they will move to another garden to be taken care of my another gardener.

Yes today is my day to look back and evaluate. I will really miss this class. They are special. And, as is always the case, they taught me far more than I could have ever taught them.

So with heavy heart I send my bluebirds off to seek and explore the future. I know they will soar.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fresh Strawberries

When I first began writing this, I thought I was going to write on exercise, and how I started Jazzercise tonight. But as I sit here finishing off the Arkansas strawberries we got at the farmer's market, I started thinking these really are the best strawberries ever. I know it isn't that they are "Arkansas" berries, but that they are local berries. They really aren't the best ever. The best ever strawberries came from my grandfather's backyard garden. PapPaw lived in Nashville, Tennesse and I lived in Louisiana. We would go to visit for a week or two every summer. When we first walked into his house the first thing I ask, "PapPaw you got any strawberries this year". Sometimes we would be too late, other times too early; most of the time he would reply, "Sugar, I have just enough left for you". He was known for his strawberries and his tomatoes. My aunt liked to say he kept all the "widow ladies" supplied with summer vegetables. He grew things for the love of growing. So as I eat this last strawberry (and hoping they are still around next weekend), I think of a humble man, who loved to grow things for the love of growing and sharing. He really did grow the best strawberries ever. And yes, he called me Sugar. This one's for you PapPaw!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Begin

I am not a writer; I am a lover of the written word. I don't know a lot of about anything; I do know a little about a lot of things. There are many things I love to do, none of which I have perfected; I am not afraid of jumping in and trying. I am not afraid of failing as long as I get the chance to try again. I am a procrastinating perfectionist, so I do a lot of redoing. I will be journaling as I plod through things I know how to do and things I want to do.