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Friday, August 29, 2008

The Rose-of-Sharon is in Bloom

The Rose-of-Sharon was in bloom when I returned to Gig Harbor from my summer in Ilwaco. That can only mean that school is about to start bringing with it new faces of students and staff, a new schedule, new challenges.

When I still had four school-age children, back-to-school meant laying out a lot of cash. I was sorry to see my young ones go off to spend the bulk of their day with someone else and as a mostly single mom my pocketbook was wrung out to pay for all the things on the lists sent home by the school district (including graphing calculators that they never needed again) as well as the school insurance and the school photographs. Back-to-school clothes were mostly purchased at thrift stores of one variety or another, the only way we could squeak through the month with food. All the syllabi sent home from teachers requiring signatures! It was hard to keep track of which child was taking which classes and wending my way around school on back-to-school night was something akin to Alice chasing the White Rabbit.

Although three weeks remain of summer, Labor Day always seems to herald Autumn, my favorite season. And yet, I feel somewhat cheated by the summer we had this year. The blackberries did not ripen in time for a pie at the beach this year and there was not as much porch time as I would have liked. Still, I must admit to excitement of all that Autumn brings with her: harvest vegetables (if they ever ripen), crock-pot soups and Mother Nature’s storms (though not so violent as that of the last two Decembers, please!) and making plans for the Fall holidays.

The lazy days of summer, if such ever existed, are dwindling. Already my grandson is anticipating Halloween, our family’s favorite holiday. What are you sorry to see leave with Summer and what do you look forward to as we transition into Fall? My most anticipated occasion is the eminent arrival of the newest member of our family, a little girl due November 2nd!


JosephMcG said...

I am glad to be walking again and looking forward to work at strengthening by body with a lot of tough exercise.
When I was teaching at O'Dea in Seattle, I started getting really jumpy... I had my goals for the year clear and I had a good grasp of the materials but I wanted more... to be ready to work with any question the teens might present...
And the parents... I was scared of them, because I really could not answer the question, why should my child take Latin (that's right, I taught Latin for four years... why, because I was the only person on the staff that was dumb enough to say that I could)
I loved its sound and how it helped me to appreciate the roots of English words... but we do have dictionaries, and there is no way that I could even begin to compare the wonderful rhythms and sounds of Latin to the powerful, overwhelming beauty of modern teen music...
After the meetings with the parents, exhausted, I needed two to three days to recover. At the end of the school year I needed a month to recover.
But I made it through four years... and I became a better person because of those years.
This year... today... I just want to enjoy the ups and downs of the moment and being able to walk without pain.


Stephanie Frieze said...

I am so glad you're able to be up, out and about, Joseph! I believe Latin ought to still be taught as it would give a greater understanding to most of the languages taught in school. It was still taught when I was in school and was a requirement when my parents were in school.

Lorraine Hart said...

I, long ago, gave my passion to the movement, rather than the seasons themselves.

Have to admit, the cooler patches of this summer helped our family this year and I'm grateful. Lyme and its co-infections cause a temperature-intolerance, much like MS patients experience. Excessive heat can begin to shut the brain down. The cool days were easier.

The Sumac leaves begin to turn red, here and there, still weeks from the Equinox. That everything can continuously change and yet somehow, remain the same; this helps me balance everything.

It's so exciting to think of welcoming your new wee grand-bumbie! The gifts of Fall indeed.

I feel far away from the school rhythm, but I find myself clearing and cleaning the Aerie in the pattern of autumn.

*[Right now my thoughts and prayers are with the folks down on the Gulf Coast, with Hurricane Gustav churning.]*

Stephanie Frieze said...

One cannot help but feel sad for those who live in the path of Mother Nature's more violent nature. We are quite spoiled to have so little (although increasing) of that sort of thing.

I, too, am doing Fall cleaning.

JosephMcG said...

Anyone interested in helping me clean my rooms... the dust has just about overwhelmed my computer...
I can pay 0.00 an hour

Just Being Playful... though these rooms of mine (cough cough cough)


Kim Thompson said...

What will I miss about summer?

No formal schedule. I was blessed to have summer off to care for and hang out with my kiddos and the LACK of scheduled events (for June and July) was such a wonderful break.