Monday, October 13, 2014

When it rains, it POURS!

Today we experienced a deluge! No, seriously, a flat out deluge! It happened over the noon hour. Kids were heading here and there to eat their lunches. Some of our junior and senior students get to go to the neighboring rec center for a sort of "off campus" lunch hour.  In the span of 20 minutes it became so dark that some of the street lights came on. Then the biggest downpour I have seen in many years came pouring out of the sky. Sheets of rain were blowing in every direction. The rainwater was actually flowing UPHILL out of our parking lot as it was being pushed by the winds at the surface. It was awesome, and scary!

In the middle of this, the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch; and like lemmings marching to the sea, our kids began crossing the 200 yards between buildings to return to class. All as this enormous storm was dumping water on them. They looked like they had taken a shower as they entered the school!

And here is my point. What are we teaching kids when they fear getting a tardy more than they fear being struck by lightning or doused by incredible amounts of rain? I could scarcely believe my eyes as each kid obediently crossed the lot and returned to school, while utterly failing to consider just sitting tight, safe and warm in the building, until the rain eased up. Nope! Onward they came and soaked to the bone they became!

Guess some folks are not wise enough to stay out of the rain in the first place -  much less to come in out of it! Time for some lessons in plain ol' common sense.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Adjusting to the Emptier Nest- Part Deux

It has been over a year since I last posted. Seems life and circumstances found ways to always keep me just one step behind my to-do list and teaching demands, and I simply let my writing go to pot. However SO much has changed since May of 2013 that I scarcely know where to start!

First, in August of 2013, we got the news that Concordia University Wisconsin had sighted Gretchen in their "headhunter radar" and that a move could be in the works. We held our breath, hoping against all hope that nothing would come of it, but it did.... And in February of 2014 she began working as a Vice-President of  something there... Her complete title is something I never have memorized, but she found the chance of this opportunity something irresistible. At the same time Leon was called to serve as a pastor at Hale's Corners Lutheran church just outside of Milwaukee.  All the stars conjoined to make this all happen with almost eerie perfection. Their house sold, within 2 weeks... They found a place to live there that they both love and are going to build a gorgeous new home that will be finished by fall. Everything worked out perfectly.... Except that we had to say goodbye on May 18th and watch them drive away with pieces of our hearts in the backseat- Sydney and Rielle.

To say that I am "handling" all this change would be hyperbole. I have never felt so blue as I have these last five months. The one bright spot is that we consoled ourselves by taking Gabriel, our oldest  grandchild to Italy with us for two weeks in early June. Oh what a joy that was! Kate and Nate very generously entrusted us with him and off we went. Seeing the wonders of Rome with a 12 year old to share it with was amazing! I will never forget his face as he sat in his airplane seat on our very first take-off of the trip!

So life has its ups and downs, small compensations replace huge losses, and we go on. We work longer than we should these days, largely to keep ourselves busy, and we have a more open calendar. Ed goes to the vineyard more, and I do more reading. We have seen Syd and Ree three times since the big move- once we went there and they have been here for visits twice. Ree is changing so fast and Syd has become a first grader. I miss them so much.... All five grandchildren are such precious people to us.

And now it is October. The leaves are starting to turn, the grapes are harvested, and the year is winding down. I find myself feeling very introspective these days and a bit anxious about what the future holds for us old timers left in MO. In a little over six months I will turn 60, so I guess it's as good a time as any to be reflective. I don't see the path ahead clearly right now, but I am willing to explore where it leads once it is revealed. It feels like a new chapter in our life is just beginning, and though it is late in the novel, the Author of it all is keeping us in tight suspense. We will just have to read on to find out where it goes next.