Everything Happens For a Reason

Abby the Labby Number Nine agrees with me. It was if she just heard the words “Everything Happens For a Reason” either as they paraded through my head or she can decode keyboarding. Maybe a M sounds a lot different than an A and so forth. When I looked down into her dark chocolate eyes, saw that her ears suggest that I received her message, she followed up my gaze with, “Yes. Yes, it is time for another walk. You wouldn’t be looking at me if it weren’t. That happened for a reason.

Maybe I have been influenced by the latest Heineken commercial.

I had to look away or those almost jet-black eyes would have taken my mind and soul. If I wanted to do more writing and less walking, I had to break the bond. She’s not done. A slight whimper and sighs behind my chair suggest boredom and neglect. When Ricky is feeling this ways, he cuts through all of these games in trying to elicit a reaction by jumping on me, sometimes planting a lolling slow-motion lick as if I were the flavor of the month.

Ricky is my latest of experiences to confirm that Everything Happens For a Reason. Good and Bad. Jules & Lucy 6:26:05

Mr. Jules Sandoz Honthumb introduced me to Labradorship. So much like a beagle in always keeping his nose down, but a lot more loyal. He stuck by me. It’s been more than five years since I had to say goodbye to Jules, and I can’t write about him without tears coming to my eyes.

Bad things happen. Especially in the dog world. Seldom are stories about dogs are without death and sadness. They just don’t live long enough.

They live life knowing this, knowing that their time is fleeting, and they make the most of the situation. There are too many smells to follow, things to eat, and cats to chase, as well as anything else that will run. Play now is all they think.It’s most likely they don’t think about how much time they have left. They have the gift in the ability to not judge whether their time is being spent wisely. It is what it is, neither good or bad. Some days are filled with a lot of playing; while other days more naps occur.

For a brief moment, I felt a twinge of guilt. Abby had asked if I could do something other than sit in front of my computer. She obviously wasn’t content on napping the rest of the evening away.

The Big If has landed in my lap. If Jules hadn’t died more than five years ago, would I still be working at the Willamette Leadership Academy. I would have been on my tenth year. Perhaps I would have risen to the ranks of running the show instead of watching the metaphorical tail lights riding off into the sunset. It’s possible, though not probably that Jules would be with me today. Fourteen in dog years is older than ancient.

Ricky and Abby122411And the Big Because is sleeping near my feet. I wouldn’t have gone out searching for another Chocolate Dog, a substitute to patch up my broken heart. I wouldn’t have met Ricky. The big If in Ricky’s lap, that if Jules hadn’t died on the operating table the day after my birthday, Ricky might not have been rescued. He certainly wouldn’t be as spoiled.

Ricky's a lap dog


Am I Too

Sensitive? Am I too sensitive about words? I don’t tolerate words that I feel are demeaning. Does it make me PC by preferring the word firefighter over fireman? I was having a short-lived Facebook conversation to a newly accepted “Friend” and he asked me if liked Firefighters. Who doesn’t like firefighters was my response right before saying goodbye.

Earlier today I was reading a children’s book about Amelia Earhart and the author referred to Amelia as a tomboy and that she liked to play in the dirt and climb trees like the boys. Why does it have to be irregular that girls play in the dirt. You should see my hands right now after I was gardening. I don’t really care about the plants or the vegetables; I just like digging in the dirt. Always.me in a hole1971

My tools were my hands, but mostly it kept me out of trouble.

Tomboy described me. In the early years, being a tomboy was a term of endearment. How cute. But as I aged, the cuteness faded like it’s supposed to. I’ve heard many women say that they were a tomboy when they were young. For those of you who know me, I still wear that badge at 56 and am very proud to be a lifetime member. I’d be card-carrier if there were a club; we would have so many members.

It’s tough to grow up and be told that something is wrong with you or that there is something bad about being a girl. I recall a media blitz on trying to remove the stigma of throwing like a girl. I picked up on this negative while I was still young. I was determined to not throw like a girl. The first several times I sublimed my shoulder throwing a baseball as hard as I could, it didn’t hurt. The joint didn’t dislocate, or should I say, not completely. It would pop out of joint and then go right back in. Being able to increase my distance and velocity to keep up with the Cliftons was my sole goal in life. By the time I hit high school, I had to develop a sidearm as the subluxations hurt a lot and  my joint was getting slower and slower in going back into place and went out with almost any overarm throw. After shoulder surgery, I can throw both ways, and guess what? I throw just like a girl.


I Have Never

been a truck person. I have never been a truck person. For all the advertisements that I can’t stand, truck commercials have earned the top spot for my hatred.

GMC has this stupid commercial that talks out how everyone loves the sound of nothing but net. And that buying a GMC truck can be compared to that perfect sound. I like the music that goes with the truck commercial; it catches my attention and keeps it. What I don’t understand is why it has to go the extra mile and say that this truck separates the boys from the men. Yes, I know I’m supposed to translate this into men being human beings. How else are they supposed to say it, separate children from adults? Why do they have to say it at all? Children can’t drive.

GMC doesn’t stand all by itself when it comes to absurd comparisons. Ford has a truck commercial where they asks three big burley guys to cut a board and they have a choice between a power saw and a hand saw. Of course, all guys know how to use a power saw. Since the guys were able to choose the best saw for the job, they are told that since they have such sound judgment, why don’t they also pick the best truck for the job. What the job is, they don’t say.  To me that’s like asking them to pick between a truck and an old Volkswagon bug that has  about the same get up and go as the hand saw.

Maybe I’m just too sensitive but when it comes to car commercials, there are not many that have women in mind as consumers, but it’s just another reminder of our second-class citizenship.

Life is

Good.  Life is Good. Sometimes. Not all the time. But who am I to expect good all the time? Sometimes life is great. Today was one of those days, and I wasn’t at the top of my game. I thought I could get away with just a thermos of coffee, but I was so  wrong.

My first two classes at North Eugene High School were fine. High School math is not my strong suit, but the kids helped each other. The most I could do was  pass out papers and take attendance and ask students how they were doing. Maybe if I had to run around more, I wouldn’t have been so tired, but by the time lunch rolled around, I was dragging. It had been a long time since I was so tired, it felt like my eyes were trying to roll back inside my head. I needed a nap or more coffee.

As soon as my third class, this time a physical education class was over, I took off in search for coffee with as many shots as possible. As I approached a group of high school students, down the road a bit from the high school, I was asked if I were looking for students? Did I look like a truancy officer? No, just some coffee. I think two were getting ready to flee on their skateboards or longboards.

The very large White Mocha got me through lunch. Barely. The fourth class of the day was a yoga class.  A very  tall guy offered to lead the class in  some yoga poses. Another group went off to life weights. The third group joined another class that was outside enjoying the sun. I pulled up a mat and took  the opportunity to still my body. I asked the yoga group to wake me up at the end of class just in case. The need to stay vigilant  kept me conscious and was able to do my job.

By the time I got home, I knew I had to retreat for a nap. The garden would have to wait. my body was telling me that it had to shut down. Life really doesn’t get much better than today. All of the kids I worked with were not only respectful, but they went out of their way to be nice. While wandering the halls looking for the auxiliary gym or the staff lounge, students dropped what they were doing to show me where I was going. I didn’t have to fight with any student to do their work.

A good day at school, followed by a soothing nap, got progressively better as I  puttered in my garden. Digging and  weeding and sweating didn’t feel like work. It felt peaceful. Listening to the birds, feeling the breeze, and appreciating the fact that I have the luxury of having a large garden were my thoughts. It is so easy for me to take these things for granted. To take everything I have for granted.

Tomorrow I finish the work week at Springfield High School. The last couple of times of being at the home of the Millers, I had great experiences. But with just about a month left of the school year, I’m almost at the point of  it doesn’t get any easier. May is booked and the last month of school is close to being penned in. Most of the jobs are with schools and classes that I am familiar with and have the luxury of knowing I won’t be butting up against any serious behavioral issues. The solution is rather simple: if I am at a school or with a class that have severe issues, I simply refuse to go back, and even then that’s not a steady rule. If I really like a teacher and he or she just happens to have a tough group this year, and has expressed how hard it is to get a sub, I’ll take the job and see it as a challenge; the reminder that I’ll have the entire summer to recuperate is a good incentive.

In order to not repeat the dragging sensation of today, I better extinguish the light and get some z’s. I’m looking forward to working with high school language arts and am very curious as to what I get to teach.


From Where I Come From

From my collection of stories and myths, Brits and Germans are not ones to speak freely of matters of the heart, especially when something is wrong. It’s almost as if the best way to prevent something bad from happening or to even declare a problem a reality. Out of Mind Out of Sight. It’s a different issue than Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Both are developmental issues.

Is it possible to skip the Out of Sight, Out of Mind phase when we are babies. I suppose it depends when the child develops their inner voice, though I’m trying to wrap my head around not being able to hear your inner voice. It’s always been a given that I’ve been hounding myself for 56 years. I need to cut a few years off of that number, and since I was pegged at being a little slow, maybe six.

To not have words to describe my my world and what was happening to me is a freaky notion. No wonder babies freak out. Suddenly they are wet and they don’t have  a clue where that came from. Connecting their actions to an end is lightyears away. Maybe that’s why I had such a horrible temper growing up. It didn’t take much to send me into a whirl wind of temper tantrums.

It took me twenty something years to figure out that my actions do effect the end. In my first couple of tries at college, I didn’t put together that if I skip classes and then get sick, the legitimate reason for not being in class wouldn’t excuse the previous misses, and then I would be outraged that the teacher failed me. Onus?

Some may argue that I’m still working on this step on developmental ladder to maturity, though there are other things that have been keeping me on a lower rung. Instead of taking my heritages philosophy of biting my tongue, I go the extra yard and talk about it a lot. This is the first year that I don’t like the number. I didn’t mind being fifty-five, but there’s something about stepping over the line and am now closer to sixty than fifty. Time has not been good to the last two generations of women on my  mom’s side. I’m already six years ahead in this game of Life.

I talk about my age a lot. Just last week a child of one of the teachers at Guy Lee Elementary School asked me how old I was. School was over. All the kids were gone. I told him I was 56, though that wasn’t a  concept for this kinder to help him form any judgments or expectations. I asked him how old he was. He held six fingers up as if to remind himself that he was six-years-old. So proud. Big grin, thinking that he was growing up. I’ve tried to embrace this philosophy my entire life, but now I’m wondering if my emphasis in the open declaration of being “older” is to perhaps dismiss it. If I don’t say I am old or I don’t act like I am old or that I even mind being fifty-six, perhaps it won’t be true?

I’ve been reflecting on this whole inner voice for months now. I must have had an intriguing conversation with someone when this idea was brought up.

Today I was in a  hard class; one of my friend’s math class, the same class that made me cry with their insults and snotty behavior; the same class that almost made me cry with joy while reading their apology letters.

First of all, I should rephrase my language. It’s not a hard class; there are a couple of individuals in the class that could care less about an adult, at least not the one’s I’ve seen them interact with. It’s possible that insolence is their strong suit and they dish it out to all adults or perhaps even everyone. Perhaps if these students were middlers or younger, I could cut some slack and say they don’t know better, but at the high school level when everyone at the school is bending over backwards to help. There are just so many times I can get kicked in the butt.

And then I think of the inner voices of these students. Maybe they can’t say nice things to someone, especially to an adult, because not many nice things have been said about them and that’s the recording in their head.

I believe that there’s a re-record button, but there’s a funny thing about deleting negative sound tracks, at least mine, there always is a backup. Maybe because my equipment is a little outdated and re-recording over a tape isn’t as effective as just burning a new CD. I’ll be cruising along, days go by, sometimes weeks, and I’m somewhat happy-go-Lucky, Life’s an Adventure kind of mood, when from out of nowhere that negative voice comes on. The volume is always up twice as loud just to make sure I can hear everything. That’s probably another reason why it’s hard to completely erase the words.

There’s a line in a song that Soromundi Lesbian Choir of Eugene is singing this year that says you have to turn up the volume as the flames get higher. Sounds like I ought to stop looking for the erase button but turn the volume up of the positive and encouraging words I say to myself.me on 5-3-16 at 3.00 PM

This reminds me that I still need to update my driver’s license…