The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 80: As Decades Have Passed

2

August 19, 2020-

I have been pondering, since early this morning, as to the nature of my decades, lived thus far.

Young mother, anticipation, rough birth.

World still aflame, born under the element of Fire

Walking alone at age of three; hairbrush to the backside

Loved pictures and songs; pile of 45s in a memorized order

Family in a ramshackle house, which soon became a decent home

Three became four, then five.

First grade, morning bell rung by teacher

Second grade, more families in the neighbourhood

Third grade, began reading like a pro; teacher was like an angel

Fourth grade- Sometime tyranny, worn-out, angry Reading Instructor, Long Division

1950-59 was the decade of inception.

Fifth grade- Hypersensitive, wary of the Principal, death of Grandma

Sixth grade-Attention Deficit Disorder, hospitalized for colon issues

Junior High School- Mischief, girls mattered, one fire followed another,

High School- Best years ever, I-the Individual, clueless about attire, scattered work habits

Post-Graduate- Flubbed first semester, Demon Alcohol, lack of coordination, Army Basic Training, Postal Clerk at Fort Myer, Saw Moon Landing, Missed Woodstock

1960-1969 was the decade of formation.

Army Years- Lost buddies in VietNam, protest marches and intel duty, personal investigation of combat theater, clueless in Sydney

Community College- Series of dates, series of flubs, community involvement, living away from home, living back at home, Quebec-Ville and Montreal, hitchhiking across the continent

University- Dorm year, rooming house, apartment life, incompetent as editor, successful as student, so/so as teaching intern, summer hotel work, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Maine years- Staying distant when asked, substitute teaching, tutoring, Teacher Aide, more Demon Alcohol, visits with extended family, two siblings married, all over the state and the Maritimes

Villa School- Saved by the West, attempted Math instruction, dormitory watch, all over the West and the country, San Diego and Disneyland

1970-1979 was the decade of instruction.

Graduate School years- Town House in a quiet neighbourhood, Zuni, Baha’i Faith, first real adult love, Master of Arts in Education (Counseling)

Tuba City Years- School Counselor, Newlywed, Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, London and Canterbury, death of Nana, death of a dentist friend, deaths of children, Guyana, wedding of Glenn & Barbie, Pine Ridge, Omaha Nation, Columbus Youth Conference, death of my father

Jeju Island- House husband for a semester, Work Visa wait time, grappling with cultural baggage, Baha’is of Korea, troubled expatriates, Visiting Professor of English, training teachers, birth of a son, back and forth across the Pacific, Baha’i International Pioneer

1980-89 was the decade of maturation.

Jeju 2.0- Facing the culture of sexual harassment, empowering women students, enjoying life with a toddler, standing at the Demarcation Line, honouring our elders

Navajo-Hopi 2.0- More School Counseling, active child protection, rescuing two girls, saving our son, losing youngest brother, addressing ambition, Lady the Dachshund, Baha’i homefront pioneer, Principal in two schools, Keams Canyon, Jeddito, Chilchinbeto, Salome

1990-99 was the decade of professional success.

The Active Urban years- Y2K, Mingus Mountain Academy, Kingswood Estates, Mesa Community College, substitute teaching, El Mirage Elementary, Fuhr chiropractic, Phoenix Baha’i newsletter, Sierra Pines Apartments, the house on Solar Drive

The Caretaker Years- Penny’s two falls, my fall into despair, more substitute teaching, WIS International, Southwest Network, Ironwood Elementary, Palo Verde Middle School, poor career choices, ASU West, President Obama at Penny’s graduation, two wrecked cars, Dr. Yau, hyperbaric oxygen, Stem Cell Therapy, six family weddings, Aram graduates High School

2000-09 was the decade of reckoning

Caretaking and Losing- Trillium Specialty Hospital, renovating and painting the house, MRSA, Dr. Desvignes, Chapter 7, John C. Lincoln Hospital, facing my demons, Odyssey Hospice, turning sixty, Durant’s Steak House, Penny’s transition

Feeling My Way- Aram in the Navy, Kim & Stu, short-selling house, Louhelen Baha’i School, meandering across the country, helping in-laws, moving to Prescott, Willow Creek Gardens, Pacific Coast and interior Northwest, Texas Circle, wayward Vision Quest, emotional overkill, death of father-in-law, D-Day Anniversary, Berga, World Cup celebrations, Rouen landmarks, Paris by day and night, Luxembourg National Day, Iolani Palace, Waikiki, Tiger Cruise

Settling in My Space- Arizona Avenue, Prescott Circle Trail, Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, southeast Alaska, BRIDGES Program, RISE Program, Prescott High School, southern California beach towns, Aram to Korea, Carson City-Reno family, Gulf Coast journey, cross-continental journeys, loss of two cars, break-in to a third, Red Cross, death of mother-in-law, semi-retirement, Do Terra Essential Oils, Aram & Yunhee, return to Korea

2010-19 was the decade of resilience

2020- 29 is the decade of endurance

What is Cherished?

11

May 18, 2020-

This post is inspired by Eugenia’s series of prompts: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/60360547/posts/2711101856

I cherish the actions of the heart, above all.

Those efforts that do not seek to elevate one above all others,

but which seek to raise all boats.

I cherish family,

both near biological.

and far extended,

the family of the bloodline

and that of the heart.

I cherish childhood,

that which is given us,

in the first two decades,

or so, of life,

and that which is retained

in spirit, even as the body

and mind take on the

trappings of age and maturity.

I cherish the beauty that

surrounds us,

both the glimmerings

of nature, by day and by night,

and the images conjured

by the mind.

Let all be adored,

which keeps us

and propels us forward.

Peace and Love Award

9

April 7, 2018, Prescott-

IMG_20180306_001403_504

Although I don’t do awards, I will thank those who award me and answer their questions, on this site.  Thanks to- https://wordpress.com/post/patrickrealstories.wordpress.com/1190, for this nomination.  I am not good at hyperlinking, but do visit Patrick’s Stories.

 

What is your earliest childhood memory ?

I was two, and my sister, then an infant, was crying in our shared crib.

What is your favorite social media site?

This one (WordPress)

Where would you spend your Christmas, if you have a million dollar offer from BILL GATES ?(funny)

Tuscany

What is your best musical instrument?

None, actually.  I am a tiny bit okay, playing a flute.

What is your favourite cartoon?(weird)

Arthur

Year End Reflections, Part 3: Friendships

8

December 25, 2017, El Paso-

I had intended on writing this from Phoenix.  Ha!  The wheels of transport are blessedly efficient, today. We even got into this west Texas hub, fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.  We just keep movin’ and groovin’.

So it goes.  I want to thank my friends, all umpteen thousand of you, for what you have given me, this year and for several years past.

My childhood friends:  Many of you are still with me, on Facebook and in some cases, in real life, when I am back in Massachusetts.  Each of us has had our share of hard times, but life has been quite good, overall.  Back in the day, we never let one another down.,

My military and college friends:  I don’t see you anymore, and have no idea where any of you are.  You did teach me forbearance and to have a sense-of-humour-based camaraderie.  I think that, as much as anything, tempered the effects of my autism.

My friends in the educational community, at all levels:  Always, you inspire me to look inward and upward.  So many fine people are involved in raising children to their own higher levels.  Good teachers, as one of my first mentors said, work hard, without regret.

My Baha’i friends:  From the get-go, you have kept me focused and confirmed my outward, inclusive view of the world.  I no longer feel like a fish out of water, when my mind is as concerned with people far,as well as near.

My online friends:  In groups ranging from Archaeology for the Soul to Digital Altitude and the do Terra groups, you expand my mind and let me give my own voice to matters of health, spirituality and responsible financial planning.  My individual friends here are universally encouraging, even when you challenge me to think outside my own little box.

Friendships are organic and fluid.  My dearest friends bring that friendship upward and onward, as I do my level best to do for any of my friends.  In the end, as Jewel once sang, “only kindness matters.”

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 361: Paper Turkeys

5

November 24, 2015, Chino Valley- Today was the last day of school before Thanksgiving Break.  The concept of a two-day work week is a bit foreign to me, but I will take it, gladly.   It’s the season of my birth, after all. I had the kids do homework, last night, and maintained my regular teaching regimen today, with one adjustment:  Many children treasure the idea of making paper turkeys and Pilgrims. So, we spent the afternoon class hour, before P.E., following tradition. One little girl made an Indian headband, with a paper feather sticking out.  Some made separate turkeys and Pilgrims.  Others designed turkeys wearing an Elizabethan-Era hat.

This sort of fun activity, for elementary school students, harms nothing and no one.  Some will say that “The truth about the Pilgrims must be told!”  Yes, it does need telling, and to people who are of an age at which the black, the white and the gray can all be processed, and sifted out.  Sharing such information, too soon in a person’s life, is exactly what has brought on the excesses of Political Correctness.

The Pilgrims and Puritans were dour, narrow-minded people, as regarded those of other faith traditions, both European and Aboriginal American.  So, too, were the Spanish and Portuguese.  Many of the Founders of the United States were slaveholders, men of their time.  The best of these slaveholders were progressive in other ways, and some educated their chattel-people.  None of that excuses their slaveholding, but therein lies a tale of lives lived in the gray.

I teach older students, when I am with them, to avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water, as it were.  There has been, is, and will be, no public figure, aside from the Messengers of God, who is a paragon of perfection.  Every person worthy of emulation also has aspects of his/her life that are less than savory, even despicable.  So, one must choose the good elements, and sift out the bad- Wheat from chaff, as The Christ told us.

I will long adhere to things like playing Hallowe’en and Christmas songs, encouraging holiday art, and having birthday parties, when a child’s parents request them.  Childhood should not be frayed at the edges.  It’s when we have time to learn who we are, and build a firm foundation for life’s course.

Bring on the paper turkeys!