* Voting lines

We voted long before November 3, standing in line for over 1.5 hours. The line stretched as far behind us as it did in front. I appreciated the friendliness and patience of all the folks around us. Poll workers were efficient with everything except exit signs, so I wandered just a bit before finding the right door. Well, duh. I seemed to be the only one who was confused!

* Blast from the past (1)

Halloween wasn’t THAT long ago, but since we’ve had such an election? Oy! It’s hard to remember anything from October. The kiddos had fun trick-or-treating in relative isolation, selecting goodies from tables, bins, and cute clotheslines. Neighbors applauded from a safe distance.

A daisy by any other name….

My grandfather, a coal miner from Yorkshire, used to sing this song to my sister and me:

Daisy, Daisy, Give me your answer, do. I’m half crazy all for the love of you. It won’t be a stylish marriage, ’cause I can’t afford a carriage. But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two!

My young brain was imprinted on daisies and they have long been one of my favorite wildflowers. BUT perhaps what I loved was not a daisy! Horrors! As I have roamed the neighborhood, I’ve snapped these photos of delightful ‘daisies.’ My PictureThis app has corrected all my misconceptions. Kind of.

I still think the purple coneflower should be called a white cone flower. And whether or not they’re daisies, I love ’em all!

* Weeds are fine, sweat- meh

As much as I loved spring, with its vibrant flowers and fragrances, the beginning of summer is great for flowering weeds, not so great for long walks. We’re talking about major sweating here- and the temps are still moderate for this time of year. I guess 6-foot distancing is best since I look like I have a dripping fever.

The weed below is a Carolina horse nettle. My dearest teaching widower would be proud that I didn’t touch it!

Magnolia trees are not weeds, but since I DO grab sniff all the lowest blossoms, I must include this gorgeous one. The flowers of this ancient plant do not have true petals. In fact, this early flowering giant has been around for 36+ million years! I guess the above blossom may be a fossil in the making. I do love to see the stamen, lying there like candy matchsticks. Truly delish!

* Oh, deer

You know how incensed I get when the local deer rip out my plants? And how I yell and bark at them to no avail? Well, I take all that back every year around this time, when our hill becomes a fawn parking lot.

Sorry for the photo quality. This was taken through the window. Quietly.

We do have a set of twins up there but it’s the only child, Fawnville, who entertains us daily. Fawnville started off wobbly and uncertain, but he’s now into dizzying sprints. His mom has to trail after him; keeping him out of mischief is a full time job. She already looks weary, kind of like other parents in quarantine. I keep reminding her that this, too, shall pass. In the meantime, I am silent as they rip out the remaining periwinkles.

* Fear of blogging?

Sometimes I hate to blog. I know folks have written comments for me to read and I know those comments are sitting idly on a runway to nowhere. I know I have neglected all those blogs taking flight to other worlds, with their photos and stories to enjoy. If only I could take off and fly this thing!

It has occurred to me that I’m paralyzed by fear of blogging- and worse. Here are some symptoms:

  • If I read too many of Pete Springer‘s awesome posts (like, just one), I immediately stop blogging.
  • I once paid a slightly desperate blogger for 5 re-posts of anything, but that was four years ago. I have yet to write a post worth re-blogging. And yes, I still ask a different, not desperate blogger, Suzi Speaks, to help me! She has righted the craft many times.
  • I never ever reread any of my posts unless under duress, such as when I’m quoted and then flabbergasted that I wrote such a nonsensical thought. I accidentally read what I posted today (Sunday) and immediately saw a typo, thereby reinforcing my desire to avoid rereading.

What’s worse than fear of blogging? What’s really at the core of my phobia? Foolish comparison with others. What other charming passenger lurks in the tail of my plane? Fear of what others think. And wait for it- there is yet another creepy item in the cargo hold. Perfectionism (which is a nicer name for pride).

I think it’s time for an oxygen mask to fall out of the ceiling. And I have almost exhausted my airplane analogies. You’re welcome.

As this post plummets out of control (gotcha!), let me tell you what the black box says: She tried writing quickly to keep perfectionism from stalling the craft. Too late. She veered off with a draft, which merely joined trillions of other drafts waiting to be deleted. Then she started chatting about Vesna Vulović, who fell 33,000 feet from an airplane and survived. Major ouch and nothing a sane person would desire! Finally, she thought about her dearest teaching widower, who would have had to listen to all these ramblings if she hadn’t written them down. He cannot tolerate any more phonics talk at the dinner table.

Well then….

Because I love him and I love all things education, especially the kiddos and their fams, I’m in. For at least this week.

* Weekend coffee share for tea drinkers

Hola! Hello! I have not felt like blogging much lately, as you may have noticed. Sometimes I feel so excited about blogging and at other times, I shrug it off like a wet coat. I’m in a tea-drinking-chocolate-eating mode right now, so I’m joining the weekend coffee share hosted by Eclectic Alli. She’s in the field of library science, which looked to be a dinosaur at one point. But it’s reemerging through technology and that kind of degree can now open more than library doors.

The point of this blog is to share what’s been going on in my life, so here’s a glance.

I was looking worse than this in many ways, but fortunately, hair salons opened Friday at 5! I was first in line.

The honeysuckle and privet hedges around here have been blossoming, their fragrances assuring me I don’t have the virus. Sadly, spring has started drowning in early summer heat and humidity. Speaking of drowning, I’d love to go swimming instead of walking, even with a hole in my head ear, but who knows when indoor pools will reopen? I do know that my knees can’t take much more walking.

On the topic of “can’t take much more,” how will students and families and school districts solve the conundrum of back-to-school in the fall? From an equity standpoint, we already poorly navigate educational waters with students of color and families in poverty. How much more have we curtailed their prospects now that learning is remote? What good is a Chromebook if there is no connectivity? That begs the question of how well students work in small quarters with larger families whose parents are unemployed or working long hours out of the home.

In my neighborhood, we had teddy bears in windows so that kids on walks with their parents could wave. Just saying.

My dearest teaching widower has a week of radiation under his belt. He’s still as sweet as ever. My great nephew is continuously looking for ways to help around the house. They watch tear-jerker movies together and I join them to watch action flicks. They drink coffee and I drink Tetley’s English blend. We all eat chocolate.

Thanks for joining me!

* What if….

What if I had not already lived through JFK and MLK and 9/11? Would I understand how this pandemic will likely change language and cultures?

What if I became immune to numbers like 30,000 and 2,000,000? Or what if I became immune to COVID-19?

What if I was trying to explain this pandemic to a kiddo with moderate AU? How could I do that without causing him to feel like he’d topple off the earth? What about all those kids who already struggle with anxiety? And what about their parents who are desperately trying to be family and school?

What if I did not already belong to Jesus? Would I turn towards him or pretend that I’m God?

What if I wanted to cut my hair? Or buy toilet paper?

What if the people who are suffering the most are not reading blogs? What if they have no internet or devices or running water or doctors? Or what if they live in a country where individual rights mean nothing? Where you disappear if you say anything negative about the president?

This photo was posted on Nextdoor. Sweet and talented!