* The Sunshine State (4)

After such a terrific time with relatives in Florida, it was hard to leave. I walked the Orlando airport to get my fitbit steps, exposing myself to folks hacking and sneezing into their hands. Yikes, folks. Use your arm!

I did see a coterie of stunning women, all in a line, heading for service as flight attendants. If my dearest teaching widower had not been working on his paper, seated in a galaxy far away, he’d have told me to put my phone down. But I couldn’t resist.

On the flight home, a passenger next to us coughed into the air unceasingly. Our front yard was filled with dozens of flags and spray paint, like someone planned to excavate every buried pipe and cable. Our house ‘smart thermostats’ had reverted to 49 degrees, which was a real shock to our systems (and I got very grumpy). I caught a nasty bug and was bedridden. When I graduated to the couch, I tripped over my computer cord and fell really hard, smashing a dish and landing on two body parts that had already survived surgery: my knee and shoulder.

BUT, the trip was fabulous and we can’t wait to return!

* The Sunshine State (3)

My dearest teaching widower (DTW) and I were really spoiled on our Florida trip. Our Sunshine relatives made this such a memorable time.

The Sun Rail was a delight! A three-story light rail with great views and touristy places to visit. It’s too bad that our local (North Carolina) light rail plan was such a dud. The GoTriangle organization spent $190 million and still needed $237 million plus a change of heart from Duke University/Carolina Railroad. The project was abandoned last May. Ah, well.

It only cost $3 for us to ride. I refuse to say whether my DTW and I paid the senior fares.

* The Sunshine State (2)

Our trip to Florida was amazing. Did you know we could see a satellite launch while standing in our relative’s driveway? This was about 50 miles from Cape Canaveral. I thought the glow was a street light! Awesome! We watched the powerful rocket race through the night, eventually disappearing.

But, I think there may be dangers in living so close to the space center. Look at Vanessa.

I mean, that’s just odd. Too much satellite exposure, for sure.

* The Sunshine State (1)

My dearest teaching widower (DTW) and I just took a trip to Florida, where the sun is brighter and the traffic lights self-propagate. Of course, I ignored the laughter and took photos. Everything in Florida is worth photographing.

We visited relatives whom we have designated as our ‘go-to’ family during the zombie apocalypse. We would be safe here, unless I accidentally shot my DTW. I did accidentally shoot the chain holding the target in place. Quite a fancy bit of accuracy!

Did you know there are alligators about 50 feet away from me? Hiding and biding their time…. And no, I am not a boy! It’s just the angle.

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Funny Moments at School — Pete Springer

An Excerpt from They Call Me Mom

You have to be prepared to fill so many roles when you work at a school, particularly when you are an elementary teacher. One year the school nurse (in an age when schools had school nurses) asked if I would take on the job of sex education teacher […]

Funny Moments at School — Pete Springer

Pete has a terrific sense of humor and I laughed out loud at the homework excuses. Even funnier are his parenthetical remarks. You won’t want to miss this post!

* Christmas Fibbing

Caution: SPOILER ALERT

I love Pesnsitivity’s blog and she was hosting Fibbing Friday last week. I’ve missed every Friday since I first heard about this silly blogging challenge, but maybe this week!

There is a fib, though, and it has to do with Santa Claus. My dearest teaching widower (DTW) was talking to me about the impact of that fib lie on many children. As a curious child psychologist, he has often asked folks how they felt when they learned the truth that Santa wasn’t real. Many adults can tell you the exact time and how deceived they felt.

I remember feeling a great sense of betrayal as I read about that sham in the newspaper. (I was four years old and it was part of my father’s “I-hate- that-you-can-read-but-prove-to-me-that-you-can-read” endeavors.) I tried to protect my younger sister from finding out, so I played along for years. I think she already knew but I hated to see her suffer. Of course, we had so many other dreadful things happening at home that Santa Claus was a mere blip on the radar of betrayal.

As parents, my DTW and I resolved never to tell our kids that Santa lie. We explained that it was a belief for some families. We said it wasn’t okay to tell other kids what to believe since that was the responsibility of their parents. As a teacher, I always took the same stance, especially not allowing kids to torment others about this societal fibbing.

My DTW, who is always thinking about deep stuff, worries that if kids can’t trust their parents about Santa Claus, can they trust them about God? To me, the bigger issue is that my parents were supposed to represent God to me. So I grew up believing that my heavenly Father is deaf, cruel, powerless, and untrustworthy. Now I know the truth about him, how he chased me down with his love. And I still believe we should ditch the Santa lie.

* TToT: 2019 is almost over!

Thanks to Kristi and her co-hosts for this week’s Ten Things of Thankful. 2019 has been a tough year, with a record number of trips to the emergency room, lots of job changes, surgery, and illnesses. A wise man once said that we should be thankful with the cards we’re dealt; there may be some Jokers in the next hand. Well, he didn’t say it quite like that, but I’m ready for a new hand of cards.

I’ll begin my ten things by saying I’m glad to have recovered from a nasty sinus infection (#1). And my dearest teaching widower (DTW) created a silver lining by looking after me (#2), keeping me outfitted in tea and chocolate (#3).

We are going to see the Star Wars movie tonight (#4) and because of all the cough syrup I’ve taken (#5), I won’t disturb the crowd.

On the home front, I was well enough today to chase a herd of deer out of our front yard (#6) but it was too nippy to add seeds to the bird feeders (#6 minus 1…oops!). I have a special Christmas party planned for a special student tomorrow! It’s gonna be fantastic (#6 again, plus #7).

Another benefit of being ill is binge-watching TV with my precious teaching widower (#8). I’d highly recommend Blue Bloods, a fine series about the (fictional) Irish-American Reagan family and their commitment to law enforcement (#9).

If you’re a sci-fi fan, you may enjoy The Expanse as much as I do (#10). My DTW has deserted me on this one. It’s a gripping series about life on Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt (centuries from now). I think my DTW can’t stand that flashlight technology will never improve….

Both Blue Bloods and The Expanse are streaming on Amazon.

It’s great to be back in the blogging saddle. Thanks for joining me!

* And the award goes to…

Pete Springer!

Pete is a new blogger and author of a terrific book about his teaching experiences, “They Call Me Mom.” For those of you who haven’t checked out Pete’s blog, you’re in for a treat. He is a retired teacher who has always dreamed of writing children’s books and has one for middle school students on the way. Pete also continues to serve others through his volunteer work, helping to support literacy and teachers who need a boost.

The Liebster Award is especially for outstanding bloggers who are are new to this online world. It is given in recognition of super posts, while encouraging the author to hunt down other new bloggers and share the award.

Pete, you just need to answer these questions and then find two other bloggers who are also deserving of this award. You can create your own questions for them or use the ones below.

  • What led you into the world of blogging?
  • What has most surprised you about this online world?
  • How do you decide what to post? Do you have a schedule or routine for your blog?
  • Tell us one thing about yourself that we would never have imagined.
  • What has been the greatest difficulty you’ve faced as a new blogger?
  • What would you tell someone who is considering starting a blog?

Be sure to head over to Pete’s blog and congratulate him on his Liebster Award!