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Showing posts from 2014

Trying to breathe

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Without coughing, that is. It's the rib breaker old man cough often with a little gag thrown in at the end for style. It's never ending nature is endearing, however.  Zoe went back to the doctor today for a rash that developed after strep throat... Which can be a bad sign, but it was just an allergic reaction to antibiotics. The doc said that this virus we all have might actually be the flu this year... Figures.  It brings to mind a line in a song by Sam Baker (first new artist I have listened to in a long long time)... The line is "suffering heals all pain"... From "healing angels" ... But my lung expulsions are not quite the same as what happened to Sam - he was on a bus to Machu Picchu and a bomb exploded in the luggage rack above him - he's got some serious damage and a hell of a story... And he didn't start writing songs until after the explosion. He has traumatic brain injury too and it affects his lyrics and rhythm... Though genius emerges in…

The longest night

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A nod to the solstice and an acceptance of this sickness that has taken the family (and now me) and has turned so many nights into "the longest night". Also not to be mistaken with one of my favorite Billy Joel songs "the longest time". Back on track - the longest night has passed and light once again makes advances back into our lives. I love this cycle of nature on this planet... Thank you giant planetoid that bashed the early earth to smithereens and rocked us 22.5 degrees off our axis... Te quiero a la Luna.  It's a nice reminder that days get dark, but they brighten again. Even when the world seems to end (metaphorically and physically) the sky eventually clears and we emerge into a new world... Similar to the one we knew, but also fundamentally different...challenges and blessings that occur within our lives sometimes, but often extend beyond lifetimes ... This is what comes to mind when the bright moon shines on the shortest night. Beautiful manifestatio…

A bad term comes to a close

This school term that is ending must be one of my worst ones in my career.  I just kind of sucked this year and to make it worse, I am not quite sure why.  Wow, this is humbling.  I don't know what to say.  I feel like I should have this thing dialed in and I quite simply don't.  I can't explain it and that is going to wear on my mind for a bit.

Oh well - yet another lesson to learn.  On the positive side, Jose and Luis came by yesterday and we spent 3 hours catching up.  Luis gave me a Drake CD for christmas :)  Those two kids have now become men and I am so proud of them and grateful that they are in my life.  They think that I worked to help them, but I think that it was reciprocal.  If students like that were not in my life, I think I might have to back out of teaching.  Thanks, amigos.

(45 minutes passes)

Leave it to my daughters to roll back that fog... its just Adia and Esme with me here tonight and we cooked a breakfast dinner while dancing to Thriller... and then…

Just a weekend...

The sublime weekend... the word never meant to me what it actually means.  Unless you are talking about going from a solid to a gas...  To me the word always had a ring of ...is it loneliness?... reverberating through the golden beams of light.  This was by my standards a fantastic weekend.  I threw my hammer in the back of my motorcycle and spent most of Friday evening... long into the dark and very cold putting up the loft at the barn.  My ipad lasted until the very moment I tried to take a picture as I left.  I almost finished the floor.  The drive home was freezing as I had already pretty much frozen there before I left - but it was satisfying.  The next morning Ash went to sell some rabbits and pick up our new billy goat (a little Nigerian Dwarf) while me and the kids made up a pretty cool game and generally lolled about.  Later Ash and I redid fencing and generally took care of farm stuff... which is actually quite fun to do together.  The sun was shining.  We ate a wonderful ve…

Happy Birthday Zoe!

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11 years.  Wow.  I still remember driving home from the hospital with you - I couldn't believe that they allowed us to take you home.  I remember being somewhat terrified.  You have grown so well through the years - I wish time would slow a bit, but I am so grateful to see you become that amazing person you are.  Happy Birthday, Kiddo.


I love you.

Adia... 3 years

Ten-Ten, diagnosis day for Adia.  Its been 3 years now and Adia is doing great.  Quite a blessing - but I shall never, never, never forget that blood sugar reading that night 3 years ago when the weight of the number crushed me... when I knew life would never be the same again.  I even knew at that moment that there would be blessings from it, but it was the knowledge that we had lost the life we knew that flattened me. 

But life turned out well, it was just not what I thought it would be.

I shall always try to be grateful for this day.

Fall 2014

Fall approaches and life changes again.  My daughter is growing up.  I find myself like the season - each day shorter than the next.  Amazing things keep happening like a harvest of the soul, but the sheer abundance makes my head swim.  Gain, loss, change.... wash, rinse, repeat.  I fear and welcome winter..

I am a tree at this time of year no grand oak or frasier fir a buckeye perhaps hidden and interesting
and desperate
the night overtakes the day time is no longer a friend in the sweltering thinness I smell winter
the storms that shaped my branches pruned me and splintered my soul may rage again
or may not
and so I race against the waning day preparing but not quite ready to face that icy kiss barren and naked
In painful eternal repeat I summon my strength to light up the sky again and bask in the chilly glow
of a perfect day.

Change... my hungry friend.

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"Summer has gone and passed, the innocent can never last..." -- Green Day

Like the seasons, life continues to change, become, and cycle around again.  I am not so much happy for life's changes, I am in a place of trying to appreciate them.  Every change involves a loss and a gain and a move through time... and time just seems to be flying by.  So I am going to try to simply be and appreciate where I am... not looking too far forward or too far back.
NOT EASY.  But (to use an odd descriptor)... its good I think.
I am getting ready for school to begin again but this time ... for the 7th time... it will be at a new school.  We finally made the decision to follow our dream and move up to Konnarock.  Financially, it was sort of a move that needed to be made - but in making the decision, we were freed from... indecision.  Sounds funny, but indecision is quite an anchor for me.  Anyway, in making the decision, we have listed our house in Glade, sold our milk cow and calf (we st…

Finland.

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So... my year of hypocrisy is finally drawing to a close.  The new McGlothlin folks have been chosen and my presentations are done.  I have learned much...and I got to go to Finland.  The overall conclusions I am coming to are kind of subtle and I will try to explain in this trip report.

I was rather proud of the trip - it is usually a bit difficult to get into Helsinki schools, but with my good friend, Google Translate, I was able to track down and email many of the schools in Helsinki and play the numbers game.  Many did not respond, but I think the nicest did email back - and I was able to set up an itinerary.

I got to the Tri-Cities airport at 3pm on a Saturday and due to a little problem in Atlanta I got to Finland at 2am on Monday.  Luckily I had already booked a hotel.... oh, wait... no I didn't.  However, as luck would have it, I found the last person awake in the airport and got the name of a good cheap hotel near the main station in Helsinki.  It turned out perfect....


Jan-Feb 2014

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Well the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.  Its been a good start to the new year.  Its been snowy and we've had a lot of snow days... which I totally should have been catching up on school stuff, but I haven't had my mind on school much.  Its been a good family time, a time to return to what matters.  I have been caving with Jason a fair amount and I have really found a new passion.  Surveying caves at a slow, deliberate pace... sometimes in cold water, sometimes in serious discomfort, sometimes in awfully tight spaces, always muddy, sometimes on very slippery slopes, ... is a remarkably peaceful and joyful time.  The heavy stillness underground is just so comforting... when inside the Earth, the "world" just fades into the dark silence.  To make it even more amazing, I get to learn to survey from a true pro and we can spend decades exploring caves within minutes of our home.  The other night we pushed a few hundred feet of amazing virgin passage that was …

New Year

How funny?  I wrote a post last year and never hit publish.  So here is is.  A full year late.  I don't think I was done actually, but here it is.  Parts of it seem like a lifetime ago.

Happy New Year! But I want to revisit 2012 before I move on. Around this time last year, Scott M came to help out AT2 (http://at2.mountainalliance.org/)and we started up as a real program. It was pretty amazing to actually be becoming what we were heading for... perhaps a theme for the year. However, it wasn't easy - time got pushed to the limit for me and other things began to suffer. I stopped doing much of anything for myself and my family and day to day teaching felt the pinch. Oddly enough I got to be golden teacher boy last year - just as my concept of teaching really began changing - I feel like I am becoming what I am headed for and that is not someone who should win a bunch of traditional teaching awards. Of more significance than all that was that 2012 was the year of the outdo…