Remembering

I realize that my posts have been few and far between and, when I do post, they aren’t the most upbeat. I guess I am in a time of reflection, but I do believe that it is passing. I’ve already got many ideas about fun and happy things to write about. Until then, I’m going to leave you with this.

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Today we went to the Veteran’s cemetery where my father-in-law is buried. We wanted to see the holiday wreaths that decorated the headstones. Our plan was to drive through, not stopping. When we got to where Bill is buried, my munchkin wanted to visit his grave. Even though it wasn’t part of our plan.

My daughter walked (almost) straight to his grave. She was so happy to see it. She hugged the headstone, laying her head on top of it. When she was done, she gave it a kiss. Then she popped up like a typical six-year old and bounced off, light and happy.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt that cemeteries are morbid places. I don’t really find comfort visiting them. It amazes me that my daughter feels closer to her grandfather when she visits his grave. It is a concrete reminder that her grandfather was really there and that he loved her completely. Going to visit him is easier with her there.

I’ve always wanted to be cremated. I don’t think that putting my body in the ground is a good use of our limited land resources. I wanted to be cremated and forgotten. I didn’t want any sort of memorial headstone or marker to remind people that I was alive. I thought that the memories of me would be enough.

I think I’ve changed my mind. Maybe my daughter or husband or whoever may be comforted by a physical reminder of my presence on this planet. Maybe I was being selfish because of my own views of cemeteries. It’s something to think about.

Eclipsing Post, or Phoning it in

(tee hee… see what I did there?)

On May 20, my fam and I were able to see the annular eclipse from our front yard. I took many pictures, but will only subject you to a few of them. Hope you enjoy! I know we did.

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When a Heart Hurts

Today my daughter and I drove by a cardiac care facility. Natalie right away saw the heart next to the sign and knew exactly what it was. She said, “Momma, is that a place where people go when their hearts hurt?” I replied in the affirmative. She said, “If their hearts hurt, they get in their cars really fast and drive here. Then they lay down and the people fix it so they won’t die.”

“Is that the way it works?” I asked.

“Yes, Momma,” and she paused. “Why didn’t Grandpa come here when his heart hurt? That way they could have fixed him so he wouldn’t have died. I miss him.”

I wanted to run right in to the care facility and have them fix my heart hurt.

Uniformity

As a teacher, I have always been supportive of school uniforms. The thought of not having to worry about what my students are wearing seems to be a little bit of heaven to me. It has nothing to do with wanting kids to look the same. It has everything to do with not having to tell a fourteen year old to wear a shirt that doesn’t show EVERYTHING.

Now I am a parent of a¬†kindergartner¬†who goes to a school that requires uniforms. When I found out about the policy, I was thrilled. We wouldn’t have to worry about what to wear every day. As far as I was concerned, it was the ideal situation all around.

Flash forward a quarter into the school year.

My delight at school uniforms has quickly waned. I miss picking what to wear every morning with my daughter. I miss being able to listen to her opinion on what is fashionable. In fact, I am starting to feel resentful about this loss of experience with her. As a parent, I should be able to choose what my child wears.

The principal of her school said at the beginning of the school year that she is planning on having a poll to see what the community wants to do with the policy. If someone would have told me that I would vote no on uniforms, I would have told them they were crazy. Isn’t it amazing what a change in perspective does to a person?

Being off the Grid

I recently had an opportunity to go completely off the grid for a week. Well, it wasn’t an opportunity, really, more like a forced exclusion. I visited my father in the middle of Missouri– three hours from St. Louis and three hours from Kansas City. It was out of network for my smart phone and not even on the map for Internet access.

That’s right. I went a whole week without Facebook, Twitter, email (all 7 of them), and all things cloud-based. Crazy, I know!

At first, I was in a panic. How would I keep connected with the world? How would I blog about what I was doing? How would I get my online class started? I was like an addict, freaking out about my next “fix”. However, being the trooper that I am, I soldiered on.

I left my smart phone in my room (gasp).

The first day was very hard. I kept on clutching my pocket, seeking the rectangular security that I usually found there. Feeling the absence of its assuring weight was alien to me. I felt a little lost, especially when I wanted to share with my friends what we were doing. It felt strange to not tell people what was happening on my vacation. The thing is, I found myself paying even more attention to my family and sharing with them.

It was AWESOME!

Mighty Fishermen!

Because I was forced to let go of my Internet “leash,” I realized how much I have been missing in the present moment. It has made me think about how inundated I was getting with extraneous information. It made me realize that so many of my students probably feel exactly the same way.

When I returned from my vacation, I wasn’t as frantic to get online. I deleted my Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone. It has been three weeks, and I still don’t miss them. I still check both networking sites daily, but I am not checking every hour. It is kind of nice to not feel the urge all of the time.

Have you ever been disconnected unwillingly? If so, how did you deal with it?