A Bunch of Nothing

20170315_203318Have you ever heard of writer’s block? I have, and never before the last couple of days did I realize how real it can be. Imagine the blockiest block, and that’s how blocked my writing brain has felt.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve tried to get myself to write something, and I’m just stuck! (Who knows if I will actually ever get this one published?) If you could only see the number of drafts I’ve started and haven’t finished… :/

I feel like my life is literally on hold right now. It feels like I go to work, finish one job, go the next, eat, sleep, and begin a new day. I don’t feel like my life is accomplishing much and I feel like I have nothing worthwhile to say to the world, so I just shut down completely.

I could tell you all about how my Dr. recommended I wear compression socks to raise my blood pressure (I HATE socks!!) But, because I’m trying to be good, I wear them..even if it does almost drive me nuts at times!

I could tell you that yes, I still miss school, and the kiddos in it, but those of you who truly know me, know that fact already.

I could complain and whine about the fact that it’s literally been months since I did any vacation or traveling to speak of…just for fun, just for the harry of it. But really, that’s what life is, A constant battle between work and vacation, so we all face that at times.

Somedays, it feels like nothing goes right….ever!! and mornings when you step inside your shoes, only to realize, after 15 years of putting shoes on…by yourself…every single day!!…you’ve slid them on the wrong foot. (how does that even happen??)

I could tell you about the time I got many, many, many papers ready to send out to different cities for the city income taxes. What’s frustrating is when you have to write out small $1 checks to individual cities…AND the total cost to send all this paperwork almost blows your mind away.

You know, when you work with people every day, you truly begin to find your true self/character. I’m discovering more and more what an introvert I am….The way to recharge my batteries is just some alone, quiet time at home with nothing but the hum of the refrigerators and the buzz of the furnace to keep me company. Have you ever taken a personality test before?? I highly encourage it, if you’ve ever thought you’re the only one who thinks a certain way…try this right here. You’ll be amazed.

Winter finally hit us. My body is sooo not used to this cold, and I almost can’t stand it. When I get the heavy coats out, you know it’s got to be cold!! But, spring is coming, I can hold on that much longer….I hope.

Yes, life is good, it keeps going. I try to keep up, but sometimes I trip and need a little help. I realize there is more to life than the rituals people (including myself) go through, but by God’s grace I will see a little sunshine in every day.

This was my laugh for one of these past few days that sorta all run together: “I need a kleenex. My nose is coming off.” 🙂 Happy Wednesday, you all.

 

When You’re From Ohio….

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Overlooking the small town of Mt. Vernon

……You have an outstanding amount of state pride…….

 

……..When going anywhere in the summer, you plan for double the time due to all the traffic delays for construction……

…….You think your small town is perfect–even if it has only one stoplight…….

……..You know that Red, White, and BOOM is the annual 4th of July fireworks display, not just some person’s mis-spoken form of the colors of the USA flag……

…..You carry in your car at all times, year-round–a winter coat, flip-flops, an umbrella, and sunglasses……

……You can spot an out-of-stater by the way they drive. They just DO NOT pass buggies like we do!!……

…….You understand that anything with the word “buckeye” will be extremely delicious, be it a brownie, muffin, ice cream, milkshake, sundae, or just a plain buckeye…….

…..You feel loyalty to your state when you wear scarlet and gray, even when you don’t plan it…

…You know exactly how to spell it out with your arms–What other state can claim that??…….

….O-H……..You finished that. If not screaming it out loud, in your mind with a smile beginning at the edges of your mouth….

…..It’s not at all surprising to see a bustle of activity on the roads after a good snowstorm….

…..You give directions by landmarks and not by road names…..

…..You know there is a great variety of landscape, and whether it’s flat fields, or rolling hills covered in forests, or the winding, hilly roads to Amish Country, you believe it’s beautiful….

……You know you don’t have an accent. And you don’t say ‘seven’ and ‘eleven’ weird…..

…..You don’t have a clue what ‘soda’ is……

…..You know to avoid Amish Country if at all possible during the tourist season. *Shudder*…..

….Your Saturdays in the fall are spent watching football, working while wishing you were watching football, or listening to people talk about football….all while wearing clothes that are scarlet and gray….

….You are an absolute pro at dodging potholes. (either that, or it doesn’t bother you when you plunge into their deep, dark depths)….

…..You feel a sense of uniqueness when you see your state flag. It’s the only one that’s not a rectangle….

….You have ever seen or done this combination–a hoodie with shorts, or flip-flops/sandals with socks….

…..You probably have dipped fries in a frosty already…..

….No matter what anyone says, you’re proud of your state, and will gladly call it “home.”….

What are some Ohioan trademarks that you are proud to be a part of?

Of Teachers and Spring Break

For weeks we labor. With sweat and with tears. We settle arguments. We give medicine. We run raggedly in what seems like endless circles. We clean up spills. We stick on band-aids. We wipe up puke. We have a dozen pairs of eyes watching us every day. We spend our days teaching lessons, and when it seems they’re not getting it, we hope they can’t see us lose it. We wonder if they will ever grow up. We rejoice when the light seems to click. We wish for a longer weekend. And finally, when we are at our wit’s end, we hear the whispered words…”Spring break”….and all seems to right itself again. We see a light at the end of the tunnel, and can hardly contain our dancing “jibblies” (yes, I just made up a word 🙂 )

*Disclaimer: This is really not how I planned the beginning of this post, but please bear with me, I’ll get back on track.

It’s been my dream for quite a while to go to Mexico. I’m not sure why, but I’ve just been yearning to go. So when a friend is in service at a children’s home, what better reason than to go now? So plans were made and tickets were purchased, and one bright morning we flew away. Away from the land of cold and snow. Away from the daily rigors and responsibilities of teacher life.

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When it was FINALLY daylight, (many hours after our eyes were pried open) this was one of our morning sights 🙂

And even MORE hours later (can you tell it was a long day?) We arrived in San Diego, where the sun shone brightly and breezes blew freely, we were all smiles. They were tired smiles, but smiles none-the-less.

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Traveling was done (for now), no more sitting in the airport waiting to board, and no more sitting in the plane waiting for air movement to flow. Our ride picked us up, and we headed off to Mexico, after a couple other stops to pick up a few “American” things for the mission. We headed across the border, and soon we were there. (I could tell because I could no longer understand anything I was trying to read) Let me tell you though, we were tourists to a T. Gawking at all the sights, as we sat and reveled in the comfortable seats of a car with the windows open to let in the fresh air.

The next day, we headed to Tecate, Tijuana, the beach, the border, the fabric stores (of course) and all things touristy. 🙂 Here are a few highlights of the day.

*If you click on the pictures, it should give you a short description*

We went to a cool little bakery that had a little bit of everything.. Rows and rows or baked goods, and even some chocolates! 🙂

The next few days were spent helping out at the home, relaxing, playing with the kids, and just doing odds and ends. Seriously, these kids wormed their way into our hearts so quickly. It was a little difficult with the language barrier, but smiles, love, gestures and laughter are the same in every language.

Yes these pictures explain themselves pretty well 🙂

 

Give a boy a glow stick, and he’ll be your friend for life. (It wasn’t these boys, but another group that also got glow sticks, then took them to their room, broke them open, and flung it ALL ACROSS their room…..ceiling, walls, clothes…EVERYWHERE!! The kid in me thought this was super cool….*It really was* and the small adult part in me thought about all the anger I would have if these were my kids 🙂 )

This little girl was my precious shadow the last couple days. She stuck with me Wed. night after church and came running to me Thurs. when we took snack down to school. Talk about melting your heart with preciousness! She was the type that was content to just sit and not have to be bouncing around all the time, which suits me just fine!

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This little girl was one of the younger ones there..She’s  eating a chili powdered orange. For some reason that I cannot understand, these kids go crazy over chili powdered fruit, juice, anything chili! I sit there, my tongue burning, just from watching them gulp it down.!

This little guy had it in for me… 🙂 The first night we got there, he and some other little guys were blocking the door, giggling, and wrapped in blankets. The other girls started just stepping over them, so I just simply followed them. He grabbed onto my flip-flop, and me, stubborn lass that I am, was determined not to let him have it. I jerked my foot up, and caught him in the face with my foot. For several days after that, he would give me a sheepish, mischievous glare whenever he’d see me. He was super mischievous and reminded me a lot of my students at home 😉 Toward the end of our stay, he seemed to have partially forgiven me, and didn’t seem to be scared of me anymore 🙂

The children’s home was about a 30 min. walk to the US border. This section of the border was not well-patrolled so we walked back one day, and crossed for a minute or 2 just to say we did. 🙂

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Look Mom, I’m back in the US!

 

 

The night before we left to go home, we went to a rock look-out and had a picnic and campfire, followed by rabbit hunting. That was an experience in itself! On the back of a truck, up and down hills, sudden stopping and starting, dead rabbits inching toward you with the inertia of the moment….Yeah, I watched them closely to make sure they didn’t inch too close!

These little guys loved fires. They had 3..or was it 4? fires going at once. It kept us warm so why complain?

The day before we flew out, we spent the day in San Diego…coffee shop, beach, chick-fil-a, the bays around San Diego, driving around trying to find places we wanted, and then before we knew it, it was time to say good-bye. Time to go through security and face the real world again. Time to face jet-lag (yes, it IS real) time to fly back to our homeland, where people speak a language we understand, where we eat things that don’t burn our tastebuds 🙂 and where life has continued on without us, but is waiting for us to jump back in the driver’s seat, ready or not.

Mexico, you have treated us well, and I’m so glad you allowed us to be a part of your country for a short little while. My dream come true, and to top it off, we had sunshine and warmth. Made new friends, cooked new foods,( and also tried new foods.), survived rabbit hunting, and communicated without many words. I was reminded that in another language, a smile goes so far. Laughter goes even farther, and before you know it, you have broken down the stranger barrier without even speaking a dozen words!

*I know it’s lengthy, but this is really about half as wordy as I could have made it. So many memories packed into so few days. Ohio, it’s good to be back!*