Jamaica

I’m trying to decide how I want to do this. I’m wondering if it’s even worth it to try to describe the amazing amount of fun and sunshine and memories that were made on this trip. I’m even wondering if this is going to be a 2-part session or if I should cram it all in one. You see, about 2 weeks ago, (well, now it’s almost 3 weeks) me and several of my friends flew to Jamaica to meet another friend and spend some time touring, enjoying sunshine, and getting away from it all. So, when you put all of those together into one week, and then try to fit in one blog post, it seems almost impossible. I’ll try, but just know that if you weren’t there, it may get kinda boring scrolling through all of the pictures, so if that happens, kindly exit your browser and just forget the fact that you wasted the last 5-10 minutes reading something that you felt wasted your time.  🙂

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Airport selfie

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This was a ‘plane train’ (I think is what they called it.) We ended up at the very last stop that this train made and realized it wasn’t the one we wanted. So we hopped across the aisle and went back the way we had come from. We didn’t mind. We had time plenty of time, and the rides were fun!

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This was a typical sight this week. 😉

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We all react to boredom in our own separate ways.

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Reading by the airplane window…

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Remember what I said about reacting to boredom differently?? 🙂

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We got to our gate with about 5 hours to waste. So we claimed a row of seats by the window and it was actually quite entertaining. I was trying to get people to wave at me from down below as they would come and go . Needless to say, I got one individual to, and then that individual was working below in pretty much that same spot for almost the entire remaining 3.5-4 hours. OOOPPSSS!! 🙂

Also, I feel I should inject about right in here, that I am an avid people watcher. I love to watch people, and listen to the conversations going on around me. I’m also a bit of a number-lover (good thing, as I spend most of my time in an office) 🙂 Anyway, I found myself very intrigued with all the different forms of job titles that are being performed in an airport, the languages that must be known, and how they handle payroll for everyone. (I do it for about 10-15 guys, and that’s enough for me! I’m sure they do it an easier way than we do) I also found myself very curious about the pay rate for these jobs. Some of them are very demanding, and must include some pretty good people skills. I never did ask anyone what they got paid, but I was curious! 🙂 (nerd alert!)

Also, on another note, Atlanta airport, you had one of the louder TVs blaring political news that I didn’t care to know about. Oh well, comes with the traveling, I guess.

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Sometimes boredom makes people do strange things. Like play games. *shudder* 🙂

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Because when all your food gets through customs and because some of us got close to an interrogation, and some of us slipped right through, what better way to celebrate than to open the suitcases and share all the loot!? (even if it seems really late, and you’re pretty weary from the travel) While going through customs (as mentioned above, some of us got through with no problems, others had question after question asked). One of us got sent to the declarations line, and was asked to see a few things in the suitcase that we were taking over. He asked whether we were Amish, and he got the reply that we’re Mennonites. A puzzled look crossed his face, so a further explanation was given that “We’re kinda like the Amish, but we drive cars.” He got a chuckle out of this, and we got to keep all our food, so that’s a good thing, right?!

We took a picture the first morning we were there and the morning we left. I think the sunshine did something for us…at least a little. 🙂

The first day we were there was a Sunday. We went to church, and then came back and had a relaxing afternoon, just doing a bunch of relaxing things, and catching up with Marie. As you can (and will) see, smoothies were a highlight of this trip. And, we almost always had to taste each others to see if they were any good. 🙂 We also experienced a Jamaican grocery store. Very much like America’s stores, very modernized an all.

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Monday didn’t really go according as planned. We were planning to go with Marie and some others from the orphanage to a school that they help out in every week. It ended up, Marie got a new baby brought in to be placed in her care right before we were planning to leave, so she didn’t go along. We had done some cleaning in the morning, we made some food to take to the school, and folded laundry to help out. We still went, and we had lots of fun helping the children color, playing with them, and just showing love. We came back and ended up going out for smoothies and I had my first experience driving in Jamaica. The gasps coming from the passenger side as we traveled up the road on the last stretch of their road were enough that it was scaring me as well. (I wasn’t that sure about the whole ordeal to start with, so this didn’t help any!) 🙂 We made it safely.

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I think this was an attempt at scared faces for my driving??

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This was the road to the mission. Supposedly a 2 lane road, we were told the first night we were there, that if you meet someone, the person who’s going up, is supposed to back down into a place that you can pass each other. This girl’s not good at backing! Just ask my family! 🙂 So this road was definitely not my favorite while driving. 🙂

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Pretty sure I was stopped at a light or something. 🙂

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I mean, come on! Can my driving be that bad??

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This is us with our rental. I wanted to name her Beatrice, but apparently, it was a ‘he’, so his name was Louie.

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Seriously, the roof was a favorite place to go. You could see so far, and it was away from most of the people. I think that Americans need to start building some more flat roofs, cause that would just be pretty cool.

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Tuesday, we went to a place called Blossom. It’s an orphanage/school that the mission goes to help out once a week. (I think it’s once a week, anyway) We weren’t supposed to take pictures so there will be no pictures of the children. The babies crying, and not enough arms/hands to go around. It was a day we all enjoyed, holding babies and just cuddling them, because usually once you put them down to go find another, they would start crying again. We fed the babies and a few helped with the toddlers lunch, and then we got to play with them at recess. There was a Norwegian work team there and it was so interesting to hear all their plans. They were a music team, and they were traveling around for a few weeks. Obviously, Jamaica was on their list, and Los Angeles I think was one. There were several stops yet. Before we talked with them, we heard the children singing and a few of the guys sang with them. Two of us noticed how beautiful their singing sounded, and then we found out they were with a music team and it made sense. We wanted to ask them to sing a song for us, but none of us were that brave. 🙂 We made it to the beach on this day, and there were a lot of people everywhere! It wasn’t just spring break for Melita, let’s just leave it at that. I drove Louie again, and the gasps from the passenger side were fewer and I felt a little better about it, so we survived again!

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I was told by someone before I left, to make sure to try their Jerk chicken. I did….. a couple times to be exact, and it was good!

Wednesday, we were just around the mission there. Marie had child care duty, so she had to be there. We played with the children there, and just hung out, and had fun. One of our group got sick and was down for a day. It was good we had no plans for the day, but still I’m sure she feels like she missed out on a day of fun.

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Isn’t it beautiful how God created us so uniquely different? You have brown skin, I have white. Yet, in God’s eyes, He calls it all good! It’s all beautiful!

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Their hair was just something you wanted to touch. Remember what I said above? Different, but both beautiful. This applies to hair as well.

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See this amazing view from the roof??!!

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I couldn’t quite decide whether I liked the night view or the daytime view better. I did have a sobering thought that went something along the lines of this…”Out of all those city lights, I’m just one of them.” (technically, though, this thought has several errors in it. I was the one looking at the lights, so I couldn’t have been one of them, and this was only a small part of the small island of Jamaica. Imagine what it looks like from God’s point of view and He sees all of the city lights from all over the world, and yet finds time to love each one of us infinitely!!) If that doesn’t humble you, I’m not sure what will.

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This mission had this cross on their roof, and in the dark, while driving through town, you could see it if you knew where to look.

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One evening, we had a fire on the roof. (yes, on purpose) 🙂 We didn’t stay too long though, and we went back down to our safe, private dwelling. 🙂 This was also one of the evenings we saw a helicopter flying around above, shining a spotlight around the city.

Thursday was a big day! The one who was sick, woke up happy and excessively cheerful in the morning. Not that I blame her, but just pointing that out. 🙂 We were going to head to Dunn’s River Falls, and so off we went. It ended up raining. Like, not just a drizzle, but a good, hard shower. So we went to do some touristy shopping instead. We ate at a fast food joint, had a jerk burger and french fries, and by the time we headed back to the falls, the rain had tapered off, and we were able to climb it. To be honest, I. don’t. like. water. But, I was determined to do this, because, honestly, how bad could it be? And, just to say I did it was an accomplishment in my book. About halfway up, we met up with a lady from England??, she was celebrating her 60th?? birthday, (sorry, some of the details are a little spotty for me) and her children had paid for her to come there, so of course she felt she should do it. We (or rather, most of the other members of my group) helped her up. I was just concerned about getting ‘me’ to the top safely. I obviously was shaking at one point, because they kept asking me if I’m ok, and noticed that I was shaking. Needless to say, I did accomplish it, thanks to some good old-fashioned Eash and Coblentz stubbornness, and the hands of those around me helping me out when it was about waist-deep, and I was getting a little more petrified (thankful for friends that I can count on like 4, 3, 2 😉 ) ……..but then I was done. I had done what I set out to do, and that was to climb to the top. The others wanted to go back in, and do it again, so I sat on the benches on the path, waiting for them to come back up and trying to catch my breath again. 🙂 (some of this might be slightly exaggerated, but if any of you don’t like water, you may understand this version better than others reading this) This was one of the highlights of the trip for the others. While I was glad I did it, I can’t say I loved it as much as they did. 🙂 We also had a good laugh at a rant that one of us gave when a kind young man tried to give us pointers on how to park at a restaurant. This rant was hilarious, and we were bursting with laughter in the car. The young man had a smirk on his face, and that made it even funnier!! (and it made the rant-ee a little more ranti-er.) We also ate supper in this cute, little, open-air restaurant with viney flowers as the roof. It was pretty cool!

The next pictures are just a conglomeration of a bunch of random times and places. (most of them were Thursday’s, I think!)

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Jamaican fast food

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You can’t see it really well, but this is the cute place I talked about.

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Here’s the nerd-y number part of me again. I was waiting for the others to complete their second time up the falls and happened to see this date carved there. I thought it fascinating, so I took a picture. 🙂

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This sign was a relief for me to see! 🙂

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Also, Thursday evening, after we got back, the game players played Rook. I held and fed a baby. So much cooler than Rook, in my book! 🙂

Friday was the beach day!! In the morning, we had a little more time to play with the children at the mission. Then we went to do some more shopping, and went to a fabric store as well. A story in the fabric store…I didn’t see it happen, but the store security guard got a kick out of it!! Marie had told us to watch our purses carefully. So, we did. One of the group went up to another one to try to get something out of her purse never knowing that it might cause a scare. The one being ‘stolen from’ 😉 reached down and grabbed the hand of the person who was reaching in and soon realized it was just her sister. The guard apparently saw all of this, and had a pretty big chuckle out of it. 🙂 I wasn’t involved, so I think it would’ve been funny to see as well! 🙂 We went to the beach, and it was hot. It was kinda cloudy, but still sunny, and pretty humid. Just as we were getting ready to leave, it started raining again. The place we were going to eat was called Pier 1 and it was out on a pier, open air, and you could look out over the ocean. Because of the rain, we got a corner room, that was hot an musty. We debated asking them to move because by now, the rain had slowed down, but didn’t. It ended up getting stormy, with lightning and thunder, so we kept the corner in the room. The food was great, even if it took a long time to come! 🙂 It poured rain most of the evening. We decided to run to the car, and some of the water was way past ankle deep, as we splashed to the car. Then the rain slowed traffic down, and when we got home, we had to start packing and cleaning. We had a few deep discussions, and some braids were done. Then, off to bed we went, cause traveling home was tomorrow!!

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This is grainy and blurred, but memories were being made.

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Because how can you eat at a restaurant without taking a picture of it??

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This is us with our happy faces.

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And this is us with our annoyed faces, because of the atmosphere, and the length of time it was taking to get our food to come to us.

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I discovered bubbles on a beach can make great pictures!!

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Friday we traveled home. I was really worried about driving to the airport. (thus the practice sessions earlier. I knew I wouldn’t want the airport ride to be my first driving experience) It was early enough on a Sat. to not be busy. So we fueled up, and dropped off 2 of them with the luggage and then 2 of us went to park the car. I parked it in the wrong place, so we had to go back to park it right, and then we went through security, checked in, and we were ready to fly!

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Chick-fil-a is a treat for us Northerners. 🙂

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They were so proud of these socks!!

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Ready to go home!!

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This trip was amazing!! Here are some things I learned.

*’You can count on me…..’ 🙂

*Jamaican culture is bright, happy, cheerful, easy-going, and l.a.i.d.b.a.c.k.

*Jamaicans will blast their music anywhere. We even went past a store that was blaring a song about Jesus. (I don’t remember the song anymore) And….No one seemed to be offended by it!

*Apparently ‘you all have one husband’ can have 2 meanings. It can mean you all share one husband, or you all have only one husband each. P.S.–I took the question the wrong way, and the ladies asking were horrified until I finally understood. 🙂

*For some reason (and I’m not sure why, or if we’re the only ones), you feel more free to share about your Christianity and why you have a veil on your head in another country.

*We are ‘USA-ans’ 🙂

*Prayer really works!! I knew this before, but we prayed several times over there for specific things and God answered!! One of the biggest was Marie’s boy was not sleeping well. One evening, he woke up around 4 times or so. (he’s right around 2 yrs. old) We prayed for him the night before we had a big day planned so that he would sleep good, and Marie would be rested up for the next day. One of the girls talked to Marie just recently, and she said he hasn’t woken up during the night since then!! Praise the Lord!! Another was for healing for the one who got sick. The next morning, she felt better. Overly cheerful, but better!! 🙂 Praise the Lord!!

*On a side note, I had no episodes while I was there. Even with the stresses of traveling, etc. 🙂 It’s been super long since I had one, and you all can keep praying that the health continues!! 🙂

*Security officers are not as scary as they seem. They are just doing their job, and if you are friendly and open to them, they can be friendly as well.

*There are people from all over the world, and we only see a part of them. We met (and at least a couple of our group did some talking!!) to people from Norway, Jamaica (no, duh!), Canada (2 groups), England, and I’m thinking there was one from Israel??

*Apparently Ohio and Hawaii sound kinda alike. One person asked us, “So you say ‘hello’, or …….’aloha’?? Then we realized what the confusion was.

*Friends, trips, and making memories are great!! But, there’s a time when this girls has got to get back to normal life, or the grouchiness sets in….To my shame! And we all said, AMEN!! 🙂 🙂

*Singing in the car with friends is like pretty cool.

*Sharing time with friends, giggling in the dark about the Big Dipper, and sharing hard things we struggle with, laughing at hilarious moments, being touristy…..These all make for great memories!

I honestly don’t feel like I’ve shared it all. I feel like there are important memorable experiences I left out. Hopefully, this was not boring, and hopefully, it gave you a bit of a view into our trip. It was great to go and get a week off of work, and great to come home, and get back to work. 🙂

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December Busyness

Ok, really, this could’ve been named 2017 Summer and Fall busyness, but nah, I’ll leave it the way it is. 🙂 This will be a random conglomeration of pictures with some random details. You’re brave if you follow along, and if you make it to the end, you have an amazing resilient brain that can keep up with the most random ramblings. 🙂

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I had another niece born to me. Well, to our family, but she’s still mine 🙂 Kari Rebecca surprised us all when she entered this world almost 2 weeks early. I’m not complaining! 😀

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One day this summer/fall, we got a lot of rain. Our small creek flooded. By the end of the day, it was down to a more normal size again. We didn’t float away. The End.

Who knew you could change the look of a wallet this much. It’s not perfect, and I don’t claim to be a perfectionist, or a DIY-er, but the updated version suits me SO. MUCH. BETTER!!

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Pills, pills, pills. Find more of the updated health journey here. If I’d never have to see another one of these orange bottles, it would be pretty amazing! 🙂 Seriously, though, you’d think they could at least get some ‘pleasing to the eye’ colors!

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One day, we baked lots of cookies. Well, I kinda held the baby and drove to and from the office to take care of random office things that people needed, with just a slight hand in the cookie dough. The others did great, though, don’t you think!? 🙂

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If you’ve never had an ice cream party, I highly encourage you to get a group of besties together and dig in!! I won’t tell you how much was left by the time we were done.

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Did you know guys can do dishes too? This was apparently not supposed to be posted online…oopsies! 🙂 I like starting most new traditions, but especially if they’re this kind! (Who knows if it’ll last?)

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Unfortunately, there was one girl missing when I took these pictures. Sunday school for a year with them is____________ (I’ll let you fill in the blank)

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Silly…

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and just (mostly) happy!

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Just look at the expressions on this girl! She was in the midst of intently saying something, and I wish I could remember what it was!! 🙂

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It’s been a year that Grandma left this earth. I’m so glad I have this beautiful handiwork of hers in my room. It’s amazing and took a skill I don’t think I have!

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Our youth had an ugly Christmas sweater party. The pictures say a lot. A lot more than I could! 🙂

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My office I work in got moved. New location is great! Nothing fell apart, and I still have a building to do work in. Thumbs up!

How was your summer/fall/winter 2017? Anything exciting happen? Share a picture and keep your favorite memories alive!

 

Big Happenings in a Small-Town

You remember last post, I mentioned nothing exciting ever happens to me. Well today, that was a little bit of a lie (or rather a lot of a lie 🙂 ) Read on for the full story (facts will be as best as I can remember from having such an adrenaline rush, but may have some of my slightly dramatic/exaggerating flair to it….hmmmm 🙂 )

It’s not every day you get held at gun-point and patted down by the police. While leaving one of my jobs and on my way to the other, I was driving (quite rapidly, like usual, so I’m not late, leaning down and changing my socks as I drive out the long lane). I noticed a mass of police cars and thought about how I had seen one pulled over when I got there……at which time it seemed just like a routine traffic stop. But then I realized they seem to be pretty excited to see me…..several coming close to the beginning of the driveway and waving/motioning to me, while others are lining up and keep coming. They didn’t seem to stop coming and lining up! I slowed down/stop and in my adrenaline-infused body, I remembered to open my window to seem as less of a threat. Soon, I heard them shouting at me, something that I can’t understand. I remember feeling some of the warning signs that something’s about to happen to my body (the passing out, etc.) and thinking that ‘oh, shoot, here I go!’ and realizing there’s nothing I can do about it, and they’ll just have to take care of me…Needless to say, I think I calmed myself down by assuring myself I didn’t do anything wrong, and I ask them what their shouted command had been. (miraculously the symptoms kinda stopped…..Thank-you Jesus, and it just kinda re-affirms to me that the symptoms I’ve been having have to do with heart/adrenaline/blood pressure issues) They repeated to, “Put your hands in the air, get out of the car and walk slowly towards us.” By this time, I had one sock and shoe off so I quickly grabbed the shoe and put it on, and began walking, while thinking to myself, “I hope no one sees me that I know. What are all those cars lined up thinking about this Mennonite woman walking towards the police?” 🙂 (Yes, my mind wonders funny things sometimes) Sometime on my way over, my mind realized they were pointing a gun at me, but I knew if I cooperated and did just as they said, I shouldn’t have a problem. I got to the group of roughly 5-7 policemen, and one asked me to step over there, asked if I had any weapons on me…(hmmm, nope!) He put his gun away, and asked if he could pat me down. I knew I had nothing to hide, so I told him ‘sure.’ He told me to put my hands behind my back, while assuring me, I was not under arrest, and he would explain in a minute. (By this time, I almost felt like bursting into tears, and the thought had crossed my mind to ask what was going on…..my emotions were oh, so wild) So after a quick assurance to make sure I was unarmed, I was told that there is an escaped felon on the run, last seen running in the field right beside where I worked, and wondered if I had seen any suspicious activity. I was told his name, shown a picture, and asked if I had seen anyone lurking around, or anything out of the ordinary. I told them different times that “no, I was there to do work. I’m kinda secluded from everything that happens and I don’t see or hear a whole lot that goes on.” I was asked questions, and they had my full cooperation, because I had a job to get to, AND I really wanted to know all of what was going on. “Who owns the house back there?” “Can you give us a layout of the buildings, etc.?” “Is there anyone in the car with you?” (No, not that I know of) “Do you mind if we check?” (No, it would make me feel better if you did…as thoughts raced about how he could be hiding in my trunk unknown to me.) “Does the owner of the house own alot of firearms?” (ummm, I don’t really know. What do you consider alot?) “Is there anyone else in the house or on the property?” (No, not that I know of) So, I waited, they asked more questions, I waited some more, I was assured this was not meant to scare me, (I’m pretty sure my adrenaline was still high at this point), I watched as they searched my vehicle, all the while trying to be on my best behavior so they would trust me and let me leave, so I could go to work. At one point, I looked down, and then realized/remembered I have one shoe with a sock, and one shoe without a sock, that’s how crazy this morning was! One unit came with a dog, and they just kept watching the house/property. (It was kinda cool hearing something about the vehicle coming out of the driveway is clear…knowing they were talking about me 🙂 ) After giving them all the information they needed, I shook one’s hand, said ‘thank-you’ to them and after changing my shoes and socks back to the normal way they should’ve been, I left, knowing that if I’d be late to work, I’d REALLY have a valid excuse!! 🙂

After I calmed down a little more, I began thinking about how this could’ve been much worse. My emotions were high, and it wouldn’t have taken much to make me cry….yes, for no reason. I was by myself, back in a secluded area. He could’ve been watching me, with all the places to hide around there, and I would not know it. He could’ve crawled in my car, or been watching me leave. I’m thankful today, for God’s protection, and his watch and care over His children.

I also am thankful for the ones on duty today. While it terrified me at first, they were first of all concerned about doing their job. When an unidentified vehicle came out of the driveway (me), they were on it, and they were watching, ready to take action. They were professional and to the point, making me feel safe and secure, and assuring me they didn’t mean to scare me. Men in blue risk so much each day, never knowing what they’ll get into on their next shift, yet I want you to know, they passed the test with flying colors today. Our little town is not meant to have crime and runaway felons, it’s meant to be safe, and so we thank them for all their hard work today.

Policemen, EMTs, paramedics, fire-fighters, nurses, doctors…..all emergency workers….These are the un-sung heroes of our day. It’s never a place I’d want to put myself in, and yet, I’m so glad someone enjoys it and takes the challenge. Take a moment and say ‘thank-you’ the next time you see one of them. I assure you, it will NOT be rejected!

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.

 

Discoveries of A *Once-Upon-A-Time* Teacher

First of all, let me begin by saying I know that the title above is longer than a title is supposed to be. I’m horrible at naming my posts, and being that this was the first thing that popped into my head, and it sounded remotely decent, you will just have to deal with the lengthy, out-of-breath type of title. (how’s that for a run-on sentence?)

It’s been well over a month now that school has been going on without me, and I’m still not exactly sure how to express how I feel about it. In the meantime though, I’ve discovered some things about myself and teaching that I thought I would try to share with you.

#1. You can take the teacher out of school, but you can’t take the school out of the teacher. This is proven simply by how my thoughts are drawn almost daily to school at least once…..or twice…..or thrice. It is proven even more, knowing that if you ask me randomly at any time of the school day, I could give you a general idea of what is happening just by glancing at the clock.

#2. It is not the same, nor will it ever be. The relationships you had with those delightful kids–yes, they will still mostly be there, but not seeing them every day, and not knowing what is going on in their life, they will at times treat you like a total stranger–Just because, “It’s different.”

#3. Stress levels go WAY down when you don’t teach school. I’ll just leave it at that 😀

#4. School CAN go on without you. As hard as it is to accept sometimes, and even harder to admit to anyone, there ARE wonderful teachers out there who can do just as good or even better than you. Just get over yourself, and accept it.

#5. I honestly don’t believe I will ever find a job or career as rewarding as teaching. (I’m open right now for options though, if you want me to give it a chance! 😉 yes, this is me, searching for a more full-time job on my blog..any takers?? 🙂 …..) As much work that goes into it, and time and energy it zaps right out of you, the rewards it gives you are way worth the effort.

#6. My writing material literally is non-existent! If you remember, back in the days of the classroom, lots of my writing was based on what happened there….Funny stories, sobering moments, great times of learning, or art projects we did together. Now, if I’d write about my life-work, it would be something like this..”sliced meat and cheese today”, “opened 5 new emails, and deleted the spam”, “customer drove me literally batty”, “created new bills, and paid the old”, “made a mistake on payroll, now I have to fix it”….See? Told you it’d be boring!

#7. No matter how “OK” you think you’ll be with giving it up, there will always be a little tug at your heart when you hear “school talk” being discussed.

#8. No matter how “OK” you are with someone taking over “your” kids, secretly, deep down inside, you will always look at them as yours. (SHHHH, don’t tell anyone!)

#9. There are things you will NOT miss. The permanent tired, exhausted feeling, the stress, the schedule, tears of a child who has just ‘had it’ with school, the dread of failure, behavior problems….

#10. You get excited when asked to substitute, even when it’s not “your” kids, or “your” class. Just the thought of being in the school atmosphere is invigorating for you, and it feels good to be back, especially when someone comments that it looks so normal to see you here! (The sudden popularity you get doesn’t hurt either 😉 )

#11. You will see teacher memes from all over the web, and you will still feel like you can identify with them, even though it’s been a really long time since you were in the classroom.

#12. You will never, ever lose the ‘teacher look/glare’. I’m a bossy one (strong leadership skills 🙂 ?) to begin with (just ask my little/younger, not-so-little brother), so perfecting the ‘teacher look’ was something I had practiced my whole life! I have it down to a ‘T’ now, so why should I lose it?!

#13. You lose your avenue of family stories. No one to tell you updates on their families. Something funny that happened at their house or something scary….On my recent substituting adventure, I was told a story of a hero boy who saved his dad from burning a house down. 😀

#14. Nobody says it as bluntly as kids! (thank goodness they kinda grow out of that!)

#15. You will have some regrets about the way you did things. Looking back, you realize maybe you focused too much on insignificant things and not enough on what is really important, all the while knowing that you did what you did and at the time it was your very best!

#16. Life moves on, and if you don’t move with it, it will trample you. Keeping busy, hearing school stories, and showing up randomly at school are all things that help you move on. The things that happen, happen for a reason, whether you understand them or not, whether you agree with what’s happening or not. Trust, faith, and strong determination help keep you together. Tears are necessary for healing, as well as many substitute days! 😉

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Did You Know?

Did you know that bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers were all invented by women? (fact found on Pinterest, which sadly was not invented by a woman 🙂 )

Did you know that the first man to cross Niagara Falls later died by slipping on an orange peel?

Did you know in Cleveland, OH, it is illegal to catch mice without a hunting license?

Did you know that summers are absolutely AMAZING?! (by the way, for future reference, “?!”, is called an interrobang.)

Did you know that you can have a super intense desire to write with absolutely NOTHING to write about? This has been my issue the past few weeks…I wanted to write, with nothing to write about. I’ve tried several times and nothing seems to work. I’ve decided that my students/teaching provided most of my inspiration for writing, and now that it’s summer, my subjects are no longer near me!

I smile when I think of the difference between my 2 different jobs. One has immense emotional and relational rewards and the other has extreme ummm….fun stuff that I like to do a lot. (that sounds like I need to go back to school for awhile, but if you stick with me, I’ll do my best to explain)

One of them is emotionally draining, but oh, so rewarding in the end when you see the things FINALLY begin to sink in (even if it’s in the last week of school)..the other is oh so rewarding when those numbers on the computer screen FINALLY begin to go to their right places, and things are FINALLY looking up!

One of them makes you extremely tired, but somehow you find energy to get up and go the next morning….the other…it’s a little scary, but you can be your own boss, set your own time schedule and show up to work kinda whenever you want. 🙂

One of them caters to your introverted side, and you can be holed up in a little hole listening to music as you type your emails, write checks, and balance the books. The other just about frazzles the last of those introverted nerves and being around people ANOTHER day, ALL day…..yeah, that’s why Saturdays are deeply treasured!

One of them stretches Both stretch you to grow…… in different ways of course. One gives you the opportunity to shape little minds and hearts, while the other just gives you plenty of opportunities to talk to people on the phone. (YUCK! That’s why texting/email was invented !)

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I saw this quote the other day and it made me thankful I’m not the only one that thinks like this! 🙂

 

But as I look at both of these and I look at my summer ahead. I want to take the challenge to rise above the “normal”. You know, just going through the daily grind…getting up, doing my job, eating, sleeping, that sort of thing. I have this extra time loose time schedule for a reason, and I have the choice to choose whether to waste it frivolously or use it wisely.

I’ll leave you with one more “Did you know” fact.. Because it’s close to bedtime…”Did you know eating cheese before going to bed can help improve sleep quality?”

*All “did you know” facts were pulled off the most reliable source out there…the Internet…. Feel free to prove or disprove them all!*