Thursday, July 26, 2012

Holidays, Retirement and TIME

So.... I remember talking to colleagues near the end of June and hearing them wish me a wonderful holiday.  Of course they were referring to the upcoming national holiday.  However, it gave me great pause for reflection since, when you are retired, there ithe difference between holidays and regular days becomes blurred.

You have to know that I was the kind of person in the work world that religiously documented all national and school holidays as soon as the new academic calendar arrived.  I LOVE holidays - they mean sleeping in, fun times with family and just a break from the hectic days at work.  Don't get me wrong - I have been one of the lucky ones.  I love my job and my profession.  I could and did lose myself in a myriad of important, and, maybe not so important, tasks that engaged, challenged and inspired me as a teacher and department chair.

I still love holidays - I love to decorate the house (for grandkids now), plan holiday menus (but not actually cook them - that's Raymond's job) and activities, and participate in fun activities.  However, I sleep in or not...any day I want to, and my time with family and friends now happens based on needs and wants as opposed to squeezing free time out of a very crammed work schedule!

And think about it - I've been thinking about this the whole month of July and just found the TIME to write about it.  Life is different, but life is definitely GOOD!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sanibel and Great Idea

This is the third time I have been invited to present at the Sanibel Symposium.  It is a very special 2 1/2 day event where Florida administrators, faculty and technical staff get together and share ideas and best practices.  I always love to go because I learn so much.  The way I seem to learn best is to listen to a great idea and then begin to apply it to my teaching and work environment.

So I was happily learning new technology strategies to use with the students when I had to stop and say - ummm, but I'm not teaching any more.  After I rolled that around in my head for a while, I took a new step for me.  I just let the ideas percolate,  and I began to reflect more and visualize wider possibilities  and connect these thoughts outside my personal sphere of knowledge.  I enjoyed this very much, and for a fleeting moment, I think I understood the concept of wisdom - but that was very fleeting  :-)

The other amazing thing about this trip was that even though it was my third trip, it was the first time I had TIME after the symposium to look around and explore Sanibel and Captiva islands.  I loved so many things about this amazing place...

1) swimming in the ocean at bath water temperature  
2) finding interesting shells (but so strange - almost every one was "shelling" but often I was the only one in the water.  I wanted to yell, "Excuse me, there is an ocean here."  Oh well, different culture I guess.
3)  Eating the freshest seafood ever.  I'm still drooling over the shrimp and the fresh fish.  I could give up chocolate for those tastes.
4) Being next to a Brown Pelican and just having him (or her - not sure about that) stare at me - like "What are you doing in the water?  Don't take my fish!"  I was so close so I could almost touch him. 
5)  Enjoying a beautiful sunset on Captive.  It seemed like the whole town ambled quietly to the beach and watched the sunset quietly and patiently and then disbursed.  It was magical!

So I really like this ability to think differently and travel differently.  I think I'm going to like this - Anyway, I'm off to a great start!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Camp Nana Abo V

Work might be easier than taking care of all our grandsons, but it certainly isn't as fun.  

5 boys, 13 days, extreme exhilaration and exhaustion

Some of the sounds from the annual Summer Camp:  

"I 'm hungry"
"Lift the lid, flush, wash your hands!"
"Can we play soccer, play Wii, watch TV?"
"I'm bored."
"I'm hungry"
"Take off your shoes."
"Don't fight, I'm going to count to ten."
" Can we have an otter pop, some gum, Gatorade?"
"We're hungry."
"If you don't settle down, no movie tomorrow!"
"I need water."
"I love you Nana and Abo."

We love you MORE...

One of the favorite activities was soccer in the yard. My legs look like one big not human bruise.   The youngest two loved to play soccer against Nana and Abo.  They said to huddle for a strategy session.  

When Abo and I huddled, we just looked at each other and said, "Don't die!"