Saturday, June 26, 2010


In recent months, I have tried to figure out what makes a place home. I've lived in different apartments, different states, with different people and even in a dorm when I was no longer a student. Some places felt like home after only a couple of weeks. Other places never felt like it - even after a couple of years. Last year, I received a note that said, "Home is where you are waited for and wanted." Last week, I received a present from my mom that said, "Home is where they love you." I am blessed to have more than one home. When I stepped off the plane in Marquette my parents were waiting for and wanting me to be with them. When I stepped off the plane in Seattle, my brother was waiting for and wanting me back as his favorite roommate! When I woke up yesterday morning, my WA parents were waiting for and wanting me. I didn't get to see them this time - but at least once a year, I usually am able to spend time with my Barney and May. Wherever they are is home to me. There is such a sense of peace and contentment when you know you are home.

Tonight I enjoyed the beauty of the Northwest. I enjoyed the sunset, the mountains, the salty air, the sound of the waves - but most of all I enjoyed my WA parents. I enjoyed being home - with the people who love me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time Flies...

...when you're having fun. I have been so busy I haven't had time to post. I missed my dad's birthday and Father's Day. I'll have to combine those at a later date. In the meantime, here are some pictures of my time at home set to songs from Somewhere In Time - the movie starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour - filmed on Mackinac Island.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Four-wheelin' With My Mama

Today, Mom and I were supposed to sit down and go over serious stuff -- like wills, insurance, bank accounts, etc. It was such a beautiful day we decided to go 4-wheeling instead. We had so much fun. I haven't been able to spend time like this with my mom in years. The skies were blue, the trees and grass are a luscious green, there were birds flitting from branch to branch and butterflies fluttering by. We passed open fields, cows grazing, S. Manistique Lake, Big Manistique Lake, Round Lake, several streams and the river I canoe on each year. On the main road I had to drive behind her but on the dirt roads we were able to drive side-by-side. This was a day to file away in my memory forever. I love my mama.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trout Fishing With My Daddy

My dad and I have been inseparable almost since my birth. I say almost because, as the story goes, when I was first born I was so ugly my dad had to go out in the parking lot to catch his breath. Fortunately he decided he'd keep me, ugly and all, and I've been his shadow ever since. He bought me my first pair of waders when I was so small they didn't even make my size. We stuffed a couple of extra socks in the toes of the boots, rolled down the legs and tied rope around each of my thighs. I remember trying them out in the mud puddles in front of our bait shop.

Mom loves telling the story of how my dad always took me trout fishing with him, before I could even walk. He'd strap on his waders, wrap me up on his back and away we'd go. She said she never thought to be worried until he showed her a picture he took one day. I was sitting on a tiny island formed from clump grass - water all around - while my dad fished. When she asked him what he was thinking, he replied, "I told her to stay. I knew she would." And I did. I loved being with my daddy.

Our shared love of fishing has kept my dad and me close. We have always had that in common. When my friends were going through their teenage rebellious years - not wanting anything to do with their parents - my dad and I were out on the streams. Our drives to and from the fishing spots were when we did most of our talking. My dad heard his daughter's secrets and dreams at a time when most girls start to pull away from their fathers. I, in turn, received a lot of attention, direction and wisdom (carefully given so I wouldn't recognize it as such and be tempted to pull away.) He taught me confidence and honesty and integrity. Other men wouldn't dream of taking their daughters fishing. That was to be shared with sons. My father never hid his delight that he had taught me well and I could hold my own with any of the boys. Because of his pride, I knew I could succeed. Other men would keep 11 or 12 or even 20 fish when the limit was 10. I mean, really, who would know? Dad never kept more than 10 and they couldn't be one-fraction of an inch less than the legal size. His example taught me the importance of doing the right thing even when no one was looking.

Tonight we went trout fishing, my first time this year. I was a little out of practice and let several get away. Dad could have been impatient with me but he wasn't. He was more concerned that I had fun and that I walked away with my 5 keepers (the new limit.) When I showed frustration, he got in the stream and put his arm around me. He said, "It's okay. You can't expect to be perfect your first day back in the saddle."

I love him. Thank you Father for such a wonderful dad. Because of him, I can love You without reservation.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Home At Last

Aaaaaaahhh! I'm home. I love home. I'm sitting at my parents' computer, in my nightgown - freshly showered. Mom and Dad are in bed. I have my window open and I can hear the frogs as well as some kind of night bird. It smells wonderful. There is nothing like the fresh, wide open, unpolluted air of northern Upper Peninsula. Mmmm.

My plane arrived a little late today because of low visibility. We circled the airport for about 40 minutes and were just getting ready to return to Detroit when the pilot came on and said we had been cleared for landing. I watched out the window and didn't see the runway until about 2 seconds before our tires hit. Pilots are amazing to be able to land without seeing. Our little airport has one gate. It's not even a true gate but they call it Gate A.

Anyway, when I got off, the first face I saw was my daddy-o. He was waiting for me, as he always is. My dad has made every airport run I can ever remember. Oh wait, there was one time last year when he had to work and my mom drove me through fog at 80 mph. I blocked that one out of my mind.

When we arrived home, two hours later, Mom and Dad both had things to show me and then I collapsed in bed for about three hours. When I woke up, we went fishing. We caught 60. I brought in mostly blue gill, but I did catch 2 rock bass and one large-mouth bass. When I was younger my dad called the large-mouthed basses "Heather." Very funny.

It was so peaceful out on the lake. I think it is my very favorite place to be in the whole world. I like the sight of the familiar shoreline. I like identifying friends' homes. It is always fun to be able to see our church steeple. I like it when it starts to get dark and I can see lights twinkling through the trees. I like seeing the eagles flying overhead, the ducks and their babies swimming by, hearing the loons, watching the seagulls. I love being with my parents. I miss them.

When we came off the lake Mom and Dad cleaned about 20 of the fish and we had a fry. It doesn't get any fresher than that. Mom also cooked up some potatoes, onions and corn. After the dishes were done, I went out on the dock and tried to record the frogs croaking and chirping. It has been a wonderful day. Two things are missing to make it brother and my grandma. I'm wearing her sleeveless gown tonight. Now it is mine. I think I will sleep soundly, contentedly and secure. Thank you Father for my childhood home and my wonderful family. I am blessed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sister Is Always Right

My brother and I got into a heated argument today about going to the movies. I told him he was not allowed to see the new Harry Potter or Twilight movies without me. Here is a summary of our conversation:

Him: I saw the last two Twilight movies without you.
Me: No you didn't. You saw the 2nd one with me.
Him: No I didn't. I saw it in San Francisco.
Me: No you didn't. You saw it with me at the smaller Alderwood theater.
Him: No, I didn't. I distinctly remember watching it in San Francisco by myself.
Me: You aren't right.
Him: Yes I am. I can remember the exact theater I sat in and returning home to tell my roommates about the ending. I thought it was excellent. "Bella, will you marry me?"
Me: It's impossible. You need to go home and check the release date. You weren't even in San Francisco when the movie was released.
Him: I don't know why you think you know these things. I think I know what theater I sat in and who I talked to.
Me: Because it is impossible. Before living here, you lived __________. Go home and check. Besides that, you never know if what you are saying actually happened or if you dreamed it.

At this point, silence filled the car. He was stewing and I was sure of myself. When we got home, he checked the release date...what do you know? November of 2009. And where was genius, confident brother at this time? Out here with me. Who did he see the movie with? Me. Who was right? Me. To mark the occasion, I recorded it on my phone. You see, when it comes to movies my brother is never wrong. Except today. And by the way, he just called me a gloater.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

School Memories and Summer Vacation

Today is my last day of the regular school year. My vacation begins tomorrow morning. I just returned from graduation. It's odd. I had no bittersweet feelings as I watched. I didn't feel much at all...just thankful that, as of tomorrow, I will have a taste of freedom. I handed out roses, hugged students, had my picture taken, met family members and am now back at work - preparing to clean out my office. In a few hours I will check-in for my flight home. I will be traveling light - only my laptop and a duffel bag with wheels. My dad will pick me up at the airport. I've given him instructions to bring my sports card with him so we can stop at the store on our way home and I can buy my yearly fishing license. As soon as we pull into my parents' driveway I plan on dumping my stuff in the breezeway and hopping on the pontoon. Oh, how I hope it's not raining. I'm tired of rain.

Watching the senior slide show tonight took me down memory lane a little bit. There were several baby and childhood photos of the students mixed in with images from their years here at SCS. Several of the kids mentioned how quickly their school years flew by. I can agree with that. I can remember my first day of school (30+ years ago) as a five year old who still sucked her thumb. I also remember my brother's first day of school, ten years later. I was so apprehensive about him entering kindergarten. I didn't want anything or anyone to hurt him. The thought of someone being mean to my "little boy" made my stomach hurt. As he got on the bus that first morning, my grandma smiled and took pictures and I stood at her side and cried.

Anyway...a couple of pictures in honor of school days...

First Day of School - Big Sister

Ten years later - waiting for the bus

First Day of School - Little Brother

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Link to Honored, Glorified, Exalted by Randy Vader

Variations on a Theme

Him: "So, you've accepted this new job. Will you commit to 3 - 5 years?"
Me: "No."
Him: "I was only half-serious. I didn't really mean it."

Him: "So it is important that you stay for more than a year. Can you commit to doing that?"
Me: "No."
Him: "Okay, it was worth asking."

Him: "Quick question. Can you assure me that you will be around longer than a year? I am looking at this from a leadership role. I am trying to plan for the future."
Me: "No."
Him: "Okay, woman. Talk to you later." be continued

Friday, June 4, 2010

Why I Love Tutoring

We are focused, serious and teach important information that will help our students not only be persons of success but also persons of value. We are very effective time managers. Not a second of instructional time is ever wasted.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I don't know what happened to the "e" in peace. Hmmmm.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

School Days

The opportunity to step into the role of "Teacher" has presented itself again. Am I ready for this? I thought I was finished being in the classroom. I have conflicting feelings. I do not enjoy teaching but I enjoy the students. I do not enjoy getting up before it is light out but I enjoy getting home before it is dark out. I do not enjoy staff meetings and busywork but I enjoy summertime and play. I do not enjoy prepping for a plethora of classes and grading papers but I enjoy being home to make my own meals and create dinner menus. I am looking forward to other opportunities that may arise because of my new schedule. I guess we'll see!

Elder Care?

Refugee Care?

Foster Care?


Let Me prepare you for the life that stretches out before you. I know exactly what it will contain, whereas you have only vague ideas about it. You would like to see a map, showing all the twists and turns of your journey. You'd feel more prepared if you could somehow visualize what is on the road ahead. However, there is a better way to be prepared for whatever you will encounter: Spend quality time with Me.

I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will thoroughly equip you for the journey. My living Presence is your Companion each step of the way. Stay in continual communication with Me, whispering My Name whenever you need to redirect your thoughts. This way, you can walk through the day with your focus on Me. My abiding Presence is the best road map available.
~Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Exodus 33:14; John 15:4-7