Sunday, September 11, 2011

I remember.

I remember 9/11/2001.  It was a week after our neighbor died in a tractor accident.  It was the day that I took my twin daughters for their first day of pre-school.  I remember sitting down at the computer and looking at the aol screen in disbelief wondering how in the heck two planes managed to hit the twin towers.  And then it became clear.

And nothing has been the same.

I remember standing in between my kids' (all five of them) beds and feeling such a finality of life.  It was as if I had given up on my hopes and dreams for the future.  I remember that my oldest son asked about going to church.  He had just started high school at the time and we hadn't been attending church for a while.  I remember feeling totally and utterly helpless.

I remember - and still hear - all the country songs that were spawned by the events of 9/11 and how so many artists protested because they felt these songs made American look like hicks.  I don't agree with that at all. 

I do feel that generalizing categories of people is harmful. But it is kind of like protecting my family:  I'm not taking any chances.  In an ideal world, we would all play nice and we would all get along.  I would be the very first to sign up for a world like that.  I think it is the kind of world that was meant to be.  But realistically, that is not the kind of world in which we live.  I will protect my family from anyone.  No matter their background, race, hairstyle, football team orientation.......I will protect my family from anyone.

9/11 (after time has passed and I've been able to reflect) has not been a benchmark as to when I decided to fear.  Rather it has benchmarked the time at which I've decide who/what/where is important to me.  I have decided not to worry about the little stuff and to try a little harder to fix the bigger things for which I have some control.

Although I always have, I've taken a more active role in matters regarding my country, my state, my county, and my school district.  I appreciate a little - actually a LOT more - the little things in life. 

I think that anything less would be a great disservice to those who have given so much.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And they're off.


The first day of school: first day of high school for my daughters and first day of junior high school for my son.  The summer flew by and that our family calendar that hangs on the door had fallen open to the month of June with the last day of school marked in big letters simply confirms that fact. 

The kids were excited to see old friends, to show off new clothes, to experience new classes even though Jordan and Ikey had actually started the school year in August with band and soccer.  And despite the fact that Haley really had her heart set on going to a prep school this year, she seemed to be excited as well. 

How can it be that they are so eager for time to pass and I only wish that time would stand still?  They are racing to accomplish, to do, to go on and I would give anything just to be able to hold back and savor these minutes for a little while. 

So on their first day back to school, they will spend the day nervously looking for classrooms and catching up with their old friends.  And on their first day at school, I will stay home, can tomatoes, remember my babies, shed a few tears, and think about all for which I have to be thankful.

Happy School Day. Take your time, kids.  Enjoy.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Small town.

We won.  It has been a great week in our small town.  From 8 days of Grange Fair to tonight's win over a rivaled football team, it has been all good in Penns Valley.
A week of enjoying all sorts of fair fare - the footlong chili cheese dog and pulled pork sandwich and chocolate-dipped cheesecake will keep us til next year's fair. 

The kids' first real parade - heavy band uniforms on a sunny day are tradition. Lots of red faces and sweet tea after marching through the campground.




PV's newest percussionist - trying to build up his muscles so that he is able to carry the cymbals (and eventually the bass drum) with ease.




Sprucetown's ark complete with Pastor Jeff as Noah