I got up early this morning and went to my polling place on the way to school. So I was proudly wearing my “I voted” sticker all day.
Our third grade classes have been learning about voting and elections the past few weeks. They voted for their favorite cookie (Oreo beat out chocolate chip). They watched videos and read texts, taking notes, which they used in brochures they created with facts and text features telling who can vote, how we vote, and what we vote for. Later this week, they will be imagining their own “brand” of cereal, designing a cereal box, and pitching it in a commercial- then voting for the most persuasive.
Today they went on a field trip- to our school gym, the neighborhood polling place.
They got “I voted” stickers, too.
Planting new seeds of democracy…
As I drive home in the evening of an October day
I pass by scenes of autumn…
The sun, now bright, spreading broad rays of light,
and then casting long shadows as it falls lower in the sky-
Sets the trees with red and orange leaves aglow, nearly afire
and mutes the green and yellow trees
into a soft blur of color
Young yet tall trees that have lost their leaves stretch bare branches up,
an outline of black against the blue, blue sky
and evergreens are hung with cones- fall decorations whispering of winter and Christmas
Ripples spread across a pond as autumn breezes blow
And the flag flutters in the wind, stirring
feelings of pride and patriotism-
As fallen leaves scatter across the ground
And a small windmill spins round and round
In my neighborhood
Light is beginning to fade
Friendly ghosts float from a tree
A witch takes flight on a broom…
Green, purple and orange lights twinkle
Jack-o-lanterns on a porch peek out from behind the last blooms on rose bushes
Pumpkins rest on bales of hay in a side yard
And on my own door a cornucopia banner bids me welcome home…
This week, along with many, many others, my evenings so far have been filled with old-timey country music watching Ken Burns’ series on PBS. So much of that music was the soundtrack of my childhood with my hillbilly dad from Mousie, Kentucky and mom from the Ohio hollers. Of course, during my high school years, I, who by no stretch of the imagination could have been one of the “cool” kids, was too cool for country- drooling for the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.
Then I met “the one” and he was country through and through. Oh, he liked all kinds of music, but country and country gospel were his true musical loves- well, that and Elvis. Many a time I was serenaded by his voice and guitar with a Hank Williams song.
So tonight was especially sentimental, with the story of Hank, the hillbilly Shakespeare, and his great songs and sad life.
Oh, those songs. A sly grin and “Hey, Good Looking.” Tears pooling in your eyes and chin quivering with “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” That happy, good old gospel song “I Saw the Light.” The eerily true “I’ll Never Get Out of This Life Alive.”
I hardly realized how much a part of me they became.
I’ll just close my eyes now and let them rise from my heart.
Today as I was leaving school, the Sky was the glorious clear blue of a sunny afternoon… dotted with the brightest, fluffiest clouds- a perfect contrast to the rainy morning. It was like a special delivery just to make me happy.
Later, as I walked out of the grocery, the Sky was on the border of evening and night, a deepening blue over the rose colored sunset spreading across the horizon. Another gift from the hand of God.
(I must also mention in addition to boring groceries, I scored some great school supplies- I’m talking Crayola crayons, markers, and colored pencils, Ink Joy gel pens, mini-journals, and the cutest “little llama” lunch accessories, for 70% off!)
Back to School. Three little words. But what a stir they cause! Excitement and gladness, to be sure. Eagerness to see your colleagues and students. Stepping back into a familiar (or new, for many) building and room. Getting ready.
The first day arrives, and you are swept up in a whirlwind of tasks and paperwork that no other job could produce. Staying up late and waking up early, trying to add hours to the day- it seems things will never calm down.
Eventually, though, the routine will take hold. The days will still have plenty to do, but the wild wind will settle. The hours in the classroom will bring small satisfying moments, and, at times, amazing, memorable flashes of brilliance.
I’ve been in the whirlwind. I’m ready for gentle breezes.
In the morning rush of drivers
heading toward work
She alone appeared carefree
Rolling along in her convertible
Top down,music blaring,
long hair blowing in the wind,
a huge smile on her face
heading toward fun
The rain drops fall,
huge and heavy,
pelting the trees and bushes
The clouds seemed
to empty themselves
of all the water they held
More gray clouds
fill the sky,
ready, just waiting for the
As a soft breeze
stirs the air,
birds chirp and chatter
Tiny globes of water
cling to leaves
then let go, dripping down
to the ground
A patch of blue
but thunder softly rolls,