Jerry took this photo at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. I just loved it and so I’m sharing it with you. Jerry, by the way, is doing just fine. He saw the doctor today…can go in the pool, can play golf and yes, can mow the lawn. He’ll have the other leg done on April 30. He went to the Y yesterday to work out and was thrilled with the results on the treadmill…no more pain in the left leg. When both are done, he’ll be able to walk for miles!
And I’m doing fine. I notice that I don’t have the energy that I used to have….can’t go strong all day doing major cleaning, that’s for sure. And walking the beach in soft sand does me in a lot faster than it used to. Today I was on the beach with an old Holyoke friend, Pat Laudato….we walked to the jetty and then to the Crow’s Nest (a local restaurant for lunch) and then back. I had fully expected to come home and clean bathrooms. Instead I was slouched on the couch with my laptop making flight reservations and searching Amazon for birthday presents. Bathrooms will have to wait until tomorrow.
I am so aware of how fortunate Jerry and I are. I was at a funeral this weekend for the daughter of a book club friend…the daughter. How do people ever survive the loss of a child? How do they do it? It doesn’t matter that this child was in her fifties. She’s still someone’s little girl. And I’ve been getting updates from Caring Bridge about Charlie Moran, an amazing man who taught English at UMass and was director of the Western Mass Writing Project. Charlie empowers people…finds the giftedness in them, shows them what they can do…and Charlie is dying of cancer and has very little time left. And Mary Anne is doing well but still has chemo every three weeks for the rest of her life. I have friends who are in constant pain, friends whose children are lost to them at this time, friends whose spouses are slipping away, who are dealing with far more than I can imagine. So yes, we are counting our blessings.
Funny story about the funeral….I was at a meeting Saturday morning, slipped out early with a friend so we could grab a bite to eat before the 1:00 funeral, shoveled our salads in and skidded into the church parking lot with ten minutes to spare..Whew…EXCEPT it was the wrong church. Jumped back in the car (who would think Venice would have two Presbyterian churches?) and dashed to the right church just as the service was beginning. I do need to read more carefully. It DID say Trinity Presbyterian, not Venice Presbyterian. I’m just glad I got there.
State testing has been in the news a lot lately…my own sweet granddaughter is taking the third grade test in Texas tomorrow. She tends to get anxious over tests…panics when something doesn’t make sense right away. Erin has told her she doesn’t have to take the test if she doesn’t want to. She thinks she wants to but at least she knows her mom and dad don’t care. It is amazing to see how many kids across the country are “opting out”. I’m wondering if there really will be a change and the country will rethink their love affair with data and testing and realize what it’s doing to education. Aside from everything else, I KNOW that kids (and teachers) really think the school year is DONE once testing is over (even if there are weeks and weeks to go) So when you calculate how much time is spent getting ready for the test, taking practice tests, taking the real test and marking time after the test until the last day of school…how much real teaching and learning time actually is left in schools???
Books…I read Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park ages ago and loved it (thanks, Eileen). Last week I read Fangirl...another good one if you like YA books. Niall Williams’ Only Say the Word is beautifully written and incredibly sad but I loved it (thanks, Martha) and I didn’t like H is For Hawk (no it is not a Sue Grafton book) although I know it’s getting rave reviews. And it is well written…I tried to like it. I just didn’t. I think it was the description of the hawk killing the rabbit that clinched it for me.
Enough for now. I do go on and on, don’t I?