Lazy River Day

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Nothing philosophical or intellectual in this slice.  Just some good old fashioned fun on the river today.  We paddled about 3/4 mile upstream and then worked our way slowly back downriver by pulling into shore and hanging out for awhile until we were ready to drift down a bit further.  My husband fished the entire day.  I fished a little, drew a couple of water color pictures, wrote a letter, floated in the current, and fished some more.

My husband caught some nice sized Small Mouth Bass and Channel Cats, and  I caught blue gills and bass too small to keep.  While I didn’t have any keepers, I wasn’t shut out.  And, I have a fish story to tell.  I was standing in the water and had cast downriver along the shore when I had a really HARD hit…and miss.  I was reeling in my minnow to recast, and just as I lifted it out of the water in front of me, a bass leaped out of the water at the minnow, missing the minnow and startling a scream out of me.

We were the only ones on the river today, but the butterflies were everywhere, fluttering around us all day.  This group was taking a lunch break, which gave me a chance to get pretty close to take this picture since this is my broken camera (no zoom).

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An enjoyable, relaxing day on the water is refreshing for the soul.

Bewitched by Butterflies

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I’ve spent all day thinking about a slice of life I wanted to write about.  Everything I thought of was a huge slice, so after narrowing my slice down more and more, I finally zoomed in on butterflies.  I feel bewitched and bedazzled by them as they seem to be prolific this summer and everywhere I go.

They got me thinking about that final stage in life…the retirement years, the aging with grace years, the enjoying grand children years, and the-I still want to be in the classroom so why don’t I sub again-years.  After a 3 year hiatus from subbing, I decided to get back on the sub list.  Last night I had the proverbial ‘back to school no discipline in the classroom’ nightmare.  I used to have it every year just before teaching, and was always thankful I never had a class as bad as my nightmares.  So I’m hoping that will be the case when I sub, too.

The butterfly up above must have been exhausted and in need of a good long rest before moving, because it did not budge when I stuck the camera up in its face to take a picture.  They are bold and beautiful and gracefully flit from flower to flower.  While I’m not after mating and laying eggs in this final stage of life, I am after spreading my wings just a wee bit more to bolster confidence, encourage reading, show that math is not insurmountable, and pass along some genuine, kind words.  When the teacher’s away, the kid’s won’t play…but will certainly have a happy day filled with learning…I hope!

Back To School

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The weatherman says it’s not going to rain today, but I’m skeptical as I sit here drinking my morning coffee and watch dark clouds roll by over a layer of low fog.  But that does not affect the hummers.  They continue to fight for that irresistible urge to drink from the bottle of nectar magically provided for them.

It’s Back to School time and when I walk through the aisles at the department store, I feel like the hummingbirds…I cannot resist new school supplies.  I can’t.  I can stay out of the store for a couple of weeks and do fine, but if I’m in that store my body is magnetically pulled to the school supply aisle…and I want to scoop up everything and put it in my cart.  That was easy when I was teaching, because I could justify a use for everything.  But now that I’m retired, I have to justify how I will use each particular item and scrutinize what I need and don’t need.

I got back on the substituting list this year and believe it or not, I”m really excited to get back into the classroom.  So, naturally, I was able to justify buying everything I couldn’t resist.  After all, there is always a use for notebook paper, pens, and pencils.  I seldom use crayons, but on that rare occasion I want to, I don’t want to have to scrounge, so a new box of crayons is always fun to keep on hand.  And what about the composition books?  They are PERFECT for journal writing and drawing for anyone inspired to take that first step.  I bought one of every color.

Whether we are children or adults, Back To School also means reconnecting with friends.  How ironic that this morning I opened up my Beach Devotions book and the story today was written about friendship centered around Proverbs 27:10  Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.  As my friends and family make their way back to school, I hope they have a blessed and wonderful year.

Old Fashioned Fun

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One way to have your favorite candy last all summer long is if no one else really likes it.  I love root beer soda and candy, so when I saw this on the pharmacy counter earlier this summer, I just had to buy it.  I mean, it’s Old Fashioned Candy so it HAD to be the best, right?  And it was.  The root beer drops were covered in soft sugar that dissolves instantly, leaving behind a rich root beer flavor.

I popped the last one in my mouth as I sat down here to write this post.  It’s been a summer of old fashioned fun with my grand kids!  From playing cards to reading books to getting out on the river and floating and fishing, to carnivals, to baking and cooking.  I’ve had some quality time with each one, but now they are all back in school.  Perhaps one of their adventures with Grandma will show up in a story they write some time this year.  I find the greatest joy reading children’s stories about their adventures.

Paint a Picture

How ironic that  I wrote about fields of sunflowers in Kansas and a couple of weeks later, we decided to find reprieve from the heat and headed to the Colorado mountains.  Again, I looked as we drove across Kansas, but no sunflowers.  It seems the crop of choice this year is corn.  I saw miles and miles of corn fields.

We came to the mountains for some hiking, biking, fishing and cooler air and have enjoyed it all, cramming as much as we can into one week.  We hiked Mohawk Lake and fished the upper and lower lakes, we biked from Keystone down and part way around Lake Dillon, and we have been fishing streams, rivers, and lakes looking for the elusive trout.  We’ve caught one worth eating.

Today is our last day and then it’s back to the heat and humidity of the midwest.  It also means back to our town’s annual fair, taking grand kids on the river to float and fish, my sister moving back home, and returning to my weekly art class with a few friends.  Since I missed the art class last week, I decided to bring my water color paints along for my own plein air painting.  But nothing I do compares with nature’s own canvas.  The wild flowers are in bloom at every turn of the head, mountain peaks rise up in every direction I look, and a cool breeze is always blowing my hair into my eyes.  My spirit is refreshed and I am ready to stand face to face with the heat that will greet me upon arriving home.

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