In a Nutshell

Six years after retirement, the teacher in me is still lurking in the vast recesses of my mind.   When I look at things in the world around me and want to turn something I see into a teachable moment, I know I was born to teach, or at least share with others, and that is never going to change.  It happened yesterday.

I was walking with my friend down the country road and she was picking up nuts to use for banana bread.  She picked up one with a little tiny, perfectly drilled hole in it and almost tossed it when she saw something move inside.

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We stopped in the middle of the road and watched this nut for signs of life on the inside, and naturally because we were looking and waiting, nothing happened.  She handed it to me and said, “Here, write a story about it.”  I put it in my pocket and forgot about it until I got home where I tossed it on the workbench.  I started to walk away when I did a double take at a big, white blob sticking out of the hole in the shell.

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I set the nut down in the grass and sat down with my camera and started watching.  This was our first real fall weather morning with temperatures in the very low 50s.  I think the worm had just moved into its new home and was doing some fall house cleaning getting ready for the cold winter ahead.

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The worm would pull itself inside so that there was just a dark hole and then I’d see crumbs being pushed out the hole.  It would twist and turn pushing part of its body out of the hole, then flip around and push more crumbs out of the hole.  I sat amazed that I was watching this worm in action and instantly thought of James and the Giant Peach- the book not the movie- and realized Roald Dahl did a pretty good job writing a creative story about a worm.  🙂

I instinctively looked around for someone to share this with, but it was just me sitting in the middle of 30 acres without a soul in sight.  My husband wasn’t even home.  I decided to record the action to at least share with my grandchildren and as if on cue, the worm went into double time action and I got some great National Geographic style video.  Sadly,  I cannot upload the video because none of my videos will ever upload.  Perhaps  because I record in high definition-I really don’t know.

In a nutshell, it was a fun experience for my eyes only…and those are never as much fun as when they are shared…but wait, I found a way to share it after all.  🙂

So Long, Farewell

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One of the earliest movie theater experiences I have is when my parents took me to see, ‘The Sound of Music’, when it first came to the movie theater, and it has been my  favorite movie ever since.  I love everything about the movie and the actors and am the Sound of Music aficionado in my family, so it was only natural that I introduce my grand children to the movie.  Unfortunately it was not in the movie theater but just in the comfort of my living room.  They loved it and ask to watch it when they come to visit.  Big smile.

So it goes without saying that whenever I hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, I think of the movie.  Whether I’m gasping “Climb…Every…Mountain” as I ascend the trail gaining elevation with every step, shout “The hills are alive” when I reach the mountain top, sing “Edelweiss” when I hike this alpine trail (photo) covered with alpine flowers up to the visitor center on Trail Ridge Road, or sing “I am 16 going on 17” to my husband as we are descending back down the trail, proud of my hiking accomplishment and feeling like I am 16 again.

The hills are still alive,  minus one sweet meadow lark,  Charmian Carr.

Kids Are Like Fish

 

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Ever wonder why they say fish swim in schools?  I had to look that one up.  When a social group of fish gather in one spot its called shoaling and when they swim together in the same direction its called a school.  So I guess when I hit a fishing hole yesterday and pulled out 3 nice catfish it was from a shoal not a school.  That makes me think of this precious moment.

Yesterday was our last day to get on the river for the summer-the water is getting colder with each little cold front  After being on the river all summer, mostly with grand kids which means not much fishing, I finally got on the board on the last day at the last fishing hole.

When I was fishing our pond with my 4 year old grandson, we were having a lot of luck catching young bass and then they just quit biting.  He began asking all kinds of questions about fish and wondered why they quit biting.  I mentioned that after a few hits at a minnow on a hook, they start to get smarter about biting.  And then I began to explain that the fish swim in schools…and was about to say how they circle around the pond and they must be on the other side at the moment, when he cut me off and said, “Well I wish fish wouldn’t go to school and get smarter and just bite my minnow.”

Whether they gather in a shoal or move in a school, kids are like fish.  They can be stinky and smelly and slip right through your fingers.  They can be a lot of fun and fill your day with joy and laughter, putting the biggest smile on your face and make your heart grow ten times larger.  You just never know what to expect.   And that is what makes teaching…and fishing…SO  MUCH  FUN!

 

Fishing 101

Many moons ago, before returning to my second year of college, I remember sitting on the front porch with my friend and telling her about a guy I had met the prior year and that, “This year I’m going fishing until I hook him.”  Later I found out he had the same intention.  We hooked each other our second year, married our third, and the rest is history.

We did not start fishing regularly until our boys were in their late teens, and that was strictly an escape to survive all of the testosterone flying around our home.  Once we became Empty Nesters, we lived for fishing at every opportunity and it’s the same since we’ve retired.

I’m sitting on the river bank in the shade of a sycamore tree, taking a break from fishing…or should I?  A bass just jumped out of the water right in front of me.  It’s amazing how quickly I have learned to identify what kind of fish is hitting my bait before I even pull it out of the water.  A Dude (big bass) will generally pull and release-pull and release the bait, and a  Snaggle (catfish) will generally pull the bait and keep pulling and pulling. A bass on the move swimming upstream will give one hard chomp and you either hook him or you don’t.  Once a Dude or Snaggle is pulled out of a hole, the Blue Gill feel safe to feed and swarm in like roaches coming out of the woodwork.  You know it’s a blue gill by the tap, tap, tap and if they don’t get your minnow right away, upon inspection you’ll see it’s  been disabled.  Blue Gill will suck out their eyeballs and chomp out their gills to disable them for eating.  And once they start hitting, it’s time to move on to a new hole because the big guys are gone.

A life time of summers later, instead of fishing for the man, I’m fishing with him, and no matter what we catch, I know I snagged the best fish in the sea .  Happy 38th Anniversary to us…spending the day fishing on the river.