Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

In a former life, I took the picture at the top of Haleakala, a volcano on Maui. It was a place I had wanted to go to see the sunrise. It had been on a short list of things I wanted to do. In 2004, I was able to take my kids to Maui and we made it happen. I think there’s a post somewhere on this blog that talks about that experience so I won’t go into it. I will say that it was one of the most awe inspiring moments of my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat but I know I, most likely, won’t have that opportunity again. However, in light of the events and situation in the world and in this country, I find myself looking to these moments and these places that demand acknowledgement and belief in/of a greater power.


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My mind tells me that I have written about him previously but I can’t find any such post so today I will tell you about Mr. Henry who was my first period teacher my freshman year in high school so he was my first high school teacher, so to speak. The class was called Emerging Nations. It was taught by three teachers, each for a different quarter and the first quarter was more geography. So during my first quarter, Mr. Henry taught us the geography part of the class. That was the first time I really understood the seasons and the movement of the planets in our solar system. He used different sized spheres to simulate the planets and their orbits and a very bright light for the middle. The lights were turned off and he had some of us hold spheres and walk around the “sun.” During that time, he held the globe with which he simulated our orbit while also turning the globe on its axis so that we could see why we have winter while the southern hemisphere has summer, and so forth. That was the first time it made sense!

I also did a few after school jobs for him, typing and copying worksheets, for which he paid me. Then in my junior year, I was his teacher aid. Sometimes I supervised his class while he had to run to the office. Sometimes I typed and did clerical stuff. Not for pay but for school credit. In the summer I did a lot of typing for him and got paid.

Aside from being my teacher and sometimes employer, he showed he trusted me many times and we had a lot of deep talks about philosophies and psychology and world conditions. He treated me like an adult. He valued what I had to say, or at least I got that impression.

Through the years, I have kept in touch with him, even now, forty-two years after my graduation. During the most difficult times of my life, I have called him to talk and his advice has always helped me make decisions and hang on to my sanity.

John Henry was an excellent teacher. I have been a better person for having had him as my teacher.

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To join in the fun of an informal “catch up”, write and post your entry then enter the URL for your weekend coffee share post in the Linky here.

If we were having coffee, I think I would want to listen more than talk. It is that kind of a day, or I guess it was that kind of a week. I don’t have a lot going on. There is a lot I want to do but still don’t have the doctor’s thumbs up so I’ll wait. I find that I tire easily these days anyway so I guess I still need to take it easy on myself.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am a little nervous about my kids. My oldest (and only son) is in Japan, working. In Tokyo. He has been there since March and will be there through June. And my youngest is leaving for Tokyo tomorrow where she will visit her big brother for ten days. I was fine with that until yesterday when word of a volcano eruption in Japan and then this morning when I woke to the news of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which shook all of Japan, including Tokyo. Now I’m nervous. I will be happy when they are both home where I can get to them in a matter of hours.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Anderson had his last day of preschool on Wednesday. He was a bit out of sorts that day, not wanting to stay when I dropped him off. He hung on to me and they had to come and pull him from me. Then when we went to the certificate presentation, he was cuddling with one of the aides and apparently he had not wanted to participate in any of the activities that day so he just sat in the corner and watched everyone else. It makes me sad when he’s sad, especially when he doesn’t say why he’s sad.

If we were having coffee, I would talk about a movie I saw the other night. It wasn’t the first time I have seen it. I stream it often. It’s called The Way and was written by Emilio Estevez and stars Martin Sheen. The movie is about the road that people take when making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, a pilgrimage that people have been making since the Middle Ages. It’s an inspiring movie. I’ve talked about it here before and mentioned that I would love to be able to travel that road; to make that pilgrimage. However, that was in my unhealthy days when I knew it to be physically impossible for me to do. Now that I’m healthy, the thought has entered my mind again and now it is finances that keep me from doing it but if there were any possible way for me to travel to France to begin the journey which begins in France and goes through Spain, I would do it in a heartbeat. It takes an average of a month. I’m sure it would take me longer. I need to work toward finding a travel partner to join me (or more than one would be great) and the finances with which to do it, the air fare being the biggest part for me. I don’t know that I will ever do it but it is certainly something to strive for.

Is there any kind of a trip or pilgrimage you would consider making? Why? What keeps you from doing it?

I just this week finished two Catherine Ryan Hyde novels, the first was called The Language of Hoofbeats and the second was The Electric God. I really enjoy her books. Have you read any of them? Most are familiar with her bestselling novel, Pay It Forward. I’m slowly making progress to catch up to my own reading goal of 80 books for this calendar year. I’m now only 9 books behind instead of the 17 books behind schedule! It’s doable now!

What have you been reading? Anything you would recommend?

By the way, the movie, The Way is on Amazon Instant Video Prime so if you happen to have prime on Amazon, then you can stream it for free. It is set in some of the most beautiful places and it follows the story of several people making the pilgrimage. They aren’t really making it for religious reasons. One is doing it to lose weight. Another to get over writer’s block. And the main character is completing it for his son. It’s a very interesting and thought provoking (at least for me) movie. Give it a try if you get a chance.

Movies. Have you seen anything lately you might recommend?

That’s about it for now. The sun is shining and it’s warm out so I have to find the key to my storage shed to get my oscillating fan out or I’ll have to go see if I can find one at the store as it is getting to be hot enough to need one now!

Until next time, enjoy life and family. Don’t take either for granted!

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let it go

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We’ve recently lost a lot of celebrities and while their passing is sad, most of them been quite elderly and had lived a long, rewarding life.  Yesterday came word of another loss.  This one is different.  This one hit me.  Hit me hard.  Sally Ride is gone.

She was a shining star for a lot of us, not just for women, but for a lot of us who grew up in that era of space exploration and space travel.  I remember being home, watching on TV when JFK announced our mission to the moon.  I remember watching  John Glenn before and after his first space venture.  I remember the day Neil Armstrong took that first step on the moon.  I remember the first space shuttle voyage.  I remember the trip Sally Ride took on the Challenger in 1983, becoming the first American woman and the youngest ever American space traveler.  I remember the hallmarks of the space program.  I lived through them. 

Sally Ride was not only a part of the space program but she was also a symbol of youth and of women reaching beyond the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.  What a role model she was.  How many young girls did she inspire to go beyond the boundaries to reach for their dream?  In how many youngsters, both male and female, did she light that spark to enter the world of science and of the world beyond this one we know?

I will miss her.  I will miss knowing that somewhere on this earth, walks the likes of such an inspiring woman.  I will miss having one less awe inspiring person on this earth.

This one hurts.

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