Activities

Now that September is almost over, families find themselves busy with activities.

I was fortunate to attend a wonderful conference at the College of Southern Idaho and talk about “WHY I WRITE!” I thoroughly enjoyed meeting wonderful people and sharing thoughts on writing.

Then I had a wonderful experience doing a book Signing at Barnes and Nobles in Twin Falls. Sharing many interesting conversations and meeting many new people including a wonderful lady from my home town.

These are the kinds of activities that we so look forward to participating in.

Now I am ready to get back to writing and marketing my book in the town where I live.

However, there is an activity that has upset me all week. I so want to share about this activity with my readers.

I was watching the news the other evening and they had a broadcast on “Cage Fighting!” This is where young children are encouraged by parents to fight inside a cage in front of an audience. I listened to this commentary and was over come with grief thinking of my own two sons and how they would have reacted to this at the age of nine and ten.

Parents interviewed were saying there is nothing wrong with this and our children love to do it.

However, having been an educator for forty years the one thing that I learned more than anything is that children will do anything for recognition. It doesn’t mean they love to do it. It means they want to be loved for doing it.

Children are very impressionable at an early age and we do not always understand the damage that we do to our own children not meaning to and it can be simple words or gestures, so what does an activity like this do to harm the future of these children?

It upsets me that we have stricter laws from the Human Society on welfare of animals than we do on Child Protection.  I would hope that this activity would be stopped. Adults jeering children on through a cage is nothing short of barbaric. How can these children feel good about it? How can they feel anything but fear for survival?

Not to mention the damage that can be done to a child by an injury in one of these cages.  There is no gear worn and they say they are protected by the rules. But I have seen the results of unexpected injuries, including brain trauma. I would never want to take that chance with my child or anyone elses.

I hope that people will join me in saying that our children should be the most precious resource we have and we need to protect them. We need to have good role models and age appropriate activities where they can feel valued not demeaned in any way.

I hope that there will be follow up on what I saw on television because it is not something I want to see in our society.

“CAGE FIGHTING HAS GONE TOO FAR!”

Fall

Now that Labor Day has passed and students are back to school the coming of fall is in the air. The weather is starting to change and the nights are getting cooler. Soon the leaves will be changing colors and falling to the ground. Animals are scurrying around finding food to store for the winter.

It is a time of happiness and sadness. The summer closes leaving us with happy memories and yet the bare trees and grey skies remind us that every season brings both life and death.

Now we prepare our homes for the winter and start to change our routines. For some they will prepare for outdoor winter activities but for many it will be a long winter inside with little contact to the outside world.

This is season when we should keep in mind our senior citizens and shut ins who may not get out as often. Take time to stop by and say hello or give them a phone call to brighten their day.

Meals will change to warmer food and people will be getting wood ready for their fireplaces before the snow falls.

There will still be some nice days but flu season will be upon us and mother nature will control the weather and activities.

This is a good time to clean out your closets and donate all coats and clothes that no longer fit as there are many people in need.

We are living in a difficult economy and the food banks are having difficult times keeping stocked so go through your cupboards and help with food drives.

If you are among one of the fortunate families that has work you might want to adopt a family for the holidays and see that someone else shares a smile on their face .

There is much we can do to help each other. If you have extra food from your garden find someone less fortunate than you to share with.

This is a year when we should show the country that we will take care of each other. We can’t wait for the government to take care of us. Some steps are important. With the baby steps this country was built. It’s time we go back to those steps and look out for our neighbors.

My neighbor brought me two jars of pickled beets from her storage and she will never know how much I appreciated those two jars. Not only do I love beets but she brought them at a time when the cupboards were bare.

People living next door to you may be in need and you will never know it because we are a proud society. Do something out of kindness. Don’t worry about it they will pass it forward when they can.

I challenge everyone to spend this month passing it forward as often as you can.

Rake someones yard. Help put up storm windows. Do what you can do to help someone who is not able to do it for themselves.

Let’s unify our neighborhoods.

God Bless America and the Freedoms we have.

THE CHILDREN OF 9/11 AND MEMORIES

Everyone has a different memory of 9/11. Memories were built by the environment that you were in and how your personal life was affected that day.

This week as we watch many moments being recalled about 9/11 we all have very special thoughts going through our minds.

However, the one I would like to talk about is the children from 9/11. I sat and I watched on Television the interview with Barbara Walters with the children of 9/11.

First my thought was why don’t we leave these families alone to heal? Why do we keep putting them through this?

Next I was impressed by the words that I heard from each child as they talked about their own lives and what it had meant to them.

Then I was thankful when I saw that they had all gone through grief counseling and the families had a long-term chance to heal. Many people never have that opportunity.

Finally I was proud of these young people. I listened to what each one had to say.  They repeated over and over that what they were doing with their own life was to make the parent they had lost proud of them.

We are taught in life that “Children learn what they live!” These children of 9/11 although they went through horrific tragedy; they lived learning that they could be proud of their parents.  In turn they are passing that pride along.

The Children of 9/11 are the symbol of our country. Freedom, Unity, and Perseverance to carry on.

We will never forget 9/11 nor should we. But it is just important to remember that through tragedy comes strength and honor.

In honor of the families of 9/11 I Salute you all for being the example of America’s Best.

Thank you for reminding me of why these interviews are so important.

I have always been proud to say I am an American.

Now I can say I am proud of  our American People who Unite and Carry on.

May God Bless You All!!!

Labor Day

I hope everyone will have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Here is a preview from my book “Growing up in the Rockies!” It was a time when Labor Day was important to the middle class people.

When Labor Day Weekend would roll around it was the end of summer

and the beginning of fall. If you were lucky you might have one last

weekend of summer fun before fall would set in, warning us of the coming

of winter. School usually didn’t start until after Labor Day, allowing for

those last few warm days with family activities and preparation for the

fall season ahead. Labor Day would bring the warning to prepare for the

winter. Soon the snow and the cold would begin to come. When I was

growing up there were times when the snow did come on Labor Day.

When in Montana, the weather can change at the blink of an eye. You

never knew if it would be a few flakes or a blizzard. Because Labor Day

represents the ending of summer, and the beginning of fall, most people

from my hometown area would plan Labor Day Weekend for family fun.

This would usually be the last big family weekend of the summer.

Labor Day was an important holiday because it was a mining town

and a Union town. It represented the holiday when miners took time off

from work to enjoy their family. They took time to be treated with the

respect and pride which they had earned year round on their job. It was a

chance for miners and their bosses to have fun side by side and be equals

together. Only emergency personnel worked on this day, such as your

hospital staff, policeman and fireman.

As you enjoy your weekend. Remember those hard workers who have made it all possible for you to be with your loved ones. God Bless you all.

9/11 Anniversary

In ten days we will remember the anniversary of 9/11. There will be many memorials and special services in memory of the wonderful people who were sadly taken from us. However, it is important as we remember those people with love and mixed emotions that we remember how lucky loved ones were to have had the time they had with them. It will always be better to celebrate memories of life than to mourn the loss of life. Children who never knew those ten years with a parent need to be given happy memories of their parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, or friends.  What would be better than to compile a CD or video of they way your loved one lived.

I am reminded of my day on 9/11. I have always been protected by the Lord on days of tragedy. As a child I slept through the worse earthquake that Montana ever had and it was on my birthday. How did I sleep through it when no one else did. On 9/11 I overslept that morning. I was going through stress in my life at that time and had shut the alarm of in my sleep. I woke up looked at the clock and saw it was 8:00 am. I was late for work. I jumped into my clothes , washed quickly and flew out the door to school. I phoned the school as I headed out the door and said I was on my way.

I was driving down the road anxious about being late for work. I was never late for work. How could this happen? Suddenly on the car radio I heard the man say,”What a tragedy that was in New York.” Then no more was said. I had no idea what had happened.

When I arrived at school the school was empty. I had to find my students they were in another building. When I found my class over half were absent. I went back to my classroom and continued with classes for the morning. Lunch came quickly and I headed for the teacher’s lounge. During lunch a teacher sitting across from me said,”Wasn’t that horrible what happened in New York?”

Now I had enough of curiosity at this point and said would someone please tell what happened in New York I over slept this morning and don’t know. He replied,” It’s too awful to talk about. I can’t tell you.” With that my patience was gone I reached across the table and grabbed his tie and pulled him towards me. I said if you wanted to live through lunch tell me what happened.”

It got real quiet in the lounge. He replied,” Okay, Okay just let go.” I let go of him and composed myself as he told me about the towers being hit. I was numb from what was said. I apologized for over reacting and returned to my classroom.

Then I remembered hearing the radio in the car say “Nellis Air Force is on lock down and red alert.” I hadn’t thought about that at the time but now I knew what that meant. Sixty percent of our students were from Nellis Air Force. No wonder the school was so empty. No student from the base could leave. I finished the day sadly and hurried home. Then I watched the news and sat and cried. I called both of my sons as quickly as I could reach them just to know they were safe. One was in Utah and the other in Idaho. They reassured me all was well.

However, my life would change forever. The next day at work we were given a gag order not to talk to students about the event. The base students didn’t come to school for several days. Gradually as students returned there were many questions and we couldn’t talk about it.

I was teaching special education in a middle school and found it impossible not to talk to my students. They were so scared. They looked to me for reassurance that they were safe. I had to follow the gag order and yet protect my students.

I looked at them and said, “As long as you are with me you will be safe.” If you are in another class and feel unsafe as the teacher to send you to me.” All the teachers knew to send a special ed student to me on request. That was all I could tell them. However, that was an answer that seemed to give them some confidence.

Then we began to deal with an emotional roller coaster as students found out parents would be deployed. They never knew when and it became very stressful to the children. Behaviors started appearing, grades dropping, and many days of difficult times.

I had to call one father and explain to me the difficulties that his son was having and ask him to spend some quality time with him before deployment to reassure him as he wasn’t handling it well. The father thanked me for calling as the last thing they want to worry about is having their family not handle their deployment. It’s better to deal with the problems before they leave.

Some families had both parents deploying and students were being relocated to other family members. There was a lot going on that people don’t realize if you aren’t around it.

Also many things were happening in Las Vegas at that time because of the terrorists. You never saw most of it on the news but you heard about it if you lived there.

My friend and I went to dinner one night at a buffet in one of the popular casinos. As we waited in line I realized we were the only ones that spoke English, as I listened during the twenty-minute wait I heard German, French, Chinese, Korean and several languages I wasn’t sure of. I looked at my friend and said,”What are we doing here.” She said, Why?” I asked her, haven’t you noticed no one else speaks English everyone that is out is a tourist. Should  be out or at home? That night we ate our dinner and not much was said. A night we would normally stay and enjoy we cut short and went home early.

I decided after that I no longer wanted to live in Las Vegas away from my family. My health was already failing and I missed my sons.

I would remain until December. However, when Christmas vacation came so did my son with a uhaul and he moved me back to Idaho. I miss friends and activities in Las  Vegas but the one thing that 9/11 taught me was time is short you need to spend it with those that are close to you.

I will never forget that day and what those young people went through watching the parents being deployed. Not knowing when , where, or for how long was torture for them. I had always respected the military growing up but after seeing the family side of it I learned a whole new side of it. Military families deserve all the support they can get from their communities.

I prayed everyday for the safe return of our military and I continue to pray for all military. I also pray that people will learn to find peace and accept each other for who they are.

We are at the worse time in the World’s History for unrest. 9/11 needs to be Designated as World Peace Day when everyone every where stops and prays for a better world. I know I will.