December 31st 2012

Hello everyone. Today is my last blog until next year.

There is much to reflect on. Books published, book signings, new friends made, learning more about blogging and twitter and moving onward in m own life as well as the writing.

Now as I look out the window today I am reminded of days gone by. The snow is coming down and continues to come. The ski slopes are doing well with the amount of snow fall in the mountains.

Not as a young child I remember New Year’s Eve being a time when we would stay at home. It would become the time to take down the Christmas Tree and decorations, enjoy what was left of mom’s goodies and look forward to returning to a normal routine.

We knew that Mr. Lombardi would always be on television that evening and my mother and father would want to listen to his music. Tradition was to take some coins and put outside of the house remembering where you put them and bring them in when the horns sounded at twelve. Bringing money in to the house at New Year’s was to insure money all year-long.

Then after the horns from the mines sounded and the neighbors finished banging on pots and pans it was off to bed knowing another year had passed.

Growing up and getting married changed tradition. My mother-in-law always had a New Year’s Eve party and we were expected to stay for it. Then we would get up New Year’s Day knowing we needed to head for home traveling on the highway through the storm that had rolled in during the night.

I remember our first Christmas being married we stayed for New Year’s Day and left through the worse storm possible. We drove down the highway in a 1949 Chevy. It was the only car that stayed on the road. Every where we looked there was a car in the ditch including the Highway Patrol. I begged my husband to stop for the night somewhere but he wouldn’t hear of it stating we would be fine. I was a nervous wreck.

What should have been a four-hour drive turned into an eleven hour drive and as we arrived home tired, hungry, cold and ready to unpack the car there was no place to park. So much snow had fallen it took us two hours to shovel a place for the car before we could park it in front of our apartment.

The city had gone down the road with the graders and plod the streets leaving a pile of snow in the middle so high you couldn’t see the other lane.

Exhausted we went into the house carrying everything from the car. I quickly fixed dinner and we called it a night.

That would not be the only time we would go through horrible storms on mountain passes.

I soon learned I liked staying home on New Year’s. I have never since wanted to go anywhere to celebrate. I would much rather follow the traditions of my parents and watch television in the safety of my own home.

I like to know where my family is and I like to know that everyone is safe and warm.

So my wish to all of you is that as we enter the New Year you do it with joy in your heart, safety, and love.

So until next time 🙂

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

December30th

Now as I look out of my window I see the snow falling. We had little snow for Christmas but since then the snow has not stopped. We have layers of ice-covered with snow. The house is cold and I wish I had a fireplace to curl up in front of. However, the reality of winter arriving is one that I am use to so I will dress in my layer of clothes. Spend more time under the warmth of my blankets and watch the cats sleep more.

December is a month of both happiness and sadness every year. Families hustle around getting ready for the big celebration and the joy of the Holiday spirit. They spend days preparing, buying gifts, decorating, and cooking. Then in twenty-four hours it is over like it hadn’t happened at all. There is always a let down. For many depression comes with the end of December. Now returning to normal routines, going to work, back to school, and cleaning the house.

Holidays are forgotten for another year. Yet on must look back at the year that is now coming to a close. For some the year 2012 will be one of happiness for others there will be sadness.

Growing up as a child I always loved December because it meant school vacation, ice skating, sleigh riding, family gatherings, presents, and the house always smelled so good from the tree, mom’s baking, and Christmas carols.

Getting older I began to realize that December meant slippery roads, car wrecks and the comfort of home.

Now I know it is safer me to be at home that out in the snow.  I long for the sunshine and the warmth of the rays coming through the windows. However, I know it will be several months before I see that. I will accept the reality of grey skies, cold days and cold nights, and animals hibernating.

I will look back on the joys that I had throughout the year.

The ending of a year is like the ending of a Chapter in a book getting ready for the next chapter of life.

This year we close 2012 knowing that my sons were both okay and I spent more time with them. I published more books this year as I was able to average a book a month from February to May. I did more book signings and was able to get my books into four public libraries and am still going.

My health as it’s moments but is more stable.

My sister survived a car wreck with out bodily harm. My niece and her family survived a car wreck without injury to any of the family. My cousin survived a head on car wreck without serious injury. I count my blessings that my family is okay.

I watched good friends and a cousin pass away during the past year and it broke my heart yet it taught me how little time we really have. I know that I must enjoy each day and try to do something productive no matter what.

I was able to reconnect with lost cousins during the past year and I plan to continue to try to reunite with those who want to be in my life.

My sons asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said, ” Things are not of importance to me at this time in my life.” What is important to me is family time and sharing the joy of my family.

Needless to say that wasn’t enough for them between them I received a candle for a shadow box my son is making, a stocking filled with chocolates that of course I ate, a bath set of bath salts, wash etc. and my carrier for book signings that I have wanted for a long time. Now one can’t ask for more than that except for two wonderful days together with my sons.

Christmas Eve was spent at my son’s house enjoying his tree and eating all the fun dips and chip that you don’t have room for on Christmas Day and we did our presents then under the tree.

Christmas Day then allowed for us to relax while the turkey cooked and we celebrated a feast together at mom’s home.

Now as the year comes to an end I must say I have been blessed. I wish all of those people who went through heartache and hardship in 2012 will be blessed during 2012.

I am glad the Presidential election is over and we don’t have to watch it on television anymore.

I wish the Congress would man up and do their duty and figure out a budget for the fiscal cliff.

I wish that people involved in the Newton Shooting would think before suing. That was a tragedy and as my father said, ” Don’t judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.”

My prayers go out to all of the families of Sandy Hook Elementary and the teachers who will be scarred forever. May our prayers help you to validate the love and the ability to move forward in your lives.

For 2013 the only resolution that I will make is to be the best person that I can be and enjoy the small things in life.

Now as we are about to close the year 2012 please do it safely and remember there is nothing more important than, God, family, home, Children, community.

Let us all keep it safe for the year 2013 and have a better year next year.

So until next time 🙂

December28th

 

Welcome back to Kellie Elmore‘s Free Write Friday! If you are new here, feel free to read the intro, otherwise let’s get started…

This week, our FWF prompt is:

resolve_quotes

I resolve… to take time out for me.

I was in the process of writing the beginning of my book “Secrets Behind Closed Doors.” It’s a  forty-year journey of everything that the public never hears about.

I had reached Chapter eight when the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary took place.

All of a sudden emotions emerged that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I remembered the lock downs and scared children. I remembered 9/11 and the lock down of Nellis Air Force Base and the gag order the teachers were given.

I remembered the student I took my first weapon from back in the 80’s.

I found myself needing to grieve with the families and I could no longer write about my teaching experience.

I resolved myself to the idea that I wouldn’t worry about my book until after the holidays. I needed time to heal and move on as much as everyone else in this country did.

I did not want to run the risk of intertwining my emotions with the emotions of Sandy Hook Elementary. They are two separate stories and yet I can relate to part of it.

I no longer do New Year’s Resolutions because I only want to work on goals that I will obtain.

I am now ready to begin writing again and I will proceed with caution. However, it was important for me to take that time off from writing and spend it with my family.

After all if we cannot see the forest for the trees than all will be lost. I needed to see my own family and forget about teaching and schools and the news media. Now that I have been able to experience the joy of my loved ones and move forward in my life I will be ready to move on.

I resolve not to forget Sandy Hook Elementary and I do plan to write the Superintendent a letter. However, there is a time and place for everything.

I knew in my heart I couldn’t write anything for a while in the manner I wanted to so I resolved to be silent until I was ready.

Now as the New Year approaches and my mind and emotions are clear once more I resolve to pick up pen and paper and continue to write what needs to be told.

I wish everyone God’s Blessings in the New Year. May 2013 be a better year for everyone.

I know I will do what I can to make it better.

December 20th

Hello everyone. Well we definitely are on countdown. Christmas is five days away.

I am planning Christmas Eve at my son’s house enjoying his Christmas tree and eating all the snacks that we don’t have room for on Christmas day.

Christmas Day will be traditional family get together and mom will supervise the cooking of the turkey at home.

Yesterday I finished my shopping and while I was in the check out stand I had an interesting time. The woman in front of me was purchasing a handful of gift cards that took a while to ring up.

Behind me were two little boys that were creating stress for mom. I was sitting in the electric cart that I ride through the store on.

On of the boys tried to drive my cart mom about had a heart attack. They were sure wound up. I knew if I didn’t do something my patience was going to run short.

I decided to engage in a conversation with them. The youngest one loved chatting with this little old lady. The oldest who was about six or seven wasn’t to interested and proceeded to try for attention.

However, when I started talking to them about Santa and how he had eyes every where in the start and was starting to check his naughty and nice list the interest got more engaged.

Even the lady behind them started to listen to what I was saying. I proceeded to tell them he had elves every where and he’s checking out everyone for his last-minute list.

Mom proceeded to get involved in the conversation and told them to listen to me as they would be visiting Santa on Friday.

Soon it was my turn to get my items rung up and I was relieved. However, the little one could have talked all the way to the car.

I wished them Merry Christmas and told them I had to leave. I was relieved to get out of there without becoming inpatient.

However, it is a perfect example of how community can help parents. That mother was a good mother, she just need five minutes for someone to distract the boys from the hustle and bustle of shopping in the stores and then having to stand and wait in line.

I often hear about what annoys people going through check out stands such as people taking time to get out check books and write their checks.

That doesn’t bother me at all. In fact I think it is smart with all the robberies and identity theft that goes on.

The only time I am annoyed is when people are on cell phones at the check out line.

Then I do feel that is impolite. I don’t want to hear their conversation. Especially if they are arguing with someone.

I think our society is often times annoyed too easy instead of seeing the humor in things.

I hope that I gave a mother a little peace of mind yesterday letting her know that I didn’t mind her children.

I hope as all of you finish your shopping and prepare for Christmas that the stress will not take away from all the blessings you should enjoy.

May each and every one of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

so until next time 🙂

 

December 16th

Good morning everyone.

My heart is heavy this morning as I read about the latest event in Connecticut.

I fear that we are now becoming a civilization of animals. What is to happen to us if we can’t attend church in safety.

Must we have armed guards outside the doors as we pray?

Must we come to the reality that the sick and deviated minds of society are winning with their mind games?

I grew up in the Wild West where there was a code of honor. Even thieves and gunmen wouldn’t have acted this way.

If you had a battle with someone you took it up with them face to face.

You weren’t a coward among men. Now it is time for all decent people to join together and say we’ve had enough. We will protect our own. I don’t mean start war battles etc. However, if we have to post parents at school doors or lay people at church doors to allow people to have their God-given freedom then let’s do it.

We can’t be weak. This is a time to get angry and get strong and take back what is rightfully ours. We must fight for our right to live in a free, safe society.

People through up their hands and say what do we do. You protect your own is my answer.

I don’t believe in guns. I don’t own one but I was raised in a house with rifles. Hunters, farmers, etc need their guns.

But I will go down fighting to protect my family. I will go down fighting to protect my freedom and the freedom for my children. I will go down fighting to protect my religious beliefs and my freedom of speech.

Right now the families of  this small Connecticut are vulnerable to abuse, mind games, and more devastation. The country must stand together and say no more.

Those school children should not go back into that school. They should be served in surrounding areas for the remainder of the year. Buses should have volunteer parents on the bus and in the classrooms daily.

School doors should be locked requiring a push button in the office to allow visitors to enter.

IT is now time to protect our youth of this country, they are our future.

Our country which was at one time was the strongest nation in the world now is weak and a target for every enemy. Only through strength, courage and conviction and the help of God can we make this change.

Please everyone do your part and stand strong and be willing to protect those around you.

so until next time 😦

December 15th

Good morning everyone. I hope this day finds some peace and beauty in the world today.

Yesterday was a horrific tragedy. It was an awakening call for the nation. We can no longer take anything for granted in today’s society.

Parents arise every morning with their busy schedules of breakfast, and getting lunches packed and sending their loved ones of to school. They wish them a good day and look forward to their return at the end of day when families can share in the joy of the daily activities, as they look at beautiful art work, stories written and special papers brought home from school. Parents looking forward to mementos that they will cherish for a life time.

Yesterday however, that all changed for an entire community. Not just a class, not just the families of those that lost someone, but everyone in small Connecticut town was changed for ever.

Many will no longer get up to the laughter of loved ones, have to fix breakfast for them or pack their lunches. Now they will try to piece their lives back together making sense of it. However, they will never make sense of it.

All will go through the stages of grief but in different ways and in different orders. Some will be able to get over the grief faster than others.

However, for those that were in the building of that elementary school and for those first responders there are other stages the will have to go through.

1. Guilt of surviving: they must accept that the Lord wants them here on earth it wasn’t there time to leave yet. Neighbors must not be afraid to reach out to one another. Share your family with someone who is aching.

2. Blame: they must understand that no one person is to blame in this type of situation. Something terrible happened out of every one’s control. It didn’t start over night and it won’t end over night.

3. Helplessness: Why couldn’t I have done something more to have helped? You must accept that everything was done that could have possibly been done or there would have been more loss of lives.

4. Regrets: Wishing you had said things that were left unsaid. Things that you didn’t get to do together. This is the time to build memories. Continue to celebrate the life of the one you love.

5. Questioning: Many will want answers that they will never get. Them must learn how to accept that and deal with it constructively.

6. Routines: Depression has a way of taking over when one doesn’t keep up their daily routine. It is important to still try to go on living. Remember your loved ones would want you to smile and be happy without guilt. Continue to live.

7. Siblings: Guilt and loneliness as they miss a loved one that they couldn’t help. They will need to deal with their emotions constructively, honestly, being listened to , talked to and guided on this journey of understanding.

8. Remorse: Many people will experience remorse for having not done something they promised to do or for having not spent enough time with the loved one that is gone or for having disciplined them when they could have loved them. They need to understand that you live in the moment of each day for better or worse and then you start each new day over. Some will not be able to start another day over however, memories can life on forever.

9. Courage: It takes courage to face each new day and its fears but everyone has courage deep inside if they choose to pull it out. Now is a time for an entire nation to support one another not with blame or unkind words but with courage. It is a time when this community needs to face the Christmas season with celebration and happy memories. Put those gifts under the tree. Open them on Christmas Day. Place them in a sport designated as a memorial for your loved one. Celebrate their life not their death. Put together a memory book. Help your neighbor and go on living.

10. Love: How does one love without fear. It is important that we teach our children through parental guidance and wisdom. There are many good people in the world and yet we have to be aware of signs around us. We must know how to identify our enemies and watch for trouble but at the same time we must live with unconditional love for we don’t know what time we have on earth.

Never go to bed made. Always forgive the person you are upset with.

Only through forgiveness can you learn to accept the things that you cannot change. If you don’t forgive it will destroy your soul. We may never forget but we must forgive.

I have worked with many emotionally disturbed youth and adults through my forty years as a teacher. It is not easy to understand the scars that cannot be seen. However, they are just as real as any scar you could visualize. You must learn to understand the emotions of people. Recognize the changes, and deal with the behaviors. You must nurture with tough love.

No one directly involved with get through this alone. They will need professional help and the sooner they admit that and start talking with someone the healthier they will be.

Having been through lock downs I understand the fear and panic but no one can understand it until you walk in their shoes. I have not been through a shooting and my heart goes out to everyone in that school yesterday.

I must praise the Staff and the community emergency responders for their preparedness and for talking care of those that were rescued.

Thank you for cover their eyes and telling them to close their eyes. That was important.

It is time now that our nation stands up to the responsibility that it has to keep everyone safe. This isn’t about gun control. It is about the moral decline of society and what it is going to take to get morality back to the level that supports families, neighbors, neighborhoods schools, neighborhood stores, and yes neighborhood churches.  We need our neighborhoods back.

We need to  be able to allow children to play outside safely and know that neighbors are going to scold you if you do wrong. That was okay when I grew up because I knew everyone cared and my mother would find out.

When we say it takes a community to raise a child we must mean it and stop taking away the neighborhood nucleus that holds it together.

Divorce has caused more problems in our society than anything. Abandoned children, unwanted and uncared for by many parents. Grandparents now having to raise grandchildren. It is a time we hold parents accountable to be actively involved in their children’s lives. No excuses! The scars of divorce run deep. They may not be seen but even in the best of situations they are there.

It is time to make our schools secure and safe and let the children be hugged and love school.

It is time that parents come together and back the school.

We talk about bullying and that starts with adults not with children.  Children only learn what they’ve seen.

It is time that professionals are treated as professionals and paid as professionals.

Every time we use to have a bomb threat I said I wanted combat pay. Well it was no joke. It is also no joke to go into your classroom with the bomb squad as I did being the first teacher allowed back in the building and open your drawers to see if there is anything different in your room. I wasn’t train for that. I started pulling draws to look and I looked at the bomb squad and said what am I doing they were barely sliding drawers open. I didn’t have protective gear on they did. I was a single mother and my kids needed me. I said I’m out of here this is your job.

That was back in 1988. No one had been trained for it but there we were. No  one should have to go through it. That was the year I stopped having Christmas trees in my classroom with unknown packages under them.

Christmas is a time for celebrating the birth of Christ. It is a time to be thankful for what we have. Although it will be difficult those parents who have lost children should celebrate by being thankful for the years they had that special child. Celebrate the memories and the gift of life. That is what they would want you to do.

I pray for all those in this small town to find peace, tranquility and love of their fellow neighbors.

May God Bless you all and help you through not only this holiday season but the years to come.