Little Learners

Thankful today for eager and creative young minds.

Photo by Anissa Thompson

Let’s work to keep those minds creative and excited about learning! 


Forever Changed

I am appreciating today one of those special events that are life-altering.

Twenty-three years ago, I was ready for my second child to make an appearance. Labor started late morning.  Because the second baby progresses faster, I called my midwife.  I don’t know when she arrived.  I do know it was sooner than necessary, which did not please her husband for some reason.  They had plans or he needed the vehicle. Something like that.

I didn’t see anyone else for most of the rest of the day, until the baby was born. My mother-in-law showed up and took our five-year-old for the day.  My parents drove down and parked in the living room. Was my sister there?  You know I find it awful that I can’t remember! I need to dig out the pictures! I think it was just my parents who waited for many hours in my living room for the arrival of a new grandbaby.

But in the room on the southeast corner of my house, it was just me, my husband-turned-labor-coach, my midwife, and the little one on the move.  I wasn’t as mobile with this delivery–not walking the block or the living room, like I did with the first one.  Things seemed a lot more intense, and I really just wanted to stay in one place. And labor.

It took longer than any of us expected.  I remember one point when my husband trying to be funny. When didn’t go over well, my midwife announced I was in transition.

Still things weren’t progressing like I wanted them to.  Or how anyone wanted them to.  There was a sense of uneasiness about the midwife as she listened to the baby and to me.  “Baby doesn’t like it when you lay on your left,” she would change and I would struggle to move.  Then it was “try this” or “maybe this would be better.”  Always smooth and steady, she was a rock who never issued orders or commands.  She trusted the process and she trusted me. Finally, I remember saying, “Well someone has to do something to get this done. I guess it has to be me.” Duh.

At that point I got out of bed.  The baby liked that. The end stages of labor were immediate and all-consuming. I pushed in a squatting position.  Once I decided to “do something” the  baby was here.  And very quiet. For just a little bit.

My husband,behind me, said he was staring at a very blue infant; he thought the baby was dead and the midwife was acting like nothing was wrong so she didn’t freak us out.  She started massaging and talking–that’s what I heard and I found it comforting as well–and finally, that welcomed cry came, his skin pinked up, and we were the proud parents of a new baby boy who was ready to be heard.

I do remember that the pictures show that my poor husband looked more tired from the ordeal than I did,  Such a trooper.

The umbilical cord had been wrapped around the baby’s neck and shoulder, which was what had made the delivery more difficult.  Not to mention that rather large head….

Once my new son found his voice, he exercised it with vigor.  As the midwife weighed him, and he was thrashing and screaming, I remember her saying, “This one has an attitude!”

His brother and grandmother came home soon after he was born.  Everyone took turns welcoming him.  I love looking at the picture of him gazing at my mother with that intensity newborns have when they are fully alert and learning who loves them.

Does he have an attitude?  Yes. It is easy to tell when he’s angry or upset, or feels an injustice has been committed. As a young boy and as a teenager it was sometimes a struggle to control the gut reactions that came with those strong feelings.

It is also easy to tell when his heart is fully engaged, which is often.  He cares deeply about people, and wants nothing more than to be of help.  He listens with devoted attention, gently offers some of the most reassuring words or suggestions. His smile and his hug come readily for anyone, young and old alike.

I remember getting my first kisses from him; I was standing in my kitchen holding him…
I remember being concerned that he wasn’t talking much when he was three.  Just as I started investigating speech therapists and such, he began talking. Not in one-syllable words, but in complete and complex sentences.
He took his good old time learning to read as well.  By then, though, I had learned that he takes his good old time learning just about everything, but he does learn, and then he becomes skilled quickly thereafter.
He has brought a darling daughter into my life.

So had the events of June 2, 1992 never occurred, the life I know now would have been very different.  I can’t be grateful enough for that day 23 years ago that brought the pain, the fear, the exhaustion, the cry, and the satisfying joy that is mIMG_0939y son.

What a precious present.

Hello 2015!

It’s good to see you. Shall we get started?


Photo by Melodi2

Hello Autumn

The cloak of autumn dressed our heads with swiftly moving deep gray clouds, the kind skimming the skies so close to us that it was tempting to reach up and see if they would stream through the fingers like water. From time to time they would congregate and spit out a little water, just enough to make a driver turn on the windshield wipers for a couple swipes before the blades started squealing across dry glass. 

Then the wind shifted.

The clouds collected themselves together then, banging into one another, blending together, joining forces. It was tempting to pick out a movie for later and I could smell the popcorn, but there was one more stop to make (while gas is still ridiculously cheap; who knows how long that will last) and I truly wanted to be home before the waterworks started in earnest.

The acacia trees have started to change into fall finery; feathery grey-green leaves are tinged along the edges with hints of scarlet and pumpkin and ripple in the wind, then dance on a gust. I barely had time to notice, but I did.

Soon I was settled in my worn recliner, kicked back and relaxed when the epicenter of light and noise burst overhead. Fat raindrops beat against the window, sheets of water blew down the street, chasing the water gushing along the curbs. 

The storms came in waves. Strobes, noise, downpours then silence. My hubby brought me tea, and I started reading Flora and Ulysses by Kate Dicamillo and for the afternoon all the new horrors of the world outside my door melted down the street with the torrents.

Tomorrow they will find me again, but I will have new, well-watered strength.

Coming Attractions? Photo by Kim Falk in Maine


I Dare You

“So which do you believe? The damsel-in-distress story or the ugly ogre story.”

“One would think you would have outgrown this sort of nonsense by now. I don’t believe either.”

“What do you believe then?”

“I believe it is an ugly unused old tower that used to be part of something grand. Now it is…nothing. Nothing, really.”

“And yet you ride with me as night falls so that we can slip up on it under cloak of darkness.”

“We could turn about and journey in the daylight, which would make more sense.”

“So you’re scared.”

“Would I be out here with you now if I were scared?”

“Yes. Yes you would.  You would be riding beside me all calm and collected trying to figure out how to make it my idea that we don’t do this tonight.”

“You don’t say.”

“Honestly, Robert, you drive me bats. Why do I even have a friend like you?”

“Why? We ask ourselves that same question repeatedly. If it’s the only thing we have in common…maybe that’s why. Anyway, what do you expect to find at the tower?”

“Something. Not nothing.”

“Very deep.”

“Courage. An education.”

“Education? What sort of education might that be, pray tell?”

“Think of the possibilities. Slipping up on the fortess in deep darkness, not even a twig snapping underfoot….”

“Oh, I didn’t know that was the plan. I was just going to run up to it and yell, ‘Anyone here?’ And see what happens.”

“I see. Such an adventurous soul. I hope the damsel in distress drops an anvil on your head from the window and squishes you flatter than a crepe.”


I didn’t get it exactly right, but this was the prompt…



So many things to create! So little time! Deadlines everywhere.

And I signed up to take a class and FORGOT!!  I watched two days worth of video and then completely dropped the ball. Completely. ACK!

But people first, right? My son and daughter-in-law leave soon for a 5-year anniversary trip to Italy. Wow! I think for my 5-year anniversary I probably tripped over my own two feet. I am thrilled for them, but I am so going to miss them.

I have other friends leaving this week for Australia. I have been making everyone Bon Voyage gifts.  Thankfully I managed to keep those projects in that sieve that is my brain.

I am simply going crazy.

Still have one more thing on the list, besides catch up on class, and then I will be back on journal prompts and NaNo prep.

If not feel free to remind me.

Photo by Christa Sawyer



Don’t have much more to add today.  Everything I touched went wrong.  All I really wanted to do was play games. And distractions gobbled up way too much precious time, even if I wouldn’t have gotten a whole lot done with it.

Why do I hear thunder????

I didn’t watch the news all day long.  Rather enjoyed that except for the fact that I don’t know why there is thunder!!!

Photo by Manu Mohan

Gonna go check the weather.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Statement as of 11:22 PM CDT on October 05, 2014

…A Severe Thunderstorm Warning remains in effect until 1145 PM CDT for northwestern McClain…southwestern Oklahoma…northeastern Grady…northwestern Cleveland and southeastern Canadian counties…

At 1122 PM CDT…severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from near Oklahoma City to 3 miles south of Bethany to 3 miles north of Mustang…moving southeast at 45 mph.

Hazard…70 mph wind gusts and nickel size hail.

Source…trained weather spotters.

Impact…expect considerable tree damage. Damage is likely to Mobile homes…roofs and outbuildings.

Locations impacted include… Oklahoma City…western Norman…Moore…Midwest City…del City… Newcastle…Yukon…Bethany…Mustang…Warr Acres…the Village… Tuttle…Nichols Hills…Valley Brook…Tinker Air Force Base… Forest Park…Woodlawn Park and Smith Village.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

Lat…Lon 3539 9735 3528 9751 3524 9772 3551 9780 3560 9755 time…Mot…loc 0422z 335deg 37kt 3551 9753 3546 9764 3544 9772

Hail…0.88in wind…70mph


I just discovered I am way too close to a window. Bye!