Sunday, August 30, 2009


Let them bury your big eyes
In the secret earth securely,
Your thin fingers, and your fair,
Soft, indefinite-colored hair,--
All of these in some way, surely,
From the secret earth shall rise;
Not for these I sit and stare,
Broken and bereft completely;
Your young flesh that sat so neatly
On your little bones will sweetly
Blossom in the air.

But your voice,--never the rushing
Of a river underground,
Not the rising of the wind
In the trees before the rain,
Not the woodcock's watery call,
Not the note the white-throat utters,
Not the feet of children pushing
Yellow leaves along the gutters
In the blue and bitter fall,
Shall content my musing mind
For the beauty of that sound
That in no new way at all
Ever will be heard again.

Sweetly through the sappy stalk
Of the vigorous weed,
Holding all it held before,
Cherished by the faithful sun,
On and on eternally
Shall your altered fluid run,
Bud and bloom and go to seed;
But your singing days are done;
But the music of your talk
Never shall the chemistry
Of the secret earth restore.
All your lovely words are spoken.
Once the ivory box is broken,
Beats the golden bird no more.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Birthday Wishes and Quiz

It's just past midnight in my time zone, so I want to be the first to wish a happy birthday to my "twins" Nethe and Keith and Lawerence and Joan!! What a great day we were born on: two-cubed, three-cubed! Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope it will be a wonderful day for you!

Here's a little math quiz for everyone else. Keith and I are going from being prime to being palindromic. It is the only time in our lives this will happen. How old are we? (I can't help it. I'm a math teacher. It goes with the territory!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All Life

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

This quote is good for me to remember right now as I tackle the rigors and challenges of a demanding new position, which we at the same time contemplate moving from this house in which we have been so entrenched - and happy - for 18 years.

Update: We did put a bid on a house Friday, got a reasonable counter-offer Monday and are planning to go for it - all pending appraisal, of course. We're praying for clear guidance on this. If this turns into a "for sure" I will put pictures up.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Still the Riddle

Some things that fly there be --
Birds -- Hours -- the Bumblebee --
Of these no Elegy.

Some things that stay there be --
Grief -- Hills -- Eternity --
Nor this behooveth me.

There are that resting rise.
Can I expound the skies?
How still the Riddle lies!
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


We seem to be awfully mixed up these days!

Two things converged for me this morning that illustrated the disconnect.

One is an article a colleague handed me about how accommodations for "disabilities" have gotten so out of control and the potential for Americans with Disabilities Act litigation has gotten so threatening that professional standards are being lowered in frightening ways. The article is called Let's Lower the Bar and recounts the story of a would-be lawyer who reads poorly and who, despite various accommodations for two years, still finished near the bottom of her class (143 out of 153 students). She sued in order to get special accommodations to take the bar exam. The accommodations were granted: 50% more time on the test that other test takers, a private room, and an assistant to read her all the questions. She failed anyway. She sued again and won an opportunity to take the bar a 6th time - arguing that she had failed because her reader had been too noisy. This time she will be allowed double the time others are given. Her lawyer stated that if she fails again she might go back to court for more accommodations. Do you really want a lawyer who is this lacking in ability to be able to read and analyze text at a reasonable speed? Is this not a significant part of what lawyers are required to do?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for an equal playing field, but you know, maybe not every job is for every person. We all have different skills, abilities, interests, talents. If something isn't the right fit, maybe it just isn't the right fit, and maybe that's OK, and maybe it isn't someone else's fault.

On the other end of the spectrum is the second article that came to my attention to day. This second article had to do with kindergartners and their parents feeling tremendous pressure to have them academically prepared BEFORE they enter the kindergarten classroom so that they will be able to keep up with their peers academically. Um, isn't kindergarten about learning to be in a classroom environment and how to socialize with others. I guess it's not anymore, but what's the rush? It seems crazy that kindergartners feel huge expectations for academic performance resting on their shoulders, but we have adults trying to get into professions they are not qualified for, and some in this litigious society that will sue and sue and sue until the bar is lowered enough for them to get what they want - at what cost to those who need their professional services.

What's wrong with this picture?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Past What Ourselves Can Estimate

In Memory of Sheryl Haworth

If anybody's friend be dead
It's sharpest of the theme
The thinking how they walked alive --
At such and such a time --

Their costume, of a Sunday,
Some manner of the Hair --
A prank nobody knew but them
Lost, in the Sepulchre --

How warm, they were, on such a day,
You almost feel the date --
So short way off it seems --
And now -- they're Centuries from that --

How pleased they were, at what you said --
You try to touch the smile
And dip your fingers in the frost --
When was it -- Can you tell --

You asked the Company to tea --
Acquaintance -- just a few --
And chatted close with this Grand Thing
That don't remember you --

Past Bows, and Invitations --
Past Interview, and Vow --
Past what Ourself can estimate --
That -- makes the Quick of Woe!
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
May God grant that you be experiencing joy and peace in the presence of the one outside of time, my friend.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Note To Self

Seen on a bumper sticker earlier today:

"Wag more. Bark less."

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Good and the Bad

I don't usually put up two posts in one day, but it's just too ironic not to post this today. I titled this "The Good and the Bad." The good is we were able to find Anthony a little used car today to get him back and forth between schools this year. One class he needs is not offered at his high school, so he is going to have to be able to transport himself to where he needs to be. We got the cute little Camry (early '90s model) pictured below.So, that's the good! We'd been worried about whether or not we could find an inexpensive yet reliable vehicle before the school year started, and we did it! But about half an hour ago as I was sitting here near the front window I heard someone curse and then I heard a loud "psssssss" and then I heard a car peel out. I went outside, and sure enough, someone had slashed the front tire. We had just bought the car 7 hours ago, and already we have something we need to fix - not because there was anything wrong with the car - just due to a random act of violence.

I'm kind of baffled that this happened just now as David and I are still up with all the lights on and the windows open. Whoever did it could probably see me sitting here at the computer. Seems kind of bold to me. The police officer who came out (yes, they responded - community service officer - cool) said it was probably a mistake, that whoever did it thought we were someone else - in which case I'm glad it was a slashed tire and not a drive-by shooting! "Oops - sorry - I meant to shoot someone else." (She also let us know that 2 shootings had just happened elsewhere in town tonight.)

David, who right now, after midnight, is outside putting on a spare so the rim doesn't get messed up, was so gracious in the way he wrote his letter to the editor. I am not feeling so gracious. I'm getting sick of people who are destructive and irresponsible. In addition to the litter all over the park, not long ago I was out for a walk in the middle of the afternoon and saw 2 young teens spray-painting graffiti at the park, and now this. The playground equipment at the park has been destroyed and replaced so many times I've lost count. I just don't understand the random destructiveness.

I'm glad my husband can be gracious. I'm not quite there myself.

No Such Thing As a Free Lunch?

Well, that's how the old saying goes. My hubby surprised me yesterday. I found out he'd written a letter to the editor but only after it was published. He picked up on this theme of a free lunch, and I think it's worth sharing broadly.

There is such a thing as a free lunch! During the summer, free lunches are handed out on weekdays for children under 18 at our local city park. During these daunting days of trying to provide for our families and save precious pennies in any way we can, a free lunch is a pretty generous gift and something not to be taken for granted.

However, I would encourage parents to provide for their children in a way that I believe is just as important as filling their bellies with a good healthy meal. The trash that was left behind all over the hillside when lunch was over tells me that kids are not being modeled the virtues of gratitude and responsibility. Enjoy that wholesome meal and then take advantage of the opportunity to remind your children that one way to show thanks for this generous program is to leave the park even cleaner than it was when you arrived.

Thanks in advance for keeping our parks clean.
David Meyer
Well said, hubby!

Friday, August 07, 2009


Older doesn't
always mean
wiser, my
once said .
it just means
older .
Brian Andreas in Going Somewhere Soon (1995)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


To those who expressed a desire to come over and take a luxurious bath - sorry, we didn't get the house. We had the highest bid but came in second because the bid just below ours included $200,000 cash - uh - no can do. Thanks to all who prayed. God knows what is best. I'm sad but accepting.

Monday, August 03, 2009


"God is not a deceiver, that he should offer to support us, and then, when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us."

"Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee."

St. Augustine 354-430 AD