28 February 2018
Mid-August of 1996, they are making their return. Summer break is over and I am once again at the
Hilleman Elementary School. This time holding the door as they reenter. Almost three months have passed, next week the students will be making their return as well. Somehow I have to gather up the courage to ask her for a date.
11 January 2018
It’s early June of 1996, school was soon to be out or shut down for the summer. Most of the teachers were making their annual exodus towards the front door and you best not get in their path. The school is the old Hilleman Elementary School. Built in 1960, the year John F. Kennedy became president. I am there standing to the side holding the door open while they march away. Talking of the beach, sleeping late or just making the most of their time off from work. It was then that I had first sight of her. I was immediately captivated by her natural beauty. Dark hair, sky blue eyes and a smile that seemed to brighten the surroundings and undeniably the mood of any old grouch.
05 September 2011
20 August 2011
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
28 April 2011
As I look at the picture, I see that the trees are budding with new life and the earth is becoming new again. It’s almost as if the river is washing away the old and ushering in the new. Just ahead of me are two friends. They are there for the same reason I am. To experience life, to share in the beauty of this place we call home. I also look at them and realize they are there to catch me if I capsize, to save me from the waters, to make sure I complete my journey and experience. We are all bound by the same spirit, or force that once created the river. Finally, I look at the picture and see the beautiful blue sky. It is filled with that spirit or force that connects us to every living creature. It’s overlooking all that we do, all of the time. It is the bond that unites us with the river. By paddling down this river I am experiencing life and by sitting on the bank I’m watching life go by. Both have their qualities and benefits. I would prefer to experience life as I drift down the river.
I awaken by the desire to drift on a lazy river someplace. Maybe it was remnants a of dream or just the instinctive desire to be near water. Whichever, I decide to head toward water. My ship is small but quite worthy; it will navigate the waters I have chosen. I gather my essentials and load my equipment…it is nice when your ship will easily fit in the back of a pick-up truck. My portage requires about 40 minutes of driving time to arrive at the water’s edge.
The air is lukewarm but it’s a beautiful morning under cloudy skies. The drive to the water is beautiful. It’s along a serpentine blacktop that traverses the countryside of one of the bordering counties. With the windows of the truck rolled down, I welcome the fragrance of spring. Ah yes, the aroma of fresh trees, flowers and fresh air.
Screeeeeeeeech….I quickly come to a stop in the road. What’s this? Something impedes my travels, a detour, and a long way around. Don’t they know? I need to get to the river. Well, it seems that there will be quite a few chickens that will not have to go the slaughter house. However, I believe the only survivor was the “chicken truck” driver.
Finally, I’m at the water’s edge. The river is flat, mirrored and inviting. Once on the water I paddle up stream to the bridge. It’s a very tall bridge from the boat. I paddle further to the see the remains of the old bridge, now nothing more than a wide column of rocks with trees growing from it. I would have loved to have seen the old bridge. I’m certain it was dignified in its day.
Just past the old bridge I encounter two Canada geese. They are squawking and honking in disapproval but otherwise ignore me. I spend approximately two and half hours on the water just drifting and paddling up and down stream. It has been a good morning. I needed that time on the water; the bond with nature was also needed. I will return.
If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends; it simply means the river bends.
26 April 2011
The morning greets me with the gentle sound of rain falling. I lie there listening to that rhythmic noise. My body feels stiff but rested from the night of sleep but the rain excites me; I arise from my slumber to open the windows in the house so that I may hear the sounds of rain and smell the freshness in the air. There is no scent like that of a falling rain. It fills the air with a newness that is unmatched. The air outside is warm enough to don shorts and tee shirt. I decide to go outside sans shoes to embrace that luscious rain. The cool, supple wet grass feels great underfoot. It makes me feel like a youngster in the rain. It’s thoroughly exhilarating. I am always dismayed when I hear someone say that it’s, “such a crappy or lousy day”, when it rains. I always beg to differ, it’s a splendid day.
Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.