It’s track season! And we’ve worked three meets so far with three more on the calendar. It’s all Meghan’s fault. When she started running track in 1999, we were hooked. Running and being part of the team brought a smile to her face, and we’ve met many more smiling teens on the track.
TBT Lesson #90: Support the things that make your children smile.
This week Sarah’s been in California, surfer’s paradise, and has even sent pictures to give the impression of surfing. This reminded me of the summer she saved her money to purchase a skim board so she could slide along the shallow water along the shore.
Unfortunately, she found staying on the board more difficult than it looked and ended her skim boarding adventures less than an hour after it began.
TBT Lesson #89: Make sure you buy a supply of band-aides and antibiotic ointment when you purchase a skim board. You’ll need it.
At family gatherings the older cousins were frequently recruited to help out with the little ones. Emily has her hands full with Hannah while holding Noah, who’ll soon be 16. How time flies!
TBT Lesson #88: Young children are a handful, but they bring a smile to your face.
Snow has dominated this morning’s news. Stories about a blizzard moving toward Washington, DC and historic snowfall expected in the northeast part of the country are not only part of weather reports, but they’re making news. Then I saw online that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed to visitors today due to snowfall.
These reports reminded me of a quick trip we took to Smokemont Campground in the Smoky Mountains in 1989. With a five year old, two year old and a three month old, we drove our camper to North Carolina so the girls could see snow for the first time. Well, at least so the older two could play in the snow.
Snowballs, snow angels, a small snowman and a chance to enjoy all the fun associated with snow…guess we’ve always been a little crazy when it comes to travel.
TBT Lesson #85: Even kids who grow up in Florida need to play in the snow.
This week we purchased airline tickets for a spring trip which will include camping in Iceland for a few days. We’re excited about an adventure in a foreign country without the assistance of tour guides or buses packed with sightseers, but to be honest I’m a little nervous about sleeping in a van in a country with the word ice in its name. Are we going to be able to handle being outside exploring the natural wonders of this country 24 hours a day?
Just when I convinced myself the answer to this question is, yes we can; I find this picture of John wearing a down jacket taken on a winter day in Florida back in the ’80s. Good thing we got new down jackets for Christmas!
TBT Lesson #84: Don’t let the weather prevent you from enjoying time outdoors.
Career Day was a staple at most elementary schools in the ’80s and ’90s. Each year a variety of people shared information about their jobs, the skills required and education or special training needed. Career Day included a hairdresser who washed, cut and styled hair while she spoke, a photo restoration expert who tore a photo and then did her magic, and a restaurant owner who cooked and served students Chinese food as part of her presentation. Of course, these were always popular with students since it changed up the school routine.
One year students and teachers were encouraged to dress to represent an occupation. Never ones to pass up an opportunity to dress casually, Connie came as a Publix employee while I dressed as a referee. The 1990s were a good time to be a teacher.
TBT Lesson #83: Teaching is as much about sharing experiences as taking and preparing for tests.
(And don’t forget to look up in a photo to avoid the double chin effect.)
It seems once the weather begins to cool, the month have morphed into an excuse to grow facial hair. Starting in Movember or No-Shave November, men are encouraged to grow a mustache to change the face of men’s health and raise awareness of prostate cancer. This month has been renamed Decembeard, again in recognition of cancer, and will be followed by JanuHairy, as part of the Beards for Bowels campaign highlighting bowel cancer. And then there’s FeBROary. Not for a cause, but a challenge to grow the manliest beard.
Well long before these celebrations of facial hair, men were growing beards and mustaches.
TBT Lesson #80: Most anything can be a good excuse to skip shaving.
A favorite activity when the girls were young was going to the playground. Running, playing, climbing brought great joy to the girls even if I was somewhat stressed trying to keep an eye on three little ones going in different directions; but this smile reminds me why it was worthwhile.
TBT Lesson #79: Make time to play. It always brings a smile to your face.
In the ’90s, we started a tradition of the whole family, my brother’s family, my sister’s family, our parents and John’s mom and husband all loading up and driving from Florida to north Georgia to celebrate Thanksgiving. We’d rent two or three houses in Helen, Georgia and spend the weekend cooking, eating, hiking, playing and bonding. While we no longer celebrate out of state, Thanksgiving is still cousin catch up time.
TBT Lesson #78: Be thankful for the time you spend with cousins.
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but I can’t think of any other reason I’d have two turkeys in my freezer. In fact, the cupboards are full on the ingredients necessary for the annual feast. The only thing missing are the guests, but by this time next week we’ll have a full house.
TBT Lesson #77: Only the first grandchild can take attention away from a perfectly cooked turkey.