Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thoughts of Fall

I am on a roll thinking, dreaming, wishing for fall to get here full force! To make myself feel better, I looked through my pictures of fall. Isn't it amazing the power of a photograph? These pictures are from trips I took to the east coast for vacation.

Can't you feel the cool, crisp breeze?
Can't you see the long shadows stretching and reaching out?
Can't you hear the crunch of the leaves in a peaceful forest?
Can't you smell the Earth settling in for a winter nap?
Enjoy the journey.

Covered bridges remind me of fall. This is in the White Mountains.
Makes me want to take a horse and carriage
ride snuggled under a blanket with LT. 

My favorite decorated house in Salem, MA.
Love the mums and pumpkins with
big lights!

In Salem, Ma you can find all kinds of pumpkins!

Carved pumpkins in the park at night in Rhode Island.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Is It Fall?

Living in Texas, it seems we have two seasons: hot and OMG is this hell? I am hoping with the wonky weather we have all been experiencing, Texas can experience a cool front and some "fall-like" weather.

I am so ready to get out my fall decorations and get in the mood, but when it is still 90 degrees out, is it considered fall? Maybe I should just put the AC on really low and run around the house in winter clothes to get my fall season. Have you ever done that? Truth time…I have!

I promise, before the end of the first week of October, I will have my autumn/Halloween decorations up. Lt and I love Halloween. We are DYING! to wear our costumes! We have added hands this year!

Halloween 2012
We freaked a lot of people out with our
lifelike monkey masks!

Newest addition to our costume.
Can't wait to try it out! It'll be life like!

Oh, who am I kidding…autumn decor will be up by the end of this week! I am getting antsy! What is one thing you have to put out that says "autumn is here!" to you? Mine would be pumpkin spice candle and my velvet pumpkin!

I'll show pictures when it is all done. Pinterest is calling my name!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget

Today is the day we must never forget. Most of us won't. Even if we were not there front and center, we were glued to out TVs, radios and internet watching it all unfold. We were there in spirit and most of us wanted to be there to wrap our fellow Americans in our arms and let them know they were not alone, that we are grieving with them.

Today is the anniversary of 9/11. I don't have to remind those of you who are reading this what this date signifies. You all lived it with me.

As I have mentioned, LT is a fireman; proud of him and the job he does, hands down. I can't imagine anything happening to him, let alone on a scale of that magnitude. But his job did bring me in contact, in a round about way, with a wonderful group intent on keeping the memory alive of those first responders who gave their lives to safe others.

This year I joined the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb Committee. They are dedicated to put on an annual stair climb for active first responders to fill the 343 firefighters, 70 police officers and 9 medical technicians to be remembered. Our climbers also wear their gear as they climb, just like in 9/11. This  means the firefighters were wearing approximately 60 extra pounds of gear. Our committee put on the Stair Climb last weekend, September 6, 2014.

The climbers wear lanyards with names and a picture of a first responder. At the end of the climb, they put the names on the accountability board.

This year, we had police officers from New York and firefighters from Chicago. There were even climbers from Canada and Poland! This event is getting international recognition!

Currently, there are stair climbs throughout the United States. I encourage everyone to go, experience and support their local first responders during this event. Nothing is asked of you but to watch and cheer them on as they climb 110 floors.

Climbers getting ready

Climbers headed to lower level to start their climb
of 55 floors, take elevator down and climb for
a second time equalling 110 floors.

Honor Guard at attention. As climbers complete,
they put the name they climbed for on the
accountability board.

Proof NYPD were in da' house! Thanks for
coming to TX to climb!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stay tuned...

On this eve of 9/11, I think back to that tragic day. Some things I remember vividly. Others are a blur. I remember I was teaching Sophomore English reading about New York after a nuclear war and what it was like. From what we read, one could see unfold in New York that day.

That day, time meant nothing. I remember hearing the news and not understanding nor fathoming what happened or why. My co-worker whose classroom was beside me was affected the most. His brother worked at the Pentagon and there was no word of him. We gathered around my co-worker and took care of him. He finally got the call that his brother was alright. He should have been in the area that got hit, but stopped for coffee. Cuppa Joe saved his life.

It was time for Sophomore English. I had my lesson plans made out a week in advance, if not two weeks. As we began reading, a student asked me if I planned for us to read it because of what was going on in New York. I told him I had planned this weeks ago, not knowing any of this would or could happen. We all felt eerie and weird. First we were carrying on in our everyday life while life was standing still or ending in New York.

We were told not to really discuss anything about what happened with our students. That was up to the parents to decide and do. Totally made sense, but what do you say to 16, 17, 18 year olds that doesn't sound trite or stiff or even juvenile? How could I help my students process this horrific act? After school I sat in front of the TV, glued for hours, reliving what happened at the World Trade Center.

I look back, 13 years later, some events are etched in my mind like it was yesterday. Other events come out fuzzy and I wonder did it happen or did I think I did it. It scares me a little to think I may be forgetting some of that day. I feel a need to remember and to honor every American involved. It saddens me, the younger generation who are teenagers and young adults may not remember or were not involved in 9/11.

It has been months since I have gotten on to blog. Life gets in the way and more personal issues become pressing. I do not think often of 9/11 until it gets closer to the anniversary. I don't want this event to slowly fade into nothingness in American minds. Not every child knows what happened or how to even process it. They do not know that sense of pride and patriotism that swept the nation in support. It did not tear us down, it only brought us more together, reminding us of who we are.

I then think back to my parents and how it was for them to grow up in the 30s, 40s, 50s 60s, 70s, and so on and everything they have witnessed. Do they remember? Have they forgotten where they were and what they felt when Kennedy was assassinated? Should we pass down our experiences and feelings? Do the youth of today even care?

I do not have the answers to these questions. All I know is for me, I have to remember. There is a need for me to remember. Is it because of Lt? Is it because it was really one of the first major events of my time? I don't know. All I know is I have a voice whispering to me "remember and honor".

Stay tuned for tomorrow and how I decided to remember and honor 9/11 this year. How will you?