Moving 5–Unusually Green


I finally arrived in California over a week ago. First leg of the journey was Amarillo to Flagstaff; second was from there to the San Gabriel Valley of CA. I have crossed New Mexico many times, have crossed Arizona as well six times since last November. Usually it is dry and brown even as recently as June. Not this time. Green all the way until I hit Barstow, California. The following photos were taken from the car as I drove I-40.

New Mexico

New Mexico–the entire drive the atmosphere was quite hazy. Not sure the cause–perhaps wild fires or the extra humid weather so unusual for New Mexico and Arizona as well.

Near Flagstaff which was super green and lovely. Morning there was quite chilly.

Near Flagstaff.

Finally, in the San Gabriel Valley in northeast LA County.

Wandering the World-Costa Rica


To share beauty and adventure, this past week two friends challenged me to share photos every day for ten days. This is day four. I decided to share some of the photos planned for day four here. The first three days included photos I took in Ethiopia and Italy (where I was this time last year). Today from this venue I will share photos of Costa Rica, a country I have visited twice, once when it was summer here and several years later during Christmas break in the US. Perhaps I will continue the challenge this way, sharing from my blog, but for today here are some of my favorite places in Costa Rica.

Frustration


My last blog post was over a month ago. Why you ask?? Well, I cannot figure out this new block thing, or rather do not have time to do so and cannot figure out fast enough how to get back to classic. These days I seem inundated with one frustration after another:

  1. The frustration of the above.
  2. I am teaching high school at a school where there is no mandate for any Covid safety precautions which means no masks, no social distancing, nothing. Thankfully, I have survived the first seven weeks of this. My doctor’s office has provided me with special face shields that come under the chin and around the sides more than the usual face shield.
  3. My pay is the same as last year but I have one extra class and 28 more students.
  4. I spend most of my life these days sleeping, eating, grading, working.
  5. For years I have been a judge for a literary contest. I have three novels to read in a short period of time with substantially no time to do it but have one down, the second 2/3 done, and one more to go.
  6. Today more papers to grade, house to finish cleaning, a literary contest to enter, that novel to finish, and that is just for starters.

This is not the kind of person I think I am. What is happening to cheery, positive me?? After I post this, I will do my morning yoga ( I already did meditation), shampoo my hair, feed the horses, and get to work on all the things mentioned above.

Have a great Sunday, inspire yourself, think positive, move on.

The White Supremacist History of Tear Gas


One hundred years ago, a racist US General, Amos Fries, transformed tear gas from a wartime chemical into use against protestors. He loved war gases and saw them as the ultimate in US technology.  He advocated the use of tear gas against any form of civil disorder.  As head of US Chemical Warfare Services, he pedaled his favorite gas to private security firms, police departments, and the National Guard.  According to him, tear gas in the hands of the “White man can quell any uprising.”  He went on to talk about how White men are set apart from the Negro, Gurkha, and the Moroccan. In his effects were letters from the women of the Ku Klux Klan praising his efforts.

Today the tear gas he loved is used all over the world by tyrannical governments to control their people.

In Honor of My Father


The Nap

He lays on his back on the cold, hard, blue linoleum floor after

the midday dinner of homegrown roast beef, potatoes, wilted

lettuce salad, hot coffee, coconut topped cake.  His left arm

forms a right angle at the elbow as the back of his wrist rests

on his forehead, touching the slight curliness of his not quite

black hair.  His left leg stretched out straight, right one drawn

up, knee jutting out.  The sleeves of his worn, pale blue dress

shirt rolled up; his overalls show signs of wear and washing.

Every day after dinner he naps in the same spot in this same

position for exactly fifteen minutes before returning to the field.

 

My father.

 

Seventeen years after his death, one day as I napped, slowly

driving off, astonishment stuck.  There I lay exactly as my

father used to so many years ago, my left arm forming a right

angle, wrist on my forehead, left leg stretched out straight, right

one drawn up, knee jutting out.  I remember not just in heart

and mind.

 

The body always knows.

 

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Taken at the top of Mt. Evans in Colorado when I was a child.

 

 

Flowers for Mother’s Day


Usually, my son sends me flowers for Mother’s Day even though he lives far away.  He sometimes sends his sister in Amarillo flowers as well. Since none of us are participating in the flower rituals this year due to quarantining, I offer all of you mothers out there photos of my iris this year.

Happy Mother’s Day.  Stay safe, be thankful, take a walk.  Enjoy!

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Student Poems–Four


In the beginning of the world

nature provided.

Poachers, factories, deforestation,

We abuse nature.

Nature now has too much to carry,

Greed, selfishness, money.

Nature is being destroyed.

We are the ones who have destroyed.

If we continue,

then no one knows what the future will hold.

Luke Mason

 

 

All the birds are chirping.

The dogs are barking.

The leaves are falling.

The deer are eating.

As we lay here

in these oakwood desks

Learning!

Animals get to relax

and eat.

While we learn and

work.

WHY!

Ellwood Jennings.

 

 

The sun,

The moon,

The animals.

This is nature.

When the sun goes down

the moon comes out.

Animals howl, bellow and bark.

They are all part of

the animal kingdom.

This is nature.

 

Brooke Madill

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