Gardening and baking and parading, oh my!

School’s out for summer!  School’s out for… well, just for summer.  It will, hopefully, restart again in the fall!  We shall see.  It’s all pretty up in the air! I’m on the planning committee for reopening and we are working on several different plans, with the expectation that none will be fully correct.  It’s an exciting time to be alive, I suppose.  Or exhausting. Depending on the hour.

This past weekend I took a little break from the computer and spent a fair amount of time outside.  I cleaned the entire porch, including washing (with a cloth!) the walls and ceiling and sweeping away all the cobwebs and gunk.  I also, with Eve’s help, made the garden out front!  We half-assed planted hostas a few weeks months ago, and I’ve been waiting on the garden edging I ordered ever since.  Finally it arrived and I felt motivated and, voila, a garden!!

My lovely garden with hostas and Morning Glories (hopefully!)

That same day I saw a neighbor friend posted pictures of her yard sale.  The first thing that jumped out at me was a bread machine.  Mine broke awhile ago and life has been busy anyway, but this one was brand new and $2!!  I immediately asked her to hold it for me, and I dragged Eve and the dog over to pick it up.

Not the best picture, but the bread was delicious!

That was all weekend stuff.  On Friday, before the weekend, we had a parade celebration for two retiring teachers.  My lunch crowd met for breakfast at a park beforehand.  We had take out breakfast that wasn’t good, shivered in the morning breeze, and relished every second we were seeing each other in person!  Then we headed to the rendezvous place and met up with all the other teachers (and some retired teachers and district teachers and others who wanted to celebrate). We decorated our cars and formed a long car parade that drove past the school, then around behind the school, and then right up to the front step where we took turns handing our beloved retiring teachers cards and flowers and gifts.  The principal took pictutres, and the PE teacher set up some cranking music on her sound system, and the two retiring teachers were blown away!  Most of us parked in the lot afterwards, and when the parade was over we all sang the DBS song.  It was not pretty, but it was amazing!  There were some tears shed. Many tears shed.  Then a few of us drove to their homes and decorated their lawns.  It was a fun and busy day.

We gathered for a picture before the parade rolled out!

Then we weekend happened.  See above.

Then, on Monday, my bucket was so filled!!  It was our last day of school, teacher in-service, and I was going to check in all fo the books and Chromebooks that had been returned, shelve the books, and *maybe* clean the Chromebooks.  Guess what?!  Four AMAZING co-workers offered to help!  I said thank you, but it’s going to be hot and sweaty (broken AC in the library) and dirty, but they said, “that’s ok” and they came anyway!!  Two had done a lot of the collecting of Chomebooks when we closed back in March and had gotten first hand experience with what a PITA the carts are, and the other two didn’t have a lot to do on the final day, so they all helped me!!  We got all of the books shelved, all of the computers checked in and CLEANED, and everything stored away.  My library has never looked so “done” at the end of a year.  We also ordered delivery for lunch and sat at the picnic tables in the sunshine.  I even got some time to just “be” in the space, look around, see what other things need doing, and AND went home at a reasonable time feeling satisfied instead of stressed.  It was the best final day ever!

Now begins summer vacation.  We started it with a trip to the dentist and a referral to a dental surgeon for BOTH kids.  :/  But Eve got kuddos for how well she’s been brushing her teeth, so that was good news.  And no cavities for either of them!

We have another week at home to chill (or sweat, as the temps are supposed to be in the 90s!) then we’re off to Franklin where we will definitely sweat and we will relax and we will love every minute of it!

I gave my preschool neighbor two lawn rakes I found in the garage. My kids have certainly outgrown them by now! We came home from the dentist to find this. :)

Happy Summer!!!

Black Lives Matter

The world is roiling right now. There are waves of emotion crashing on us from all angles, each vying for importance and significance in our minds. It can leave a person feeling strong and powerful, or completely overwhelmed and exhausted. Or both, at different times.

We went to a Black Lives Matter rally this evening. It is a topic that is hard to talk about and even harder to work into every day discussions with the kids.  It is very easy to say, we are good people, we are not racist, Vermont is so white anyway, my kids are kind, we don’t need to worry about this stuff.  But we do! And they need to know about it! The civil unrest and Black Lives Matter movement is all around and needs our attention. We need to educate ourselves and have those tough conversations.

At the beginning of the rally.

Stormy skies served as a ominous backdrop to the event.

The rally was organized by a woman Alan works with on the Select Board. I know her as a mother in our school district as well.  I have taught her kids and coached her kids, and my kids have gone to school with hers.  She started with an opening statement, then proceeded to name black people who have died at the hands of the police, listing their name, age, and “crime.” The list went on and on and on and on. She then asked people to kneel or lay down with their hands behind their backs. Alan and Eve laid down, but Lex and I were more comfortable (emotionally) kneeling. They played somber music for what felt like forever, but I suspected it was the time that George Floyd was on the ground with an officer’s knee on his neck.  She confirmed that when the very long eight minutes and 46 seconds ended.

By this point we were nearly an hour into the event.  I decided to take the kids for a walk around the green and help Lex find a bathroom.  We approached the few stores that were open, but none had public bathrooms. I then decided to ask one of the police officers, but not before pointing out the irony (is that the right word?) of how easy and comfortable and “right” it is for us, as white people, to walk up to a police officer while people of color fear the police and generally do not see police as community helpers.  We talk a lot in school about community helpers and police are always included. It hard to wrap my white mind around the fact that sometimes police are not helpers. Anyway, the officer was nice enough to tell us about a gas station down the road and even offered to bring Lex into her office (a few blocks away) if he really need to go badly.

At that moment, the sky opened up.  Huge rain drops came pummeling down. Thunder roared and lighting crackled.  We ran back to Alan, packed up our stuff real quick, and headed for the car.  We had been extremely lucky to get a parking spot right on the green, so the car was close by. Many people stayed with their umbrellas and their signs, and I felt a little guilty leaving, but it didn’t feel safe (or comfortable!) with the rain and lightening.  We spent the ride home discussing the rally, the weather, and the rainbows all around.

Last week I compiled a summer reading list for the family. The books should be here soon. Some of the books Lex and I have read already, and some none of us have read.  I’m also gathering some videos and movies to watch. I need to figure out a schedule or system or something, otherwise I’m afraid we’ll never get around to watching/reading them.  But that is one of my goals for this summer. Continue the dialogue, make sure my kids are aware of the problem, help them become informed allies.

But sometimes, you need to let your mind rest.