In much of California, school has always started the day after Labor Day and for most of my life this was the day I looked forward to with dread and anticipation. I missed the campus and the kids. The new year always blossomed so brightly, held so much potential--whether my vantage point was as a student, a teacher or an administrator.
But...I always hated getting up before the sun rose--primarily because this meant that I should go to bed earlier than I liked. Thus, out of sheer stubborness, I set 11 pm as bed time no matter how much sleep beckoned. It was a matter of determination--I was going to win, at all costs.
And so, when I was old enough to justify retirement, there were two factors which called me. One was I could sleep as late as I wanted in the mornings and two was that we could travel at will to anyplace, anywhere, at any time. There was such a sense of freedom as I envisioned finally calling my own shots in life.
...then, life does have a way of interfering with dreams. Our case is a fortunate one as while we lost those dreams we gained something special in return. Can't say that some of those "before" dreams do not still beckon and sound mighty good but their loss doesn't hurt or cause unhappiness. Life is good! I wouldn't trade the dream for the reality.
None of this is to say that I enjoyed the ear-splitting, less-than-harmonious jangle at my ear at 6:15 this morning. Time to get child up for school, make sure he had a good breakfast and an edible lunch, make time for morning prayer and devotion, double check the backpack for all that he would need for success (making sure Pokemon was not going to school with him) and..give plenty assurance that starting middle school was not to be feared but rather anticipated with great expectations--all followed by double doses of tight hugs.
Now that he is safely ensconced in school until 2:15, the reward for the 6:15 wake-up call is that Ken and I have almost 7 hours of freedom to do as we wish--come and go--not have our day regulated by child and his friends. This may not be the same as freedom to get up and go around the world at will, but for us, it surely is the next best thing or maybe the first best.
It is the day after Labor Day and school has once again started and once more takes charge of our lives--so we roll with this and look forward to the bird songs in the morning.
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.