We rise before the sun. Quietly we move through the morning rituals of breakfast, showers, dressing. The car waits for its final bags and passengers. We step out into the dark with iced coffee in hand to begin the 1,500 mile journey home. Slowly, the car rolls down the driveway slipping away, while the home’s occupants sleep on.

As we head toward the highway,  my semi-focused eyes try to take in the details surrounding me. Streetlights reveal a dancing mist of fog has settled in during the dark of night. Streets normally filled with cars are eerily empty.  I wonder, who would be  up and out  at this time on a Sunday morning? We stop at the light and a car pulls up next to me. I glance over, a lone man is munching on something. He intently watches for the light to turn green.

We have reached the highway, six lanes of road stretch before us. The red taillights of the cars ahead are red eyes staring at us. Where are these people going? As the sun slowly spreads its light, I close my eyes to rest. I know it will be my turn to drive later.

Two days later we pull into our driveway. Vaction is over. Sigh . . .

Red Dirt

The following was inspired by looking through my writer’s notebook, this is  from my page of Memories Inside Me.

“What happened to the dirt?” we wondered as we drove from Washington, D. C. to Houston, Texas.

The year was 1966, a major change was happening in our life. All my life I had lived in Chicago, but due to a job change our family (5 kids, 2 parents) was making a move away from everything we had known to an unknown world.

First, we moved to Washington, D. C. for a summer while my dad received  training for his new job. His first assignment (after training) was to be in Houston, Texas. What an adventure this was to be for us! The only world we had known was  Chicago and Baldwin, Wisconsin. Chicago was home, Baldwin was vacation, this was where we spent time visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a multitude of cousins.

The most shocking change to us was the ground we walked upon. Dirt is black, moist, rich soil. Dirt is not red, dry, powdery clay. What happened to the dirt? How do you grow plants in this stuff? This ground was so different from anything we’d ever seen. My mother scooped up a baggie of this red dirt and mailed it to my grandmother in Wisconsin. I can imagine my grandmother’s surprise when she opened up the small package of red dirt.

I think of this everytime we drive across New Mexico and Arizona. I marvel at the color of the land around me as I know this is much redder than the ground in Texas.

I suppose black dirt would be a novelty to those who were raised on red dirt.

Summer’s Time

Ahhh . . . it’s here – summer. The pace slows down. The “have-to-do” list is shorter. I am surprised to find myself with open blocks of time.

During the school year many projects get shoved aside, with the promise I’ll work on it in the summer. Now summer’s here and I don’t have the excuse of school. A few of my “have-to-do” tasks involve organizing. I need to organize my picture books, but I just don’t know a good way to do that. The shelf space is limited, the size of the book determines which shelf it is housed on. Another task is organizing my files of teaching material. I know that will help me be more effective next year. I will work on it . . . later. Then there is my stack of professional books, some are new to me. Some have been read, but need to be revisited. Writing more entries in my writer’s notebook is another goal I have for this summer.

My stack of professional book waiting for me.

Non-school tasks involve organizing recipes. I am a great one for tearing out magazine recipes I want to try. I do try them, but then they just sit on the shelf. They need to find a home in a sleeve, in a binder. Slowly, I will work through that stack. Who know’s, I may discover a new favorite recipe.

I will have to fit in time for beading. New beads have been bought but nothing has been created, yet. A beading marathon with friends could be scheduled soon.

Now that I write out my summer plans, I ask myself: Is it really a slower pace? Or just a different focus for the tasks?

Sweet Scent

Huff and puff, I trudge along the road. My eyes dart side to side, looking for anything to distract me as I walk. My mind is able to wander because my feet know this route so well. I ponder many topics, such as: What should I write about on the blog? What will I be fixing for dinner? What do I have to do this week? On and on the thoughts fill my head when suddenly I enter the HONEYSUCKLE ZONE. The sweet scent begins as a whisper, “Come closer, you are headed in the right direction.” All thinking evaporates. I breathe deeply, taking in that delightful smell.

A wall of honeysuckle

What, I am at the end of the road? It’s time to turn around already? Time and distance pass so quickly when you are surrounded by honeysuckle vines that release their perfume to the breeze. My steps slow slightly so I can savor the fragrance just a bit longer. But sadly, I exit the honeysuckle zone and my speed picks up as I head for home. The thoughts that were driven out of my mind by the honeysuckle come crashing back  once again. I cannot escape reality any longer.

Honeysuckle has climbed to the top of this tree, thereby creating a honeysuckle tree.

The wild honeysuckle blooms last for about two weeks. Those are the best two weeks of walking. I almost look forward to the walk.