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If we were having coffee: Kindness edition

A shady place to sit near the vegetable garden.
A shady place to sit near the vegetable garden.

Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight:  always try to be a little kinder than is necessary?

~ Sir James Matthew Barrie, The Little White Bird

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you it is, as always, fantastic to see you.  Come on in.  We’ll grab our beverages and go out to the porch where you can sit in the rocking chair, if you like.  I call it the Granny Chair, and it’s very comfortable.  There are plenty of things to drink around here.  Coffee, tea, water, or more potent potables such as wine and beer.  Help yourself to whatever you’d like.

How are you?  What have you been up to this past week?  Did you travel anywhere or see anything worth a mention?  Did you read any good books or see any good films?  Did you go on any hikes, walks, or bike rides?  Did you celebrate anything or reach any major milestones?  (I already know at least one of you did.  Congrats, Dawn!)

Unfurling.
Unfurling.

Nothing new from me on the book or movie front.  M’s fairly new Blu-ray player decided it wouldn’t play the latest movie we have to watch (the last in “The Hobbit” series).  It needs a software upgrade, and that’s difficult to do with our satellite internet connection (it keeps timing out).  M has some ideas on how to get around it, so we should have it fixed soon.  In the meantime, we’re doing other things to entertain ourselves in the evenings.  Mostly reading.  I’m still reading The Casual Vacancy which I see has been made into a mini-series by HBO.  I’ll have to remember to look for that on Netflix.  I should finish the book this weekend (it is 512 pages, a fairly lengthy book).  I am enjoying the book especially now that the story line has picked up.  One of the things I’m finding interesting is the way we get to know, through others, a major character who dies at the very beginning of the book.

Lifted towards the light.
Lifted towards the light.

I am also reading two other books, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which I am reading by way of emails from DailyLit.  I don’t know how it is I never read the book.  I just discovered DailyLit, and if this works out well, I will continue, through them, to fill in more of the books I should have read when I was a child and/or in school.  They have a lot of books to chose from so I’m not sure which direction I’ll go, but I’m thinking Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.  I read Jude the Obscure years ago, and it was such a depressing book that I swore off Hardy, but maybe it’s time to revisit him.

The truck bed that used to be in the scrounger's garden, emptied of trash and snakes, and relocated.
The truck bed that used to be in the scrounger’s garden, emptied of trash and snakes, and relocated.  Sometimes we use it to haul things around by hooking it up to the garden tractor.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that pool is open and we can go for a swim.  The water is warm enough that you won’t be shocked by the temperature, and cool enough that it will be refreshing.  It has been hot here this week, and I am pretty sure we are well into summer weather now.  The weather folks always put these little cool-downs in the ten day forecast, but they’re full of bunk.  I think they do it just to keep us hopeful.  Once we get to June, or this close to June, cool-downs are not likely.  We might get some breezier, drier weather, but I doubt we’ll see highs lower than 80 until the fall unless we get some full days of rain.

Near the playhouse.
Near the playhouse.

Speaking of rain, we could use some.  Want to do a rain dance with me?  There has been rain, in the form of pop-up storms, to the north, south, and west of us, but none of it makes it here.  The garden needs a good soaking, as does the rest of the land around us.  Even the trees are starting to look droopy.

Trees gossiping with the wind and each other.
Trees gossiping with the wind and each other.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that part of my interesting week involved being called out, in a way, in the comments section of one of my blog posts.  I deserved it.  I was gossiping and being unkind and negative.  I want to thank my anonymous commenter, if you’re reading, for showing me the error of my ways, and for giving me something to think about.  I was given a chance over Memorial Day weekend to mend things a little, and were it not for your comment, I might have continued to be one-sided about the situation.  Thank you.

I try not to be unkind in words, thoughts, or deeds, but I slip every now and again.  I think I will add “may I be kind” to my morning mantra.

Leaning.
Leaning.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the guest bathroom has been gutted except for the shower stall.  M has been busy patching walls and painting.  I would have helped with the painting, but it’s a small room.  We would have been falling over each other.  The next step is to install the new flooring.  M opened up the carton containing the new toilet today and found there are parts missing.  We’ll have to wait for the company to send us the parts before we can install it.  The cabinets, mirror, and vanity will go in once the flooring is finished.

Purple glow.
Purple glow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I wrote a long rant yesterday (and titled it “Friday Flare-up” as if I planned to make it a regular feature).  I had seen a story on the local news about teachers in a nearby county who haven’t had a pay raise since 2009.  A woman who doesn’t appear to care about the education of our young was interviewed, and she carried on about how teachers don’t deserve a pay raise.  I disagree vehemently and think teachers deserve a lot more than they are getting these days.  I don’t understand why politicians and some folks are vilifying teachers.  The teachers I know work very hard, even in their off hours.  As far as I’m concerned, they deserve better treatment and better pay.  Their mission in life is, in my opinion, much more important than, say, the administrators and managers who get the big bucks for doing nothing more than creating busy work to justify their jobs and make it impossible to evaluate their usefulness.

Mini-rant over.  Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to read the long version?  It felt good to sit down and write it yesterday even if I didn’t publish it.  I don’t use that option as often as I should.  Writing can be very therapeutic.  I don’t have to post it or show it to anyone for it to help me explore and air my anger, frustration, and sadness.  I suppose this was not a good way to follow up the idea of being kinder, but I believe teachers are getting short shrift lately, and would love to see our society (here in the U.S., at least) value them more than we do.

Three spinsters.
Three spinsters.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I was feeling a little sad this week.  M was on an overnight business trip, and I was home alone.  I could have gone with him, but elected to stay thinking I might get some work done around here (and I did).  What made me sad, besides missing him (of course), was that I was reminded of how I used to call my mother when M was away on a trip.  We’d have long conversations, often about nothing in particular, but sometimes the important stuff would gently slide in, opening itself up for discussion.  I do miss being able to do that so instead of picking up the phone, I had an in-the-heart talk with her.  I believe she hears those kind of talks, and sometimes it seems as though she sends back a little message to let me know she’s there.

Someone needs to get out there and trim the grass in front of the lagoon.
Someone needs to get out there and trim the grass in front of the lagoon.

If we were having coffee, I would apologize for talking your ear off and taking up so much of your time.  I have about five hundred other things I could share with you, but it’s probably time for you to go.  Thank you so much for visiting with me again for a little weekend chat.  Sunset might be worth braving the heat and the bugs.  I think I’ll go down to the Point.  If you care to join me, sunset is at 8:18 PM, and I’ll be there about ten or fifteen minutes early.

Seedy.
Seedy.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

It's a jungle out there.
It’s a jungle out there.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Grab a cuppa of whatever your preference is and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

24 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Kindness edition

  1. No apologies needed! You didn’t talk my ear off – I came here voluntarily and as always, enjoyed myself.

    I didn’t see your rant. Where was it published? I agree that teachers are not paid enough for what they do and are also not valued enough. Having said that, my daughter had some incredibly bad teachers and I had to watch them constantly. Why the school system didn’t drum them out is beyond me. They need to do a much better job of policing themselves.

    As for reading, I am re-reading a book from several months ago – All The Places To Go. . . How Will You Know? – by John Ortberg. He uses the Dr. Suess book as the theme, but it’s an excellent book about walking through open doors. I don’t usually re-read books so soon, but with my decision to take a sabbatical and then pursue my writing & photography (instead of going back into the workplace), I very much need his wisdom NOW.

    I laughed that you were sad M was gone for a night. My favorite boy toy is gone for a month to take pictures and I’m enjoying it immensely. I’ve already asked our daughter if she’d take him and she said no. Of course, with him being home all day and talking incessantly, it’s nice to get a break and be alone with my own thoughts. Now if only I could make the dogs leave home for a while too. . .

    Have a good weekend! I liked the pictures, especially the old truck bed.

    Nancy

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      1. Okay, this isn’t displaying right on my computer. That link is for the book. It should have shown you the cover so you could click it and go to Amazon.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. I’ll have a look at the book. Sounds interesting. I think if M and I were spending every single day and night together non-stop, I’d probably enjoy having time to myself, but for now, I do miss him when he goes away. The rant didn’t get published. I included a mini-rant in this post, but held back on the long one. I know there are bad teachers, and that it’s difficult to get rid of them. My sons had a few of those. In the long run, though, I think we might have better teachers if we offered them a better place to work, one that we put money into because learning is important.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t imagine you being gossipy or unkind – and if you were I missed it! However it is always a great chance to ‘hear’ ourselves when someone reflects back isn’t it 🙂

    Your teacher rant makes me just a little uncomfortable – I feel myself following you there and don’t want to – but whoops – here I go……. . As an ex-teacher who now lives in relative poverty due to having high ideals when young and giving no thought to ‘old age’ it can make me feel ungrateful and forgetful of the blessings I do have. I also become quite saddened when people make comments like the ones that precede mine – government interference in education, political correctness and the privacy act all make it near impossible to get rid of inadequate teachers. The process is long and involved and if even one tiny step is missed along the way the inadequate teacher can sue the school [which means dollars for actual education are removed from the schools budget to cover this contingency] and be reinstated to their position. It is a nightmare – especially when the courts have ruled to protect the ‘wrong party’ the inadequate teacher, and no-one is allowed to discuss what is going on and parents are asking.

    I adored being in a classroom with my students – it was rewarding and fulfilling work. We teachers mostly all worked very hard, totally involved and always available. We lived on very little and returned a sizable portion of the teachers salary pool back to the school so that those aspects of the curriculum, not funded by the state, could be included for our students. I grew very tired and eventually became very ill after years of dealing with all the other #@*& that goes on around the work.

    End of my rant! It’s Sunday, the sun is shining and puppy and I need to go off for our walk! Have a wonderful day Robin.

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    1. Sorry about that, Pauline. I generally avoid rants because I want my blog to be a peaceful place, but every now and then one creeps through. I know what you mean about the bad teachers being difficult to get rid of. We have the same problem here. What they need is a better system of evaluating the teachers, but I suspect it would mean more work for those who do the evaluating and maybe they don’t want to do more work.

      I hope you had a great walk, and a wonderful Sunday! 🙂

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  3. My favorite photo of this batch is purple glow followed closely by three spinsters. I’m sorry you’ve been a bit sad over not being able to call your mother. I too believe she can hear you, so glad you had the long conversation anyway. It’s not the same I know. As for the teacher debate…my sister is a teacher, and I have friends who are teachers. They all work incredibly hard for little pay and they are all struggling with pressures today to teach to the test. It’s not work I could do and yes they deserve more money. It’s rainy here today…very rainy, and tomorrow too..so maybe we’ll be sending you some rain. I’m pretty sure we’re done with it now.

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 I hope your rain does make it to us. Right now it looks like our best chance is either Tuesday or Wednesday. They keep putting in the forecast and then taking it out. Fingers crossed that it gets here this time.

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  4. Enjoyed the coffee chat per usual. I agree with your mini-rant, teachers are shaping our future today, but few seem to think about that. With the amount they spend on defense, if they gave even 10% of to education, can you imagine the difference it would make?

    It is nice that M is handy around the house, I envy that! 🙂 Can’t wait to see the finished project.

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  5. I’m so glad you had that in-the-heart talk with your mom. I do those when needed, too. They are comforting.
    As for news… we closed on a new house that’s roughly 100 miles south of where we live and closer to the beach and right across from a really nice creek. We still have to wait for the other house to sell before we can move. We’re going to do the remodel that’s needed before we actually move down there, so it should be less of a strain. Really looking forward to it, but needing some patience…. all good things, etc etc 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Gunta. And congratulations! 😀 It is so much easier to do the remodeling BEFORE you move in. We did that with our last house. This one has been constant chaos for at least 1.5 years. We’re finally getting somewhat organized now.

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  6. I’m sorry I was not able to join you earlier in the day, but since it’s now late I think I’ll have a glass of wine – preferably red, if you have it. If not, whatever you have will be fine.
    My week has been much the same as they all are, which suits me quite fine. I am now reading a book by Anne Rivers Siddons called Homeplace, I believe. I tend to not remember titles. I thought I had read all of her books, but then I found this one on Amazon. I spent most of Friday in town – it was time to get the dogs groomed and myself pedicured. I bought plants for my pots in the yard since it appears we’re not going to have anymore nights with frost – I hope, since that can happen here any month of the year. That meant I spent yesterday outside planting, and then mowing the yard.
    I’ve enjoyed your conversation – as far as teachers go, both of my kids now teach in International Foreign Schools, because they pay much better, provide housing, have much smaller classes and for the most part the students are there to learn. Daughter spent five years substituting in this country because there were no permanent jobs available after she got her degree – but after dealing with classes much too large, students that would not behave (including one who stabbed her with a pencil) and administrations that were not supportive, she opted to follow her brother’s lead and go overseas.
    I am glad we also had the opportunity to walk about your yard again. It’s so beautiiful, I always enjoy that. It’s time for me to go – I don’t want to outstay my welcome.

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    1. We do have red, Carol, so I’ll pour you a glass. Stay as long as you like. I won’t mind. You have an interesting take on the teacher situation. I had no idea it was getting to the point where our teachers were moving overseas.

      Thanks for dropping by. I enjoyed your company. 🙂

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  7. Hello Robin! Thanks for the coffee. 🙂 You’re need for rain just supplied us with a downpour!!! And I haven’t read any books or watched any movies. But in the past week I have been on a few bike rides. I think I am determined to not go the route of last year, which was maybe a handful of bike rides. Making up for that. Though I did get a flat today. Had a great hike. Took some kids to the tree house by bike. An all around busy week! 🙂

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    1. Hi, CM! You’re welcome. 🙂 Send that rain here, if you can. We’re getting desperate. (Why is it I think I’m going to regret wishing for all this rain? lol!) So glad you’re getting out on your bike. I still haven’t taken mine out this year. I would really like to remedy that soon. Maybe tomorrow morning. 😀

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      1. Ah…..make sure the camera goes with you! I hope you wished for just the right amount. We had a torrential down pour. And just now I look up as I sit in this too chilly for almost June temp and saw blue sky!!!

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  8. My divorce lawyer (about two lifetimes ago) who was the son of a public school teacher, used to say that if they cut the salaries of the Administrators in school districts and spent that money paying teachers what they were worth, they would be able to attract better trained and higher quality teachers that would stay at the job far longer. That was in Los Angeles where it was common, at least at that time and probably still today, for a teacher to last an average of two years before quitting teaching altogether. This created such a shortage of teachers that they offered “emergency credentials” to individuals that weren’t yet qualified to teach in the classroom, as long as they agreed to take units toward their teaching credential. This was one problem (low salaries) creating another (lack of qualified teachers) which led to yet another issue (untrained teachers). I think he was right about cutting administrator salaries as a starting point. The money saved could be used to help teachers get more training (maybe another credential or degree) which would translate to better education. As a former teacher, my day was very long. I had to be at school by 7:10 am (by union contract) and had to stay until at least 4:35. That was on days that we didn’t have teacher training meetings (mandatory every two weeks) during which I could not leave until 8 pm. That made for very long days. Then there was the work I took home with me every day to grade papers and prepare for the next day. And I had three kids of my own at home (and I was a single parent). So yes, very long days with very little pay, some of which I spent on classroom supplies that the school did not provide but were needed. Talk about a rant! Okay, I’m done.

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    1. I think I touched a nerve with this subject, Corina. I wish education had a higher priority than it does. It seems much more important to me than all the money spent on defense and war.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ll take the rocking chair if it’s still empty. 🙂 I’ve got a little one here and it’s so relaxing, I don’t go in for a big push back and for, I’m more for a gentle sway, almost not moving at all, rest your head back and close your eyes, and you could be laying back in a little rowing boat on a still pond with just a gentle breeze brushing the top of the boat. 🙂
    I’m not much for books, but I have a BBC adaption of Far from the Madding Crowd and they usually stay pretty close to the original plot. I can’t vouch for the book, but there are plenty of ups and downs in the film, hold out to the end, it’s worth it. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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