Posts tagged winter

Mid January in the Heartland again

img_20170112_123055201Okay, we have finished ONE week of classes and have had several blizzards after returning from Arizona where it was sun and fun filled with grandkids.  Now we are bracing ourselves for the brutal, long and cold days. Yet there is beauty in all of this as these pictures show.

I went to a funeral the other day for a man who was a pillar of our community, he would have lived to be 100 years old if he could have made it to July of this year. Not to be…I was there for his daughter who was a classmate of mine.  There were four of us who graduated in the same year who came to support our friend Judy.  My folks were there and it was a nice military tribute to a man who had seen much. Someone alluded to the boating accident he was in where he was fishing with two gals and another guy. The boat couldn’t get started again and so the two girls jumped out but went over the dam. The other guy perished too. But not Russ, he was in good physical shape because he was in the military and was on leave at the time.

As the story goes and what I heard from the speaker at the funeral was that he remembers climbing and climbing stairs and when he awoke he was on the shore of the river bank. He believed that the angel had brought him enough strength to keep climbing to the surface. I had found this story out in the obituaries for the two sisters and the one man who drowned in this accident. I talked to my friend Judy to find out what she knew…she told me her mother had told her about this mishap that everyone in town knew about. However, what is interesting is that everyone in town knew him as the hobby shop guy, the one who had all the games to sell. He told jokes and did little pranks and had earlier been involved with several of the movie theaters.

img_20170112_101659283Well, it was fun to have my friend Suzi stay with us after the funeral, she got to see our sundogs. Yes, we were stormed in the next day so we sat and sang songs together. Good use of our time.  So, today was the last day of teaching for the week, my husband and I went to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate our first week of teaching. My friend Suzi joined us and then she went off to spend time with her family.  She came for the funeral from Florida but also to see her 93-year-old dad who is failing quickly.

So, looking out our windows upstairs and downstairs was quite a scenery shot for my friend Suzi from Florida.  I wanted to share these with you so you can see the beauty of our winter scape even though you might not feel the very cold temps of minus 20 F. Only the few can stand this. I am just glad my car started right up this morning despite the cold. I had baked some pumpkin bread and blueberry scones that I brought to my students.

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In the winter, there are better places to be enjoying

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a delayed start in the cold climes where winter has finally descended in snow and cold, we ended up in warm Arizona on Saturday evening.  While we were waiting in the airport I said that we were delayed while using up time on Facebook. My friend asked which airline I was flying, turns out he knew someone who was delayed at our destination because of a suspicous package on the plane. They were all de-planed before they boarded and ended up at our terminal with the plane we were to take back from whence they started. Small world.  Of course the clerk behind the counter at OUR location didn’t suggest that it was a security risk but only told us about our 1 1/2 hour delay. In truth we were 2 hours delayed but it was so warm and sunny at 4:00 p.m. that we didn’t mind. The three hour flight was uneventful.

We wanted to get to Mesa so that we could celebrate my 97 year old aunt’s birthday that very day.  Missed seeing my one cousin but got to have a nice meal at Olive Garden with my other cousin and his wife.  We stayed at their home and saw how they had really made a nice new place for my Aunt Alta.  When we had heard they were converting their garage and part of their living area into her little place, I was thinking rustic.  Turns out that they used top of the line everything and she has a cozy little home that is a doorway away from her son and daughter-in-law…and ALL the grandkids and her great grandkids as well. She is a rich lady.

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So after going to church the next day with Alta to help her celebrate her 97th b.d. with her church family, we took off for parts south of us to be at a place where we have stayed for the last four Decembers.  This way we get to see Laura and Steve with their four year old Andy and also 40 year old Liam.  We went out to a Mongolian restaurant last night but the night before we went to a farm festival with walls and walls of haybales and many more Christmas lights and decorations. We took a train ride and then we had good talks on our way there and back.

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Our time to celebrate but I am still in high gear mode from home and have been sending out e-mails and other information because they had been put to the side while I was in the throes of teaching and finally getting grades submitted.  I realize that my students are still probably taking their final exams this week but I push to get papers done earlier so that they have the freedom to study for their other courses once their final presentations are done.

My 35 students had chosen different topics for their fourth research paper and I learned a LOT from some of them.  I’ve read before about horse slaughter and how that is a good thing rather what the options are for dying or older horses since the law passed in 2008.  Another student wrote about land and oil rights in North Dakota, another about raw milk. Every semester I get a student athlete who believes that college football players should be paid and there will usually be other topics that are controversial as well. One took on the electoral college which is a relevant theme now with our elections being over, but he did NOT show the counterclaim to his claim that this should be abolished.

In any case, this should be my vacation and I am enjoying the outdoor pool and also the hot tub but I can’t seem to get into that mode of relaxing and unwinding until some other projects are completed.  Okay, I should really enjoy this place that I am at right now because it will be all too soon that I will be back again to the cold temps and grading more student papers for next semester.

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