Bird Droppings February 19, 2021
Thinking for a minute of what to write
Over the past few weeks, I have read several blogs and emails about counting sheep and last night as I lay down to get some sleep after a long day, and a long week of doctor appointments, reading, and writing, I was a whooped puppy. Long about eight o’clock last night which for me usually is time for me to just zone out I lay there thinking for a bit. Of course, just as I fell asleep it hit me how much we miss our grandbabies. Just as I thought of this we got a photo or two on the phone. I almost felt like no need to go back to sleep since I get up at four in the morning during the work week anyhow to get Pat off to work. Then it really hit me it was still night time I crashed again.
When I got to my computer and started in I sat here thinking for a second about how each of us builds our routine around who and what we are at the moment. Thinking back to my sons and how when they would come home from college and take a three-hour nap, play some video games, eat voracious quantities of food and then chill. It has changed now that that they are married and have babies and work full time one in pediatric cardiac intensive care, one in environmental engineering and the oldest an advanced science teacher that makes a big shift in their lives. After I finally got up I went to fix Pats lunch watched the news and fixed my morning eggs.
I went back outside only to find it slightly warmer than last couple mornings where it was below freezing. Rain and cloud cover are covering the moon. I thought back to my earlier trying to go back to sleep and when my son’s photos woke me up I lay there making up blog lines each more whimsical then the last. Unfortunately thinking doesn’t put you to sleep and it dawned on me why counting sheep would. For most people a sheep is a sheep they all look the same sound the same and act the same. If I was counting sheep depending on my mood and if I were looking for show lambs or breeding sheep or sheep to work herding dogs they would be different. The muscle mass or breed characteristics and then what breed am I counting and the history would come up of that breed counting sheep would never work for me after so many years of raising and showing sheep and lambs.
My oldest son and I had Southdown sheep for some years including an Oklahoma Black and White show champion ram. Southdown’s go back a few hundred years in England famous for their meaty carcasses and for their small size. Why I do not count sheep because I might start on Jacob four horns which do not act like other breeds they scatter when a predator arrives each ewe taking their lambs and running in different direction. This is a little different twist on herding instinct. Perhaps I think too much, pondering each particular aspect and then going deeper and never getting bored enough to fall asleep and usually becoming more awake. So many years ago, I found if I think of a relaxing spot calm and peaceful within seconds I am asleep, not from boredom but from relaxing.
“Within your heart, keep one still, secret spot where dreams may grow.” Louise Driscoll
So often we lose sight of dreams of quiet times and get caught up in the issues of the day. Back a few months I overheard several students complaining about panic attacks, anxiety attacks and stress issues. How can it be that fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen-year old’s are having stress related issues? It boggles my mind to see such young people caught in adult situations simply things like leaving home, being pregnant and trying to make adult related choices as a child and not being allowed to play with Lego at school. I actually reintroduced Lego to my class room. Lego maniacs rule, it is an excellent eye hand and imagination builder.
“Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.” Charles M. Schultz
How do we tap into those extra gears and show kids there is more to life and so much more than what is at home or around the next corner? Over the past few days I have wondered about why and how we do to kids what we do.
“Have compassion for your parents’ childhoods. Know that you chose them because they were perfect for what you had to learn. Forgive them and set them free.” Louise L. Hay
As children complain about parents it is only what your parents have learned and had to work with as to how they deal with their children. Some have had powerful mentors and successful family experiences others have had trials and tribulations and for some no families or no parental support. We as teachers often become surrogate parents filling voids left by absentee parents and guardians.
“We have contributed; each in the time allotted us, our endeavors to render… a permanent blessing to our country.” Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826, Third American President
I wonder how as days go by we will be perceived as a nation. Will it be as savior or war monger, freedom provider or imperialist I have so many questions? I was reading a note earlier from another teacher who is currently caught up in immigration issues as our many people. People come to work to have a chance at life and here we are most powerful nation in the world trying to decide what to do with them. I hear “they” are getting benefits and not paying I can understand this. Yet businesses all over the nation are utilizing “their” labor and not paying taxes on it or workman’s compensation on that labor yet we target the people who want to work and not the people who are employing them. Why not tax and take out workmen comp and or why not provide some semblance of temporary or some sort of documentation.
I started a conversation several days ago with how much do you want to pay for chicken which is often produced and processed by illegal labor. Chicken is now as low as two dollars a pound and on the high side five or so dollars a pound for free range organic. How about seven or eight dollars a pound? We can unionize chicken processing and such how about vegetable pickers and landscaping and construction workers? How much more for a head of lettuce are we willing to pay or for a house? I find it amusing that commodities based on often illegal labor somehow maintain their prices if when tough immigration laws are promoted yet gasoline which we are in maximum production and exporting fluctuates based on speculation. I am not condoning illegal immigration but where should we focus efforts, on people wanting jobs or on industries willing to hire them illegally. To me this seems a paradox. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)