Thinking for a minute about what to write

Bird Droppings February 15, 2022

Thinking for a minute about what to write

Over the past few weeks, I have read several blogs and emails about counting sheep, and last night, I lay down to get some sleep after a long day and a long week of chest colds and sinus issues; reading and writing I was a whooped puppy. Long about eight o’clock last night, which is usually time for me to 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 and a couple of videos. I almost felt like there was no need to go back to sleep since I get up at four in the morning during the workweek anyhow to get Pat off to work. Then it hit me; it was still nighttime. 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 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 they are married, have babies, and work full time, one in pediatric cardiac intensive care and one in environmental engineering. The oldest is an advanced science teacher. After I finally got up, I went to fix Pat’s lunch, watched the news, and fixed my morning eggs.

I went outside only to find it slightly warmer than the last couple of mornings below freezing. We had a nearly full moon last night. 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 than 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 counted sheep depending on my mood and looked for show lambs or breeding sheep or sheep to work herding dogs, they would be different. The muscle mass or breed characteristics, what breed I am counting, and the history of that breed counting sheep would never work for me after many years of raising and showing sheep and lambs.

My oldest son and I had Southdown sheep for years, including an Oklahoma Black and White show champion ram. Southdowns go back a few hundred years in England, famous for their meaty carcasses and small size. I do not count sheep because I might start on Jacob’s four horns which do not act like other breeds. They scatter when a predator arrives, each ewe taking their lambs and running in different directions. This is a little different twist on herding instinct. Perhaps I overthink, pondering each 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 relaxation.

“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-olds have stress-related problems? 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 reintroduced Lego to my classroom. 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 why and how we do what we do to kids.

“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 influential mentors and successful family experiences; others have had trials and tribulations and no families or 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 we will be perceived as a nation as days go by.  Will it be as savior or warmonger, freedom provider or imperialist? I have so many questions? I read 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, the 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 employing them. Why not tax and take out workers comp, and or why not provide some semblance of temporary or some documentation.

I started a conversation several days ago about how much 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 strict immigration laws are promoted, yet gasoline in maximum production and exporting fluctuates based on speculation.  I am not condoning illegal immigration, but where should we focus on people wanting jobs or industries willing to hire them illegally. To me, this seems a paradox.  Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your hearts, and always give thanks namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)

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