I try to fold in a visit with my family when I come to Florida, I went a tiny bit further down the coast this time. No stopping in Destin, my regular go to. Just a little too much baggage to unpack during this vacation to add my brothers to my week. I do wish I could have spent some time with them, but oh how the relaxation of the salt air was desperately required! The water was crisp and clear and tumultuous and so healing.
While in the beach I read the book Verity by Colleen Hoover on the recommendation of one of my students. I am so glad I did! I used to read for pleasure every day before I went to bed. I have picked up so many books over the last few years and have not been able to focus enough to really read for enjoyment. Oh, how I have missed it. I cannot remember the last time I read a book I enjoyed so much, getting lost in so easily. When I was finished I really wanted to have a sit down with the characters and talk about some of their decisions! I have found my joy again. I immediately went to the local Walmart and bought 2 more titles by the same author. I’m already halfway through It Ends WithUs. Life is good.
Spring Break…what can I say? I have enjoyed your company and now we must part ways – until next year.❤️
3 things: I am grateful for the white sandy beaches of the Panhandle that always soothe my soul; I am grateful for the opportunity and the space in my life to read for enjoyment again…to find my loves once again, to find ME again; I am grateful for this time called spring break that allows me, as a teacher, to find the strength and peace and patience to finish out the year strong.
I took this picture in either 2013 or 2016 while touring Italy. I have been fortunate to travel to this beautiful country multiple times with students and it never fails to excite me. I do love poppies, so. And just look at that landscape! Sidebar: The Wizard of Oz is my all-time favorite and it was only recently that I even realized it was a Poppy field that the witch used to put them all to sleep.
I am grateful that when I tore my ACL abroad that I did not break anything else the multiple times I fell as I continued to walk 5-7 miles a day. I tore it on the plane ride over, but when school starts it will be because… I tore my ACL in the Alps. Seriously – sidestepping my way to the window seat is just too… sad.
I am grateful for the support I had during that trip and here at home during surgery and this past week of recovery. A positive environment helps the healing and so far my healing has been awesome. Thank you.
I am grateful for grace and forgiveness. I will be even more grateful when I learn to give both to myself consistently, but I’m afraid I am still a work in progress in this area. So wonderful that others have mastered it and can teach me. I practice, but it’s very hard. It’s so easy to give to others but not to myself. I know I am not alone in this particular battle and struggle for growth as so many of us are so hard on ourselves. Still, I go to bed tonight with a grateful heart knowing that today I tried to be the best person I know how to be, that God loves me, and that my light still shines bright.
So, my to do list for summer 2022 remains with many items yet to be done. I shall use this as a challenge to myself to try to maintain some balance in my life as a teacher. You see my to do list was not filled with chores, but with adventures and new things to try. I don’t have to wait until summer 2023 – and for that I am grateful.
I am grateful that my trip abroad with students and parents finally happened and we had a successful educational experience.
I am grateful for the roof over my head and the home I have built for myself, but I have really been missing my house and my outdoor space. I pray real estate prices come down so this teacher can afford to buy a house. I am grateful I have enough – because I do…I have enough. I don’t need a house – I want a house, and I am grateful to know the difference.
I am grateful for the two little angels I spent the weekend with. They surely have my heart…just when I didn’t think I’d give it away ever again – God tricked me and sent me grandchildren. The sweetness, the innocence, the joy and laughter are all so uplifting and life-affirming.
Today I am grateful to be an American – and so proud. I know we are not a perfect nation, and I know our nation doesn’t always do the right thing. But the soldiers that liberated this city in WWII, and the soldiers that died trying to do so are incredibly celebrated here. The memorials and dedications to them abound. Even the church bells – every day – on every half hour – begins ringing with the first five notes of the American National anthem. This town could teach some Americans a thing or two about patriotism and gratitude toward our veterans; I am grateful to have met Henry. He was a small boy when the Germans occupied his town and his home. He shared his experiences with us today and he led us from one memorial to the next. Thank you Henry; I am grateful for the opportunity to travel and have these experiences- and those soldiers made it possible. I am humbled.
I was especially moved today by the German cemetery. 6 men buried together under one cross. We were told this was German military tradition as in – leave no soldier alone. So many were just boys. So many unknown. So much death. I wondered why they were still here. 7000 in just that cemetery. The Germans just left the bodies. The Geneva Convention requires they be buried, handled with respect. They never went home because families could not afford to have them brought home. And again – so many unknown soldiers. So. Many. “Now, they’ll just be here forever” Henry said.
The weather has been so mild for us on this trip, and the people of Paris have been very kind. I am grateful for cabs when I am tired of walking – 7 miles today on a broken right foot and and left busted knee – I am so grateful I did not fall again; I am grateful for the river cruise tonight and for having been given the opportunity to see Notre Dame before it burned down. I hope to come again once it is rebuilt; I am grateful to be traveling with such kind and wonderful people. Tomorrow we head to Belgium – birthplace of my grandmother. #gratitude #3 things #choosejoy
I am grateful for honesty above all else; I am grateful for all that I am learning about myself and the world through this journey of healing; I am grateful that I will be traveling abroad again this summer with students- WWII AND THE WESTERN FRONT. #gratitude #3things #choosejoy
We visited and toured Avignon, France. Although the heat remained rather unbearable I could not help but to order the French Onion Soup. Guess what? It was just called onion soup.
After lunch we did a little market shopping and strolled by the river.
We stayed for one night within the walls of the old fort and then explored the city center and castle. I remember the city center that evening… wine in the cool breeze at an outside cafe near a fountain and a church. Good times.