Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Important thoughts about summertime

Here's the thing... it is a myth that teachers get three months off in the summer. It is actually more like two. We got out of school on May 24 and I have to be back to planning and training meetings at the end of July/beginning of August. During the two months, we teachers have "off" we spend the majority of our time reflecting and planning for the next year, cleaning, organizing, shopping, crafting, going to professional development classes, taking summer classes at universities, and hoping to fit a week or two of vacation time in.

Here's the other thing, for the first time in longer than I can remember, I have pretty much nothing going on inmylife this summer. I was planning to go to SLO (San Luis Obispo) for much of June to spend time with my sister and her kids, but that plan has been put on hold due to finances and the declining health status of my dear grandmother, who has been an instrumental role inmylife, and my siblings' lives, since my parents got divorced in 1985. Grandma Irene was more like a partner parent to my mother in many, many ways. I could tell hundreds of stories to illustrate this, but I don't have the space, and most of you wouldn't even read it. So I will just explain that where I didn't have much of a father, Grandma Irene stepped in and filled the empty spot in our family, and she did it alone as well, since our grandpa, "Bucky" (William Allen Myers, Jr.) died some years before.

Grandma and I share a birthday month. I will be 35 in August. She will be 85 a few weeks later. After the divorce, we lived with Grandma Irene for several years and she adjusted her living situation many times, sacrificing her peaceful golden years for us, in order to make sure my mother had the support to raise four kids, one of which has special needs. I know that there must have been many secret moments that I was not aware of as a child, that she had to put on her mother pants once again and step back many years in order to help my mother emotionally, physically, spiritually, or financially. She was the only person my mother had to turn to for help in these situations.

Grandma has continued to be an advocate and support for all of us, stepping in where Mom didn't have the money or the time to do something. Until the past couple of years, when she has really began to grow weaker, she has been a huge advocate for my brother, helping with finances, support for legal and health issues, and much more. I lived with her for about a year when I first moved to southern Utah and really came to know her better.

Grandma Irene, Kelly, Mom Disneyland c. 1976

So, since Grandma's health is declining so much, especially since her husband died about a year ago, and her younger sister, this past December, my sister, Kelly and I have decided the best idea might be to put the SLO trip on hold for now. Mom can not leave Grandma alone (she has actually been living with her for the past couple of months and can not even really leave during the day), and we did not want to make a trip to see Erin, Will, and the babies without them, and then, if given the worst case scenario leave Mom here alone to take care of Grandma during a fall, illness, or even if she were to pass away. So, I am not sure what is going to happen, but we have decided to go one day at a time and to spend as much time together here as sisters and with Mom and Grandma. Kelly will be moving to Las Vegas later in the summer, since she will be taking a new job as a teacher there. What a great experience this will be for her! She will be out completely on her own for the first time in her life. I think she is ready to experience this new adventure, and I know she is needed there.


School got out on May 24. I have a dear friend, Nancy, who I met while I was on my mission for the LDS (Mormon) church in Arizona. While I was in Prescott we knocked on her door and she wanted to know more about the church, and she was baptized a few months later. Nancy and her older daughter, Cait, came out to the area to do some Front Sight gun training in Pahrump, NV. After the two day training, they came and spent some time with me. We had a great time catching up, sleeping in, and enjoying the outdoors.
On Sunday afternoon, we went on a short hike out in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve in Harrisburg. We took about 500 pictures, I fell from a tree, we climbed rocks, swam in natural pools, and got really dirty, at least I did. We spent the next day shooting our guns with my buddy, Tyler, out by Virgin, on the way to Zion National Park, at Dalton Wash. I have missed them greatly since they left a few days later.


Since Nancy and Cait left, I have been taking things pretty low key. Not much has been going on at all. So, I am in the midst of reflecting and setting some goals for the summer. I have been working out really hard and relaxing hard too.

Here are some things that I would like to accomplish this summer:

1. Read a few good books.
2. Finish painting the downstairs, most of which is done, but edging needs to be finished.
3. Get the carpets cleaned.
4. Plan for a great year. My first year in 2nd grade.
5. Spend some time in California.
6. Lose 30 pounds.
7. Sweat hard every day.
8. Spend as much time as possible with my family.
9. Get back onto a working budget.
10. Get North Star Photography to a point where I am making a stable second income.
11. Have fun and stay cool.


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