They say derecho, I say firewood.
That’s the tune I’ve been humming since weather experts christened the August 10 windstorm that blew through Iowa as a derecho. Also known to the citizenry of our state as #iowaderecho2020. If you don’t know what I’m talking about google those three words, watch a couple You Tube videos, and you’ll never forget the meaning of derecho.
They say derecho, I say firewood.
Living in northwest South Dakota for seven years has that effect on a person. Especially if you lived in an area where almost every home owner installs a wood stove to help with heating bills. Where chainsaw ownership is close to 100%. And where, from August through October, more people gather by the river to cut firewood than to be baptized.
Now you understand why when they say derecho, I say firewood.
Long time readers of this blog may remember how I affectionately referred to my husband as the man of steel. In the wake of the derecho he’s been cranking up the chainsaw so often, I’ve altered the spelling of his nickname to man of Stihl. He’s applying everything he learned in South Dakota about how to weld a chainsaw to the broken limbs, wooden yard light pole, and an entire cottonwood tree.
They say derecho, I say firewood.
I mutter those words every time my husband fills our clunker pick up with another load of branches. I watch him drives away toward the wood chipping station outside of town, and I calculate how long it would have taken to burn in our wood stove. Living for seven years in northwest South Dakota has that effect, too. It gives a person a different perspective, a sense of resourcefulness, and an appreciation for the gifts scattered throughout creation.
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The teacher in our town went back to work this past Monday. So this Fantastic Friday features ten reasons to be kind to educators in the next few weeks and months.
My teacher friends and former co-workers in our school district went back to work yesterday. Speaking from 25 years of personal experience, here are 10 reasons to be kind to teachers for the next few days and weeks.
10. Contrary to popular opinion, most teachers didn’t sit around the pool eating bon bons all summer. Most teachers spent much of the summer going to school to hone their skills. They even turned in assignments, sat at the other end of the red pencil, and received grades.
9. During summer school classes, teachers wore flip flops. At home they went barefoot. And now they have to shove their feet into teacher shoes. Remember those teacher shoes? Not a pretty sight.
8. The first few days back to school, before the kids return, are packed with meetings about exciting topics such as Proper Procedures for Cleaning Up Bodily Fluids (I’m not making this up) and the latest No Child Left Behind government regulations. The powers that be grant these topics higher priority than things allowing teachers preparation time in the classroom.
7. Teachers know those meetings will eat away their preparation time, so they’ve already donated several unpaid days to get their classrooms ready, plan lessons, and prepare materials. And because of budget cuts, they often pay for materials out of their own pockets.
6. At some of those meetings before the kids come, teachers learn about newly assigned duties that take away their scheduled planning time and in some cases much of their lunch hour.
5. Once the students return, teaches spend much of their lunch hour doing one of the following: running home to let the dog out, eating at their desk while preparing for afternoon classes, or supervising students.
4. You know how hard it is for your kids to adjust to the school schedule every fall? It’s that hard for teachers, too, because they’re big kids at heart. That’s why they’re teachers.
3. Teachers would rather help kids succeed than mark assignments with red pencil and fill out report cards. But their job description requires they do both.
2. Teachers spend all day supervising 25–30 people who are crowded together reading and doing paperwork in a small space without privacy cubicles. Can you think of businesses that ask adults to work in conditions like that?
1. Your child’s teacher cares about your boy or girl. A lot. Your child’s teacher cares about every student. But teachers know they can’t give students everything they need. Teachers know that no matter how hard they works, at some point they will fail students. They will obsess over every failure and try to do better the next day, knowing they will fail again. But they keeps trying because they believes kids are worth their best effort. And if you tell teachers they’re doing a good job, they’ll remember your kindness and pass it on to a child. Because that’s what teachers do.
What would you add to the list? Leave a comment!
Saturday evening was sweet evening for all who attended the Wonderfully Made Family Camp fundraiser in West Des Moines. Not only was over $2000 raised (how sweet is that?) to get us closer to our goal of $15000* to cover expenses for the 30+ families registered to attend, but those in attendance enjoyed a sweet evening of fellowship, music, and dessert. But don’t take my word for it. Observe it yourself!
Sweet spring nosegays on a chilly, blustery evening.
Sweet desserts up for bid in both the silent auction and the noisy one. (See top photo)
A sweet picnic meal in keeping with the evening’s camp theme.
A sweet chocolate fountain compliments of Chocolaterie Stam.
And sweet music performed by the Harwoods, a family familiar with the challenges and joys of special needs. They drove from Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the fundraiser because they have experienced special needs family camps and know the worth of such camps.
You can watch and listen to the Harwoods at their website. Be assured, it is worth your time.
*Sweet and successful thought the evening was, more donations are needed to meet our goal of $15000. If that goal is exceeded, extra funds will go toward the purchase of a portable lift so every child can enjoy Hidden Acres wonderful pool. Learn more about how to give at the Hidden Acres donation page. As much as donations, we need people to serve as one-to-one volunteers with the children and in other capacities at the camp. Volunteers need to apply, pass a background check, and attend the training that will be held from 9:00 AM–3:00 PM on Friday, June 10 before camp opens at 4:00 that day. Volunteer application forms can be downloaded here. The deadline for submitting applications is May 15, 2016.
If you have any questions, leave a comment or send an email.