It's Summer So It Must Be Jacksonville

Jun
05
by Christine


[Sunday morning rain showers]

The count down is on and today is the last Thursday my grandchildren will attend classes for this school year. I headed south to be part of the moving up ceremonies for the preschoolers and 5th graders. To be part of the waning days of school uniforms and homework as they give way to sleeping in, water shirts and summer camp is a special treat for me. Preschool graduations and 5th grade moving up ceremonies are amusing and candidly a bit overwrought. The preschoolers are baffled at the rows and rows of parents, grandparents and siblings seated in the auditorium as they march into the room but quickly get into the event once they realized that cake is at the finish line. There was even a preschool no adults allowed "Prom"; we passed on that event. 

My poor 5th grade grandson had to listen to his Principal talk about adhering to "core values" and committing to a path in life "if they didn't want to end up nowhere". I felt for the 5th graders seated in the room because those were some heady admonitions for 11 year olds particularly since I know some 40 year olds who still are looking for their path in life. The most depressing speech of the day was delivered by the Assistant Principal who stated "if you think 5th grade was hard, just wait until 6th grade!" And oh, have great summer. For a moment I thought the only wise thing to do was buy an island and scoop up my children and grandchildren and run away. But them I remembered I don't have enough money to buy an island...even a small one so the best I have to offer is help developing organizational skills and be willing to answer really, really easy math questions. 

Being part of my grandchildren's school life has taken me back to the basics in education. Almost every day I am asked what a word means and truthfully I have to pause to gather my thoughts so that I can clearly and succinctly define a word. The more basic the word the harder it is to define; I've even had to say, "we need to look that up." My mother used to do that to me and I was convinced that she was holding out and just trying to get me to use the dictionary. Now I wonder if she too was struggling to be a good teacher. 

All this musing about grandchildren, education and words brings me to Footsteps. I started writing this blog as a tool to help me as I struggled with my mother's failing health and her death. I very much wanted to share what I learned with others going through a similar journey. I was hoping for a dialog that would educate and enlighten and many of you shared your journey with me for which I am grateful. I have been thinking about the evolution of Footsteps and as has been my pattern over the last couple of weeks, I looked up this word to learn if I had inculcated it correctly. I was surprised to find that the specific meaning of evolution is the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form. I do want Footsteps to gradually develop but I don't want to go from a simple to a more complex form. At this point in life I understand that complex is not necessarily good. 

I am no longer posting weekly about aging parents, health insurance, hospitals and funeral homes. The Footsteps archives houses helpful information on all those subjects and please feel free to look at past posting. In the future I will be writing about Living in the 4th Quarter and how to make the most of that time in life. I've always had eclectic interests and you will see in the future that I will blog about assorted ideas and themes. It could be anything from living alone to second or third marriages later in life to how to make the perfect Southern dessert. I hope you will share your thoughts on these posts. 

Finally, social media can be overwhelming and time consuming. I write this blog to authentically share ideas, themes and information. I know many of you look for my blog updates on my personal FACEBOOK page. I will no longer be putting the link to the blog on my personal FB page, it will only go up on the Footsteps' FB page. So much of the FB feed these days is made up of Upworthy, Buzz and other "informational" threads. I don't want to add to the clutter.  I have a personal FB page because I want to keep up with people I care about and who care about me.

The very best way to keep up with the Footsteps post is to sign up for the newsletter. The newsletter has been redesigned and can be read easily on your phone. I subscribe to several blogs that now use this format and it's great. I find that if I am waiting to have the oil changed in my car or picking up the grandkids from school I can catch up on my reading on my phone. Sign up for the newsletter in the upper right hand corner of this page and please know I will not give or sell your email address to anyone. Also, if you would prefer, sign up for Footsteps on FB to keep up with the post updates.  

Hugs,
C