Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another Rainy Day

But Maybe It Cooled Off

It started raining this morning, and just kept on going. I decided to wait until morning to see if things had dried out a little.

Then, the phone rang. I was my farrier, Scott, calling to tell me he had already penciled me in for tomorrow morning--Friday. I had called him earlier in the day to make an appointment for next week. Good timing. So far Tucker still has his shoes.

At the tent sale, I bought a tennis ball flinger for Scott's dog, Mic, so now I will be able to test it out. Like all Border Collies, Mic was born knowing how to play fetch and he will go at it the whole time Scott is shoeing my Boys. Now, at least I should be able to get some distance on the toy throwing. I also got a soft flying saucer/frisbee thing at the fair, but I'm not sure it will hold up for more than a catch or two. Unlike Scott's first dog, Jack, Mic is a chewer. He has gnawed off the fuzzy fabric on the other toys I had for him so I don't hold much hope for the frisbee. I guess well see.

Obviously, I didn't do much today. I did go to the bank and I filled the car with gas. Otherwise it was a totally do nothing day. I am completely immersed in vacation.

But, to be frank, I had a moment of anxiety as well when I saw a back to school ad of some sort on TV. For the first time, the realization that I was not going back hit me. As I had suspected, as the first day of school draws near, I am beginning to feel it more and more. I am hoping the uneasiness will quickly turn to relief, however, and I suspect it will. I will adjust, as I always do.

While I was driving today, I heard some discussion on the car radio about some of the changes government officials are proposing for the schools in our state. Already, classroom teachers are being faced with more and more paperwork. My eye doctor was telling me his daughter has just started teaching and is already frustrated with the recordkeeping and paperwork some of the new laws are creating. There has been a lot of talk about making teachers accountable for student test scores on the NJ graduation test, and today they were talking about modifying tenure laws. (Right now, a teacher is essentially protected on the job after three years) While I am not entirely against some of these ways of making sure teachers do a good job of teaching, it also opens the doors to all kinds of problems including political decisions coming into play instead of sound educational decisions.

Suffice it to say, I am beginning to think I retired at the right time. I was still able to teach with a certain amount of freedom and enthusiasm. I left on a high note and did not have to compromise my standards in order to "please the system." I can hold my head high, knowing I had always been able to do my best. I'm not sure how I would have coped with some of the changes that seem to be coming.

So, once again, the Horses of Follywoods had the day off.

But I did get to admire Chance. He was out under the apple tree eating the fallen apples, and, even in the cloudy mist, I could see just what a nice horse he is. somehow, I have to spend some time getting some properly flattering photos of all the Boys. It's just so hard to get them to pose just right. Years ago, when we still used film, my friend Shelley took a whole roll or more of shots of Toby and PJ for me. Out of the lot, only three or four really came out well. At least with the digital camera of today, you can shoot, delete and shoot again, never feeling you have wasted a picture in an attempt to get that "perfect portrait."


  1. Anonymous7:03 AM

    We're having a string of really nice days - highs in the low 80s, sunny and lows at night in the 50s/60s - sending some your way!

  2. For sure the back to school moment is going to appear a bit bleak, and then you will move on. Professional photographers take hundreds of pictures to get one good one. I like the crop feature which enables me to cut out the bad parts.

  3. That's funny; I just posted saying essentially the same thing about digital cameras.

    Sometimes you just need a day off but you don't really get that. I am sure you fed the boys and did some odds and ends (translated bits and bobs for you Brits - clever aren't I?) for the horses and in the house. What about a whole day of just reading with your toes in a pool, eating and napping? Now that's a day off!

    Your horses will save you from the worst of the retirement blues that so many people experience. But with your experience I think you should maintain some capacity of advising or improving the educational system. So often the people making educational decisions are not and never have been teachers.

  4. I can absolutely guarantee you Jean, that you will soon be saying "I have no idea how I ever found the time to go to work!". Being retired is the best thing ever :-)


    ps ML don't you do a bit of this and that ? :-))))