Sunday, February 28, 2010

No More Bells!

Ring! Ring! Ring! My life was controlled by bells for 48 years. First thing in the morning was the alarm bell. School bells dictated when I was to teach, eat, go to the restroom, and when I had bus or hall duty. Worse still, thunderstorms would knock out the school bells and as the principal I would have to ring them by hand. My life now has no more bells! I do not even set an alarm clock, although I find I am still an early riser.
 
Now my schedule is dictated by two small fur balls!
Buddy is an eleven year old Pekinese Pekapoo mix. He is my constant companion. If you want to know where I am, find Buddy. He is also my inspiration for my first children’s book. It is not yet ready to submit for publication.



TyNee is a sixteen year old Shih Tzu. She is a very small Shih Tzu. She is sure she is royalty and that all other creatures are here to serve her. She is a true Drama Queen. Everything involving her is magnified tenfold. Five o’clock in the morning is the time I am to arise according to TyNee. She will not allow her schedule to be changed by something as minor as my retirement.
 
The positive aspect of being ruled by two dogs is that they force me to break regularly from my writing and research. When they decide it is time to go out or eat or play, they team up to make sure I stop and cater to their needs. These breaks are probably good for my body and mind so for that I am thankful. Sometimes though the story line is flowing like a tidal wave and I don’t appreciate the interruption. But how can I not forgive these precious faces?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Journey Ended and Begun

I totaled it up! Adding all the years I spent as a student, teacher and then administrator I had 48 years in education. Forty eight years! That is unbelievable to me. I was a passionate educator! I loved figuring out how to teach in a manner that children would learn. I loved mentoring teachers! I loved the energy produced by a school full of kids. BUT there are many more things I love and education requires long hours. It is time to pursue other interests. So I retire. Retirement is the beginning of a new stage in my life.
 
Who am I besides a teacher and principal? I am a wife of 32 years to the deacon! I am the mother of two beautiful adults. I am the mother-in-law to two fabulous people. I am grandmother to one precious grandson. We are expecting another grandson in May and then another grandchild in August. (I personally am thinking PINK). I am a Christian, an Episcopalian, Daughter of the King, clergy spouse, Christian Formation teacher of children, and a liturgical minister. I am a daughter and daughter-in-law.
 
I have numerous passions I want to devote my time and energy to now. I have so many fond memories of visits with my grandparents. Grandparents have so much time for you. Doing things with my grandparents was always such an adventure. I want my grandson, Elliott, and the two that are soon to be to have many, many memories of their adventures with Gran. I want to explore more areas of my spirituality. I want to devote more time to praising my God and walking on His path. I want to publish my children’s books and stories. I want to decrease my impact on God’s creation. I want to salvage my yard from the weeds. I love digging in the dirt and watching the wonders of growth. I want to get back to sewing and knitting. I want to learn to crochet. I might even try to learn to cook.
 
Twenty years ago we bought my mother a corn plant (dracaena fragrans). The plant was about two and a half feet tall. Over the years the plant grew and grew and grew. After about fifteen years it outgrew mother’s house so we moved it to our house. We gave it a nice place by the French doors and it was very happy. Having more space, it grew and grew and grew. It is now pressed firmly against the ceiling. Since it is so large, I have a rolling plate underneath it. I must now remove that plate so it will have a few more inches of space. It is also root bound again. It is time to repot. This is not a job I will attempt alone. In fact, I believe it will require two more people. A bigger pot and fresh soil will allow more growth.
 
Now I too have more space. My space is my time. I want to grow and flourish like my corn plant. May my ‘repotting’ into retirement allow me to expand, branch out, grow stronger and deeper roots, and leaf out all over.

Peace,
Beth




Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why the Deacon’s Secretary?

It just so happened that I retired a few months before my husband, Scott, was ordained as a Deacon in the Episcopal Church. As a Deacon he holds a non-stipendiary position in the church and fulfills those duties in addition to his demanding position as a director of a social services agency. To make life more interesting, our rector accepted a call to another parish weeks before Scott’s ordination.
 
Are you getting the picture? A parish without a rector, a soon-to-be-ordained ordained deacon with a full-time job AND a retired wife at home! Who do you suppose is dealing with organizing the ordination ceremony, phone calls, emails, running errands, communicating with parishioners and the diocesan office, editing and proofing sermons, maintaining the calendar and much more? It was not long before I was being referred to as the Deacon’s Secretary and the title caught on.
 
Thankfully we have since called a wonderful interim rector. My duties as the Deacon’s Secretary have greatly decreased since she came on board. I am still Scott’s biggest supporter as secretary and wife.
 
Stay tuned to discover how well I am shifting into my retiree role and pursuing my passions!
 
Peace,
Beth