The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Friday, May 17, 2013


There was an early morning meeting scheduled last week. I was surprised when I got there, because it turned out to be a surprise retirement breakfast for me and for our marvelous math teacher, Debbie. What a shock! But I should have expected it because the people I work(ed) with are some of the finest on earth.

After the breakfast, they showed a video. Each staff member and all the upper grade students were on it. They all had the nicest things to say about Debbie and me, and there were lots of tears in the audience. Sob -- I'm gonna miss you guys!!

This is Debbie and me with our cake and with some of the students.  Cute huh? (Them, I mean, not me.)
Someone shouted "Group Hug" (I think it was I) and this is what happened. The picture is out of focus, but the reaction of the kids is too precious to throw the picture away.
Later on, the sixth graders, who were not in the last picture, decorated a classroom and threw a party of their own for Debbie and me. They were hiding when we walked into the room so that they could bounce out and yell "surprise"!  Too cute for words.

They wanted a picture of us with the cake they baked for us. Only too happy to oblige kids. Thank you so much for thinking of us.
Here is close-up picture of their cake. I think they did a good job decorating it. It was tasty, too.  Plus, they had thought of ice cream and drinks.  You kids are party animals. (smile)
I wish I had more pictures. There were special gifts from the School Board, and special recognition at church (complete with a standing ovation) and much more.  This week gave me plenty of special memories, I can tell you.
And, the week was special in other ways too.  My wife, Patrice, who teaches English at the High School, retired also. And she got her share of accolades too.  Everyone at her school says that they arereally going to miss her. And I believe it, because I think she is pretty special myself.
And, to top the week off, my youngest, Victoria, graduates from High School tonight. She is a Valedictorian of her graduating class; she has a very good scholarship to the University of Illinois; and -- ta da (drum roll please), she found out last week that she  will be going to Washington, D.C. in October to accept a National Award for an essay she wrote on Columbus.  Way to go Victoria!  We are all proud of you!
There is going to be a big party here at home Sunday, and then Tuesday I am off to Germany.  Got to find some time to spend with Patrice before I leave though,  because I will be traveling when our 30th wedding anniversary rolls around on June 9. I wish she was going to go to Europe with me, but she hates riding motorcycles. Besides, she wants to take a well earned rest here at home. She has had an especially stressful year at school, so I can understand that she wants to kick back and relax. Still, I am going to miss her while I am gone. I am also going to miss my family and friends. Be happy and healthy while I am gone everyone. I feel so blessed by each of you.
I love my life.
Next posting will be from Germany.
Bye for now---