What you will find here

This is a place to examine plans filled with hope; plans which promise a refuge from chaos; plans which will shape our futures. Veterans with and without PTSD, Pentecostal Presbyterians, Adjudicated Youth, and Artists-Musicians-Writers: I write what I know. ~~~ Evelyn

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tinker to Be

When I retire, I plan to buy a mini motor home and tour the continent.

I'm reading about Lighthouses and have always had a fascination with them.  Alright - you Fruedians - go for it -- Old Maid School Marm is fascinated with lighthouses.  Feel better now??

The first one ever designed was in Pharos, Greece.  It allowed the port to become a safe (OK - safe - ISH) harbor and thus improved the country.

Lighthouses have shaped countries' economies, but also their politics and helped win (and loose) wars.  They have been changed by scientific research and led to scientific discoveries.  Did you know Columbus' father tended a lighthouse?  What better evidence that the world was round could Columbus have seen with his own eyes than that illuminated by a lighthouse?

Of course, there is the religious aspect of Lighthouses.  However, it is still the ship's captain which allows him/herself to be guided by the beacon around the dangerous waters.  The Lighthouse doesn't save; what better evidence of God's gift of Free Will than that illustrated by a captain willing to follow the Lighthouse's steadfast warning?

My dad painted pictures of lighthouses more than any other subject.  I'm not sure why.  I never asked.

So, I am going to buy a mini motor home and seek out lighthouses.  The when, where, how are beside the point.  The who: me, God, Dad, Columbus, the gypsy tinkers from long ago, and any friends I discover along the way.  The why: I must.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hallelujah to the Risen Lamb!

Lloyd Larson (Arranger)
SAT(B), Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn

I have always wanted to be a tinker

There was one Antique Dealer in England that I loved going to visit.  I couldn't have cared less for his antiques; it was the gypsy caravan he had in his yard that captivated me.  It was wooden and painted in reds and greens and blues in swirly geometric designs that - if you tilted your head sideways or squinted your eyes just right - became animals and plants and fantastic creations.

The inside was sparse: table and two chairs, bed platform, and room for a trunk or two.

My brother, sister and I would take turns driving the caravan (sitting on the bench and hitching the pretend horses along the pretend paths around England).  We eluded robbers and outran highway men and camped along icy streams and mystical groves. 

Of all the images of my five years in England, this one will not fade.  It calls to me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In Search of My Chariot

2012 Forest River Sunseeker Rvs 2250SLE

2012 Sunseeker 2250SLE Class C 24 ft Walk-Around Queen


Gross Combined Wt Rating (GCWR): 16000
Gross Vehicle Wt Rating (GVWR): 12300
Unloaded Vehicle Wt (UVW): 9945
Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC): 2355
Towing Capacity: 3500
Hitch Weight: 350
Length Feet: 24
Overall Length: 24' 4"
Wheelbase: 159
Exterior Height: 11' 3"
Exterior Width: 101"
Interior Height: 84"
Interior Width: 95.5"
Engine Make: Chevrolet
Fuel Type: Gas
Fuel Capacity: 57
Chassis Model: Chevy 4500
Sleeping Capacity: 4
No. of Slide-Outs: 1
Awnings: 1
Awning Length: 15' 6"
Fresh Water Capacity: 44
Self Contained: yes
Black Water Capacity: 30
Gray Water Capacity: 30
No. of Air Conditioners: 1
Air Conditioner BTU Rating: 13500
Furnace Rating BTU: 30000
Water Heater Capacity: 6
Propane Tank Capacity: 9.8 gal
Exterior Storage: 60 cu ft

This Sunseeker 2250SLE is a brand new, Class C, floorplan for Sunseeker --- is a 24 foot long unit with a walk-around rear queen bed – no more crawling over your spouse to get in and out. With this nice, compact model, you still have the conveniences of a smaller unit: easier to drive, easier to park and easier to afford. When you get there, you put out the slide and get that extra elbow room that can be lacking in other compact units! Sleep 4 in cabover bunk, dinette/sleeper and rear queen. This is a very attractive unit – Cypress Interior Color with 22” flat panel side TV with DVD player.

Included features and options:
- Cypress Interior with Brazilian Cherry cabinetry,
- 22” LCD TV w/ DVD located in cabover
- Backup camera
- Running Boards

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Road Trip

My life has changed tremendously since I set up this blog a year ago. 

I changed jobs - from District-Wide Itinerant Teacher of Gifted for Polk County Schools - where I had a great deal of autonomy and set my own schedules and answered basically only to myself - to Teacher of Gifted at Jewett School of the Arts where I teach 4 classes of Critical Thinking Skills and 2 classes of what was supposed to be Journalism but which is actually ITV - or as I have called it and someone tattled on me, so what the h#ll, I'll post it here "The Dog and Pony Show". 

I teach sixth, seventh and eighth grade students and they are absolutely the greatest people I have ever met.  I love these kids.  I love teaching and working with these individuals.  Now, autonomy flew out the window, and I definitely have others to answer to - students as well as admins, if I decide I need to take the day off, I don't do it because someone will actually miss me and care that I am not around that day. 

I'm not indispensable; I make a difference. 

Even the Dog and Pony Show is tolerable because of the wonderful children I get to work with.  They put the news shows together and do what the admin wants done.  Now that the locks have been changed in the studio, the sabotage has stopped and the three months we lost are being regained.  But I am rambling.  I give it this dark nickname because I thought I was going to teach Journalism - with all the bounteous objectives the Florida Dept. of Ed has listed for journalism.  Instead, I key in onto only one objective - that of using technology to further the story (TV News).  Instead of instructing students in all the genres of Journalism and helping them become published in the areas of their natural talents, I key into the one genre: Broadcast Journalism. 

Not to be stymied; my students from all of my classes are becoming published - either as guest authors for BellaOnline's veterans column or as blogsters.  So, there. 

So my career has taken a Road Trip this year.  I have the map, but I'm still not sure where exactly this will lead me.

Jeremiah 29:11 still anchors me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Lamb

William Blake (Author), David Giardiniere (Composer)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Prayer of Saint Patrick

Victor Johnson (Arranger), Mark Burrows (Composer)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Help Him Through the Valley of the Shadow of PTSD

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.
 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
   through the valley of the shadow of death,[a]

I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.
 5 You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

It’s the middle of the night.  The phone startles you from a deep sleep.  It’s your old army buddy and he’s whining about how his life sucks.  He's drunk and his wife kicked him out again and he can't seem to keep a job and it's always someone else's fault.  His doctor says he's got post traumatic stress disorder but the medications make him feel like a zombie.  He feels hopeless and friendless and no one will ever love him again because of what he did and what he went through.

It's about the twelfth time he's called you this month.

You want to scream into the phone, “Get over it!”

But you don’t. Because you know what he’s going through.  You’ve been there.  Your friend is wallowing in the middle of the Valley of the Shadow of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He needs your help.  He can’t “get over it” -- he has to walk through the valley.  He can’t “shake it off” -- he has to walk through it.
So you take a deep breath and become his Drill Sarg. 

“Don’t think about it.  It’s in the past.  It can’t happen now.  You’re not there.  You are here.  See it for what it is – a memory of a horrible event.  Now take a step forward.

“Don’t whine.  This is just a valley filled with shadows.  Take another step.  Walk on through.”

“Don’t ask why.  Knowing the reasons will not change the past.  Knowing why won’t instantly transport you from the valley to the mountain top.  Take a step.  The only way out of this valley is by putting one foot in front of the other.

Ask him questions to help him stay focused on the road ahead.

When he stumbles, point out the safer places to put his feet.

When he wallows, point to a patch of sunshine just ahead.

When he pauses to enjoy the light, share the joy with him.

If he falls, don’t let him drag you back with him.

Eventually, someone is going to desperately need your old buddy’s help to walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of PTSD.   And he can’t help until he is where you are now.

I know you can help him.

Dear Lord,
Anoint my head.  Prepare that table.  Lead me there.  Refresh me.  Guide me.  Comfort me.  Be my shepherd.  And teach me to help others.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lord, I Know I Been Changed

Larry Shackley (Composer)
SATB, Piano
I do not receive any compensation for posting these anthems here; I just think they are terrific. Evelyn