Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Moment in Time

On the eve before Independence day, I found myself reflecting back on the year. I know what you're thinking..."Emily, you're 6 six months too late! You were suppose to do this reflecting on New Years Eve!" For most that would make sense. In the land of Timily, however, the new year begins in July.

Let me explain...
Starting on the 4th, Tim and I are thrown into a swirling cloud of celebrations that lasts 6 full days! We have a tradition of celebrating the Independence of our country with *sparklers* and BBQing! This is one of the few holidays that Tim's business actually observes!!! A few days later, we continue our celebration by stuffing ourselves full of cookie cake and I belt out, "Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happpyy Biiirrtthhddaay tooo Timmmmmm. Happy Birthday to you." Finally it all culminates 2 days later when we get all dolled up in our finest 'Florida casual' and head down to Fernandina Beach to celebrate our *anniversary*. We have long regarded Fernandina as our Close-to-Home-Vacation. It's only 10 minutes away, but puts you in a mental state that takes you *far* from daily happenings. It's full of artsy-fartsy shops, restaurants, B&Bs, and the beach!

So as I look forward to this next week, I leave you with...

A Moment in Time:
July 4, 2006
A Day that Changed my Life
On this day last year we woke up leisurely (my favorite way)! By early afternoon we wandered to the porch to watch the shuttle launch (I'm pointing to contrails in the picture above). Minutes after that picture was snapped...we were happily walking back through the sliding glass door, when someone's Birkenstock was left in the MIDDLE of the floor. I, with the camera in my hand, didn't see said shoe. I tripped. The camera was ok, but my toe took the beating. I couldn't bend it for weeks...I'm very certain it was broken.
So there I sat, on the couch, with a swollen, purple toe. I propped it up on pillows and put an ice bag on top. The shuttle post-launch chatter was still on TV, but it couldn't be heard for my *rather loud* grumbling. I was listing all the reasons not to leave your shoes in the middle of the floor.

After an hour or so of self-pity, I wobbled upstairs to check my email. I found a rather interesting email from an old friend. She was most recently known to me as the mother of a coworker, but I
also worked directly with her years before. She was both Teacher and Extended Day Director when I was still a lowly Extended Day Teacher. She had been given a principalship at a local elementary school. She wanted me to 'come see her' and signed the email 'Bear Hugs.' I was smitten from the start! So I went. She said that she knew how strong our first grade team had been and would love to have my 'leadership' in her school. She even went so far as to say that I could choose whatever grade level I wanted teach. Hmmm....

Keep in mind that this was a time of great change for me professionally. My 'mentor' teachers (the ones who helped me in my darkest hours) were moving on to other schools. I was feeling uneasy about being 'the professional' without my support team. Our team was TIGHT, but the 'community' at that school had been diminishing since I was hired. There was little support from administrators or parents, and EVERYONE wanted out. I was not yet in a position to request a transfer, but this new opportunity allowed me the flexibility I needed at the time. It was the right place and the right time...and I made the right decision!

We finished up our July 4th last year with a late afternoon BBQ at a friends' house complete with fireworks! It was the PERFECT neighborhood. Just like you would see in the movies, all the neighbors (and their guests) BBQ at their houses during the afternoon. Then at dusk they all come together to put on a big, group firework show.

So there it is...
from the now crooked toe to enjoying a year of comparable teaching bliss...a single day that changed my life forever!

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