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Peach State says: It is Time for Coffee and Vacation Planning!

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Eyes open…check
Breathing…check
Coffee in hand…check

It has been an exhausting week of schedule altering activity. I am able to sit down and actually put my feet up without finalizing any lesson plans or cutting out small, intricate pieces for artsy activities and games. My faithful companion and I have missed each other this past week…[No Food or Drinks, except water, are allowed in the building!] …and the small amount of quality time in the morning was just not enough. It Is Time For Coffee and Vacation Planning!

I have missed being able to finish my latte’ every morning…which may explain why I felt like I was dragging a bit. “I usually have a regular cup of coffee and my heavily dosed latte’ richly laced with over the top espresso shots.” [translation…I have enough Espresso in my latte’ for 3 individual drinks!] I love coffee and will not apologize for being able to sleep at night.

I have started drinking iced coffee, in the afternoons, now that the temperatures have begun their uphill climb. The Lazy Days of Summer have finally arrived and I will be more than content to sit on my porch swing…alright! It is a glider… and sip away the day while enjoying my favorite author. I love my sweet tea…but my rich and creamy delicacy, poured gently over soft crushed iced, just spoils me better. “Who doesn’t want to be spoiled!”

Now I will have more time to prepare for the trip of the decade! Well…it feels like it is for us! As you know, my family had a few financial setbacks over the past five years and now…things are better. My hubby told me the business, he works for, will be closed on July 4th. The holiday falls on his normal day off…which means he has another day either before or after. [insert roaring cheers and fireworks!] So I suggested…”With your normal days off of Sunday and Wednesday (July 4th) can you get that Tuesday the 3rd as your day off and ask for a vacation day for that Monday?”. My hubby seemed a bit surprised…so I clarified! “You could have Sunday through Wednesday off and only be asking for one day of vacation!” My hubby acted as if I had just cured cancer! Long story short…He asked and his boss agreed! [Instant Vacation!]

My hubby quickly called and gave me the good news and then delegated the selection of destination and accommodations. I will not bore you with the pain staking methods of selection criteria. The virtual dry-erase boards with endless possibilities starred and crossed through seemed endless. The good news is that I decided on the Smoky Mountains! I then proceeded to search for accommodations with a pampered resort feel. I had narrowed the list to two destinations when I received a travel guide in the mail. I flipped through this colorful and detailed description of this beautiful mountain area and found a cheerful and rustic Resort. “Condos!” [Four Nights for the price of Three!] “Hmmm!” Let’s check out the pictures… The pictures were incredible! There was also a queen sleeper sofa for our 11 year old in another room which was a big plus.
Mountain view…check
Separate sleeping quarters…check
Home away from home…OOO Ahh!

I could not wait to show my hubby. He came home and settled comfortably into his chair. I showed him the other choices first saving the condos for last…once the picture of the balcony came up I had his full attention. Within 20 minutes the condo was reserved!

“I think I will make a countdown for the fridge…”

With my coffee companion close by my side I will begin the final preparations and packing. It Is Time For Coffee and Vacation Planning! This trip will be a first for our family…well…now that three of the four boys will not be going. They each work and my oldest does not live at home. My sons that still live at home will be guarding the homestead and taking care of my “Precious Princess”. “My hubby and I have already begun the subliminal programming, of their minds, suggesting no parties or gatherings.”

The dryer has just beeped telling me…FOLD CLOTHES! I will refill my coffee and do as I am commanded…and then begin making my list. “I cannot wait!” I hope you can find time to enjoy the day and it’s simpler pace! I am definitely up for that challenge! Until next time…Have a great day!

Peach State

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Peach State says: What About The Classics?

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Some of the dearest memories, I have from school, are the shelves of books that lined the wall of the classroom under the windows. There were collections of biographies and a large collection of the Classics. You know the ones… Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth…the list could go on! Now days the typical classroom does not have this large reading treasure trove instead they have Diary of a Wimpy Kid and every book written about a mouse and his motorcycle. What About the Classics?

This has been a burning question recently. My youngest continues to ask me if I have read certain books. I love to read and he knows this…but the titles are books that have been written in the past 10-12 years and well…I don’t read baby books! I have tried to explain to him the fact that these books were not written when I was little. When I was his age I was reading The Classics! I start telling him about the wonderful and exciting adventures I had while reading them and the dreams that came from these great books. I told him…Journey to the Center of the Earth is one of my favorites and the dreams I had…”Oh, I saw that movie! You got to watch DVDs in school?”.

After he got over the shock that we did not have DVDs when I was in school I told him these books were written before there was television. Then he tore into a discussion about no television.

My question is: If these children are not encouraged to read these great masterpieces then how will they find their adventurous spirit? How will they find the passion to question the extraordinary and use their imaginations? What About the Classics?

The relationships formed and alliances made between characters as they were forced to make life and death decisions gave us hope. Hope that if they could find a way in a tough situation we could find a way. The times I escaped to Oz with all it colorful creatures and fantastic scenery…the unique plant life in the middle Earth that stood high above the characters…wonderful memories that filled my childhood.

How big can your imagination grow in a book with 50 pages…where the only dilemma is limited to one day at school! Our children have lost the desire to explore and fight giant octopi or build a raft and sail the Mississippi, or find the buried treasure while fighting pirates? Do they realize the joys they have missed not learning to fly with Peter Pan?

Before I could read these fantastic works of art my mother introduced a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson to me when I had the chicken pox. It was called The Land of Counterpane

When I was sick and lay a-bed
I had two pillows at my head
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of Counterpane.

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What child could not dream with a poem like this as a foundation. I read it to my older boys and the battles the army men would have with the Teenage Mutant Turtles was truly Epic! The reading assignments given to our children today are not using these treasures. Very few of the assignments call for biographical reading. How do we learn about the great men and women who shaped our world? There is no way to understand where we came from if they don’t read about these great people and their lives.

I will just keep trying to introduce my youngest to this world from home…I can’t wait for him to have an adventure while reading one of these Classics!

As for me…I will step off my Soap Box…sip on my coffee and fall back into Victorian England. Time for some Jane Austen! What? Don’t you like to dream? Have a great day…and enjoy that lovely cup of coffee!

Peach State