The Bookshelf…

I looked at my bookshelf this evening with a new set of eyes….

Of course, it does contain books. Each one carefully selected for its content and telling of my life’s journey this past many years.

But it contains so much more and, once again, each item selected as a sign of who I am and the journey I’ve been called to travel.

There’s pictures of my two adult children and I beam with pride as I reflect on the productive adults they have become. A Valentines Day card from my daughter that I found recently from years gone by, simply signed “I love you.” A copy of a newspaper article about a day in the life of my son, who is a police officer. And my favorite, a picture of the two of them together.

Another cherished part of the shelf’s display is a Valentines Day card from my girlfriend Lisa. The loving thoughts that it shares are a special reminder of our journey together. It includes the words “feeling incredibly lucky and proud to be the one who gets to call you “my love.” The love we share together is unique and uplifting.

Then there are two youth football helmets that represent two of my three school homes during my teaching career. The Eagles’ helmet is representative of Grandview Middle school, where I taught for twenty-two years. And then there’s the Redskins’ helmet, reminding me of the six years I spent at H.M. Arndt Middle School.

There also can be found on this bookshelf of mine a wooden drink bottle crate that contains over twenty 7-Up drink bottles. I started collecting bottles back in my teenage years and my collection used to occupy shelves just above my bed in my childhood home. There are a couple of 7-Up signs as well that remind me of my large collection of soda signs from various stores. A reminder of the time spent at my great-grandfather’s store, just a short distance from where I’m living now.

There are other odds and ends to be found on the bookshelf as well. Several small wind-up clocks, that of course have all the numbers displayed. An Indian chief statue that represents the last school I worked at before retiring. A photo album that stores pictures of my brother and sister and I from our childhoods is also cherished as well.

I have a bank that is from my grandparents’ house. It’s a large deer, painted in gold. Then there’s the Buster Brown bank that sits beside it. Tropical bird feathers are lined up in glass containers. They were a gift from a student in my class several years ago and are reminders that even though I retired ten years ago, I still continue to teach.

The bookshelf is a kind reminder of the earthly journey I’m on, with each bit and piece a part of who I am this day.

David Lee

Another Journey Begins…

When I retired from full-time teaching ten years ago, I had no ideas as to how I was going to spend my extra time. A twenty-nine year career, all but one of which was spent teaching middle school, had left me thinking that it was time to hang it up. Yet here we are, eleven years later, still in the classroom, just underway with yet another interim position.

Of the fourteen interim positions I have taken since retirement, six have been maternity leave positions. The position I’ve just undertaken is one such, a third grade position. If you had told me I’d be willing to undertake teaching a grade with children that young, I would have questioned your sanity. Yet of the interim positions I have taken, eight of fourteen have been in elementary schools. A far cry from my first year of teaching in 1981, when I barely made it through a year with a fourth grade class.

Each position has had challenges of its own. In most cases there was a definite time frame that I knew I would be working. With each of the maternity leaves, there was a distinct set of lesson plans to be followed. Then with some of the other positions, I was left to my own devices as to how best to proceed with lessons.

Adding to the mix with the current position I’m filling is the special conditions surrounding the pandemic. There are no in-person classes on Friday, which makes it a four day work week. I will also be teaching all subjects, instead of focusing on one or two as is usually the case. I’m fortunate to have a great school to work at and a teacher who has laid out specific plans to be followed.

It should be an interesting set of weeks to say the least. I’m moving forward and excited to have the opportunity to do what I believe is my life’s calling.

Let’s keep the faith and trust the journey.

David Lee

To Fast or Not To Fast…that is the question

As we approach the season of Lent, I ponder whether or not to take my usual sabbatical from social media, namely Facebook. I know that Lent 2021 will begin on Wednesday,¬†February 17 and ends on Saturday,¬†April 3. For the past several years, my “doing without” has meant I stay off all social media during that time period. I would stop posting and reading and scrolling on Wednesday of this week and not resume until Easter Sunday.

This year’s decision is a bit more difficult to make. With the pandemic still in play, social media has offered a way to find out what’s going on in the world and community around me when other outlets have not been available. I enjoy sharing readings each day and a bit of humor and photography as well. In other words, I hope I add to people’s days as much as I do get enlightened by them.

So between now and Wednesday, I’ll need to decide what I’m going to do. I have considered making a modified absence, making the posts I make each day and staying off otherwise. It could be that I’ll do this Lent as I have done in the past and stay off all together.

The choice is not an easy one to make, especially this year.

David Lee

The Nightmare That Seems to Have No End….

It was a normal Thursday at school, March 12th, 2020. News of the coronavirus had found its way to us, but at that point it certainly didn’t seem to be much of a threat. How quickly that all changed over the weekend. That Thursday was the last day of in-person school for the year. And little did we realize how long it would have its grip on us all, even to this day and perhaps more so now as ever before.

At first, the virus was something that only people in Asia and Europe were having to deal with. Yes, it was deadly, but it was “over there.” Then the first reports came in from New York and other northern states. But once again, it was something “over there” that we didn’t really need to worry.

And here we are, nearly ten months later and it’s numbers have reached exponential proportions. It’s no longer a disease that “other people” are dealing with….it’s people I know, including members of my own family. No longer are those dying from the scourge “other people”….they’re people that I know personally. It really begins to strike home when you see friends who die from the virus.

Fear has been increasing as the virus’ life continues to wield its power over us all. A level of fear unlike any I’ve experienced before. There’s no running from it, for it can’t be seen. And yet, the invisible virus has us all wrapped up in fear that we or our family members might be next on the list.

I am in recovery and am glad to have some tools to work with during it all. They are truly being put to the test, as are we all. I recently picked the word “Faith” as my word for 2021 and it really is being put to the test. I know there’s very little I have any control over with the virus and life in general. But there are those things I can do to keep from getting infected and to keep those I love from harm’s way. And yes, that means I have had to physically separate myself from them. I also realize that may be the one thing that keeps them from contracting the disease. I’m more worried about passing it along to someone else than I am contracting it myself. Such is the way my mind works.

So these are my thoughts…they may be a bit scattered and random, but then so does most of the world we are living with this day.

May we all be reminded of God’s presence in our lives, for He is the Good Shepherd and if we have faith in Him, we shall not be in want, whether or not we understand that at the time and regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Stay safe and keep the faith, trust the journey.

David Lee

Mistakes,,,,I’ve made more than a few

Life has a way of teaching you the lessons you need to be taught, many times without your awareness. I recently have been humbled by events in my life that have caused me to realize that I don’t always make good decisions about the most important of things.

You think you’re doing well in life…everything seems to be going well and you have no reason to question what you’re experiencing. And then, over time, your situations change and you make decisions based on emotions you’re feeling at the time. Decisions that affect not only you, but others as well. And those decisions can cause unwarranted pain for others, which was never your intention.

Later on down the road, you have other circumstances come into play because of other decisions you’ve made and you are humbled to realize how very human you are. Capable of making mistakes, some larger than others, that cause your life to change forever. I’d like to say that it was all for the sake of teaching you important lessons, but that’s just my take on things. In the meantime, there are others you’ve left in your path that are suffering as well.

So just for today, I’m humbling myself with the situations I’ll be facing over the next several weeks. I know that change many times provokes fearful feelings and there are plenty of those that have been occupying my mind. But at the same time, I also realize that I don’t have control over a lot of what has transpired and what will transpire over the next several days and weeks.

Above all else, I’m reminded not to ever lost contact with my spiritual being. The decisions I’ve made when not in close contact with my God have traditionally not turned out well. It takes times and events such as those I face to help you realize never to lose sight of the sunlight of the Spirit.

So I pray this day for God’s guidance, wisdom, and strength…I pray for those whose lives I have left with unanswered questions, that they will experience happiness beyond compare. Meanwhile, I face my tomorrow and the next with uncertainty and anxious thoughts and more mindful to be careful with the direction I choose in this life.

David Lee

There is nothing to fear…

“The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength. The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness. The instant you are willing to this there is indeed nothing to fear.” – A Course in Miracles

Help for Anxiety: Facing Your Fears Will Heal Your Brain | Psychology Today

Big Wave Dave’s “Spin of the Day” for Thursday, October 22nd.

LyricsShe got out of town
On the railway New York bound
Took all except my name
Another alien on Broadway
There’s some things in this world
You just can’t change
Some things you can’t see
Until it gets too lateAnd baby, baby, baby
When all your love is gone
Who will save me
From all I’m up against out in this world
And maybe, maybe, maybe
You’ll find something
That’s enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don’t receive you
You should turn yourself around
And come on homeI got a hole in me now
Yeah, I got a scar I can talk about
She keeps a picture of me
In her apartment in the city
Some things in this world
Man, they don’t make sense
Some things you don’t need
Until they leave you
And they’re things that you miss, you sayBaby, baby, baby
When all your love is gone
Who will save meFrom all I’m up against out in this world
And maybe, maybe, maybe
You’ll find something
That’s enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don’t receive you
You should turn yourself around
And come on homeLet that city take you in, come on home
Let that city spit you out, come on home
Let that city take you down, yeah
For God sakes turn aroundBaby, baby, baby
When all your love is gone
Who will save me
From all I’m up against in this worldNow well, maybe, maybe, maybe
You’ll find something
That’s enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don’t receive you, wellTurn yourself around, girl
Come on home
Yeah, come on home
Baby, baby, baby, baby
Come on home
Yeah, come on home
Yeah, come on home
Yeah, come on home
Baby, baby, baby, baby
Come on home

Chasing….

Lyrics

I just wanna run away

Find somewhere that feels safe

Find somewhere the bad days

Don’t come as often in this sad phase

Somewhere I can be alone

Where I don’t have to run away from my flaws

And I don’t have to be afraid of my thoughts

With this high, this high that I’ve been chasing

Doesn’t have an exit

I don’t learn my lesson

I don’t see no ending in sight

I don’t feel the best when I try

Holdin’ my head up high, but it’s not workin’

Makin’ you cry makes me feel like a bad person (bad person)

And something’s got a hold on me

They don’t see the world I see

Heartbeat in my chest feels weak

It’s really starting to weigh on me, yeah

I just wanna run away

And find somewhere that feels safe

Find somewhere the bad days

Don’t come as often in this sad phase

Somewhere I can be alone

Where I don’t have to run away from my flaws

And I don’t have to be afraid of my thoughts

With this high, this high that I’ve been chasing

Always likes a sad trip

And ruin all my friendships

Way too many questions in my mind

I don’t have the answers but I try

Holdin’ my head up high, but it’s not workin’, yeah

Makin’ you sad makes me feel like a bad person (bad person, person)

I said some awful things last week

Messin’ with my self-esteem

Mixed up my priorities

It’s really startin’ to weigh on me, yeah

I just wanna run away

Find somewhere that feels safe

Find somewhere the bad days

Don’t come as often in this sad phase

Somewhere I can be alone

Where I don’t have to run away from my flaws

And I don’t have to be afraid of my thoughts

With this high, this high that I’ve been chasing

It’s Been a Long While…

It’s been a long while since I’ve written anything on my blog. Lots has happened over the past several months and I’m just now able to catch my breath and reflect on it all.

The Covid pandemic is still ever-present and I’ve seen it touching the lives of more and more people I know. The world as we knew it will never be the same, of that I am sure. I’ve just completed an eight week interim position at an elementary school and there were those days when I questioned whether or not having children gather together was a good idea. There were those days when I questioned whether it was in my best interest to be there.

I’ll probably start writing more blogs to share on what my life experiences have been. Like most, I’m going through a time of confusion and stress brought on by it all. I know that I have to be true to myself and follow what steps are put before me and that’s not always easy to do. I make plenty of poor decisions it would seem and my choices are not always in everyone’s best interests. But I figure I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve been given to work with, which at this point is at least a roof over my head and a loving family. There is much to be grateful for even in the midst of the turmoil of life.

David Lee

Maniac

Just a steel town girl on a Saturday night
Looking for the fight of her life in the real time world
No one sees her at all they all say she's crazy

Locking rhythm to the beat of her heart
Changing movement into light
She haS danced into the danger zone
When the dancer becomes the dance

It can cut you like a knife if the fight becomes the fire
On the wire between will and what will be

She's a maniac, maniac on the floor (I sure know)
And she's dancing like she's never danced before
She's a maniac, maniac on the floor (I sure know)
And she's dancing like she's never danced before

She's a maniac, maniac at the show,
And she's dancing like she's never danced before
She's a maniac, maniac on the floor (I sure know)
And she's dancing like she's never danced before

On the ice blue line of insanity is a place most never see
It's a hard won place of mystery, touch it but can't hold it
You work all your life, for that moment in time
It could come or pass you by it's a push shove world
But there's always a chance if the hunger stays the night

There's a cold kinetic heat
Struggling stretching for the peak
Never stopping with her head against the wind

She's a maniac, maniac on the floor (I sure know)
And she's dancing like she's never danced before
She's a maniac, maniac on the floor (I sure know)
And she's dancing like she's never danced before

It can cut you like a knife if the fight becomes the fire
On the wire between will and what will be
She's a maniac, maniac on the floor (I sure know)
And she's dancing like she's never danced before