Friday, May 26, 2017

Education & Family

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Our new home state is known as the "Lightning Capital of the World." I completely understand that nickname. It seems as though every afternoon (after the heat of the day has built to a crescendo) thunder heralds the start of another storm.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On a beautiful Sunday morning at 9 a.m., Jim and I decided to go to the outdoor pool. We had our new lounge chair towels with the inflatable pillows, our books, sunglasses, and lotion. Our intent was to spend a few hours in the morning sun - before the afternoon heat made the pool deck unbearable.

The water was perfect - about 80 degrees. We swam for a while and then got out and headed for our chairs to read our books in the sun.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

In his book "A Man of My Words," Richard Lederer gives the reader lots to think about. For a lover of words, this book is like a fresh breeze by the ocean - pushing away the everyday mundane 'stuff' and filling your head with joy.

One of my favorite sections of the book is "The Name is the Game," which contains a quiz that made me giggle. I know that Richard Lederer won't mind a bit if I share this quiz with my readers. Actually, I think he would be thrilled that I am advertising his little volume. Perhaps you will order one on

Saturday, September 1, 2012

We just returned from Texas where we watched our 22-year-old grandson Jordan graduate from Air Force basic training. It was a long car trip. The weather was hot and we drove through frog-strangling downpours. But, the trip was worth every hard travel moment.

I got all emotional and teary-eyed watching Jordan. He is a tall, handsome young man. In his uniform, he was the epitome of class. He stood ramrod straight and acted like a mature, responsible adult. His squadron was chosen to carry the flags in the ceremony. They presented themselves with honor.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The boy playing center field was moving around in a kind of tribal dance. He was kicking the grass and waving his arms. He leaned over to pick either a flower or a bug from the ground. It was a beautiful spring day and his team was losing 12-0 in a Little League thriller.

When the inning was mercifully over, it was his team's turn to bat. The center fielder put on his helmet and lined up for his turn at home plate. Once again, he did his little dance. He waved to his parents in the stands. His dad yelled encouraging words.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We are preparing for a long road trip from Ocala, FL, to San Antonio, TX, in August. As much as both of us dislike days of driving, we are committed to attending our grandson's graduation from Air Force Basic Training.

Lately, the 8-hour trip from FL to our old home in SC has become tiring. So, the prospect of a 20-plus hour trip is daunting. Sitting in a car that long will be a challenge for these old bones. Even the 90-minute drive to our daughter's home here in Central FL can tire us out.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New beginnings are exciting. A new school year can be thrilling for everyone involved. The night before a new school year starts is ranked second only to the night before Christmas.

By the middle of August, new school clothing has been purchased, school supplies are in the backpack, and the family knows who the child's homeroom teacher will be and where he should report on the first day.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A doldrum is really a region of an ocean that is noted for dead calm and sparse winds. Sailors speak of those areas with much trepidation, since doldrums can cause low spirits, sluggishness and dangerous lethargy.

Children can get doldrums during the summer. Let's call it a disease the "doldrum fever." Although it's never fatal, this disease can slow a child's mental processes and prevent him from reaching his full potential.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

When I taught English, I enjoyed having fun with my students. One of the best ways to have fun in an English class is to play with words.

My classes reacted positively when I introduced them to palindromes - words, sentences, and numbers that read the same way backwards and forwards.

The most famous palindrome is "Madam, I'm Adam." That phrase has been around for more than 100 years. Once you see those three words together, then finding other palindromes becomes a lifelong hobby.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dear Dr. Smith,

First of all, I want to thank you for your columns. I read all of them and learn a lot from you. That's why I decided to write to you. Maybe you can help me.

My son just finished fourth grade. He had a bad year. I honestly believe that his teacher did not like him. He was unhappy a lot and sometimes didn't want to go to school. I wanted to go and talk to the teacher and principal, but my husband didn't want that. He told my son to "suck it up"" and do his best.