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Where I’ve Been

July 25, 2016

Beautiful PlacesOne of my favorite sayings of all times (and please excuse me if I don’t get it exactly as penned) is from the lyrics of the brilliance that was John Lennon. The song is called “Beautiful Boy” and can be found on the “Double Fantasy” album.

In the song, John sings to his son Sean:

Before you cross the street take my hand
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

I don’t usually relate it to the first sentence about holding hands and crossing streets, however. For me, it is almost always about having things turn out much more differently than I expected or imagined; and most of the time, HOPED they would.

This summer which has been characterized by continuous days of grueling heat, even in what should be the less-populated and remote areas of the coal mountain area of Northeastern Pennsylvania. It also serves as my real-life reminder that my plans to devote focused energies to further develop myself as a writer, need to take a back seat to unforseen and unexpected exits and entries,  taking children into our home unexpectedly and even a return of a ‘graduate’ who has found truth in this saying as it applies to his own attempt to start a life on his own after spending years in the foster care system.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful; I really don’t. I know how much worse things can be – and actually are – for a lot of people. We have a nice home in a beautiful part of a wonderful country, great pets, wonderful foster children…we are all in good heatlh….even the pets! We have a lot going for us and overall, a good life.

And, I want to write. I NEED to write! I was hoping to have the chance once summer rolled around and we settled into our off-season routine. But as Mr. Lennon reminds me….such is not the case. And my writing is on a catch-as-catch-can basis, at best.

I have taken on the roll of pee-wee football mom, taxi driver, co-pool-pass holder and necessary guardian, and the one that I realy never saw coming was on-line educator/teacher. Two of our boys, although of 5th and 6th grade age chronologically, came to us from a home where education was ignored entirely. As amazing as it may sound, these brothers lived lives that were so inconsistent, they did not stay in any one area long enough to make it on someone’s radar as not attending school.

Yep. In our country, two English-speaking boys, aged 11 and 12, born in Brooklyn, NY, were never taught to read. They were never taught basic math. So, this summer, I am working with these boys myself, to try and bring them to a point where they will be able to develop into productive, successful young men.

I did some searching on line and found Adapted Minds,,  a program that helps parents work with their children to practice reading and math skills. So far, the boys are kieeping with it and working their way through 1st grade. I get daily notices of any progress they make and the number of questions/problems they work through and also can see any of the areas where we need to focus in more. So, we’re tackling illiteracy, here in the United States of America, in the year of our Lord, 2016.

Now you have a little idea of where I’ve been…but I’m still working on getting myself into a routine where I can write because I still NEED to write!




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