Alive and Kicking

X 10.5.14

It’s been my longest absence from the site. September was a whirlwind.

In September, we had a wonderful celebration of my grandfather’s life at a Lutheran church in downtown Green Bay. Labor leaders came out, the mayor showed up, coworkers made appearances, and, most importantly, family came in from around the country. My favorite part was reconnecting with my cousin, Jenny, although meeting my (apparently Tea Party) 2nd Cousin from Arizona was actually really cool, too.  He got me hooked on a new fitness app called Nudge.

I have only a few spare minutes, so just a handful of quick reflections.

One: I didn’t break down and cry from the time my grandfather died until the very last line of the very last hymn, “God Be With You Til We Meet Again.” I could still hear him singing this song in his living room and in the nursing home, and I totally lost it. I had a lot of supportive family and friends to lean on, and I really feel glad that I was able to let the tears out, especially since I was almost positive it just wasn’t going to happen.

Two: A strange thing happened on the way to my back fence. The following day, I was sitting in the basement, hunkered down all day. It was beautiful outside, so eventually, I decided to get up and go do some gardening. Within the first couple minutes of being in the yard, the church bells at St. Mary’s in my neighborhood started playing “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” I was stunned. This was the song I most closely associated with my grandfather. It was one of two I recorded him singing to my eldest son. I smiled and said, “Hi Grandpa,” and I went about my outdoor work.

Three: My new job is kicking my butt. This is good. The 11 hour days and high levels of expectation from my principal, colleagues, students, and families is kicking my butt right back into shape. I was in a really low place by the end of August. Being able to focus on improving my teaching practice is doing me worlds of good.

Four: I got to see Agent Orange on Friday. This will go on the list of bands I never thought I’d get the chance to see (alongside Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits in 2013).  Plus, there were three other old straight edge dudes at the show. I wonder when the last time a Green Bay bar has had 4 men inside of it that were only drinking water.

Five: I love my Green Bay Packers.

OK. Time to get squared away for tomorrow. Peace. New interviews coming soon.

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