It is hard for me to believe, but tomorrow I will welcome back all of the teachers in Douglas for the start of the 2011/12 school year! It was one year ago July 26 (exactly one year and one week) that I started this new journey in my life. After 39 years in the Gilbert District, I returned home to Douglas and 858 14th as the superintendent of Douglas Unified.
And what a first year it has been!! Last year when I addressed everyone, I had only been on the job a few days and literally knew almost nothing about the job and what I was going to be doing. What a difference a year makes!!!
I have learned so much over the last 12 months and many, many ways. There have been ups and downs, just like any other job anywhere. I have reconnected with old friends and made new ones. And I absolutely love the people I work with on a daily basis.
It has been great being here with Teresa. Since my mom died in 2002, it has sometimes been hard to come down here for a visit. However, that has changed now that I am living in this wonderful, old home.
The pace of life is so much slower here and that is a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of a big metropolitan area. The weather in this part of the state is, in my opinion, the best in the world. We have the four seasons. The summer monsoons are awesome. It rains almost every day--with lightning and thunder. Most nights I sleep upstairs with the window open and the fan on--no cooler at all.
I had forgotten some of the truly funny things that happen in the news in a small town. I remember doing a post awhile back about some things that were written in the Bisbee paper that would NEVER make it into the Arizona Republic or the Tucson newspapers. A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out the 14,000+ emails in my school computer. As I was doing this, I was listening to the local radio station. Every morning, there is a program called "The Trading Post." People can call in and sell items, try to find items, or make community announcements. A lady called in who lives in the valley (farming community). She asked if the person who owned the cows that were walking around her yard, to please come and get them. She said that the cows were thirsty and were drinking out of the kiddie pool in the yard. And on top of that, the dogs were chasing the calves!!! Needless to say, I had a little chuckle over this. I was curious to hear the next day's broadcast to see if this same lady might be selling beef!
One of my favorite things is the number of inflatable swimming pools (not kiddie ones) that are in the front yards of people's houses. There are two right across the street from the house. It is great to watch the kids having such a good time in the front yard.
And a week ago Friday I knew I finally had arrived and was accepted back in Douglas. During the day, I had two visits from different people. This is unique to a small town (I think). The comfort level is different here and it is okay just to drop in for a visit or to ask a question. That was how it was when I was growing up here, but it hadn't happened until recently!!
What an adventure this has been!! It is one that I would never have predicted would have happened. I know that it is great for me to be here with Teresa so that she is able to stay down here, but I have to say that it has been just as much a blessing for me!!!
We will see what tomorrow will bring!!!