Monday, November 30, 2015

So Many Things To Be Thankful For...........

As Thanksgiving weekend has come to a close, I have been able to reflect on so many things that I am thankful for in my life.   I don't like a lot of holidays for a variety of reasons, but Thanksgiving is okay.   Years ago I didn't like it because we always had to get out the "good China" but that has changed over the last many years.

First and foremost, I am thankful for the wonderful family that I was born into--The Scott Family!!!   What an incredible family it is for many reasons.    I am thankful for my own family--my kids, Kerri and Patrick, and my incredible grandson, Cameron.  I am thankful for the lives that they lead!!  Then there is the blessing of my wonderful Aunt Teresa.   The fact that she is 93 and still around is amazing!! Her decline is considerable, especially since leaving Douglas, but it is still such a blessing to have her in our lives!!

Judy and her family are so important to me.  My cousins play such a big part in my life.  My Phoenix cousins are my "sisters" and I so love being with them again!!!  However, our extended family s also amazing!!!!!   I love my cousins and the relationships that we have!!

I am also so fortunate to have so many wonderful friends!  Actually, I am blessed.  Some day I am going to write about these wonderful friends individually!!!  They mean so much to me!!!

My 44 years as an educator were incredible!!!!!!!!  Even the so called not so great times can't even be compared to what some people deal with.  I love the relationships that I have with former students and their families.   It means the world to me.

I am also thankful for the last five years spent in Douglas--my home town.  It gave Teresa more years down there and gave me opportunities to give back.  But I am so happy to be back home in Gilbert!!!  I love being retired and look forward to what the next few years might bring!!!!!

I love my life!!!!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Own Tiger Buddy

There are many things that I am very proud of over my 44 years as a public school educator!!!  I had so many wonderful experiences and was so fortunate to have worked alongside some of the very best educators anywhere.   

When I first became the principal at Gilbert Elementary, my boss, Leona Shreve, wrote a restructuring grant that was being funded by the Arizona State Legislature.  It was a significant grant and Gilbert El was fortunate to receive one of them because of Leona.  One of the many things that she wrote into the grant that was really at no cost was a mentoring program for our at-risk students.   We named it Tiger Buddies.   What it did was pair an adult with a student who just needed some extra attention, or who had issues at home, or for whatever reason the teacher felt that the student needed an adult's attention.

Because of our proximity to the District Office, we had the honor of having many of the DO employees who had worked in schools and missed kids and wanted to participate.   It was amazing.  We always had enough adults for the number of children who needed a Tiger Buddy.   Through the years, there were many times that I was doing some kind of discipline with a child and would find out something that was going on in their lives.   After I administered the discipline, I would often call the Tiger Buddy adult and let them know that maybe their buddy needed some extra attention.  And it always happened.  

This year since I am retired and back in Gilbert, I have my own TIGER BUDDY!!   I went to the kick-off breakfast a few weeks ago and met my fifth grader.  He is darling!!!  Last week I wanted to go have lunch with him with his class for their Tuesday Talk Club lunch.  I asked his teacher, Mrs. Dawn, if it was okay if I brought pizza to the whole class and it was.  So I was able to be around the whole class and I know that my Tiger Buddy felt special that I brought lunch to everyone.  A mom came and thanked me for bringing it!! 

It was a great day and I look forward to spending more time with him as the year goes on.  I love this program and I am very proud that 20 plus years later, it is still going strong!!! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Memories of November 15, 1957

It doesn't seem possible that it was 58 years ago today that our family lost my grandmother, Katherine Ellen Roughan Scott.    I was in third grade that year and will always remember that day.   I had the privilege of living with her in Douglas.   She was quite a lady!!  It was because of her that I have such a love of reading.  I remember sitting on her lap while she read to me before I went to school.  

Grandma had diabetes and she loved sweets!   I remember that when my mom and Teresa would be gone, she would send me (and other cousins who spent a lot of time at 858) to the Superette Market a block from the house to get Heath Bars for her.  She would split one between us and then "swear us to secrecy" to not tell my mom and Teresa.  She kept her change purse in her corset!!!  I will always remember her taking it out to give us the money for the candy1

She loved to play Canasta and I think she may have cheated just a little bit! I remember being her partner quite often because I think she knew that she could get away with things with me.   

All of these memories come back from an eight year old's perspective, but they are vivid and wonderful memories.  

Just before she died, we took her to Phoenix to my Uncle Matt's house.  She had some doctor appointments, etc. and was going to stay with his family for awhile.   I remember her saying in the car as we left Douglas that she didn't want to go because she wanted to die at home.   There was no reason to think at that time that she was going to die.   

November 15th was a Friday.   Teresa, Judy, and I were at the Hubers that Friday evening.  My mom was playing bridge or doing something with the church so she wasn't with us.  I remember Teresa getting a call and I remember having the feeling that I knew it was bad news and that she had died in Phoenix.    I remember going to pick up my mom and Teresa having to tell her the news.

My mom and Teresa went to Phoenix immediately.   There was a funeral mass there before they brought her back to Douglas for the funeral there.  Judy and I stayed in Douglas.   Judy was just two and I know she doesn't have any memories of any of this.

In the old Irish tradition, her body was brought to the house for the rosary and the wake.   The living room was cleared out and her casket was put by the front windows.  I remember the funeral home bringing in so many flowers.  To this day, if I go to a florist shop or am around a lot of flowers, it brings back memories of that night at the house.

My Aunt Dot Park's birthday was November 15.   I always thought how hard that would have been to lose her mom on her birthday.    

My grandmother was my first loss as I was just a baby when my grandfather and great grandmother died.   I remember the feeling of loss and helplessness so well.  I loved her dearly and missed sitting on her lap and getting big hugs from her.

In December after my grandma died, my cousins' grandma (Grandma Park) died in Douglas.   She was the grandmother of Tom, Kathy, Jean, Jan, Ted and Ed.   Grandma and Grandpa Park lived a few blocks from our house.   Although they weren't my grandparents, I always called them that, especially Grandpa Park, as he lived several years longer and was around during my formative years.

Interestingly enough that same year, my third grade teacher, Sister Beatrice Ann, also died.   I loved Sister Beatrice.  She had also been my first grade teacher.   I think it happened in the spring time.  I know if was after my grandma's passing.   

Years later, I taught third grade for about 10 years.  My first year as a third grade teacher was a fluke as that is where there was an opening.   I loved teaching third grade and I wonder now if that was just a coincidence or part of something else!!!

My grandmother loved her grandchildren and was so proud of them.  She went to visit them as often as she could and we always seemed to have cousins at 858, especially our Phoenix cousins, Yaya, Pat, Marion, Cecilia and Teresa.

I have such wonderful memories of growing up and our extended Scott Family.  I love the fact that we are still so close all of these years later!

In the words of my favorite author:  "Those we love are never really gone as long as their stories are told....."

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Variety of Events

So much has been happening and I haven't taken the time to update my blog.  All is so positive and I usually don't have any trouble writing about the good things!!   

Best news for Gilbert Public Schools is that the Override and Bond passed.   I continue to be impressed with the hardworking and dedicated community members who did so much work and made sure that this passed.   I can only hope that our entire state (and country) can come together on such important issues and find a common ground to solve problems. 

October was a busy month for me.   My dear friend, Susie and I, went to the Garth Brooks concert in downtown Phoenix.  We took the light rail and had dinner and then saw Garth.  It was an amazing concert!!!!    I couldn't believe the energy that  he had for the entire concert.  It was well worth going to it.  And taking the light rail was fun!  It was filled with people going to the concert.    

The next day I went to Vegas with my dear friends, Elise and Jessie.  They picked me up in the morning and we drove to Vegas.  While waiting for them to get here, I felt something crawling up the leg of my pants.  My worst nightmare--a scorpion!  I was stung three for four times before I could get it out.   Having never been stung by a scorpion, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Although it burned and stung most of the day, I was very happy that was the extent of it.   

We got to Vegas and met some friends from Douglas who flew in to meet us at the Palms.  We had tickets to see Bill Maher.  This is the third time that we have gone to Vegas to see Bill and he didn't disappoint!!!!   I love his humor and I love his politics!!!!   It was a great evening.   We stayed until Tuesday.  I love to play slots, but haven't done much lately as my luck on them has not been good.  I hate to put money in and lose it all right away!!! So I did other things while Jessie and Elise played the slots.   The Palms is a great place to stay and they have a movie theater so we saw a couple of movies.  I have been to more movies in the last few months since I moved back than probably in the last 20 years!!!

Tuesday night after getting back, I met my friend, Patty for drinks and dinner at the Red Robin.   We had been there a little over an hour when a Mesa Police Officer came in and asked if anyone had a red CRV.  That was me!!!!   He told me that a school bus had backed into my car after letting the band kids off to eat at a fast food restaurant nearby.  The bus was from Safford.  So I went out to the parking lot.  The bus driver and band director were really upset.  I told them not to worry because I totally understood and I know that schools have great insurance.  If they had to have an accident, I think it was good it was someone like me!!!   All is fixed and now I am just waiting to be reimbursed for my deductible!!!

Then on Friday, we had tickets to the "Book of Mormon" at Gammage.  My friends, Jessie and Elise, came up for that and stayed with me.  Once again, we took the light rail to Tempe, had dinner and then walked to Gammage.  We saw the musical in Chicago a few years ago and it didn't disappoint at all.  It was great and we had a fun evening!!!!  I love being able to take the light rail to events!!!

Elise and Jessie spent the weekend.  Saturday night, Lloyd and Amanda (more friends from childhood) came to dinner.  We had a great time and played my favorite board game--Cards Against Humanity!!

I can't begin to explain how much I am enjoying my retirement.  I have one project I am working on through ASU in that I am mentoring a first year principal.  I have had to go to several all day workshops so at least I am keeping current on a few things in education!! But for the most part, I have time to do just what I want.

I have Teresa often.  She was with us for about 10 days and we ended up in the emergency room last Saturday night after church.  I was really worried about her, but it turned out to be a UTI and she is well on the mend.  It continues to sadden me to see the decline in her mental faculties. Teresa having to leave Douglas has been and continues to be very difficult for her as she was born at 858 in 1922.  However, her being with us is the best thing for her (and us).   When she is here, I try to take her out with friends and keep her mind going, but it is getting harder and harder to get her out and about.   My cousins came over for lunch on Tuesday and brought the three darling little girls.  Teresa loves the babies so that was really good for her.

I joined 24 Hour Fitness several weeks ago.   It is free with my state retirement insurance.  So I go to the gym several days a week and have really enjoyed working out.  I think I am in the best shape of my life!!!  I have been involved in a "fitbit challenge" and I have won it three out of the four weeks!! Never won any kind of athletic event in my life!!!!

So this kind of sums up the last several weeks!  Just want to keep a little journal for myself and what is happening!  It is fun to go back and read after time has passed.

I absolutely love this time in my life.  My 43 years of hard work have paid off and I am so happy to be back in my house and back seeing old and dear friends and being able to see my wonderful cousins much more often!!!!  LIFE IS GOOD!!!!!