Hello everyone! I am so glad to be able to meet you all and invite you to read my journal. You will find out my life was like in the sixth grade–how my friend Eddo and I solved mysteries; how the new kid Melvin kept bugging me, how my mom and my teacher fell in love, and how all of us lost someone we loved. You will get to read the column Eddo and I wrote for our school newspaper and follow the recipe I gave you for growing something monstrous under your bed. Best of all, after every one of my journal entries, you will get to write your own answer to a question I ask you about your own life. It’s best if you have a trusted grown up in your life answer the questions, too, and then share your answers with each other. You will begin to see how we all had to survive the same things in the sixth grade.
Today, the first day of Fall, Sally Jo showed Ms. Harrington’s second grade class how to “show” in their writing. Then they each wrote their own ” I Remember When” entry.
Hi, Everyone! I am going to be in Ms. Harrington’s second grade class at South Prairie School in Tillamook tomorrow, September 23rd. We are going to talk about my journal (of course!) and the personal narrative form. That makes sense because a journal is nothing more than a whole book full of personal narrative! I hope you are enjoying your new school year! Hooray for the sixth grade! It’s a learning year, for sure.
Sally Jo is going to Nancy Ryles Elementary School in Beaverton next Wednesday! Get your journals ready! Our topic will be, “I Used To Think…” What did YOU used to think when you were young that you discovered to be wrong when you got older?
|This decorated the door to the longhouse.|
Off we went for a sail around the bay on a sailboat, pretending we were racing in the World Cup. Wind in our hair on the harbour–ahh! Too short a ride.
Then back to Auckland Museum for a guided tour, seeing mostly different things from yesterday. Glad to have gone back this second day. Neal said it was like being in a totally new museum. More history and explanations.
|This is one segment of the longhouse wall.|
|A storage shed for food items.|
|The long 100-man canoe–postcard photo|
|Looking across to Auckland|
Friday, January 17
|The glow worms–postcard photo|
|Hangi food, cooked in ground|
|Me doing the white ball dance|
|Neal doing the Haka|
|Taking my breath away!|
|My favorite NZ photo!|
|The Chasm rocks|
|Our boat, and Bishop’s Mitre in background|
|Queenstown from gondola window|
|Steamboat that brought us|
|Another favorite NZ photo|
|Queenstown, The Remarkables to the left|
|Henry Moore sculpture|
|St. Paul Church|
|Inside Supreme Court|
|Supreme Court building|
|Te Papa Welcome Ceremony Room|
|Ugly, three-eyed lizard thing|
As a surprise, we were gifted a Quickie surprise trip to Weta Studio gift store. People snapped photos of the giant trolls and the Golom (sp) and the big fang-toothed monster. I did that, too, it’s true, and Neal bought himself and his mentoree Lucas a Hobbitown shirt.
|At the headlands|
|Sydney, bridge and opera house in distance|
|Queen Victoria Building|
|Sydney Opera House|
|Bond shops, now restaurants|
|sculpture depicting first settlers|
|Oldest house in Sydney|
|Tall ships race|
The coup de grace, though, was getting to tour through all the various performance stages of the Sydney Opera House and watch a couple of films about its design and structure. We weren’t allowed to take many photos. We can also say that we sang at the Sydney Opera House. We go back Tuesday to see a performance there.
|beams inside Opera House|
|Darling Harbour amusement park|
|Look at the stones in the doorway|
|Neal at Darling Harbour|
|Beautiful sculpture, Darling Harbour|
Tomorrow, the zoo, free time, and then the Opera House performance.
Tuesday, zoo and Sydney Opera House Day
Off to the zoo where we saw wombats, kangaroos, echidnas, possums (not the same thing as what we call possums), a shingle back lizard, a platypus, a pigeon that looked like a cousin to a peacock, a gorilla, elephants and a Tasmanian Devil. And another great view of Sydney Harbour. Oh, and the most dangerous spider in Australia, the funnel spider. Supposedly it’s not aggressive and there is now an antidote. Males’ venom is worse than females’. I did not like when the spider was being passed around, believe me! However, the male platypus has stinger on his left foot with venom worse than that spider! Learning all kinds of things. And today was the last day of Christmas/summer break before kids have to be in school. We enjoyed our ferry ride back to town.
|Koala (not my photo)|
|Tasmanian Devil (so cute)|
said tonight it was 27 and fine in Melbourne tomorrow, so not as hot as it’s been. “Fine” means “nice.”
|Mini Tudor Garden|
|Captain Cook’s Parents Home|
No matter how high we build something, we have to go to the top and look out, don’t we? Supposedly, that is the highest vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere, but I couldn’t see Antarctica no matter how much I squinted, so I’m just not sure about that! Hahahaha! One part up there, called “The Edge,” has a floor of plexiglass so if you pay to go in it, you look down 88 floors to the street. And then you pee your pants. Road Scholar didn’t pay for us to do that and no one protested or paid to do it.
|Melbourne, our hotel to the left|
|Depiction of WWI hero|
|Arcade with Figures that strike the time|
|foodcourt at Victoria Market|
|Looking for the perfect tomato!|
|Wanna be friends?|
|Tasmanian Devil (I’m cute, huh?)|
|Neal on refreshment duty|
|Beach at Phillip Island|
|Ian Potter Centre NGV|
|Royal Exhibition Hall|
|I took this for my knitting friends.|
|For my old car buff friends, Dave and Gene|
|NW Territory Flag and old radio set-up|
|mural outside School of the Air|
|looking into a classroom|
|quilt students made|
We went into the MacDonnell Ranges a bit, passing by the memorial to Rev John Flynn who designed the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the medical service for remote cattle stations and Aboriginal communities in Central Australia. We ended up at Simpson’s Gap, which is the home of a small colony of black-footed wallabies but it was too hot for them so they stayed in the shade, so much smarter than us. Flies, volumes of flies, made up for it though. I have a little fan, so I got it out and blew that around my face and they couldn’t come near although some black flies bit me on the leg. Everyone was doing the Australian Wave, which is the flapping of hands across the face to keep the flies away. I’m wearing my head net tomorrow at Uluru.
|The state flower depicted on the flag|
|Royal Flying Doctor Service|
Homes here are much like home and more energy efficient in that solar power is encouraged and supported by the government. There is a big aquifer here so there’s enough water for the 28,000 population but they are planning to pipe from another aquifer farther away in order to let the water rise in the one they are presently using. So there is energy and water, air conditioning, and satellite service here, and more services than in most cities this size anywhere, because of what all has to happen here to service all the outback peoples in a huge area. (Australia is the same size as the US, and Alice is in the middle, well, a little more to the eastern side, but there’s a lot of nothing around it.) The railroad went through to Darwin in 2004 so that helped more goods to be shipped back and forth more cheaply than by road, although there are still plenty of trucks pulling three trailers going north to Darwin and south to Adelaide.
|Cicada, about 2 and 1/2 inches long|
|inside the roadhouse|
|outside the roadhouse|
|Kay and John riding camels|
|Our bus driver and champion camel rider, Graeme|
|My favorite shot of Uluru|
|There’s a falcon in this tree.|
|A myth goes with this section of Uluru. It involves a snake.|
|Uluru from far away|
|My favorite part of Uluru|
|Our main guide, John, and site guide, Martin|
|Louise and Bob|
|John, Sally, Cynthia|
When we got up this morning, we saw kangaroos jumping all over the cliff out our back window, a dingo, and a hawk. Neal saw an eagle.
|Out the back of our boat|
|What I saw out the submersible window.|
|Neal coming back from snorkeling.|
|gondola cables disappearing into the mist|
|Out the gondola window|
|Neal in gondola car enjoying view of rain forest|
|gondola station partway, forest walk|
|Neal tossing boomerang|
|Playing didjeridu which involves 5 things at once!|
When you say to yourself about a place you’ve just visited, “I could live there!” that means it’s a very good place, indeed. This has been a journey good for the brain (new things to learn every day—how the shower works, how the room key works, how the light switch works, how the elevator works, how the money works, where the tram goes, besides all the information at each place we visited), good for the soul (primitive peoples knew a lot more than we do in the spiritual aspect and in living sustainably), good for the physical well-being (lots of good food and plentiful exercise) and good for the eyes in the beauty we saw all around us every day.
Speaking of which, Neal has just shared some of his photos with me, and he captured the beauty with his telephoto lens in ways I couldn’t, so I hope he shares them on Facebook or in his own blog. They are very much worth looking at.
The yellow and white bumblebee dresses. I’m second from left. Love my purse and the Ionic porch columns.
The turquoise chiffon dresses, accessorized with hat, purse, gloves, shoes. I’m second from right.
I’m on the right. The red and red and white striped dresses. Anita, Susie, and me. My first permanent.
I wrote this poem in class for Halloween. It’s a concrete poem–that means the words form the shape of what I’m writing about. Since the poem is about a pumpkin, I added eyes, a nose and a mouth.
Here’s my assignment for YOUR journal: write a concrete poem about your favorite topic.
More assignments: Tell what you like about the fall season. Describe your favorite Halloween costume.
I think perhaps the older we get, the more we pause to reflect on past memories which seems to unlock the door for more memories to flash. I also find myself humming or singing a certain song unintentionally and then realize that the song is pertinent to thoughts or actions happening at that time. For instance, after visiting with the folks who ran Joel’s Grocery, a neighborhood store a block from my home in La Grande, I found myself humming Jim Croche’s I’ve Got A Name.
I’m wondering if the closer we come to our end, the more our past friends and relatives draw close – the flashes just out of our sight.
I have also been “seeing things” usually off to the right, more like shadows or dark shapes. I hope they’re my guardians and not some sinister soul or voyeuristic being…AND having occasional memory flashes. These are interesting cuz so much of my past lives has been blocked for some reason that I welcome a brief reminder of something or someone I had forgotten all about. I usually try to expand on the memory which doesn’t always work. Maybe both of these events is a sort of awakening, a growing, tho not of a tumor…more like evolving in bursts.
I would like to share with you an experience I had years ago and still have on occasion, when I am especially in tune with myself.
It must be over 20+ years ago that I went to New Mexico and did a week long program with Chris Griscom at The Light Center. (http://lightinstitute.com/site/ ) It was a multi-incarnational week…. J She took us back into a “past lives” and at the end of the session she would ask “when did this happen?” On the final session I went to a rather magical life and was a child playing with my son (who was in this life my brother). It was in a place I had never seen before, either in this life, pictures or history books. When she came to the questions “when did this happen?” … my answer was quick “NOW.” There was not a shred of doubt that it was happening right that moment simultaneously with the life I was currently experiencing. (fun, huh!) I won’t go into describing the other life, but what I think is pertinent to your discussion is that after the sessions, that life would unexpectedly come into my peripheral vision. It would disappear if I turned to look at it, but if I just continued to allow it in my peripheral vision, it would continue and I could experience it. (Kind of the same as when you first experience deep meditation, if you allow any kind of a “wow” you lose the meditation … but if you just allow and stay in that moment you go deeper and deeper) Now this other life would pop up at the oddest times, like even at a stop light when I would be driving or when I was waiting for something else to happen. Those moments in life that you pause —
Dangerous your pen is.
Some of you haven’t been having the experiences I wrote about, but you have been recipients of vivid dreams. One such response is on the blog itself and this is the other: