Monday, July 2, 2012

Need for present joy

I am enjoying not being in school, sitting at a desk and listening to lectures about the Federal Code of Regulations on inspected passenger vessels.  The instructor for the Master's course was not as knowledgeable as my first instructor.  He also read the book out loud to us.  He made remarks during the class that indicated his particular take on society and the government.  During one of the exercises, he blurted out, "What do ya'll think will happen to Sandusky in prison?".  I have an idea, but wondered what that had to do with the course I was taking.

Anyway, now the class room lectures are over, and I have an exam this week and two next week to take.  Then I will turn in all the paperwork to see what size license I can get.  I will be very glad when all this is done.  I am glad that I went through with it but am tired of using my brain.  I actually want to vegetate for a while.  I'm finding it hard to divert attention away from material for the exams.  Thankfully, July fourth holiday will keep me busy doing happy things that have nothing to do with exams or school.

My wife and I had a discussion this morning about the caregivers getting a puppy.  It's a done deal that they are getting a border collie puppy.  My wife gave her approval.  I don't think that a puppy, especially a high energy puppy like a border collie, is appropriate to be around my wife's 90 year old mother who has difficulty walking.  She asked what I thought, and I told her.

I know dogs and have been around them all my life.  A sedate adult dog would probably be a great companion and might spark a lot of happiness in my MIL.  But bringing in a puppy seems a bit much. Only time will tell as to how this works out with the elderly mother and the elderly cat she has.  There are times that I wonder, "What was she thinking?".  But I know to let this go and not lecture or make it an issue between us.  After all, this isn't my business.  These are her parents, and she does a wonderful job in making sure that they are comfortable and watched over.

I am going to home group tonight.  It feels like an eternity since I was there, even though it was just last Monday evening.  I can feel that I need the peacefulness of the meeting.  And the grounds quiet the restlessness that has come to be part of my day since beginning the classes over three weeks ago.  I can tell that my stress tolerance for exams and classes has diminished with age. I want this behind me.  I want to do low key stuff like gardening and sailing.  I like what Helen Keller had to say about going to college:

Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures – solitude, books and imagination – outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.

There will be some whispering pines swaying in the hot breeze tonight.  I want to share these photos of where the home group meets.

Where we meet

Huge pine tree in the Serenity Garden
Statue of St. Francis at the base of the large pine
I will be back to write and comment as time permits.


  1. Syd, so good to read you. Where your home group meets is beautiful!
    I loved reading the quote by Helen Keller. Many of those reasons are why I chose to home school. I won't go into all of my thoughts on traditional education, but that quote gives you an idea of where I am at, especially for young children!
    As to the puppy...I am surprised they even asked. That is a huge request to bring into a frail elderly person's home. I am currently working with some inexperienced caregivers (not that yours are inexperienced) and am dealing with my own frustrations in regards to protocol, common sense, manners, and responsibility. So take what I say with a grain of salt. Probably not the most impartial opinion at this point. But really.....I just wonder what people are thinking sometimes?!
    I'm so glad you get some down time over the next few days. Savor them my friend.

  2. I will be so glad for you when this is over. I wonder how many times since it started that you have wondered why in HELL you thought you wanted to do this. And yet, I know you will finish because that is who you are.
    I LOVE the Hellen Keller quote. It's all true. College is for learning, not so much thinking.
    As for the dog- you may well know already what I think of that idea.

  3. nice...digging the pics of the serenity garden...hope the exams go well...and the dog too...kinda uneasy with that thought myself...

  4. Syd you are right about the dog and wrong about it being your business. You have done much for your in laws too. I am only 58 and have 50 lb mix breed dumb as dirt and that dog wears me out. A border collie needs to run. Especially a puppy. *shrug* 2 cents is all.

    I could hang out in your spot for awhile but am sort of glad I find that same place here...inside of me.

    You know for a scientist (retired) really I know it's all new information but don't you secretly enjoy exercising you brain even a little? Gardening and all is cool but so would having your captains license.

  5. I'm glad for you that it will be over soon. I don't tolerate stress and over scheduling as I once did either. I want my meditation time, my prayer time, and my exercise time every day!

    I don't know anything about dogs.

  6. a solidity and quiet wisdom
    glows in your words.

    Have a GREAT Week!

    Aloha from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >

  7. What a restful place Syd.

    Sometimes we do just have to stand back and surrender, if something is a done deal. Not easy.

  8. I love the serenity garden . . . and the Helen Keller quote.
    Have fun tomorrow doing those things that you enjoy.

  9. Oh boy! My aunt who is only early 70s is finding out that puppies aren't as easy to care for as they once were for her. They have so much energy and mischief in them, it takes a great deal of discipline to train them up and bring them to a point where they behave easily and well with others.

    The meeting place looks so beautiful and serene! I hope that, in time, the yard of the house I have now morphs into a serenity garden.

    A little at a time I add to it and work on it.

  10. My goodness that is a beautiful meeting location! I am really happy to hear that your studies are wrapping up. The tone of your posts was becoming worrisome. Have a safe holiday. I imagine July 4 is prime time for drunk-crazy revelers on the water.

  11. "But I know to let this go and not lecture or make it an issue between us." How do you do this? I find it so very difficult. Not so much with little things, but with a larger thing like the issue you describe, I don't know how to let it go. I will keep trying to figure it out, though :)

  12. Sigh. Okay, it's a done deal. Hope for the best.

    I would add that your wife express her concern and then make a compromise that if the puppy does not work out (and I seriously doubt that this will) that they read up on the more "user friendly" dogs that are out there and get one of those.

    I think her mother would benefit from a loving dog. Did her mother have dogs in her life? If she is a dog lover then this is a huge advantage.

    Border collies need plenty of attention and socialization when they are young or they will become ill mannered and testy. I do not believe (but I don't know all) the caretakers have a lot of time to spend outdoors with this dog and train it.

    I am sorry that I am rambling, but people have to think when it comes to caring for older people and what is right/wrong for a dog. I agree with you, but I do not want to depress you or your wife.

    Maybe they will get a diamond in the rough and this BC will be a real gem.

  13. Hey Syd! I'm trying to catch up on 6 months of blogs. I understand about the puppy thing. My father-in-law no longer has to care for my MIL since she is in a wonderful facility but he just doesn't seem to live in the same reality that I do. Makes for some frustration on my part. I have to remember that he is not my father so try to let hubby deal. The pics are so peaceful. It's just like you to post a visual message of serenity. Good luck with the class. Some people should never have been teachers. :-D Luv ya

  14. I love where your group meets! Thank you for sharing. The photos feel peaceful.

    I can completely relate to that quote. I've been debating on going back to school and continue to come to the same conclusion, nope I have no desire. I love to learn, but not in that setting. This quote has helped me put to words how I have felt about college. I'm glad I went and graduated, but that's it.

    Good luck on your exams!


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