When One Door Closes

As many of you know, I am a municipal reporter and columnist. For the newspaper this week I combined the two elements in my column, and though this may seem a local story, it is one that is played out across the years and across the miles:

Stone One-room School (c.1820)

Stone One-room School (c.1820) (Photo credit: origamidon)

INTRO

            “At the Board meeting of November 20, 2012, the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) approved the closure of the Ruthven Public School effective June 30, 2013 and declared the school surplus to the needs of the Board.”

            The above paragraph was included in a notice to the Town of Kingsville in April along with the announcement that the GECDSB was issuing a proposal to offer the property for sale at a fair market value to a number of organizations. Yes, that is a door you hear closing.

WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES

            School closings are hard. They are hard on the children who called the Ruthven Public School their school. They are hard on the teachers and staff who taught and worked at the school. They are hard on the community. And they are hard as they close a door never to be opened again.

            The saying “when one door closes another one opens” is trite but true. The students from Ruthven will be transferred to other schools, the majority to Jack Miner, and I am here to say that the transition will work. How do I know? Because many many years ago my school was closed and I was transferred to Jack Miner Public School (at the time it was Gosfield South Public School). The difference was I went from a one room school house to what we referred to as the “big school”. The transition for the Ruthven students should not be as daunting.

            At the time I was transferred a lot of the one room school houses in the area were closed so I was not the only deer caught in the headlights of a big change. At my school, six grades were taught in one room, while the grades ones and twos were taught in the boys’ and girls’ rooms—the rooms that housed our coats and bathrooms. We were civilized though—the bathrooms were closed off from the main part of the boys’ and girls’ rooms—so the six and seven year olds were not being taught how to read with Dick and Jane, Puff and Spot in the presence of the toilets.

            I remember my first day at the “big school”. I had to take a bus to get to the school which was a scary adventure in itself. Then when I arrived at the school there was some confusion as to where to go. The newbies had not been introduced to the new school beforehand (which on reflection would have been a really really good idea). When things were sorted out, I found myself sitting in a classroom of about 30 kids all the same age. We were pretty well all ten years old, and in my class many of us were like fish out of water—joining kids whose home school was Gosfield South. I guess we were somewhat of a foreign entity, and I heard rumours later that our intelligence was in question as no one was certain if the kids coming from the one room schools were up to speed.  Speaking on behalf of my cohorts— we were.

            I do not remember the transition taking long. I liked my new school, and my teacher went to my church so that was comforting. There were quite a few of us in the same boat so it seemed to go pretty smoothly. There were a lot of advantages to going to a bigger school though I missed some of the community feel of my little school. To this day I do not regret the opportunity afforded us.

            Kids are resilient. They cope because they have to—and what is at first strange and weird becomes normal. I feel badly for the students who may no longer be able to walk to school, and be “hugged” by their tightknit community, but speaking from experience, adopting a new school is not insurmountable. Economics govern and we may see some other closures and adaptations in the future. I know if my kids were affected I would be concerned—but moms and dads, students and teachers: consider this a new and exciting adventure. It is the only way to at first, muddle through; second: assimilate; and, third: enjoy the ride.

CONCLUSION

            I leave you with these words from Anna Quindlen, from her book, “A Short Guide to a Happy Life”: “I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that this is not a dress rehearsal, and today is the only guarantee you get.” Enjoy your summer vacation knowing a new “today” is awaiting you.

Do you have a similar story?

~ BIG BLISS ~

My bliss

My big bliss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Big dreams create the magic that stir (wo)men’s souls to greatness.” – Bill McCartney

It seems to me I have talked ad nauseam about capturing the moments of bliss—those little moments when we realize that life has something to offer, but on a rather limited basis. Are we too complacent in our misery, in our lack of hope for anything more than moments? Of course we should enjoy these moments, but I ask you ~ what is wrong with BIG BLISS? BIG DREAMS? HAVING IT ALL?

Are we so ensnared in the philosophy that we have to snatch those moments of bliss, that we are ignoring the bigger picture? Maybe we do not try hard enough to capture a life filled with bliss. Hours of bliss, not moments. Days, weeks, months, years of bliss. Should that not be our goal?

Rotten Apple

Rotten Apple (Photo credit: Edgars Jekabsons)

I understand that life hands us a lot of rotten apples, and you cannot make apple sauce out of rotten apples, you have to throw them out. Maybe we should just throw out the rotten apples in our life and bite into a nice crispy unblemished one.

In this my proclaimed year of finding my bliss, I want to find my big bliss and not be happy with a few dregs of joy, shots of happiness, or teaspoons of laughter. I want a whole barrel of joy, more than a 26-er of happiness, and a belly full of laughs.

I am missing something here not shooting for the moon. Why can’t my big dreams come true? (And to be honest some have.) Why can’t I have it all, or at least most of it?  Today I am going don my Nikes and “do it”. They are actually pink and silver Champions, but you know what I mean.

From the words to the song “Have It All” by Jeerem Kay, and the soundtrack to the television show, Scrubs, this is my new mantra:

“Maybe it’s too soon to be sure but I really do believe that someday we’re gonna have it all.”

Are you ready for some big bliss? Admit it, some of your big dreams have come true, but you have forgotten them in all the turmoil of everyday problems.

Yesterday I told you my sob story—but today I will tell you some of my big blisses: I went to university and loved every moment of it; I married the boy I had a crush on in high school and it seems to have lasted—this year we celebrate 31 years;  I have worked for radio, newspapers, and magazines and I am going to get a book published by hook or by crook; I owned a bookstore; I had two (very) premature sons who have grown into healthy big guys; I have discovered blogging and a wonder community of bloggers who have become my friends; I belong to a Writers’ Group which has been running for 15 years; I have great friends who I walk with; talk with; write with; lunch with; and just visit. I count my sister as my best friend, and my brothers as my closest allies–something not all people can claim. And .…I am not done yet.

What big dreams of yours have come true that led you to some big bliss?

House of Joy

House of Joy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 4:14 pm  Comments (49)  
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~A Plea~

 

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios blog...

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios bloggeando (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not too proud to beg. I reached my one year goal of 300 followers by my anniversary date–but want to get 10,000 hits–I only need 188 (as it stands now)  to reach that goal. Sooo…………I am sending out this friendly invitation to you and all your friends to stop by today and give me a few likes and a few comments, so I can reach that goal. I started this blog a year ago, but did not really get in the blogging mode until about April of this year. And oh, by the way, if you want to add to my follower list, that would be wonderful too–just because I hit my goal, that does not mean I don’t want to exceed it.

I am now a self-confessed stats watcher, which is both a good and bad thing. I think I have the most wonderful readers in the world–you are all so supportive of other bloggers, and I have made some  bbffs  (best blogging friends forever) and lots and lots of acquaintances who are fast becoming friends too.

I do not mind if you feel sorry for me and want to give me some pity “likes” and comments — I will take whatever you have to give.

Also, if anyone understands Spanish–will you tell me what that monkey in my picture is saying — if it is off colour I will replace it! (LOL) In Canada, French is our other official language, and we are not exposed to that much Spanish on a national level.

I also put the shoe company name Nike as a tag to see if I can generate any traffic that way. I am just shameless!

 

Published in: on August 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm  Comments (88)  
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