You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2005.

Except for having some of my wonderful students for lessons, it was such an uneventful day. I woke around 4:00am when I heard the rain and I immediately turned off the air and opened the windows. A cool breeze moved right on into the house. However, I could not shake off the tired fog I was in all day. I took several naps in between teaching and editing the musical.

I took Flyer for an evening walk to look over the new construction going on next door at the high school. Wow! We will have one of the nicest high school facilities in the Midwest!

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Irving Berlin didn’t know what a heat wave was when he wrote the song – had he been alive today he would have certainly known. It hit 94 degrees and the heat index hit 114. It was horrible outside. The boys, however, got to enjoy the cool waters of the swimming pool while I continued teaching until 6:00pm. Monday was just as bad, and I am so tired of having the house cooped up with the air conditioning on.

We have the Senior Open going on a mile way, and I cannot imagine how many of my friends, who are volunteers, are surviving this horrible heat.

We are supposed to get storms in the night and a cold front coming in! Yea!

Tonight several of my students, who are both family friends of ours and friends with one another, remained after lessons for dinner. I cooked the Mexican dish from Dr. Carter (BSU Singers’ director) which was a hit with my sons and myself. Well, it was a hit tonight. THANK YOU, JEFF! Christi Salchak made a cake called Fruit Salad Cake, and there was little left. I had quite a bit of the Mexican dish left over and the boys immediately claimed it for tomorrow’s lunch.

Here is the recipe – courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Carter’s mother:
The recipe:

Boil two large chicken breasts, or a whole hen. Skin off. Tear meat into chunks with hands and/or forks. I personally just go ripping it apart.

Combine in large bowl:
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes, liquid included
1 can reduced fat Mil-not or other condensed, unsweetened milk

Stir until mixed. Add chicken (at least 2 heaping cups if not more). Salt and pepper to taste. I usually throw in ¼ cup of dehydrated onions. I also put in half a red pepper, chopped finely. Mom used to cut up an onion and a green pepper and put it in the mix. Grate 8-10 ounces of Cheddar cheese, or get a bag of shredded yellow or Mexican-style cheese.

In a greased slow cooker (or 9×13 pan), layer: 1.5 or 2 10-inch flour tortillas, A portion of the soup/chicken mixture, A fourth of the cheese. Repeat. Top layer should finish with mixture, then cheese on top.

In slow cooker, you can make five layers. In 9×13, four at the most. Slow cooker—covered on low for 4 hours or so. Oven in 9×13—uncovered at 350 for 45-55 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly.

I serve with tortilla chips and refried beans. Spanish rice is a good accompaniment as well. As is Dos Equis or Negro Modelo!

Today is what we call GOTCHA DAY. I have one student, Anna, who was adopted from Korea by some wonderful people. They told me that they celebrate the day she arrived and they call it GOTCHA DAY. So, I adopted this practice for my own family.

Today it has been three years since I first met Matthew. It seems as though he has been with me forever, yet, it doesn’t seem possible, at other times, that he has only been with me three years.

I arrived in San Antonio Tuesday afternoon, July 24, 2002. I met Matt’s recruiter, Robin Tinsely, and we went to dinner. Little did I know she would become one of our family’s dearest friends and supporters – especially during that first year.

The next morning, I was not nervous at all. I showered, shaved and dressed, and drove over to the office building where I would be meeting Matthew. Robin and I were early so we sat in the meeting room. Then, Celena (his case worker) and Matt walked in. I extended my hand and he rushed into my arms. He was so little! A runt of a kid. We talked a while, then Robin, Celena, Darrell (another case worker), Matt and I went to lunch. Afterwards we drove three hours to visit my great-great-uncle and aunt, Raymond and Betty, and their son, Steve. Raymond and Betty were one of the first to see Mother when she was born, and the first to see me. I decided that we had to go to Houston to round out the third generation. So, they were the first of my family to meet Matthew.

The next day we hit the Alamo and all the neat sites in downtown San Antonio, and then saw the opening night ceremonies of the Dallas Cowboy Football Camp – it was quite a celebration in the Alamodome. We ended the evening with an eventful ride on the River Walk! http://hotx.com/rb/ Our boat broke down twice – the first time right next to an outdoor restaurant where a Mariachi band was entertaining diners. When they saw our boat was stalled, they began playing “Sailing, Sailing” and immediately went into the theme from the movie TITANIC. It was quite hilarious.

The next morning we rose and drove about 45 miles away to a wonderful waterpark called, the Schliterbaun http://www.schlitterbahn.com/nb/intro-nb1.asp. There are over 7 miles of tube rides and I have to say it was one of the most delightful days I have enjoyed at such a park. Several times, the rides would end in a section of the Comal River!

Our last day was Matt’s birthday (July 28th) and we spent the day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I remember experiencing the true Texas heat that day. That evening, I met up with his foster father to drop Matt off. It was so difficult to do…

Then 9 days later, Robin and Matthew arrived at Dayton International Airport. In the lobby with “welcome” balloons was Kay Hetzer and her two sons, Joey and Chris. We all went to dinner at O’Charley’s and then I took my son home for the first time. Flyer was a bit bewildered as I am sure he seemed like a new student – but he was here to stay.

So, GOTCHA DAY, in our family, is the day my new sons arrive.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

I woke to Katie Curic and Matt Laurer’s breaking news of another set of “possible” bombings in London. I remember the last time I heard breaking news from this duo…

I was teaching a first period general music class at Kettering Middle School. I had a birthday chain hanging in my classroom, given to me by one of my students. I tore off 9/11 and commented that I had two weeks until my birthday. We were watching a video which I had forgotten to rewind from another class the day before. As the tape rewound, Katie and Matt were busy chatting away and I told the class, “Let’s spend some time with Katie and Matt. If we’re lucky Al Roker will be on.” About that time, Katie said she had breaking news – a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Within seconds she had live coverage. I figured it was a small plane – but the damage looked pretty severe.

I stepped through the connecting class room door to Ann Snyder’s room as she was finishing her attendance check, and told her to turn on the television. We checked out the scene and then stood chatting in the doorway, keeping an eye on our darlings. “How could a plane not miss that tower?” We had not discussed the probability of this when suddenly, the classes both yelled out – a second plane had crashed into the other tower. Ann and I both looked at one another without saying a word. Finally, Ann said what I was fearing – “We’re being attacked.”
I called the front office who was unaware of this. Immediately, Mrs. Gray, the principal was in my classroom. She waited before issuing a call to all the classroom teachers to let them determine whether or not to watch this. I decided my television was not going silent. Each class of students and I watched the day’s events unfold – Washington evacuated, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. We watched the towers glide down towards the earth with that hideous cloud of smoke and debris covering that area of the city.

Within an hour, parents from the air force base were retrieving their children from school. Normally, there is nothing but drama and hysterical speculation during a crises – and even more so from middle school students. That day, even my most verbal and toughest students were stunned into silence. They did not comment. They watched the television. Some would ask questions, but for the most part, they remained silent.

One day, back in 1986, I had my students in the library of Northside High School to work on a general music assignment. The audio-video lady was in her room and I watched the preparations for the Challenger’s lift off. I asked her if she minded me bringing the class in to watch and she agreed. As a child, I can remember sitting on my great-grandfather’s lap watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. When my great-grandfather was my age, Wilbur & Orville Wright had flown for the first time. Armstrong was my hero then and I had no idea that our paths would cross 30 years later. I pointed out to the students Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to go into space, as she waved and smiled as she walked to her mission. I can remember seeing the camera zoom in on her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Corrigan, and how thrilled and proud they looked. Having not seen a shuttle take off, I did not notice anything out of the ordinary. What I did notice was the expression on the Corrigans’ faces as someone stepped up to say something to them. Then, there was an announcement that there had been a malfunction and the Corrigans were immediately escorted through the crowd, unnoticed by those who stood staring up at the trail of smoke. In 1996, I got to meet Mrs. Corrigan at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and she signed two of her books I had purchased for former teachers. Inside each one she wrote – “Thanking you for touching Darin’s life. Keep reaching for the stars.”

How different the scene was from the Challenger to the Twin Towers. As the second tower fell, I remembered how I loved sitting up inside the observation mall that had a 360 degree view. How magnificent that view was and to think that it was no more.

Later that afternoon of 9/11, while teaching a private lesson, there was a boom louder than anything I had ever heard. The walls of my townhouse shook, books shifted on cases, pictures moved, and my heart stopped. There had been rumors at school that Wright -Patterson Air Force Base was also a target and that was the first thing that came to mind. The student, parent and I immediately went outside, joined by other families from the townhouse community. The sky was so beautiful – a painful reminder of the sky about 700 miles away to the east. Later we learned the “boom” was a sonic boom! A sound I had only heard described by my grandparents.

That night, I drove to Brody and Sue McDonald’s for dinner. The gas station prices had shot up and the lines were streaking around the corners from every direction. Panic had set in. Kroger Supermarket lines were jammed and overflowing and I finally ran to a small convenience store down the street. I sat with Brody and Sue McDonald after dinner to watch President Bush address the nation. His words were disappointing and uneventful. How different were his bland words from those spoken by President Reagan in 1986 – they were comforting, commanding and poetic.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.

Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we’ve never lost an astronaut in flight; we’ve never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we’ve forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

[To] the families of the seven: we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we’re thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, “Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy.” They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We’ve grown used to wonders in this century. It’s hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We’ve grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we’ve only just begun. We’re still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.

I’ve always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don’t hide our space program. We don’t keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That’s the way freedom is, and we wouldn’t change it for a minute. We’ll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: ““Your dedication and professionalism have moved an impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it. ”

There’ s a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and an historian later said, ““He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it.” Well today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake’s, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

Happy Birthday to Aunt Norma, Aunt Joyce, Uncle Danny, Uncle Dick and Uncle Raymond!

Today is my great-aunt’s, Norma Barmes-Abbott, 76th birthday, and last week was my Uncle Danny’s birthday. Norma and Danny are Grandpa Leroy’s younger sister and brother. Then, Sunday is my other great-aunt’s, Joyce Clary-Riser, 72nd birthday – and she is my Grandma Donna’s sister (maternal side). The following day, July 25, is my great-great-uncle’s, Raymond Daughterty, 84th birthday. Uncle Dick, a younger brother to Raymond, celebrated his 77th birthday today.

I was fortunate to have a number of wonderful uncles and aunts, and a number of great-great uncles and aunts.

Grandpa Leroy had two sisters, Norma and Evelyn, and a much younger brother, Danny, who is a year older than my mother. Uncle Danny’s 61st birthday was last week and I completely forgot to send him a note! Aunt Evelyn, though loving and pleasant, was always quiet and very reserved, thus making it sometimes difficult in getting to know her. She passed away with cancer around 1994.


Aunt Norma – senior picture

I seemed to know Aunt Norma better, as she had children 12 to 6 years older than me. I use to stay all night with her family and always enjoyed my self. Aunt Norma, still holding on to her red hair, is an absolute riot, and still amazes me with her energy. Several years ago she learned how to use the computer and loves to send Email. I was so impressed that – in her early seventies – she tackled something from which many would shy away. Several years ago, on Christmas Eve, Aunt Norma’s only daughter, Tanya, was stricken with a fatal aneurysm. As my grandparents had in 1987, she tackled the devastating grief of losing a child and evolved into an even stronger, impressive and even wittier (if that was even possible) lady.


Grandma Donna with Aunt Joyce – approx. 1939

Aunt Joyce and my grandmother were a pair! Their father, Grandpa Garrett, was known for his familiar expression, “Those damned girls.” Grandma and Aunt Joyce were always up to the best practical jokes, and God knows this trait was in the family long before them, and has not strayed far from our current generation. Aunt Joyce had her daughters a little later in life, and my cousins, Kim and Debbie, both beautiful women today, are two and six years younger than me. They always seemed more like my first cousins rather than my mother’s first cousins. As children we spent so much time together. Both Kim and Debbie were in band, and Debbie went to Ball State. Kim lives in Florida and has two grown children, and Debbie, who lives in Alexandria, Indiana, has two younger children – and her daughter, like my nephew, Andrew, has acquired every ounce of orneriness that our gene pool can muster. Aunt Joyce is the same heighth Grandma was – 4′-11″. My boys loved the fact they tower over her. Aunt Joyce is so much like my grandmother and it gives my sons a chance to know what their great-grandmother must have been like.

Uncle Danny with my mother around 1950.

Uncle Danny is an absolute riot. He is the very spirit of his father, my great-grandfather, Virgil Barmes. Uncle Danny married Bonnie in the late 60’s, and they have three children, Dana, who lives in Lynn, Indiana with her husband, Chris, and two sons; Daniel Jason, who with his wife, Jamie, lives in or near Cicero with their son, and are expecting a new baby in August; and Dama, who lives with her husband, Jeff, near Lapel, was married October 2004. Because Uncle Danny is my mother’s age, he always seemed more like her brother than her uncle. Last Friday while I was digging through files on family birth records in Madison County, an eployee, while chatting, discovered he knew Uncle Danny – his father worked with him. “Man, you must have the sorest sides from laughing when you are around your Uncle Dan.”


Uncle Raymond & Aunt Betty – approx. 1940

Uncle Raymond is a younger brother to my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty-Barmes, and he is only three months older than my grandfather – his nephew. Uncle Raymond married one of the most delightful spirits I have ever known. Aunt Betty grew up and was good friends with my grandmother in Boone Township, Madison County, Indiana. Raymond and Betty were one of the first guests to visit my mother when she was born, and then in 1964, they and their son, Steve, were one of the first to visit me. July 25th, 2002, I met my son Matthew for the first time in San Antonio, Texas and decided that Uncle Raymond & Aunt Betty – now living in Houston – should be the first of my family to meet Matthew – thus completing three generations. Uncle Raymond and Aunt Betty are two of the dearest, kindest souls and I feel blessed that they too were part of the village who had a hand in molding me. Their son, Steve, went to Ball State and majored in communications, the same time David Letterman was there. Steve went on to a fantastic career in radio and television, even hosting his own week day television show. Faithfully, every morning – I woke up much earlier than needed – to watch my cousin.

Uncle Dick and his nephew, Jimmy Daugherty

Uncle Dick lived nearby in Alexandria and owned “Dor-tee’s Ice Cream Stand” – an Alexandria landmark. We use to drive over frequently to Alexandria to get ice cream. Uncle Dick married Anita Gaither, and they had Stan and Jill. Stan was my high school math teacher, and the basketball coach. I was not a very good math student but he showed me more about teaching – every student learns differently and you must be prepared with several routes for any new concept. Stan went on to Anderson College and then on to Goshen College where he is the basketball coach. Uncle Dick is so much like the Daugherty men – extremely kind and a genlte spirit. He has been experiencing some health issues recently and I hope he enjoyed a great birthday.

So this week, it is time to send out cards, make a few telephone calls and cherish the special folks in my family.

I went to bed to such cool breezes and woke to smothering humidity. Ugh!

I have one family for 90 minutes on Tuesdays, and this morning, the older brother, a former student now in college, returned to take the one slot belonging to his younger sister who is in Italy and Greece this week. Joey is performing at his uncle’s wedding this September and needed some brush up work. It was so great having him back in the studio – he has the neatest personality and although he has not studied with me for three years, it was as though he never left. After their lessons, I sat and talked with Mrs. Taylor for the longest time. I always try to reserve time at the end of their lessons so we can talk. She and I, as several other parents, see eye to eye on so many aspects of family life. I know our children sometimes grumble when we share ideas, but I truly respect Robin (and other parents) for her experience and success in raising her own children.

Learning about raising children has become a fascinating journey. I love learning, and as a parent I find that I need to learn more. Just when I think I have tackled one aspect in raising my sons, something else crops up. Of course, I have been blessed with my sons, Matt and Jose, but I continue to raise the bar. There are times when I know I have succeeded, and there are those moments when I know I need to readdress issues.

The boys and I went to dinner, as we generally do on Tuesdays, and then to the downtown library for videos and DVD’s. Later, I drove to Wal-Mart to get a pair of reading glasses (yes, I am 40 and looking the part!). I guess now I have to learn more about growing older with grace and style!

Just a mundane Monday. I was hoping to get the boys to the pool but there was a threat of afternoon thunderstorms and I did not want the boys caught at the pool while I was teaching. I taught in the morning, worked through my early afternoon break, and then resumed teaching from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Monday is spaghetti night so we can cook, eat and clean up fast. Afterwards, we go grocery shopping and then drive around a variety of locations as we return home. I love those times with the boys.

Once we returned home the rain broke loose and the night air became refreshingly cool. It poured quite some time and just kept the cool breezes flowing throughout the house.

I received a new book, The Musical Theatre Writer’s Survival Guide by David Spencer. What a great tool! Mr. Spencer has provided a wonderful book to assist those of us – both beginners and old timers – a super resource. I have been directing professionally since 1984 and I still try to learn as much as I can. This is a lively and insightful book about the art, politics, and business of making musical theatre and as such, it’s a handbook no one seriously interested in musical theatre should be without.

We just returned home from a wonderful Hoosier weekend.

Sunday morning, Mother and I talked alot, had a cookout with Dena and the boys, talked some more, put in Mother’s screens, napped and then left Elwood around 6:00pm. We drove down to Hope so I could scope out the area for the family reunion in a few weeks. While at the cemetery, Flyer got into something – either droppings from a previous animal or a dead animal. We drove to a gas station where I purchased two gallons of water – and used my shamppo to give her a quick bath.

After we left Hope we cut across country and drove through Hartsville where there had been one of the first co-educational colleges in the country in 1850. The Wright Brothers’ parents met at this college.

We arrived home around 10:30pm – the boys unpacked the car and are now giving Flyer a real bath. Hopefully I will be settled into bed by 1:00am so I can get a solid five hours of sleep.

We had been looking to an afternoon by the pool with Dr. Carter and AJ Hunter for almost a week and the weather cooperated slightly. Dr. Carter is the director of the Ball State Singers and is just a truly remarkable spirit. My boys officially met AJ Hunter, one of the Singers, this afternoon, but AJ has been a household favorite since April. We attended Spectacular 2005 @ Emens Auditorium on Ball State’s campus and as we entered, there were various lamenated stars on the sidewalk, each containing the name of a Singer. As we left Emens, there were two stars remaining – one belonging to a Matt, and the other AJ. My son, Matt, picked up the one belonging to Matt, and Jose, whose initials are JA, picked up AJ’s.


AJ Hunter – Ball State University Singers

Within a few weeks, AJ and I had become correspondents and AIMer’s. He took the time to write a thank you note to my sons – which I dearly appreciated a college student doing. Since then, he has achieved “star status” in our home and to the boys he was one of those heroes I had when I sat in the audience as a child watching the BSU Singers. The more we get to know one another, the more we find we have in common or so many things which are nearly identical – all twenty years apart. AJ is an outstanding young man and unlike so many his age, he understands what it means to be a performer – it goes way beyond the bow!

I attended a cookout at Jan & Rod Richard’s the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend and Dr. Carter, AJ and Corby York (a former drum-major, current BSU Singer from my hometown). When I mentioned my boys were disappointed they could not see AJ, Dr. Carter said, “AJ, we’re going to Dayton one weekend this summer to see Matt and Jose.” I was so touched that he would say that – and then follow through. We selected this weekend, but with AJ’s work schedule and the Air Show here in Dayton, it was going to be logistically difficult. So, I chose that weekend as our weekend back home and Dr. Carter immediately set into action a wonderful afternoon and evening. Despite the weather, it was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable days I have had in so long.


Dr. Jeffrey Carter, Ball State University

FRIDAY
We arrived in Indiana around 9am and I went to work at the Madison County records office attempting to retrieve family records. While there I met a Mr. Brizendine whose son works with Mother at the Elwood Police Department. The strange thing is Mother and I had only been discussing the Brizendine family an hour or so before. A worker in the records’ department over heard some of the conversation and discovered his father worked with my uncle, Danny Barmes. Afterwards, I spoke on the telephone with my grandmother’s sister, Aunt Joyce, about a particular cemetery where my third great-grandfather is buried. She thought she had given me the wrong directions and drove out to take down names and dates – however, she joined us. It was so good to see her.

My sister and I took the four boys out to Mr. Happy Burger in Elwood. If you have never been there – go! The hamburger joint was opened in 1964, and is currently operate by a classmate whose parents opened it. Great food!!! That night Mother, Dena, all the boys and I went to Muncie for a Chinese dinner. After Mother went to bed I began working on completing a huge chunk of editing and at 3:00am I was finished. Now SATURDAYI slept from 3:30-7:30am, and then hurried off to my sister’s for breakfast with my great aunt and uncle, Norma & Jack.

Mother and I ran out to the cemetery to check on Grandpa’s military marker and then the boys and I left for Muncie. Sunshine trailed behind us as we left Elwood, but we seemed to join the rain en route.

Dr. Carter lives where some college friends lived and it was neat to go back to the complex. The first thing I noticed was his huge book case with tons of books – several of which I have in my own collection. We sat and talked for several hours, waiting for the sun to reappear – and when we did go to the pool at one shiny break – the pool was closed. We decided on a movie and headed to see War Of The Worlds. It was awesome. Before the show began, Jose and AJ asked to sit together! It was a hoot!

After the movie we ate dinner – wow! A Mexican dish Dr. Carter’s mother had written down for him – and one we will be adding to our list here at home. The pool was open and we sat by the pool while Jose swam. Aj and Matt joined Jose at the pool’s edge and Dr. Carter and sat and chatted while laughing at Jose’s antics. The highlight for the boys was when AJ gave them two of his old Singers’ hoodies!

We finished off the evening with desert and Act One of this year’s Spectacular. What a wonderful evening it was. It was just what I needed and I feel so refreshed, ready to dig back into work again. As I was driving back to Elwood I realized the boys had falled asleep. I looked in the back and Jose, wearing his new BSU Singers’ hoodie (with the hood up), was curled in the corner. He had spent the day with AJ and was now wearing AJ’s hoodie – life is good!

Experience aboard a tall ship inspires a vision that transcends into motivation that has the power to overcome ALL barriers.

People who have a vision control their destiny and lifestyle. For people without a vision, their destiny and lifestyle is controlled by others.

Today’s teenagers are being academically stuffed while being motivationally starved.

Priorities
There are three priorities, CHEAP, QUICK and GOOD. You can have any two.
A good job quick — won’t be cheap.
A quick job cheap — won’t be good.
A good job cheap — won’t be quick.
Note: A single priority increases efficiency. At the other end, if all three elements have equal priority the results are reversed, low quality, high cost, and difficult to finish. This is the result of rotating priorities, which means, no one knows what the goal is. Priority of the moment depends on current mood.

What is Your Leadership Style?
High Efficiency
Do it.
Do it then tell me what you did.
Tell me what you are going to do and do it.
Tell me what you want to do and wait for a decision.
Don’t do anything without my approval.
Don’t do anything until I tell you.
Low Efficiency

“Leadership is constantly changing, and survivors learn to change with it.”

“Yesterday, natural resources defined power. Today, knowledge is power. Yesterday, leaders commanded and controlled. Today, leaders empower and coach. Yesterday, leaders were warriors. Today, they are facilitators. Yesterday, managers directed. Today, managers delegate. Yesterday, supervisors flourished. Today, supervisors vanish.” — Dr. Denis Waitley, The Toastmaster, December 2000.

Seven Rules of Motivation
#1 Set a major goal, but follow a path. The path has mini goals that go in many directions. When you learn to succeed at mini goals, you will be motivated to challenge grand goals.
#2 Finish what you start. A half finished project is of no use to anyone. Quitting is a habit. Develop the habit of finishing self-motivated projects.
#3 Socialize with others of similar interest. Mutual support is motivating. We will develop the attitudes of our five best friends. If they are losers, we will be a looser. If they are winners, we will be a winner. To be a cowboy we must associate with cowboys.
#4 Learn how to learn. Dependency on others for knowledge is a slow, time consuming processes. Man has the ability to learn without instructors. In fact, when we learn the art of self-education we will find, if not create, opportunity to find success beyond our wildest dreams.
#5 Harmonize natural talent with interest that motivates. Natural talent creates motivation, motivation creates persistence and persistence gets the job done.
#6 Increase knowledge of subjects that inspires. The more we know about a subject, the more we want to learn about it. A self-propelled upward spiral develops.
#7 Take risk. Failure and bouncing back are elements of motivation. Failure is a learning tool. No one has ever succeeded at anything worthwhile without a string of failures.

Another damp day here in the Miami Valley.

One of my students, Zach, is coming over for a make-up lesson and bringing his brother, Caleb. Zach is a year younger than my son, Matt, and will be a freshman this year at Fairmont. Zach and Matt have always hit it off and have been in choir, and now show choir together. Jose and Caleb are in the same grade and same pod at Van Buren Middle School. They began great friends and have been to basketball and church camp together this summer. Jose thinks Caleb is about the best there is. Of course, Zach and Caleb have had great parenting. Scott and Amanda are super parents and I observe them closely for ideas. When it comes to the foundation of raising children, we are on the same page!

There is a chance the weather will clear up and we will have a respite of sunshine – something we have sorely missed the past few days.

Took Jose, Zach and Caleb to the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center in West Dayton so they could get a glimpse of the Wright Brothers neighborhood and enjoy some things in the museum/interpretive center. Then we drove over to Woodland Cemetery to see the Wright Family burial site. Delivered the boys home and talked with Amanda Berlon for a while while Jose and Caleb played with the soccer ball and frisbees. Jose is on cloud nine when he gets to do those things. I am debating whether to leave for Indiana this evening or wait until the morning. If we stay here tonight I will be able to accomplish more work – in Indiana I would talk to Mother and my sister more.

Yesterday was just a typical day of teaching and dinner out with some friends afterwards. Came home and worked on the musical and while searching some Wright Brothers items on the internet, I discovered all these new musicals on the Wright Brothers, 95% devoted to children and/or schools. The ones who are full-blown musicals all deal with their lives before Kitty Hawk and up to the first flight in 1903.


Flyer, the Musical is one of the new musicals still in the workshop stage. The website is pretty cool. The ASCAP workshop version was directed by Broadway’s very own Stephen Schwartz (composer of Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, Children Of Eden)

Learn more about this musical at: http://www.flyerthemusical.com

We have rain or thunderstorms on the agenda for the next few days. The weather is dreary and damp. Hurricane Dennis is making his presence known here in Ohio. We are heading home to Indiana for a long weekend. I want to finish up some loose ends on the family genealogy, and then Saturday, the boys and I are spending the afternoon as guests of Jeffrey Carter, the BSU Singers director. We are looking forward to the weekend.

The following weekend is filled with some events with friends and then a wedding. Matt’s 16th birthday is the 28th and I need to plan something for that, as well as tie up loose ends on the family reunion August 6th.

I hope everyone else is enjoying this wet, rainy, dreary Wednesday!

For my summer schedule, Mondays and Tuesdays are my longest days of teaching. I have a morning session from 9:00am until noon, then the afternoon session from 3:00pm until 7:00pm. Wednesdys I have four students in the morning, and then three in the afternoon – done by 5:00pm. Thursdays and Fridays I always reserve for extra writing and family time. With this schedule I am allowed semi-four-day-weekends.

I got so much accomplished on the Wright Brothers musical this weekend, and even yesterday. I am doing more editing and then will probably have more chunks to revise. At this time, the lyricist and composer are doing their thing. Our deadline is now August 15, and we are hoping to have a lunch on the terrace of Hawthorn Hill, the home of Orville Wright, and his sister, Katharine, on August 19 – the birthdays of Orville and Katharine Wright, and National Aviation Day.

Hawthorn Hill is in Oakwood, around the corner from where I live in Kettering. It was designed, in part by the Wright Brothers and Katharine, and finished by a local firm. Unfortunately, Wilbur died in 1912 and never got to live in the house. The family moved into Hawthorn Hill in April 1914. The Wrights originally purchased 17 acres but most of the land was sold off after Orville’s death. It was sold to NCR upon Orville’s death in 1948.

I have been in it a few times and it is gorgeous. I often drive by, or walk up to sit on the terrace. It is a very beautiful and peaceful setting.

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

“How old are you?” “I’m four and a half!” You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key.

You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

“How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16!” You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; “I Was JUST 92.”

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 100 and a half!” May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay “them “

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets,
keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,
improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9 Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next
county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

And if you don’t send this to at least 8 people – who cares?

But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day

A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do.  – Lois Wyse

For the past several years my mother has been a grandmother – and what a wonderful grandmother she is. I love watching her with my nephews, Parker, 6, and Freddie, 4, and niece, Carolyne, almost 2, and especially with my own sons who are older.  No matter the grandchild she is with, it is neat to see Mother with her “Grandma Smile” on.

Like my sons, nephews, and niece, I was blessed with a wonderful grandmother. I don’t think there was a kinder, wittier and more involved grandmother who lived. Of course, I have to be careful as my mother is so much like her own mother in the grandma department. When I was born in September 1964, I had young and unused grandparents – Grandma Donna was 40 and Grandpa Leroy almost 43. My uncles, Ron and Tom, were 12 and 10 years older than me. In many respects, it was like having second parents and older brothers who lived around the corner from where I grew up.

I think I got my sense of humor from my grandmother (and grandfather), and my love for practical jokes (which has been a family standard for several generations!).  As a child I spent a great deal of time with Grandma Donna while Mother worked at Dr. Wirth’s office. We would bake (something I still cannot do well) in her kitchen and she would tell me the family stories and our history. In warm weather she would ride me on her bike out to watch the high school Panther Band practice their Indiana State Fair competition show. We also spent a good deal of time with her parents, Grandpa Garrett and Grandma Belle. Grandma Belle was like an older version of Grandma Donna, and from all I gathered, Grandma Donna’s grandmother, Grandma Jones, was not any different.

My mother comes from a long line of wonderful grandmothers who have a special place in the hearts of their grandchildren.

When I was in the 7th grade, we learned that my grandmother had chronic lymphatic leukemia. I was apprehensive at first but soon came around after Grandma, during a visit to the family cemetery, laid down behind her pre-planned head stone and asked, “Do you think I will fit?” After that, I learned how to incorporate humor into any of life’s darker moments.

Grandma Donna (and Grandpa Leroy) never missed any of my minor/little league baseball games, parades, band contests, the junior high/high school concerts, the Elwood Variety Show, Ball State football games, Ball State Singer Spectaculars, BSU Chamber and Concert Choir concerts… like Mother, they were there for everything. Each time I left for overseas with a Ball State ensemble, they were there at the loading dock to wave us off.

The Spring of 1992, Grandma seemed to battle one infection after another. One morning in June, she completed crocheting me an afghan for Christmas.  That night at the dinner table, she collapsed and was hospitalized. We soon discovered she had cancer of the colon (or liver) and would not recover. For those two weeks we surrounded her bed with funny family stories and other general talk as though she was wide awake and conversing with us. Mother had the horrible decision to make, and on Saturday morning, June 27th, we gathered around her bed one last time. The life support was removed and we stood for several hours – but her heart continued to beat. Finally, it was recommended that the ventilator be removed. The pulse began a gradual descent. Everyone said their farewells. I was the last. I leaned over and whispered, “I’ll see you later… my first Tony Award is for you. I love you.” Then, while kissing her forehead and holding her hand, I heard my cousin Debbie cry, “She’s gone.”

In so many ways, it was a beautiful moment. That minute transition between life and the life beyond is filled with so much mystery, yet so much natural beauty. Saying “goodbye” to my grandmother was probably the most difficult farewell I have endured. The sad thing for me today is that Grandma Donna is not physically present for my sons, my nephews, and my niece to know personally.  But, I honestly believe there is a part of Grandma Donna in each of them, just as she is in my brother, Destin, and I, and our mother.

Wherever you are tonight, Grandma… thank you! And I haven’t forgotten my last promise!

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Saturday morning I rose and immediately began working on the editing of the Wright Brothers’ musical. To my horror, I discovered I had made an error in a particular area of research. I could not allow it to slip through and spent the better part of the day trying to fix it. The boys entertained themselves with basketball, bikes and a video until I could stand it no longer. I packed up my writing material and took the boys to the pool. I swam with the boys for an hour and then returned to editing for another two hours. We ate dinner and shopped, and returned home to some ping pong and a television. I returned to my study and worked until 2:00am.

I woke promptly at 6:00am and could not return to sleep. Flyer always seems to sense when it is Sunday and therefore, was laying at my side with her head on my chest, tail beating a steady thump and staring at me with her beautiful blue eyes. I rose and walked her three blocks to get the Sunday paper. She is so great with her commands – especially while waiting on the stop light. I worked on the musical while catching glimpses of To Meet The Press and George Stephonapolous’ morning show. The boys played basketball with a friend, rode bikes and did whatever teenage boys do while Dad is slaving away on a musical theatre project. We ate dinner and went to the pool which was rented for the evening by a church where our good friends go. It was a blast. Jose spent a good deal of time with school friends, and Matt was like a large turtle with all these children hanging on him.

The weekend is over and I am not finished with my editing. I should be finishing it now, but I am practically brain dead. I teach this week, Monday through Thursday. I wanted to head to Indiana Wednesday evening after teaching, but we had free tickets to the outdoor drama, Blue Jacket. My friend, Jeff Mohlman, wanted to go with us, but Thursday night was his only available night. Since I do not like to miss an opportunity to spend time with Jeff, I opted to leave a day later. I have a ton of genealogy work to complete on Friday, so my sons will get to spend time with Aunt Dena and the boys until Grandma gets off work.

This August, my mother’s family, the Barmes side, will have its first full out reunion in over 40 years. Last year, following my grandfather’s death, I realized that our family had been in the United States for 170 years. They imigrated from Bavaria and settled in Hope, Indiana. My 4th-great-grandfather, John Philip Barmes, brought his eight children to Indiana, along with his wife’s father. Technically, there are nine generations of our line of the Barmes family if you include the John’s father-in-law.


My great-great-great grandfather, Frederick Delmar Barmes, in his Union Soldier uniform.


Fredrick Barmes with his twin brother, Charles.

I decided that it was time to have a family reunion and made all the arrangements. The minister from the Hope Moravian Church, where our first four generations are buried, has agreed to lead us in a brief service of thanksgiving. Afterwards, we will lay a wreathe on the grave of John Philip Barmes, and those of my 3rd and 2nd great-grandfathers, Fredrick and Jesse. Then, on to the town square for the reunion.

I have a ton of work to do in the mean time – as I want this to be a special day for all my relatives, both near and distant. I hope they will each leave Hope, Indiana with a sense of pride for the 171 years our family has been a part of this country.


Fredrick’s children: Eldie, Elsie and Jesse, my 2rd great-grandfather


Jesse’s wife, Emma and their children: Virgil (my great-grandfather), Florence and Emerson.


My great-grandparents, Thelma Daugherty-Barmes and Virgil Barmes. This is my favorite photo as she was telling him to pull his hands from his pocket just as the camera flashed.

Thursday afternoon my sister, Dena, 32, and her two sons, Jonathan, 7, and Andrew, 6, arrived to spend a few days with us. I always enjoy being with my nephews, who, like many of my former students, were the extra nudge for me to adopt. Dena is a truly good mother and I am proud of how she has dealt with certain issues.

Jonathan Garrett was named after our great-grandfather, John William Garrett Clary, a darling little Irishman who spent his entire life in Madison County (1898-1997). My great-grandfather, at the age of 6, had attended the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, and heard rumors that two men from Dayton, Ohio had flown an “air machine.” When I was 6, I sat on my great-grandfather’s lap as we watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Today, I often see Admiral Armstrong strolling along the sidewalks of Lebanon, a nearby community or at Wright Brothers festivities. He is still one of my childhood heroes.

Jonathan is precious. He was such a brilliant little ray of sunshine. At age two he received his boosters and thus began a frustrating few years of watching him wrestle behind a shield that appeared to be autism. The specialists eventually ruled out autism and said he was delayed. Truly, the child had suffered at the hands of the innoculation, as so many others have. Thanks to Dena, Jonathan has grown leaps and bounds in his academic and social skills. He is probably around the age of four, but such a sweetheart.

And then there is Andrew. Andrew received two middle names: Andrew Langlee Barmes – Barmes after our maternal grandfather, and Langlee after his two uncles’ middle names – Darin Lee and Destin Lang. Andrew is solid reason to believe in genetics, as this boy crawled right out of the gene pool. Andrew is intelligent beyond his years, wittier than most teenagers, gifted in athletics and mimicry, and full of piss and vinegar. The antics of our great-grandfather and grandfather are ever present in this little red-headed Dennis The Menace who thinks God’s name is “Howard” (“Our Father who art in heaven, Howard be thy name…”).

Thursday they arrived and we went shopping, came home to grill out, and took off for Young’s Dairy where the boys could feed the goats and we could all eat ice cream. We drove around the countryside for a while and then, back at home, Dena and I talked while the boys played. There was an attempt for the boys to sleep out on the deck yet our brave boys were all back inside by morning’s arrival.

Friday we had a leisurely morning. I tend to add flavor to our pancakes which my boys like. I added mint, which was NOT popular, especially with Jonathan who cringed and said, “I don’t like this.” We spent several hours at the park while the boys played together, and then after some more shopping, we hit the Kettering Rec Center pool which is awesome. My sons and nephews had a blast cheering me on as I demonstrated my ability to dive from the springboard with ease.

Dena and the boys left around 11:00pm this evening. Jonathan has his last game Saturday morning, and Dena preferred to drive home at night rather than early in the morning.

All in all, it was a wonderful few days of watching my sons and nephews spend time together, and catching up with my sister.

Inside the veterinary office, Flyer, my new puppy, quickly sensed we were on a different mission and began a tug-o-war session. I greeted the receptionist with our names.

“You said her name is ‘Flyer?’ Did you go to the University of Dayton?” the receptionist inquired.

“I got her as I was beginning to write my musical on the Wright Brothers. She didn’t look like Orville and had too much hair to be called Wilbur.” I joked, lamely.

The receptionist chuckled. “Oh, aren’t you the guy who brought your cat in for…”

“Yes.” I politely interrupted. “I am that guy.”

In the examining room the new vet on the staff introduced himself. “Say, are you the guy who brought his cat in…?” I nodded. “What a great story! How embarrassing.” With that he turned his attention to Flyer.

Little did he know that I was so accustomed to these episodes in my life that I seldom, if ever, got embarrassed, especially after that one summer morning when my six- month old cat woke me with an incredible screech. I hurdled myself over sheets and bounded into the hall to find her half-crawling down the hallway, dragging her backside and crying out in agony. I threw on my clothes and a ball cap, and carefully wrapped her up in a bath towel. The entire time in the car, I held her snuggly in the towel, trying to comfort her from what ever had fallen and crushed her backside.

Fortunately the veterinary office was open to accept pets scheduled for surgery. I ran in-side, carefully arranging Logan on the front counter.

“Something fell and crushed her back legs.”

The two sympathetic attendants began examining Logan as I filled out an appointment card. Within seconds Logan began her shrill, excruciating cry and the awkward crawl.

“I’m sorry, but there is not much we can do for her at the moment.”
The tears started down my cheek. In two months I had become so attached to this darling little tabby who, despite warnings from friends that a cat would never walk on a leash, go for bike rides in my back pack, ride in the car or learn the standard tricks of a dog. Logan could do it all, and more. I got her eight years before I adopted my first son and she was my first real living thing for which I was responsible. And now I had failed to protect her… Logan was dying. I wiped away my tears and asked the vet’s assistant what our next step should be. Put her down?

“Oh, no!” Both ladies burst into awkward laughter. How rude and insensitive! Realizing I did not grasp the moment, she placed her hand on my arm. “Logan’s in heat.”

I managed a smile, gathered up my furry daughter and walked out of the office with all the dignity I could muster.

“Well, Flyer is a healthy, sweet little thing,” said the vet as he played with Flyer, “and what a personality. Do you have any questions before I give her the first set of puppy shots?”

“Hmmm… well, the only thing that really concerns me is that when she urinates she doesn’t hike her leg.”

I saw the doctor’s lower teeth slowly rise to grab hold of his upper lip as his body began shaking. Without looking at me he playfully told Flyer, “Your daddy needs to learn about girls.”

I’d rather be the ship that sails,
And rides the billows wild and free;
Than to be the ship that always fails
To leave its port and go to sea.

I’d rather feel the sting strife,
Where gales are born and tempests roar;
Than to settle down to useless life
And rot in dry dock on the shore.

I’d rather fight some mighty wave
With honor in supreme command;
And fill at last a well-earned grave,
Than die in ease upon the sand.

I’d rather drive where sea-storms blow,
And be the ship that always failed
To make the ports where it would go
Than be the ship that never sailed.

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
~ Winston Churchill

Every heart that has beat strongly and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Enthusiasm is the best protection in any situation. Wholeheartedness is contagious.
Give yourself, if you wish to get others.
~ David Seabury

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
~ Aristotle

Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first be overcome.
~ Samuel Johnson

Every heart that has beat strongly and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

There is no such thing as a great talent without great will-power.
~ Honore de Balzac


Two of my most favorite figures in American history are John & Abigail Adams, parents of the American Revolution. If you have a chance, read two great works on this fascinating, courageous couple: Irving Stone’s Those Who Love (Abigail Adams)and David McCullough’s John Adams.

In the musical 1776, I was introduced to one of the most amazing quotes, written in a letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 1775:

“There are only two creatures of any value on this earth. Those with commitment, and those who require commitment from others.”

I walked into Border’s Books & Music by the Dayton Mall as I had many times before. With barely a look as to where I was heading I walked directly to the rock music section, straight to the CD’s alphabetized under “G.” After scouring the section and looking around to see if my objective was possibly in another section, I boldly walked to the service counter, feeling as though I had either conquered new territory or was now a traitor to my fell broth-ers in the mystical men’s fraternity. A thirty seven year old man was actually asking for as-sistance! How many roads had I traveled over the years, miles away from my destination, but ever so determined to find it without stopping to ask for directions? How many aisles of the supermarket had I trod on an exhaustive search for an item, only to be redirected back to the area I had already combed? Not only was I about to launch my life into an entirely new direction as a father, but I was straying from my male heritage as well.

I offered my request to the associate. Her brow furrowed and she bit her lip. “Let me check. I have never heard of this group.” Her fingers tapped out a name on her computer keyboard and she began scrolling down a list. I opened the printed list sent me by my future son’s caseworker. He seemed to like most things you would expect of a twelve-year-old boy. In fact, he reminded me of my middle school students and what I had heard them discuss about what they do for fun.

She continued to scroll as I began looking around the department at the various posters. Since I taught choir and general music to middle school students, I was feeling pretty hip. I was up to date on all the slang terms so that I did not use one incorrectly (nothing is more embarrassing than to receive notes in your mailbox from colleagues – “Did you really say that in class?”). My “History Of Rock & Roll” unit was popular throughout the district and it was the thing all incoming 6th graders asked about the most.

“No, Sir, I do not see this group. Are you sure that is the name of the band?” she asked while still scrolling down the screen.

I double-checked the list. “Yes,” I nodded confidently. I figured the caseworker would have known what she was talking about having dealt with so many foster and adoptive chil-dren.

“Could it be a name of a song they perform?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Could I see it on your list? Maybe I am spelling it wrong.”

“How could you spell it incorrectly?” I wondered to my self, handing her the list.

The associate’s face reddened a bit and a smirk began to spread across her face. Her once furrowed brow relaxed to reveal a twinkling glimmer and the lip she had been biting during her search had broadened into a grin.

“Sir,” she chuckled, “this is an electronic hand held game, not a boy band. Game Boys are pretty popular these days.”

Having once asked a student in a general music class if he had a new family in his neighborhood because he mentioned “The New Kids On The Block,” I took this new infor-mation in stride.

I walked out of Border’s with newfound confidence. “I am a father!” I quietly exclaimed to myself. “I am as clueless as my own dad!”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost

The Jolliffe~Haas family code of conduct:

We, the family members of Jolliffe-Haas,
demonstrate love, compassion and understanding to our fellow travelers of this world.

We recognize, respect and rejoice in the Creative Spirit
and acknowledge and utilize our individual and collective Angel Teams.

We believe that each day provides us the opportunity to always work hard… bask in learning new things… strengthen initiative… love our work and our world… be precise… have the spirit of conquest… cultivate personality… help and share with others… be democratic… in all things do our best… and never stop dreaming, or believing in ourselves. And, we vow to always BE THE MIRACLE!

Leadership
A true leader guides & allows other to lead… a true leader does not order but encourage.

Perseverance
Never, ever give up on anything!

Confidence
“I can accomplish any thing!”

Compassion
I demonstrate kindness and a loving attitude to all walks of life.

Respect
I respect myself, others’ opinions and choices, and the property of others.

Conflict Resolution
I will work through inner conflicts and conflicts with others for a positive result.

Vision
I will dream my own dreams, follow my own path, and always recognize the power
that is within me and my fellow travelers.

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