Friday, November 20, 2015

A Whirlwind Week

The past week seems to have flown by!  Last weekend we were in Baltimore because I had a NOAH board meeting.  Though it was a quick trip and I had little free time, I enjoyed the getaway and change of scenery.  Weber and I did have a bit of time to wander around Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Friday afternoon before my meeting began at 6.

It was interesting to see another lightship.  My dad was instrumental in restoring a similar one, The Overfalls, in Lewes, DE.

We didn't have time to do the on board tours of the Chesapeake or any of the other boats in the harbor. That will have to wait until our next trip to Baltimore.

U.S.S Constellation, constructed in 1854

Below is a seriously blown-out image of the Constellation.  I forget to check my camera settings before I shot the image.  It is so "not right", but there is something kind of magical about it that I like. Don't ask me why.

We had a nice lunch at an Irish pub overlooking the harbor.

After lunch and a little bit of shopping, where Weber got a new hat, we headed back to the hotel to rest a little before my meeting began.

The Friday night meeting only lasted about two hours.  It was during that time that the horrific events in Paris took place.  We emerged from the board room to see the chaos unfolding on every TV in the hotel.

While we were touring the city in the afternoon, we passed by the World Trade Center in Baltimore.  In front was a piece of mangled steel, a remnant of the devastation from the terrorist attack on the The World Trade Center in New York.

I had no idea when I took this photo that in only hours terrorists would again strike in one of the world's major cities.  We flew home early Sunday morning.  The security lines were long and slow at the airport and there seemed to be more TSA agents than usual.  I suppose this could have been my imagination or perhaps a coincidence.

Despite the uneasiness in the world, Monday morning came and we routinely started our school week like every other one this semester.  When I got to school, however, my students were not interested in analyzing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata or writing four-part chorales; they wanted to talk about what was going on in the world.  My job is to educate; sometimes that means setting aside my own lesson plans and "teaching" something different, something that would never be included on any course syllabus. I can answer the students' questions about what chords Beethoven is using, or how to avoid parallel fifths in part writing, but I cannot answer, "Why did this happen in Paris?" or, "Do you think we are on the verge of a Third World War?"  I don't know.  For the duration of that discussion, my students and I were on equal ground, no teacher and students, only people waiting, wondering, and praying about what the future holds.

All week long, the flags on campus that flew at half mast were a constant reminder that we are a grieving world.

On a different note, here is a twirl and haiku from this week...

"The Kiss"

Carefully chosen
To express the hidden me
Words and images.

The cat has decided that the puppy is no threat to her.  Honestly, Piper has absolutely no interest in Frankie.  Though Frankie will never admit it, I think that hurts her feelings a little bit.  With all of the unrest in the world, it is comforting to have peace at home!

Little, dog, big dog, medium dog, and cat happily co-existing!

And the week ended with me making pumpkin butter, a sign that the holidays are fast approaching as pumpkin butter is one of those things that I seem to only make around this time of year.  For the recipe, visit

Despite all of the ugliness in the world right now, there still exist many reasons to be thankful.  This week I am thankful for safe travels, caring students, loving family and friends, my four-legged furry family members, a forgiving heart, time to make pumpkin butter, and hope.