1. MOM UPDATE: Mom returned home to Kellogg today after an overnight stay in the Post Falls hospital. I called her and she talked almost non-stop for about a half an hour about the surgery, how happy she is with the care she received at the hospital, the private life of her male nurse, and then veered off into family news and her hopes of borrowing a wheelchair and attending the Easter Cantata on Sunday. Almost the only things I said were, "Right" and "Yes" at key times, letting her know I was on the other end of the call listening. Her nearly non-stop talking was a good sign to me that she is in good spirits, not in much pain, and, above all, came out of the surgery not only put back together, but with her mind sharp and active.
2. I think one of the reasons I find it difficult to call myself a photographer is that I don't have the devotion and discipline many photographers have. I read time and time again that what a photographer needs to do is always carry a camera. I often, on purpose, don't carry a camera because there are times I don't want to see the things around me in terms of pictures and don't want to interrupt a walk or my contemplations by taking a picture. Today I visited the National Park that sits right on the edge of Greenbelt -- Greenbelt Park. It's kind of astonishing to have this wooded area with creeks and wild flowers sitting right between the Washingon-Baltimore Parkway, the cars zooming on Greenbelt Road and so close to the Captial Beltway. I walked the Dogwood Trail and didn't bring my camera -- and, I have to admit, I regretted my decision a bit when about 200 yards into my hike, two white-tailed deer walked about 200 feet in front of me, stopped and stared, and practically begged me to take their portrait.
3. This evening the Deke told me about the aftermath of today's Honor Roll Assembly at her school. Once back in the classroom, several kids were crying, either because they hadn't received achievement certificates or only received one (out of a possible three). The Deke sat them down on the classroom carpet. This is what they do in her class when it's time to have a talk. She invited them to talk about the assembly and why some children were crying and why others were so happy. In other words, they took a break from test preparation and testing and talked. The Deke asked her students why so many of them enjoyed knitting with her when no one got a certificate for that. She had random students stand up and the children talked about what each of these students could be rewarded for (she is nice, she gets her homework in on time) that wasn't rewarded at the assembly. The Deke will never get these children to be quiet in class and they will continue to exhaust her, but then things like this happen when the Deke gives the children a way to be real, and it's inspiring to hear her talk about her work as a teacher. She just never gives up.