The Muse and the Critic

One of the biggest reasons that a writer gets writer’s block is because what he or she is doing seems more like work than it does like play. Playing brings out the creativeness that we have within us. The mental critic that each of us has needs to be made to realize that during the creative process, he or she (mine is a he) doesn’t have a say. However, there does come a time when he can come out and work, throwing away the mess that the muse has created and sanding and painting and detailing the work that the muse had started.

Entertaining my muse is just going with the flow. What happen, happens.

Entertaining my muse is just going with the flow. What happen, happens.

This picture that I have of this interplay between the muse and the critic would make a good hub. The muse is a child who is playing. A muse can be male or female. My muse is female. She likes to make messes. She likes to play and create problems. She plays with abandon. She throws things together and mixed things together that have never been mixed before. She likes to cut with scissors and ball up paper and splash on paint willy-nilly.  She likes to look at something that seems ordinary and makes it look special. She takes the block of wood and turns it into a work of art. She likes to take thread and create tapestry. She likes to slap on the paint and calls it art.

My internal critic cleans up what the muse's play has messed up. Without the muse however, there's nothing there for the critic to clean up and detail

My internal critic cleans up what the muse’s play has messed up. Without the muse however, there’s nothing there for the critic to clean up and detail

When the muse is done making the mess, it is up to the critic to clean it up. The critic is an adult, but he does best if he does not try to appear to be a parent. Parents can be dictatorial, and our muse does not need someone standing over her shoulder, but she does need the critic to turn his or her rough creation into a work of art. The critic cleans up the mess that the muse has created. My critic is male. The critic reshapes the muses work. He smooths the rough edges and perfects the haphazard painting that the muse has playfully created. He then works on the detailing, crafting the art, perfecting it until the masterpiece is complete.

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The Ghost of My Christmas Future

The Christmas tree is now lonely without all the gifts around it to keep it company.

The Christmas tree is now lonely without all the gifts around it to keep it company.

Christmas was a day late at our house. Well, actually, it wasn’t, we just celebrated it a day later than everyone else. My husband is a truck driver and the load that he was supposed to get so he could make it back by Christmas was canceled. They had to get a load for him at the last minute which meant he ended up coming home over a day later than we had anticipated. I have learned that “you have to row with the flow” when you’re married to a truck driver.

Because we decided to postpone the regular festivities, on Christmas Day, my daughter and I went to see the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty I enjoyed it. I remember having read the short story when I was in middle school. I remember enjoying this James Thurber work although many other students I am certain found it less interesting. As a writer, I also have a secret life, a life where I vicariously live through characters who are of my own creation but who seem to take on a life of their own. The movie, like the book, was thought-provoking, and I think that Ben Stiller did an excellent job bringing the character to life in a unique way.

Yesterday we opened our Christmas gifts, one of mine was a writing tray which I am currently using to support my laptop on my lap as a write. I then cooked Christmas dinner.

Now this Christmas is over, and it is time to think about the coming year. I have determined that New Years resolutions do not work for me, but this part of December is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and to look forward into the next. As in the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol, a good question for me to ask myself is “Where do I want to be next Christmas and how do I get there?” In this story, A Christmas Carol, Scrooge discovers that his future isn’t predetermined. His life can be changed by changing himself. He learns that there is more to living than having money. His value as a human being is determined by the relationships that he develops as he generously gives to those around him–his business clerk (employee), his nephew (family) and the poor (charities). So to take a page from Charles Dickens and ask myself, “What can I do over the next year to foster a happier life?” What I do now and with whom I spend my time will determine how I spend next Christmas. Like Scrooge, I am the one who gets to decide my fate.

The Ghost of My Christmas Present

In Dickens A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is taken by the second ghost to view things as they are in the present. In this video, we see the Ghost of Christmas present taking Scrooge to the house of Bob Cratchet and his family.

The Ghost of my Christmas present is certainly in the shadow of the fact that we have lost two of our loved ones, one in October and one in November. Also the fact that my sister is currently in the hospital fighting cancer weighs heavy on my heart this holiday season. I feel a sudden urgency to complete writing my father’s poem book and memories of his life. I have gone through his poem book and typed out all of the poems and I have added important information such as his birth, marriage, the names and birth dates of his children, and other life milestones. I am however still looking for the stories that family and friends have to tell what they remember about that time of their life. I really need to ask my sister what she remembers about Dad. I remember things from my standpoint. What does she remember from his?

In addition to all of this, my trucker husband Jeff is stuck on the road this Christmas because the load he was supposed to pick up was canceled at the last minute. He spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday sitting in California waiting to get a load back. He finally has one today. He should be home Thursday, so we’ll have our holiday together then.

Boni and her grandmother going to see The Nutcracker and making Christmas memories.

Boni and her grandmother going to see The Nutcracker and making Christmas memories.

As with the Cratchet family, there have been some good times this season, however, and we have been making the best of it. For one thing, my Mother-in-law took my daughter to the Nut Cracker Suite Ballet. It was the first time for both of them and they both loved it.

In addition, we invited a couple of children over to help decorate Christmas cookies.

decorated cookiesThen we brought a number of gifts to that same family.

I made caramels and peanut brittle because caramel is Boni’s favorite candy and peanut butter is Jeff’s favorite. I also made fudge which is my favorite.

For the recipes, click on the links

Homemade Soft Caramels

Microwave Peanut Brittle

IMG_20131224_092328_435My Daughter and I plan to see the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at the theater on Christmas Day. She will open her gifts from her grandmother Christmas Day, but we will save the rest of the gift unwrapping until her Daddy is home.

We are choosing to remain positive despite the sadness and disappointments. We believe that we embrace need to the idea of sharing, giving and being grateful for all that we have and are able to give. It is certainly the time of year to reflect on all that is good in the world and we will do our best to carry it with us throughout the coming year.

Finally brothers and sisters, Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report. If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

A Ghost of my Christmas Past

Dolls I got for Christmas as a Child

My earliest Christmas memories always included getting dolls as one of the gifts. As I told in my post last Wednesday, the first Christmas I remember involved my doll Susanna, going to Aunt Mabel’s and my brother Tom’s birth (Which incidentally  his birthday was yesterday.)

The next Christmas I remember involved getting another doll. I barely remember that doll. I don’t even think she had a name. This doll was one that had a turning head that would have the different faces on it. One face was angry, the next was sad and crying, one would be sleeping and the last face face showed that the doll was happy.

Another year, I remember getting Susy Smart. Susy Smart was a talking doll that sang her ABCs and 123s and taught me those things. What she taught me came in very handy when I started the first grade. That’s why she was Suzy Smart, she knew the important stuff.

The year I did go into the first grade, I remember getting my first Barbie doll. Actually, she wasn’t a Barbie, she was Barbie’s younger sister Skipper. She was my first of many Barbie type dolls that I would later get.

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f6/Vintageskipper.jpg/150px-Vintageskipper.jpg

Susy Smart is on the left and Skipper, Barbie’s sister is on the right.

Televised Special Programing

I remember Christmas being a time of special television programs. For instance, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was one of our favorites.

What holiday season would be complete without at least one adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Here’s a video mash up of several different adaptations featuring Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas past.

Another Holiday Christmas favorite is Its a Wonderful Life. this is a trailer for 1946.

I also remember Dad reading his Christmas poems. I have shared two already, but this one was often a favorite of many who heard it

Santa’s Error

by R. Leonard Swanson

I went to visit Santa

He said on Christmas Eve,

That he’d come down our chimney

And Presents He would leave

For Old Saint Nick to do this,

It would really be a feat,

Because we have no chimney

We use electric heat.

Another aspect that I found important during the Christmas holiday was the food. Usually we went to one of the cousins’ homes for the holiday dinner and for the exchange of gifts. I remember enjoying the cookies and candies. Here are some links to recipes that I remember from when I was a child.

Goodies of Christmas Past

Holiday Decorated Sugar Cookies

decorated cookies

Milk Chocolate Fudge

fudge and flowers

Thank you for joining me on this trip down Christmas memory lane. I hope you all have a Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

What will You Get For Christmas?

One of the things I like about Dad’s poems is that each had a story behind it. During the past few days, I have finished my Christmas shopping and started making Christmas goodies for the coming week. All this shopping reminds me of the poem that Dad wrote about the Christmas shopping experience.  I am not certain of my exact age at the time, but one Christmas, my mother’s electric cook stove went out, our television went on the fritz, and we bought a new stereo system. As a result of all of that, Dad wrote a Christmas poem telling the story adding his talent and his imagination to make the story memorable with a touch of humor.

Christmas Gifts

by R. Leonard Swanson

Sis wanted something special

Now that she started High

So Dad bought her for Christmas

A stereo high-fi

   Then Mother said the Daddy,

“The kitchen needs a change.”

rangeMy Daddy went and bought her,

A new electric range.

I like so many programs

The rest don’t care to see,

So Dad bought me a present,

A portable TV

television

We all got what we wanted

On this glad Christmas Day

But do you know what Daddy got?

A lot of bills to pay.

And so it is with Christmas, Daddy ends up with the bill.

And so it is with Christmas, Daddy ends up with the bill.

I hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane this week. I also wrote a couple of articles this week that I believe you would also enjoy.

Streusel Coffee Cake

This  streusel coffee cake is still warm. It is so good that my family couldn't wait to sample it.Are you looking for something warm and wholesome for your Christmas breakfast ? This made-from-scratch Streusel coffee cake is sure to be a hit.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Education

Harvard University Commencement Exercises are pictured May 30, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts

 In recent years, great strides have been made by colleges and universities for including online courses of study. What are the advantages to an online education? What are the disadvantages?

Thanks for visiting the Ugly Ducking. See you next time.

Memory of a Christmas Present and a Christmas Past

Boni and her grandmother going to see The Nutcracker and making Christmas memories.

Boni and her grandmother going to see The Nutcracker and making Christmas memories.

Last Sunday my twelve-year-old daughter and her grandmother went to see The Nutcracker Suite. I am certain that this holiday adventure will be one of those memories of the Christmas holiday that my daughter will always remember cherish. First she loves her grandmother, second she loves Christmas, and third, she loves the ballet.

The first memory I have of Christmases past was the year that my brother Tom was born. I remember coming down stairs and being surprised by the fact that my mommy was not there, but my Aunt Mary was washing windows. (We had moved from Snider Circle the previous spring, so this was the house where I grew up .) She told us that we now had another baby brother and that when my daddy got off work that he would be taking us somewhere else to stay for a few days.

 I remember that my brother Allen stayed at my Aunt Myrna and Uncle Carl’s house. Carol and I stayed at Aunt Mabel’s house. When we arrived at Aunt Mabel’s house, I remember two of my older cousins were there as well. Jane and Ardie, Aunt Pauline’s, (Dad’s sister)daughters, were staying at Aunt Mabel’s  , I now assume, to help care for my sister and I. (I was three and a half years old and she was about 14 months old by this time). I remember sensing that Aunt Mabel seemed to favor Ardie over Jane. I remember that Jane left early, I think before Christmas. The details there are a little hazy.

I remember Christmas morning. I remember getting up early in the morning and seeing Aunt Mabel’s shiny aluminum Christmas tree, but it looked different because under the tree were presents and some were for me! I only remember one special present that year. I remember looking in the box and seeing a pretty little doll dressed in a little blue dress (or was it pink?).

I remember that I named the doll Susanna. I remember why I named her Susanna. I remember that I was watching Shirley Temple movies at the time and one of my favorites was Susanna of the Mounties. The doll had curly blonde hair and Shirley Temple had curly blonde hair. It seemed a logical name for my pretty doll.

Since then, I have shared my delight in Shirley Temple movies with my daughter as well.  Though I no longer have my Susanna, at this very moment, sitting on our DVD shelf is a copy of Susanna of the Mounties. My mother-in-law may have shared The Nutcracker Suite with her, but I have also been able to share the first Christmas I remember with my daughter through this old, delightful movie.

My Earliest Memories

One of the last pictures taken of my brother Allen and my Dad together.

One of the last pictures taken of my brother Allen and my Dad together. Allen was my first sibling and major playmate.

  I was born in 1959, the same year that the first Barbie dolls stocked store shelves. The doll revolutionized the doll industry, and I revolutionized my parents’ life style because I was their first-born child. Dad called me his “Darling Daughter Donna”.  I had a lot to teach them that first year and they were so confident with their success with me that late the following year Allen was born. I don’t remember Allen’s birth. My first memory was of me in my walker and strolling up to the television set and seeing Lassie on the screen. I remember touching my hand on the screen and feeling the static of the television on my hand. This memory had to be from when we lived at my grandfather’s house before we moved to the Snider Circle town house. Whether Allen was born yet or not, I don’t remember, but I do remember that television set and the dog Lassie. It is funny the things a person considers important when she is less than two years old. While we lived there, my grandfather died and we moved to Snider Circle.

    I don’t remember grandfather’s passing, but I can vaguely remember the apartment owner showing us the townhouse before we moved in. I remember there was a kitchen and living room downstairs. There was also a utility room where Mom would do her laundry in a wringer washing machine.Upstairs were two bedrooms and a bathroom. One of the upstairs rooms I shared with Allen. I remember that we slept in cribs in that room and we played with our toys there too.

     My next memories were while we lived in Snider Circle. Allen and I spent (what I now know) a week at Aunt Mary’s apartment. Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob’s apartment were upstairs of Aunt Augusta’s and Uncle Merle’s farm house. Uncle Bob and Uncle Merle were brothers and Aunt Mary and Aunt Augusta were sisters. Aunt Augusta had a daughter Janiece and Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary had two children Guy and Kaye. Anyway, Allen and I went to Aunt Mary’s to spend a week. What I remember most about Aunt Mary’s was the fact that she had a dishwasher. I remember I was enthralled when Aunt Mary rinsed off her dishes and put them into the dishwasher and then after a while she came back and put them away. It is amazing what a little girl of just over two remembers as important.

     I then remember Daddy picking us up and taking us back to the townhouse. I remember him saying, “Would you like to see your little sister?” I remember that both Allen and I looked in on her and then we both went up to our bedroom to play. I remember not being so impressed. I think I quickly recognized that this little baby was my competition for my Daddy’s time.

      We lived at Snider Circle for a year. I remember moving to the house that my parents would own for most of my life until my sister took ownership of it when she took over power of attorney for my parents when they could no longer care for themselves. I think I can remember going to the house the first time and seeing it when Mrs. Munn answered the door to show us around. I don’t remember any more or my first impressions of the house, but I do remember that the day we moved in, I remember several uncles helping Dad, and the gas man putting in the gaslines. Most memorable memory of that day was that that I got over tired and my mother told me to take a nap on the couch or as she called it, “the davenport”. I remember that when I awoke, the house looked better, more organized. Mom had been busy while this little girl slept. It’s amazing what a little girl of less than three years old thinks is important.

Comparing the Poems of R. Leonard Swanson and Edgar Guest

Dad at nursing home 001Since my father’s death on October 19, 2013, I have been working on compiling a permanent memoir of him along with his poems for a hardcover copy of his work. When I was growing up, my father, R. Leonard Swanson always said that he wrote write in the style of Edgar Guest. Because the Nursing Staff at Corry Manor called Dad “Santa Claus” and because it is the holiday season, I thought it would be appropriate to compare Dad’s poems to Mr. Guest’s poems. I have done a little research into Edgar Guest’s work and found a Christmas poem that he wrote and I have a Christmas poem that Dad wrote. There is a bit of difference in style, but there is definitely a similarity.

A Christmas Greeting

by

Edgar Albert Guest

Here’s to you, little mother,
With your boy so far away;
May the joy of service smother
All your grief this Christmas day;
May the magic of his splendor
Thrill your spirit through and through
And may all that’s fine and tender
Make a smiling day for you.

May you never know the sadness
That from day to day you dread;
May you never find but gladness
In the Flag that’s overhead;
May the good God watch above him
As he stands to duty stern,
And at last to all who love him
May he have a safe return.

Little mother, take the blessing
Of a grateful nation’s heart;
May the news that is distressing
Never cause your tears to start;
May there be no fears to haunt you,
And no lonely hours and sad;
May your trials never daunt you,
But may every day be glad.

Little Mother, could I do it,
This my Christmas gift would be:
That he’d safely battle through it,
This to you I’d guarantee.
And I’d pledge to you this morning
Joys to banish all your cares,
Gifts of gold and silver scorning,
I would answer all your prayers.

The Greatest Gift

by

R. Leonard Swanson

On early Christmas morning

The kids ran down the stair

To open all the presents,

They knew were waiting there.

I was so very happy

As I stood beside the tree

Watching them open up the gifts

And clap their hands in glee.

Suddenly I closed my eyes

And I began to pray,

“Dear Lord, help them remember,

Whose birthday is today.”

They, with their toys are playing

In merriment and mirth,

Dear God, impress upon their hearts

The blessed Savior’s birth.

Victims of the worldly things,

Please do not let them fall,

But grant them Thy salvation

The greatest gift of all.

What do you think? Can see the similarities?

My writing is quite different from that of Dad’s for instance, he wrote short carefully worded poetry, whereas I see a bigger, more complex scene so I tend to write novels. I know they say that writers should begin with short stories and move onto the more complex. I didn’t do that. I don’t know that I could write a short story now. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading short stories. For instance I love Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” as well as “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber which will be coming out as a movie on Christmas. I like poetry too, when I’m in the right mood, but I personally would rather write novels and articles. Last month I wrote the first draft of my upcoming novel: In the Shadow of the Millpond which I hope to have finished late in 2015. This past week I wrote two new articles for hubpages. At hubpages  hubs are what they call articles. If you would liek to write hubs for hubpages, here’s the link.

The articles that I wrote this week were:

Chicken and Lentil Noodle Soup

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed

Simply click on the links to read the articles. I want to thank Bill Holland and Lisa V for the comments they made this week! I really appreciate the feedback. It certainly helps know that there are people who enjoy what I write. I will be writing my next post on Monday! Have a Safe and Wonderful Weekend!

Reading–A Fundamental of Success

Image

Without an education, we are like a monkey in a cage. There’s a big world out there that we cannot access.

When I took my husband to his truck yesterday, he and I were talking about what I planned to do with this blog. I am not really certain about what direction I want to take it. He suggested that I use the idea that “Jews are successful because they teach their children to be successful. They emulate success and teach those success principles to their children and therefore the children become successful.”

Education is a fundamental key to success. Reading is a fundamental key to education, therefore learning to read is a fundamental key to success. Think about it. Reading is required for every class we take in school, not just the communication arts classes. We need to be able to read to learn sciences, humanities, and yes, even math.Every aspect of our lives involves reading. Even if we have no ambition and simply want to work at McDonald’s for the rest of our lives, we have to be able to read in order to fill out the job application.

The problem with our current education program is that it tries to separate the learning process from the normal every day process of life. Our education really shouldn’t be the esoteric classroom process that we have turned it into. The program “No child left behind” has failed to produce the sort of acceleration in educating our children that it promised. On the 2013 Reading, Scientific and Mathematical Literacy Scales  (Furnished by the OECD), the United States has dropped to a dismal ranking of 33rd.  I believe that it has put too much emphasis on blaming teachers and less on where the real problems lie. Our educational system does not reflect the needs of the students.

Our education system focuses on failure rather than on success. Even the name of the program focuses on the idea of a child being left behind. For our education system to become most effective, we should be teaching our children to build on their strengths. In our education system. We should be focusing more on teaching our children to consider reading as a skill that is more valuable than sports. (I know, I said it. I could go on and on about that, but right now, it would be a rabbit hole.)

I believe that the most important skill that needs to be developed is in teaching the parent how to parent which includes, in my opinion, teaching children the basics of reading. I know there is a program called “Parents as Teachers” unfortunately, these programs are underfunded. Also, adult literacy programs are sadly underfunded as well, so the illiterate parents are unable to help educate their children early. I think that instead of having the “no child left behind”, I believe that a program called something like Excellent American Parents would be a far more effective program. How about American Education Excels?

Such a program would, of course, include teaching parents to care for their children’s physical needs, but it would also focus on teaching reading skills to that child from birth. I have learned something about teaching my children in the fact that I have three children of my own. My eldest son was dyslexic and he never learned to read until he was in the fourth grade. He now has his own business as a logger. My middle son I started working with when he was two and he was third in his graduating class.  He is currently a Chinese linguist in the US Air Force. My daughter who is still in school learned to read before she was in kindergarten and was reading above a second grade level. She’s now in the seventh grade and is also doing well in school. She has a very high self-esteem and currently wants to be a makeup artist. Why are my children doing so well in their lives? Partly because I learned that teaching my children what they need to know to be successful in life, cannot begin in the school system. The teaching process has to begin with the parent. Teach the parents how to teach and the child will learn as well.

Articles I have Written on This Subject

(Click on title to view article)

Read to Me, Mommy

Finding Parenting Advice for New Parents

Battling the Storm

Last Thursday morning, I was on my way back to Missouri from Pennsylvania where I attended my brother’s funeral. The temperature when I left Pennsylvania was 51 degrees F, which was the same as when I left my home in Springfield, Missouri the previous Monday. The major winter storm was wreaking havoc in the west and it was expected to be hitting Springfield on Thursday, so my two brothers (who live in Missouri too) decided our best option was to leave right after the funeral rather than waiting until Thursday morning as we had planned. We rode all night. During the majority of the trip, the weather was fairly clear. There were a few times when it would rain a little, but it was not freezing. It was not until after we reached Missouri that the temperatures finally did go below freezing. I was wishing that I didn’t have to take my brothers home because they live down in Oregon County which was expected to get freezing rain, which I think has to be the worst kind of weather to drive in. At least, I was driving during the daylight. The freezing rain hit us when we were on J Highway which was about 30 miles from my brothers’ home. The roads were still warm at that point so the ice was not freezing onto the road, but the temperatures were dropping, so I knew I had to get out of there as fast as possible. I dropped them off and started on the final miles of my trek alone. The weather was getting worse. I made it into their town and headed toward the highway. The snowplows were out on the highways and would continue to do whatever they could to keep the roads clear. Ice began to accumulate on the roads, but I kept my head. If I just plugged along those one hundred miles, I was going to make it. Slowly, but surely, I made it to Springfield where the freezing rain turned to big fluffy snowflakes. I determined that I would pick up my daughter before heading home. I was not about to go out in that mess again until I picked up my husband Sunday morning. I had to wait for her to get off the school bus, and during the half hour that I sat waiting for her to get off the bus at her friend’s home where she had been staying, it snowed almost 2 inches. We had to brush the snow off the car to take it the mile to our house. I thought we were home free. I didn’t realize that the worst part was going to be trying to get up our inclined driveway.  I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but after three tries of slipping and sliding, spinning tires, I was able to safely park my car inside my garage. I had no time to go to the store. I was home and I wasn’t going anywhere.

The infamous driveway actually is steeper than this photo indicates.

The infamous driveway actually is steeper than this photo indicates.

The following day, my daughter didn’t have school, so we spent the day watching television together while the snow continued to fall. Saturday dawned cold, but the sun was out so we spent a good portion of the day clearing the snow and the ice from the driveway. I didn’t have the proper snow and ice removal equipment, so I used a broom to clear the powdery snow, but there was a good half inch of ice under that snow so I had to find some way to clear that as well. We didn’t have any rock salt or snow melt, nor did we have a snow shovel or anything normally used to scrape snow, but I have a good old heavy duty professional grade rag mop handle and the metal mop part was strong enough to scrape the snow in strips across the driveway then used table salt along those strips to melt the ice. By the end of the day, our driveway was cleared.

Where there is a will there is a way. This snowman was made with snow that doesn't pack easily, but somehow my daughter was able to make it work for her.

Where there is a will there is a way. This snowman was made with snow that doesn’t pack easily, but somehow my daughter was able to make it work for her.

That night it snowed again and Sunday morning I was supposed to go get my husband from his OTR truck. I was still exhausted from the day before, and my daughter was staying at a friend’s house so I had to clear the snow myself before going and getting him. It was early morning and I was scared that I would slide down the driveway into my neighbor’s car that they inconveniently parked on the street directly behind my driveway, if I did any sliding as I came down my driveway, I would run into their car. Of course, I would be the one responsible for any accident even though they thoughtlessly parked there. I am such a wimp when it comes to these situations. I see everything that could go wrong, but all is well that ends well. I made it across town to where my husband’s truck was and now he is home. Today again (Monday) there is no school. I am just glad to know that I have survived to write about it.