Thursday, September 10, 2020

Five on Friday: Abundance, Nostalgia, Beginnings


In many ways, September seems more like the start of a new year than January. We grow up beginning a new school year in September, with new clothes, freshly sharpened pencils, and a stack of clean notebooks to fill with knowledge. As a parent, that rhythm continued through elementary and high school and university. And of course, as a teacher this rhythm defines my years. Now I've come to my last semester of teaching - I will finish at the end of January. But I think that September will always hold that sense of new beginnings. Does it still hold true for you?

We are experiencing very warm weather just now, sunny and golden, with cool nights. Smoke from the state of Washington has drifted north and covers our skies, colouring our sunsets with intense orange and red. Tim and I eat dinner outside on the patio, enjoying the sunshine for as long as we can. 

Every couple of days I pick a small bowlful of raspberries and another of blackberries. Our neighbour planted thornless blackberries (they still have thorns) and they grow luxuriantly over the fence into our garden where we are encouraged to pick whatever we can. Berries and peaches make a fine accompaniment to morning yogurt and granola. 

After a very slow and rocky start we are enjoying bountiful tomatoes. This weekend I plan to make salsa, and perhaps some tomato sauce. There will be roasted tomatoes tucked away in the freezer - perfect for a quick soup. 

Try to Remember the Kind of September, sung here by Josh Groban, evokes memories of my Grade 12 high school year. The lyrics are written in the front pages of my yearbook. That September, a group of eight young men, fellow students, decided to take one last canoeing trip before cold weather set in. They mistakenly put into the river above a log jam and were caught by the turbulent water and debris. All of them died. Our class was a large one (800 students), and I didn't know these boys well, but I remember the pall of unspeakable tragedy that covered the school. I pulled out my yearbook this afternoon and looked once again at their photos, and thought of the grief of parents and family and friends. September is when I remember them. 

I have an abundance of reading material these days. I'm still not ready for anything too demanding and have thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself once again into the English village of Fairacre where Miss Read teaches. The Dutch House was a hold from the library before it shut down last spring. It has reopened in a limited fashion. We can now order books online to pick up in a cordoned off area of the library and that makes me very happy. The two books at the top are ones I gave to one of our granddaughters for her birthday in June. They are about a young girl who wants to become a food critic and are filled with humour and engaging characters. Fun to read and then discuss them with Sadie. 

Another little person will be joining our family in a few months and I've started a fun sea-themed quilt. Can you make out the green whales on the navy fabric? We are all absolutely thrilled that our Vancouver family will be moving to the Island in a few weeks and the baby will be born here, a sibling for Iris. 

My first day of full classes was today. I was knackered by the end of it. Because of the pandemic there are new procedures and an entirely new schedule. My senior Spanish class meets for 2.5 hours every day for 10 weeks. That's first thing in the morning, followed by two shorter classes of Grade 9 and 10 Spanish. The Junior students run on a different schedule than the senior ones and we have no bells. I've set alarms on my phone to remind me when classes change. It was so good to see the students again and to interact with them in person. We do not need to wear masks in the classroom unless I am circulating around. I can keep a good distance from the students from the front of the room, necessary because I teach across grades. Each grade is a "learning group" - a large bubble that can interact freely. We will see how it all pans out, but we sanitize regularly and have extra cleaning staff. 

Last night I baked Date Loaf. One to eat now and one for the freezer. I cut a thick slice and enjoyed it with butter for a snack. I like Date Loaf better than Banana Loaf. Tim does, too. 

This has been a rather wordy post and I'll stop now. Thank you all for your lovely comments on my posts. I value the blogging community and enjoy my interactions with you all. I hope that your September is filled with loveliness. 


Anneliese said...

I enjoy your wordy post... it's nice to hear "your voice" in this way. Going back to teach must take courage. I like reading how you do it. I picked up my Grade 9 granddaughter from school today and she also told me that they only have two long classes a day now. Four semesters, instead of two. It's interesting how teachers are working things out. She is taking Spanish too! =)

Coastal Ripples said...

Lovely news about a new imminent grandchild and their move to the island. So good that they will all be close. Thinking of you as your new term starts , I can only imagine struggling with all the new logistics. Enjoy your upcoming weekender I’m sure you’ll be ready for it. B x

KathyP said...

Hi Lorrie, I've always thought that we have a lot in common but now I know for sure. You are the only person I know that reads Miss Read! My kids laugh at me for reading her books, but I find them so homey and sweet when I am in the mood for a light read. By the way, can you share your Date Loaf recipe? -- Kathy

Linda said...

I loved reading the Miss Read books. There is certainly a chill in the air now. Lovely to be having family nearby.

Madame La-Bas said...

I love Miss Read too. Congratulations on your forthcoming little one. It doe not seem a long time since Iris was born. I got called to Secondary for 4 days because the T-L had been exposed to Covid. It's still student orientation and it is well organized. Our community has a low infection rate but the cases are increasing. We live in very interesting times.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Lorrie, such exciting news of a new baby and that you will have the family close to you.
I retired from public schools in January of 2004, but September is always a happy time to me. Even though, the opening of school was always a hetic time for us in the office I loved it. At the opening, everyone is happy, the teachers, students, administrators and especially the parents. I miss it fondly.
Enjoy these warm summer-like days.

Deanna Rabe said...

Congratulations on a new grandbaby! Iris will be a big sister. Very sweet.

I'm certain that the school and kids will do just fine this semester. I hope you enjoy it, too, your last one.

I love glimpses of your garden bounty, thanks for sharing.

Happy@Home said...

How exciting to have a new grandchild to look forward to. Especially exciting that they will be living closer too. Your garden produce is a thing of beauty. We enjoyed many of the locally grown peaches this summer. I am missing them already. Date loaf sounds delicious. Is the recipe on your other blog, by chance?
Wishing you all the best in your new school year.

Granny Marigold said...

Your date loaves look delicious.
A new grandbaby is exciting! You chose very nice fabrics for the sea-themed quilt. That little pillow is so cute.

ellen b. said...

Congratulations on the new addition to your family and for the fact that your Vancouver family is moving to your island. Wonderful! Love the fabrics you've chosen for the sea quilt! September always brings those memories of being excited for a new school year starting and then after 9/11 September brings strong and sad memories of the day in the USA's history. That is so sad about all those young men who died. Hope your last semester of teaching goes well!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Enjoy those last few months of teaching. I am sure you will be missed. Date Loaf! That sound very good. Do you share recipes?

Mary said...

I'll read and enjoy your 'wordy posts' and day dear Lorrie! This one is certainly uplifting in so many ways. First, the family moving to the island and soon to have a new little one is great news. You will be busy grandparents but I know you, and they, will enjoy having you closer more often.

Garden produce looks awesome - know you had a long wait for those tomatoes but now are enjoying the harvest. Berries look so fresh and of course healthy.

With retirement in the wings I know you probably have mixed feelings - of course you have earned it and this is maybe the best time for it. You will wonder just how you ever had time to go to work, but, knowing you, there will be so many wonderful things to fill your time.
I'm certain your students will miss you so much as I can't imagine a lovelier teacher!

Have a fabulous weekend Lorrie - anymore late summer sailing planned? Tell Tim we said hello.
Hugs - Mary

mamasmercantile said...

It was a joy to read that your family are moving over to the Island what a joy that must be for you. A new arrival and a new craft project what could be better? The date loaf looks very tasty too. What a bonus to finally get the tomatoes, we too are starting to harvest ours. Take care.

Lowcarb team member said...

How lovely that your family are going to be moving over to the island.
A new arrival too, that's lovely news.

The first photograph of the fruit is wonderful, I so enjoy eating some with double (heavy) cream. Simple and delicious.

Enjoy your weekend.

All the best Jan

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Prayers for everyone's good health
Wonderful post
September always has that back to school feeling along with wanting a new dress and darket maroon (called oxblood way back when) leather shoes. Now that you mention it, September does have a new year feeling, more than January actually, and a happier new year vibe at that. In Janaury there's holiday hangover, snow and freezing temperatures. In September, pumpkins, applie pie, and autumn.

Marigold Jam said...

Yes even in my mid 70s I still get that new beginnings feeling that September brings; this year I willo keep my exercise books free of blots and crossing out this year I will be different I will be the quiet on and not get told off for talking in class etc! I love the Miss Read books and often think that were I to have to take a book to a desert island I'd choose one of the Fairace books to remind mne of home back in the 50s and 60s. How lovely to have a new grandchild coming to live nearby too.

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

I've enjoyed your wordy post, with lovely photos. That date loaf looks amazing. It reminds me I used to make a date loaf years ago, I might have to dig out the recipe this week. The quilt in progress looks so wonderful -- I love the whale motif. And how lovely that the family is growing with an anticipated new sibling for little Iris.

I felt a pang in my stomach reading about that tragic boat accident of your fellow classmates -- one never forgets moments like that. I think it's lovely that you still take a moment to remember them after all these years.

September has always felt like the beginning of a new year for me. The new clothes, the newly sharp pencils and as-yet still clean notebooks.... it all gives me a feeling of renewal and starting over.

Wishing you a pleasant weekend. Enjoy Louise Penny when you get started, I think I saw you mention you had plans to open the book soon.

Brenda xo

kathy b said...

Any baked good grab my attention and keep it .....those loves look so good.

Marie Smith said...

It has to be exhausting getting back to school now after the long Covid break. Stay safe.

Date loaf sound great must try one!

Thank you for visiting my blog. I will follow this one.

Food Blog said...

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Khi tôi bắt đầu nấu ăn, tôi 10 tuổi. Mẹ tôi muốn tôi trở thành một đầu bếp. Bà luôn tin rằng con gái phải làm nhiều loại thức ăn khác nhau, vì một ngày nào đó họ sẽ kết hôn. con gái không nấu ăn là chuyện bình thường. Tôi thấy mình may mắn vì nấu được nhiều món. Bây giờ tôi nấu một số món ăn mà các con tôi và chồng tôi yêu thích, tôi trở nên hạnh phúc và tự hào về mẹ và bản thân tôi. Hãy ghé thăm blog của tôi I am a food blog

Margie said...

Glad to hear that your first day of teaching went well! My FB timeline has been filled with "first day of school" pics of my friends' kids. Most of them started last week.

I think many also think of September as the beginning of new year. I've always considered my birthday my personal new year.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

What a lovely post, Lorrie, and have I enjoyed your wordy post, catching us all up with the goings on out on Vancouver Island! My west coast family is also complaining about the smoke out there. It is most unpleasant where they live.
Your date bread looks wonderful! I haven't made that in ages. I must look up my recipe and bake one up for a nice change from muffins. Your pictures are lovely. I love the fruit. There is something very comforting about fruit on the table. September for me is filled with birthdays and thinking about Christmas. For some reason they are showing Christmas movies early this year which helps me start planning early. This is a good thing because Christmas makes me happy and there has been a lot of sadness around here the past several months. I hope your remaining teaching days are most rewarding. Enjoy your week and thank you for sharing with all of us!

Angie said...

Lorrie - September has never really meant new beginnings for me. These days, I think spring has come to represent all things fresh and beautiful. Congratulations on your new grandbaby - how exciting! Lovely photos, as always. I pray that everything continues to go well at school. Stay healthy!

handmade by amalia said...

September has always been the 'proper' beginning of the year for me as well. We live our lives mostly according to the Gregorian calendar, in sync with the rest of the world, but our own New Year is on September (this coming Friday, in fact). That, with the end of our endless summer and the beginning of the school year, have always made this my favorite time of year.

Sunny Days

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