In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the U.S. 81st Congress to proclaim National Teachers’ Day. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day. The National Education Association (NEA) continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985 when the National PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day.
Apparently this is just an emphasis in the U.S.A. this week. Do other countries have similar appreciation events?
Also, if you’ll notice on the National Day Calendar website there are other emphases this week as well, such as: National Have A Coke Day, National Coconut Cream Pie Day and National Student Nurse Day. Maybe we can thank a teacher by giving him or her a coconut cream pie slice along with a coke. We can also consult a student nurse whether this is a good combination.
I’ll choose to express appreciation to all the teachers around the world, as we conclude the National Teacher Appreciation Week, for their call-to-duty to teach and instruct our youth AND adults. I think back over the years of the teachers who helped guide me and I am thankful. Most provided due diligence and showed how they care. I just wish I had been more attentive though.
I also want to recognize our homeschool teachers. They don’t receive sufficient credit for the excellent, dedicated work they do. No doubt it is a tough assignment trying to keep our youth on track with the various distractions around – and trying to balance getting all the things needing to get done at home while trying to teach and instruct at the same time. Plus, what kind of salary do they receive, or assistance to buy materials?
How did I miss the Home School Appreciation Day on April 27 or week (24-27)? Maybe there wasn’t enough promotion on the news, even though the homeschoolers are in the minority. But! They are important too. http://homeschoolteacherappreciationday.com/
Here are two links for homeschool Moms that express some of the activities and concerns of these mothers/teachers.
We should not stop recognizing teachers when the week’s emphasis is over on May 11. Let’s make this an occurrence throughout the year.
I applaud each teacher who has dedicated his or her life to serve others – whether in the public, private or home sector. I just wish governments and communities would recognize your value and provide the pay commensurate with your responsibilities. To me – I think your responsibilities are in the top category of professions and you should be paid accordingly. Let’s ensure quality teachers receive quality salaries and appreciation. The direction of our society depends on it.
We all travel, don’t we? How alert are we when moving about?
Do we check local traffic laws when we travel? I have traveled to many countries and one of the main concerns I had in traveling the local roads was making sure I didn’t hit a bicyclist or pedestrian.
I’ve heard of some troublesome situations for motorists traveling from another country. Plus, imagine the ongoing guilt feeling even if we are in the right.
But it’s not only while traveling abroad. The challenge is even in our home towns.
May is bicycle safety month in Florida so I thought I would provide an emphasis on this subject.
In Florida, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) works diligently to help ensure our vulnerable road users (like bicyclists and those walking) are protected. There are ongoing campaigns to emphasize road safety.
I’ll use some of their information to highlight this month’s emphasis on bike safety.
This is important for those who live in Florida as well as the U.S.A. It’s equally important for those visiting from other countries to understand the traffic rules to help protect ourselves, resulting in a pleasant experience.
I also think it is important to understand when we travel to and through tourist destinations there are many just like us mixing with the locals on the roads. Some know where they are going and some do not. We MUST recognize this diversity on the roads for a safer travel experience.
Many times when we travel through construction zones our GPS or electronic devices may not be dependable, whether on the major highways or local roads. This creates an additional distraction causing us to not be as vigilant for other vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians. I suggest we review a map of the area before traveling so we will know if the GPS is accurate or not; and have an alternate route planned to help ease the confusion.
During my last trip to Europe I was once again reminded to be extra careful and alert for bicyclists. I believe when we travel to other countries we realize the importance of being watchful because of uncertainty on the roadways; however, I’m confident we are not as observant around our familiar roadways at home.
My personal opinion is there are more bicyclists in Europe than in the U.S. – for varying reasons – and local drivers are more accustomed to them, along with a better attitude toward cyclists. Maybe most U.S. drivers prefer using motorized vehicles and aren’t as tolerant for bicyclists.
So, what are we to do?
It’s spring now and there is an increase of bicyclists as the trend builds throughout the summer. Be alert cyclists not following the rules. They often don’t ride in the same direction as traffic when riding on the road. You are required to ride WITH the traffic, not against it. You may use the sidewalk in most areas provided you give an audible warning to a pedestrian when approaching him or her.
Although Florida Statutes allow riding on the sidewalk, there are some local municipalities that have more stringent requirements. For instance, in St. Augustine, particularly around the downtown area, bicyclists are not supposed to ride on sidewalks. This is likely true in many congested areas where a lot of people are walking around.
It’s up to law enforcement to determine respective violations and cite them, or not. In Jacksonville, you may be fined if you ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in an unsafe manner or if there is a bike lane in the road and you choose to not use it. However, I’m sure most law enforcement officers prefer to not write these citations.
• There were 818 pedalcyclist (bicyclist) deaths in 2015, which accounted for 2.3 percent of all traffic fatalities during the year.
• Seventy percent of pedalcyclists who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 died in crashes in urban areas.
• Over the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015, the average age of pedalcyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes increased from 41 to 45.
• The pedalcyclist fatality rate per million people was almost 6 times higer for males than females in 2015.
• Alcohol involvement – either for the motor vehicle operator or for the pedalcyclist – was reported in 37 percent of all fatal pedalcyclist crashes in 2015.
• More than 27 percent of the pedalcyclists who died in 2015 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .01 g/dL or greater.
There are numerous bicycle education and training courses as well as events in Florida. I’m curious if other states and countries have a robust plan to help the most vulnerable travelers. When do other states and countries begin reinforcing safe habits to bicyclists – as a child, youth or adult?
FDOT works through various local, state and national partners to survey and conduct research as well as safety campaigns to reinforce road safety.
One of FDOT’s Alert Today Florida campaigns involves reinforcing bike safety as children ride to school. I applaud the National Football League Jacksonville Jaguars in teaming each year with FDOT’s Alert Today Florida emphasis. I was part of this emphasis in 2017. Mark Brunell, former Jaguars quarterback, and Donovin Darius, former Jaguars defensive safety, along with The ROAR cheerleaders and the Jaguars Mascot Jaxson de Ville, were key celebrities to highlight safe biking to school.
Since May is the emphasis month this year for bicycling, there was a first-ever Bicycle Safety 365 Challenge at select schools. The Bicycle Safety 365 Challenge in Jacksonville was a four-week pilot program that provides in-class bicycle safety lessons to all sixth grade students at Fletcher, Kernan and Mayport Middle Schools.
Each week, a different bicycle safety lesson was taught in class with teachers hosting safety activities for exciting learning opportunities. Schools had the opportunity to earn points during the week. The school with the most points by the end of the fourth week wins a “Bike to School Day” event with the Jacksonville Jaguars!
For their participation, each school was awarded new Alert Today Florida bicycle racks as a way of encouraging active transportation to schools, students, and families. You can click on this link to see which school won the competition and will have a Bike-to-School Day event with the Jacksonville Jaguars on May 9. https://www.alerttodayflorida.com/jaguarsafety.html
I challenge cities, states and countries to examine how we emphasize and reinforce travel safety wherever we go – at home and abroad. There must be a major emphasis worldwide to help save lives of our most vulnerable roadway users.
First, I want to say THANK YOU for being a friend and partner as I finally reached 100 followers. It seems like a long time getting there. I think to receive friendship one must be a friend and I appreciate each of you around the world. It shows we can be friends no matter where we call home, and even with different views of life.
I have been trying to post a blog for the past few days about some recent short trips but haven’t taken sufficient quiet time to gather my thoughts and photos.
So, I’ll post some sunrise photos in the interim and pose this question. What is unique about each sunrise – or – are they all the same?
(Unless otherwise noted photos by Ronlin Photography)
Coming from a big city I like to take casual drives through rural towns, absorbing some of the local flavor, sights and sounds.
I recently eased through Darien, Georgia (U.S.A) (founded in 1736) while attempting to locate something unique in this less-traveled area.
There is a nugget in every town I travel through and my personal task is to see what it is – in my own view anyway.
My first observation in the Atlantic Ocean coastal town of Darien was the fishing boats lined up in the Altamaha River. I drove slightly off the main road and noticed a few fishing boats that definitely brought in their share over the years. Their wear-and-tear was evident, but they continue to provide a living for local fishers.
This was an opportunity to drive my Subaru Outback off road – although it was in just a short patch of wet sand. The synchronized all-wheel-drive provided considerable comfort and piece of mind as we checked out some of the potential candidates for a good story.
We heard one of the men working on the old boat say hello in a friendly, southern tone and we waved back. Folks here are welcoming and I think enjoy others visiting their little town. They probably wandered what we were doing though.
A storm system had been traveling through southern Georgia and north Florida so the area had been drenched a bit.
I thought there must be a nice restaurant where the locals go and we drove around a few minutes.
What do you know, we found it – Skippers Fish Camp. It was located off the main highway (U.S. 17, Altamaha Scenic Highway) and nestled on the waterway facing the marshes.
Well, naturally we had to try it and were not disappointed. It caters to locals and regional customers as well. I really enjoyed it. The fish was delicious and the green beans were just like I like them. The atmosphere was clean and inviting, along with the great hospitality. http://www.skippersfishcamp.com/
The outside of the restaurant was just as inviting and promotes a nice fish town ambience.
While leaving the restaurant we noticed an old building with surrounding coquina walls. Now! We just found something else that was unique, or what I call a “nugget” of interest in my adventures.
Wikipedia identified tabby as a “type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime, then mixing it with water, sand, ash and broken oyster shells.
Tabby was used by early Spanish settlers in present-day North Carolina and Florida, then by English colonists primarily in coastal South Carolina and Georgia.” I wonder who thought of that method first? I guess through experimentation.
Near the fishing boats is street art reflecting some of the local emphasis as well.
Darien is listed as the second oldest planned city in Georgia. According to town documents, it is the place where the term “Golden Isles” was coined and “offers a wealth of attractions that, for many, are being discovered for the first time.” Darien is described by experts as “one of the most important tidal estuarine environments in the world.” http://www.cityofdarienga.com
Churches and houses have a certain flair that depict the peaceful, historical community.
As we departed from Darien heading south along the scenic highway, just over the Altamaha River, we then noticed remnants of an old plantation – the Butler Island Plantation.
We didn’t take time to explore this area but I’ll post about plantations in the future.
This plantation is no longer maintained like some of the others. You’ll notice on the historical placard that Fannie Kemble wrote her “Journal of Residence on a Georgia Plantation” at this plantation. It is believed to have influenced England against the Confederacy.
There is another thing that seems to surface in all my travels – the influence of so many countries around the world toward American history and culture. Although some of these influences involved conflict and bad times, they are part of history and make a lasting impact toward the United States of America. Let’s consider these impacts toward continuing to improve life here and abroad. We must learn from history and hopefully will not repeat it – and enjoy the small town nuggets along the way.
One of my intriguing visits in the New England, U.S.A. area involved sweets – maple sweets that is. These are some of the best tasting and healthiest sweets I could find while checking out the various farms throughout Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
One of my favorite farms is the Ioka Valley Farm at Hancock, Massachusetts, located in the southeast west part of this beautiful New England state.
The farm’s 2018 maple season activities began February 10 and they will be closing their activities by mid-April. During my previous visit I became interested in how the maple syrup was heated and processed, and certainly had to taste the various maple treats.
Miss Terri, who is a healthy, vibrant, late-70s young adult was knowledgeable and very enlightening. She was the perfect ambassador. She even mentioned how she would ride miles every day on her bicycle and stop along the way to sip her maple drink for added energy. She reiterated that the maple sugar provides an excellent energy boost that is balanced and doesn’t create a sugar rush that we sometimes experience with other sweets.
Ioka Valley Farm (http://www.iokavalleyfarm.com/) is a diversified family-owned and operated working farm that prides itself in providing “high quality, locally grown products for all ages.” They provide natural, hormone-free beef and various other products. One of the specialties I focused on was the maple syrup and candies. I couldn’t resist! Although the maple sap gathering is for a short season they sell the products year-round. Thank also don’t want to over-tap the trees.
One of the sugarmakers provided some insight about the syrup. Interestingly, the tank receives the sap from the hundreds of trees in the small mountain behind the farm. It flows through the tubes into an initial processing unit and then flows in the heating tank. I still don’t fully understand the science behind the process but I was intrigued.
The farm had recently purchased a larger tank to heat and process the sap due to higher demand. The larger tank provides much more production over the smaller, older one, enabling significantly more syrup to be processed and distributed during the short season.
Final processing into varied products, packaging and shipping is accomplished right in the shop next to the processing equipment. The small store is connected to the plant as well.
I enjoyed our little visit to the Ioka Valley Farm. I wish I could have bought a sampling of each product.
I did not realize the types of syrup neither – like the amber and dark. I couldn’t decide which one I liked best after sampling them. I think the amber is the best for me though. It sure does sweeten the pancakes or waffles. And, have you tried maple cream on your toast? Yummy!
Deep Mountain Maple informs us that maple syrup color relates to its grade. If the syrup is dark then it has a stronger flavor. There are four main grades in Vermont – from light to dark: Fancy, Grade A Medium Amber, Grade A Dark Amber and Grade B. I tasted the four grades and they are distinguishable, although they are produced by the same process.
According to http://deepmountainmaple.com/maple-facts-and-fictions maple syrup is made by boiling the thin, slightly sweet sap of the sugar maple tree in large, shallow pans over a very hot fire. It flows like water from the tapped trees. After the sap is boiled until most of the water has evaporated, the remain product is a concentrated or “reduced” syrup. “As much as 40-45 gallons of sap are needed to produce one gallon of syrup,” stated the Deep Mountain Maple website.
I’m sure there are similar farms and maple producing plants around-the-world but this was my first experience with visiting one of the farms. What are your experiences?
When we discuss spring and how the earth seems to regenerate, I think there are applications to our physical, mental and spiritual lives as well.
Why not look at our natural surroundings and compare?
When winter arrives it typically demonstrates that fall preceded it resulting in the natural environment becoming dormant. Leaves dry and fall, and nourish the earth. Trees, vegetation and even wildlife itself practically draws within. There is a lull of life, so it seems. And we’re lonely.
Then NEW LIFE springs forth with all its vibrant colors and freshness. It’s like that which was dead is now alive. I for one am appreciative of the NEW LIFE – physically, mentally and spiritually; and have embraced it.
Even our bodies want to regenerate physically. We’ve been somewhat sedentary for a season. They may become more hesitant to move quickly again, or maybe they lost some of the pizazz and strength.
This slow-down of our lives and the environment around us no doubt can affect our mental being as well. We ponder on the gloom and cold too much without thinking ahead of the vibrancy of spring. We need new growth and recovery with our own physical and mental lives.
Pondering on the past spring of life and the dormancy stage of our lives can and will affect our mental picture of life itself. Let’s think again of the spring of our lives and regenerate to even a new way of thinking.
Well, how about the spiritual as well? Maybe we have never given it much thought. Maybe we have thought about it before and discounted it. Maybe we recall a time when we were spiritual and then our progress slowed. Or maybe we feel disappointed in our lack of spiritual regeneration or growth, or someone has let us down.
Part of Wikipedia’s definition of “spiritual” mentions that it traditionally refers to a religious process of reformation which “aims to recover the original shape of man, oriented at ‘the image of God’ as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world.”
It seems that all of humankind is in search of something or someone to help regenerate us – to shape us – toward our destiny or calling of life.
While there are beliefs around the world so varied as practically the sand on the seashore we still search.
Life is too short to not enjoy it, right? Doesn’t God want us to enjoy our lives and the creation He has established around us? I know there are many who are searching and many who do not consider an absolute or higher being. That’s each person’s decision and he or she has the right to individual beliefs.
Is it befitting though that the Christian Easter season coincides with spring? Easter represents NEW LIFE as recorded in New Testament recordings.
Google’s definition of Easter identifies this special time as “the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and held (in the Western Church) between March 21 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.”
Compare Google’s definition of Easter to Wikipedia’s definition that modern spirituality is centered on the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Expansion of this definition states: “It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being.”
The word “resurrection” is referenced in Wikipedia as the “concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of ancient religions, a dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and resurrects. The death and resurrection of Jesus, an example of resurrection, is the central focus of Christianity.”
There are numerous accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian’s New Testament. I like how Luke, one of Jesus’ disciples, documented the resurrection of Christ.
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”8 Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24 (New International Version)
While Jesus lived here on Earth his ministry was about LOVE and PEACE through God. He talked about drawing all people through Him to God. He talked about providing abundant life to all who believed and trust in Him.
The butterfly reminds me of the old life and how it served a purpose, created as a caterpillar. It then died to self for a higher purpose. This too reminds me of a transformation in life.
So, is it worth the opportunity to leave the dead and dread of winter in our lives to spring forth into hope as Jesus Christ mentioned? He talked about providing abundant life, not death. I think that’s a great sign of hope and spiritual rebirth that will complement our mental and physical regeneration as well.
As our external environment springs forth we have a choice to allow or disallow the internal being to spring forth also. I’m sure happy with my choice and feel that I’m experiencing abundant LIFE today.
Let’s spring forth with color and brightness with new life to help the world wherein we are placed. Besides, our season is too short to not live life abundantly here before moving on.