Juggling Schedules

We are getting used to looking at the calendar on the refrigerator where our grandsons post their work schedules. Nathaniel starts work at the same time every day, but his days off change every week. In addition to having different days off in a week, David also starts at a different time every day. There is no such thing as long-term planning for the summer. When we are alone, we eat our main meal in the middle of the day. That happens occasionally now if David has the day off or is working past the evening dinner hour. This is keeping us flexible. It’s certainly worth it to have them here with us.

Son John $ replaced our back steps last week. I knew he would prefer to stay out of the camera’s focus, so I asked Nathaniel to pose with the work in progress. He gave me a casual pose, followed by an action shot.

070617 N back steps removed.jpg

He only pretended to walk out, but later he walked down the narrow brace without falling. His feet were on the ground before I could muster a proper gasp.

070617 N pretending to go on missing steps.jpg

One day Nathaniel came home exhausted, and David offered to massage his back. Nate was on the floor so that David could use his weight to press down. The brothers are always ready for a bit of fun, and they soon had me in stitches. Nate pretended to be a dog reacting to a belly rub, so every time David got to a certain spot, he flapped his hand as if scratching the air. No day is ever totally serious.

070717 David massages N's back.jpg

26 thoughts on “Juggling Schedules

  1. I laughed hard about juggling schedules. When I was a Fulbright Teacher in Germany and brought our two children along while my husband maintained the house in the US, I had to post my teaching schedule whose times and number of classes varied daily. My two had different school schedules as well. It was wild at times. A German school schedule reminded me of a college schedule in some ways. We managed somehow and with lots of extra people helping us. Good luck with your tasks and managing them. Happy blogging.


    1. You must have had to consult your schedule all the time in Germany. Our schedule this summer is different from anything we’ve had before. While John and I were working, all weekdays were similar. Before that, I was a stay-at-home mom and was there to coordinate everything. This will last another month, at which time David will go back to college in NY. He’ll go early to help with orientation of foreign students. A week or so later Nathaniel will go back for his senior year of high school.

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      1. Things are hopping at your home as well. Where in NY will David go back to college and work with foreign students? The big senior year of high school. My last 32 years of almost 50 had me teaching grades 10-12 in high school and German. I saw the senior slump all the time but watched as they were accepted into colleges. Exciting! When I wrote lesson plans in Germany, I had to write the date and time of classes. Each day changed and during my first Fulbright in Neresheim, there were Sat. classes for 1/2 day in the AM. Challenging is the word which comes to mind. Teaching there was like heaven for me. No one ever told me they had forgotten homework, paper or writing utensils. I was there to teach; they were there to learn. Good luck and enjoy your two. In a blink, they are gone and on their own!


    2. David goes to Concordia in Bronxville. It’s a Lutheran college where our two daughters graduated. The cost is more affordable than many other places, and it’s close to the city (Manhattan).

      I don’t think there will be a senior slump for Nathaniel. He has wanted to cook for years, and last year he began the culinary arts program. He does academics in the morning and is bused to a regional campus for the cooking classes. He won the award as the most outstanding culinary student in his class at the end of this past school year. He is looking at Johnson and Wales in Charlotte, hoping to get a four-year degree there. Finances will be the deciding factor. He is getting good experience this summer, working at a steak restaurant. Yesterday he peeled potatoes and tomatoes, but today he will be on the line as a line cook.

      That’s wonderful that you had such a good teaching experience in Germany. We have several teachers in our extended family. I always admire teachers. They work miracles in a job that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Our older daughter wanted to improve her French after college and lived in France for a year. She did the same thing in Germany. I think she lived most of the time in Stuttgart. We haven’t been back to Europe since we lived in England in the early 80’s.

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      1. Great to hear of all the doings in your family . We dined at a Johnson and Wales restaurant connected with the school. Food was excellent. The first time in Germany, I studied 3 years in Heidelberg where I earned two of my five degrees. The first Fulbright experience in Neresheim was actually about 1.5 hours from Stuttgart. My second Fulbright was in the former East Berlin where I was the first “live” American these students had seen. I was back in 2014 but visited outside of Freiburg and taught a few English classes with the school we had video conferenced with for a few years. I introduced the students to s’mores in the school courtyard. Languages are a big part of our lives. Sounds as if your children value them as well. 🙂


    3. I’m very impressed with all your degrees. You are amazing. That’s amusing that you introduced S’mores to people in Germany. Way to go! My friends in England loved Brownies. I had my parents bring over Oreos, and at first, our friends thought the cookies had been burned. One taste set them straight. Lise, our oldest, is the only one who excelled with languages. We moved to England when she was about eleven years old, and we had a tutor for her before school started so that she could catch up with her class in French. She took German in college. While living in Germany, she married an Iranian. After they moved to North Carolina, his parents would come to visit for six months to a year at a time. They couldn’t speak English, so she learned Farsi. Now she lives in Denmark and has just passed the language test to become a permanent resident. In contrast, I read two languages — English and music.

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      1. I love the story and all the languages your children have acquired. I made brownies and microwave popcorn for my students and friends. In Germany they put sugar on popcorn. I didn’t tell the students ahead of time. Reaction? They said it tasted terrible. My two had the same reaction at the movies in Germany when they discovered the popcorn has sugar. Chocolate chip cookies were a hit as well. Your daughter impresses me with her language abilities. Have you visited her in Denmark? I think a six month visit is a tad long but to each his own. ACTFL is always looking for native speakers of critical languages to assist with oral proficiency exams. You probably speak one more language than you mentioned, Anne: love. Thanks for writing a lovely comment. ^__^


    4. What a sweet thing to say!

      Lise has begged us to visit her in Denmark, but I cannot make myself get on an airplane. It used to be so much fun to fly. There was no security check, seats were comfortable, meals were fun because they were different, fellow travelers were pleasant, there were no nasty hidden fees, and there was space in the overhead compartment. Age might be the biggest negative. I stiffen up when I can’t move often. It would be so embarrassing if they had to pry open the plane to get me out.

      As to six-month visits — Lise enjoyed her in-laws. Mama June (Lise’s name for her) cooked dinner every day!!! Lise would be the first to tell you that she can’t cook, so coming home to a wonderful meal had no drawbacks. I got tickled when I found that Mama June could pronounce cooking terms and names in English because she watched cooking shows. That lovely Persian woman could make me understand a recipe when Lise didn’t know what she was talking about.

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      1. Heartwarming story of meals cooked and ready. I could go for that. As for travel, I only try direct flights first class for the comfort, meals and treatment. I don’t maneuver airport security on my own but in a wheelchair since my issues are mainly with my back. In familiar spaces and around home, I am fine with no longer walks. That is how I compensate these days. After my solo trip to Germany in 2014, I vowed that would be my last flight until our daughter asked me to go somewhere with her for her birthday. How can a mother decline that offer? Believe it or not, I love staying at home doing my normal-for-me activities. My husband is not yet retired but neither of us likes to go out once we are home. With a first class, direct flight, you should really consider that trip to Denmark. I love the outdoor historical museums in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.


    5. First class would be lovely, but we’d have to be able to pay for the tickets! We’re both retired.

      Like you, I enjoy being home. I’m about to put blinders on, though. I haven’t dusted or vacuumed since the grandsons came for the summer. At least my standards are still higher than theirs! Their rooms are a mess.

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      1. I too am retired but don’t really spend much on anything these days, so I can splurge for my daughter’s birthday. I let someone else vacuum and dust these days as well. Who really cares about dust balls when your family is still there. Everything in due time. Enjoy the week and look into bargain trips to Denmark in the fall and winter. You will be happy your did. 🙂


      1. Bravo. Humidity and I are not friends. I can tolerate the dry heat of Arizona rather than the humidity which makes me wilt at the mere thought. My mother was a stay-at-home Mom and RN who “advised” me all the time to just clean in one place daily or organize one drawer. I, the teacher, swallowed when she said things like that which were meant well. She didn’t quite understand a working mother at the end of her day. I allowed our children their rooms and did not go in to violate their privacy. Both were actually good at organization. The dust balls remained. We can live with those. It’s more important to love your family. After all, will they remember the dust balls? Or will they remember the time spent with them. I have to laugh when I think of a comment our two would say in Europe: oh, no, not another museum. What do they both do today? Appreciate the arts, history and museums. I am afraid I would score quite low on the dusting which actually bothers me. I allow the housekeeper to do what I cannot. I have a very patient husband who does not mind my “piles” of papers. I know precisely where to find something if my “piles” had remained undisturbed. Yikes. My husband tends our gardens and lawn. For years, my teaching schedule had me up at 4 AM, leaving the house by 6 AM to begin my teaching anywhere from 6:45 to 7:30 depending upon the school and day. I then got home at 4 PM and was exhausted from dealing with 2200 teens, grades 10-12. So, you just go ahead and enjoy life in the garden. Housework will be for another day and time – or not!


    6. I don’t think I could have gotten up at 4. My earliest was 4:45. I got up to do exercises for my knees and to walk before going to work. Work for me was really different than for you. I spent all day in a rather serene environment, working for an accounting firm. There would not be money enough in all the world to get me to teach. That’s why I think teachers are superhuman, doing a job I wouldn’t touch. I’m a reluctant gardener, only haphazardly taking care of the little flower garden that came with the house. My complaints are far out of proportion to the job. We were in Arizona two years ago and enjoyed it. Friends were celebrating their 50th anniversary, and we also saw John’s classmate from high school.

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      1. One learns to adjust. The early bird catches the worm or Morgenstund’ hat Gold im Mund. I just went to bed at ridiculous hours such as 7:30 or 8:00 PM. With a good night’s rest, I was ready for teaching and had a passion for teaching German and preparing our students for their futures. Some still remain in touch with me. Sometimes the only serene moments in my day were in the shower. Hahaha. The most difficult years were when our two were teens. I dealt with raging hormones all day long and came home to it at times. I had a love for teaching and that was/is my calling, even today. Parents are teachers too so I brought our two to Germany with me both Fulbright experiences where they immersed in the culture, attended schools and learned the language which remains with them even today. I believe they became more tolerant and understanding individuals in the process. My glass is half full, and I remain a positive individual. If I were to make a list of all the “awful” events during my almost half century of teaching, it would not be as long as the “wonderful” ones. The heat broke in Arizona after some of the monsoon rains of yesterday. I have disdain for packing suitcases, but when that ilk is done, I enjoy traveling. Enjoy your day and garden. I went out early to harvest some herbs for dinner. I love the smell of fresh Greek oregano, basil and parsley permeating the kitchen. ^__^


    7. Not only were you a teacher, but you dealt with TEENS!! When you spoke of having a passion for teaching, I knew where you were coming from. John’s sister taught for 50 years, and she had a gift for teaching. Her students adored her, and I’m sure some keep up with her, just as yours do. I’m going to put you beside her — high on a pedestal! That is great that you took your children with you to Germany.

      I’m glad your heat wave broke. I think I could live almost anywhere, but I’m thankful I was not called to live in the Southwest. I think the heat would have gotten to me.

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      1. Thank you for such kind words. I am preparing to visit Arizona with our daughter for her birthday. Fortunately, I do not live in desert heat but in Upstate New York where it was only 87 today. We moved from Massachusetts to Colorado when I was 10 until college days. I am used to hot, dry air but at least in CO, the nights went down to 60s. In my long teaching career, I taught children all the way through adults, Navy Seal and UDT officers, NASA Langley Air Force base Ph.D. candidates in engineering and scientific and technical German. My last 32 years were at the high school level. I loved those kids as they prepared for college. God bless you sister as well. 🙂

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