My kids…

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but honestly, it’s been a pretty uneventful week. I’ve continued to try to focus on getting outside the world beyond your front door. It’s meant doing things that I have never done or not done in a long time. I started by getting a new tattoo, yes, another one. I’ve found it to be a very addictive experience, and I already have an appointment for number three. It’s subject matter is highly classified.

Yes, I decided to use a quote from the one book I have probably read more than any book, The Outsiders, by SE Hinton. I’ve talked about it before, but the lesson of this quote, to stay gold, no matter how hard the world tries to tarnish you, has really become a mantra for me. It’s kind of cheesy, I know, but it really speaks to me. And I guess, now it will be with me forever. The coolest part of the whole story is that I shared the photo on Twitter, and SE Hinton, Rob Lowe, Darren Daulton, as well as Piper Perabo liked or retweeted it.

In other exciting news, I pulled the trigger on buying a truck. It’s nothing fancy, a 16 year old Ford Ranger, but it doesn’t have to be spectacular to do what I bought it for, hauling stuff and going camping. The funny thing, I’ve never owned a truck before and I was totally unaware all the cool accessories you can buy for them! Of course, the requisite Ohio Bobcats sticker has been ordered for it.

The other thing I’ve started doing is “Coffee with Lehman.” I have invited several of my former students who have graduated and moved on to coffee with me, just to visit and see what’s up in their lives. The whole experience has been wonderful. When you know these kids as 13 year olds, you start to see what they’re going to be like, but it is so fun and cool to talk to them as young adults. I’ve met with one former student who travels between LA and Coldwater chasing his dream, and another who is volunteering for multiple electoral campaigns. I honestly never thought I’d be sitting in a coffee joint talking about the geo-political situation in Michigan with one of the kids I taught The Outsiders to.

I have said it often, and truly, I feel it. Once they have crossed my classroom threshold, they become “my kids,” and seriously most teachers are that way. Like their parents, we hope their kids grow to succeed in the real world. I just love to hear stories of where life is taking them. I hope do more of this, it really re-envigorates the soul. If you or your former student would like to be part of Coffee with Lehman, hit me up on social media. I’ll probably say yes. Also, keep an eye out for a new feature I am going to start on the Travel Bag here in a few weeks.

The grief front has been gradually easing, but I won’t say things are easy, but the triggers seem to be coming fewer and further between. The biggest trigger of the week was totally unexpected. I was at Ollies in Sidney, because well, it’s the “funnest” place on Earth, and walked through the bedding aisle. Kelley and I had been shopping for new bedding actually a couple days before she passed, so those plans went on hold. I finally chose a new comforter and sheet set, and that really set me off. In my hand was the first set of sheets I’ll buy without Kelley’s input in 18 years. The first I own that she hasn’t slept in. It’s strange the little things that teach you the finality of it all.

I’ve tried to channel these feelings into experiences, so one thing I did, that I know Kelley would bless was I went over to SART in St. Marys to volunteer. My job was perfect. I was in charge of brushing and petting while the staff there cleaned and took care of the enclosures. I could do that job every day for 40 years, though I doubt there are many cat petting jobs out there. If you get the chance and love animals, I highly recommend and hope you volunteer at SART. If you contact them, Sue will be glad to have you.

One thing I tend to do is get a little obsessed with things. One thing I’ve kind of fallen back into is riding my bike. I’ve done the whole bike path twice in the last 3 days. My legs are feeling like heavy piles of spaghetti, but it is such a great feeling of accomplishment.

No pictures this week, it’s been way too sunny!


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