Sunday, August 03, 2014

Teacher of the Year

So a pretty amazing thing (or bunch of things) has happened in my life over the past year. I was voted Teacher of the Year at Columbia High School and then went on to be named Columbia County Teacher of the Year. Pretty fantastic for this engineer-turned-teacher to be given this honor among a group of wonderful educational professionals.

This summer I joined the other Florida District Teachers of the Year for an amazing three days in Orlando for the Macy's Florida Teacher of the Year event. It was a very inspiring few days that left me energized for my future in teaching. I was also fortunate enough to be selected for one of the special recognition awards. You can read more about my Champion of Children Award here.

There are so many things I want to write about all of this and I'm hoping to add more later. I know I don't blog much anymore but with teaching, our family business, and my three kids ... there just isn't enough time in the day.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

RIP Mowgli 5/22/97 - 5/31/14

Yesterday I made the difficult decision to send Mowgli over the Rainbow Bridge. She was a part of my life for 17 years and I miss her dearly. I knew this day was a possibility but I hoped and prayed that she would pass peacefully on her own without me having to make that decision. It felt like playing God and was not something I was comfortable with. Now that I'm on the other side of the decision, I feel like not making the decision would have been selfish. I feel like I gave her one last gift. The gift of peace and of being pain-free. She looked right into my eyes at the vet and I swear she was saying "thank you."

Mowgli was my protector, my roommate, and my road trip buddy. She was my 21st birthday present to myself. I picked her out when she was four weeks old and she came home with me when she was eight weeks old. My roommate Cari and I drove out to Old Town to look at some Beagle-Basset puppies. When I picked her up she put her head on my shoulder and went to sleep. That's when I knew she was mine. Cari and I used to joke around that she tricked us because she was never that calm again. She used to run laps in the apartment, literally bounding onto the couch and bouncing back off it on her way.

She was my companion for so long that I almost don't remember a time when she was not part of my life. We shared so many stories. When I moved from Gainesville to Merritt Island, she came with me. When I moved to Texas, she was there. When I drove between Texas and Florida on my own, she was there. She's been an apartment dog, a first house dog, and a lastly, a Crews farm dog. She lived a good long life and for that I am very grateful. She lived through several things that many dogs would not.

You had a good run girl. I hope you are running through fields, chasing rabbits, and howling up a storm. Maybe you'll even find some couches to ricochet off of.

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend.

Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.

Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.