After a cold winter when spring arrives it is so welcome

It has been quite awhile since this Southerner come lately posted anything and I have been scolded at least by some for not writing. I do however have an excuse and it is a pretty darn good one too if you ask me. My excuse is really a 2 part excuse 1) I tried to change careers and did for about two months before I left that career to go back to teaching but at a different level. (I went from teaching special education at a high school to co-teaching 4th grade). 2) I was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery to remove it.

The view from my world has changed since I was diagnosed with cancer. There are still a lot of warts and blemishes but I am acutely more aware of the beauty that each day, each moment offers me which makes warts and blemishes that appear incidental and not worth the effort to focus on them.

To fully appreciate just how much my view has changed one must understand the view just before my sentence of cancer came about.When I had my biopsy done I had just started my new teaching position and for the first time in over 12 years was having fun teaching. I was back in a profession that I had left or I thought that I had left 2 months earlier because students were becoming more and more violent in my community even with students who have profound mental challenges. In  my last five years, I had received 2 broken ribs, 2 broken teeth, and a bruised shoulder from being thrown at a file cabinet. Another even more violent student was due to become my student in the fall and I had reached a point where I could no longer put myself at risk so after 18 years as a teacher I quit teaching and tried to sell insurance.

I had sold insurance 30 years ago and did OK and thought I could again. What I neglected to consider in making that decision was that things have changed a great deal in 30 years, I sold insurance  3,000 miles west of where I was attempting to sell insurance 30 years later and small southern towns don’t take kindly to strangers no matter how much that stranger smiles. In fact, the smile on a stranger is a bad sign. In two months I drove 15,000 miles of back roads, dirt roads and lanes of central and southern Georgia. I was only chased by hound dogs twice that i can recall. I said more”Hey Y’alls” than I had said in the previous ten years of living in my world. I made one little sale and aged both my cars more than they should have aged.

I was only chased by hound dogs twice that I can recall. I said more”Hey Y’alls” than I had said in the previous ten years of living in my world. I made one little sale and aged both my cars more than they should have aged. My sales calls were always congenial but they became more and more polite after they found out that I didn’t live in town or the county, that I wasn’t related to anyone they knew or even that I didn’t know anyone they knew and our topic of conversation kind of dried up when they would let me know that a second cousin once removed or one of the Mayor’s kids sold insurance and no matter how good my insurance was whatever they could get from any of these folks was fine with them. After that it went, “Aint it hot, them watermelons sure are tasty this year, and have you ever seen more gnats than we got this year?” Just glad they didn’t ever find out that i wasn’t born and raised in central Georgia……….shoot I would have been skinned alive.

Along the way, I still had hope, however slim of getting another teaching position somewhere, just not in the district I had just quit.

From April to June I filled out 75 applications and went on 33 interviews but nothing. Along about July I had given up on teaching again and was pretty near done with selling insurance though the idea of finding a non-commision paying job became paramount to me but I had no idea how that would happen. On the way to a door slam I got a call from a school district just 18 miles from my home that I had not applied to and they interviewed me and offered me a dream position at an elementary school with administrators that just can’t be any better than they are.

Things fell in place I was as happy as I could be and, then my biopsy showed  that I had cancer and it was agressive and had to be removed ASAP.

End of Part I