Father's Day has never brought me the sadness that Mother's Day has. (See May post.) Unlike Mother, Dad lived a long and productive life, helping others with his time and labor well into his late eighties until he was no longer physically able. During his last hours, when he was blind, unresponsive to the earthbound, and verbally working out issues only he understood, he cried out the same apology again and again, "I'm so sorry. I just can't help anymore. So sorry." Did he learn that ethic from being raised in an orphanage I wonder?
I chose this photo of Dad in his Boy Scout uniform for BonnieBlogsGreen because Dad instilled my love of everything green. The need to teach a population to recycle as well as reduce consumption and waste would have baffled him. What happened to common sense? he would say. He was a tireless Boy Scout leader who won many national awards. Dad lived off and on with me in his final years, providing me the opportunity to tell him again and again how much I loved him. I'm rarely without a sense of my father being beside me. I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day.
Dad was living with me when my first piece of writing was published. He was so proud. I was thrilled he lived to see his support of my education begin to pay off. Not in money, mind you. Our family never strived for financial riches. Guess that's why my teaching career was a good fit for me. I hope he's aware of the attention Island Sting has been receiving. As an avid reader, he would have loved knowing Island Sting has been nominated for YALSA's (Young Adult Library Services Association--a division of American Library Association) 2011 paperback list.
Speaking of Island Sting and recycling, during my most recent visit to the National Key Deer Refuge (the setting for Island Sting), I discovered one of my favorite recycled products of all time. You see, I have a teensy little issue with jewelry: I find it incredibly challenging to pass up affordable, unique earrings. I'd been looking hard and long for a pair of deer-themed earrings to wear for school visits. Imagine trying to find earrings featuring deer that aren't sporting festive red noses and/or a Christmas wreath around their neck. You guessed it--I found a pair I couldn't resist. Where? At the refuge welcome center gift shop. Seriously! The perfect pair. Not only designed specifically with endangered Key deer images, but set against the backdrop of mangrove trees, their favorite food! Even better, the earrings are made from recycled cereal box cardboard. Plus, they're adorable, well made, and well-designed. Visit Jabebo Earrings to see the Abbott's entire selection. Kevin and Mary Abbott are fascinating folks (Of course they are. They're teachers!) whose children are blessed to have such parents.
Progress in Bonnie's green garden this season seems to have moved at warp speed, as evidenced by the two photos of the same location below taken in mid April and mid June. Our first ripe tomato can almost be seen in the second picture. I foiled the goldfinches this year by covering my Swiss chard. It no longer looks like Swiss chesse. But I've missed Mr. GP's company throughout these weeks. If you read my first posts you'll remember he was the inspiration for BonnieBlogsGreen, and that he spent many days with me as I worked in last year's garden. But he was so angry when I left to research in Florida without him, that he ran away. I only recently heard from him. He promises to return home soon with his own stories to tell. Just in time for the initial harvest. Apparently he is food motivated. Or perhaps he was waiting to be sure the snapping turtle that labored long and hard from
the creek up our steep hill to again deposit eggs in our garden had left the premises. If you recall, he is a bit of a wimp.
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