These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

let there be light

it's time to start the chorus of elton john's song, "don't let the sun come down"

actually, we do want the sun to come down on us.

yesterday, despite the threat of storms, we had a tree trimming service come in and get down with some trees in our back yard. they finished before it got bad out.

they removed a long-ass branch that stretched from our west side part of the yard over to lisa's fence on the east side. they also removed a few dead branches. then they set to work on the tree next to it. it was dead, so they took it down completely. all that remains is a stump about a foot off the ground.

i got home under less than stellar conditions, but i could still see how much more light there was in the southern half of our back yard. it looks like we're having half of the yard lit and the other half a little shady. that's fine. we don't want a treelee back yard, but we also didn't want a completely shaded yard, either. it's a delicate balance.

and we did a lot of rain yesterday evening and night. we might have gotten about two inches. either way, it's great for the lawn. our front yard is blooming like crazy. we bought some more plants last week after i removed a large section of grass to make the two areas on either side o our walk up to the porch even. it's looking very pleasing.

now, what's left is the front section, the area between teh street and sidewalk. there is grass there (and two trees. what i'm envisioning is removing grass (sod) and around the edges near the street, driveway and the area to the west where i butts up against the neighbor's part and putting in some small ground cover plants or something. it'll mean less grass to cut, which i am all for and also i think it'll give the yard a different feel.

dawn's painting the front doors. she's painting them a purple color. it looks cool. we have our tan home with white trim and purple door. it's a nice contrast. you can't miss our house.
well, people have missed it because of the painting. they were used to the old color and two people have passed it. funny stuff.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

the migrants

i celebrated the first day of july with my favority group of kids: the migrant students from the summer migrant program. dawn and steph are together again, so it was easy to get back in with the same group.

there are three new ones and rosisela isn't back this year, which is a shame because i enjoyed talking to her last summer. the usual folks like juan, andres, lucero, misa, the cousins, andy and marlynn were there.

i didn't have plans to do anything this year. my schedule is different at work, but it's still condusive to a morning trip up to GL. but after meeting with steph and david last week, i decided to ask and steph said sure.

since the emphasis is on writing, i wrote a story that included all of them and steph. they had to resuce steph from the evil dr. nickelby (NCLB). so they had a purpose and worked together. they dug it. that pleased me to no end.

we did an exercise where they had to write their own story based on characters dawn and i created and scenarios we also thought up. they took to them like nothing. steph and dawn were surprised at how easily the kids worked.

i topped off my time with them by telling them a story, urged on by juan and andres. it was a winding tale complete with voice variations and hand gestures. they dug it. i dug it.

what a great day. i needed that little get away from reality and visit with the kids. they're a great bunch that make me wish i'd be a teacher... nah, it wouldn't work.