Sunday, July 3, 2016
What this world needs is more front porches, where people talk, live, laugh, and love. - Unknown
When I was a little girl, July 4 meant fireworks and picnics and watermelon and parades. In today's world, open the newspaper or turn on the television, and you will see "4th of July sales and specials" in every store. I am not a fan, and sometimes I think the world would be better if we could just slow it down a little, and actually talk to each other, instead of looking at phones.
As I was growing up, Pennsylvania had "The Blue Laws", which meant that stores could not be open on Sundays and holidays. (First enacted in 1682, the Blue Laws were all about no fun on Sundays. http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/20000218sunday5.asp ) Forgot to buy the hot dogs and charcoal? You did without. Out of gasoline? Too bad- wait until the station opens. Times were so simple back then, and although things were more inconvenient, I think families were closer.
I was born in 1952, and I remember my brothers and I getting ready for the 4th of July parade to come past our house. When George and I were older- 10 and 12- we were permitted to follow the parade for a few blocks on our bicycles, which was a very big deal. July 4, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and other holidays were celebrated as a family. Chores went on as usual, but the afternoon and evening were our "family" time. We sat on the front porch and talked or played games like Parcheesi, Chutes and Ladders, and Scrabble.
Sometimes, the neighbors came over, and we -"the kids"- waited for darkness to light sparklers and make air designs with their loveliness.
Our big front porch itself made for a relaxed atmosphere. We had a comfortable glider (always covered, except when in use) and three metal rocking chairs with some side tables and ashtrays. My dad smoked back then- almost all the adults we knew smoked- and f too many people stopped by, the steps were a comfortable porch seat as well. When I think of my mom and dad, who have been gone for 14 years, I often picture them on the porch. Both of them worked so hard: Dad worked at Allegheny Ludlum Steel on the swing shift (8-4,
4-12, 12-8) for almost 44 years, and my mother worked equally hard inside the house taking care of us, cooking, sewing, and meeting all of our needs. Mom and Dad really enjoyed their relaxation time on the porch.
The "hurry, hurry" atmosphere that permeates everything in our society has found me reminiscing about those simpler times on this July 4. I hope that this holiday weekend, you have a chance to sit on the porch without electronic distractions and enjoy the company of those around you. Personal connections are so much more rewarding than electronic
connections, and enjoying the company and conversation sans cell phone will refresh your soul and calm your spirit. I am off to my brother's house, to sit on his front porch and enjoy a family picnic.
Happy 4th of July to America and to all of you!
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®
Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading.
Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom. Check them out! http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . The website www.gradygetsglasses.com IS UP AND RUNNING!!!. Signed copies ARE available! Grady plush toys are ordered!
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