Meditations on Marriage in 2015

This conversation just happened:

Scene: Suburban bedroom. Husband and wife coordinating complicated afternoon carpool for their children.

Cast: Brian is in the role of husband, and I will be the wife.

Brian: Melanie, I don’t know what kind of help I am going to be for you today with carpool.
Me: OK, are you asking, what I want you to do, or are you telling me you can’t help?
Brian: My meeting is at 5:00. So, I am leaving at 4:00.
Me: Then you are of no use to me, and really, I am fine with that.
Brian: (Smiling) As long as we are on the same page.

Seriously, y’all, I can’t make this stuff up.

Open Letter to Cyclists: A Friendly Driver’s POV

Dear Cycling Friends,

It is a beautiful morning here in NC, so I understand the desire to enjoy the great outdoors.

I would like to share that there is a very real reason motorists groan like our teeth are being pulled without anesthesia whenever we see clusters of bikes on the roads. Most of you are responsible and fun-loving riders, but it only takes one group of inconsiderate cyclists at rush hour / carpool time, to cause hostility between the cycling and motoring communities.

This is similar to my view. I did not take any photos myself, because I was driving.

A heavily traveled, small side-road, with a school may not be the best place for a group of 6 cyclists to ride at carpool time. Blocking an entire side of the road, cars lined up behind them with no where to go, just seems like an accident and injury waiting to happen. I never want to see anyone hurt! I just would like to see better route and timing decisions. But based on the way one of them was waving his hands at cars, they didn’t care. He was definitely not an ambassador for car-bike relations.

 

This is what a group of 5 cyclists feels like to a driver trapped behind them with no way to safely pass.
We all need to keep a level head, and more importantly our sense of humor. So in the spirit of including all those who share the road, I offer this meme.
Obviously, this is humor. I don’t hate cyclists. I hate that I even have to clarify – again – that this is a humorous meme. I strongly dislike clusters of inconsiderate drivers, and would rather be stuck behind farm equipment, but…
Seriously, y’all, don’t be a Miss Gulch on the road… no one liked her, even other cyclists.

Charter School Family

Charter schools — those two simple words are politically charged, no doubt. No matter which side of the coin you land, you likely have an opinion about these public schools that do not belong to the local school district.

I happen to be a believer in good charter schools. I also believe good old-fashioned locally run schools, magnet schools and private schools. What I do not believe in is a one-size-fits-all approach to education – public or otherwise.

Personally, I am a product of both public and private schools. I know they are both valid. I am also a product of a time when class ratios were manageable and schools were not overcrowded. My graduating class – at a public high school – had about 75 students.

When asked why I chose to leave our local public school system, I could provide a well fleshed-out list of problems and frustrations. However, I like to say why I chose charter schools instead.

It is a basic philiosophy – “Big Box” education vs smaller scale solutions.

Big Box education is exactly that – if you looked at my kids’ former middle school it looked like a big brick box. Lots of kids, operating at 140% capacity, and at last count it sported 27 mobile classrooms. My heart ached to send my kids into that environment.

My kids did well in the public school system. All three are honors students, bright kids, involved in their school and community. But “doing well” is not what I want for my kids. I want them to thrive and shine. I want them to feel nurtured, loved and supported.

Bottom line for our family is this: Ratios matter. Student body size matters.

Small scale solutions work for us.