Taking the dog for a walk. I round the corner and see my neighbor (and former student) across the road. “Hi Michael!” I holler. He looks over and smiles and waves. “Am I a fashion plate?” I ask him. I am wearing floral-patterned garden shoes, purple knee-high socks, baggy denim capri pants two sizes too big and covered in mud at the knees from gardening, my standard black t-shirt and a black fleece jacket. Michael grins at the picture I make. “I just don’t care anymore,” I tell him, laughing.
Michael joins me in the laugh and points to his beard. “You see my beard?” he asks. “I don’t care anymore, either.”
We laugh for a moment with each other, and then wish one another a good night.
A couple of you have messaged me to let me know how much you’ve missed my “drives with Dad.” I really appreciate your kind words and thoughtfulness, and taking the time to write me. I miss my drives with Dad (Dee Molenaar), too – I miss his spontaneous geology lectures; I miss looking for Mount Baker with him; I miss talking about the mountains we climbed together and remembering our adventures; I miss his keen observations; I miss his courage in the face of pain and adversity. He inspired me. He continues to inspire me.
Dad was born during the flu epidemic of 1918 and died on January 19th – just two days before the first coronavirus case was reported in Washington State. I’m so grateful we never had to be separated from each other because of the virus. I’m not sure he would have understood.
There are now two books that chronicle my adventures with Dad in his last years here. The first one, Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad, was published right after Dad’s 100th birthday (it now has ten 5-star reviews!). The second one was published last month, a couple months after Dad’s passing. Working on the second book was therapeutic for me – it helped me process Dad’s passing, and gave me a project to work on while the world headed into quarantine.
Should you be looking for something to read during the quarantine, here’s a link to the second book, The Second Hundred Years: Further Adventures with Dad. I see there’s no review for it, yet. If anyone read the book and liked it, a review would be much appreciated. If anyone read the book and didn’t like it so much, please do not feel any obligation to write a review. 🙂
If you google “Dee Molenaar” you’ll see there’s a new short film that pays tribute to Pop. I thought maybe it was time to make a little video to pay tribute to Moz, too – she may not have been as famous as Pop, but she was a force and a joy, and a beautiful blessing to all who knew her. My dad wouldn’t have lived the life he had if not for Moz. 🙂
For all the brave parents out there who are helping their children with high school math:
After a Day Spent Teaching Math
Function notation of a linear equation
Integer, whole, irrational, and real –
What would it cost to buy this meal?
Multiplying this, and factoring that –
How many cats would fit on that mat?
Parallel and perpendicular lines in a plane
When you subtract you lessen,
When you add you gain.
Exponents and polynomials and parabolas and lines
Angles and triangles, tangents and sines
Distributive, reflexive, transitive props
Substitution really just means doing a swap.
Slope intercept form and Pythagorean theorem
how many people would fill the museum?
The minimum’s the low point, the maximum’s the high
Mathematical equations are as easy as pi.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, twitchy-eyed sometime math teacher
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” – Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
During this time of self-isolating, my solo bike rides through the countryside around my home have helped keep me sane. Birdsong and budding trees and the air alive with bees and butterflies – these are the things that refresh and invigorate me. Happy Earth Day!
“EARTH. A sphere; a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end…To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea.” – Mary Baker Eddy
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” – Genesis 1: 31
“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55: 12
From my place of privilege in the spring green
farmland – a place made for long, quiet solo bike
rides that begin right outside my doorstep – a place
where self-isolating has become a time of sweet
retirement for me – is it my role to judge what is
“essential travel” for that young mother enclosed
in a small apartment with rambunctious toddlers
from morning until night? Maybe that drive through
the countryside with her little ones IS essential to
her well-being. Maybe the woman in the grips of a
dark debilitating depression desperately needs to
leave her home and go for a drive so she can see
children laughing in front yards and folks mowing
their lawns, and be assured that life is still being lived.
Maybe that person we see driving on the roads hasn’t
been to the supermarket for two weeks and needs to
get groceries for another two. I can’t know what goes
on in everyone else’s life. I can only make sure that I
make the best choices I can make in my own life –
choices that come from a place of Love.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell – a photo from a solo bike ride through the Skagit flats.)