8/13/04 8:45 p.m. Wind really picking up now. I hear tree branches falling on the roof. They sound large but I know from experience that they are small branches making a large sound. On our roof, a squirrel sounds like a herd of buffalo.
8/13/04 8:30 p.m. The rain's picking up now, and so is the wind. Still less than a normal summer storm. Right now we're just annoyed with the local NBC station, which insists on broadcasting "news" instead of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, even when they don't have anything new to say. They say if you want to see the Olympics, watch it on cable. But if you don't have cable.... We looked for live Internet coverage, but apparently NBC nixed that. Funny - we watch TV maybe once every couple of months, and two things we want to watch are in conflict.
8/13/04 7:15 p.m. Charley is now a Category 3, and some of the commentators are talking almost as if it's all over. But it's not here yet, and even if it's a Category 2 when it gets here, that's a LOT of wind and rain. There's still a tornado warning, too.Andy will be pleased to know that amateur radio is getting a lot of good publicity - hams are providing emergency communication. Nothing else to report, except that the strawberry-rhubarb crisp is very good. :)
Still drizzling lightly.
8/13/04 5:00 p.m. I'm taking a break at the moment. We've brought the potential missiles inside, and have positioned the cars right up against the garage door, on either side. Our collected milk jugs are filled with water; most are in the freezer, some in the refrigerator. We'll fill the bathtub later. I'm experiencing the "nesting instinct" - I thought that only happened when you were about to go into labor; maybe it works for a different kind of labor, too. Janet and I have been cleaning, and I made a strawberry-rhubarb crisp.One of our friends in the Tampa area just turned the tables on us; they escaped and she offered to let us stay with her....
8/13/04 4:00 p.m. Janet and I just returned safely from her voice lesson. It had looked as if we would have plenty of time, but while we were gone Charley suddenly strengthened to a Category 4, and made a turn directly for us. So the lesson wasn't quite as long as we had hoped, but was still very good and now that we're home safely I can say it was worth it. :) I'm going to make this fast and get back to work, but I wanted to get something new up. We drove through heavy rain on our way back from Janet's lesson, but right now it's raining lightly. More later...thanks for your prayers!
8/13/04 11:00 a.m. We awoke this morning to the eerie, sultry pre-hurricane stillness, though if I hadn't known a hurricane was coming I might not have been so sensitive to the odd mood of the weather. The sky is completely overcast (unusual for here) and there is not a hint of a breath of wind. The latter is supposed to change this afternoon. Latest predictions are for 65–70 mph winds. I went out to run errands this morning and didn't see any unusual activity; perhaps I would have if I had gone to the grocery store. I filled the car with gas because there were no lines at all, contrary to reports. Supposedly there are few empty hotel rooms in the Orlando area, thanks to the 400,000 or so people fleeing the Tampa area. So far none of our Tampa-area friends have taken us up on our offer.
8/12/04 10:00 p.m. Janet just creamed us in Quiddler, so it's time for bed. We'll check on Charley in the morning.
During our 20 years in Central Florida, we had experienced no more than the outskirts of a hurricane, although in 1999 Floyd was enough of a threat to induce us to board up our windows and make other preparations. This year, when Hurricane Charley set us in its sights, I created an online diary to keep family and friends informed—and continued the practice for subsequent hurricanes.(More)
Progress is often a tidal creek, not a river. Advancement is not inevitable. We gain in one era, or in one area, and lose in another.
The late 1970’s and early 80’s were good years for having babies in America. Women had rediscovered that childbirth is a good thing, a normal function, and were dragging their doctors along with them. Hospitals scrambled to keep up.We were the rebels, the revolutionaries. The children of the 60’s grown up. Our parents had been cheated by medical and cultural “advancement,” giving birth under anesthesia, flat on their backs on a delivery table, their legs unnaturally elevated. Labor was often artificially induced, and the cesarean section rate was high. Once born, the babies were whisked away to nurseries, tended by professional nurses and fed commercial formula. As soon as possible their diets included solid food—commercial baby food, loaded with sugar and salt to suit the mother’s taste. (More)
The proper place and best place for children to learn whatever they need or want to know is the place where until very recently almost all children learned it—in the world itself, in the mainstream of adult life. If we put in every community…resource and activity centers, citizens’ clubs, full of spaces for many kinds of things to happen—libraries, music rooms, theaters, sports facilities, workshops, meeting rooms—these should be open to and used by young and old together. We made a terrible mistake when (with the best of intentions) we separated children from adults and learning from the rest of life, and one of our most urgent tasks is to take down the barriers we have put between them and let them come back together.
John Holt, How Children Fail
When adults want children to do something—put on coats, take a nap, etc.—they often say, “Let’s put on our coats, okay?” or “It’s time to take our naps now, okay?” That “Okay?” is a bad thing to say. Our lives with children would go better if we could learn to give up this way of talking.
The trouble with this “Okay?” is that it suggests to the children that we are giving them a choice when we really are not. Whatever people may think about how many choices we should give children, children should at least be able to know at any moment whether they have a choice or not. If we too often seem to be offering choices when we really aren’t, children may soon feel that they never have any. They will resent this, and resent even more our not saying clearly what we mean. By giving what we intend as a command and then saying “Okay?” we invite resistance and rebellion. In fact, the only way children can find out whether or not we are offering a real choice is to refuse to do what we ask. It is their way of saying, “Do you really mean it?”
Many adults feel that in saying “Okay?” they are only being courteous. But this is a misunderstanding of courtesy. It is perfectly possible to be firm and courteous while making clear to someone that you are not offering a choice but telling them what you want to happen or is going to happen. When I visit friends, I expect to fit myself into their life and routines, and count on them to tell me what they are. So they say, “We get up at seven o’clock,” or “We are going to have dinner at six-thirty,” or “This afternoon we’re going to this place to do such and such.” They are not asking me whether I approve of these plans, just letting me know that they are the plans. But they are perfectly polite about this.
— John Holt, Teach Your Own
We adults destroy most of the intellectual and creative capacity of children by the things we do to them or make them do. We destroy this capacity above all by making them afraid, afraid of not doing what other people want, of not pleasing, of making mistakes, of failing, of being wrong. Thus we make them afraid to gamble, afraid to experiment, afraid to try the difficult and the unknown…. We destroy the disinterested (I do not mean uninterested) love of learning in children, which is so strong when they are small, by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards—gold stars, or papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall, or A’s on report cards, or honor rolls, or dean’s lists, or Phi Beta Kappa keys—in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else…. We kill, not only their curiosity, but their feeling that it is a good and admirable thing to be curious, so that by the age of ten most of them will not ask questions, and will show a good deal of scorn for the few who do.
— John Holt, How Children Fail