Gosh – it’s been three months since we moved into our new apartment? With work being busy this summer and my heart as free as a bird, the time has flown by. My bitterness about Los Angeles has completely subsided and I find myself bored because my mind isn’t grumbling all the time anymore.

With all the extra mind-time, I’ve taken it upon myself to check out audio books from the library to listen to on my drives around town for work (I commute ~200 miles a week). So far I have been listening to To Kill a Mockingbird, read by Sissy Spacek. It has touched my heart in more ways than any other book I’ve read. (Though Jane Eyre is pretty close.) Sissy does an AMAZING job giving each character their own voice and inflection. I feel like I am IN the story; something I neglected to feel in high school when I first read this book for literature class. I’ve even found myself tearing up (whilst driving, mind you) at the morals that are interlaced between the pages; lessons that both Scout and Jim learn, lessons that Atticus learns, lessons that the town of Maycomb learns … I’ve decided that I want to be Attticus when I grow up. He’s full of such tactful wisdom! Everything he says he wants to be important. So he thinks before he speaks.  His heart is for the people and not for himself. Sure, he has his alone time reading his newspaper, but no doubt it is learning about the world and not just entertaining his fancies. I don’t remember Atticus having such a character when I first read the book long ago. So this discovery has been very enlightening…

As I was saying, the summer flew by so quickly. For the last three months, I switched from a teaching schedule to a maintenancing schedule while the kids were out of school. I was assigned ~18 gardens in my regions. Many of them needed major revamping, so myself and a team coordinated days to reinstall irrigation systems, build new beds, weed and plant. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed it much more than I originally thought. I was terrified at the beginning of the summer that I wasn’t “equipped” for such work. I thought it would be too hard and the heat too great … basically, I was afraid of overworking myself and/or failing at my job. But pleasantly, the full time work was very satisfactory. I actually miss it now.

The summer work was completed last month and now I am back to teaching. The transition between working alone (or with adults) and interacting with the kids once again was a little tough the first two weeks but I am slowly getting accustomed to it again… melting back into my old routine. I’m thankful to have been assigned the same schools so that my relationships with teachers and students will continue to grow. I’ll be introducing new lessons to them this year and engaging them more into their garden space so that hopefully, one day, they can take care of the garden by themselves! I forsee the gardens growing much more this year and not knowing what to do with the produce! I foresee parents getting more involved and organizing workdays or harvest days or farmers markets or something of the like to propell this movement of growing food locally once more….