Recent events in Ukraine are very much on my mind as Russia's leader, Putin, has ordered his country's military to brutally invade their peaceful neighbor nation for the sin of wanting to be free and independent to determine their own destiny -- a democracy. Innocent Ukrainians are dying defending their country.
UPDATE For the birds .....
Big Bear Bald Eagles I've been following on my blog for several years laid two eggs, the first on January 22nd this year. Pip watch has begun this Saturday, February 26th as I write this. Pip is the first small break in the egg shell as the eaglet inside begins to peck their way out. Three days later is usually the earliest pip watch begins for the second egg laid January 25th.
Mother, Jackie, and father, Shadow, remodeled their nest for this year. Shadow continues to share egg incubating time on the nest when Jackie permits. Here's the link if you want to observe them on a live camera 24/7 courtesy of Friends of Big Bear Valley, nonprofit, in a beautiful mountain community east of where I live. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4-L2nfGcuE&t=0s.
An additional camera was added this year: https://youtu.be/Xx0nese3zL8
This is a recent video of Shadow arriving with a fish for Jackie......
ALONE, LONELY? -- HUMILIATING MOMENTS PART II
Continuing the previous post with a recap.....
Lying in bed at night, just before I fall asleep, sometimes unusual thoughts or memories emerge unbidden into my mind as I described in Part I. I have no idea why this occurs since I'm usually thinking of nothing at that point in time when I'm about to drowse off. A few curious events emerging recently during that time included an especially humiliating moment which I experienced as a pre-teen.
This city girl was now living in the country where I was learning to be alone and not lonely. I was also adapting and adjusting to this most recent major change in my young life. There was no longer an occasion for me to see other classmates outside of school and none here lived near to me as I previously wrote. So, to have some sort of social life, make new friends, I signed up at school to join a nationally prominent organization that will remain unnamed for farm boys and girls. I don't wish to cast the organization in a negative light since they are a very beneficial and positive group for so many. As is often the case, youth groups are only as good as their well-intentioned leaders who as human beings can be less than perfect.
I didn't know when or where the group met but thought I'd eventually learn. If meetings weren't anytime while I was on the school grounds, such as during lunch hour, but instead in the summer, I knew I might not be able to attend due to family transportation limitations. I heard nothing until many weeks later, one afternoon a car turned off the main highway to come up the long drive past our neighbors to our house. I hadn't seen the car, but a short time after the occupants arrival, they spoke with my mother. She subsequently called to me where I was reading in my upstairs bedroom.
There were two women I met when I came downstairs who were this local group's leaders, they explained. They said my name was on their club roster and though I had never attended any other meetings (if they had any), this was a very special day since some important official or other supervisory person was coming to assess them. I guessed they wanted full attendance so that's why they came to get me and would bring me home afterward. I didn't learn until later there was more to the story which they hadn't told my mother, that my name had been scheduled to demonstrate the activity that day. Mom asked if I wanted to go, to which I enthusiastically said, "Yes". I had to rush around cleaning up, changing my clothes and Mom quickly French-braided my hair as I wore pigtails then.
When we were driving to the meeting the women explained the learning activity that day was to cook a custard. My name was listed on their schedule as the person to cook during that meeting. I was not to worry because others were making the custard as we spoke. When we got there I was just to take the spoon, stir the custard, and when this woman official arrived, she would probably walk over to see what I was doing and I could tell her cooking this custard. That seemed simple enough, but I was a bit uneasy.
When we arrived, I took my place and began stirring the custard as they had instructed. The official soon appeared and walked over to observe me as the leaders had said she would. She then started quizzing me about how I had made this custard. I didn't have the foggiest idea as I'd never made custard in my life and didn't recall seeing my mother make any. I knew there was milk in it, might have guessed some eggs, but beyond that I was ignorant. I would have had to either not answer, or say I don't know.
The official became increasingly persistent, frustrated, and she kept pressing me by asking questions I couldn't answer. I was beginning to feel I was being made out to be stupid given her gradual vocal change in tenor. She was becoming impatient with her voice beginning to take on a disparaging tone toward me, querying what ingredient had I put in first -- the sequence of steps I had followed. "Well, don't you know?", she demanded. I could feel my face turning red with embarrassment, my ears were ringing, and my head inside felt like it would explode. All the girls and the leaders were staring at me.
I looked helplessly at the leaders but they just looked back and weren't speaking up to clarify matters. I didn't know what further to do or say. Apparently, I was supposed to be able to successfully answer this woman's questions. I began to realize this was important for whatever was at stake for the leaders and the rest of the girls. I had a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as I concluded that I would be letting them all down if I said I hadn't made the custard from the very beginning which must be what they wanted this woman to believe.
The woman official may have said she didn't think I made the custard, or she may have asked me directly if I had made it from the beginning, in which case I would have answered, "No", but I don't remember what happened as my mind and body were just frozen. I was hearing in my head the loud deep male God character voice technically enhanced to sound other worldly, from the radio program"The Greatest Story Ever Told", that my Mom occasionally listened to and I knew I wasn't going to lie.
The official went off to a corner of the room with the leaders. On the opposite side of the room all the girls huddled together, then after just looking at me began whispering to one another, as I just stood there all alone. I don't know how long I stood there, but I didn't know what to do and no one was giving me any guidance. I didn't matter at that point to anyone, so finally, I simply went out the door, down the steps, walking several blocks to the road where I began the long two-and-a-half miles trip toward home. I had just passed the city limits of that little village of a few hundred residents when a car stopped, horn tooted and I was relieved to discover the driver was a family member who had, coincidentally, come to town, was surprised to see me and wondered what I was doing. I had a ride home.
I probably poured out my heart in the car to a very caring understanding ear and again to my mother when I got home, but I don't remember any of that. Late that afternoon those leaders, I guess, drove to my house, but I was upstairs in my room and didn't have to see them. I don't know what was said between them and my mother, but I know, as a former young teacher in a one room schoolhouse years earlier, coupled with being my understanding mother, she would not have been shy about saying what she thought about the situation.
I don't know if the leaders had been frantic wondering where I was, had been searching for me before finally coming to our home. If my mother and I discussed what occurred between her and them, which I'm sure she would have shared with me, I've long since forgotten. I don't recall experiencing any repercussions from the other girls at school. I didn't have further participation in the organization but wouldn't have been able to attend anyway since I learned the meetings rotated to one another's home. This all became a moot point since we moved out of state a couple months after school started again that fall.
I never fretted about the event through the years to re-experience it as being post-traumatic, though I had recalled it from time to time. I hadn't thought of it for years but clearly the event remained embedded in my memory. This is all the more reason for my wondering why the recollection of that experience I can still visualize in my mind came seeping into my consciousness this recent night.
We've all probably had humiliating moments in our lives. This and the others described in Part I are some of the earliest ones which seem to have lingered in my memory only to surface recently when least expected in a most unusual way.
What about you? Do you recall any humiliating moments to which you may have been subjected?