Of Gumbo and Sunsets


So fall break has come and nearly gone, and another beach trip with it. I’m a lucky guy. I got to see this, and share it with my family.

There was swimming, and running, and jumping, and singing, and playing, and digging, and hugging, and laughing, (and a few exhaustion tears), and gumbo. Always gumbo, holding it all together.

Gumbo is an amazing dish. Separately, you have little that’s worth eating alone. I mean sure, shrimp is always great (and sausage), but the rest is just rice, flower, okra, onion, and oil. In other words, absolutely nothing to write home about (or blog about for that matter).

But when you mix them together, and add time and hard work (you’ve got to constantly stir the roux, or it will burn), leave them all to sit together overnight, and what comes out is pure magic.

Vacations are the same way. Play hard. Stir the pot by getting your girl to talk to you while hunting for crabs. And try not to get lost forever in her eyes.

The Girl

Pay attention when the boy is singing “Hakuna Matata,” so you can sing the “No Worries” lyric at just the right moment.

The boy

Pay attention and give everything time to sit together overnight. What comes out is pure magic.

As I said, I’m a lucky guy.


Some have noticed that I haven’t written as much lately. That I haven’t written nearly as much about the School Board as I was writing in the past.

Although I’m sure that I will be writing about our schools for a long time to come, there’s a simple explanation for that: As important as trying to keep the board honest and the superintendent focused on keeping our kids first is, honestly it’s about 99th on my top 100 list. (It’s slightly ahead of making sure the toilets are flushing correctly. A necessary, but completely unenjoyable task.)

In other words, there’s more to life than working to make our public officials do their jobs. Plus, when there’s always that one crazy guy who goes to the meetings and writes about the inane crap the board and super say and do, no one else thinks that they need to do the same.

And frankly, there’s just more important things to do, like spending time with my family as they grow. Because they’re the important ones.

And my time with them feels like it’s fading as the sun into the sea.

The Fading

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.


  1. Well said. But you are not that ” one crazy guy who goes to the meetings and writes about the inane crap the board and super say and do”, you are that great American who keeps his fellow Americans informed, attends meetings because they can’t, and uses his God given ability to communicate what the super and the board are doing.

  2. Russ:

    You do a fantastic job of holding our public officials accountable. Priorities are everything, and your family is, of course, your most important priority. And I understand that sometimes you feel like you’re getting nowhere in your fight for fairness and truth. It’s an uphill battle, and those of us who have ever even tried to take it on get frustrated when it seems like there are never the results we are striving for. Take a break if you need to, but please remember that one voice can make a difference. All of us parents should be at those meetings, but life is overwhelming and most of us are just hanging on, trying to get through the day. I think our school officials are counting on that. If they would hold the meetings on a weekend morning or afternoon, I wonder what the participation rate would be. I hope you come back from your vacation refreshed. Kids need responsible, caring people to be their “voice.” You are solidly in that category, and the kids in special education are lucky to have you.

    1. Thanks Rhonda! I appreciate the kind words. 🙂 I think the jury is still out on the “lucky to have you” thing though. But the reverse is certainly true. I’m unbelievably blessed by all of these wonderful families that I’ve had the honor of meeting over the past few months.

      As I have often said, I really should say thank you to Dr. Moore and Amy Sledge. Without their misguided and at times down-right mean actions, I wouldn’t have met so many amazing parents and their great kids. (I’m an off the scale introvert . . . the boy gets it honest.)

      Thanks for reading!

  3. thank you for sharing the glorious pictures..nature and nurture 🙂

    We all thank you for sharing your passion as well. You may feel like a voice in the wilderness but that’s what leads, at times, to better things. You’ve awakened at least this old lady to keeping a closer eye and asking questions.

Comments are closed.