J Simens.com

Loved by a Tiny Handful . . . Educator’s Dream Comes True


Summer is always fun for an educator.

…Or I hope so. We are a few of the professional people that can have a real summer holiday.  By real – I mean, read several books, talk to all family members, get rested and even get bored.

Unless you plan to stick with the same company after graduation from college, you never have enough time off. Before we retired, Kevin and I had about the same summer holiday, but he had been working with the same company for over 25+ years. This means he HAS vacation time. Most of my friends are not so lucky.

Summer traditions are important.

I always know when summer has hit the Simens household. We usually honor the tradition of the start of summer with a family-friendly meal at one of our favorite places on Lake Tahoe.  You might see us at Austin’s eating dinner and few of us enjoying a huge martini.  Our car might still be loaded with suitcases, but when the refrigerator is empty, we head next door for a treat.  Or, you might find us out on the lake pier having a martini as the sun sets over the lake. This usually means we have made it to the grocery store and some sort of ‘American fast food – but homemade’ awaits us in our summer place.

One year I was trying to do some our family tradition, but I was here alone. Kevin was still in Bangkok, Jackie was off in College and Grant had already left with friends. Our family is growing older and more demands are put upon our family times.

So I was very happy sitting there alone because I was waiting for a friend to arrive. We were friends in Indonesia and then overlapped in Nigeria and had not been able to be in the same room for almost four years. We plan to talk. Share. Enjoy each other. I  waited to have my first annual martini with her. So to honor this event, I went shopping and got a bottle of Hendrick’s. ( I have blogged about this before)

I have decided to take Hendrick’s logo as my own.

I can do this because I had just gone to the local postal mail company that holds my mail for me while I am abroad. I received nine months of mail to sort through. Thrown within the many many home loans I am eligible for and the multiple credit cards I can own there is a barrage of unrequested mailings from unknown origins. I open all envelopes, and many make it into the trash.

In the USA the mass marketers expect that over 97% of their standard mail will not create a positive response and will be discarded. I am hitting their benchmark or higher! “Junk mail” became a commonly used phrase in the 1950’s. At that time is wasn’t widely known about the current issues of environmental damage created by junk mail nor the disturbing problems with personal information compromises or identity theft. Yet, it was deemed junk. Laced throughout this pile of letters, I find some treasures that are worth keeping. I have fan mail from around the world.  A sweet note from teachers who will be in the area on a bike trip. Past colleagues are asking if we can join them in Napa for a fun wine weekend. A graduation notice from a student I had worked with in the past. Some lovely Christmas cards that I got in June. All in all not enough to warrant then shipping my postal items to me in my location abroad. But I do have a variety of interesting things to sift through.

Hendrick’s trademark is

“Loved by a tiny handful of people all over the world.”

Family time is a time of love.

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