25th World Wide Sketchcrawl

It was a beautiful morning in Old Town San Diego, CA.
70 degrees and sunny.



I often wonder what it would have been like in the 1800's. I wonder if I would still be a teacher - I mean with the one room school house and all.

So long, summer?

Alas, summer is over - not the season, just the break. It time to start getting ready for the classroom again. What can I do to teach the same thing a different, and more exciting way? how can I compete with the hi-tech mentality of today's youth? Do I need to compete?

How much have the students remembered from last year? How much have they forgotten over the last 10 weeks?

Most of the kids are really excited when they come back to school. How do you keep that excitement up for the rest of the year?

Just some thoughts ...
Brian

It's that time of year again...

Kids look forward to summer - Summer camp, the beach, Disneyland, hours of TV, video games & texting, etc. Yet parents wonder, what the heck am I going to do with my kids this summer. And then there are the teachers, like myself... it's a Good News - Bad News situation. We are free for the summer, yet that means we are free of income for the summer, too. Suggestions?

Friends

I've just spent a week with some great friends. Up until after midnight every night and wanting the days to never end. Is there anything better? Friends have kept me alive. Friends have filled my life with fun. And friends are something I need.

New Book - Driftwood Painter

UPDATED: So, some of you know that I am writing a book, and have asked what it is about. Well, here is a clip from the prologue. Tell me what you think.

“Are you sure their phone was disconnected? Maybe they just aren’t home,” Barnes asked Mrs. Franklin on this cold, foggy autumn morning.

“I’ve tried several times, and each time the message was the same, ‘sorry the number you are trying to reach is no longer in use.’”

Then, with a loud clang, the chain snapped tight as the growling Rottweiler’ frothing mouth came to an abrupt stop, just inches from Deputy Barnes and Mrs. Nadine Franklin. Mrs. Franklin screamed as they both jumped back to the sidewalk. They hadn’t noticed him coming around the corner, from the back of the house when they passed through the gate, which hung on the fence by a single hinge.

“Whoa there, puppy dog!” Barnes said under his breath. Sweat immediately appeared on his temples. “Where did you come from?” he said from behind the fence.

Mrs. Franklin put one hand to her chest and the other to her mouth. “We could have been killed,” she said. “Oh Lord, I saw my life just flash by.”

It took Barnes, a veteran of the police force for 15 years, a few moments to catch his breath and compose himself, too. He walked over to the driveway, then back to where Mrs. Franklin stood frozen in her shoes.

“How are we going to get past that?” Nadine asked, pointing to the now barking dog.

“It looks like we can reach the front door if we go up the driveway,” Barnes said, pointing to the cat that didn’t seem to concerned. “I think the cat might have a better idea of where Fido can go.”

“Oh Lord, those poor girls,” Nadine said under her breath about Kate and Karen James. “Those poor helpless little girls.”

“Isn’t Fido a little extreme as a pet for two little girls? Isn’t there something in the ‘Foster Parenting’ rulebook about owning a ‘killer dog’?” Deputy Barnes asked.

“...only if it isn’t vaccinated or licensed. However, there are rules about having a secured, fenced in yard ... with no broken gates.”

“Remind me again, why we are here,” Barnes said with a smirk on his face.

“To check on two little girls, that I placed in this family about a month ago,” she said with a hesitant voice. “I thought they were an acceptable couple, but we got a call last night from one of the neighbors, who heard a lot of yelling and some glass breaking from inside the house.” Then after hesitating, added, “I feel so awful.”

“And what are the names of the couple that took them into their home?”

“Edward and Olive Gray ... and the girls’ names are Kate and Karen James, ages ten and seven ... poor things,” she added as her eyes began to burn from the tears that flooded them.

There were two cars sitting on jacks in the driveway and an old Chevy van at the curb. Except for the path that they now recognized was worn down from the dog, the yard hadn’t been tended to in weeks. Tall weeks had well taken the place of any grass that might have been under them. Several old tires and an old washing machine also adorned the front yard.

The dog continued to bark as Deputy Barnes and Mrs. Franklin carefully walked up the driveway, between the cars, staying close to the house. At the top of the driveway, they stayed close to the house, where they were able to walk safely up the steps to the porch. They were both relieved that the dog’s chain wasn’t long enough for it to reach them.

Without loosing the cigarette from her lips, a lady dressed in a shabby bath robe and furry pink, slippers yelled as she opened the door, “Darn it, Buck, will you shut the hell up?”

She was startled when she turned around to go back in and saw Barnes and Frankiln standing on the porch, too.

Grabbing the cigarette from her mouth, she said, “Oh, I’m sorry. Can I help you?” she asked, then recognized Nadine, “ ... oh hello Mrs. Franklin. Is there something I can help you with?” Olive’s voice was shaking.

“Mrs. Gray, can we come in?” asked the deputy, who by this time had his handkerchief out and was wiping the back of his neck. Though Mrs. Gray was in front of him, Barnes looked past her, through the cloud of smoke and the odor of stale beer, making mental notes of the condition of the house.

“Uh, is ... is there something wrong?” she stuttered, obviously nervous.

Deputy Barnes heard a door slam shut, then saw Mr. Gray come marching around the corner, and to the front door.

“What the hell’s going on?” he barked in the direction of Mrs. Franklin. Then noticing Mrs. Franklin said, “Oh, hi. What brings you and ” then looking at Deputy Barnes badge, “him here.”

“Can we come in?” Barnes asked again, with more force this time as he opened the outer screen door.

“Of course you can,” Mrs. Gray sheepishly said as she got a nod from her husband. “Can I ... uh, can I get you something to drink?”

As they moved into the living room, Barns answered, “No ma’am. Why don’t you and your husband just take a seat over here,” Barnes said as he pointing to the tattered couch.

Instead of following the others, Nadine marched straight down the hallway to the girls’ bedroom.
She was a taken back as she opened the door, that appeared to have a hole kickin int the base of it, and walked into the darkened room. “Oh my God. This can’t be the same room I inspected just a month earlier,” she yelled back to Barnes. There were several holes in the walls, and the furniture that was once there had been replaced by a single broken bed and a chest with two of the four drawers missing. The floor was a mess and the clothes hamper was full.

“Girls? Kate ... Karen? It’s Mrs. Franklin,” she whispered gently. A quiet whimpering coming from the closet caught her attention. Walking over to it, she slowly opened the door and found the girls cowering in corner. Both were frozen in fear. Kate was clutching an old stuffed bear that had bells in its ears and one eye missing. She also held a piece of driftwood she had painted a simple picture of the cabin on it, and kept as a reminder of their summer vacations with their grandparents. Karen had one are tightly wrapped through Kate’s, while the other held tight to a small blanket and ‘Mr. Floppy’ – her stuffed bunny.

My Baby Goes to Brazil


It's hard to believe that in just a few weeks, my baby girl is going to Brazil. She will be staying with Bianca, who stayed with us for 6 months last year.

Megan will be there for 7 weeks honing her soccer skills and sampling the Brazilian cultures and life styles.

This is a trip she has planned and paid for herself (with a few donations from family and friends.

Be sure to keep her and her parents in your prayers as she takes to the Amazon, (though she will probably never see the Amazon).

Keep in touch!
Brian

Which 'That'?

So ... I was thinking ... if I was not sure which 'that' to use ... and my daughter does ... could she say, "that that 'that', that I was talking about was the right 'that'?

Just thinking ...

Brian


Who Stole My Youth?

I know I'm not the originator of this saying but it happened to me, "I looked in the mirror this morning and there was an old man staring back at me!" What happened? Where did my youth go? Who stole it? Time can be evil! But if I consider the option to getting older, I'll take the gray hair and age spots.

Actually I don't feel as old as I look. Granted I'm slower and not as motivated to do jumping jacks, but my mind and attitude is still moving fast and believeing that I'm not as old as my birth certificate demands.

The other day I went for a 5 mile run with dog, then swam several laps at the local YMCA. After that I walked to the park and jumped right into a pickup soccer game. Unfortunatly that all ended when Millie yelled, "Dinner time" and woke me up. I may not have actually done what I was dreaming about, but when I tried to get up from the couch and go to the dinner table, I was moving slow and was sore. (Is it possible to get sore, if you dream about running?)

Have a youthful day. It's all a matter of your mindset ... and your dreams!

Brian T. Bearchell
http://www.bearchell.com/

A Lot Happened Yesterday!





Where has time gone? Yesterday my eldest child turned 27 years old. Since we had a party for him a few days ago, Jennifer had him all to herself on his birthday. After just 2 years of marriage, she know him well. She took him to the USS Midway to see the aircraft carrier and all it's planes.

Also yesterday, Megan (my baby girl - Princess Alohalani) got her braces off. Shoot, I remember when she had the spacers first put in and the number of Aspirin she had to take to kill the pain. So completes the trilogy of all three kids having braces ... (quadrology (?) if you count Millie having had braces, too).

Again - also yesterday I started teaching my new classes, (Pre-Algebra, Science, Creative Writing, and Muscle (remedial) Math). I also teach a guitar class on Fridays for middle schoolers and high schoolers. Starting February 6th, I will be teaching guitar at Cuyamaca College, as well.

Did I mention that it rained all day yesterday? Now, if you are from Hawaii or the Northwest I know that doesn't seem like much. but for San Diego, it was like a monsoon.

Until Next Time...

Blessings!

Brian T. Bearchell

http://www.bearchell.com/

The Book Within Me

I love to write. So much so, I make my own pens now.
I have challenged myself to write a book. For the last year, I have been filling spiral notebooks with the life and adventures of Kate James and Devin Slater.
They were very close friends throughout high school. Devin could never get up enough nerve to ask her out on a date, though. Life changed for the both of them, as they grew apart while studying in college. Kate marries a popular athlete and finds out that he is not as nice an individual as she thought he was. Through a series of events, (including a botched robbery that became a murder), Kate finds herself running from Jack, and his friends.
While hiding on Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands, Kate is forced to re-discover her talent for painting pictures on driftwood to make a living. Could the recognition she is getting for her unique form of art be her undoing?
After writing a successful book on the history of the WA State Ferry System, Devin, has opted to live the life of a freelance writer in the Northwest.
The book includes life, love, murder, suspense and surprise.
Now if I could just finish it off ...


Dreams

When you are asleep, I'm not sure you can control your dreams. But, when you are awake, there is no limit as to what you can dream. Now I suppose we all have dreams. Some people call their dreams 'visions'. Or maybe a dream is a vision with your eyes closed? As for me, call it what you want but I got them!
I know that most dreams are just dreams and not a vision of my future. But I am still a dreamer. I suppose it helps me get through the realities of the day. They give me something to look forward to - something to work toward.
People without dreams (the daytime kind) are people that are bound to live a boring life...unless they already have everything possible, and have been everywhere possible, or have met everyone possible...which I don't think is possible!


Allow yourself to think outside the box. Don't set limits on the possibilities. Don't let anyone spoil your dreams. Your dreams/visions maybe from God and not your own wants and desires. It seems to me that there were a few people in the Bible that changed the world they lived in because of dreams or visions they received from the Lord or His Angels...Abram, Jacob, Daniel, Paul, etc.


Dream On!

Happy New Year!

Ready for another year? While I am not excited about another year gone by, I am excited about being alive, healthy, and in the center of God's will.

Bear and Zachery are both doing great, Millie and Megan are both awesome. I am so blessed!

Since we have moved to San Diego we have had to put our complete trust in God. One thing we have learned is that He knows what he is doing and He has proven his love to us.

The biggest lesson I've learned this year? Trust in God and He will take care of your needs!
I know that may sound cliche, but it is something that has been proven to me. God has helped us take care of even our basic needs; food, jobs, health, and a church family. We have no more corporation saying, "Don't worry about a thing. We'll take care of you...as long as you stay with us." Instead, we now have God saying, "Trust in me, in all your ways, and enjoy the life I lead you in."

This next year is going to be awesome! See you in it.

Brian



Some Traditions....

Some traditions seem odd in the eyes of the outsiders. On of ours ... Christmas Eve at Denny's. As my ever-so-brilliant daughter has reminded me, "It is the one 'constant in a series of variables." How true that is!

Having been in The Salvation Army for 25 years and now in education, we have lived in many different places. Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, California, Washington... and our responsibilities to the effort of both, Millie and me right up until the wee hours of Christmas Eve. Who has time to cook? Instead, our tradition has become to go look at the lights (or the boats when living by the water), then chill out at Denny's Restaurant.

We love "family", and this is one time when we are able to get away from the busyness of the season and just relax together.
If you think that tradition is weird, you should hear about the latest pool we all were involved in: "What color of sweats will grandpa show up in?" I think Bear won that one. Gramps showed up in Maroon.
Blessings!


Winter Extremes

We have lived in the winter extremes. In the tropical paradise of Hawaii, as well as the frozen land of Alaska. Each has it's beauty and benefits.

Hawaii is beautiful, but we wondered when winter would really get here. And in Alaska, we wondered when winter would go away. The fluffy white snow of Alaska arrived in October and stayed until well into April (of course that changes from year to year). And in Hawaii we had to go to the top of Haleakala on Maui to find cold weather.

Today we live in San Diego ... the great in-between. Snow in the mountains and warmth, a few miles south. Storm damage in our neighborhood meant there were too many leave fallen on the lawn in one day.


Either way, winter is here. To me that means that the days are starting to get longer again and Christmas is just around the corner. Christmas to me is the remembrance of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and a family coming together to celebrate that.

Have a great winter. Celebrate the birth of Jesus!

Interests in Marriage



To quote Bob Wiley (WHAT ABOUT BOB), "Ahoy! I'm sailing."

After 28 years of marriage, you become aware of your spouse's interests and she becomes aware of yours. Some things that interest her do not interest you. And some things that interest you are of no interest to her.

My wife and I have several of those types of interests, but there are many things we enjoy together. One of the many things we share a common interest in is being on the water - sailing. When we were younger it was a ski boat, or a kayak. In the future there may be a cruise ship or two ... (no ownership in our future there, though).

I am quite surprised when I hear about couples that don't spend a significant amount of time with their spouse. It is in those times that you learn how to grow closer together. Perhaps that is why a lot of couples grow further and further apart - until there is nothing holding them together. According to the Bible, it's all about love and respect.

"Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Ephesians 5:33)

"A day that shall live in Infamy!"

Having lived in Hawaii for 3 great years, I have gained a new respect for the remembrance of 7/7/41. Granted I lived there in the 90's (50 years after the attack) there is still a sense of awe and sadness reflected in the Hawaiian population. It was their homeland that was attacked. It is their homeland that still has the scars. It was many of the residents that were placed in interment camps. It may have been 3000 miles across the Pacific, but it was America none the less.

Times have changed and Japan is now our friend. They are our business partner. And many new Americans are of Japanese decent. I wonder if the same will be said about the Iranians and Iraqis in 50 years?

Kids

I'm not really sure how to start off a blog but I do know you have to start somewhere. So...I'll start here.


  • I'm a teacher

But I have a lot to learn.

  • I'm a learner

But I love to teach.

  • I teach kids.

But kids teach me.

  • Kids are funny.

I need to laugh more.


  • The youth are our future.

But the youth are influential now.





That's it for now.