My brain resembles a dense fog today, hampered by the pungent aroma of Vicks making my eyes water, cold medicine and rasping chest.  I have tried every homeopathic recipe including chicken soup and my obstinate immune system has apparently gone on strike.  Not exactly a stellar way to greet the multitude of happy small children as they march, snow covered, into our classroom.  Their voices create an energy of its own and it swells with exuberance on the first day back from vacation.  Oh, I will be there smiling and no doubt croaking like a frog which will cause another round of uproarious laughter from my wildly happy students.  I tried to remember what it was like to be eight the other day and my memories are at best sketchy.  I know I could do double dutch jump rope like a champ ( I’d need the ER now) and played with little trolls on the playground which was all the rage at the time.  I would stick common pins in the tiny trolls ears to give them a pierced earring look, wind their troll locks into a bun atop their head and fashion bikini bathing suits for them out of scraps of yarn.  Life was much simpler then but I would imagine that the generation before me was sitting around saying just about the same thing while I was memorizing my multiplication tables.  Seems to me that with all the advances we have made, there are things we have lost as well.  We don’t have Moms that watch a whole neighborhood of kids playing on the streets nor hear their echoes as they took turns calling us, one by one, in for dinner.  Now kids carry cell phones and their moms just give them a ring to let them know its time to come home.  Our relationships have changed as well; more than 2/3rd of the children I teach come from blended families.  Unless you are in your 20’s, meeting someone is harder than buying a winning lottery ticket.  All those dating sites, all those people posting their best qualities as if it were a resume and the person looking flips through page after page of resumes before finding one that might fit.  I wonder what the actual percentage is of people who are dumped and/or overlooked against the people who actually find an honest to goodness normal, special person.  Yes, I have tried it and either I am a lousy judge of character, or their resume needs some major overhauling.  What’s up with the people who post pictures of themselves twenty years ago?  Yes, I think, you were cool in the 70’s but what the heck do you not want anyone to see now?!  Another thing I thought was if all of these people are so sincere, generous to a fault, loyal, hard working, romantic, family oriented, and adventurous then how the heck did they wind up on a website?  I know, I know, I sound a bit cynical but I honestly worry about where we are headed as a society when I look at even how we communicate with each other. Yes, I know you are probably thinking look whose talking, but after a decade of a full house and a busy life…..well, dinner for one becomes somewhat mundane and boring and as I am absolutely terrified of dating at this age, I had to at least stick a toe in the murky waters to give it a whirl.  Lunchables have replaced PB & J sandwiches, Hostess cupcakes for homemade chocolate chip cookies and a bag of chips for a snack instead of fruit. Kids pack so many preservatives into their tiny bodies I can’t imagine the health ramifications they will have down the road.  My mind is wandering as you can see, like fog rolling in the fields so I should close for tonight.  I think I am going to start my novel finally, and as I dip my toe in that murky water, I will give you all the chance to be my critics and get to know the characters along the way.  Sweet Dreams!