Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Packed Knapsack

The Happy Wanderer
I love to go a-wandering
Along the mountain track
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.
*Valderi, valdera, valderi,
Valdera -ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
Valderi, valdera, my knapsack on my back.
I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun
So joyously it calls to me
Come join my happy song.*
I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me.
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From every greenwood tree.*
High overhead the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home.
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o'er the world we roam.*
Oh may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die
And may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God's clear blue sky.*
But now I tread upon a "mill"
A-watching my TV
My knapsack has a long handle
I pull it as I sing.*
My second son recently sent me some You-Tube renditions of the above song. He even sent me the German words. My favorite was the Muppet version, with one unfortunate muppet climber falling back down the mountain on each successive chorus (Ha-Ha-Ha, Ja-Ja-Ja german) The last surviving muppet gets blind-sided by a giant boulder. I think the song goes along with his tyrolean hat with feather and his wanting to learn German.
I used to be a hiker in my college days. I actually sang this song as I hiked along with various groups in Yosemite's High Country (Vogelsang etc.) At that time my goal was to hike the length of the John Muir Trail along the spine of the Sierra Nevadas. Sorry, too late, cross that off the "bucket list". A small backpack (our version) is very handy on a day-hike. It carries the essentials, water canteen, Sierra Cup, trail mix, a book, first aide kit etc. Knapsacks, originally from the low German etymology (knappsack) or Dutch (knappzak) was carried by all the troops between the 17th and 20th Century. Actually it was called a Rucksack and was more triangular in shape with one or two straps for over the shoulders. (above is the front and back views of the knapsack on sale on the internet)
Now I have a backpack with wheels and a long handle. (as pictured above) I wheel it from room to room, school to school, as I sub. It is packed full of "goodies", "tools of my trade", "prizes", "balloon balls", "20 Q -room size" and usually some other games. I lug it along with my baritone uke case which contains my uke,(recently repaired), my "piercing attention chimes", tuners, sheet music, conductor's baton etc. Yesterday I had three hand-puppets, "Crush" "Bruce" "Cat-Without-the-Hat-Fish" Recently I've brought panoramic photos of our Milky Way for my star song(see previous post). I try to be a "welcome relief teacher" who is very mobile, flexible and extemporaeous. Some (most) teachers enjoy the break and invite me back. Some (a few) are "threatened" (the kids like him too much) and don't invite me back. I'm more for the romance of learning/teaching and less for the rigor of the same at this point in my long, extended career.
So, it turns out I'm not hiking the Sierras but "walking the treadmill" in our bedroom. I put on a "travel channel" and have a go at it. now most every day. We are trying to lose weight for our up-coming cruise to Hawaii. Hope to do some hiking there...with a knapsack on my back! Maybe I'll even sing like the birds...Ne-ne's in H.I. Can I do this "until the day I die"? I hope so. It would be a great way to go out! RRR

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