Welcome Spring

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

Winter decorations get packed away in cycles in our house. First, of course, are the Christmas decorations. Most of those find their way to the storage bins on New Year’s Day in between peaks at the football games. The poinsettias are allowed to remain until they start to look shabby or I get tired of them, whichever comes first. The Winterberry dishes that appear after Thanksgiving remain through January, sometimes into February. After all, the pattern is Winterberry. Next to go are the Dickens Village houses, a chore that can easily gobble up a whole morning or afternoon.

This morning I looked around at the last remaining reminders of winter. It’s time, I thought.

Soon the “sparkling snow” scented candles were replaced with hyacinth and lavender, citrus and sage in spring colors of purple and green. The snowmen were pointedly packed away in the basement (I reminded them that it was their time to hibernate). Then out came the wreaths – lilacs and daisies and ivy and jasmine.

The weather forecast is for a high of 67 degrees today. And today is the first day of baseball season!

Welcome Spring!

wreath

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Some Days Are Just Like That

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

I admit it. I’m a list maker. A serious list maker. A bullet-journal keeping, check it off when it’s done list maker. So you can imagine my frustration when a few things on my daily to-do list yesterday did not get finished!  An unexpected email led to my writing an article that should have been submitted March 1 (I mistakenly thought it was April 1). Then another email led to a follow-up phone call that led to another phone call. Then I got distracted when my fitbit indicated I was sitting too long so I had to get up and move (several times).

It isn’t that my day wasn’t profitable. I got things done, just not what I was expecting to get done. And there were definitely too many unchecked bullets left at the end of the day.

Well, as Scarlett would say “…tomorrow is another day.” Guess that day is today! Have a great one.

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The Jewelry Collection

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

This morning I opened a drawer on my dressing table in search of something (can’t really recall now). Instead, I got sidetracked by boxes and bags and other assorted containers of old, broken, or otherwise discarded jewelry. There was a box I would label as “the school collection” – a jack-o-lantern pin, spider web earrings, jingle bell earrings, a bracelet that lights up (or used to), a variety of snowman pins, and a necklace with a large jingle bell (did I really wear that?). Then there was a container of what I might call “professional pins” – from conferences, organizations, or those that just declare my love for reading and writing in bright colors or simulated diamonds.

Then I came across a special pin that had been a favorite. It’s a small silver envelope with delicate etchings. A purple heart is about to be tucked inside, or maybe that heart is being pulled out.

Pin

As soon as I saw it I remembered my first visit to Chicago more than twenty years ago. I was there for a conference and took some time to visit the Art Institute. I bought the pin as a souvenir. When I touched it I remembered the wonder I felt at being in that great city. I knew I wanted to return (which I have quite a few times). When I examined it more closely I remembered why I chose it. It can signify so many things – the intimacy of a love letter, the power of writing, the importance of staying in touch, the closeness of connection.

I’m wearing it today (it matches my purple fingernails).

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Something a Little Different

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

I was not in the habit of getting regular manicures until several years ago when I started doing more staff development and presentations. My hands were visible under a document camera as I shared picture books and student writing samples, and I wanted them to look nicer. I started with nail tips and had those sculpted fake nails for a number of years. Now I get regular or gel manicures. When it comes to color, I am very predictable – reds, maroons, pinks, and French (pink and white).

But, a few weeks ago I actually tried something a little different. It was supposed to be a sort of gray, but was actually more green than gray. Still, I liked it. It made me feel…more youthful? On Saturday I tried something different again – purple. Not just any purple – a sparkly purple. A shiny, sparkly purple. A shiny, sparkly, spring-is-here purple. I think my nails look like the foil on an Easter Hershey Kiss. It’s fun and flirty! What’s next, I wonder?

I probably don’t need to get a manicure biweekly anymore, but it always lifts my spirits.

Here’s my experience in six words:

Purple nails! I’m ready for spring.

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Searching for Spring

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

Last Christmas I received a book of poems, Felicity, by Mary Oliver. It was a collection of hers that I did not own, and she is definitely a favorite. But for some reason I hadn’t found the right moment to read this work. Yesterday afternoon I saw it just laying there on the edge of my desk – an invitation. The very first poem, “Walking to Indian River” grabbed me. I quickly marked it with a post-it, then read the next poem. In a matter of just a few minutes I realized I was placing a post-it on nearly every poem!

The first lines of “Walking to Indian River” go like this:

I’m ready for spring, but it hasn’t arrived.

                                     Not yet.

Still I take my walk, looking for any

                                   early enhancements.

So, inspired by those words, I took a walk in my back yard, searching for signs of spring. There are still some patches of snow, but there are also tulips and daffodils reaching up through the soft, muddy earth. Their buds are tight, as if unwilling to let go until the air is warm and the sun is bright. The forsythia is trying, but may be losing the battle a bit this year. Still, hopefully there will be a sea, or at least a large lake, of yellow soon. The birds are returning. There was evidence of someone making a nest in one of the bluebird houses, although I could tell it was not a bluebird. Hopefully my bluebird friends will decide not to be bullied by the sparrows and will return this year. The cherry tree buds are small but abundant, whispering the promise of a full show by late April.

And then…this morning I woke to snow showers.

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Bringing Literature to Unexpected Places

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I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

Yesterday I read an article in the paper about a new concept in spreading a love of literature. Philadelphia is one of four cities to receive a grant for Short Story Dispensers. In partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, each kiosk will offer stories that can be read in five minutes or less from a range of twenty genres. They will be printed on eco-friendly paper and offered for free. Needless to say, I was intrigued. There’s nothing like curling up with a good book, but not everyone has that luxury of time. Offering a piece of literature that can be read in a short time frame is a unique way to hook a reader, offer hope, touch a heart. It also provides opportunities for writers. A win-win if you ask me.

A found poem from the article by Inquirer staff writer Grace Dickinson:

 

At the touch of a button

 

stories spit out

libraries without walls

airports

train stations

shopping centers

hospitals

unfavorable wait-times

and frustrating experiences

turned positive

a mission

to engage in the written word

and spread the joy of literacy

to everyone.

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At the Movies

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

This morning at physical therapy I listened to four men trading lines from Seinfeld. At first I wasn’t sure what they were quoting, but then something gave it away. It was fascinating – one would say a line, they would all laugh, and then one of the other guys would come up with something else, and there was more laughter. This went on for quite a while. Finally one of them said that when you get a few people together that were fans of Seinfeld, there is always something to talk about.

That started me thinking about movies. In our house, there are probably more lines from movies rather than television shows quoted from time to time. Here are a few I came up with:

Walk this way.

Round up the usual suspects.

I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

After all, tomorrow is another day.

I’ll be back (this line must be delivered as Arnold would say it).

We’ll always have Paris.

There’s no crying in baseball (insert any word which fits the situation, i.e. “There’s no crying on vacation.”)

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Did you get them all? It’s fun to think about the shared language that develops in families. I think it’s the same in classrooms.

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