Tag Archives: family

#SOL18: It was THAT day!


It was that day!

The internet would not connect.

Fortunately, I had time to wait.

Unfortunately, I was still waiting 20 minutes later.

It was that day!

The password was “BAD Password.”

Fortunately, it was posted on the bulletin board.

Unfortunately, it was s-s-s-s-o-o-o-o slow to connect.

It was that day!

The bagpipe music was the prelude.

Fortunately, the tunes were recognizable.

Unfortunately, it was melting the ear wax of all in the church.

It was that day!

Three of my siblings were there!

Fortunately, even my sister arrived five minutes early.

Unfortunately, it was hard to save enough seats.

It was that day!

During the last speeches the lights went out and RAIN poured down.

Fortunately, a light on the phone allowed the speeches to continue.

Unfortunately, it continued to rain.

It was that day!

The rain was pelting down like thin knife slivers at precisely 55 degree angles.

Fortunately, I had an umbrella.

Unfortunately, it was in my car back at Mom’s.

It was that day!

Everyone eventually braved the monsoon.

Fortunately, the coffee was already brewed and lunch was prepared.

Unfortunately, the lines were long due to the many family members . . . (8 children, spouses, 24 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandson) and then all the rest of the cousins, aunts and uncles, family and friends).

It was that day!

Lunch was great, the lights returned, and it was time to head for the cemetary.

Fortunately, the rain had stopped and the processional proceeded across several county lines.

Unfortunately, only 8 vehicles pulled off the side of the road and waited patiently, courteously, and respectfully for all to pass through.

It was that day!

The cars filled the driveway in a neat and orderly fashion.

Fortunately, the rain held off until the graveside services were complete.

Unfortunately, the rain was steady as the grandsons and great grandsons closed the grave.

It was that day!

A day to celebrate the life, adventures and passions that were a part of my aunt Emilie!

Fortunately we were asked to “Please honor Emilie by enjoying a strawberry margarita, a bowl of your favorite ice cream, or some extra lap time with your grandchild.”

Unfortunately, it was raining again by the time I arrived home . . . filled with sorrow for our loss but with some comfort from our fellowship.

How was your day? 

Were you able to balance “fortunate” and “unfortunate”? 

What tipped the scales in your favor?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                              slice of life 2016

 

 

 

Advertisements

#SOL18: The Power of Eight


The  Power of EightScreenshot 2018-05-07 at 9.16.43 PM.png

It was in the eighth month

That I first counted his fingers and toes

All perfectly formed

That babe of mine.

It was in the year 08

That he graduated from high school

Ready to challenge the world

And to venture forth.

And in his eighth year of service

Fort Jackson, Fort Hood, Fort Knox, and Fort Campbell

Overseas deployments numbering two

He’s now a second lieutenant.

In the year 18

A college graduate

Ready for the next chapter

With his family every growing!

Screenshot 2018-05-07 at 9.49.19 PM




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL18: Pinning


15 minutes.

A Pinning . . .

Yes, in nursing,

Yes, in sororities,

Yes, in service,

Specifically in the Army

We sit in a row:  wife, mother, daughter, sister, sister.

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 5.56.13 AM.png

Others slowly gather and fill rows behind us.

Ready and yet waiting.

Adjusting the controls on the screen and listening to the prep work behind the scenes.

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 6.10.25 AM.png

The promotion . . . (yes, via webcam)

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 6.00.42 AM

A speech . . .

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 6.00.53 AM

Changing rank . . .

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 6.02.25 AM.png

The celebratory cake for the new Command Sergeant Major . . .

Screenshot 2018-04-10 at 5.55.43 AM.png

the highest non-commisioned rank in the Army!

And that’s just a small part of “How I Spent My Monday”!




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL18: March 17


Screenshot 2018-03-16 at 10.44.07 PM.png

Once upon a time, we celebrated in a city where they turn the river green, have a parade that is hours long, and a college graduation with tents, champagne, and fancy, fancy parties.  It was St. Patrick’s Day. The city was Chicago.  It seemed as if the entire city was celebrating. (And here’s a link to 2018 St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Chicago.)  Literally, the Chicago River is dyed green!

We were there for a college graduation; my brother was graduating from the University of Chicago. Fast forward a couple of decades, and he’s now back in the Chicago area.  A pizza lover. A Giordano’s pizza lover. And we have made many other trips:  wedding, graduation, and football games.

How many of these Chicago attractions do you know?

Lego Store

Navy Pier

Soldier Field

American Girl Store

Giordano’s Pizza

High Tea at the Drake

Ryan Field

Lincoln Park Zoo

Grant Park

Sears Tower / Willis Tower

Lake Michigan cruise

Museum of Science and Industry

Field Museum of Natural History

Frank Lloyd Wright home

Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple

VanderCook College of Music Graduation

“L” Train

What memories do you collect on your travels? 

Is it the wonder and awe of that first visit?

Is it the joy of sharing your love of the city with others?

What else would you add to the list of “must see locations” in Chicago?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL18: March 5


Because this is my 550th post and I have a special love for “55”, I decided to be brave (last year’s #OLW) and try another new format today. Inspiration for this post came from Lisa Keeler here.

I COME FROM

I come from Orange Avenue, a rock road,

that now has a fancy address

so E911 operators can locate and dispatch assistance or help,

a mile long stretch with four houses

which we left to ride a bus to school.

I come from parents as the third child of seven

born on Father’s Day, and ever my Father’s favorite,

a father who served during the Korean Conflict and

parents who believed in family, faith, and responsibility.

I come from vacations as a family,

where we visited cousins or Army buddies across the country,

with 4 am starts and travel in pjs,

experts at free and low cost entertainment.

I come from a love of learning,

from a father who graduated from high school and

a mother who wanted to attend college but didn’t have the money.

I come from escaping into books and reading by the evening light

in order to find some peace and quiet.

I come from a family of teachers,

learning how to treat others at my grandmother’s knee.

I come from farmers and workers who speak plainly

and know the difference between silos and grain bins and

the value of stories repeated and shared.

Screenshot 2018-03-04 at 6.55.04 PM.png

“Outlaws”                                                     “Aunts & Uncles

I come from red-headed ancestors and outspoken aunts and uncles

who worked on labor issues with Bobby Kennedy

and many national church issues.

I come from a place where

family matters, where traditions are respected, celebrations rule.

and stories are told with quilts and pictures at family events.

“I come from Iowa

the Heartland of America.”

20180304_210725.jpg

Crocheted hearts made by my mother now in multiple states and countries!




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

slice of life 2016early morning slicer




Original poem here

How do you celebrate “Where you come from?”

#SOL17: Memories


13 years ago this weekend . . . 

“Are you driving?” Sherry asked.

What an odd question?

“No, I just pulled into Hy-Vee to get some groceries.  What’s up?”

And I knew.

“Please, don’t tell me!” 

I just wanted to hang up the phone.  

I didn’t want to hear it.  

NO, NO, NO!

And the tears streamed down my face as I learned that Dad had passed.

Peacefully

Without undue suffering

Yet

Suddenly and Unexpectedly!

To this day, I remember where I was parked at North Hy-Vee that afternoon.

It’s a section I have never parked in since.  

Not tempting fate.

The sun was shining.

It was a relatively nice day.

Done with work.

Planning to buy a few groceries before heading home.

Immediately shifting gears . . .

A dying phone battery.

Phone calls to make.

Returning to work.

Using a land line and a cell phone.

Calling.

Leaving messages.

Calling

Asking questions.

Calling

Asking, “Are you driving?” when using cell numbers.

Calling

Barely able to say the words.

Numb. Shocked. Confirmed.  

Yet short on details!

Making lists of more phone calls.

Already exhausted.

Where do I need to be?  When?  What’s next?

I’m in limbo.

Half-way between my family farm home and my family home.

Is someone with Mom?

Which direction to go?

Plans to make.  Plans A, B, and C.

Not ready?

No longer an option

A hurricane is headed for Southern Florida

So Sherry is not yet on her way.

I want to return to the childhood days,

My treasured days,

As the best gift to my dad on Father’s Day!

The easy days of childhood.




Fast Forward to the present . . .

2017:  What a year!  And it’s not over . . .

If I could turn back the hands of time?

I would definitely rewrite March and April. Those days when I wanted to huddle under the quilt and cry for all the changes in our family.  Too many losses, way too fast!

I often come back to this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Screenshot 2017-09-04 at 7.43.30 AM.png

Moving forward may seem to be at a turtle’s pace but forward motion is ALL that is required.  Some days it’s not necessary to measure the miniscule change.

Does it ever get easier?

Saturday I stopped by the family cemetary (after a neighbor’s funeral – age 91).  A few minutes of conversation with Joey, Grandma, brother Joe and Dad . . . and aunts, and uncles and so many more!

Was it missing the opportunity to say an Earthly “Good-bye”? 

Was it not knowing how or what to say?

Was it the shock of the “suddenness”? 

Taking comfort in our memories,

And remembering the JOY, the LOVE, and the many celebrations.

Never taking a single moment for granted.

Precious life!  Precious time!  Precious family!




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL17: First Day


Screenshot 2017-08-22 at 11.17.55 AM.png

The bus turns the corner.

My last check to see that everything is in my car.

One picture down.  It’s kind of gloomy.  No sunshine for this auspicious day.

The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road.  I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended.  “Smile!  Just one more picture!”

He takes three steps, turns, and looks.  I snap the photo. He starts up the steps.

I’m sure it’s blurred.  Tears stream down my cheeks.

This would not be the day to take a lousy picture.

I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat.  Third row. Behind his friends.  He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning.  Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window.

The driver looks down.  Closes the door and the bus lumbers down the road.

  I hop in my car.  Five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture.  It’s 1995.  The First Day of School. No digital pictures.

As a teacher, how do your own personal “First Days” impact your attention to detail in your classroom?

What are you planning for this year?  Why?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL17: Just Wait . . .


What sentences or words caused

Anxiety,

Fear, or

Trepidation

in your Impressionable Growing Years?

Was it the dreaded . . .

Dum, ta Dum . . .

giphy

Just wait til your dad gets home?

It was a dark and stormy night

(Sorry, Snoopy, I had to borrow that, but it’s so untrue

so that’s why the strike through was used!)

Rules

Expectations

Permissions

One memory

That persists

Decades and decades later . . .

Waiting . . .

Waiting . . .

Waiting . . .

Waiting . . .

for Dad to get home.

What had I done?

Nervous,

Anxious,

Apprehensive . . .

Running to the door.

Announcing to all,

“HE’S HOME!”

Then running to get the tools.  It was time.

The house was brand new!

It took an

“Act of Dad”

For measuring, drilling holes and pounding mollies into the wall.

Unthinkable?

It wasn’t drywall.  A nail couldn’t just be pounded in.  A different form of gypsum board.

Not really a control issue.

A forward-thinking Dad who did’t want to spend future days patching holes and matching paint.

“Just wait ’til Dad gets home to hang items on the wall!”




Where do your ideas come from?

What techniques do you use to build anticipation in your stories?  

Could this structure work for you?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      

Idea Source:  A one line memory (often-used phrase)

Technique:  Like a riddle, give clues, without revealing until the end.

Graphic:   Giphy search for “waiting for dad”

#SOL17 and #DigiLitSunday: Problem Solving


In Real Life:

“Gramma, sit here.”

“H’mm. It’s a long way down to the floor.”

“Here, Gramma.”

I sit.  I can guess the activity by reading the clues in the area.

I don’t know for sure the plan but does it matter?  

Doesn’t the world revolve around my grandson?

How do I wait, without talking/leading, to see what “our play” is going to be?

In My Professional Life:

Book studies have popped up everywhere.  Which ones should I join?  Which ones are quite intriguing?  Which ones should I avoid?

My professional “shelfie” looks like this: (+Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst)

shelfie.jpg

How do I determine what groups to participate in?  

For example, I know of three different groups reading and responding to Disruptive Thinking. Do I just jump in?  It’s summer after all and I do have more “time” to spend on reading and writing.  Do I develop criteria?  What could/should that look like?

Last week’s #G2Great chat was with Patty Vitale-Reilly (@pattyvreilly) about her book, Engaging Every Learner:  Classroom Principles, Strategies, and Tools.  You can read Chapter 6 of her book from Heinemann here, check out the storify here, or even read my blog post about the chat here.

Where do I think problems with “being an engaged learner” might arise?  Where should I begin? Right now I believe I need to pay attention to actions 1, 3, 5 and 6 below as I develop my plans to participate in book studies this summer.

  1. Consider the three dimensions of engagement
  2. Cultivate engagement in the classroom
  3.  Establish routines to cultivate high engagement
  4.   Use assessments to build engagement!
  5.  Use choice to build engagement
  6. Cultivate my own engagement

My decision is to see which of the aspects of “engagement” hook me into summer book groups and provide the incentive for me to continue participating.  By planning to “problem solve” in advance, both when I get stuck when reading and when my participation wanes, I can gather additional information about both my problem solving and my engagement!

What are you going to learn / study this summer to move your literacy life forward?

When do  I want/need/crave choice and creativity and what role will that play in my decisions/actions?




 

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      

Additional #DigiLitSunday:  Problem Solving posts with Margaret Simon and Reflections on the Teche.

digilit-button

 

#CelebrateLu: Reprise


The sun is shining. The temp is in the 60’s and rising. What a fabulous weather report that takes me back to my farming roots! It’s spring and I’m thinking of home (after a writing workshop last Saturday)!

And yet . . .

Spring is a time to celebrate . . .

rebirth  as plants nudge their way through the ground cover

life as baby animals appear with their families

longer days of leaving home in the daylight and still having daylight on the return at the end of the day

end of the year activities . . . concerts, track events, music contests

And all those dreaded LASTS . . .

The last time the seniors . . .  before they graduate

The last time the juniors . . . before they move to the senior world

And so on . . .

But today I celebrate last Sunday’s reprise . . .

All seven of us who went to Rome . . .

Together . . . plus a few more!!!

“We set off on a journey to Rome, yes a religious trip, but also a trip to the heart of civilization.  This is a city of 300 churches with 200 more in the suburbs.  It’s a city of many diverse nationalities and personalities.  It was a pleasure to be in a group of seven . . .

Mom

Brother

Sister

Brother

Uncle

Aunt

within a community of 52 pilgrims from an Iowa sponsored tour (plus folks from IL, WI, MO, and FL).”   “SOL16:  Travel Trivia”

Other posts about Rome are here, here, here, here, and here with this one quick photo from O’Hare before our international departure.

2016-08-30-13-54-06

and here we were again . . .

But this time in Iowa

A band concert

Taking advantage of time together

Eight months later to gather for a celebratory meal (Leo & Shirley’s upcoming 9th anniversary)

And a high school band concert directed by a son / grandson / nephew/ husband / father   . . .

Central DeWitt:  Sunday, April 30, 2017

Copy of 20170430_190022.jpg

band program

band zero

band one

band three

band four

And always, one of the fans in the seats!

concert

Home can be family.

Home may not be one specific physical place.

Where do you celebrate and call home?




celebratelu.jpg

Check out for celebrations at the link with Ruth!

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.

doctorsam7

Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

Present Perfect

adventures in multiple tenses

Leadership Connection

from Great Prairie AEA

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together

arjeha

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

adventuresinstaffdevelopment

All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

TWO WRITING TEACHERS

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

elsie tries writing

"The problem with people is they forget that that most of the time it's the small things that count." (Said by Finch in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are my small things that count.

I Haven't Learned That Yet

This blog serves to document my path of learning and teaching.

Simply Inspired Teaching

A blog by Kari Yates

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

AnnaGCockerille Literacy

The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Reading to the Core

Just another WordPress.com site

Karen Gluskin

My Teaching Experiences and Qualifications

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching