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?
American Girl Store
High Tea at the Drake
Lincoln Park Zoo
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
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.
Where have we been?
What have we seen?
This morning sitting at the Leonardo DaVinci Airport I was literally counting my blessings.
This was Mom five years ago on her “0” birthday when she went on a Mediterranean cruise with my younger sister. The idea of returning to Rome has been a recurring topic.
And last evening we celebrated sisters in our tour group in this picture.
How many sets of sisters?
And without a picture . . . How many sets of brothers were on our trip?
What was our location?
How many hills in this city?
How many obelisks?
What US city is at the same latitude as Rome?
How many attended the canonization on Sunday?
How many in the audience at the canonization needed medical treatment due to the heat and the numerous hours in the sun?
How many were within five feet of the Pope on Saturday?
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 . . .
within a community of 52 pilgrims from an Iowa sponsored tour (plus folks from IL, WI, MO, and FL).
Today’s Slice of Life . . . Treasuring the “arrivederci”!
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Questions and Answers from above:
How many sets of sisters? 4
And without a picture . . . How many sets of brothers were on our trip? 1
What was our location? Rome, Italy
How many hills in this city? 7
How many obelisks? 11
What US city is at the same latitude as Rome? Chicago
How many attended the canonization on Sunday? 120,000
How many in the audience at the canonization needed medical treatment due to the heat and the numerous hours in the sun? 1,000
How many were within five feet of the Pope on Saturday? ALL 52 of us!!!!
(6 of 9 answers were included in earlier Tweets from Rome! – Just another reason to be on Twitter!)
Where does writing inspiration come from? Today it came from this quote in my inbox from my sister via the priest leading our trip to Rome at the end of August for the canonization of Mother Teresa. To learn more about Mother Teresa, you can check out this link.
What does this quote mean to you?
If you are reading closely you do notice the difference between the bold words and the italics. I have a couple weeks YET to learn more about Mother Teresa before joining about two million friends at the Vatican for the celebration!
What should we plan to see besides our tours?
My research is starting with these top 10 FREE things to do and see in Rome. I’m not buying a book – a real paper book at this stage. I’m sure that I will download something about Vatican City and the churches in Rome. Our guides will be amazing but I also like to have some background information to fully appreciate the historical significance!
And in the meantime,
it’s back to packing
for a trip to Rome
Two younger brothers,
One younger sister,
An aunt and uncle (Mom’s brother!)
A trip of a lifetime!
As she returns for her second visit, five years later!
What family travel story do you have? (or will you have)?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
3:47 am landing in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday.
we had drinks and snacks served on the nonstop Delta flight.
we actually departed LaGuardia.
Our captain, with flying hours left, arrived from Canada and was released from his previous plane.
we had libations comped courtesy of the captain.
we wondered if a captain could be found or if we would be required to deplane.
we watched as passengers in the first bus returned because the catering truck left without filling water, ice, and the necessities for flight.
we entered a bus to head to our plane scheduled for a non-stop flight to Des Moines.
the long awaited announcement that our flight was ready to board.
the announcements of restricting the number of flights in NYC airspace.
the announcement that the FAA closed the airport due to lightning strikes within 3 miles of the runaways.
resettling at a new gate without electrical plug ins.
the announcement that our flight would now be leaving from Gate D12.
I began writing my blog post for Saturday.
As flights resumed, I was finally able to find a seat in a “re-charge” area.
I considered myself lucky to have a seat in the terminal packed with folks like me ~ eager to travel ~ but grounded when the FAA closed the airport runways due to a tornado warning.
I was recording reading notes and sobbing while reading.
I sat and devoured . . . What a great pairing! Thanks, Justin, Susie and Sally for recommending such great choices!
I was at the #TCRWP Closing for the 2016 June Reading Institute! Surrounded by friends and so many folks who LOVE reading!
I was at the #TCRWP 2016 June Writing Institute!
Eventful travels home from #TCRWP June Reading Institute?
Still in NYC?
Safe travels for all learners! And especially for those soon heading to ILA16 in Boston!
Seriously, did you read that whiney drivel from yesterday? ( Here ) Some folks really just should keep their mouths closed and their fingers off the keyboard because all they do is show, literally, how lacking in brains and imagination they are. It was so mortifying to be a part of that conversation and I was just the tool!
So to recap quickly, I have a new owner. I was quite happy tucked away, twice removed from the world inside my tightly packed box with the banded wrapper around it. I was NOT going anywhere. And then this unbelievably OLD lady came into the store “because her phone didn’t work”. (Don’t be offended that I called her old – it’s all relative; but do remember that I have only been on the shelf here for one short week. One. Week. I am the new kid on the block – one of them anyway!)
Over the last two days, I have been dropped, poked, prodded, and plugged into electrical outlets and some gismo in the car. And I have no idea of the number of miles I have traveled and the places I have seen.
But I digress . . . back to the beginning.
I was on the shelf at the Verizon store minding my own business when the clerk came back muttering . . . “she really isn’t going to like white.”
I was relieved. Safe! Or at least for the moment. My happiness lasted for less than a minute because she was back, grabbing me as she put Louise back in her place on the shelf. Drat . . .white is not the “in” color!
So then I was prodded wide awake – no more yawning, plugged in to charge up, coded so I could be connected to the World Wide Web (www – in case you had forgotten) and, in general, treated so informally that I wanted to ask, “What am I, chopped liver?” but I didn’t want to take any words from anyone else’s mouth!
Chatter, chatter, chatter but what I really heard was blah, blah, blah!
Maybe I was headed for an adventure. To ride in a Mercedes Benz or a convertible. Or to a new home by the lake. No sticky fingers from kids PLEASE. I do have my dignity to hold on to! (But have you seen this old lady? I don’t know, but she sounds kinda bossy like she is used to telling others what to do all day!)
So, this app transferred a bunch of apps and pictures so I’m now quite a cluttery mess and then she (my new owner) said, “I don’t think I have all my pictures. And what about Twitter? And where is my Voxer icon? She’s got it rough. Pictures? Twitter? Voxer? She thinks she has worries!
Right before we went out the door, I heard her say that she would bring all her questions back when the new screen protector came in. PUL-E-E-A-A-S-S-E-E! Maybe I could convince her that I was just TOO much phone for her! AHA! What fun for me!
So I spent the last two days as a trickster. Sometimes I worked on command. And sometimes I didn’t work on command. I quickly learned how to avoid being yelled at. There were a couple of choice words that I really did NOT like to hear. So today we’re back in the store.
Listen in on this conversation:
Owner – “I’m just not quite sure that this is the phone for me.”
Me – YAY!
Clerk – “It’s just an upgrade of your old phone. In another week, you will be such an expert that you won’t even remember this conversation.”
Me – No, she’ll forget because she’s old and forgetful. She only has one or two passwords memorized.
Owner – “It doesn’t seem to work all the time . . .”
Clerk – “Let me double check the settings. Re-opening apps and checking to make sure they work is a bit tedious.”
Me – Tedious? BORING! Case closed – whiney drivel!
Which version was more realistic?
Which version was more fun?
Is it possible that there is a third or even a fourth version?
PS. Check out how handsome I am! I could have been one of these old dinosaurs!
Which ones have you used?
Process: As I finished writing yesterday’s post, this author began to wonder if the story could be told from another point of view. She had revisited the two versions of the deer story that was quite popular last March here and here and wondered what could lend itself to that same CCR. A. R. 6 Point of View standard. What do you think? The post was drafted in 15 minutes. The picture from yesterday was recycled with another quick search for a talk bubble. Preview, categories, tagged, and ready to publish but oh, wait, a quick check for pictures of old, old, old phones!
Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!
“My bags are packed, I’m ready to go . . .
I’m standing here outside my door . . .”
On Friday I will be off on another GRAND adventure!
My home for the next two weeks!
Writing Institute: June 22- 26, 2015
Advanced AM Section – Develop Toolkits to Support Narrative Writing (K-2) Celena Larkey
Advanced PM Section – Using the Best New Children’s Literature as Mentor Texts: Support Sky High Writing (3-8) Shana Frazin
Reading Institute: June 29 – July 3, 2015
Advanced AM Section – State of the Art Curriculum to Support First Grade Readers (1) Elizabeth Dunford Franco
Advanced PM Section – Embracing Complexity: Teaching Kids to Tackle and Love More Complex Nonfiction (3-6) Katie Clements
The week days will be packed with learning and collaborating with new and old friends. The week nights and weekends will be filled with visiting with friends (including “Slicers”), continued learning, bookstores, museums and shows – “The Book of Mormon” and the Tony award-winning “Best Revival” – “The King and I”. That’s just a brief preview of my June!
Where will you go and what will you be learning this summer?
Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work. So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!
Looking forward to “seeing” fellow slicers: Tara, Julieanne and Catherine soon!
Growing up on a farm in rural Washington County, life was easy! My world was small! My cousins, double firsts, as our moms were sisters and our dads were brothers, were our next door neighbors. We lived, played and worked together. Problems were often solved to our mutual satisfaction and solutions were found in our Sunday afternoon bike rides especially after the paving of “Patterson’s Freeway” so we could ride for miles and miles on paved roads and quite literally, entertain ourselves and be trusted to disappear for hours and yet return on time.
Then for many – changes – the changes that come after graduation. College, jobs, college, jobs, additions to the family. Still living the life; life was easy.
I remember my first encounter with Vietnamese students in the Ottumwa Heights dorm. I often wondered what they were cooking. Even when I respectfully inquired, I was never quite sure of the answer. The nuns believed in them and provided a home and supports to meet their needs. I also wondered what they thought of us. My first encounter with a different culture (Seriously, I thought cultures were more like farmers and city slickers!).
Life continued to be easy. More jobs, college, and changes in the family. High school music had always been a source of travel and open doors to new experiences. College continued to broaden those experiences. For me, NMSU Marching Band. For my sister, the flag corps in the Hawkeye Marching Band and bowl trip after bowl trip. . . including the grandaddy of all bowls — the Rose Bowl.
Time passed and work, jobs, college continued (there were six of us siblings after all) and SOME of us dearly LOVE learning! Travel to my sister’s hotels in various parts of the US. Vicarious travel via her postcards to foreign countries and life was still easy. Growing and learning. Seeing new sights. Visiting new places yet firmly grounded in the MIDWEST!
Family – ever expanding. We laughed the year we had borscht for Christmas dinner – courtesy of the same traveling sister with a major/minor? in Russian. And then before we knew it, we added to the homogeneity of our family . . . a HIndu brother-in-law (so yes, a vegetarian to this agrarian pork-producing family) and a Korean sister-in-law. The world was now a part of our family. Midwestern family meets the world. What a shift! We have literally moved beyond fruit and veggie pizza which we dearly love to decent-tasting vegetarian meals that can serve the next gen – those two nephews who are 6’3″ and 6’7′ who have never eaten meat. . . Still pondering how that happened! Our easy family life in Iowa, is better, more tolerant, more accepting, and even views the world differently because our family has expanded outside the farm, the county, and even Iowa.
What challenges will we continue to see in our family?
What challenges will we continue to see in the world?
(Following the example of Sally Donnelly, a colleague and friend that I met face to face Saturday . . . you can read her “Before That” here.)
I arrived home last night just before dark, without having encountered any deer, in my blue Hyundai rental without cruise control, eternally grateful that I was able to monitor my speed while excited about my weekend of learning.
Before that, I was thankful that I did not need the picture that I snapped of the fire extinguishers on the wall of the parking ramp near my car in order to remember where I left it after my mad dash to the airport on Friday following all day PD!
Before that, my US Airways jet landed in Des Moines in the midst of a balmy yet windy 75 degree afternooon. (I didn’t believe the pilot, I had to text a friend for verification. 75? Really?)
Before that, my US Airways jet finally departed the Washington DC airport after two hours of delay due to undisclosed maintenance.
Before that, we deplaned after 30 minutes of sitting on the tarmac.
Before that, we began boarding at the time listed on tickets for our departure.
Before that, we were shuttled to our departure terminal after the bus idled in our rectangular-painted location until the corresponding bus left Terminal 23 – our destination.
Before that, our shuttle flight landed in DC . . . exactly one hour late.
Before that, I was using the internet at LGA to stay caught up with email, slices, and organizing pictures captured over the weekend.
Before that, I was clearing check in and security literally in seconds due to TSA pre-check status and at my departure terminal in minutes.
Before that, I was on my way to the airport in a yellow cab, relishing the fact that 50% of the folks at Central Park were wearing shorts and the other 50% were bundled up from head to toe in winter coats.
Before that, I finished packing and added a few last minute thoughts to a document as I contemplated topics for my last March Challenge slice as well as beginning curious thoughts about what “traditional Tuesday” slicers would find for imaginative topics. My current list of all the modes of transportation from the weekend in NYC (in reverse order): taxi, walk, subway (loud guy), walk (“reading glasses”), subway, subway, walk, subway, walk, subway, bus, walk, walk, walk, walk, taxi, plane, walk, plane, walk, and rental car.
Before that, I had a hearty American breakfast at the Nice Matin, adjacent to the Lucerne Hotel, on the upper-west side of Manhattan because with a full day of travel, a solid breakfast to begin the day beats any and all airport food.
Before that, I read and responded to daily “slices” as well as posting my own and linking it at Two Writing Teachers.
Before that, I woke at 6:00 on my last morning in New York City (this trip to Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) in the fabulous Lucerne Hotel.
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THANKS for reading my daily posts during March!
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This is the last day of the March Daily Challenge. Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work. So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.
After a day on the road yesterday traveling home, it’s easy for me to envision this winter break ending soon. What an amazing time with friends and family! And I only took pictures at the beginning and the end so my reporting is going to be random!
Traveling by car: the price of gas was amazing!
Friday, December 19th at the New London, Iowa Casey’s the price of a gallon of gas was $1.99. This was en route to the Moline airport to pick up the kids when they flew in.
On Monday, December 29th at Columbia, MO, the price of a gallon of gas was $1.89. This was on the return to Iowa signaling the last turn north to home.
Of course there were other tank fill ups during our travels but any and all that were under $2.00 per gallon were particularly noted.
Surprises were surprises!
On our path to new memories and traditions, we held a surprise baby shower for my daughter-in-law who believed that the surprise was that she and my son were in Iowa for the family Christmas. (The family did not know that she was accompanied by her husband so there was a surprise for everyone!) Even better, the projected overseas deployment is canceled for now so there was much to celebrate! Guests brought favorite books to share so the book shelf in the baby’s room will be filling up and the “onesie-decorating” contest was fun for all. Proud of the many artists in the family. And special thanks to my sisters for organizing and planning the shower!
The Ruth family Christmas (my mom’s brothers and sisters and offspring) was well attended. We had the “family that came the farthest” – sister from Florida with her boys as well as five out of six children present for a high family attendance. My son noted that he could tell he was in Iowa as there were five different corn dishes!
And then in Kentucky, we had great meals with many contributions from family members attending! Debbie’s turkey was marvelous (so was her potato soup- different meal!)! John’s hash brown casserole – amazing! Aunt Lisa’s pies! Julie’s peanut butter balls and cake-batter bark were automatic hits! So many choices . . . all great cooks!
Great Family Time!
We had a total of six different Christmas congregations between Iowa and Kentucky. These involved parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many more! Thanks to all family members for the great conversations, gifts and celebrations together! Making the special effort to spend time together for the holidays and for family . . . Heaven!