Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ready for a new page!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. 

I'm addicted to calendars.  I need one in every room of my house, just in case I need to look something up.  This month, the calendar in my home office has the ugliest picture I've ever seen for a calendar shot.  I actually have the same calendar at school (it was on sale after New Year's), and when I mentioned not liking the May picture to a student today, she commented that it was barren.
And that's how I feel about my writing life tonight - barren and empty.  Nothing comes to mind and I'm far too tired to search for something worth writing about at this late hour.  I'm looking forward to flipping the page to June in a few days and finding some new ideas for slicing.  Until then, I'll look at this barren landscape and ponder what the artist saw in this photo that made it calendar worthy!  It must be beautiful to someone, but not to me!  However, I do like the blue sky in contrast to the drab browns of the landscape.  And dirt roads always make me think of John Denver and country roads taking me home.  I like the rocks beside the road.  And how about those scrubby trees clinging to life in this barren setting?  I guess this barren picture is not quite so empty after all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thinking of the piles to go before I sleep!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. 

Inspired by GirlGriot earlier this spring, I return to the arun form of poetry for a quick reflection.  It's a fifteen-line poem in three sets of five lines. Each set of five lines follows the same syllable structure: starting with one syllable and increasing by one (1/2/3/4/5 — 3x).

a quick trip
to celebrate
son's graduation.

from the East
coast to the West
coast in four short hours.

wish that 
four short hours
could conquer my
to be graded piles.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Recognize this?

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. 

We took a walk last week with my daughter and son-in-law in the Olympic Sculpture Park.  As we entered the park, I spied this sculpture on the side of the freeway and asked Sara and Will if they knew what it was.  They thought it was a tool of some kind for the kitchen, but didn't know the purpose of such a tool.  It seemed like the brush on the end made it perfect for the kitchen.  When I was able to stifle my giggles, I explained the typewriter eraser to them, a tool that the students of my day would never be without, but is unrecognizable by my own children.

Thanks to black chick on tour blogger who allowed me to use her gorgeous image. Check out more sculptures from the park by clicking on the link to her photo tour blog post of the park.

This experience made me think about other things that have gone out of fashion like the pneumatic tubes at our Anthony's department store in my hometown.  I loved the sound they made as the cash and receipt traveled to the main office and then whooshed back to the customer and sales person standing at the counter.  It made for a few moments of pleasant conversation while you waited for the transaction to be completed.

How about adding machines and inventory taken with pencil and paper (and carbon paper)?  I worked at Montgomery Wards department store in high school and during college.  I spent days and weeks with the ten key reconciling inventory pages.

I recently had to explain transistor radios to my students.  It was such a treasured possession for a teenager in my day, but made little sense to students who carry I-pods in their pockets.  It makes me wonder what will be obsolete by the time my students grow up, and what common objects will they have to identify and explain to their children.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Gift of Words!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. 

As Mother's Day approaches each year, I struggle to enjoy this day in honor of mothers because I can't celebrate with my mom.  I remember one year when my daughter said to me, "Mom, we don't want you to be sad for Mother's Day.  We want you to be happy because you're our mom."  So while I miss my own mom each year, I've tried to focus on enjoying this special day with my children.   This year when my family asked what I wanted for Mother's Day, I replied that I wanted to go to brunch on Saturday!  So they made the reservation, but are keeping the location a surprise.  I love surprises!

I ask my students to make handmade cards each year and share a poem or special memories with their parents for Mother's Day or Father's Day.  I love watching them make beautiful cards and share special words and memories with their parents.  I promise them that these handmade cards and sentiments will be treasured by their parents forever.  I've kept all the cards I love and cherish in this special box.

I share the ones I've received from my kids as evidence.  The wish list was made by Blake as a coupon list the year before he graduated from high school and the remember card was made by Sara when she was a sixth grader.

Several years ago, I wrote this poem as a tribute to my mother because I have the most wonderful mother in the world.  Even though she died 22 years ago this month, I can still recall the touch of her hands and the love I always felt in her presence.

My Mother’s Hands

My mother’s hands were soft and firm,
Measuring, stitching, guiding, and holding,
Hands that labored long and hard.

Measuring fabric at Ben Franklin’s,
Patching to make clothes good as new,
Tucking cash into my hand after a visit home,
Showing love for her family.

Frosting countless birthday cakes,
Shaping the crusts of pies lovingly filled,
Stitching special dresses long into the night,
Showing love for her family.

Guiding my footsteps on the gospel path,
Leading always by her loving example,
Holding me through troubles, joys, and sorrows,
Showing love for her family.

My mother’s hands were soft and firm,
Providing years of loving labor for loved ones,
My mother’s hands, a design for love.

Mother’s Day 2009

This past week, I received the following email from my son.  So I'll let him close this post as my guest blogger.  It warmed my heart, and I cherish every word.  He won't be here for Mother's Day, but I'll be traveling to DC for his graduation from law school in two weeks.  I printed a copy of his email to place in my box of special cards.   I encourage my students to share the gift of their words and memories, the best gift ever!

May 1, 2013

Hey Mom!

I'm baking today and that always makes me think of you.  Stefi's co-worker and good friend is leaving - her last day is Friday so they are having a little party tomorrow, and her favorite cookies are our oatmeal chocolate chip so I have been tasked with delivering plenty!  

I love to bake, it is so fun to put together ingredients and create something that is both familiar and fresh and fantastic.  And little things remind me of your kitchen, like when I turn and walk a few steps to the kitchenaid with a cup full of flour, or how I carefully check the recipe two or three times to make sure I'm getting the right baking powder or soda (this one has both in the same amounts so it's easy!).

Thanks for baking and for being such a great Mom!  I love coming home to your kitchen, and I'm so excited to see it after you get to put in new countertops and stuff - it will be beautiful.

Love you,