Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Witness to Time Passing

Time passes
Slowly
All at once.

Year after year
I teach.
Students come
Students go
I teach.

Time passes
Slowly
All at once.

I witness
Graduations
Moving
New jobs
Engagements
Death.

In the past week, I've seen so many former students. I saw  a lot at the memorial service for one of my former fifth grade students. She was a light. Kind. Beautiful. There aren't enough tears to grieve this loss. At her service, I saw student after student...

Grown up. 
We hug. 
Catch up. 
I marvel 
at the who they are. 
I feel hope. 
Hope for our broken world. 
They are kind. 
As I look into their twenty-something year old eyes, 
I still see the fifth grader. 
Their joy. 

Time passes
Slowly
All at once.







Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I Remember When...


I came across this Instagram post and decided to jump in and join! Please join me!!!
A photo posted by Ann Dee Ellis (@anndeecandy) on


It's a writing challenge called the 8 Minute Memoir Writing Challenge. It sounds like everyday there will be a prompt. This is good for me because work started today, but I can commit to eight minutes everyday! Today's prompt is, "I remember when..." 

Tonight, I typed my response. It came out as a poem. With a little revision, here's my 8 Minute Memoir about remembering...


I remember when Virginia was new to me.
I remember when the job was new and the people were unfamiliar, but friendly, faces.
I remember starting over.
I remember being the youngest.
I remember when life was simpler.
I remember when I didn’t know anyone or anything...and now,
Those faces are filled with love and smiles and kind words.
The job is still important, but it isn’t everything.
There are roots where there once was a seed and the roots run deep.
Age has seasoned me and allowed me to see more and learn more and grow more.
I am who I am because of these people...the students, the colleagues, the friends…
all of whom have become a part of my heart, a part of my soul, a part of me.

It’s the memories, the people, the experiences that weave together to create a person.
The worries are forgotten.
The tasks that seemed insurmountable are now
tiny specks in the rearview mirror of life.
People are remembered.
Kind words are remembered.
Love is remembered...and carried along, so that I’m never alone.
I am the product of the love and laughter and failures and successes and the people in my life.
There are no shoulds, no regrets, no wishes... there’s only love, love, love.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Lens

In sitting down to write my slice today, I discovered this poem. I wrote it in the beginning of July. I don't remember why I wrote it or why I didn't post it, but here it is...


We see the world
through our lens.
And that lens-
the lens we see
our entire world
through-
is tiny
and only shows
our
perspective.

I wonder
how my lens
would change
if
I was
different?

If I was
older or younger,
a different race,
a different religion,
lived in another place...

How would
my world
look through the
eyes of
someone else?

Take a moment.
Wonder.
Think.

Everyday I
work to
widen my lens.


Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Seventy Reasons to Celebrate Mom on Her 70th Birthday!


1. She's my mom!
2. Her laugh is the best!
3. Gives great advice!
4. She loves me!
5. She loves my sister!
6. Being Grammy is the best!
7. She's a great big sister!
8. Mom's a teacher who loves her students!
9. She is the best read-alouder!
10. She's cute!
11. She loves to wear cute shoes!
12. Mom cares about everyone!
13. She's always encouraged me to follow my heart!
14. Mom is a reader.
15. We recommend books to each other. 
16. Mom bought me my first notebook.
17. She encourages my writing.
18. Mom tries to be tech savvy.
19. "Air internet." Her description of internet
20. "Hand pictures." These are not pictures of hands, these are pictures you can hold in your hands.
21. "The cloud." She doesn't even want to know.
22. She visits me in Virginia. 
23. We share a love of being in the ocean.
24. Mom goes to the gym everyday! GO Mom!
25. She's passionate about her grandchildren.
26. She tolerates Bella, even though she's not a dog person. 
27. We talk every single morning. 
28. Early mornings are mom's favorite time of day.
29. Mom is resilient!
30. Mom is strong!
31. She gets in there and gets the job done. 
32. Broadway shows are another love we share.
33. Mom loves with her WHOLE heart!
34. Family is most important to mom. 
35. Seltzer water is her favorite drink.
36. Oh my goodness, I'm only halfway to seventy?!?! WOW!
37. Mom likes time to be quiet.
38. Movies are a favorite past time. 
39. Mom is a wonderful cook...I love her macaroni & meatballs (almost as much as Grammy's).
40. She's smart.
41. Mom is independent.
42. Mom is friendly.
43. Mom is kind.
44. Although she doesn't admit this, she is a wonderful writer!
45. Mom is home. 
46. Mom is love. 
47. Mom is innocence.
48. Mom is child-like. 
49. Mom loves the beach. 
50. Mom loves Italy. 
51. Mom does not like manicures & pedicures. 
52. Mom is faithful. 
53. Mom is practical. 
54. Mom is an expert at celebrating!
55. Mom celebrates her birthday month. 
56. I wrote about mom here
57. And here...
58. Also here...
59. I love how excited mom gets about little things!
60. She's fiercely protective of those she loves. 
61. Her quiet strength inspires me. 
62. Time spent with mom is always precious to me.
63. She taught me to love books.
64. She read to me.
65. She read with me. 
66. She's the best teacher I know!
67. Mom loves hard!
68. Mom shows up!
69. Mom is my hero!
70. I LOVE YOU, MOM!!!




I did it! I love you so much Mom!! Happy 70th Birthday!!! We are so blessed to have you in our lives!! Love! Love! Love!




Thank you to Ruth Ayres for providing this space to share our celebrations. Please join us and share your own!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sacred Writing Time: My Morning Pages


My sacred writing time is in the morning. (I borrowed this phrase of "sacred writing time" from the amazing Whitney!) Morning is a sacred time for me, period. I am a morning person.  I wake up, grab my notebook, and write. I'm going to be honest...it doesn't happen everyday...it never happens like that during the summer, but during the school year, that's how I start my day.

Thirty minutes. A notebook. Sit down and write. Julia Cameron first introduced the idea of morning pages to me in the 90s. Her instructions are, "Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing,done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*" (from Cameron's website)

During the writing institute we started each day with time to write morning pages. When I showed up to those pages, I wrote a lot and felt good when I was done. Other days, I sat and wrote and tweeted and got some water, and checked me email...distracted doesn't get me the same effect. Writing morning pages is like meditating, it takes practice. Be kind to yourself when you struggle to sit for thirty minutes or three pages. Show up everyday.

I'm renaming my practice, Sacred Writing Time, and I'm going to incorporate it into my instruction this year. The "how I'm going to do it" is still percolating. This summer I found that having two questions focused me and helped me sustain my writing for longer. They were simple questions…
1. How am I feeling today?
2. What is my intention for the day?
Sometimes my writing focused on one question for the entire time and other times the answers were short and I moved on to write about other things. I return to Cameron's words, "There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages."

Show up every single day. Take our your notebook. BE there for your sacred writing time. Find a spot. Make it your own...a place where you want to be. I light a candle. 


Take a deep breath. Write. I need silence for my sacred writing time, but maybe you need some inspirational music. Whatever works for you...get it done. Celebrate every single time you write! Congratulate yourself. Showing up is a big thing.

Thank you to Ramona for asking the question that inspired this slice! 
Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Celebrating Vacations and Home



Today is my last day at the beach. I'm always surprised at how much I yearn to go home at the end of a vacation. 

Don't get me wrong, I adore the beach! The ocean. The sand. The sun. The cool breeze. The waves. Peace. All of that is why I come back again and again every chance I get...but, I love my home too.

Waking up and writing morning pages at my desk. Walking Bella. A cup of coffee from my own coffee pot. Reading a good book. Just BE-ing.

Today I celebrate vacations. I celebrate the beach. I celebrate family. I also celebrate home. 


Thank you to Ruth Ayres for providing this space to share our celebrations. Please join us and share your own!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Slice in Pictures

I'm at the beach. Wells Beach in Maine. The first two days were cloudy and cool. I woke up today to sunshine. Here are some pictures for you...
Our beach house...mere steps from the beach.

As soon as we arrived, we walked to the beach.
YAY! We are finally here!
Jack has begun his search for sea glass!
Jillian and Grammy test the water!
Jack is STILL searching for sea glass!
Our first family game night! Uno ATTACK.
The Marys telling secrets & figuring out technology together...yikes!

5:00am on the beach. Morning pages. 

An early morning selfie...

Reading starts our day.

Auntie Chelle & Jillian selfie.
This trolley looked like a good idea. (It wasn't!)
The famous lobster roll from The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, ME. Best. Lobster roll. Ever.
Waiting for the trolley...again. 
Our version of rebellion.

This was only our first day and a half. The sun and the beach and my family are waiting for me...

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.