Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Spots


The sky darkens. I notice because I catch myself thinking, "It's the middle of the day. Why would I pause at the light switch?" I grabbed a hoodie and make tea, brisk air and a damp walk are on my mind. The wind is blowing the palm branches vigorously.

"SPOTS!" yells my daughter as she rushes to put on shoes. 

Opening the door, the warm are blows in. No spots - at least not yet, mug in hand I ascend the stairs and return to work.

"May I go for a bike ride?" inquires my bored child. After talking through her route and when her next Zoom call is we agree on a plan and she heads out, wheeling her bike to the door. 

"For real now!" she doesn't hesitate to ride off, as the pavement begins to darken beneath her tires.

By the time I have finished typing this she is still gone, but so too are the spots.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Things That Make My Mother Happy

There are many things that make my mother happy. These are some of them...

Her grandchildren

A bobbin that doesn't run out of thread during a project

Carmina Burana

The color blue

Fabric

More fabric

A good puzzle

Seeing live theater

A well read audio book

Singing in a choir (especially if it is a Colorado College Tour Choir Reunion)

Chocolate

The anticipation of a trip

John Rutter's choral arrangements

Not cooking

The view at our family's place on Fox Island

Justice and acceptance for all

Into The Woods

Communicating via email rather than the phone

Ferry boats

That the end of March didn't bring an end to my slices of life being posted here

 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

What I've Read

  

What I've Read This Month...


Where's the Confetti? (31/31)

  31 of 31 - SOLSC 2021





Where is the confetti? I feel like arriving at this point in the challenge there should be confetti flitting down on me. And hooting and hollering with yelps of glee. Anyone else?

For those of you who are with us for the first time this year, do come back on Tuesdays. It is the same lovely bunch of people and yet you have an entire week (nearly. for the first Tuesday) to sift through your brain for that moment you can't wait to put down on virtual paper. Or you could put it on actual paper and post pictures of your notebook. (It's what my friend Erika does. You can check out her blog here.)

Speaking of friends: Erika, that I was just mentioning, we met in this space. We've yet to meet face to face and still, across years of reading about one another's lives, sharing comments (and even being in a Voxer group together inspired here) I do not feel it is a stretch to call her 'friend'. She is not the only one I could say this about. Friendships are born here,  and then you find yourself in the same physical space and the relationship continues.

We need one another. The practice of writing is hard. This community brings encouragement, accountability, and acceptance. Here is where we can share drafts and know we won't be judged for trying things. Thank you to Stacey and all the co-authors of Two Writing Teachers for the countless hours you pour into all of us throughout the year with your planning, sharing, and leadership.

See you on Tuesday, even if there's no confetti.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Out for a Walk (30/31)

  30 of 31 - SOLSC 2021


"Come with me," I said, taking my daughter's hand and leading her down the stairs.

"Put on some shoes."

I opened the door and we headed down the driveway. As we approached the sidewalk I asked, "I'm walking you. Which way do you want to go?"

Barely looking at me, she pointed to the right. I could tell she was concerned about what was happening. She knew she had made a poor choice. 

About half way down the block I said, 
"I'm walking my daughter."

A few steps later I continued, "
The purpose of walking a dog is often so they have the opportunity to get something out of their body." 

A look of understanding crossed her face, yet the furrowed brow showed she wondered where I was going this this.

"I'm walking you to get the grump out," I continued.

She tried to contain it, but was unsuccessful and the giggles spilled out.

Phew! I thought. I wasn't sure this was going to work, but I had to try something. I had finished a meeting and gone downstairs quietly, as she had class. I rounded to the corner and found her not in her call. 

"Are you going to class?" I asked.

She burst into tears and stomped upstairs, flopping herself onto her bed.

"Your daughter is skipping class," I messaged my husband.

Sighing I went back to work. When the clock told me class had ended I decided to take her for a walk.

Monday, March 29, 2021

New Toolbox (29/31)

  29 of 31 - SOLSC 2021


Zoom link: click

Open link: click

Join with video: click

I see twenty some squares; one teacher, lots of students - some with cameras, some with pictures, some with images.

I hear a student reading classmates possible solutions as shared in the chat box followed by a discussion about patterns students notice across the responses.

And then I notice that the teacher is in a passenger in a car. Not only is she in a car, the scenery outside the windows is changing.

I think she must have had something come up. 

I no longer hear her nor do I see any movement coming from her square. This is followed a deafening silence. I later realized it might have been one second, two maximum.

Clicking unmute to vamp, my brain is tracking with her and continue the directions she had been in the middle of sharing, hoping I am on track with her plans.

A chat appears from the teacher, further prompting us down the path - and then she's back. 

I marvel at how smoothly it all happens. She continues to teach, from the back seat of vehicle making its to and from who knows where, not missing a beat. The teaching point slide appears on the screen followed by video clips that push our thinking with their examples. Teachers are a wonder - and now they have a whole new toolbox mastered.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Size of the World (28/31)

  28 of 31 - SOLSC 2021


"Have you ever read the picture book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?" I inquired.

"No, but we watched the movie," she responded.

"I suppose the 'even in Australia' line doesn't land quite the same when you are Australian."

"No. It doesn't."

This got me thinking. 

 "Outer Mongolia" no longer seemed far off when we considered a job offer in Ulaanbaatar. Timbuktu isn't unimaginable when you have friends who live in Mali. 

The world is so small when you are an expat. Not only have I walked a mile with lots of different people, I have heard the stories of even more. 

The world may be small, but when borders shut down, flights are grounded, and airports cease to operate the miles stretch once again.

And then technology shrinks it again. I am so thankful for chats and emails, video calls and messaging. This year would have been much more difficult without it. (Forget about school and work for the moment.)

What about air mail? There were times that even mail became difficult because flights were not operating, therefore cargo was impacted. With the Ever Given blocking the Suez we are reminded that ships still contribute to the movement of goods, though I don't know of any mail that travels via ship any more.

I am comfortable with ambiguity; the world is small and extraordinarily large - all at the same time.