Saturday, March 10, 2018

She Reads!

Last week I read a review of the Big Umbrella on TWT. I ordered two copies, one I sent to my grandchildren and the other for my Pre-K classroom.   It arrived on Saturday. We didn’t have school on Monday and Tuesday I was busy playing catch up to the plan.  Wednesday morning I shared the book with my class of Young 5’s.  When I finished a little girl asked if she could “read” the book.  I said “yes”, a short while later she came back and proudly announced she’d read it.  As soon as time allowed I asked her to “read” me the book.  She did!  Flawlessly!  I knew she was learning, just this morning I was interrupted before we read my morning message and she announced she had read it by herself.  When she read it with me I wondered if her skills had taken off.  Three weeks ago she passed a Fountas and Pinnell level A. 
As she proudly read the book again to a beloved school employee I realized the joy of watching a reader grow right in front of me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Cards and Letters

My husband has been slowly going through the contents of his mother’s house.  He’s sorting all the precious things she’d saved in 93 years of life.  The clippings, cards, and letters she so carefully saved are a glimpse into what she held dear.  Tonight as he sat at the table reading the 64 year old cards and notes sent to congratulate them on his birth I was struck with how rarely I take the time to write a note or card.  I’m quick to text and e-mail, but the slowly scribed note, not often. 
Perhaps it’s because it’s slow. Or because paper doesn’t have spell check?  I freely admit I hate my handwriting!  But the people I love and care for the most are going to get a card….at least for this year.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I Can See Clearly Now

I’ve worn glasses since I first got my cat eye blue specs in first grade.  I replaced them with contacts when my dear sister put me in a yellow dress and yellow floppy hat for her wedding in the early 1980’s. Glasses didn’t work in that scenario, so I switched to contacts! About ten years ago, when I moved to kindergarten and caught every cold the students had, I decided to give up my contacts.  I’ve had my current glasses for the past 3 years.  Every year my script changes a little bit.  I guess three little bits makes a blur. 
Since I’m terribly indecisive about my glasses I waited to pick out a new pair until our daughter visited.  This inability to choose is possibly connected to my first mistake in eye fashion in the early 1960’s.  Today I finally remembered, before the office closed, to go pick them up.  I texted a photo to our daughter for her approval as I left the office.    I waited for my husband to notice the larger plastic style.  There is quite a difference from the small metal rectangle shape I've worn for three or four years.  We talked, made dinner and even ate dinner, no reaction.  Finally, as we sat chatting after doing the dishes he said, “Amy just texted me to tell me  notice your glasses.” 
I wonder what my 5 year olds will say tomorrow.  I’m thinking it will be more dramatic.

Monday, March 5, 2018


My preschool years were spent living across a dirt road from my maternal grandparents’ house.  My father had purchased a small farm when he returned from serving in the army, but he needed an off -the-farm job to support the family.  When he didn’t find a position in the area they moved to a small house on my grandparents’ farm and he worked for them for several years, while renting out the farm house.  This allowed them to make the necessary improvements for the farm to house our family and animals.
Grandma kept an immaculate home, with the help of my aunts.  She also washed all the milking equipment in the milk house and kept a huge garden.  The garden was surrounded by a white picket fence, but the painting story will have to be another slice.  The fence was a necessity, cows and pigs often get out of their pastures and pens, and they always pick the things you least want them to eat as their travel snack.
The garden was on the east side of the barn, just a few feet from the milk house.  Grandma would walk through the garden as she went back and forth to the barn and pull the inevitable weeds.  Along the west side of the garden was my grandmother’s asparagus patch.  As gardeners often do, we ate the produce that was in season.  I recall loving to eat asparagus that had been put into a white cream sauce.  Mom served it over toast as a light lunch.  It was my favorite lunch, and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t have it year-round.  My mom finally appeased me by substituting peas into the sauce, making my lunch available even in the winter.
Today as I shopped I saw the bunches of tender asparagus and put it in my cart, I won’t cream it, it will get roasted.  As I drove home I picked up my phone to call mom and reminisce about my strange childhood favorite lunch. 

I paused as I reached for the phone, and tearfully remembered mom’s gone now.  Nine weeks is far shorter than I’d ever imagined. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

No School Tomorrow

I live in Michigan.  We often have snow days.  When the weather is really bad our schools even cancel the night before.  Since all the snow is melted and we’re not expecting any weather events next week I was not expecting a phone call at 7:00 pm on a Sunday night. 
Our superintendent’s voice surprised me, she informed us that all school buildings are closed tomorrow.  An unexplained threat has caused this decision. She was clear that no one was to be in the buildings tomorrow. I'm saddened by the threat of harm to our small town.  

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Change of Plans

Growing up on a farm, we always had dogs.  We loved playing with them and they alerted us as soon as anyone started up our quarter mile driveway.  On the farm dogs were never allowed in the house.  They went into the barns when the weather got nasty.  We never considered the need to chain or pen my childhood pets, they wandered freely around our land, and we never gave them a thought for grooming or training. 
As an adult, now living on a busy road our family dogs have always been primarily inside animals.  The freely wandering dogs of my childhood don’t mix with neighbors only a half an acre away.
This year as our son does a residency in a college town his wife and four children are living in a small three bedroom apartment.  His great Pyrenees mix dog is spending the year with us.  Baxter joins Belle, a golden lab in our home.  The dogs are friendly and usually lie so close I can’t tell where one starts and the other ends.  For most of the past nine months we would occasionally get up to discover the dogs on the couch.  Recently, they don’t even pretend to lay anywhere else.  Our grey cloth couch is now covered with white hair.  Really long white hair, belongs to Baxter, the short is Belle.  The couch now belongs to the dogs. 
Thursday night my husband texted me to plan dinner with friends.   They wanted to see the transformation of our remodeled house, we planned to share desert at our home after dinner out.  The couch would be sat on by humans!  Last night  I tidied the house and dust mopped the floor my husband vacuumed the couch.  Accepting the inevitable reality we covered the couch with a sheet as we left the house. 
Hours later we showed off the many changes in our house to our friends, Wayne quickly removed the covering on the couch. We sat and chatted for hours over brownie sundaes.  This morning as I woke, I recalled the delightful evening with friends, I wondered if we’d protected our recently clean couch and then I remembered, I forgot to slice!  Darn! 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

I'm Going To Try

I just looked, It's been almost two years since my last blog post.   In that time we've said goodbye to both our moms and had a new grandchild born.  We remodeled much of our house and I got a new knee.  This year's class is an unusual collection, so now I need sit down and write!