“Tell me, what is it you plan to do…” #SOLC20 #SOL20

The final two lines of Mary Oliver’s ubiquitous poem, “The Summer Day” have been haunting me the last week or so. (You may read the poem in its entirety here.) 

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?” 

Uncertainty and fear surround us daily, yet I can’t help but think that this moment provides an opportunity for each of us to accomplish something during this unprecedented “wild and precious” time. Maybe something big, or perhaps something small that relates directly to our current situation like…

  • volunteering
  • sewing masks
  • safely checking in on neighbors
  • staying in touch with family
  • rekindling friendships

Or even things like reading that book you’ve always wanted to read, or practicing your water coloring or poetry writing skills, getting the yard spring ready, visiting that trail you’ve always wanted to walk on.

When the light at the end of the tunnel appears, and it will, what will I have done? I don’t want to reach the other side and think I really wish I had…

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today and every day this month. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every day during March and each Tuesday throughout the year! Some of you I will see tomorrow for the launch of #NationalPoetryMonth and my #ThoreaulyInspired daily poem project, and for the rest of you, I hope to see you back here in a week. Be safe. Be well.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

 

Oh no! It’s almost April 1! #SOLC20 #SOL20

I’ve been so caught up in slicing, Schooling from Home-ing, and just putting one foot in front of the other each morning, that I completely forgot Wednesday is April 1st! As the 2020 SOLC comes to an end, National Poetry Month begins and that means another daily writing and sharing challenge. This time it will be a poem a day!

But what will my theme be this year? Two years ago, my first year participating, it was all things vernal pool-related. I had a blast with that theme, and I’m even retooling some of the poems I created that month so they might be published as a collection. Last year I teamed up with several Poetry Friday pals and we used “Playing with Poetry” as our theme, using tools such as Haiku and Metaphor Dice, magnetic poetry, paint chips, and nail polish colors for inspiration. This was hard, really hard. Much harder than we thought.

It finally came to me last evening in an a-ha moment, if you will. Thoreauly Inspired.  Each day during the month of April, I will write a poem inspired by a word or phrase mined from the pages of Henry David Thoreau’s jewel-laden journals. I’ll leave my challenge open in that the poems may take any form (haiku, free verse, borrowed line, blackout) and who knows which direction they will go in.  I learned from the first year that wide open is better. I paid the price for not following that guidance last year.

Where did the idea come from? Two places. First, walking. Since our Covid Quarantine began, my husband and I have been taking walks daily, many of which are in Thoreau territory — the towns of Lincoln, Concord, and Sudbury, and along the Assabet, Concord, and Sudbury rivers. (Notice the absence of Walden Pond? It’s mobbed, so we are keeping our distance for now.) And second, volunteering for the nearby Walden Woods Project‘s Thoreau Animal Index Blitz last month. Working with other volunteers, both in person at the Project’s headquarters in Lincoln, Massachusetts and remotely, we combed through the pages of Thoreau’s magnificent journals looking for animal references. This new resource, when tidied up a bit, will be a goldmine of information for Thoreau scholars worldwide.

So there it is. Beginning April 1, #ThoreaulyInspired. We shall see what happens!

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March. One more day!

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

 

Where are we walking today, Julie McCoy? #SOLC20 #SOL20

“Where are we walking today, Julie McCoy?” my husband asked yesterday morning.

For those of you too young to get the reference, Julie McCoy was the Cruise Director on The Love Boat, a favorite sitcom from the late 70s and 80s. My husband has always referred to me as “Julie McCoy” because I’m the planner-of-fun in our relationship. I choose movies, museums, restaurants, and outings. You name it. Fun planning is in my wheelhouse.

Since we are cooped up a lot these days, as everyone is, and our gym is closed until further notice, daily walks are de rigueur. To maintain our mental as well as physical well-being, we need to keep moving and be outdoors as much as humanly possible. And as Cruise Director, it falls upon me (happily, I might add) to choose our destination of the day.

My husband and I are very lucky to live in an area of Massachusetts that has abundant conservation land and trails. At the moment we are working our way through a neighboring town’s Guide to Conservation Land book, which I purchased about a year ago along with a trail map. Thank goodness! I must have done a good just choosing our trails yesterday, because when we got back to the car he proclaimed, “Today you nailed it. That was the best walk thus far.”

I thought it was, too. Come on. I’ll show you!

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March. How are there only 3 days left?

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

 

Frogs in my TV room: Part 2 #SOLC20 #SOL20

The other day I Sliced about having frogs in my TV room. (You may read that Slice here.) To be honest, at the time they were just wood frog eggs. But this morning something magical happened — they began to hatch! Now it would be more accurate to say, “I’ve got tadpoles in my TV room!”

tadpole

I’ve been watching over these little guys since I brought them home from our school vernal pool on Tuesday. (Note: They were harvested by a licensed conservation biologist. I’m just head-starting them at home instead of my classroom. Click here to meet the amazing Emilie and see her knee-deep in the vernal pool searching for an egg mass for me.) Each morning when I come downstairs, I turn on the light and take a peek in the tank. Nothing Wednesday. Nothing Thursday. Nothing Friday. BOOM! They are starting to venture out of their protective coating.

Something to look forward to each morning. We don’t have a dog, so these little guys will bring me some life-goes-on joy every day, and I’ll be sharing their progress with our Kindergarteners online with my Tad Cam.

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March. How are there only 3 days left?

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

 

There Is A Tree #SOLC20 #SOL20 #PoetryFriday

Happy fourth and final Friday of the 2020 Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers. It’s the last Friday the SOLC and Poetry Friday intersect. Where has the time gone? Today I am again slicing up a bit of poetry. Poet Tabatha Yeatts is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, The Opposite of Indifference.  Won’t you join us there as well? Slicing poetry on Fridays during the SOLC has been a great way to flex those writing muscles. If you are ever wondering where to find the weekly host of Poetry Friday, you’ll find a list of hosts and their blog links here.

There is a very special tree downtown that I can see from our second-floor bedroom window. Every time I walk into that room this time of year, its chartreuse glow catches my eye. It is a small moment on my day that brings me hope.

There is a tree I see out the window (1)

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day during March. And thanks to Tabatha for hosting the poetic side of this week’s double celebration! Happy Friday, all, and be safe and well.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

Screen-Shot-2018-12-27-at-6.19.40-PM

Frogs in my TV room #SOLC20 #SOL20

What’s making me happy today are eggs. Frog eggs, that is.

eggs

Usually, these wood frog eggs from our school vernal pool would be hanging out in fish tanks housed in seven Kindergarten classrooms in our district. But this year is different. Oh so very different. This year they are all in my TV room at home.

frog tank

Yup. My TV room. That’s because I took one for the team and volunteered (yup, again!) to headstart them at my house. I met up with our Biologist in Residence, who has a license to relocate them, and my Science Curriculum Specialist in the woods on Tuesday and that’s where the handoff took place. We social distanced for sure. (Thankfully the frogs haven’t been over the last few weeks!) I have the fun task of monitoring their progress and reporting back to our team and their students about their progress. Will will create School From Home lessons on Seesaw using up to the minute photos and videos I film on my Tad Cam, a.k.a. my phone.

I know this all sounds odd and awkward, but this is what we do every spring. And with so much “different” happening in my life right now, a little “same” is feeling pretty good today.

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

 

May 4th now #SOLC20 #SOL20

“Did you hear? We’re closed until May 4th now. The whole state is!” This came via text from a colleague late this afternoon.

I missed the Governor’s daily press briefing at 11:00. Sometimes I watch, but other times, I don’t. Some days it’s just too much. I want some good news. Does anyone have any good news? We have Twizzlers in the drawer. That’s some good news!

But it’s not Twizzler time, So we walk. And usually, upon our return from a walk, I feel better. Exercise, fresh air, and no screen. It does me a world of good. Twizzlers do too, by the way.

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

 

I finally had one. Have you? #SOLC20 #SOL20

It finally happened.

A meltdown.

Not a five-year-old’s meltdown, but an adult

  • I’m worried about my 84-year-old parents
  • I’m worried about continuing to volunteer at the Food Pantry
  • I’m worried about what will happen if the Food Pantry is forced to close
  • I’m worried about my sister, her family, and our extended family
  • I’m worried about two unemployed family members
  • I’m worried about friends and family who live alone
  • I’m worried about my students and their families
  • I’m worried that those families don’t understand my worries
  • I’m worried about the lessons I have to plan
  • I’m worried about having to master Seesaw, Zoom, and Google Meet overnight
  • I’m worried about my drastic increase in screen time because of the above
  • I’m worried that we are pushing out too much
  • I’m worried about their drastic increase in screen time because of the above
  • I’m worried about not getting enough exercise
  • I’m worried about Netflix crashing
  • I’m worried about toilet paper

So there it is. All my worries finally got the better of me. I finally had one. Have you?

It’s ok. We’ll be ok.

It’s ok. We’ll be ok.

It’s ok. We’ll be ok.

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

 

Dear husband. I’m nervous. #SOLC20 #SOL20

Dear husband,

I’m nervous. You are downtown working at the Food Pantry and I can’t protect you. I wanted to help, too, but my Principal booked a Cabinet meeting and I needed to be there. It’s our first virtual Cabinet meeting since “School from Home” began last Thursday. The grade leaders need to touch base about how things are going.

I’m nervous. You are a selfless and giving soul who is always concerned about those less fortunate, but especially during this challenging time. I wish I was there, too, to help take orders, put bags together, and hand them out. I will be there next week if they are allowed to stay open. Not sure what will happen if a Shelter in Place order is announced either for the town or the state of Massachusetts.

I’m nervous. I know that I sent you off with a mask I’d saved and that you have your winter gloves on. I know the clients won’t be leaving their cars. I know you’ll stay as far away from their vehicles as you can.

But I’m nervous. I have a license (marriage, that is) to be.

Love,

Me

Scott Food Pantry

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm

 

Balm For The Soul #SOLC20 #SOL20

Week two of “School from Home” begins tomorrow at 8:00 AM and it’s going to rain and/or snow five out of the next seven days. Today’s walk was important for so many reasons.

***********************************************

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-2-05-35-pm