Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Slice of LIfe: When the Ski Boot Fits...

On Tuesdays, the community of 
Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!
I have to say that so far, my One Little Word for 2017 has been a good one. Brave was a relatively easy decision for me this year, and it has nudged me to take risks in certain parts of my life, push a little harder in other areas, and even find myself having more fun. 

Over the weekend, we visited my brother in southern Vermont. I had sworn off skiing--my equipment is old, my gear is outdated, and so many of my friends have gotten such serious injuries that it was an easy goodbye for me. However, on Sunday, it was almost 50 degrees at Mount Snow, and there was a TON of snow. 

My youngest daughter is not a huge fan of skiing, so after lunch, she declared that she'd rather work on the puzzle. 

"What size are your boots?" I asked, to everyone's, including my own, surprise. 

I tried them on, and they fit. Not the most comfortable footgear ever, but doable. 

"You're going to ski?" Clare asked. Just a few days earlier, she had suggested that my disinterest in skiing was indicative of my diminishing capacity for fun. Not want I wanted to hear as my fiftieth birthday looms in the less than a year away horizon. 

I ended up taking a few runs, taking over her gear, attire, and lift ticket, and disproving Clare's suggestion that I was no longer as fun as I used to be. 

Standing on top of the mountain, not having skied in several years, I was definitely nervous, but pushed myself to be brave (although there wasn't a lot of choice let in the situation!). We all had fun, even Cecily who was home working on the puzzle. Maybe that's a reward for being brave.

Happy Writing,

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Slice of Life: Weather Revised Our Plans

On Tuesdays, the community of 
Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

You'd think that with all the technology that's available, I'd do a better job at documenting some of my life, but alas, for the most part, I am left with just words. Last week, weather dictated a lot of my life, and actually it dictated some much needed slowing down. On Thursday, here is what my deck looked like:
We had a well-warranted snow day, made extra fun by good friends who were staying with us while their floors were being refinished. This meant games, cooking, and lots of laughs on a day that mandated slowing down. 

I was scheduled to fly to Virginia to visit one of my daughters on Friday morning, and I was relieved when that flight took off from Bradley--many flights were canceled on both Thursday and Friday. Even though Virginia was chilly, there was plenty of green grass and even an opportunity to take a beautiful hike at the popular Humpback Rocks. One of the best parts of the hike was following Lisa Keeler who I've gotten to know because of this slicing community--that's another whole slice, and one both of us have written about before! Another great part of the hike was enjoying the views with my daughter, Lisa, and her daughter Claire. 

Weather kept revising the game plans, as another storm hit Connecticut on Sunday. My husband called on Saturday to suggest changing my flight from Sunday night to Monday morning. He wins the good thinking prize since my original flight, set to get me home at around midnight, was canceled. I took a 6 am flight out of Charlottesville on Monday morning, planning to make it to work on time since there was a school delay, but that plan was foiled as well. My connecting flight was canceled, too, so I didn't make it home until Monday afternoon. Another personal day was crossed off my tally, but that's okay. We all had more time together on Sunday, and even though six hours was a little longer than I'd normally choose to wait in an airport, I had a good book, a lot to write, and plenty of memories to keep me smiling. 

Happy Writing,

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Slice of Life: Phoebe's last day

On Tuesdays, the community of Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

Last night, I drove my mother and her dog to the vet. "I know it's the right decision," she said from the back seat where she held Phoebe. It was. I envy dogs the privilege of being able to end life just before it gets too miserable, and Phoebe had reached that point. 

Phoebe came into our lives just after my father fell down the stairs and sustained a traumatic brain injury that changed all of us. She'd been with us for all fourteen years of my father's struggles, and then some. Maybe part of the challenges she always had to be a good dog--and she had plenty, may she rest in peace--were because she lived through such a long struggle that had nothing to do with her except for being the backdrop of her existence. Throughout Phoebe's life, we lived with constant fear and anxiety. Sometimes those feelings were tidal waves--my father did a lot of falling that involved blood and ambulances and emergency rooms, as well as his regular blood checks that were stressful as well. But most of the time the fear and anxiety were undercurrents that waxed and waned below the surface of our daily lives. 

As we drove home, just the two of us, we talked more about my dad than about the dog."It's so hard to remember all the good things," she said. I know exactly what she means. My father was an amazing dad, and it's hard to push aside the more recent and more painful memories of him. Driving home last night on the dark wet roads, we reminded each other of smilier (I made up that word) times. Of his crazy hat collection, his propensity for learning new things, his books and magazine articles, his generous and thoughtful gifts, his passion for practical jokes and for laughing.

Maybe, in some strange way, without Phoebe, it will be easier for us to access the times we'd rather remember.

My OLW for 2017 is brave. It would have been easier for me to write about an interaction with a student yesterday, but being brave means being vulnerable and writing more about what matters. I have plenty of time and space to write about Noah. Today is about Phoebe and Dad.

All good things,