Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Slice of Life: Why My Garden Looks Better

The school year has started, and my slicing life is back on track. All are welcome! Join us at Two Writing Teachers!

One of my favorite things to teach kids about is the power of three as they are writing. Repeat a word three times for emphasis. Maybe try a repeated phrase for emphasis. Sometimes even a repeated line over the course of a longer piece becomes a message or a hint of theme. Over the last week, I've gone to my favorite nursery three times. It's a bit of a hike, so it's been especially noteworthy, but my garden appreciates the power of three when it comes to my Meadow View visits. 

I'm not sure I can sugarcoat how my days feel lately. As a coach, I'm not in classrooms, and I'm not sure when I will be. I miss kids. I miss the interactions. My work has involved compressing units, rewriting curriculum guides, developing lists and gathering materials for when/if we have to change course and shift to remote teaching, supporting teachers who are already teaching remotely, debriefing math coaches who have been reassigned to classrooms this year and haven't thought about writing instruction for who knows how long along with a long list of new teachers and grade-switching teachers. The life preserver analogy holds a lot of truth to me these days. 

So my first visit on Thursday afternoon was a self-therapy visit. I'd had a lot of life preservers to throw and a lot of work that I didn't like with a lot of sitting at my desk. I rewarded myself with a self-promised trip to Starbucks if I could finish one of the revised curriculum guides which I did and I went and I got my vanilla latte. And as I headed back into school, coffee in hand, I spilled it down my front. Not just a little. A lot. At the end of the day, I went to Meadow View for my first flower-buying foray. Nothing like mums and asters to cheer me up. (Okay, maybe I'd prefer spring pansies, but that's another post...) 

On Saturday morning, Julia called. She's at college and many of you know she's on the soccer team--she's captain this year-- and as many of you can guess, she's not playing soccer. She doesn't cry much, but her voice on the phone was thick and I realized quickly she was crying. "It all hit me, Mom," she said. "Today would be our first game." So it hit me too. It would have been a great day to cheer-- for those of you not in the northeast, Saturday was a pretty perfect day. When I got off the phone, I carved out another visit to Meadow View, this time to buy some shrubs and evergreens as fillers for some of the beds which still looked scant to me. 

By the time I had everything planted, a friend called asking if I'd been to Meadow View yet this year. Ummmm, maybe... She wanted to go on Sunday. We could take extra cars, but talk on the phone along the way. How could I say no to that? I didn't. I went again, and this time I bought the cute new blueberry bushes, petite knockout roses and yellow grasslike perennial that I'd liked on that first trip. The rest of the day was spent revising my patio garden. 

Three visits to Meadow View. I think I'm done. I SHOULD be done...

Happy slicing,


  1. It was a perfect day for college sports ... thinking of you both. Glad she is back and glad you did some plant therapy. Hang in there.

  2. The power of three is a very real thing! I love to pursue the threads of it in literature and especially fantasy. I thin your visits to Meadow View speak to the nourish to flourish you mentioned wanting to use ... you're channeling it into beautifying your world, buoying yourself for the days you can be together at school and your daughter at the field again. Cultivating now for better things to come. Sorry about the latte though... alas!

  3. Missing you and your work! Today, I found a post-it note reminder in my planner saying, "plan your celebrations and stick to them!" Thought of you!

  4. So glad you're finding ways to feel normal! This is definitely the weirdest year on record!