Day 31 of the Daily Slice of Life Story Challenge

Day 31 of the Daily Slice of Life Story Challenge

I cannot believe today is the last day of the Slice of Life Story Challenge. On day one of the challenge I wrote I took on the challenge because I hoped by writing daily I would become a better writing teacher.  As I scroll through my 30 posts, I am amazed at the depth of my growth, a growth that goes beyond teaching me about writing. Through my slice of life story challenge I have:
Daily writing: like a cairn or marker that leads the way to the top
  • Laughed at myself
  • Reflected on life lessons while hiking
  • Counted my blessings
  • Synthesized my learning
  • Discussed inspirations
  • Honored my family
  • Been lifted up with comments
  • Dabbled in poetry
  • Shared my deepest feelings
  • Thought about what it would be like to be a grandma
  • AND Became a grandma!

I have definitely changed because of my commitment to daily writing.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for giving me this most incredible experience, and thank you to all who read my posts and gave me the courage to continue to take these small steps along the journey up the writing road.

The Circle of LIfe

I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the entire month of March.  Today is day 30 which means 1 more post and the challenge will be complete, but the writing will go on!  Thank you Two Writing Teachers!

The Circle of Life

Post Script:
My first grandchild, Madeleine, arrived yesterday.  Such a mix of emotions, but I know she will be blessed with an angel to watch over her.  I am extremely hesitant to post this poem, but it captures my feelings so profoundly.  The words were first written about a week ago when I awoke at 2 am and typed away on my phone.  The only words that changed were the gender (it was a surprise) and the lips that told me she was being guarded by her angel.

The Grandma I Want to Be

Today is day 29 of the month long writing challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers. This is my first year participating in this “Slice of Life Story Challenge” and I am loving it! Only 2 more days!

The Grandma I Want to Be

Yesterday I was driving home from work when I started thinking about my mom and her role as grandmother.  I thought about how she inspired my children and the legacy she left with them.

My mother grew up in the depression era where you lived by the waste not, want not, mantra so she was continually thinking of ways to use this little piece of yarn, or that leftover piece of fabric. She was always making with them, and this was long before the “maker movement.”   When the kids came to visit, Grandma regularly had a project for them to complete, like creating homemade Christmas ornaments together from found objects, (that still grace our tree) bead-work, Popsicle stick frames, and simple sewing projects. She always had the glue, yarn and material ready for their visits and the kids grew to know and love this about her.

She also made for them.  She was a fabulous seamstress and loved making stuffed animals and dolls.  She made a doll for each girl and then stitched a first communion dress for the doll to match the first communion dress she made for them.  She crafted white lunch bags into Easter bunny baskets and then filled the bags with eggs sewed out of scraps of floral and striped material and lace.  A typical lunch time visit to Grandma’s house included chocolate milk and grilled cheese sandwiches cut into cows from the special cookie cutter my mom had just for them!  She made the kids all kinds of candy too, our favorite being the best butterscotch lollipops you ever licked! Oh how she spoiled my kids with sweets!  The love she put into these gifts was very evident.  

I know I will never quite be like my mom, but as my new title of grandmother grows ever closer by the minute, I think more of how I too can be that grandma.  A grandmother that creates with them, explores with them and laughs with them.  I want to be a grandma just like my mom.

Lessons Learned From Hiking in the Alps

Today is day 28 of the month long writing challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.  The month is almost over and yet, this first time slice of life story writer has managed to get a post out each day without too much sweat!  

Lessons Learned While Hiking the Alps:  Always Last

Hiking in the Alps with my family last summer left me with many lessons about life. The views were out of this world awesome, but a view that I came to accept was the view of the backs of my adult children far ahead of me.  You see, their legs are longer and more youthful, and this 56 year old woman, out to prove something (read here), just couldn’t keep up. 

My children were very patient with me and even polite when I reached them at a stopping point.  “Mom you are doing great.” They would say, but I was still always last.  It didn’t bother me much, except those few times that I finally caught up to them at a designated point and just as I got there they would say, OK , enough resting, let’s go.  Even though I had just seemingly arrived!

All these last place finishes made me think about the students in our classrooms who are always lagging behind. Do I leave them with an eternal “view of everyone’s back?”  Do they feel like they are always trying to catch up, or worse giving up because they can never keep up?  How do I change my practice so that everyone finishes joyfully at the same time?  
These are the questions that I have been pondering since my return.  Yes, we need to differentiate but we also need to keep our eyes on how we can give each other the sense that we have all arrived together.  That is the challenge!

The Unexpected Happens

I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge everyday for the month of March. Thank you Two Writing Teachers for providing this opportunity. Today is day 27.

The Unexpected Happens

Yesterday all the expected plans for the weekend were thrown in the air and big changes happened. Let me just say that I am not good with change.  I should be better at accepting uncertainty considering my life of the last three years, but that’s another story.  
Here are my unexpected happenings…

  • Taking a walk in the woods with my daughter, son, and daughter in law and dog

  • Finding a hidden treasure in a state park

  • Seeing some new and unusual spring blooms

  • Shopping at 1 pm on Easter Sunday for the fixings to make an impromptu Easter dinner

  • Calling our daughter and son in law to find out that they can join us for dinner!
  • Holding hands around the table for grace

How special it was that due to that crazy unexpected change, our family was able to gather for Easter dinner. I feel so blessed and loved.  

When am I going to learn that embracing the unexpected almost always brings about goodness?

A Day of Waiting

Today is day 26 of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. Thank you for this great opportunity.

A Day of Waiting

On this
Holy Saturday

On the day between
Sadness and joy

Impatiently for
new beginnings

To reflect
and ponder

That I live my life

with a pure heart

Lessons Learned from Hiking in the Alps: Labels

Today is day 25 of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for sponsoring this challenge and for helping me to see the importance of daily writing.

Lessons Learned from Hiking in the Alps: Labels

Last summer I went on a four day inn to inn hiking adventure in the Swiss Alps with my children.  My son and daughter in law planned the trip with a help of a company that maps your route, carries your bags, and arranges your stays.  My son and his wife wanted to do this last trip before having children. I wanted to do this because I was now a widow and I wanted to prove to myself that “widow” does not mean old. Of course I did not tell my kids my reason.

The person previously known as widow!
Now – young chicken! Ha!
I don’t like the word widow so I was determined to cast a new light on the word.  I am still young and can still hike in the Alps despite that title.  

Day one was a challenge.  I, of course was always bringing up the rear (that’s another slice of life story!) but after 7 hours of intense walking I strolled into the inn with my kids!  I made it. 

I reflected on the word widow.  What does that word mean anyway.  According to widow is: a woman who has lost her spouse by death and has not remarried.  Yes, by definition I am a widow.  But what I am not is old and unable to move or see the world.  That definition was based on a preconceived notion I had for that word. It was a label. At the end of the day, my tired and achy body realized that the label widow was what I made it to be, and at that point I realized that widow was a label – just a label.  It didn’t need to define me.  

What other labels have I used and then place preconceived notions attached to that word? What labels are used for the children in our schools?  Did I use labels that defined a student and stuck with him/her over the years? Did that label damage a child’s self esteem or worse, stopped that student from succeeding?

Labels can be damaging, but as I learned in the Alps, labels can be overcome and redefined!