What’s My Purpose #OLW in Review

My one little word for 2019 was purpose. I chose the word after entering a reflective process of journaling, reading, and praying. I reached a milestone birthday of 60 this past year and I knew that I would be spending time considering future options. I also wanted to be better at making decisions based on all options and not just what I’ve traditionally done in the past. As I considered this post and my year in review I initially thought my one word purpose wasn’t lived as much as I’d like, that is until I opened my photo album and saw these wonderful pictures that reminded me of all the times I considered my true purpose.

My learning life brings me purpose…

A sweet note from a student reminding me of the importance of my work.
Always reading – especially picture books!
Embracing lifelong learning!

Taking time to stop and enjoy the scenery gives me purpose.

And of course spending time with family and friends completes me and brings me great purpose. It’s easy to drop everything and make a decision to spend time with these wonderful people!

2019 is just about in the books and reflecting on my one little word, “purpose,” left me feeling blessed for sure. I wonder what word I’ll embrace for 2020?

Once again I am joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers and sharing my little slice of life writing. Check out this wonderful site and consider joining in with your writing.

Sound the Alarms

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers.  My weekly slice of life posts put me in touch with a wonderful community of writers, and helps me better understand the struggles and successes of the student writers with whom I work.

Sound the Alarms

Beep beep

Mom, the smoke alarms are going off.  I don’t smell smoke so I think we need batteries.

Beep beep

I walked around the house attempting to determine which alarm in our house was the culprit.  As I stood at the top of the cellar stairs and listened in I instantly knew that the device in question was downstairs.  

I announced to my daughter that I was heading down to investigate and replace the battery to the smoke detector.  My daughter quickly replied “Check the carbon monoxide alarm too!”  I was convinced the noise was coming from the smoke detector so I readily dismissed her notion.  I dragged a chair over, read the warning signal chart only to discover that two beeps indicated a new alarm was needed.  Angrily I stomped up the stairs and proceeded to call around to area stores inquiring whether they carried my brand of alarm and would they still be open. Not looking forward to heading out in holiday traffic at 5:00 on a Monday afternoon, I knew the alternative was a lost night of sleep listening to the incessant beeping.

Forty-five minutes later I was back home with my alarm, pleased with myself that not only did I find a replacement but that it was free due to a generous ten year warranty. Running down the cellar stairs and anxious to be done with this unplanned distraction, I quickly plugged the new device into the ceiling mount and proceeded to place the chair back in the corner.  

Beep beep 

Maybe it needed a minute to reset. 

Beep beep

Another alarm sounded.  I proceeded up the stairs to read the directions, checking to see if there was a re-set button. The store manager insisted that installation would be as simple as plugging in the new device.  he also reassured me the device came with fresh batteries.  I read on while my daughter journeyed downstairs to see if she could shed some light on the issue.

Mom!  It’s not the smoke detector beeping.  It’s the carbon monoxide alarm! The message reads: Time for a new device!

Hmm…  You know I have a slight hearing loss! And I guess I have a listening problem too!  I should have heeded your advice when you suggested I check both devices.


The remains of the smoke alarm debacle

More Than a Tree

The plans were made once again for the seven cousins to meet at 9 o’clock on Sunday morning at their great-grandparents family tree farm. The little cousins, their parents, and grandparents all met for coffee and endless donut holes in the warmth of the house before heading out to the fields to find that just right tree. We were there early enough to have the farm to ourselves so the youngest could enjoy hide and seek among the evergreens without worry. 

Amidst the counting and squeals of “here I come,” I paused to take in the moment. I looked around to see the rows of trees, planted and groomed by my father-in-law, with the help of all of us at one time or another. I recalled the wet soggy days in May where we knelt in the damp soil to plant seedlings, making sure each one was standing straight and tall.  We covered ourselves with sunscreen to avoid poison ivy on the bare wrists, where the gloves and long-sleeved shirts meet. Our day ended with a delicious hot lunch made and served by mother-in-law, who was always grateful for the assistance setting out 500 or more trees.  Transplanting those saplings was hard yet satisfying work.  We labored knowing that each little stem placed in the ground would yield joy to a family some ten years later. 

I see you! 

I was brought back to reality with the joyful voices and surrounded by the rows of our labor.  I admired the view, the laughter, and the memories made, and still yet to be made.  We continued along the grounds looking for that one tree that spoke to us, that one tree that was lovingly groomed and tended by the family patriarch. We walked as a family sharing more than a moment, rather we were sharing a life of family love and tradition. 

It truly is more than a tree.

My father-in-law helping me carry my chosen tree



It’s Tuesday and I’m sharing my slice of life story with the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers. Take a peek and consider joining in!