Sunday, March 29, 2020

#SOL20 Day 29 Words That Are Speaking To Me

Let Me Grow Lovely

Let me grow lovely, growing old--
So many fine things do:
Laces, and ivory, and gold,
And silks need not be new; 
And there is healing in old trees, 
Old streets a glamour hold;
Why may not I, as well as these,
Grow lovely, growing old?
Karle Wilson Baker

These words found me earlier this winter and I keep returning to them time after time. That first line, "Let me grow lovely, growing old--"
has become almost a mantra in the last couple of months. I repeat it often when I feel the grumpy old lady creeping into my brain when I gripe about the weather or the quarantine. I'm working daily on 
"Grow lovely, growing old"

I'm trying to be more patient than when I was younger. I know everything happens in its own time and place.

I move slower than I did when I was younger, but in my slower moves, I notice more--buds on the trees, tulips poking through the ground, people's actions and reactions.

I appreciate the world around me a little more--quiet moments, really good food, time spent with family and friends, handwritten notes.

I try to put myself in other's shoes before judging them. And that can be tough at times

I let things go easier now. Things that really don't matter.  If it doesn't matter a year from now...

I'm trying, really trying to "grow lovely, growing old."

Saturday, March 28, 2020

#SOL20 Day 28. If This Isn't Nice...

Uffda. It's been a week, hasn't it?
Cases of coronavirus increase daily. I think in lots of places, tensions are running high and spirits are running low. I've been working really hard keeping track of all those little moments that bring me JOY.

This week, I'm just going to make a list:

1. Last Saturday was a day of music and joy. We watched a couple of friends play and share their music. Then we found out that the Grand Ole Opry was live-streaming a show, so I hooked my computer up to the TV so we could watch. And because we wanted to end the night with music, we watched the last episode of Ken Burn's country music series that we recorded.

2. My weekly outing to the grocery store yielded TOILET PAPER! I don't think I've ever been so excited to buy a package of toilet paper, but after the empty shelves of a week ago, this was really nice to see. The shelves were stocked well in all areas. Our grocery store is doing an amazing job throughout this whole thing.

3. Video chatting is becoming my favorite thing. We can't be together, but it sure is nice visiting with family this way!

4. Our little town has also started a Bear Hunt. If you haven't heard about it, people in the community put bears of all shapes and sizes in their windows and yards. Then when people are out walking with their kids or dogs, they can "hunt" for the bears. Plans are to switch out bears for eggs on April 1st.

5. Daily walks with Chloe are so good for my soul. She's as happy as we are to get outside and move. I check for bears and signs of spring. She sniffs everything in her path for the mile we walk. I've also started carrying an extra bag when we walk. I slip one on my hand and I can pick up trash while we walk. Might as well do something good for the world while I'm out enjoying it!

6. The stimulus package passed through Congress. Deposits or checks will be coming soon they tell us. In my family, I know this money will be a big help as we live through this pandemic.

Well, those are the big things this week. I think next week I'm going to start writing them in my notebook each day. I want to be more intentional in this habit.

Friday, March 27, 2020

#SOL20 Day 27 Let's (not) Get Physical

One of my favorite Facebook friends is a former student who I had in class several times during her time in our district. I love her because she is so upbeat most of the time. She makes the world a better place just by being in it.

The other day, she posted this:

I've been thinking about it a lot since she posted it. And, she is right!

Physically, my husband and I are distancing all the time. We are careful when we have to buy groceries. We make sure we get everything we need in one trip, we avoid busy times, we keep our distance in the aisles. Other than walking the dog, we don't go anywhere else.

But we haven't quit being social. In fact, in some ways, we're more social than ever. We keep in touch with family almost daily. And now, instead of just talking on the phone, we are video chatting with those we love (well, except my mom in the land of the internetless). We saw one son and his family last weekend. Had a glass of wine with the other. Tonight we are waiting to visit with my sister-in-law and her husband. We talk with all of these family members more than ever before!

When Chloe and I walk, we wave and shout hello to anyone we see out and about. We keep our physical distance, but we can still be social! It brightens our day and theirs too. I've met more neighbors in the last couple of weeks than ever before. And all it takes is a "Hi. How ya doin'?" and a conversation starts.

So I'm going to start using the phrase physical distancing from now on. Because I never quit being social.

    We're picking up trash as we walk too. Might as well do something good for the world while we       walk!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

#SOL20 Day 26 My Favorite Lie

"Mamacita! Who are you today?"

A student stops, turns, and asks, "Wait. She's your mom?"

And so begins,

My Favorite Lie

Libby and I shared a classroom for several years. She went half time after the birth of her oldest daughter and I split my time between junior high and high school. It made sense for us to share a room. 

We are both early-to-school teachers and mornings could be crazy with students dropping in for one reason or another. We'd laugh and cry over bagels and coffee (or orange juice for Libby) many, many mornings. We'd joke about the youngest teacher and the oldest teacher sharing a room, she called me "old but fun", we'd share stories about her daughter and my grandkids. 

At some point, she began calling my mom.

Of course, a student heard that. 

I got an email during class one day telling me what she'd done. "Go along with it", she said. And I did. But I never thought it would go on as long as it has. I mean, kids would figure it out, right?

Most didn't though. Or maybe they chose to believe us. But we always stuck to our story. 

There would be the smart one who asked why we didn't have the same last name.
Duh. She got married.
Or the really smart one who noticed that Libby's maiden name wasn't Day.
Well, Mrs. Day doesn't really like to talk about her past.

Last year was the best, though, when we pulled another person into our story -- Libby's oldest daughter. 

I was doing a long term sub for Libby's team teacher and was in her room every day for freshmen English. This class also included a few gifted and talented 8th graders. They returned to the junior high one day and asked Libby's daughter if I was really her grandma. 

"Well, yea," she told them. 

"Story confirmed" they came back and told the class the next day.

Another group of believers.

Hey, Grandma!

Wait! She's your grandma?

And so it continues.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

#SOL20 Day 25. 2 Minute Journal

Every once in a while, you need a fall-back post. Something quick to write while you think of a better post for tomorrow. Today is one of those days (although I'm sure I'll need more than two minutes!)

Something I am grateful for today: We've talked to most of our families in the last few days and everyone is doing what they are supposed to do and are staying healthy. My 85-year old mom is even staying home and that is something.

We're becoming more proficient with Facetime and Facebook Messenger calls, although some of the grandkids got a chuckle when we talked the other night. But at least we get to see them and chat!

The best thing that happened today: We got some mail from one of our grandsons, which brought a smile to our faces.

AND, there was toilet paper at the grocery store! Who would have thought we'd be so excited to buy a package of toilet paper!

Something I did well today: I have a great pot of soup on the stove.
I remembered to thank the grocery store workers as I saw them in the aisles.

How I could have made today better: I need to get out and exercise more during this time. It's dark and dreary here this week, raining off and on, and it's just hard to get motivated. Hopefully, we'll get some sunshine and I'll find the energy to get up and go!

How I'll make the rest of today great: I'm going to spend some time tonight reading slices and commenting on as many as I can.  I'm also going to make myself a plan for tomorrow and try to accomplish a little more!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

#SOL20 Day 24. The Lady in Gray

She sits in her 
White Plastic Lawn Chair
on the front stoop.

Wearing her
Gray Star Dotted PJ Pants
and gray polka-dotted socks
(with the hole in the heel)
and drinking
Red Wine.

The World Walk By
as she follows
The Orders
to stay home
Get fresh air.

Monday, March 23, 2020

#SOL20 Day 23 Fine. Whatever.

I'll get dressed.
I don't really want to, but
Really I just want is to stay in my robe
All Day.

But I'll get dressed
(comfortably, I might add)

And, fine. 
I'll join the pop-up
Writing Group
on Zoom. 

I don't really want to.
I can't think of a 
Damn Thing 
to say.

I'll write.
Because if I don't
Do It Now
I might not do it
At All.

And then
I won't get my notebook pages written
and forget about
A Blog Post. 
I probably won't 
Get Anything Done.

Does it even matter?

Yes. Yes, it does!
Because through this whole mess, 
I've been writing and 
Being Pretty Positive. 
Today it is just hard to get motivated. 

So. Fine. Whatever.
I wrote.