Looking in From the Outside

The end of the day suddenly approaches and I begin to tidy up. After I’m done in kitchen, I make my way to the living room. I pick up after my dog and begin to put away the remains of her toys. Everyday she somehow manages to get every single toy out of her basket and carelessly tosses it across the room. As I finish putting her toys up I look over at her snuggled into a ball on our new chair. The chair is a decorative piece, not meant for comfort. She’s claimed it as her throne. How does a dog claim it? Not by becoming territorial. Not by ‘marking her spot’. She just has decided to break it in. I bring my face closer and run my finger against the bottom of my chair. Two holes are beginning to grow and threads hang all along the bottom. Upset, I demand Kahlua to get down and she obeys. There they are, the discolored marks along the cushion from her paws. I start to look around the living room. There are smudges on the first window pane. Our couch has scratches from her late night hyper-ness, otherwise known as the ‘zooms’ in our house. The marks on the wall from her leaning against it while she stands because she’s a bit lazy when it comes to standing. I’ve finally come to a realization.

I enjoy a tidy house and taking care of my belongings, but at some point you are the only person who really knows why things are the way they are. Someone could come into my house and look around and notice the clumps of dog hair gathered at every corner of my house. They might notice some of the scratches on the couch while sitting down in my living room; however, it’s the things that they don’t see that matter most to me. They might not know that the hair is from multiple belly rubs a day and that the scratches are from our play sessions. They don’t know that the accent chair their sitting in is her chair that she perches up on all day to wait until the moment we come up or that the smudges on the window are from her curiously observing the outdoors. So, I’m not going to stress out about cleaning after her spilt water every time she takes a drink or every new mark I find. I know why my place is like this and that’s what matters.

Grocery Store Trips

There are two types of grocery shoppers and my husband and I are those two different types.

Your first type is a browser. They stop in front of the apples, debating over which brand is the best. Once that decision is made, they begin the search for the most perfect apple. Afterwards, they take their cart and begin to weave in and out of the aisles, stopping every once in awhile to decide among the many brands again. Halfway through the aisles in the store, they realize they might want something that they came across earlier on in the trip so decide to circulate back to the produce section. They want to try new things. Everything tempts them and those samples get them every time. Some might call them patient. Some might call them indecisive.

Your second type is a getter. They are sitting in the car, reviewing the list of needed items verbally for reassurance. They begin mentally mapping out their route while walking through the sliding doors. They get excited as soon as they grab a cart and they’re off. Literally, off in one direction. They leave their cart in the aisle to claim their ground. They cannot stand to have their cart slow them down or affect their ability to make their way through the store. Leaving their cart, they begin grabbing items and filling their arms. They have balance and great coordination. Their items are carelessly thrown into the cart. Some might call them efficient. Some might call them impatient.

Now what happens when those two different types try to shop for groceries together? Stress and teasing, but a lot of laughing.

Reflecting on What Works for Me

I tuck my legs under me and situate myself where the two cushions meet on my couch. I sink in, but not too far. I drape my warm blanket over me and bribe my puppy with a nice belly rub to come lay next to me. Once she’s on me, I’m finally situated. I open my blank page/draft post. I stare at the blank page that is asking me to share my best experiences, my life changing moments, my daily dilemmas, but I can’t. I’m distracted. Tabs and tabs and tabs. 

Inbox. Google Drive. March Madness. Google Doc. #If you learned here. Kidblog. WordPress. WordPress. WordPress. Youtube.

Click here and dibble dabble. I feel fulfilled and satisfied so I move onto the next one. Nothing. Click the last one and forget why I’m there. Click the next one and click some more. After clicking on all of them I am brought back to my page.

I have to write all at once. I’m not one who can write something, step away, and come back to continue working. I have to write at one time and I have to write fast.  What I say at first doesn’t always make sense. It may not be what I’m trying to say, but getting it out is better than where I was originally and that was avoiding it.  I find myself writing my last sentence and looking back at a embarrassing, sad paragraph. I think, What?! I feel like I just poured it out there and what I had to say was so important. That’s really all I wrote? The frustration and temptation to give up, but I reread it to myself. I have planted a seed. I have put down my roots and now I need to do more. I correct. I reorganize. I choose precise words to convey what I really mean. I play with structure. I add more and I add more.

My original thought and idea is no longer there. That was just my seed. It grows into something new every time.

Sometimes in the direction I planned it to go in= Tulip

Sometimes it soars into a masterpiece = Sunflower

Sometimes it’s short and simple = Daisy

Sometimes it’s full of emotion and deeper meaning= lilac

but no matter what, I’ve realized that if I allow myself to just write and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes, I can make it grow into what I want.

I was inspired by Elisabeth Ellington’s post where she shares about her writing life. I loved how vulnerable she was and how she was opening up to others about her personal writing life. I try to do this with my students so they can relate to my experiences, but I’m curious to read about their personal writing lives. What challenges they face, their writing routine, etc. 

Warmth of the Weather

As I step out into the sunlight and smell the fresh air that has a cold crisp scent to it, I think of what exciting adventures are around the corner. I also think of all the memories that took place during this time.

We finish taking pictures after Easter mass and we’re itching to get out of our nice clothes. We are granted permission to leave and we all run upstairs to change. We throw on play clothes and are immediately back in the front yard, attempting to stand still.  All the adults are still in their fancy clothes, but they’re just as excited as we are. My dad comes out with his own bag of Easter eggs with a suspicious look on his face. “Okay, I’m going to need you all inside.”, he says. We all sprint indoors and give him all of the space he needs because we know what he’s going to do. None of us dare to look because it would take the fun out of everything and we all know my older brother is on the lookout like a hawk.  We patiently sit in the living room trying to focus our attention on the television, but we’re waiting for our call outside. The doorbell rings and we run outside. My cousin takes one step towards an egg and I pull her back. “We can’t!” I exclaim.  We stand in line listening to my dad’s rules and regulations. After he gives us the go sign we are off. I leave my cousins that I love so much and sprint towards the side of the house. I pick one egg up. It feels awfully light, so I crack it open. I see green cash rolled up. I run back to the front. “THEY’RE FILLED WITH MONEY THIS YEAR!!” My cousins freeze and crack one of their own up. We all begin to scream and the hunt is back on. 

I remember every year around Easter time because it’s such a special time for my family to get together. They would always visit us in Iowa and we’d hold the traditional Easter egg hunt. This was the first year we started getting money and it was such a game changing event. Every year since then, my dad would add something else to mix it up and even as adults we still have our own hunt. I love these memories I have with my cousins and family and this spring time is just making me itch. I can’t wait until Easter!

My Morning Friend

You wake up at the breaking dawn, slowly making your presence known. I step away for a moment, leaving you in a cold empty kitchen. The lights still sleep, but you begin to crescendo. I return shortly to check on you and see that you have awoken. You open, leaving remains of those before me. Your remains are still valuable, yet tossed. So much, just tossed away. I take my time trying to choose the best fit for you this morning. I graze my finger across the foil lids. I make my choice. You always treat me well and serve me when I’m at my worst. You begin gurgling and I let you be. The steam rises into the air and the smell fills my nostrils. I take a deep inhale to begin my day. I thank you for helping me make sure I start my day off right and I treasure the moments we spend together in the early hours of the morning.

I was inspired my friend and amazing colleague, Katie Muhtaris. She created the collaborative google doc that was posted on today’s classroom challenge page and is a genius! I love seeing the different techniques and ideas that her and my other amazing colleague come up with. Not only is it a great resource for students, but all writer’s can find inspiration from it and that is exactly what I did. 

Sharky After Darky

I try to sneak in my bed for a power nap that I have set 15 minutes aside for. I slowly maneuver my way under my comfy blankets, trying not to make too much noise. If I do, she’ll notice. I’m tucked under, feeling safe and sound. My eyelids begin to sink down to shut. Then I hear the pitter patter that starts to pick up as it rounds the corner. I look up and a black flash lunges over the bed frame colliding with my upper body. It’s Kahlua, my adolescent dog that craves attention and will do anything in her power to receive it from me. Lately, violence has been her strategy.

My body is thrown back and I am pinned beneath her. She is balanced on me and neither of us dare to make a move. I move nothing except my right arm. I slowly extend it outwards to try and grab the edge of the bed to help my planned escape. Instantly, she catches on. Her head moves towards my arm and she dares me with her body ready to pounce. I’m all out of ideas. All I wanted was to rest my tired eyes for 15 minutes, but I have a mad dog holding me hostage in my own home!

“Where’s your Sharky?” I ask in a pathetic cooing voice. “Shaaaaarky after Daaaaarky.” I say as I start to tease her into her favorite song. Yes, my dog knows what this means and it’s become a nightly routine. I begin to sing the jingle that I created one night on the spot while playing with Kahlua and she instantly leaps off of the bed. Two seconds later she jumps back onto the bed. This time with Sharky, minus his head, in her mouth. She’s ready. She’s been ready.

I feel defeated and worn out.

Now, as I write this, she is worn out as well. She tucks herself in a little ball and sleeps on the cool chair. Who owns who is what I’m wondering…

A Little Taste of Spring

A single bird begins to chirp.

It sings a light melody that dances in the air.

The others awaken with the sunlight.

Slowly, they join and the choir grows.

The notes dance and hop lightly across the sky

and make their way through the windows.

A little taste of spring.

As others wake up to start their morning they notice the song.

They pause to admire.

Hopeful and Bright

The day is beginning with a little taste of spring.