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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Nice to See You Again

Little boy
boots too big
waist cinched
by brown cords
too tight to clip
too much yours
to let go
with a crinkled brow
in each inch you rise
examining your stride
navigating your steps
you risk your feelings
spilling them
from capture
a soul
you thought no one saw
you thought lost
laboring through the day
born anew
with eyes open
seeing the world
for the first time.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Watching Progress Step by Step

It's hard to believe that nearly nine months ago we lost our home. Within all the tears, fear, and unknowns we continue to come up for air. Watching the progress has been both exciting and confusing. I say confusing because the circumstances create mixed emotions. It's difficult to watch so much good come from something that was so horrific. Yet, so much good has come.

We still have a long way to go but upon returning from our ten nights of camping yesterday Shawn and I went to take a peek at the progress. We now have tile on the floor in the bathroom, air conditioning is in, new duct work, electricity is hooked up and working, and so many other pieces are falling into place. They think siding will be soon. Soffits and fascia were going up while we visited.

Shawn and I continue to be grateful for the many things we have been 
afforded following this event in our lives. We have a beautiful home to live in while ours is being built. We have friends and family from all over who have come to our aid. We have been surrounded by love, understanding, and care. It is a beautiful thing to witness so much kindness.
As much as I wish this had never happened and I wish the constant worry, stress, and pressure to work through this whole process would end, we will have a beautiful home when it is all over. We will all be together and back in our home. I cannot thank each of you enough from this community who helped us early on way back in November. Your support did not go unnoticed and I appreciate your kindness and generosity. My Two Writing Teachers team was unwavering in their support as well and I could not ask for a better group of people to work with on the blog. My school community helped in so many ways, easing my mind as they took care of my classroom and at times my own children.

Visiting the house today, after being away for a stretch of time, reminded me of how far we have come. Each day we are a little closer to our move in date and each day we are a little more healed. My feet are weary from all the steps it has taken to get here but I suppose we can all keep going as we approach that finish line. Step by step.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


My feet have covered a lot more ground lately. I've been stepping on several paths, trails, and many grains of sand have scraped between my toes. 
I've found time to read more, write more, breathe a little more. Fresh air has been my friend and it seems like the air stretches the hours a bit. 


We are on our third camping trip of the summer. Most likely our last until next year. I downloaded an app today that should allow me to blog through the day as we travel around. I've tried this before with some success. We'll see how this one works. For now I'd call this an experiment. 

The kids made their own survival tools this morning! 

We all went on a hike to "Lake of the Clouds." Beautiful!

Janie loving on grandma and grandpa's dogs. 

A little beach time. AND by little I mean about fifteen minutes. Lake Superior is not forgiving when it comes to temperature or its famous biting flies. Sure is pretty though! The kids found their own little private beach and an organic flotation device! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Not as Bad as Meredith Grey

I was in the biggest funk last week. I started to think it might be because I was going to turn forty. Turns out, I don't think that was it at all. I'm in the, "it's the end of the year" funk. I can hardly stand it. It's the kind of funk you wish you could just wash off with a good hot shower but it lingers.

I watch and listen to everyone stew and complain. The students get a little meaner and more spiteful. It's so sad to watch everyone turn toward the dark side.

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with my principal about one of my students who is really struggling. I said, "Have you looked around? No one is at their best right now! We have to be understanding of one another, breathe a little. No one is at their best and that includes the students."

My way of coping? Re-watching Grey's Anatomy from the beginning on Netflix. It has turned out to be good therapy. I literally say in my head, "It's not as bad as Meredith Grey." It seems like literally, everything happens to that girl.

And really, it never really gets that bad. Mindless drama watching seems to have put me at ease a bit and I am able to breathe again.

So, my advice...feeling like your life can't get any worse, watch season two, it could definitely be worse. I say that tongue and cheek of course. Some people do have serious and real issues to deal with. Myself included. However, I just can't dwell. I would get swallowed up if I couldn't find a reason to smile. Instead, I'm just going to keep moving.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Day Thirty-One of Thirty-One: All Mine

We always tell each other, don't take things for granted. Be grateful for all you have. Always be brave. We say these things to each other. All of us, well, most of humanity. We mostly live by these rules. We say these things and as much as we mean it we sometimes forget. Sometimes we get a bit caught up or caught off guard by life. 

All month long I sliced mostly about things we lost in the fire. I threw in a slight deviation here and there while sticking to my "not my" theme. What I never said was that there was a lot more that could have been lost in those wee hours of the night back in November of 2016. I didn't mention all the "what if" statements I've wondered about over the past several months. I certainly never think, gosh, what if I could have saved that mug or what if I could have snapped a quick picture of the wall in my kitchen with all the little growth marks on it. I never think of those, "what if" statements. It's the horrifying "what if" that I think about. 

Regardless, I'm lucky. I'm grateful. I'm brave. For all these reasons and so many more. My amazing parents, in-laws, sister, and all my extended family beyond. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Day Thirty of Thirty-One: Not My

This was the first year I followed a thread through my SOLSC posts. I was really hesitant to try it. I wasn't sure I could do it. Could I keep it going? I knew it would be hard for a few reasons. In the past, I was able to treat the challenge as a way to force myself to notice. To be a witness to my life and record the little, the big, and the invisible. This year, following the "not my" thread through each post, was a new challenge. I think I will really appreciate having recorded all these bits of life that are not mine. I might have forgotten otherwise and it is a further testament to the importance of writing down the small, the big, and the invisible.

When we ask ourselves to be a witness we see all. We reflect more deeply and the fog of our day to day dissipates. Visibility improves. I not only understand myself a little better but I understand everyone around me a little better too.

As I wrote it all down, you became a witness to my life and I became one of yours.

I have appreciated the journey and tomorrow's slice will not be a "not my." Thirty days of thinking about what is no longer is enough. Thirty-one seems like a fresh number. A turning point you might say. Here's looking to tomorrow. The last day or maybe the first day.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Day Twenty-Nine of Thirty-One: Not My Nest

The other day I could hear a clattering below our bedroom window. It sounded like something was banging into the drain spout. I asked my children what they thought the noise was. They knew immediately.

"Oh, it's that bird that lives in the nest by the back door."

I had to go look of course. I haven't attempted to get a closer look yet but it appears to be empty, no eggs. I snapped a picture and thought about how much work goes into making a nest. Strand by strand. Carefully placed. Sometimes a sprig of tinsel here and there. It's not my nest but it did inspire a poem.

With bits of green,
brown, and gray

Pieces of earth
painstakingly placed

Carefully woven
with a mix of glitz

Tucked safe and tight
nestled by brick