Tuesday, April 27, 2021

#sol21 April 27: Every Day

Today is my brother's birthday
He is not here to celebrate
But, I will still acknowledge
The day he was born
He is on my mind
Every day.

This week, after a long wait,
These guys were here
To celebrate the intermingling
Of medicine and patience.
They are always on my mind
Every day.

This year, marked with sadness
Fueled by isolation and fear
Is a reminder to embrace,
To appreciate each day
As if it mattered
To acknowledge 
Those we think about
Every day.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

#sol21 Against the Odds

It's been a long year
Confinement, isolation, remoteness,
Even as the landscape greens,
Even as the trees burst with color,
Even as the beans flower
Against the odds,
Inside my window.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

#sol21 Muddy Puddles

A picture would save words here, but I was too mesmerized to get one.

"Watch this," he said proudly as he ran full speed towards the edge of the yard, laughing and waving his arms.  I watched proudly, but not sure where the run was ending or what was happening, but sure the excitement was high on this unseasonably warm afternoon. 

 "Ahhhhh," he crooned as he landed, slip and slide style in a brown, mud puddle that had already seen many, many landings that afternoon. "It's a mud pit for pigs," he added proudly. "I made it myself," he offered emerging covered in mud after writhing in the soft, gooey pit for just a minute and preparing to do the run all over again. "This is so fun," he smiled, covered with mud.  

I smiled, grateful for parents who realize the power of creative backyard play, muddy puddles,  and soapy water.  

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Two Vowels Did NOT Go For a Walk

I recently heard a teacher say, "When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." I stifled my sigh, I think; but, not my sadness that this old teacher tale was still being offered as a way to approach unfamiliar words. 

So, I did a quick Google search and found the myth was all over the internet! I wanted to cry!


There are many studies that disprove this myth.  Incredibly, it's only about 36-42% of vowel teams in common words that follow that "rule" depending on which collection of common or frequently found words you use.

A few vowel teams do follow that pattern most of the time: ay (way), ee (green), oa (coat), oi (coin) and oy (boy).

The rest of the teams that do not follow the old tale! 

The vowel team ea can say e its name as in eat, its sound as in bread, or the long sound of a as in great. 
The vowel team oo can say oo as in cool or oo as in good.
The vowel team ew can make the sound in few or in sew.
The vowel team ey can make the sound in money or in they.
The ie team can say thief or lie.
The au team can  make the sound in fault or in laugh.
The ou team can say pouch, boulder, couple, should, or cougar. 
The ei team can say receive, forfeit, or vein
The ai team can say rain, plaid, aisle. or said.

This does not mean we do not teach vowel teams; rather, it means we teach the strategic patterns such as, ai is usually in the middle of a word and ay usually is at the end!  Perhaps I need to make tee shirts that say two vowels did not go for a walk! 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Hard Memories

It was a picture that "popped into" my feed as "you have memories;" yet, it churned up a whole pile of memories, some hard! 

That fall, I was exhausted trying to balance the challenges of cuddling two brand-new miracles, in two different cities and supporting their parents, navigating new-parenthood. 

My mother was still living at home, with heaps of support, and a palliative care plan.  There were more bad days than better days.

It had been just a few months since my decades-long-marriage ended abruptly sending me into an era of living in my car, juggling decisions, and visioning a cloudy future. 

It had been months of talking to no one, other than my therapist, and doing nothing, other than driving from one site needing-wanting my time and energy to another.

There had been many days when I did not eat (other than energy bars and coffee from Mobile on the Run) as I fueled my car before heading to school.

Then, after a long illness, after years of waiting to join my dad, my mother died. 

In the days that followed, I cleaned and organized the contents of her condo taking a few pictures to share with nieces and nephews so they could  take and make their own memories.    

To be honest, I think I my emotions vacillated between empty and relieved as I tried to capture photo images, late at night.  Facing a cloudy future, I took nothing, not even that family tree with roots in the 1800s.  

Yet, this morning, as I stared at photo on my phone, I saw, for the first time, the light on the picture.  
Clearly, there was a message in that memory: Even in the hardest of times, there is light if you stop to notice it.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

sol21 Concrete Messages


 Not far from my window
Fresh messages appeared,
As if I needed to be reminded
To smile,
To notice sunshine,
To be kind,
To eat ice cream.
In all honesty,
Holidays can be hard
Trying to celebrate life
Remembering loss,
Still trying to navigate
Vaccines, masks, new variants. 
Many others stopped,
Noticing, thinking, smiling.
In all honesty,
I needed all those messages,
Well, not to eat ice cream!