She Used to be His Darling

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When seeing the world with my writer’s eyes, I go grocery shopping and leave with food and a poem!

There he was
In the produce department
Backside perched precariously by
the seedless mini watermelons
(sale priced)
Irritation
(showing)
on his furrowed brow
Cell phone
tugged unceremoniously from his pocket
This middle aging man
must have spotted her
at that exact moment
(by the bananas)
because he
snapped his fingers
dismissively in that direction
as the florescent light
danced off his wedding ring
as if to declare
(unlike now)
there used to be a time
when he
cherished her
as his darling

Flummoxed

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Flummoxed
Bewildered
Baffled
Confused
Amazed
at
the
turn
of that conversation
beyond
Flabbergasted
Astounded
Thinking
we were engaged
in
light hearted
skimming the surface
chit chat
when something I said
triggered
an explosion
in your depths
that
torpedoed towards me
Oh woe
next
time
I believe
(I must)
remembering
this experience
battened down the hatches
before
conversing
with
you
to prepare
for the possibility
of
another
incoming
attack
ALAS

Value added

It is Saturday, time to celebrate with Ruth and friends!

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Two weeks ago I closed the door on the 2014/2015 school year, tucked the memories of that unique group of first graders into my heart, and in some ways was able to set aside the many struggles in all aspects of my life that year brought. The year where hope in God’s provision never faded but where often it took great effort to persevere and just take the next step. It was hard work.

In the short time since my days have been filled with so much JOY and so much to celebrate. I wish I could slip you a recording so you could watch and appreciate the contrast. It is a study, lessons on the value of continuing because eventually things can change and become better.

These past days connection has been the key to celebration. It is through the act of opening up and sharing our stories that we learn to appreciate those who listen. This particular adventure started many days ago with this, typing some words here on my ipad in California and pushing publish. Then reading and writing, writing and reading started linking some of us together. Our words matter and it revealed that we matter, too.

Warsaw, Indiana seems an unlikely place to me for what has become a yearly milestone event. The AllWrite conference is fabulous. It is not that big but it attracts the professional people we admire, whose books we read and whose words nurture us as teachers. It is personal and accessible. I get ideas that refresh me and spur me to better teaching. That alone would make it worthy of a trip. It is the reunion, sometimes with people I had not previously met in person, that make it significant.

My trip started in Missouri, meeting up with elsie. Some of you may know her through her writing, some may have had the pleasure of her company in person but I get the delight of spending many hours of quality time with her. She is generous in so many ways. She puts up with me for starters!

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She practices another form of creativity with her bead work. This year she crafted these tree of life necklaces and bestowed them to her blogger friends. Each one is unique and she gave me first choice!

I want to give you small glimpses into her many acts of friendship. She picked me up at the Saint Louis airport BEFORE 6am when I arrived on the red eye. She and I have fun, fun, fun on our road trip to and from Warsaw. She shares her history. She makes me many meals and plans special treats. She opens her home. Her husband, Mike graciously accepts my invasion for a few days. They make me feel like family.

Here elsie(with Mike) notices and captures a picture. It was great to see her in action! This is how many of her stories start.

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Here are the friends, along with elsie, that I got to spend the most time with at the AllWrite conference.

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Ruth, our Ruth Ayres, this captures her. She encourages us to write and to celebrate even when life is messy. I am truly blessed to know her and to have met her family.

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Christy is so full of fun and depth. Who else would actually encourage elsie and I to send her selfies? Her unexpected presentation at AllWrite spoke to my teacher’s soul. Knowing she is in the world brightens any day.

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Mary Helen is laughter and stories well told.

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I like this unguarded moment with Ramona, Lori and Linda. We all like the way our electronic devices have joined us together.

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Becca takes everything in and her quiet presence enriches our gatherings. She writes a bit and she is amazing at it. I look forward to the day her stories gently persuade her to tell them!

These few days are like diving into a treasure chest and grabbing handfuls of riches. Each precious, valuable and sustaining. I feel overwhelmed by the generosity of these gifts so lavishly given.

Value is added to the quality of my life because of knowing them!

There Are Some Things

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Yesterday my school year ended. Summer is about ready to bloom with many exciting plans. Today though I am looking back at a really tough year and celebrating the reality of a living faith with God through Jesus. That deep relationship sustained me. It is an unmerited gift!

There are some things
that my tender heart
CAN
NOT
even bear the thought of
My mind
refuses
to entertain
even their notion
There are some things
an imagining of
the mere hint of
triggers a flee response
NO
NO space in my mind for you
I will not allow it
HALT

There are some things
that living life
brings
that my tender heart
is forced to bear
that only
through
God’s mercy
is it possible to
endure
and say
YES
YES
to the miracle
of faith
of hope
of love
and
in those
ABIDE

Jumbo Fireflies

Flying
is how it seems
in the dark
surrounded by
a vast, mostly empty space
my car travels
down the mighty
Interstate 10
West
towards
Palm Springs
it is very quiet
it not so late
9
10
o’clock
light traffic
before midnight truckers dominate
nearing the end of their coast to coast runs
something blinks red
to the left
on
off
on
off
jumbo fireflies
across a swath of sky
on
off
on
off
repeatedly patterned
in a non-insect rhythm
Warning lights
on windmills whose spinning
generates electricity
I acknowledge
BUT
jumbo fireflies
is how I remember

Wonder

One
Two
Three
Four months
Four years
March
Full of wonder
Year 1 I wonder what this is about
I wonder if I can write each day
Year 2 I wonder if I will participate again
Year 3 I wonder if I can write through the pain and trouble I feel in my life
Year 4 I wonder where the month went, it flew by
Every year
Wonderful
YOU
Sharing
surprising
funny
extraordinary ordinary
heart wrenching
touching
stories
YOU
sharing yourself
your comments
YOU
making a community
that embraces and celebrates
US
Writers
Wonderful
because
OUR
stories matter

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