Day 12: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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What I Really Want

I want to curl up on the couch with a book, or sit on the sofa and let someone else cook.

I want to teach my students to read, and talk about characters, and write with a need

to say something important, to fight for what’s right; to care about learning, to end the world’s strife.

I want to vacation with family and friends. I want this winter to come to an end!

I want my kids to grow up and be free, to be who they want, to get jobs, and succeed.

I want to be able to sit back and relax. I want to enjoy life without feeling taxed.

I don’t really want much, I just want to say, “Thank you” for letting me live through today.

Day 11: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Excited or Exhausted?

I’d like to jump right in and say, “Exhausted!” But when I read other posts from other exhausted people working on this challenge, I experience a second-wind feeling, and I am “excited” to get back to writing. I feel a renewed sense of dedication to my writing, my job, and my life’s journey tonight — Yes, I am excited!

My writing has been on the back burner of my priorities stove top for years. I have so many ideas, and so many times I start a text, only to find some other higher priority (like running to the grocery store or reading the latest entertainment gossip) and run off to complete that first. My goal is to publish, so creating http://www.readingteacherwrites.com is a good start. I must keep it up. I must keep the ideas flowing, and the pen doodling, and the computer typing. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….break my goal up into “slice of life” sections. One section, “Slice of Life,” cut out for my personal narratives, poems, and pictures. Thank you to all of you at the “SOLSC” for helping me to meet this part of my goal!

My job has been a different type of challenge this year. Much illness, snow, and even my father’s passing recently, kept me from working to my potential. In February, I got my results from a standardized predictive assessment, and my students did well, even though I felt like the school year was slipping away from me. I was excited then, watching their success. I am even more excited today; I watched that group of students take the real standardized test (day one) and I saw that they were confident and ready to show what they know! Some students even replied, “It was easy,” when I asked them how it went. Yes!

My life’s journey — a constant car ride from my school to home, to high school pick up, to the local pizza joint, to my daughter’s new townhouse, to the grocery store — has never been boring. I am an extrovert and I love the daily grind. I never SAY I love it, but I do. My family is wonderful. I never SAY my family is wonderful…well, I just did, didn’t I? Yes, it’s true. I wouldn’t trade them in for anything, except maybe a quiet condo on the lake. LOL! I am a dedicated mom, daughter, wife, teacher, and grandma, although I still definitely want to move to a condo! That’s another goal. A different story.

Exhausted?  Yes. I am exhausted. Excited? Yes, most definitely, I am excited to be here, sharing my stories with you!

Day 10: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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The Day I Skipped Out on Life’s Challenges

Today was my day off. Since I already failed the March challenge, I tried to keep my activities low-key today. It worked out, although I have to say I am still kicking myself for being a failure. No problem. I’ll be back tomorrow, better than ever!

The weekend is over, laundry is done, and the testing season starts tomorrow at school, so today I must rest.

Sleep, my friends, that’s the key word! (Another memory: When I studied health in high school, I learned that a person sleeps about 1/3 of their lifetime. My dad teased me, “For you and your mother, it’s half!”)

Day 9: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Red Striped Shirts

One of my dad’s favorite shirts was a red-and-white striped T-shirt that he wore for any casual occasion: weekend wear, golf practice, or going to a ball game. It was one of those “go to” shirts that was washed and worn at least 3-4 times a month, never getting old, never going out of style.  That X-Large shirt found a tiny, size 4T twin one year. My mom bought a similar tee and gave it to my daughter, who was Grandpa’s girl.

Those two pals, the smiley child and the serious man, arranged to wear their shirts when they saw each other. My daughter took walks with Grandpa, accompanied him to baseball events, and just sat in his chair, donning the coveted shirt and smiling from ear to ear — “Grandpa, we match!”

We found out that those 2 shirts were not in the house anymore, most likely being sold at a garage sale after Little One grew out of the 4T, but we don’t mind. We still have the twins in pictures, and in our minds, forever in red and white — taking a walk down memory lane.

Red Striped Shirts Ash and Gramps

Day 7: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Oh, no! No post today (I actually did this writing on Sunday!). Arg! A head cold stopped me in my tracks. After working all day, and visiting the kids in the evening, I just didn’t do any more. Now I feel guilty, and I’ve failed at the story challenge. Boo! Back up again as soon as possible, because failures don’t mean I’ve failed. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” — W.C. Fields Ha!

Day 6: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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I like to think of myself as a professional person, but there are days that I do not feel professional. I am thinking of that story, “Eleven,” by Sandra Cisneros (about a girl who had a horrible day on her birthday) that I’ve read about a hundred times. “You don’t feel eleven. Not right away. It takes a few days, weeks even, sometimes even months before you say Eleven when they ask you. And you don’t feel smart eleven, not until you’re almost twelve. That’s the way it is.”

I’m going to relax tonight and avoid professionalism. My “date night” TV show will start soon, the hit, “Suits.” I’m going to watch the characters continue their stories and talk to my husband about our predictions for this season, what we would do in their situations, and how we should go back to school and become lawyers (HA! Too late!).

Have a great evening, Slicers!

DAY 5: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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Alligator in Cocoa Beach 040213 plane ride 033113 ocean water 040113 Ocean Landings 5th floor view 040113 Cocoa Beach bridge to ocean 040113Python in Cocoa Beach 040213

DAY 4: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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My Favorite Things

My favorite things spread on the floor, are books and candy and pics and more.

Trying to clean the cluttered mess, can’t rid of anything: no…and yes!

Found something to toss away in the trash! Wait! Isn’t that from the New Year’s bash?

Can’t throw that one away, not yet. I’ll ask my sister; it is her pet.

Memories spread across the floor; thinking about the good times galore.

Day 3: SOLSC Slice of Life Story Challenge

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There’s a first time for everything. This is my first “Slice of Life Story Challenge” post. I know I’m starting late, but I found it hard to decide what to post. I decided to dedicate this month of writing to my dad. Here it goes…

My dad was the best dad ever — at least, in my mind. I remember him driving my sister three hours to Detroit, Michigan to take part in the spring media/children’s day with the Detroit Tigers baseball team. I do not remember what the event was actually called, but I remember strolling into Tiger Stadium, with a baseball glove in one hand and my dad’s hand in the other, ready to play ball with the pros.

The players were huge, uniformed men who spent the day with us because some lucky winners signed up for the chance to take their kids to the ballpark. My dad was a lucky winner, but I didn’t know that at the time. My dad had a confidence about him — and I thought he was friends with Alan Trammell (the famous shortstop), who may have invited us to learn more about baseball. I remember thinking, “Wow, my dad is so cool. He knows the Detroit Tigers!” There we sat: listening, watching, playing ball with the experts.

I remember the wooden bat that was too big for my small frame. I couldn’t hold it up!  The bat dropped to the ground, but Lou Whitaker (Sweet Lou) was beside me. He picked the bat up and instructed me to hold it closer to the middle, called “choking up.” I held the bat and made a few practice swings. Then I got to hit the ball, an authentic, white, Major League baseball! Fielding was much easier for me, since I was a right-fielder on my summer softball team. We raced as fast as we could to center field for the lesson. I think I only got one or two grounders because of the population of excited children and parents running around that day. No fly balls. But that was ok with me. We trotted back to the infield — it was getting hot out there! — to share lunch with the hundreds of other participants.

After lunch my sister and I poked, prodded, and plowed over other kids to get to the fence first, to wait for autographs from each player who stayed outside in the heat for us. My autograph book was orange and had fancy gold lettering. I remember I purchased that particular book so if I lost it, anyone could pick it up off the ground and know whose it was (I really thought my dad told Alan Trammell that book was mine.) There were so many awesome moments that day — I actually don’t remember many details. I do remember meeting Dad’s favorite Detroit Tiger players, sitting on the soft, green grass, and receiving important autographs that would be worth something someday from the players whose names we had previously heard only on TV.  As my dad drove us the 3-hour route home, I fell asleep. Playing baseball was such hard work! Maybe that’s why American League players made so much money, I thought. What a great day with Dad! I know we girls asked, “Can we do that again next year?”

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I lost that autograph book when our basement flooded several years ago. When Dad died a couple of weeks ago, I found the autographed ball from that day. I didn’t even know Dad had it! It was in a clear box on the mantle, a keepsake. I snatched it off the mantle quickly, and stashed it under clothes in my overnight bag. My mom saw me and said, “You know that ball is probably worth something now.” I know it’s worth something to me; it’s my souvenir from the day I spent with my dad and his friends, the Detroit Tigers.

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