I’m a proud member of the Teach Write group and scrolled through the Teach Write Padlet for some writing ideas. I revisited the Teach Write challenges and decided to take the “My Life In Five Sentences” prompt and alter it just a bit for today. Instead of writing about my life, I’m focusing on just this summer.
I spent a lot of time reading this summer, focusing mostly on nonfiction, although a few professional texts have also slipped in, from The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War to The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke by Andrew Lawler, Kory Stamper’s Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, and The Reading Comprehension Blueprint: Helping Students Make Meaning From Text by Nancy Lewis Hennessey.
As I’ve written about in other posts, I’ve spent a lot of time in the evenings cruising on country roads and snapping lots of photos, windows down and the sunroof open.
I’ve spent time writing late at night, and while I know that I’ll have a rough time trying to get adjusted to a more realistic sleep schedule when school starts, I’ve made a lot of progress when writing at night.
I’ve watched a lot of television and have to admit that I’m addicted to Home Town, Buddy vs. Duff (go Team Duff!), and NASCAR, of course!
Last, but certainly not least, is the time that I’ve spent with my family, whether it’s sitting around the dinner table or just relaxing in the living room watching television.
I wanted to sit back and think about the seemingly little things that I’m enjoying today. Cookies, tea, time with family…it all adds up to a day that I give thanks for.
I am thankful for my Mom’s peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! Freshly baked and warm from the oven, they are my writing treat. I am thankful for the love that she bakes into each cookie and the love that she always gives unconditionally.
I am thankful for the time spent today with my grandmother, watching her favorite game shows. We laughed and just enjoyed the time together.
I am thankful for the large glass of iced tea sitting beside me.
I am thankful for Google Docs and Google Sheets because they allow me to share ideas and information without having to play email tag.
I am thankful for my significant other’s excellent cooking skills and my mouth is watering at the thought of the steak heading towards the grill. I love that he loves to cook:) I love that we’re about to sit down and connect and share the details of our individual days before spending the evening relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.
I am thankful for the email notification that lets me know a book on hold at the library is ready for checkout. I am also thankful that I can access this book electronically with my Kindle. I have a feeling I’ll be sitting up late tonight!
Going on long drives in the country is one of my favorite ways to relax. I love to cruise over country roads, especially once the deer start showing up more (usually near dusk). I love to snap photos of deer, although I’ll stop to check out any wildlife! Now, it’s particularly enjoyable to catch glimpses of the fawns. I saw my first set of triplets on Sunday and had to stop for a quick photo.
Then, there’s Bucky, a sweet young deer who we first saw in the field across from Mike’s house. We’ve seen him several times, which is why we named him (we were so original with his name!), but this is the best photo that I’ve been able to capture.
I relax so much on these rides and make sure that I hit the road several times a week. Some evenings, we’ve counted as many as forty deer on our regular route. The wind blowing through my hair, the radio playing, lots of wildlife, and Mike sitting beside me makes for a wonderful evening!
I couldn’t decide what to write about today because there were so many things that’s happened over the course of the last week, from petsitting to meeting with my new principal. I love six word memoirs and used them to tell the story of my week.
I was vacuuming the carpets and admiring the neat lines when I stopped in the middle of the floor. What was I doing? When did I start admiring vacuumed carpets? So, I started thinking about other things that are a regular part of “adulting” that actually bring me joy. And, I’ll have to admit, creating this list made me stop and pause and even shake my head sometimes!
1. A folded and stacked pile of laundry gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I also love the sight of an empty laundry basket.
2. An empty dish drainer puts a smile on my face. Again, there is a sense of accomplishment when that happens because the dishes and silverware are stacked neatly in the kitchen cabinets and everything is in its place.
3. I love a sparkling clean bathroom, especially when you can still smell the scent of the cleaner. Everything just feels so fresh!
4. The hot, soapy water feels so nice when I wash the dishes. The hot water always feels so good on my hands and seems to relax me
My list is a little unusual and as I reflect on this more, I’m sure that I will add some other chores that can be joyful. I’m curious to see how this list evolves!
We just finished an early dinner and plan to watch UVa’s baseball team compete this evening. Mike did the grilling, so I washed up the dishes. I had just started the process when I realized that a sizable section of my shirt was damp. This is not an unusual occurrence. It seems as though any time I step up to the sink to do the dishes, I end up as wet as the dishes in the drainer. Is it just me? I don’t notice this when Mike does the dishes. What am I doing that leads to needing to change my shirt? I feel pretty silly every time I step away from the sink covered in water. Maybe I just need to start wearing a poncho when doing the dishes!
Every year, I am one of the last people to leave the building after school ends. Most of the time, I seem to move like a sloth when packing up my classroom. However, this year, it’s the last workday and I’m basically finished. Paperwork is complete, cumulative files updated, and I’m waiting for my turn to check out. I’m glad that I have some time to sit here and just reflect. Yes, this year has been challenging for so many reasons, but there are also so many things to celebrate. I watched students make progress in spite of the situations created by COVID. I watched my coworkers persevere and show up every day, no matter what. It was an exhausting year full of obstacles, but we made it.
Now, I’m thinking about the books that I want to read and the writing that I want to do. I’m thinking about spending lots of quality time with my family. I’m thinking about long drives on country roads and spotting the first fawns of the season. I’m thinking about sitting on the deck with iced tea and turning off my phone. Relaxation. Rejuvenation. Those are the words for the summer.
One of my favorite things to do to relax is to go on long drives on country roads. Yesterday, Mike and I gassed up the car and ventured out onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. We cruised along the parkway, stopping at the overlooks and snapping photos, listening to the radio, and just enjoying being together on a beautiful day. I was surprised that there weren’t more folks on the Parkway. There were long stretches where we were the only ones there.
I’ve only been on the parkway a few times, even though there are entry points close by. I think that the last time I ventured onto the parkway may have been about twenty years ago. I won’t wait that long again!
I’ve started a couple of different posts already, but I’m keeping them in my drafts folder for now. Maybe they’ll fully develop one day, but I don’t think that they’re ready yet. So here I am, another blank page in front of me. I’m really proud of my SOL blogging streak-every Tuesday for four years (or is it five?). I don’t want to miss posting today.
I decided to stop and just spend a few minutes just listening. I heard the t.v. in the living room. The six o’clock news started and there is one lady who is really perky. I heard a truck rumble by. The air conditioner finally clicked on (thank goodness!). The exhaust fan in the kitchen purred along, removing the scents from dinner. My grandmother’s voice responded to a question from Mom. The chair creaked as I shifted around, trying to get comfortable. The refrigerator door opened and then closed.
While my house is not noisy, there were so many sounds, mostly small ones that I probably wouldn’t regularly pay attention to, like the refrigerator door. It was kind of nice to just sit and listen.