Friday, September 26, 2014

Poetry Friday

 The beginning of the school year. I love, love, love my job. I love working with teachers. Seeing how the kids have grown. New pencils and new dreams. And I hate, hate, hate the crazy busy-ness. No time to read. To write. To breathe. In the midst of it all, this poem from Parker J. Palmer's blog.

"Love Wants to Know How"

Autumn comes with its riot of death,
its clarion bells of color,
drives the living green to ground
even as it thins the veil between worlds.
The visible and invisible walk now together
with arms outstretched over fields
where workers hasten to the harvest
none may divide against itself.

So where are you in this?
How long do you loiter
between the said and unsaid,
the done and undone,
between the half and true rhyme
of a life answering a life?

Geese mark the sky with dark wedges,
call with harsh tongues
to what thrives at the margins
of all we so reluctantly receive.
Go now,
quickly and with great force,
toward what burns in your dreams
at the dying of the year.

Who can say?
Perhaps you reap the whirlwind,
perhaps the harvest--
but is it ever enough to not know
the bonds and bounds of what will one day
forsake you for the grave?


Poetry Friday is at Laura Purdie Salas' WRITING THE WORLD FOR KIDS. Head over there to read some poems from Laura's newest book (I can't wait to own this one!) and lots of other terrific offerings!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

CYBILS judge!

 I'm really excited to be a first round judge for the CYBILS Elementary/Middle Grade nonfiction awards! I have been a CYBILS judge for about five years and absolutely know two things:
1) I will read lots of great new books!
2) I will meet lots of terrific people!

Other nonfiction judges include:

First Round

Second Round
 Nominations begin October 1st! You have about ten days to start picking your books!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


The empty nest thing has been an adjustment.
Now, almost 15 months later, I'm still trying to remember who I was.
And what I used to do before after dinner homework and sports practices and team meals.
It's really easy to fill up every minute with work.
Because I love my work.
And it really doesn't feel like work.
At the same time, I don't want my whole life to be about work.
And so last night, I left before five (at least an hour before my typical time).
Went home and fed the dogs.
And walked Star.
(Boo is a princess. And princesses don't walk on leashes.
They just supervise life from their princess bed thrones).
And then I went to a meeting.

Community Bible Study.
Before I had the boys, I did several different small group Bible studies.
And I loved being part of a small group
and studying God's word.
But in the last ten years there just hasn't been time.
Or someone to watch the boys if I went out in the evenings.
But now there are no boys to watch.
No uniforms to wash.
No algebra homework to check.
And it's time to start a new phase.

I was really nervous.
Even though I spend my days interacting with people
I'm basically an introvert.
Who would be happy to go home, walk the dog
and then sit on the couch doing schoolwork
for two or three more hours before bed.

But last night I made myself
get in my car and go.
All the way there I debated turning around.
Traffic was terrible
and it took 45 minutes
to make what should have been a 15 minute drive,
It would have been easy to make a right turn
and head back the way I had just come. 
I need a haircut
and I considered doing that instead.
Even when I drove into the parking lot
and turned off the car
I considered not getting out.
Just going back to my nice safe couch
and my kinda new life. 

But I made myself walk in
and fill out the registration
then sit down in the auditorium.
Forced myself not to leave before the small group time
was surprised to discover that most of the women are about my age
most are single- divorced, widowed, or never married.
A few have children. Several dog moms.
A CPA. A retired nurse turned coffee shop owner.
An administrative assistant or two.
A doctor who has recently scaled back her practice
to spend more time with her high school aged sons.
I wondered about the possibility of new friendships.
Thought about who I might like to know better.

It's time to start figuring out what I want this new phase of life to include.