Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ready and Waiting

Somewhere around Thursday of last week, day 6 of a very late Spring Break, I realized that familiar feeling I'd been experiencing. It was hot outside; my day was passing by in a civilized, leisurely fashion. A few projects had been accomplished and I'd managed to sleep until about 9:00 that morning.

Oh yeah, I thought...this is what summer feels like.

The stress and exhaustion I had felt just five days before had subsided. Feeling that sense of contentment inside me led me to my next thought.

If this is what summer is like, and I'm pretty sure it is, sign me up. I'm ready to embrace the civilized, lazy days of July and August.

I checked the calendar before I left for work on Monday and counted up the school days until the end of the year. 42 days. I can handle that.

When I got to school, I could see that I wasn't the only one thinking this way. Another teacher had already taken the time to write the number 42 on the chalkboard in the team room.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Great Place to Be

Years ago, I was fighting a summer cold and trying to decide if I was going to meet up with friends at the beach. My housemate at the time set me straight, "You can be sick here or you can be sick at the beach. Where would you rather be?" Uuhh, the beach of course...so with a weekend supply of Sudafed tucked in my bag I hopped in my Ford Escort and headed to the beach.

It's cloudy and chilly here at the beach today, but that's okay with me. The waves still crash, beating their watery rhythm onto the shore. The granules of sand still glide through my bare feet, reminding me that summer vacation is closer than I think. I dipped my toes in the surf yesterday...not quite warm enough for swimming but just fine for an April afternoon.

April or August...sick or healthy...the beach is always a great place to be.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I can hear the woodpecker high above in the trees, but can't locate the bird itself. With eyes squinting in the sunlight I scan the tree trunk and limbs that tower over me. I am not successful, and the sound of the rat-a-tat-tat on the wood annoys me because I can't get the photograph I want. The picture is right there, but I just can't put it all together.

Writing can be like that sometimes.

Going to the picture is not always the best way; another option is waiting for the picture to come to you. It's often easier to sit quietly and scan the area for what is already there that hasn't been noticed. There's a bee buzzing above the flowering purple azalea. It's a bee that I could have easily missed if I was on the move. Stop, look, take it in...there's always something there worth putting together...it just takes time for it to gel.

Just like writing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Scattered Thoughts

I don't know why I started thinking about praying mantises, but I did. We had one in my kindergarten classroom that I got to take home one weekend...it didn't make it back to school. Who knew it was so difficult to care for a praying mantis? Then there was the time I unknowingly took in the egg case of a praying mantis. I was in my second or third year of teaching then, I had no clue what it was when someone brought it in. It sat in the classroom for sometime, until I came into work one day to find what seemed like thousands of tiny praying mantises climbing around the back of my room. How would I gather them up? Could they be saved? Wasn't it against the law to kill one?

My brain raced as I conjured up every memory I had of the odd little creatures as well as a few thoughts that were completely unrelated to my initial memory. I looked up to see the light had turned green--it was time to move on down the road and onto another thought.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Short Walk

I went for a short walk around the neighborhood this evening. And when I say short I do mean short. I started by peering out my back door to see if I could see anything of interest. Nothin'. You see, I was looking for some photographic inspiration. I've taken a whole bunch of flower pictures as of late and quite frankly, even though I could take many more, I decided last week it was time to break free of any flora. I walked out front to see what I could find. At first I wandered around a muddy, dirty construction site. There were a few interesting shots...mostly textured stuff that I took in black and white. Without a clear theme or standout shot I continued around the corner. I was drawn that way by the clear chirp of a robin. I could hear the cheerily, cheerio, cheeriup but couldn't find the grayish-black and orange source of the sound. I was quickly distracted by a flash of pink running up a tree-it was a squirrel with one huge, pink flower in its mouth. The flower was almost larger than the squirrel itself. I couldn't get a clear picture but I did get a kick out of watching the pink flower jump from limb to limb and tree to tree.

So much to see in such a short time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If at First You Don't Succeed...

So cake attempt #2 fell short of success, but I have reason to believe that I'll put it all together sometime soon.

I made myself pay close attention to the details of the recipe. Before each step was completed I double and triple checked the fine print. I was determined not to confuse teaspoons with tablespoons. Really, it wasn't that hard to read and follow the directions. In the end I proudly slid two cake pans full of creamy yellow batter into my 350-degree oven and set the timer.

Too bad I didn't push start on that timer. It wasn't until an unknown amount of time later that I realized the time was not counting down. I was busy on the couch putting together my thoughts on this very blog, unaware of my latest cake-tastrophe.