Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Stopping In

After three fun-filled beach days, I am back home and in recharge mode. I started the recharge with a full 9 hours of sleep then began my day with a nice 3-mile walk before the rain arrived. The rainy day means the rest of the day has been spent inside doing household tasks.

So this afternoon all laundry is done and soon I'll pack up a bag for the next excursion of Spring Break. Wow, vacation really can tire one out.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


Yesterday started on a sun-drenched balcony overlooking the ocean. It ended on the same balcony watching as a giant red moon rose from the horizon.

My friends and I stood in awe as we watched the red orb rise above the ocean and change to the white moon that we all know so well. The light shimmered on the ocean creating a clearly lit path along the still water. If we were living in a cartoon world I think we would have all run down the beach to follow that bright path in hopes of reaching out and touching that big, beautiful moon.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Spring Break Perfection

I have spent the last three hours on the sun-filled balcony watching the sun shimmer across a never-ending ocean. Morning coffee has transitioned to a celebratory glass of sparkling wine. The waves are calm, dogs run along the shore (and I'm sure they're smiling) as they chase whatever their people will throw for them.

This beach town, one I've been coming to all my life, holds so many memories as do the two women I am spending the next two days with.

So far, this morning is pretty much perfect.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Repost from the Past

I know this is a repost but I'm in the land of not much internet so for today I post this memory:

We never called it "Spring Break" when I was in school-- it was always Easter Vacation.  Spring Break was something that happened in college.  Even so, I was never one of those crazy college kids that packed themselves into someone's iffy vehicle for the 26-hour drive to Florida.


Well, I did head to Orlando with my parents one year during college.  My dad had a meeting that way and since I was off anyway I ended up there with my parents.  Luckily, a friend from college was staying nearby with his uncle so we planned to meet up one day for a little beach time together.


I'm not sure of all the details, but I do remember Donny and I headed out from his uncle's house with fun on our minds and a few cold beers in the car.  We laughed and drank as we headed toward New Smyrna Beach.


At one point, Donny noted a car to our left. 


"Look at the nice Florida lady, Mary!  She's waving to us."


I glanced to my left and immediately did a double-take.


"Uhhh, that's no nice Florida lady...that's my mother!"


In a second the beers that had been in our hand were gone.   We met up with my mother and sister at the beach a few miles later.  Apparently, someone overheard our plan and thought it was good enough for them as well.


Unfortunately, Donny died about ten years later.  To this day, I can't think about Spring Break without thinking about him.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Riding With Ralph Down Memory Lane

There are only a few books that I remember reading as a child. My first memory revolves around my dad leading me up the stairs of the Towson library. Going upstairs was a huge deal. It was on the second floor of the small library that the chapter books were located. The first chapter book I checked out that night was Charlotte's Web- still a favorite to this day.

The other book I loved back then was The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. I like reading. I just don't love it. As an English teacher that's a tough confession to make so maybe I should restate that. I am an extremely picky reader. If I don't like a book I do not have the patience or stamina to slog my way through it. For example, I have tried over and over and over again to read The Poisonwood Bible. Every time I give it a go I end up putting it down. I finally gave up trying.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle held my 8-year-old attention from the very start. I can still picture myself with the book in my hand, eyes darting across the page, so interested in what would happen to Ralph.

Charlotte's Web was one of the books we read when I taught 3rd grade so I've been able to revisit that story many times. I haven't had the same pleasure with The Mouse and the Motorcycle. With a week of Spring Break in front of me, I think it may be time for a motorcycle trip down memory lane. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Good Weird

I spent a few moments this afternoon checking on everything I've written on this blog about Spring Break. The funny thing is that many of the posts highlight the crazy behavior of students on this last day before that break.

A global pandemic can certainly change all of that.

Thanks to a hybrid/concurrent teaching schedule, along with a covid exposure, I only taught 3 students in person today. 

In the past, on a day like today, there would have certainly been a lot of 6th-grade shenanigans to manage. Kids in school would have been overjoyed and distracted by the thought of ten days away from the classroom. The beautiful spring weather would have been icing on the cake. 

If we were living in a non-pandemic time there is not a doubt in my mind that it would have been a challenging day in the classroom.

It was quiet today. A few students even checked into class from places well out of our attendance area. For many, Spring Break travel started early. Juliet was in Seattle. Alexandra was at the family lake house. Bruna checked in from a hotel in North Carolina.

No matter where kids were working today they worked quietly. Sure, some got more done than others but I didn't have one conversation about inappropriate in-class behavior. Like many things this year, it was a weird kind of day- but it was a good weird.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Before The Rain

A quick look at my weather app tells me it's likely I have missed my window for exercise tonight. The rain will start in just about 20 minutes.

Just last night I was thinking about how I don't really have to talk myself into taking my daily walk anymore. In the last year, I have actually found my legs and my will to push through any thoughts of sweats and the couch. Certainly, there are nights I don't feel like walking but I put on my tennis shoes anyway, grab my AirPods, turn on a podcast and head out the door. I pretty much always walk farther than I plan--thanks to the podcast.

I took a quick 20-minute walk today after lunch but haven't quite covered the 2-mile minimum I like to get in each day.  Then I realize even I can definitely get a mile covered in the 20 minutes I have before the rain starts. If the rain comes early, that's okay. I'll get a little wet but I also know that sometimes the weather forecast isn't accurate.

I lace up my shoes and head for the door.