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.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Car Warranty About to Expire

A short memo to whoever thinks I need to extend my non-existent car warranty:

Please. Please stop calling. You may have noticed, I never answer the phone when you call. You have left more than 50 urgent messages that tell me I only have 3 days to act and I still don't call you back.

C'mon Robot Voice...take a damn hint. This girl just ain't interested in whatever you have to offer.

Also, could you let the police, the federal magistrate, and all the other urgent robot voices know I won't be calling back? I have no desire to find out about whatever shady scheme they have going on.

With so much appreciation,

You know who

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Different But The Same

It's the week before Spring Break and I've got my eye on the prize. If it was a typical school year I'd be cruising around the classroom checking in on students as they finish up writing their children's stories. Some students would be illustrating, others would be wishing they had not done so much procrastinating, and I'd be there to push them through to the finish.

In this non-typical year, I'm cruising up and down my attendance list. I'm checking in on the procrastinators and popping into the documents that have been shared with me to watch the students' writing and illustrating in action.

Yea, it's different, but it's also very much the same.

Monday, March 22, 2021

A Silver Lining

In another silver lining of a pandemic world, 6th graders were able to meet with a local children's author this afternoon.

Tracey Kyle was engaging and excited to speak with our young writers. She offered advice on becoming a published author and reminded the students that they are all writers. She told the kids to read, read, read, and to keep a writing journal as a place to write down ideas and save whatever they may find inspiring.

The students were engaged and asked a variety of questions as they looked for advice on their own children's book they are writing in class.

I can't say that there's much I like about using programs like MS Teams, but the ability to have so many young writers talk with an author in such a casual atmosphere makes me like it a whole lot more.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

I Found This Interesting

 "I found this interesting."

The message along with a link came through Instagram. It said the sender was my sister but the message made me suspicious. So, after verifying that she had indeed sent the link I proceeded to the video she passed my way.

The story came from the Cincinnati Zoo and told the story of a kangaroo who, even though she had a baby recently, and had not bred since that birth, had another joey growing in her pouch. It seems that when she was carrying the joey now known as Pocket she was also carrying another fertilized embryo. 

Kangaroos have a superpower I never knew about. The mother kangaroo was able to pause her pregnancy.  Wikipedia tells me it's called embryonic diapause.  Once Pocket was out of the pouch and more independent, the paused embryo started to develop and eventually moved into the now vacant pouch.

My sister was right. That was interesting.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Spring's Arrival

This afternoon, in celebration of spring's arrival, I took a long walk. Although there was a hint of chill in the air the sun was warm and bright.

Along the way I found blooming daffodils, crocuses, and buds sprouting from all the trees. People were out walking with friends, spouses, dogs, and even cats. Actually, the cat wasn't walking; she (or he?) was being pushed in a small enclosed stroller.

The gardeners were out as well. There was mulching, weeding, and pruning going on.

And then there were the kids. The bicycles were out and the young people were rolling around town. They were also up in the trees, climbing from branch to branch as a concerned parent stood below, hands on hips, hoping there would not be a trip to the ER today.

Friday, March 19, 2021

This is Your Brain on Overload

 My first car was a little red 1985 Ford Escort. There were no bells or whistles. It was a manual, basic H stick shift without air conditioning or rear window defrost. It was a two-door, although when you're in your twenties that isn't a big deal. Plus, since it was my car I didn't have to do much climbing out of the back seat.

That little car took many a road trip- to Key West for Spring Break and all the way to New Orleans for a three-week excursion to Mardi Gras and beyond. When it didn't start the way it should I could pop the clutch and get the motor running. It served me well...until it didn't- at which point I coasted it down Superman hill in Arlington, VA to sell it to the local junk dealer.

Thirty years later, my car has a few more added attractions. I never take the rear window defrost for granted- or the cool air that blows through the vents on a warm day.

Last week, I noticed the air blowing out of the passenger's side was anything but cool. Actually, it was downright hot. I considered the problem for a second but then since I was getting all the cool air I needed I pushed it out of my mind. I knew a/c problems meant money and I didn't want to ruin my sunny Sunday.

This afternoon, I busted out of work ready to take on the problem. I had done my internet research and was ready to hand over the sizable amount of money that it could cost. Thankfully, the end of the workweek provided a moment of clarity that kept me from pulling into the local service station.

These new cars. They're so fancy.

My a/c has dual controls. Something that apparently got buried in a mind that has been so busy thinking about words like concurrent, hybrid, and pivot. I hit the temperature sync button, laughed at my own stupidity, and headed home with a smile and a cool breeze blowing through the car.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Pick 'Em Like You See 'Em

It wouldn't be March if there wasn't a little talk of basketball brackets.

My family sorely missed the entertainment of the tournament last year so everyone was in for another family pool this year.

A few things have changed since the last family pool in 2019. Most notably is the ability by some older members, like my dad, to find the correct online bracket. He had some trouble but was resourceful enough to send me a PDF of his bracket so I could enter the information for him.

While adding his teams of choice I noted a few missing slots so I called him for clarification- although I knew he would obviously pick Loyola, Chicago over Clemson.

My dad went to Loyola High School in Baltimore. I assume it was there that he met his first Jesuit priest. Boy, they made quite an impression on him.

His final four? Gonzaga, Georgetown, Villanova, and Loyola Chicago- all Jesuit Universities.

And for the win, he has Gonzaga...sorry Sr. Jean.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


Pivot- a word that I haven't heard since Sr. Rita Woehlcke tried to coach me in basketball back in 9th grade. And suddenly it's back in fashion. 

I heard our school superintendent use it a few weeks ago as we prepared to go back to the physical classroom. And then our Director of Guidance sent out his "Pivot Table" that showed how each student would be attending class once we rolled back in. Honestly, I haven't seen a word so popular in school culture since...asynchronous came to power this time last year.

Yesterday afternoon my principal showed up in my classroom to inform me I'd be pivoting back to home instruction. Yup- a student tested positive so I was heading home until cleared to return.

But wait...I'm fully vaccinated! Isn't that supposed to keep me safe?

It does, but it took the county and something known as the Qualtrics screener a day to catch up to that.

So tomorrow morning I'll pack up my stuff again and pivot back into the classroom...until the next time.

No worries- I'll be wearing tennis shoes to work for the rest of the year so I'll be ready to pivot just like Sr. Rita taught me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


The thing that's been missing for the last year is the ability to do some real people watching. Perhaps it's an introvert thing but I find great entertainment in sitting in one spot all while people do their own people thing in front of me.

One of the best places to get my "watch" on is the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD. From a park bench perch, it's easy to see a little bit of everything if you hang out long enough. 

Since March of last year, it's been hard to find the place and time to see people in groups. Group activities aren't a thing in the midst of a pandemic so a good old-fashioned people-watching session has been somewhat elusive...until I found myself at a local airport on Friday night.

I have flown one other time in the past year. That was back in August when the airport crowds were non-existent. Back then I walked up to security to find not. one. other. person. What a shock!

A year after the shutdown I noted a small uptick in people at the airport. While there were only three other people ahead of me at security there were quite a few more people milling around the other side of the security barrier.

Yes, there was a line of people at Chick-fil-a. There was a long line of people queuing up to get on their flight to Fort Myers. Another line formed at Chipotle.

Unlike when I flew in August the gate areas were somewhat crowded. I found a small bench above the gate area on the concourse. I think it belonged to a restaurant that wasn't open at the time. The nice thing was that no one was anywhere near me and I had the perfect view of all the comings and goings of everyone else.

In case you're wondering...people are still wearing pajama pants out in public, kids in strollers are still crying and sleeping as their parents roll them at a clip through public spaces, siblings are still poking at one another in hopes of starting something, and people like me are still sitting back watching it all happen.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Here, There, and Everywhere

Since I left work on Friday I have flown to Rhode Island, driven from Rhode Island back home, driven to my hometown of Bel Air, Md, taken my mother to the doctor, and driven back home for my asynchronous workday.

Before I left I made sure to arrange for a pet sitter to come in and feed my two cats. In the end, I didn't need as much cat sitting as I thought. Thanks to incredible traffic on I-95 I was home from Rhode Island early Saturday evening. On Sunday, I hung out at home much longer than planned so I didn't need cat care that day. 

This morning, my mother's 7:30 appointment was finished by about 8:15 so I was back home by about 10:00- before Joe, the Catsitter, even showed up.

Even with all the driving I did in the last three days I never felt rushed or road-weary. Bright blue skies abounded all weekend making for smooth sailing and fun driving. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Full of Information

Tonight, on the way home from the local ice cream place, my brother-in-law filled us all in on more facts than we needed to know about St. Patrick. I like that about Michael, He is interested in all kinds of things. He spends many a commute listening to different podcasts and then often reports what he has learned later on in the evening. I've learned all about the problem with sugar, when to plant peas, and many other things.

Michael is a mason by trade but overall just a fix-it kind of guy. He, along with his father and brother, pretty much built the brick rancher that my sister and his family have lived in for over 25 years. He also helped build the addition that my parents moved into about ten years ago.

So, yea, Michael is quite the guy.

As far as St. Patrick goes...did you know he was born in England with the name Maewyn?

Saturday, March 13, 2021

From Norwalk to Inisheer

Driving through Connecticut I am struck by blue skies and bare trees. The trees in my hometown have a hint of spring, but up in New England spring is still hiding its first peeks. Today I was thankful for that. You see, the bare trees and bright skies created a sort of spotlight on the stone walls that seem to snake everywhere in the area.

Of course, it's pretty much impossible to see a stone wall in New England without thinking of Robert Frost.  I did, while driving along, try to remember what I knew of Frost's poem "Mending Wall" but all I could really think about was the stone walls I saw on the island of Innishire in Ireland. 

The walls I saw years ago in Ireland were built by landowners as they removed the stones from their farmland. Each farmer used those stones to create a pattern of their own. These patterned walls became property lines and a way to tell one farm from the next. Standing at the base of O'Brien's Castle one can see stone walls in every direction.

I really do love a good stone wall.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Feeling Fine

I've had four days with students in my classroom this week. It's been fun in some ways and quite challenging in other ways. Challenging is when I'm waiting for a Google document to load on my shared screen and all I can think of is how much time it's taking away from the class as we all watch the black screen- waiting to see words appear. Challenging is also feeling like I'm losing the virtual kids. I noticed that fewer screens are turned on at home this week and I hope that's not a sign of what's to come.

Thankfully, the good completely outweighs the bad. Those few kids who did nothing while at home are doing great in person. They are happy to be in the building and happy to be with other kids. The highlight of my week came late today when a student asked if she could borrow a book from my library. Then a second student saw a copy of Hard Luck that he wanted to borrow. And just like that my lending library was back in business and everything felt more normal than it has in a long, long time.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Walking Through the Past

A few months into the pandemic I found a new path to walk on. This new path, sometimes muddy from the rain, led to the historic Ivy Hill Cemetery. I've lived in my current home for over 20 years and all the runs and walks I've taken over the years had never led me down that small muddy path.

 Now that I've found this little nugget of history I have a hard time staying away. There's a lot to love about an old cemetery. Its position along King St. allows for some wonderful late afternoon light. Just yesterday afternoon I stopped to marvel at the low light of the setting sun as it streamed through the tall oaks and illuminated the old gravestones.

The cemetery is home to somewhere around 10,000 graves. That's a lot of people. 

Walking along the cemetery roads I like to look at names and dates. From there, I imagine the life they may have lived considering the time of their birth and death. Each walk I take brings another opportunity to make up someone's story. For me, this creative kind of walk takes my mind off of the exercise I'm seeking and allows me to relax and unwind.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Walking With An Old Friend

With temperatures nearing 70 this afternoon it felt right to slip on a pair of shorts for my afternoon walk. I dug down far in the bottom dresser drawer and pulled out an old pair of blue shorts- a pair that hadn't quite fit last year. With a smile, I snapped them with ease.

A year ago, I may have really had to talk myself into a walk after work. But somehow, in the midst of this pandemic, I finally found the time to take better care of myself. I found time to take those walks I had talked myself out of for so long. I found time to cut up vegetables instead of ordering up take-out. In the process, I found my way back to someone I used to know.  

Tying up my laces, I grabbed my headphones, turned on a new podcast, and headed out the door in the late afternoon light.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

How It Went

 As the first sixth graders I've seen in person sped off to lunch I looked over at my teaching colleague.

"Oh my god, I'm so happy!"

It's not that I've been unhappy for the past year. I've been chugging along like I always do.

Today I realized that teaching with students right in front of you is so much better than teaching virtually. 

It may have been hard to see under my mask, but I was smiling all day.

In fact, I'm still smiling.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Thanks, Buddy

Today's pleasant surprise came in the form of a phone call. I was in the kitchen considering my dinner options while giving myself a pre-back-to-live-teaching pep talk.

You got this, no one knew what we were going to do a year ago and we figured that out. Then in the summer, the virtual teaching was a hurdle, yes, but we got that too. And even though tomorrow and this week are bound to be chaotic and perhaps a little messy, in the end, I will get that too.

The ringing phone snapped me out of my head and I smiled as I took note of the caller.

It was my old buddy from my first days of adult life in DC, Mary. We had worked at the Smithsonian together when we both found our way to boring office jobs after college. We became fast friends and had plenty of fun on very little money. We bonded over our lack of money and unclear future.

It was Mary who helped me realize that education may be the career for me. It turns out law was the career for her. So even though we didn't work together for more than 3 or 4 years we never let that get in the way of our longstanding friendship.

Mary's call seemed like a sign. She was always the one who helped me see that everything would work out when I wasn't feeling overly confident. So tomorrow, I'll head into work and think of Mary and her smiling face- for she would definitely say, "You've got this, Mar."

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Ready to Go

A relaxing weekend continued today with a long walk around DC with my old (but younger than me) friend over at Words to Live By. 

With bright blue skies and plenty of sunshine warming our backs we traversed around DC. I was happy to start with a visit to the Albert Einstein Memorial. From there we hit a view of the usual sights- the Lincoln Memorial, Hains Point, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Martin Luther King memorial.r

And then, because we walked so far- we rewarded ourselves with a beer overlooking the putting green at East Potomac Park.

I've lived in the DC area for about 35 years now and I never tire of seeing the same old sights that so many travel miles and miles to see. 

So, yes, day two of the weekend was pretty much responsibility-free. I'm rested and ready for whatever the week has to offer...I hope.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Way It Is

I do love a productive Saturday. This morning I was up at 7:00 and quickly lined up piles of laundry in the hallway. While the sheets went through washing, rinsing, and spinning I settled into a hot cup of coffee and the morning news program.

Once the second load went in I started on a grocery list- checking out the empty refrigerator and typing in needed items on my phone. Down at the Giant, I quickly filled up my cart mentally planning the meals for the week.

By midafternoon, all four loads of laundry had made it into the washer and I had nothing but fun things left on my to-do list. 

Sunday should be relaxing and free of adult-like responsibilities. A weekend finishing off just the way I like it.

Friday, March 5, 2021


Tonight I enjoyed a belated Mardi Gras celebration with an old friend. Yes, Mardi Gras was officially a little over two weeks ago- unfortunately, that date coincided with my friend's chemo treatment so we decided we'd put that King Cake in the freezer and get to it at a better time.

Tonight was the perfect time! For myself, it was the first week back in the classroom. Even though I had no students with me as of yet just the added tasks of commuting, packing lunch, and figuring out how to get my work area set up was so much more exhausting than I could imagine. I mean, I have been working since August- so why was this so taxing?

Already, I've noticed that my daily walks have disappeared. Even though I managed to get a short walk in during my lunchtime this week, that short stroll is nothing close to the two or three miles I was getting in while working from home.

So, perhaps a dinner of pancakes and bacon followed by a sweet, praline King Cake wasn't the best way to wrap up a busy week. Yes, a forced walk would have been better but I'll take friendship over exercise anytime.

Thursday, March 4, 2021


I recently told my sister that those in their 80s are most likely to die of nothing more than doing something stupid.

Maybe I should stop saying that. Don't worry--my 80 something parents are fine...well as fine as 80-something people can be.

Today I was the stupid one. In what can only be defined as a moment of lapsed brain power I managed to slam my own car door into my forehead. In the aftermath, I was left with blood running down my face and a confused feeling of something like, "what the?" I honestly don't know what happened but when I ran back into the doctor's office to ask for a band-aid I told them the glare of the sun did it. How that would happen I'm not sure but with blood all over my forehead, they didn't ask too many questions.

This evening I am left with an inch-long scar right on my forehead. No, it's not in the shape of a lightning bolt. It's just red and ugly. 

If it had a name it would be called Kharma.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A Quick Break

The first daffodils popped up unexpectedly a few days ago. That was a few days after I noted the purple crocuses sprouting from the ground on my usual walk.

On my lunch break today I took a quick 20-minute walk to soak up all that is the impending spring. Heading out the front door of my school I took a second to breathe in the bright blue sky as I turned the corner for the walking path. I took note of the tidy school garden ready for planting before digging in my heels to climb the hill to the top of the path.

There were a few other walkers out enjoying the day. A young guy with his dog stood to the side as a runner and a speed walker passed by. A father watched, with a small backpack in hand, as his daughter proclaimed herself "queen of the tree" and fought to defend herself from circling alligators. I didn't see the alligators but I'll take the word of the queen on that one.

No worries...I made it back to work safely.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Day 1.1

 The large window in my classroom has a great view of the elementary school that was built just a few years ago in the space that was formerly taken up by a parking lot...for staff at my school. (But that's another story) The resentment I felt has, for the most part, subsided and now I try to concentrate on the new views I can see each day from my workspace.

This morning I was able to watch as the first families dropped off their young Kindergarteners and 1st and 2nd graders for their first day of learning in the school building. 

I have fond memories of those first days from my time teaching elementary school. My 5th-grade classroom window offered a great view of the front of the school where I could watch parents offer final words of reassurance as their 1st-time students walked toward the school's entrance.

Today I watched as parents and youngsters walked toward the towering building. Parents with arms wrapped around their kids and kids with eyes on the big building in front of them. No doubt, the emotions all were feeling ran the gamut from sadness to excitement. The kids have been home for a long time and for them a school year without a school building isn't quite right. Of course, parents have been looking for a break from the daily grind of learning from a distance and their day had finally come.

Even so, I wonder how long it was until parent and child thought about the other and how much they missed being together.

Monday, March 1, 2021

A Far Cry From 1986

Wandering through the produce aisle yesterday morning I was surprised to hear the Annie Lennox song, "Missionary Man," coming through the store's speaker system. It was 8:00 am on a Sunday and lyrics like,

"Well, I was born an original sinner. I was borne from original sin. And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done, there'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin," seemed a tad out of place for a Sunday morning at the Shoprite.

I'm a big fan of Annie Lennox and was an immediate fan of the song when it came out in 1986. Those days you would have found me and a few friends doing the bar thing in the Fells Point section of Baltimore. A night of drinkin' the suds meant there would be laughter and of course dancing. 

We often started out the evening at a place called "The Horse You Came in On" and finished off the night sweating it out on the dance floor at "The Dead End." When a song like Missionary Man came on you could be sure the gang was out on the floor jumping around to the beat.

It was just that dancing mob that I pictured as I stopped to listen to Annie Lennox belt it out. I laughed. And then I picked up a second sweet potato and put it in my cart pushing on as I sang along.