Being Important: The Grayness of Enough

This morning the sun hasn’t quite found its way to my horizon – in either the figurative or literal sense. It isn’t still dark, or without sunlight. But it isn’t a sunny day. Because all above me are thick clouds – at least from this window.

And isn’t that how life goes? If you only have one window through which to view the world, you may never see the sunny side of the sky.

Of course, this isn’t a meteorological blog post, although it could be. It’s also how as a body ages, that body increases its ability to see everything as variations of gray instead of black and white. Continue reading

Setting My Sails

A gazillion years ago my version of today most likely looked like a snowy Minnesota Friday, viewed mostly from my classroom where I sat grading student essays as the sun set on another work week. Being a high school English teacher changes you in ways other folks may not quite appreciate. Unless, of course, they appreciate the nuances of language in the hands of ninth graders. In addition to lots of funny sentences and funnier stories, my students gave me a whole host of things.

At this time of year I always got cards and gifts, plates of possibly suspicious home baked cookies, gift cards to the Caribou Coffee shop down the street, and well wishes. And one year, I received a collection of quotes.

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I Believe In You

When I was a middle schooler, I went out for track.  Because my dad thought it would improve what he labelled as my athletic deficiencies, I laced up my already well-worn KMart shoes and headed out to the field one spring day.  I practiced a variety of events and improved my general cardio fitness throughout the season.  Each practice started out with a short run and then we practiced our individual events.  I wasn’t the first runner back from each run, but I wasn’t the last either.  Even in middle school I ran just ahead of the turtles.  It mattered a bit to me that I wasn’t fast, but I liked the act of running more.  I liked being outside in the sun, the feel of the sun on my skin, the sound of my shoes and my breath in a smooth cadence of motion.  However, it was clear to all that I was no “runner” like some of the other kids.

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Educating the Smart Kids…And Everybody Else

The other day I was chatting with a mom who was excited to share her family’s big news:  their kindergartner had been accepted into the “Challenge Program”.  I smiled and said all the right things but inside I groaned.  And I groaned because educating kids is a difficult thing and not some times without great cost.  And some times it is paid by the child struggling to find his/her place in the bell curve.

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Dealing With Disappointment

I am freshly returned from sixteen day’s travel in France and London and had planned on posting some lovely travel related ditty today.  But life is full of twists and turns and so this post will follow that way.  But don’t worry.  I’ll bore you with travel stories soon.  Just not today.

Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean is a point of land that always reminds me of a bony chin.  In 1788, Captain John Meares named that bony outcropping Cape Disappointment as a way of summing up his failure to find what is now known as the Columbia River.  Travel to Cape Disappointment today and you will see the most frequently visited Washington State Park.  There is no disappointment to be found anywhere.  Just lovely beaches, beautiful trees, and the oldest still-functioning lighthouse on the west coast.  Time has passed and what was once disappointing has instead turned into a thing of wonder.

And isn’t that how life is?

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I’ll Never Win a Spelling Bee

A few years back there were two events that brought the world of Spelling Bees to the forefront of my mind.  One year, the winner of the National Spelling Bee wanted to visit the Mall of America and the movie “Akeelah and the Bee” was released.  Suddenly, people everywhere were touting their spelling abilities.  I remained silent.  (And I’m rarely silent on any subject.)  But it is a subject on which I rarely speak – my inability to take part in any spelling bees since leaving the third grade.  You see,  I am a horrid speller.  Sigh. Continue reading

Evolution? Creation? Writing is Both

Lots of blogging and Tweeting traffic of late on the use of blogs by authors – which, of course, causes me to ponder:  Why do I blog?  What is my goal? Who do I write for and why? Am I evolving into a writer or was I created as a writer?  Perhaps the truth is part evolution and part creation.  My writing identity was created by many forces, but I believe I am evolving into a writer as well.

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