Where is Home?

A house is made with walls and beams; a home is made with love and dreams.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where is home?
Home is where you are, my love.

Where our kids and grandkids gather
To laugh and play and eat

Where we worry and
make decisions – easy and hard

Where you listen to how my day was
and I listen to yours.

Where we lift each other up
and support each other’s dreams

Where we compare our aches and pains
and fall asleep watching TV

Home is where I long to be
whenever I am away from you

To celebrate National Poetry Month, I have challenged myself to write a poem each day for the month of April. My plan is to write using the theme “small moments,” but I will honor wherever my writing takes me. The writing is really in the driver’s sear.

Baseball Memories

GOOD BASEBALL QUOTES | Baseball quotes, Baseball season, Better baseball

Today is one of my favorite days of the year – Opening Day! I learned the game of baseball by watching my dad coach my brothers Little League teams during a time when girls were not permitted to play organized sports. After the games there would be talk of the games, and I listened. I was proud to know the rules of the game, the positions, and the plays. Those baseball memories started a love affair with baseball that continues today.

The crack
of the bat
brings me back

to the flagstone patio,
where we listened
to Phillies’ home games

on the transistor radio
broadcasted from
Connie Mack Stadium.

Richie Ashburn,
Byron Saam,
Harry Kalas,

their voices
were the voices
of a simpler time.

So many of my fondest memories are wrapped up in the sights and sounds of baseball. BASEBALL = LOVE

PLAY BALL!

Retreat

10 Beautiful Quotes to Help You Slow Down and Relax - Literally Simple

Today was the first day of my Easter break. It was scheduled to be our faculty retreat day, but because of continued COVID protocols, we did not have an in person retreat. Instead we were given a link to watch Rev. Stephen DeLacy, the Vocation Director of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We could view it whenever we wanted on an honor system. Fr. DeLacy had some good food for thought, and I think I will watch it again and take notes. While I missed physically retreating to a place for quiet contemplation, I appreciated Fr. DeLacy’s words that touched on so many things I have been experiencing during the pandemic.

When some people hear the word ‘retreat’ they immediately think of a religious experience, but the word ‘retreat’ means the act of moving back or withdrawing – something we don’t do enough of. When was the last time you went on ‘retreat’?

The Slice of Life Story Challenge is a sort of retreat for me. Not the rest and relax type, but a retreat nonetheless. Participating in this challenge with this community of writers is something I look forward to each March. Grant it, some days I am scrambling to get an idea to write about or get a post written before the midnight deadline, but it is still a retreat. I retreat from whatever normally fills those minutes and allow myself to write without feeling that I should be doing something else. It recharges my creativity in so many ways beyond writing.

When was the last time you took a retreat? I have found that I can retreat without leaving my home. Why not try retreating to something that will allow your body, mind, and heart time to heal? What is it for you – reading, listening to music. taking a walk or a drive? Whatever it is, I hope you take the time to retreat from the challenges of this crazy world and to something that helps you renew, refresh, and recharge.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Flowers

Before I left school today for the start of the Easter break, I flipped my calendar to April and was met with this quote. I decided to put in my writer’s notebook. What evolved from that quote is today’s slice.

Day lily

I have been blessed over the course of my life with good friends. Some of my friends are perennials. They have been with me a long time, and I can count on them to be with me year after year after year. Even when I don’t see them, I know they will return like the spring flowers follow winter.

Dahlia

Then I have my friends who are the annuals. They may change from year to year but they bring their own unique beauty to the garden. Each of these friends has added to my happiness as they moved in and out of my life.

Forget-me-not

Some are more like biennials. We may not see each other every year, but when we finally do talk or meet , it is a sweet reunion

I am not a gardener; plants stay alive in my house thanks to the care my husband gives them. Yet, I love flowers! Cultivating friendships is like cultivating flowers; you need to pay attention and treat them with care. I like to think that I am more attentive to my friends.

Thank you to all of the friends in my beautiful garden of happiness. Each of you, in your own special way, have helped me blossom. You are bouquets of blessings!

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Weathering the Storm

Heartbreak is a storm of the heart. Stand strong in the winds of change. |  Roots quotes, Storm, Wind of change

Last night the strong winds were loud and the windswept rain beat on the vinyl siding. I had touble falling asleep, so I got out my trusty bluetooth headband and cued up a Calm sleep meditation to mute the constant pounding. I was starting to feel more relaxed and it wasn’t long before I was sound asleep.

That was short-lived. Around one AM, I was awakened by another round of driving rain and hammering winds. This time I put on some soothing guitar music and turned up the volume. I snuggled farther down under my covers and thought how glad I was that we don’t have any big trees near our house and that my phone was fully charged. I usually would enjoy listening to the rain lull me to sleep, but last night Mother Nature sounded angry.

This morning I was greeted by colder weather and a full moon that seemed to follow me to school. The winds were still in action (I should have used more hairspray). but the day felt calm.

I feel like we have been in one long angry storm for the last year, and now the winds are dying down, and calmness may soon be at hand. We are coming out of the storm with deeper roots. We have learned just how strong we can be. We are better equiped for the next storm.





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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Pain

Funny Body Pain Quotes. QuotesGram

Today was rough. A plethora of ailments keeps me in pain much of the time, but today everything was barking at once. I think if was mostly because of the changing weather patterns. It is cold/cool in the mornings and then warms up as the day progresses; couple that with rain, and I turn into a human barometer. I’m not going to lie; there were even a few self-pity tears.

I couldn’t decide if my knees and hips, the headache upsetting my stomach, or the lower back pain was trying hardest to get my attention, but they all acting like petulant children screaming, “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

I am not being too hard on myself today for my little pity party, because it is the weekend. I spend all week in my classroom plugging along, gathering inspiration from my students, and hiding my pain the best I can. I can figure out a way to keep moving, or I can let the pain win. Losing is not an option!

Time for a cup of tea and an early bedtime. Tomorrow will be better.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Passion

20 Awesome Quotes for Finding Your Passion In Work | by Shane Snow |  Mission.org | Medium

Man or woman, if you can get up in the morning and do what you love to do you are where you are supposed to be. Many times in my career as a teacher I had to explain or justify to others who kept telling me to apply to a public school district why I chose to teach in a Catholic school. Each time I was getting ‘advice’ from someone, they reminded me that I could be earning so much more money in public school, but I knew where I was supposed to be, and that was in Catholic Education.

Don’t get me wrong, earning more money would have make life a lot easier, and my family had to sacrifice a great deal because of my decision to remain in Catholic Education, yet I would not have changed a thing. When I look back over my 35 year (so far) career, I am certain I was in the right place – right where I was supposed to be.

I have great respect for public school teachers; they do such wonderful work and often encounter situations that are very challenging. I don’t envy their salaries because they work very very hard for that paycheck; and are the backbone of the communities they serve. My son is a public school music teacher who goes above and beyond to provide his students with experiences they will remember for a lifetime.

When my kids were trying to settle on college majors, I told them to do what they love because as adults we work a long time. If you don’t love what you do your job becomes work and nothing more. My daughter, who works in community mental health, once asked me jokingly, “Why did you tell us to do something we love instead of something that earned a lot of money?” She knew the reason, and she told her brother the same thing early in his career.

I am so thankful that I got to follow several of my passions – teaching – music – writing. Who knows what passions I may explore in the years to come. My wish for you is that you are living your passion, and if you are not – remember it is never too late!

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Women

Empowering Women Empowering Women Quotes Women Supporting | Etsy

With Women’s History Month coming to an end, I have been thinking about all the women who have inspired and supported me over my lifetime. Although each of these women each be the subject of their own blog post, I will work on that in the future.

My family – No one has inspired and supported me more than my mom. She was an gentle yet strong woman who could be counted on for a shoulder to cry on or an incredible laugh. I am thankful every day for my sister and sister’s-in-law. Each of them has contributed to who I am today. My grandmothers were both immigrants who came to the United States and worked hard and raised families – one only had one child – the other had nine. I continue to be amazed by my strong and beautiful daughter and daughter-in-law who are building loving families of their own.

My friends – There are women who were girls when we first met, and we shared many experiences that shaped us. We may not be in touch that much, but the memories still remain. There are women I met as a young mother. We supported each other like only young mothers can.

My now – The women who are in my life now besides my steadfast family have carried me thought ups and downs. They are my closest girlfriends who I know I can trust with anything, my writing group friends – those at PAWLP and those online I feel like I know even though we have never met, and my colleagues who help me in so many different ways. Then there are the Chapter Chicks, my book club ‘sisters’ who collectively have been through almost everything – flood and fire, births and weddings, sickness and death – and through it all we have been there to support each other for almost 20 years. I could ask for a better support system.

I could write so much about each of these women and groups of women, but today I remember them each with a smile and a grateful heart.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Tired: Take Two

Strong but exhausted. | Tired mom quotes, Tired quotes, Hard quotes

What does it mean when you wake up in the morning thinking about how long it will be until you get back home and can nap or sleep? I love teaching and my classes, but there is no tired like teacher tired this year.How do you describe your fatigue?

Are you…

  • drowsy
  • weary
  • drained
  • sleepy
  • beat
  • dog-tired
  • worn-out
  • run-down
  • sapped
  • exhausted

How do I describe my tired? All of the above. Three school days until Easter Break, one is a personal day – I can make two more days, but the tired is real, and heavy, and telling me to take care of myself. That.is.all.

Goodnight

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Noticing

from: My Thoughts Are CloudsPoems for Mindfulness by Georgia Heard

Today my school reinstated our middle school clubs for the last trimester. This year my club is Poetry Workshop. Some of the students in my club chose to be there while others were assigned, so I wanted to make sure I had activities that would appeal to the reluctant writer as well as the enthusiast.

We began with a short video about poetry, and then proceeded to select notebooks which the school provided, and pens with colored ink (Dollar Store finds). Next, I shared “If I Were in Charge of the World” by Judith Viorst. The students were provided with a copy of the poem to tape into their notebooks along with a template to help them create their own version of the poem.

We then tried our hand at Zip Code or Phone # poems by writing the numbers vertically – one number on each line. The number became the number of words permitted on each line. Zero was a ‘wild card’ where poets could choose their own number of words.

I gave them a little pep talk before the bell rang and told them that poetry can be about ANYTHING! We talked about how writers and poets are ordinary people who take the time to NOTICE THE ORDINARY things they come across each day.

I closed by sharing the poem above, “Open Your Eyes” by Georgia Heard. I challenged them to open their eyes, notice the ordinary, and gather their observations for our next meeting after the Easter break.

Tonight, I think I will take my own advice and start looking more closely at the ‘ordinary’.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21