I Said Yes to the Slice of Life

It’s hard to believe this challenge started 31 days ago. At the beginning, it seemed like I was never going to be able to complete it, much less enjoy it. You see, I am teaching in a new district this year, in a grade level I’ve never taught, and a town in which we moved to 14 months ago. While I have thoroughly enjoyed these “new” things, taking on a writing challenge in the midst of preparing for state testing wasn’t something I had planned for or considered how much time it would take. Then came COVID-19 and suddently I needed this writing challenge. I needed something on my to-do list every day and someething that helped me analyze my day. I know that writing is a way to accomplish this, but I am quite sure I would not have used it as a strategy during this crazy new way we are now doing life if it were not for Slice of Life. So, at the beginning of March I was wishing I hadn’t taken on another new thing and now at the end of March I am so grateful I said yes to Slice of Life!

Can’t Wait For Monday

Not too many times as teacher do I say “I can’t wait for tomorrow because it’s Monday!” I absolutely love what I do, but Mondays are still ‘Monday’ right?! Tomorrow is something I am looking forward to despite the fact that it is Monday. Tomorrow I am helping distribute meals to students in our district and the thought of maybe seeing one or two of my students is really exciting to me. I have no idea which route I’ll be on, or even where most of my students live, but the possibility is exciting. In the past ten days the extent of my outtings has been limited to my in-laws (where our horses live) and one trip to town over a week ago. I guess the idea of just driving to town is thrilling! Even if I don’t get to see my students, it will be great to see kids.

Watching From a Distance

Today has been a good day for my soul. Our adult son was here for another visit, that makes two in as many weeks. This has been a silver lining for our family during this crazy pandemic. I love his visits as he is my child that loves conversation. We’ve arrived at the point in our relationship where he seeks our advice, but knows the decisions are his, and where we can become friends (this is my favorite part).

He is four years older than his sister, our youngest. In a way I feel she has missed out these past two years because he has been on his own. She has missed having a sibling home in her high school years, someone to vent to when we don’t let her do what she wants, and someone immediately available to do silly stuff with. Before he left home, he would take her along when he went bowling, for ice cream and pizza, and was a great role model for her. Now when he comes to visit, they are reestablishing this bond, but with a twist. When they spontaneously decide to go for ice cream (only because there was real concern Dairy Queen may close for an indefinite amount of time), she informs him that she will be driving! This takes him back for a moment and I love seeing that playfulness between them again.

Then she realizes her brother has a skill set she is lacking, but could benefit from. She wants some of her old horseshoes welded together for a hat rack. She butters him up by asking if he has done any welding lately. Then asks him ever so politely if he would want to ‘help’ her make something. He is instantly intrigued with the idea and they set to work designing the rack on her bedroom floor. Before long they are working side by side in the garage creating a masterpiece. The hat rack ends up being exactly what she wanted and he is proud of helping to create it. I watch from a distance, the masterpiece I see is the friendship they have.

All of this for a puzzle……..

After a week of being home, fighting a cold, and not having much ambition, it hit me…..PUZZLES! But first, I had to find “the” box in the garage. Last January our family relocated and in the moving process all our board games and puzzles were packed and never brought into the new house. With only one kid at home anymore, it wasn’t something that was really missed, until yesterday. Luckily there are only a few boxes left unopened, but the puzzle box was wedged tightly into the highest corner of the garage (of course)! The box would not budge from the shelf. So after some pretty amazing ingenuity and defying several basic laws of physics, I successfully retreived several games and puzzles from it. The box is still snug in the same corner of the garage and when my husband discovers it he will most likely think a prehistoric, giant rat must be living in our garage and being sustained by cardboard! But alas, the puzzles now have a place in our home!

Several years ago my daughter and I had become almost addicted to doing puzzles. We set up a card table in the living room so we could work on them whenever we wanted and it wasn’t in the way on the dining rom table. We spent hours working on puzzles together which lead to some great conversations as well as quiet time together. I don’t really remember why the card table got put away, probably when the Christmas tree went up, but it never came back out. Last night we spent the evening doing a puzzle, something we haven’t done in way too long. It was a peaceful evening and a sweet memory.

Overthinking…..

I usually pride myself on not overthing things, but today was different. You see, I’ve had a cough/cold for about 10 days and it has progressively gotten worse. In any other period of time, this would not surprise me or probably even bother me, but this time is different. Today I read more than the usualy number of pop-up news articles about the latest information on COVID-19 and the symptoms that are “now” being documented. And after reading nearly two dozen articles I realized that the “new” symptoms weren’t new at all. All documented cases progress very quickly, involve fevers that escalate quickly and shortness of breath (I realize now I wasted a good deal of time doing my research). So, I have self-diagnosed myself as NOT having COVID-19 because after suffering with this crud for almost 14 days there is still an absense of fever (thankfully)! But on the bright side, I did rest a lot today while doing all that research, so hopefully I feel better tomorrow than I did today. And my plan for tomorrow is to ignore all those pop-up news articles and actually accomplish something. 🙂

A Changing Tide

I would love to say I’m sitting on a warm, sandy beach watching the tide go out, but that is not the case. I am safely home in northern Wisconsin on a sunny Saturday in March. The only water I saw today was the puddle forming inside our syprup shack due to the furnace heat drawing the frost out of the tundra. So what is this changing tide I write of? My habit of not being able to remember to blog on Saturdays – LOL!

This may seem insignificant, but to me it is a big accomplishment. During the BC (before Corona) times, I typically found myself checked out of the digital world on Saturday as there were always so many things demanding my time. Now that I’m mid-Corona, I find that I’m able to do all those miscellaneous things as they come to mind throughout the week and my Saturday is still been mostly non-digital, but I actually had room in my brain to think about Slice of Life! I found myself pondering what I might write about while watching the sap boil, as I stepped through the sloppy mud in the shack (the only place the frost is coming out in my neck of the woods), and even while doing laundry. I’m wondering if Corona AD will afford me this same space in my brain? Perhaps I will have learned that slowing down a bit is a good thing. Now I wonder if as a society we’ll refer to this period of history as BC/AD Corona? I think that is enough wondering for one Saturday (and perhpas if you’re reading this you think my not blogging on Saturday might not be such a bad thing)! Ha ha

Equal Opportunity Crisis

Today began as any day normally does, stretching in the living room. Then my admirer spoke sweetly to me before preparing my breakfast. Ahhh, I have a good life! As I snuggled into my chair after filling my belly, it was quiet for awhile and I thoroughly enjoyed the silence compared to most days when the family is bustling about the house.

But then it began to change. An unexpected trip to town, strange these days. We arrived at a new place I had never been before, my admirer spoke on the phone and it was all about me, well at least it sure sounded like it was about me (I could only hear one side of the conversation). Finally, the call ended and we were out of the car heading towards the new place with new people. Why are we not going in? Why is my admirer giving me to this new person, this is wrong! Now I’m inside, but alone with these strangers.

OUCH! What was that for? Why are you doing that?

OUCH! Again, what’s this all about? I know, I’ll do my jumping thing and get away. Guess not, they’re pretty quick. I hope this is almost over.

Finally, I see the door and I think we’re going out. Outside at last and there she is, my admirer! I’m so excited I have to pee right now. It’s all making sense now, the constant news stories I’ve been overhearing the past few weeks have affected even me, the family beagle. Going to the vet is scary enough, but going alone is down right cruel! Pandemics aren’t just affecting humans, they’re an equal opportunity crisis for pets as well!

Be safe out there!

Two Days Down!

Day one of break was pretty exciting as we had a visit from our son and his new girlfriend. It was just what we needed; a reason to clean the house, make a nice meal and keep our minds occupied.

Today was Day 2. Not so exciting. No visits, but I did roast a whole chicken so that I can make soup tomorrow. My daughter and I found ourselves wandering about aimlessly – no purpose. So we made a “break list” in place of a “bucket list” and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need and indefinite amount of time off to accomplish everything on the list! We decided on several card games we want to learn to play, exercise every day with a reasonable weight loss goal, books to read, multiple projects around the house, and hopefully the snow will be gone in time to do some yard work. So I now feel like I have goals to reach and a purpose to this time that has sobeen spontaneously gifted to us. Today I crossed off two things on my list – clean up the garage and transplant a house plant that has been sitting in its new pot for far too long.

P.S. Our son’s girlfriend is very sweet and connected (she manages a candy store – oh there goes my weight loss goal)! 😉

Oh boy!

What a pleasant surprise when I received a text from my son tonight! It was a tough day as we began our “break” due to COVID19. I so needed a positive message from our son, he has a quick smile and almost always a light-hearted word. But tonight’s message was different, it was an inquiry, “what are you up to tomorrow?” NOTHING! I literally have nothing on my schedule. His classes have been cancelled and he doesn’t work until Thursday so……..he wanted to come for a visit……..with his new girlfriend! Well, now I have LOTS to do……clean my house before I taint this young lady’s first impressions of us! Isn’t it funny how one simple message can change our focus and bring a ray of hope when just moments before there was only sad reflection? I’m so excited!!!

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