Category Archives: Uncategorized

#SOL20 Day 28 “Radio”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

img_8522img_8523

I’m not sure RADIO has as prominent a role in people’s lives these days. With streaming services, podcasts, and on-demand audio many of us may only encounter radio in our cars as we commute. I’d love to hear about your memories of radio.

#SOL20 Day 27 “Hot”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

HOT

img_8484img_8485

When I was a young teen, one of the few jobs we could legally be hired for was on a farm. So for several weeks each summer, my siblings and I would work on a detasseling crew.  Our job was to walk rows of  corn and pull off the tassels in all but the pollinating row so they could create hybrid seed corn. If you’ve never heard of this, you probably aren’t from the Midwest. Anyone who has done it can attest to the excruciating work conditions. I couldn’t wait to turn 16 so I could get hired for an air-conditioned job! The irony wasn’t lost on me that child labor laws meant to protect us, only allowed us to work some of the hardest (and hottest) jobs on the planet!

#SOL20 Day 26 “Doing Something”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I am posting a ‘slice’ from my life. I have been using prompts from  Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to explore memories. But today I had to write about a small moment that brought me joy. I haven’t seen students in over 8 days and I’m worrying that it will be months before we get back to teaching. So I volunteered to help distribute lunches to children and families in our town and was able to see dozens of kids as they pulled up to get food. They looked so happy to see teachers and a few even wrote cards for us to give to their teachers. My heart melted. I won’t share a photo of any families out of respect for their privacy, but this is my colleague Cheryl (on right) and a city councilman (on left) and my principal Teresa took the photo. Today I finally felt like I was “doing something”. WIN!Lunch Pick Ups

When the cars pulled up

and the windows rolled down

grins burst forth

from all of our faces.

“Hi!! I miss you!”

a simultaneous… ‘jinx’

from both sides of the window.

A desire to rush up

and wrap our arms around them

was shelved for now.

With 6 foot social distancing,

we showered them with smiles.

as they scooped up the food

and talked about life.

“How is your sister?”

“Have you read some good books?”

“Did you play in the snow?”

Before driving off

we tucked in much love

with waving hands.

“See you soon!”

“Be well!”

“Bye!”

for now…

#SOL20 Day 25 “Flat Cake”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

IMG_8385IMG_8386

We all have so many connections to food. Think of any food you ate in your past and I bet it will be connected to a person or an event that is meaningful to you. Pancakes are a ubiquitous food that has the potential to trigger memory.

What other foods do this for you?

#SOL20 Day 24 “Everything”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

IMG_8367IMG_8368

How do we know things by heart? They are the things instilled in us through repetition or ritual typically. They are often things we love, or define who we are. Musicians know pieces by heart, poets know poems by heart, dancers know choreography by heart, cooks know recipes by heart. Why my mind went to something I no longer recite, but prayed as a child and young adult was an interesting experience. What do you know by heart? What came to mind first? Why do you think that is?

#SOL20 Day 23 “One”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

If you could only have one memory, what would that be? Don’t contemplate, muse, get dreamy, romantic. Dive in, let your hand flying across the page discover that single moment. Go, ten minutes. (p.219)

img_8332img_8333How do you choose just ONE memory? You don’t overthink it. Skim off whatever rises to the top first and go with it. It’s probably one of your most precious. This moment was the most intensely joyful experiences of my life. The birth of my son rivals it, but if you’ve read my other posts you’ll know that three miscarriages preceded this pregnancy. The anxiety, pain, hope, and anticipation were packed in tight like grenade. Her first cry set off the explosion of emotion like no other time in my life. I became a mother! It’s a memory that I would welcome living over and over and over.

#SOL20 Day 22 “Bar”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

img_8312img_8313

Funny how my first memory of a bar wasn’t one that I patronized and partied at, but the only one I’d ever worked at. I still remember riding my bike home after closing at 2am and wondering if I should take a shower (and wake myself up) or crawl into bed reeking of smoke and beer and get a few hours of sleep before classes. I think I developed a lot of grit in life from these tough jobs and trying times.  Working my way through school helped me appreciate my education so much more. I truly believe everything we do contributes to who we are!

#SOL20 Day 21 “Time”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 7.34.53 PM

I immersed myself in this quick write and practiced that skill of noticing and remembering but found out just how unreliable memory can be. I mentally put myself there in my room to relive these moments of clock watching and then when I went up to my room to actually look at the clock, after the fact, I discovered my memory of red numerals was inaccurate!!Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 7.42.04 PM

How many details in my memory are undependable or false? Is that what it’s like for memoirists as they write to remember? Do they grapple with the doubts of inaccuracies? I’m learning so much with these simple exercises…about myself and about writing  memories.

#SOL20 Day 20 “No More”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

When I read this prompt today I couldn’t help but think about my current life. There is nothing in my younger days (beyond grieving loved ones) that commanded my attention to Natalie’s prompt than my current life.

img_8226-1img_8227-1

When you think about “no more”, what immediately comes to your mind? What losses have you or are you experiencing? Does this increase your gratitude or your stress?         Is “no longer” forever or temporary?

#SOL20 Day 19 “Bedroom Window”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.

Today I thought about how remembering isn’t just about recalling exact events, but thinking about our perceptions and our dreams that influenced our lives as well.

img_8196img_8197

What was outside your bedroom window? Was it really? Is that what matters?