Saturday, April 22, 2017

                                                                  My Fisherman

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Drummer Boy

This second child of mine was given a drum set and the story began.  He joined the middle school band, marched with the high school band as an 8th grader and became the head of the drum line while at high school.  He entertained the idea of marching for a college drum line, but ultimately decided that he was not that dedicated to eat, sleep and breathe drumming all the time.
He went to another college, transferred to yet another school and finally got his degree in Automotive. Then he went to  a festival and connected with a local band. This group was a small three piece ensemble that had no drummer. They were looking to change things up and he was looking to play again. He still helped with the local high school drum line and was encouraging his youngest brother to play percussion also.
This group began playing frequently around this end of the state and a few months in they went in the studio to record. He laid down all his tracks in one day, in his typical perfectionist way. And they continued doing shows. He was also working a full time job.
The band got a sponsor, differences developed and he eventually parted ways with them but on good terms. After all, the music scene is relatively small. He has since been contacted by another group and has joined them. They have recorded and the album should be released this fall. Music is an important part of who he is. It's funny because his playlist runs from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, to Broadway, to Boston, Foreigner, Johnny Cash, Ben Rector, Sturgill Simpson and St. Paul and the broken bones.  Like in life , he is all over the place.
This is one of my favorite pictures of #2. It was made at one of the photo shoots for the first band.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Today was rainy and I don't mean a gentle sprinkle. I mean rain that sounds like a monsoon, where the lights flicker and the wind howls as the rain pelts the windows and you are grateful for shelter. Days like these are challenges to teachers of little ones. When you are in the same small room, with the same people and the same toys, you get a bit antsy. So we decided to plant flowers!
 We filled a dishpan with potting soil, a small bucket with seeds and a cup with water. We practiced using our scooping and counting skills. 1 scoop of dirt, a pinch of seeds and three tablespoons of water in our plastic cups. Slow and steady we got all 14 cups ready for spring. Now we get to wait and see what happens. Patience is not easy when you are 4, though. Next week we will work on the raised flower beds outside our classroom door and plant some vegetables.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Love is simple

We call this little girl our assistant teacher. She has such a heart for the special needs children in our class. I caught this great picture of her 'reading' to such a peer. She is always aware of where he is in the class and if he needs help or not, sometimes even before we do. I would love to see what she does with these skills as she gets older. We try and try to teach kindness, acceptance, self-regulation, compassion and caring for others, but for some, we don't have to. Some of us are already there, have been since birth and require just some fine tuning. For some the world is uncomplicated and simple...just love.   Why do we have to grow up?

Thursday, March 23, 2017



    I work in a developmental day preschool classroom, which means that several of the children have developmental delays, autism and or speech and language delays. We talk a lot about how everyone learns differently  and helping our friends who can't do for themselves. We talk about that there are  those of us who don't use our words yet when they are mad and how we can help them. We talk about who does and doesn't understand about other peoples feelings and sharing with others.These are important but difficult concepts for 3,4 and 5 year olds to understand.
  Yesterday on the playground , one little boy, who is typically developing kept saying "why why why". Another teacher asked him "why what?, what is wrong?"
This innocent looked at her and said "Why did God make (child) and (child) like that? I don't understand and I don't like it"
She was speechless and just said " I really don't know.."
Which made me wonder, what would I say, what should I say? and how can I answer that because I really don't know either.
Then I thought of a story that has been credited to Mr. Rogers. He said that during a tragedy of some sort, I forget the details, he asked his mother why and she said that she didn't know why bad things happened. But when they do  always look for the helpers, there are always people who are helping.
  I thought of this in relation to this little boys question and maybe the answer is because of the helpers . Because when God makes people like that it gives those of us in the world, the caregivers, the helpers, the advocates and the teachers our purpose. our thing to do, our passion.
I don't know......  seems a lame answer but  maybe its something like that.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


This house was my home. When it was my home it looked different. It had a beautiful dogwood on the right side, a tall hedge along the back side, so from the road you couldn't see the back yard and it was always, always painted, clean and neat.
This is where my grandparents lived. This is where my mother and her siblings grew up and where I lived the first five years of my life. I spent almost every summer from age five to college in this house with my grandparents and any assorted cousin that was available. This is my house. 
I can tell you there are 13 steps straight up to the second floor that you see upon opening the front door. I can tell you that there is fireplace that I never saw used. I can tell you that the kitchen is so small that if the back door is open, you cannot open the oven door. My granddaddy built the large screened in porch on the side of the house and the carport. My grandmother planted and cared for a pomegranate tree in the back yard. There was a shed in the back yard that housed my granddaddy's collection of tools, fishing poles and other things and collections. The clothesline ran the entire length of the end of the back yard along the hedge. It was used almost every day. 
My grandmother loved birds and the bird feeder was in view of the porch and the bird bath was in view of the kitchen window.
I loved that house and the people in it more than anything else in my world. Every time I left I felt like I was being ripped away from my heart. 
I can still tell you where every piece of furniture was and what was in most of  the cabinets. 
This picture actually hurts my heart, because of the changes of the exterior that would've made my grandparents cringe. I can only imagine what the inside looks like. It is not my house anymore.
But in the words of Miranda Lambert, it is the house that built me.


 I used to babysit this beautiful bride and her two sweet brothers (pictured below). I am not quite sure that she is old enough to be married, but she tells me it is true. I was so honored to be invited and a witness to the lovely young lady she has become.
 These two were not even in school when I met them!! Again not sure when I blinked.
                                              The gorgeous cake and table decorations.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017



-several years ago my church was gearing up for our annual Relay for Life fundraiser in our small town and various people spoke on how cancer had affected their lives. They had either personally, or a friend or family member had been diagnosed and they spoke of shortened lives, derailed dreams and finally of hope. Hope for a cure, hope for recovery and hope for others.
-I sat and it suddenly occurred to me that I no connection to these stories. I , of course, felt empathy for those who had been affected but was almost non concerned about how much was raised and who was working the event.
- As life, fate, karma and circumstances would have story has completely changed. And oh how  I fervently wish it hadn't.
It began with my half-sister who called me one day to tell me that she had breast cancer.
Then my old friend from high school found out that she had cancer. Shockingly the sudden pain that my sweet oldest nephew complained about in stomach was determined to be colon cancer.  Colon cancer!! He is 28.  After extensive rounds of chemo, he was told the treatments weren't working and it is incurable. He is still fighting and we are still praying and hoping.
Lastly my father who has been battling lung cancer for a while was recently diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his brain, He just finished radiation treatments and the outlook is good.

So this year....we are two months shy of Relay for Life and I care. I care a lot and am saddened by my own self involvement that it wasn't that important to me before. I want everyone to care, I want everyone to continue to have hope and to volunteer and contribute whenever or however they can, because I don't want you to have to become aware like I did. It is important and we all need to be involved.

Learning about water

Boats preschool style!

    We each had a boat and then we tried to see if they floated. After adjusting sails and the current (swirls we made with our hands) we each added objects to the middle of our boat to see what would float or what sunk! So much fun playing in the water and learning.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Fear can be ugly and our reactions to fear can also be ugly, frightful and cause fear in others. This is a fearful time for everyone. For those of us working every day in the trenches with children, we hold the fear away. We have to because we are the teachers. I am a teacher, my son is a teacher and coach. My husband is a coach, my sister in law and my friends are in education and we all are afraid. We are afraid for our jobs, our careers, and mostly for our students. The world is getting smaller and smaller and more and more complicated. We are fearful of what education is becoming. We are afraid to speak our truths because we are usually bullied down, mocked or worse, ignored. And we are tired. We are tired of defending our careers, crying over our students, working long into the night, making do, losing, fighting for scraps, and being condemned, criticized, and ignored. But still we arrive at work, plan for success, hold little hands, dry tears, listen to horror stories, feed hungry children and hungry minds and smile. Because we are the teachers and we cannot let fear and hate win.