Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Where I'm Going

 Where I’m Going

This year is a big year for my family.  My daughter is a senior in high school and will be going away to college in the fall.  My son will be starting his senior year in college.  

My life is changing and shifting.  I am not ready for it, and I wish I could go back in time.  However, I keep reminding myself of something a dear friend said to me when my son went off to college.  “This is the next logical step, Heather.”  Yes, logical, but also so emotional.

Thank you, TeachWrite for the challenge to write about this next chapter.

So, this is where I am going.

I know where

I’m going. 

There is no question.

I am flying to

an empty nest.

No choices here,

just the natural progression

of this bird’s life.

However, there are

a few spots 

I’d like to stop by

before I land

in that barren nest.

I’m going to

visit the potential places 

my daughter may land - 

a flight to South Carolina

and a few other states 

both south and west

to look at some new nests 

for my daughter.


another quick flight 

to Florida 

to see Mom and dad 

in their new 

tropical nest.

I plan some

shorter wanderings

on wooded trails

and sandy beaches

closer to home

to soak up 

whatever time

I have left

with my girl

and to reunite with friends, 

to chirp and sing

about life and our kids.

Eventually, I will land

in that empty nest

to ponder future flights

and who I want to be.

Adventures are waiting.

Independently, I will fly

to Kentucky for the

NCTE Convention.

I will find some classes

on writing and knitting

so I can stay active

in my nest,

bringing back twigs, leaves, and dried grass

to add to and decorate

the nest 

so it does not feel

so empty

for long.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

He's Soarin', Flyin'! #SOL21

 As a mother of two adults, I thought the days of childish giggles of pure joy and excitement were over.  It fills my heart to know they are not.  Yesterday, I witnessed my son starting a dream.  Learning to fly.  

He got out of the car with a smile on his face, and he walked over to give us hugs.  He pulled down his mask and said, “ I even trimmed my beard so I would look good for today.”  It was like he was going on a first date.  

We walked inside the quiet and empty Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport to the flight school.  

The young woman at the desk greeted us with enthusiasm and asked who wanted to ride in the back seat.  I immediately backed up, shaking my head.  

Scott and I turned to Ashley.  She was shocked; she thought she would be working on homework for the next two hours.  Now, she had the opportunity to experience Cam’s first flight.  She half-jokingly replied, “As long as you don’t crash.”  

The instructor, Brian, found us in the lobby and explained the lesson.  He nonchalantly indicated that it was turbulent up in the air.  He seemed unconcerned but wanted the kids to know in case they wanted to reschedule.  Cam was NOT going to postpone this lesson, and Ashley decided to brave it out.

Cameron learned how to perform the pre-flight work on the Cessna 172.  He climbed up to the wing to check the fuel quality and quantity and then checked the oil and control surfaces.  

Then, it was time.  Surprisingly, my excitement prevailed as I watched my two children climb into the plane.  Cameron actually conducted the take-off.  They flew over Mount Tom and UMASS Amherst.  They flew through the snow.  

A short half-hour later, Cam descended the plan.  As they got closer to the ground, the instructor took over and landed the plane.  

Cam was all smiles and still a bit shaky when he walked into the building.  He booked his next lesson as Brian filled in his flight log.  Still a bit overwhelmed by the experience, Cam knocked over two displays of business cards.  He scrambled to help put things back in order.  I don’t know that I have ever witnessed such joy.

As a parent, you constantly work and strive to help your children find their place in the world and fulfill their dreams.  This moment was extra special because it was Ashley’s idea, her gift.  She was determined to make this happen for her brother.  There is nothing better than witnessing your children wanting to help each other achieve their dreams.

I don’t think there ever really was a question, but it became evident yesterday that Cam belongs with planes, both on the ground and in the air.   

I am participating in Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life Weekly Challenge.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Showing Up to the Page #SOL21

I have never been a morning person.  I hit the snooze button until I can’t.  Occasionally, that can be up to four times because I always have the intention to wake up early.  My wake up time (especially during the week) crept later and later as the year progressed.  As a result, my wake up ritual and time to prepare for the kiddos to enter class dwindled, and the mornings ended up being a whirlwind.  That was definitely not a great way to start the day.

About one month ago, I made a commitment to write first thing in the morning.  I wanted to check out what other writers were calling morning pages.  I watched Julia Cameron’s video on Morning Pages and made a plan.  I decided to start during the holiday break because that would give me a good 10-day stretch to try them out without affecting my sleep schedule.  The true test would be when I returned to school because I would have to wake up 50 minutes earlier to maintain the practice.  

Somewhere along the way, my writing friend from Canada heard me talking about my goal.  She, too, wanted to write early and started hosting a Zoom meeting during the week.  I thought an accountability partner was just what I needed, but it has become much more than that.  I begin my day writing with a friend, and honestly, it is the BEST way to start a day.  I 

While I come to Zoom and my journal groggy and with heavy eyes, I leave feeling calm, clear, and ready to tackle the day.  I dump all the thoughts running through my head into my notebook, and I often have time to prepare myself for what the day has to offer.  

I have missed two mornings over the last 21 days.  It seems as though it has been longer than that and feels like a necessity.  Now, I wake up before my alarm goes off, don’t hit the snooze button, and jump out of bed to write with Karen.  This is one commitment I see sticking with me.

I am participating in Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life Weekly Challenge.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Goodbye, Sticky Notes #SOL2021

 I am the Sticky Note Queen!  They are everywhere - in my planner, on my computer, in my books, on my table, on my desk,  and in my binders.  Scribbled notes, reminders, lists, and plans clutter any space around me.  

When they get out of control, I sift through them, discard the ones I no longer need and organize the somewhat sticky papers I must keep.  Then, the tape comes out to restick them to where I think I will be able to find them.  Unfortunately, they tend to wander off, or I forget where I put them.  

This sticky system is failing me!

I decided to try something new.  Something I hope will break my obsession with the colorful little pieces of paper floating around me.

I purchased a bullet journal complete with markers, stencils, stickers, and washi tape.  I spent an evening searching Pinterest and the internet for ideas and started making a list of what I wanted to track in my journal, such as books, my OLW, habits, weight loss, etc.  Of course, I made my notes on a sticky note!

I enjoy the time I spend in my bullet journal.  I love the visual nature of tracking and listing, but it has not yet replaced the writing on sticky notes.  It seems as though one obsession has led to another, and they have not yet merged with each other.  

What to do?  What to do?  

Start with the sticky notes and let them guide the lists in the journal! Then, they can go in the trash!

As I chose my OLW for this month, I never imagined that I would commit to parting ways with sticky notes.  Goodbye, crumpled, messy sheets of paper.

I am participating in Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life Weekly Challenge.

Poop Notes #SOL

I hate when the kids leave.  I fight to keep the tears at bay.  I strive to stay productive.  However, a blanket of sadness usually wraps ar...