Category Archives: Life

The Playhouse: An Update

One week later, the playhouse still sits on the side of the road, forlorn and forgotten.

Cars rush by, too busy to see its sorrow as it awaits its fate. Will it sit on the side of the road forever, until the plastic turns brittle and crumbles under the oppressive summer sun? Will someone eventually take it home, try to put the pieces back together, show it the love it hoped for in the first place? Will it find its way into the nearby woods, destined to become a home for raccoons?

Only time will tell.


The Playhouse

It seems that often people don’t notice the same things I do. Sometimes I think I’m a little too observant for my own good. But this week, I noticed something that I don’t think anyone could miss.

On the way into town one evening, we noticed a plastic playhouse. A molded plastic cube that seemed relatively new and in good shape. It sat in the weedy median, on its side and lonely. Its only companions were a red sedan and a puzzled blonde woman.

My husband and I immediately began speculating. How had the playhouse ended up in the median? Had it fallen off of a truck? Had someone left it behind? And, more curious, who was the woman and what did she intend to do with the playhouse? There was no way she could fit it into her tiny car or secure it onto the roof.

We went about our evening, not thinking much about the mystery. But when we returned, the story had taken a new turn.

Even in the darkness, it was easy to see that the red sedan and blonde woman were gone, but the playhouse was still on the side of the road. Now, though, it sat on the other side of the road in pieces. I don’t know what happened to it, but it met a tragic end.

Alas, the playhouse didn’t stand a chance, especially if the woman did indeed try to bring it home on her car.


… And Then There’s Just Getting Back on Track

The end of the school year is a bittersweet time, but this year more so than any other before. Moving from middle school English to high school French means that I have many of my former middle schoolers in my class. This year, a whole batch of my beloved middle schoolers — including several who were in French this year — have graduated.

It’s funny how life works. Watching people grow up and change and realizing one day that they’ve grown into adults. Knowing that they’ll always have a special place in my heart, and being pretty sure they’ll remember me too.

So that’s where I’ve been the last two weeks during my unintentional hiatus. Finishing out a school year and starting to think about the next (because that’s just how teaching works). But now that summer’s here, I’m back.


Painting with the Cat

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I love my cat’s sense of curiosity. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.

He’s interested in everything: playing with yarn while I’m crocheting, batting at the fringe on my scarf, watching tv with us.

One of his newest interests is watching me paint. The first time was while I was working on my last painting. (Speaking of which, it’s been too long. Too many busy weekends in a row.) He perched on the arm of the chair and followed my every brush stroke for an unusually long time.

Fortunately, his curiosity hasn’t led him into the paint so far, but I guess we’ll see next time.

I wonder what he thinks of it all as he sits next to me. Does he have any idea what I’m doing? Does he see the pattern of it all? I don’t know, but there’s nothing as wonderful as listening to him purr as he sits against me and watches.

Do you have pets that like to get involved in your activities?


Graduation (A Poem)

I remember
when you were young,
sixth grade, awkward hair,
trying to find yourself.
You were the class clown,
teacher’s pet, quiet one,
queen bee, reflective writer.
I loved teaching you.
Years passed, you grew up,
but you never stopped
smiling at me in the halls,
taking classes just because
I taught them, talking about
the days when you were young.
But now you are grown up
ready to leave these halls,
and I am left feeling old
and wondering if I’ll see you again.
You toss your hat, leave the stage,
leave a special place in my heart.


Adventures with School Lunch

I spend lunch on Fridays with the students, and it’s one of the highlights of my week. The crowd is a mix of current French students, past middle school English students, and some of their friends.

Most of the time, the conversation focuses around a shared fandom: Zelda, Agents of SHIELD, Star Wars, among many others. Other days, the conversation turns to what’s in our lunch.

Recently, I went through the usual routine of making a salad for lunch. I’m not always as good about cleaning the lettuce as I should be. I’ll be much better at it from now on after what happened.

As I reached the bottom of the salad, I came to a strange conclusion. There was something weird in my salad. Normally, I can think and listen to the conversation going on around me at the same time, but it felt like everything went quiet. All I could see was the strange item at the bottom of the container: a huge bug.

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In this case, huge was not hyperbole. Just the body was a solid inch long.

Everyone noticed that I had gone silent and the horrified look that I must have had on my face. They all peered down at the bug. We half laughed, half gagged at the thought that it had died in the head of lettuce I had chopped up that morning and had been buried here all along.

Then it got more interesting. Another student pointed out that its head appeared to be missing. The rest of it was completely intact, legs and all.

To this day, I have no idea if I ate the head, but at least I had a great group of students to be amused and horrified with me.


A-Z Challenge: Complete (and May the 4th Be with You!)

This year’s A-Z challenge was a different experience, but I liked it. Sometimes in the whirlwind of lesson plans, grades, and housework, it’s easy to forget about spending some time every day (or at least a every few days) to do something creative. This put the pressure on to make it happen, and I feel some fresh inspiration.

Speaking of creativity, tomorrow is Intergalactic Star Wars Day!

It’s always one of my favorite days of the year, but it’s especially fun this year. Not only do I get to traipse around school wearing an homage to Star Wars (after all, there is still a dress code), but some friends found a Star Wars themed paint night. A picture of that will be up Monday!

So now, back to our regular posting schedule and more creative things — painting, poetry, stories, and otherwise — to come!

And May the fourth be with you… always.

How did your A-Z Challenge go? And are you celebrating May the 4th?