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Enough

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It's Poetry Friday!  Today's event is hosted at Anastasia Suen's Blog . Enough sometimes it is enough to just sit listening to silence enough to notice the rain gently falling enough to wait for nothing in particular sometimes it is enough to just be © Cathy L. Mere

Slice of Life: Finding the Time to Write

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It's Tuesday!  Today is the Slice of Life Challenge.  I'm so grateful to the writers in this community for their continued support, inspiration, and friendship.  You can stop by Two Writing Teachers to join the conversation and discover links to the stories shared.   Recently I was speaking at a conference with a couple of my writing friends about our transitions into the world of digital writing.  As I talked to the group about the challenges writers face, one woman raised her hand.  She said what many of us have said before, "It's hard to find the time to write."  What caught my attention about this writer sitting in the audience wasn't that she had been diligently taking notes or the way she nodded as others shared or the fact that she mentioned time, it was the way she said it.  There was something about her tone.  Something about the way her shoulders slumped forward as she said it.  Something about the sadness in her eyes.  Something about the since

Poetry Friday: Yesterday and Today

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It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by Carol Wilcox's blog:   Carol's Corner for more poetry!   Yesterday and Today The plate rests in her hands; Mom leans against the doorway. Suddenly  I see my grandma sitting in her kitchen the large box she has been waiting for resting near her. She has been saving for a long time, waiting for these dishes, ordered from the Sears Roebuck catalog, to arrive. Mom unknowingly turns the plate in her hands thinking back to the day. Grandma unwraps them one by one, a tear of joy escapes from the grandma that knew what it was like to need. The grandma who lived  through the depression, decades later telling the story of the delight of a slice of bologna given to her by her grandparents.   Mom pauses for a moment lost in the memory of long ago. Grandma unwraps each piece, the grandma who saved foil, the grandma who reused containers, the grandma who carefully portioned meals. She has waited for this day. Sh

Slice of Life: A Man of Honor

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It's Tuesday so stop by  Two Writing Teachers  to join  tonight's link-up and conversation .  There's something about moving from blog to blog to savor the little stories that make us smile.   "Blood is thicker than water, but love is thicker than blood."                 --- Garth Brooks:  Thicker Than Blood On this Veterans' Day we honor the men and women who have served for our country; those people who believed in freedom and helped us to live as we do today.  Of course, behind all of those who served in uniform there are other stories.  Sometimes the story of a hero is beyond the battlefield.  Sometimes the story of a hero is built over years of making a difference in other ways.  This is the story of my grandfather who, not only served his country, but taught us all what it means to live to make a difference. Many years ago my grandma, a widow with two small boys, married this man.  Who would have known that this one decision would shape so man

The Gift of an Hour

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It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by Random Noodling where Diane Mayr hosts today's event. The Gift of an Hour They say I was given an extra hour to sleep, but who wants to waste precious time? I considered all I could do with an extra hour just given as a gift. An extra hour might be: another quiet cup of coffee, or maybe a little more time wrapped inside a book. Sixty minutes for free to put my feet up and gaze at the stars floating above our world. Three thousand six hundred seconds tap tapping words, shaping them into something, molding and sculpting. Now it occurs to me the hour has come and gone. Yet, I'm not sure I was able to savor it. I rise and look at my clock. What was nine a.m. is now eight. I rub my eyes wondering how I slept away this precious gift. © Cathy L. Mere, 2014

The Right to Vote

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It's Tuesday so stop by  Two Writing Teachers  to join  tonight's link-up and conversation .  There's something about moving from blog to blog to savor the little stories that make us smile.   Dorotha Mae Stough Millikan 1894-1976 My great grandmother would have been 25 years old when women first obtained the right to vote.  I like to imagine what it must have been like to vote for the first time. On Sunday, I took my youngest daughter to our county board of elections office to vote before returning to college.  She had come home to visit for the second time since the semester began.  She had realized it might be possible to vote before leaving.  We filled the car more winter clothing, a few meals-to-go, and other items she might need in the coming weeks.  We then headed to the polling location. This was her first time to vote, and she was quite excited.  She had studied the ballot.  She had looked up information on candidates.  She was ready to head to the offi

Poetry Friday: How Many?

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It's Poetry Friday.  Stop by Teacher Dance , where Linda Baie hosts today's roundup.  Thanks, Linda. How Many? The door opens. I step outside greeted by the sunrise - again. I don't know how many suns, how many moons, how many times, I've looked at the sky. Sunrise or sunset. Morning or night. Mid afternoon as clouds dance across the sky. Every single time, my breath catches. I stop; caught in the moment. Each sky a new masterpiece, painted hues of possibility. I don't know how many times I've marveled. I only know each sky a gift. © Cathy L. Mere, 2014 Over at Today's Little Ditty , Michelle has been talking about zenos.  J. Patrick Lewis has challenged everyone to give them a try.  I've tried and found them to be much more challenging than I imagined. Here's a few attempts. A few sky zeros... The morning sky begins to shine pink, purple, red, so I glance at painted sky. Colors dance. This masterpiece,

Poetry Friday: A Gentle Hello

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It's Poetry Friday!!!  I'm honored to be hosting today's link up of beautiful words.  If you're joining us, please leave your link in the comments.  I will be back later in the day to move links up into this post.  In the meantime, be sure to visit the comments to find links to more poetry finds.   A Gentle Hello Out of nowhere you appear. I wasn't expecting you; not today. It has been awhile since you stood near the door strong and tall  greeting me as I entered;  assuring me you would still be right there upon my return. That was long ago. Days have turned to weeks. Weeks to years. Though time has passed I haven't forgotten you. Sometimes it's a comment, a picture, a smell.  The song of a bird. The rush of the wind. The bloom of a flower. Taking me back to the days when you were always there. Without warning here you are again. A gracious gift.  An unexpected surprise. A gentle hello. Making

Lessons Learned: A Tribute to Mr. Conway

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It's Tuesday so stop by  Two Writing Teachers  to join  tonight's link-up and conversation .  There's something about moving from blog to blog to savor the little stories that make us smile.   via Personal Excellence blog As a teacher, I always wonder what my students will remember about me.  My hope is always that students will see their light reflected in my eyes; that I will in some way help them to see all that they can be.  In my years as a student I was fortunate to have many teachers who touched my life in different ways.  I like to think each one played a part in shaping the person I am today.  Today I stay in contact with many of these teachers who helped paint my childhood in possibility. Today I came home to the unfortunate news that one of my teachers just passed away.  It was sad to hear that my fourth grade teacher had lost this last battle, but he had triumphed so many times before.  Though he will likely never know it, he taught me much.  When I thin

Book or eReader? What's Your Poison?

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It's Tuesday so stop by  Two Writing Teachers  to join  tonight's link-up and conversation .  There's something about moving from blog to blog to savor the little stories that make us smile.   "Don't sit too close to the television," our parents warned as if our eyes might fall out or rays might soak into us.  Maybe both things happened, but I seemed to make it through a childhood of mild television watching with few, if any, symptoms as a result.  It's interesting to live on the cusp of new technologies.  What did people think as they watched the first car owners drive past their homes?  Imagine the disgust as televisions began to replace radios.  What were they saying when computers first found their way to our desktops?  What about that hard rock-n-roll music that was sure to doom your soul? With any new technology or discovery there are gifts and concerns.  The eReader is no exception.  I had to laugh this week as my friend, an avid book holder, s

Who Would Have Known?

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It's Tuesday so stop by Two Writing Teachers to join tonight's link-up and conversation .  There's something about moving from blog to blog to savor the little stories that make us smile.  Thanks to Julie Johnson for helping me get my fingers on the keyboard tonight with her post, Nourishing the Teacher Writer .   Growing up, I was not a sports fan.  Hardly able to dribble a ball and chew gum at the same time, I just never took to sports.  My physical education teachers were patient with my challenges.  I worked hard. I tried.  I listened.  Somehow it just never seemed to work.  My friends were all big athletes so I spent my time keeping statistics for teams so I could hang out with them.  Living in a small football town you can imagine the complications of growing up uninterested in sports. The challenges didn't end on the field.  I had to learn to handle sports fans in my everyday world as well.  One of my best friends was a sports fanatic both on and off the

A World Awaits

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It's Tuesday.   Two Writing Teachers are hosting Slice of Life today.  Stop by and join the conversation by reading, commenting, or sharing your story.   "Remember the book we used to read:   Goodnight Moon ?  I feel like I need to go around the house and say goodbye to everything this morning before I leave," my daughter said as she got ready to move her carload full of "must haves" to college. How could I forget?  I'm pretty sure I read that book to her five times each day while she toddled around the house all of those years ago.  I smile to myself at the memory that seems long ago and like yesterday all at the same time.  Where has the time gone?  Bringing myself back to reality I scan the house to see if we have forgotten to load anything.  The day is sure to be a long one full of lifting, putting together, and getting settled. Though I know I will miss her, I'm also excited for her.  I make a conscious effort to let the excitement win the b

Poetry Friday: Lost

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It's Poetry Friday.  Today's event is hosted by Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading .   Stop by today's round up for more poetry .   In a week I begin a new journey as I move from my first grade classroom to a reading intervention position in our building.  It's the first time I've been without a classroom to arrange, a class list to call my own, or a classroom community to begin to build.  It's a little unsettling.  I'm excited about this new opportunity and am beginning to rethink my community --- it's just larger.  Find my class list --- it's the classes I will be working with in the upcoming year.   I stumbled upon this poem this evening that seemed fitting as I find my way in this new place.   Lost  by David Wagoner from Collected Poems 1956-1976 © Indiana University Press.   Stand still.  The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask perm

Slice of Life: Savor Summer

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Today I'm joining a  Slice of Life  hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  Stop by for links to this amazing community of writers.  Recently  Jill Fisch  posted this on her Facebook page: Jill Fisch's new blog:   I Notice, I Wonder For me, summer hasn't been slow.  It's been busy.  Though I've been out of school since the beginning of June, it wasn't until July 16th, that my professional work took a bit of a break.  Every week since school ended I've been involved in meetings, professional development sessions, completing work related to school, and catching up on professional reading.  Now, granted, the schedule has been a bit more slowed, but it's still been full of professional work.  Finally on July 16th, I decided I was able to find the time for a two week break (sort of).   In one of those paused moments in the last few days, Jill's post caught my attention as I read …. "to recapture that relaxed, slow feeling of summer in the mid

Slice of Life: My Inner Diva

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Today I'm joining a  Slice of Life  hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  Stop by for links to this amazing community of writers.  "I'm headed into town," I called to my husband as I opened my car door.  "Do you plan to use the gas points for the truck?  It's the end of the month so we need to use them today or we'll lose them.  If you don't need them, I'll fill up my car." "The truck doesn't need gas so you can use them," he replied from the garage where he was busily tinkering with the mower, "but you should take a couple of the gas cans." Somewhere from decades long gone my teenage self resurrected,  "Ugh.  The gas cans.  Do I have to?"  Realizing that sounded a bit ridiculous I added, "I don't want my new car to smell like gas."  So maybe my car is two years old, but it still feels new to me. "You don't have to," he gently nudged, "but every can is saving $5.00."

Poetry Friday: Pitcher

It's Poetry Friday.  Today's link up is hosted at Check It Out . So I'm a little hooked on fantasy baseball.  One of my pitchers, Mat Latos, is back with the Reds.  Yep, I'm writing this in hopes of sending the power to him to strike out my son's players on the other team.  Oh, fantasy sports.   Pitcher The pitcher touches his hat looks left chin touches shoulder. The ball goes behind his back he stares at the hitter. He moves the ball to his glove and stares again. He winds sends the ball racing toward the batter. The batter swings but the ball smacks the catchers mitt. Strike! © Cathy L. Mere, 2014

A Teacher's Summer

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Today I'm joining a Slice of Life hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  Stop by for links to this amazing community of writers.  Today was my first day without school related responsibilities even though school ended nearly two weeks ago.  Since that time I've been packing my classroom as I'm switching to a new position next year and attending professional development meetings.  So this morning, I thought I'd stop for a cup of coffee at Starbucks in celebration of all the possibility in a day without a schedule.  The barista handed me my coffee and said, "You have the summer off now." Perhaps they noticed that I had actually had a few good nights of sleep since completing report cards, finishing end of year paperwork, and preparing things for the end of the year.  They know me well in there.  We laugh when I say, "No skim today as I need a high-test cup of coffee so I have energy for this day."  Sometimes they look at me and suggest, "Perhap

You Might Be a Hoarder If...

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It's Tuesday!  Today, and every Tuesday, Two Writing Teachers hosts The Slice of Life Challenge ( today's link ).  Thanks to everyone at Two Writing Teachers for establishing and supporting this amazing community of writers.   This week I spent my days moving from my first grade classroom to a small room I will be using as a home base while supporting primary readers.  I've been teaching more years than I care to admit; just a little over a quarter century.  Actually, that sounds worse than saying I've been teaching for 26 years.  I've taught everything from kindergarten to 6th grade, as well as worked as a Reading Recovery teacher and as a Literacy Coach.  Though I've held many positions, I've always been in the classroom for part of my day.  So, I've collected some stuff.  That's putting it mildly;  I've collected a lot of stuff. It took days to sort through everything, separating my materials from those belonging to the school.  I had

Slice of Life: Priorities

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Today I am participating in the Slice of Life Tuesday Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for hosting. Priorities I went into school this morning to start to move from my first grade classroom into a small room for reading intervention.  I'm excited about the change, but not as excited about figuring out what to do with all of the stuff I have collected.  I went in at 8 o'clock his morning and worked until it was well past dark.  After putting in over 12 hours, I had decided jumping back into Slice of Life could wait until next week.   Then I stopped by Kidblog and saw that Maggie had posted today.  Our class had discussed posting on Tuesdays over the summer since we enjoyed the month long challenge in March.  She had written a poem about the beach.  I decided if she could find time to write, I would too.  Thanks, Maggie, for reminding me of what is important. I'm going to follow Maggie's lead and write a poem about moving.   Moving Stacks of books

Poetry Friday: Mosaic

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It's Poetry Friday so click over to Katya Czaja 's blog for lots of poetry links.  I'm joining today with an original poem about the cherry tree. After 30 days of poetry about objects, I was excited to realize that today I could let my poem find me once again.  There's a little freedom in just waiting on a poem to tap you on the shoulder.  Of course, my first graders really directed me to today's poem.  We were talking about drawing into poetry so I shared a few links from Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's 2013 poem project .  I showed them the way she drew about her idea and then added words all around it.  We decided we'd try it together with a tree outside our window.  As we collected words and phrases, I started to notice a play with words beginning with "bl" such as blooming, blow, blossoms.  They really wanted me to try to turn this into a poem for them….so here it goes. Mosaic beautiful blossoms bloom, painting the landscape dots of f

The Clock: National Poetry Month 30 of 30

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The clock ticks and I sit fingers at the keyboard fighting a poem yet again. The clock tocks and I wish it would tell me what to write, whisper words to me. The clock's hands move in circles; my hands wait patiently for words to fill the page. Minutes turn to hours while I search for rhythms to make lines sing. Waiting on the moment when poem and pen become one. © Cathy L. Mere 2014 Well, this poem explains about a third of my nights in April as I tried to get a poem posted by midnight.   In March I wrote every day as part of the Slice of Life Challenge.  This month I have written 30 poems about objects.  It's been a bit of a challenge.  My hope had been to capture the stories behind the objects of our lives .  For the first seven days of the challenge I wrote about " objects of memory ," then " objects I just can't live without ," " school objects " and finally a little " playground poetry ." Of cours

Pink Rain: Chalk-a-bration

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Today is the last day of April so it is the end of 30 days of poetry for #NationalPoetryMonth and it is time to celebrate with a Chalk-a-bration.  Today I join Betsy Hubbard in a little end of the month poetry celebration .  It has been snowing for months making it hard to participate.  My students and I were determined that despite the rain we would get outside for a chalk-a-bration celebration.  While on the playground, I couldn't help but notice this flowering tree waiting for a poem so I stopped to write a little poem inspired by the colorful blossoms. Pink Rain Pink blossoms Rest on umbrella Braches. Waiting On the perfect Moment To float down. Raining pink Onto the grass of green.  

Stuck Inside: National Poetry Month 29 of 30

The slide the swings the rings all wait. The rain pours from the gray sky not planning to stop. We watch from the windows stuck inside again. Wishing it would stop so we could join them. ©  Cathy L. Mere 2014 I'm writing poetry for 30 days.  For the first seven days of the challenge I wrote about " objects of memory ," then " objects I just can't live without " and "school objects."  For the next seven days I will be writing about objects that can be found on the playground.  This will help me to prepare for a little poetry writing with students.  Our class will be taking poetry around the building in the days to come.   April is  National Poetry Month .  Again this year, inspired by  Mary Lee Hahn , I'm joining other poetry bloggers (view links in sidebar) taking the challenge to share poetry each day during the month of April.  For thirty days my hope is to write a new poem each day.  The first two years I took this c

Tetherball: National Poetry Month 28 of 30

Tetherball Back and forth, the ball sways. Swings. Smack! To and fro, the players hit. Push. Pow! Side to side, the ball glides. Soars. Swoosh! Around and around, the chain wraps. Game over. Victory! © Cathy L. Mere 2014 I'm writing poetry for 30 days.  For the first seven days of the challenge I wrote about " objects of memory ," then " objects I just can't live without " and "school objects."  For the next seven days I will be writing about objects that can be found on the playground.  This will help me to prepare for a little poetry writing with students.  Our class will be taking poetry around the building in the days to come.   April is  National Poetry Month .  Again this year, inspired by  Mary Lee Hahn , I'm joining other poetry bloggers (view links in sidebar) taking the challenge to share poetry each day during the month of April.  For thirty days my hope is to write a new poem each day.  The first two year

The Poem Isn't on the Playground: National Poetry Month 27 of 30

Today I saw the crabapple, with its pink blossoms ready to burst. Calling to me just beyond the patio. For years, the piano, its keys silent, discovered the joy of someone able to help it sing. The rain pitter-pattered near my window, turning the grass from brown to green. The flowers rejoicing. I just sat trying to find poetry. Trying to turn the playground into a poem to share. © Cathy L. Mere 2014 I spent today trying to find a poem about an object on the playground.  Is this the day for monkey bars?  For rings?  For soccer goals?  For tetherball?  As I tried to find the words, poetry seemed to be unfolding around me.  My commitment to the project made me want to stick with the topic, but the words were somewhere else.  So I wrote this. I'm writing poetry for 30 days.  For the first seven days of the challenge I wrote about " objects of memory ," then " objects I just can't live without " and "school objects."  For

Your Moment: National Poetry Month 26 of 30

Your Moment The bounce brings friends together. The throw asks others to join. The kick brings players running. The catch is your moment to shine. © Cathy L. Mere 2014 I'm writing poetry for 30 days.  For the first seven days of the challenge I wrote about " objects of memory ," then " objects I just can't live without " and "school objects."  For the next seven days I will be writing about objects that can be found on the playground.  This will help me to prepare for a little poetry writing with students.  Our class will be taking poetry around the building in the days to come.   April is  National Poetry Month .  Again this year, inspired by  Mary Lee Hahn , I'm joining other poetry bloggers (view links in sidebar) taking the challenge to share poetry each day during the month of April.  For thirty days my hope is to write a new poem each day.  The first two years I took this challenge I wrote any poem that found me.  This y

Slide: National Poetry Month 25 of 30

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via WikiMedia Commons photo by KRTaikoo Slide twisting,     turning, the slide     slithers, from sky     to soil, joyfully,     children        race          from               top                  to             bottom,                  again                      and                       again! ©  Cathy L. Mere  2014 I'm writing poetry for 30 days.  For the first seven days of the challenge I wrote about " objects of memory ," then " objects I just can't live without " and "school objects."  For the next seven days I will be writing about objects that can be found on the playground.  This will help me to prepare for a little poetry writing with students.  Our class will be taking poetry around the building in the days to come.   April is  National Poetry Month .  Again this year, inspired by  Mary Lee Hahn , I'm joining other poetry bloggers (view links in sidebar) taking the challenge to share poetry each d

Witch's Hat: National Poetry Month 24 of 30

Witch's Hat When we were young, how did we survive? It's just quite a wonder, we're all still alive. We didn't wear helmets. We didn't wear pads. We just jumped on our bikes, our parents were glad. We climbed up the slides, and stood upon swings, jumped off seesaws, patched a few stings. We played on equipment, unsafe for us all: like the witch's hat , and monkey bars much too tall. In water too shallow, we dove in the pool. We jumped off high dives as tall as our school. It's really a wonder, we all lived through it. If I could do it again, I gladly would do it. © Cathy L. Mere 2014 I'd planned to write about a slide today, but somehow I started thinking about the old witch's hat on our school playground.  We used to gather on that piece of equipment and push from side to side.  At some point they quit letting us put our feet in the middle and soon we weren't allowed to ride it.  My friends and I would go