To-Do List

May 22, 2020


“Hello, To-Do List?! We need to talk.”

Getting comfortable, I began, “I’m not sure if you realize who the boss is, but as a reminder: It’s me.

To-Do List just stared at me, quiet, showing me its uses.IMG_1091

“Yes I know I’ve asked you to consult with me on time management and efficiency. I understand your purpose is to be helpful, a motivator in ways. I have a list for menus and groceries. The calendar did help me be consistent in completing the long-term project. The assignment was stacked and the little steps each day made it practical.

But to be frank: You’re a bit bossy!

To-Do List pointed to the colorful paper.

IMG_1072“The paper you suggested is cute and inviting. I do like the satisfaction of crossing off the items as I finish. Yes, the long list pad helps me organize my thoughts. I can brainstorm and it keeps track of what’s completed.

My issue is you keep reminding me of another project due in a month. Then you whisper the chore I forgot to list, so I add it. Then when I’m working on that said task, you interrupt me AGAIN with another project reminder. This happens numerous times. “

To-Do List just sat unmoved, unnerved by my accusation. It stared right back at me.

“I understand it’s necessary to remind me, but frankly – you need to stop interrupting in between tasks. Could you just wait until the end? I have a better idea. We need a new contract.

IMG_1080Please find someone to be my personal assistant to complete your to-do items. In fact, I would like a vacation. Find someone like me to carry on the work listed. It will be an absolute delight, refreshing, even rejuvenating to see the list items crossed off.

And when I return from said vacation, let’s begin with a short list. I will complete a few items, and you can just call that assistant back with anything else you think of. And no interrupting!! There is plenty on the list. I don’t need more.”

To-do List reflected on what I said. Satisfied, I got up to enjoy my book. Noting To-Do List hadn’t changed its expression, I added one final thought, “And I caution you to remember:  I’m the boss!


A Sweet Song

May 14, 2020


Growing up, my dad taught me to notice birds. He was an avid bird-watcher with his sister, spending hours in the woods during a TV free era. I still can’t recognize the birds like him, but my ears catch tunes. It’s my favorite sound in the morning. I lie in bed and hear them sweetly creating a melody, each sending messages to others. I’ve been hearing a few songs lately and had to ask dad to distinguish a couple.

“What’s the robin’s call?” I asked.

“The robin has 8 different calls,” he said.

“Ok. How about a cardinal?” to which dad proceeded to whistle the call I’ve been hearing. I now know when the cardinal sings and which songs are the robins. 

The Red-winged Black Bird reminds me of traveling to Grandma Kessler’s house. They lined the farm land fence rows and it’s the my first memory of asking what it was. Now, I see them in our own rural area.

The Oriels have been gracing our area. None are nesting in my backyard, but they are feeding at my parents’ home. It was the first thing Mom had to show me on Mother’s Day. Others have been mentioning the delightful orange colored bird too.

House Wren Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of OrnithologyIt’s the little brown House Wren that is my favorite. The sweet twitter taps my eardrums almost instantly. Dad had special bird houses for them to nest (they like just plain, cleaned-out homes, no paint) growing up. He would crack the roof slightly on hot summer days to allow the mother to breathe. I never saw the babies, but their demanding chirps let me know they were keeping mama busy.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard the wren call and then another answer. To my delight, at least two families are in the neighborhood. I don’t have a bird house or a bird feeder (cats remember), but there are bushes and trees. Yesterday, I heard the call and looked out the window. There the two were, perched on the bush and singing. My heart delighted with a full smile. I tried to watch where they flew, but they are fast and blend well in the trees.

Today I captured their call on video. (Click on the link to see the video.) I was trying to find words to describe the song and just decided an audio would be best. Turn up your sound and let your ears delight in the House Wren Symphony 3. And next time you are outside, listen for the sweet song.


This Moment

May 7, 2020

IMG_0904A robin flies across the yard, landing on the fence line. Its head turns one way and shifts slightly more. In a quick swoop to the ground, pluck, a worm dangles. It sits there for a moment before flying on. Makes me wonder: are there babies awaiting?


Sunshine makes the yard sparkle. Blades of grass raise their hands waving friendly salutations to each other. Dandelions annoyingly poke through but I do love that brilliant yellow.

IMG_0926Two kittens peak from the shed. They stealthy creep and, snap, pounce a mysterious leaf. A twig is batted and plucked as an imaginary playmate. Mama saunters over, a loving lick given and a purr at my heels. 

I stand nearby waiting and then reach to hold these bundles of joy. Blue eyes look and accept as I embrace. The sun greets me and teases a smile from my face. For a long moment I allow sunshine warmth to sweep grief to the closet.

Hello May. My focus is on you.



May 3, 2020

IMG_0703Saturday I sat for an hour in a long line of traffic. Slowly, each car inched forward in hopes of receiving a kindness, me included. A local sanitation company partnered with restaurants to give away 400 gift certificates. When I read the article, I thought, “How nice. They are sharing kindness with the community.”

IMG_0705Afterwards, my van needed a car wash. Via social media, I had learned Clear Water was giving teachers free car washes. I pulled in line, showed my ID and said I was a teacher. The attendant said, “Thank you so much for your service. Enjoy your car wash.” That word hug embraced me.

Authors have been sharing free items online, such as Jarrett Lerner, that are helpful to teachers and kids.Lauren Tarshis, author of the I Survived series, gave a free 30 minute virtual author-visit. I loved it. You should check it out. Her kindness came from missing the school visits and meeting students.



A fellow teacher friend has a fourth grade son, Luke. We met through our school’s summer library program. We like Abraham Lincoln and Walt Disney. We love to talk books and just about life. His 10th birthday was last week, and I sent him a book about World War II. I was so excited for him to get the surprise and my heart was delighted upon receiving his picture. A little kindness from me.

IMG_0732He, his two sisters, and mom brought me a May Day hanging plant. Vibrant and beautiful. A reciprocated act of kindness I wasn’t expecting but brings joy just remembering his face and gazing at the flowers.

A friend sent me a letter. An act of kindness.

My neighbor greeted me at the fence and asked about my parents. Kindness.


A friend started a blog and other friends write. Their words, your words, bring kindness. Kindness. Little acts to brighten the day. What acts of kindness have you received?  5FC823C6-2B78-474A-9D9F-5700EBFD20AA