SOLC7: Laundry

March 7, 2016

Laundry.

Five jeans, three leggings, one pair of legs on the move.

Blue favorite shirt, two sweaters, wrap her up in comfort.

Fashion blouse, cute striped T-shirt, somethings new.

Socks – seven pairs, six singles, where are the missing ones?

One suitcase, three bags, hamper full of clean clothes, cosmetics and purse.

Two shopping trips, evening talks, tens days passed fast.

Snacks. Keys. Hugs.

Four flights of stairs, three roommates, Tweets, and 1000 laughs.

Laundry will come home again and so will her stories.

Elizabeth hanging out with her roommate and friend at the men's basketball game. Go Lancers!

Elizabeth hanging out with her roommate and friend at the men’s basketball game. Go Lancers!

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SOLC5: Celebrations

March 5, 2016

Today I am celebrating BONS. We met a couple of weeks ago and the laughter still warms my heart. I, we, missed Tammy who was sick, but a phone call delighted us all. We are able to be open about life, sharing school snippets that drive us crazy but still make us laugh. We talk about family matters of growth and turmoil. Mostly we celebrate. Life is hard and worthwhile. We capture those moments, some in the sand and others on paper. We celebrate.

Tam adds colorful snacks to the table. That table holds many stories and laughter.

Tam adds colorful snacks to the table. That table holds many stories and laughter.

Ruth M brought the dessert, one that brought smiles to our faces. Delightful!

Ruth M brought the dessert, one that brought smiles to our faces. Delightful!

The night is never without chocolate. The rich brownies sealed our celebrations.

The night is never without chocolate. The rich brownies sealed our celebrations.

We missed Christmas, so gifts were shared. I found this bird whimsical and comforting, a little fun during the cold. Tam happened to display hers on her centerpiece mat. How appropriate among the birds!

We missed Christmas, so gifts were shared. I found this bird whimsical and comforting, a little fun during the cold. Tam happened to display hers on her centerpiece mat. How appropriate among the birds!

Tam treated us to a personalized poem with comforting treats in her Christmas box. A special treat that will be treasured!

Tam treated us to a personalized poem with comforting treats in her Christmas box. A special treat that will be treasured!


SOLC1: Playing Hookie

March 1, 2016

Today I played hookie.

As a high school, I secretly  wanted to play hookie from school, but the guilt swarmed over me and I never dared skip. Too risky! My parents. Possible in-school suspension and my own pounding heart kept me in check. But the thought of adventuring away with a friend to have whimsical fun and a carefree day away from studies tempted me.

Today I did play hookie. I did have fun, guilt free, being swept away by my dear one. Yep. We went shopping, glorious shopping. More Elizabeth than me, but I was smiling all the same. My college daughter is home on spring break and we needed to get away. Clothes called to us and greet us with beautiful corals, teals, and spring. We laughed looking at home furnishings and imaging new beauty added to our rooms.

Words. Stories. Shared moments of times gone by were savored all day long. These were the best prizes of the day. No purchase necessary. Just time and attention as the conversation ebbed and flowed, sealing our special day. We ended our spending spree with manicures. Sitting side by side, my heart was thankful I had played hookie. I played hookie from the hurried moments, the demands of my job. My heart didn’t feel guilty. I played hookie on the “I wish I would have” thought and embraced the joy of this carefree day spent with my daughter. My smile spreads. Yep. I think I will play hookie again.

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Elizabeth’s nails are stunning. The intricate art replicates the loving heart of my daughter.

Beautiful blue! My hands remind me of mothering and the memories held.

Beautiful blue! My hands remind me of mothering and the memories held.


SOL: A Bee Story to Celebrate 500!

October 29, 2013

Yesterday during my second grade group, O said, “There’s a bee flying around there, Mrs. Gensch.” I looked up at the light and sure enough, one was buzzing around. It’s October. What is a bee doing in my room? I usually ignore the flying creature, but A chimed in, “I think I may be allergic to bees.” This announcement caught my attention.

“What do you mean by maybe allergic?” I pried with a concerned look. The bee continued to buzz around, dipping closer to us. What lotion did I put I today anyway? I thought to myself. Bees are attracted to different fragrances. Maybe it is my hairspray? For goodness sakes, stay away, I commanded the annoying pest.

“Oh, my mom is allergic to them. My dad is and so are both of my sisters. So I think I might be,” she stated matter-of-factly. My look of “And tell me more please” spurred her on.
“Oh, I have never been stung.”

That did it. I grabbed a book and headed over to the window where the bee was banging against the pane. I thought about calling our custodian (who is a gem by the way) but that would take too long. I had reading to get to and this little, distracting gnat was not going to get in my way of teaching.

SMACK! Got it!

O, A, and C had been watching me the entire time. They cheered when the critter was smushed. “Wait! There is another one,” O pointed out from a safe distance. By golly, he was right. Another bee was bashing its head against the window. “Yes I wish you were outside,” I stated aloud.

WHACK! It fell dead on the window sill. “Whew!” A stated wiping her forehead.

Yes, I was thankful too. Seeing the unmoving bug lying there, I noticed several others, like twenty or more. What???? More have been in my room?!

We finished group time, accomplishing my primary goal. Then I hunted Mike, our custodian, and told him the story of the bee annoyance in my room. I am anxious to be rid of these! And I definitely do not want an “I think I might be allergic” child having an attack in my room. Look out bees! You will NOT conquer me.

(This story is in honor of my friend and writer, Tammy Shultz. She has the BEST bee story ever and hopefully you all will hear someday. Our BONS writing group have enjoyed her story. Today marks my 500th post and I am so glad to honor the stories we share. Hugs to you friends!)

Yippee!

Cheers!

Fireworks please!

I am jumping for joy at this accomplishment. It surprises me. Little by little this summer, I have been watching the numbers. Only a few more. Gather some more. Share. Grow. Now it’s here.

Today as I readied myself for my Slice of Life this week, the number flashed at me like neon lights. My smile grew. This accomplishment is something I am celebrating! Ice cream may be in order! 🙂

Yes, today I have written my 500th post.

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SOLC: Writing Group = Stories!

September 24, 2013

sols_6May came and we were wishing each other best wishes for the summer. June arrived, filled with new friendships at the AllWrite!!! Summer Institute. But one was missing. July charged us up with cottage chatter and laughter. But one was missing. August began anew and our schedules were jammed. Everyone was missing. October was too far away and so one September night was reserved, anticipated, honored. No one missed.

We arrived with hugs and laughter. The table was set and smiles radiating. We were together. We finally were sharing our stories.

Tam, Ruthie, MH, Tammy with our new notebooks. Thanks my friend!

Tam, Ruthie, MH, Tammy with our new notebooks. Thanks my friend!

Our writing group sometimes writes together, sometimes takes moments for notebook entries, and sometimes shares pieces written. The whole night is about sharing in the writing process – gathering, planning, drafting, revising, editing, and definitely celebrating!! This past Thursday night was mainly about sharing our stories. We listened and questioned, prompted and uplifted. This night was about pouring our thoughts and enjoying our friendship. Without these nights, our writing would be quiet, possibly unnoticed. It would be waiting for any celebration. Without this night, I wouldn’t have been nudged to write from the heart.Harley Moments

I have some new stories that are stirring from the depths of my heart. The writing is not grand, but it is real. This writing is true and has just begun to blossom. My desire to write has hightened and time in the morning is being carved out. This writing may not be published but it will be shared. The story is too meaningful to not share. 

From our BONS night, Ruth lovingly presented each of us with a notebook. Others dear received them too. This notebook came at just the right time to hold the stories growing from my heart. Thank you, my dear friend. Thank you to my BONS. Without your listening, my stories would remain silent.


SOLC: I am the Cottage

July 23, 2013

The lake view refreshes us. Sitting on the porch, we share, laugh, and relax.

The highlight of the summer for our writing group is meeting at Tammy’s lake cottage. The view is splendid and the company is delightful! Tammy and her husband, Rex, have worked hard on the property, taking a shack hidden by foliage to a quaint cabin.

The welcoming cottage, the away place.

The welcoming cottage, the away place.

We arrived Friday afternoon, chattering about our recent family events. We relaxed on the porch, looking at pictures of the Italy trip, and gathering writing ideas. Ruth, who had an unexpected event, was not able to attend. This distance did not stop her from sharing in our writing lives (and laughter).

With writing pressing upon our minds, we sat as a group and brainstormed a poem – a poem about the cottage we love. After listing ideas on the side of the page, phrases and sentences emerged in the notebook.  A poem was crafted.

The BONS are around the table, adding ideas, sparking rhythms and choice words.

The BONS are around the table, adding ideas, sparking rhythms and choice words.

I Am the Cottage

I wait for them to come…

…footsteps approaching, cares freeing as they step through the door.

I am the place away.

I hold laughter, stories, and friendship. The BONS reunite, sharing bits of life.

I feed their stomachs and souls. Pork burgers and onion-potatoes sizzling on the grill.

I am the place away.

I watch the pontoon cruise. The sunset silhouettes against the rippling water.

I am the place to dream. Wrapping them in wood-warm walls, they slip into sleep.

I am the place away.

I rouse each gently with scents of bacon, blueberry pancakes and coffee. Early light through the windows shine, pulling them back outside.

I am the cottage…

another day is beginning!

We signed our names from our spot around the kitchen table.

We signed our names from our spot around the kitchen table.

Composed by Ruth Metcalfe, Tammy Shultz, Tam Hess, Mary Helen Gensch, and nudgings from Ruth Ayres 🙂

The draft of the poem with revisions and the list of ideas on the side.

The draft of the poem with revisions and the list of ideas on the side.

 


SOL: BONS, I Appreciate You!

April 9, 2013

sols_6The BONS writing group began over two years ago and has been a powerful agent in each of our lives. I’m proud of each of us slicing all 31 days in March!! Whoop Whoop! 🙂

Today, I have been thinking of each of you, BONS. Maybe it’s because we are setting dates to meet. Maybe it’s because I’m writing my supportive thesis for my teaching evaluation. Maybe it’s just because thoughts of you brings sunshine to my day.

Ruth, you are exemplifying, real, supportive. Your leadership shines through and lifts me up. I love reflecting with you about school, about writing, about kids. The thousands of words you write inspires me to keep going.

Tam, you are endorsing, loyal, helpful. Your quiet reflection rings powerful through your masterpiece of of memories. I love your sketches, your bits of ideas sculpted into possibilities. Your perseverance and charm nudges new thoughts and makes me smile.

Ruth M (aka: the other Ruth), you are encouraging, insightful, reflective. Your poetic craft spell bounds me – every time. I love the richness of your words, savoring them over and over and over. Your calm perspective ignites ideas and sparks persistence.

Tammy, you are energizing, creative, heartful. Your stories bring out laughter and emotion. I love your adventurous spirit and welcoming friendship has taught me to stretch beyond myself. Your enthusiasm spreads and your conversations are the best!

We all bring laughter and stories. It’s contagious. Our BONd keeps us fueled for the daily writing or idea-mulling treadmill. The celebration is the key. It’s in celebrating the bits of nothing and somethings that’s at the heart of the BONS.