Category Archives: pandemic

A slice of bus buddies

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

Have you seen Kindergarten/5th-grade bus buddies? The 5th graders are all proud and grown-up and heartbreakingly serious about their job. The kindergarteners look up at their buddies… literally.

Yesterday I stood in the kindergarten hallway at dismissal. I watched 5th graders escort their Kindergarten buddies to the bus, or pick up lines.

One duo – somehow with almost matching long blond curls was walking with determination. The fifth-grader had his arms spread out wide and was saying “I bet you’re wondering what is going on here, what is this huge thing I am carrying down the hall!”

The kindergartner said nothing.

The fifth-grader said, “It’s big because it’s made from my imagination!”

The kindergartner looked at his buddy, and then looked at the nurse’s office that they were passing.

He pointed at the nurse’s door and said, “I’ve been in there!”

And with that. . they went on their way!

A slice of the last day of summer

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

I fell asleep with my glasses on last night
Trying to read, I guess.

I woke before the sun and couldn’t find my glasses.
They were nowhere.
I can’t see without my glasses.
I got on the floor, aimed the light from my phone, tried to catch a glimmer of an edge or a lens-
Tried to ignore the dust under the bed.

Finally I gave up and just stayed there for a bit
On the floor, with my head on my hands.
Awhile later I got up and found them on the other edge of my bed, neatly folded, waiting.

But I had already wondered —

What does it
mean
to start the last real day of summer
blind
with your hands as pillows
on the floor
waiting in the dark?

I want to write you a poem: A slice

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

I want to write you a poem
about how life changes
it’s dark outside before 9
It’s August
the great Sunday of the year for teachers

I want to write you a poem
so you understand what’s coming –
everyone is starting something new here
college, high school, middle school
Do you know about being left?
for minecraft
for something new
for something different
What do you know about being left?

I want to write you a poem
about Sundays
and still being here while life gets ready to change
In the pause of August-Sunday
my dog snores next to me, his head on my knee
we are in our favorite corner of the red couch
in the dark, with the sounds of laundry and bedtime




A Slice of Morning

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

H wanted to wake up early and start the day with a walk
I was proud of myself for going to bed before 11:30

I was up at 4:00
Downstairs making coffee, tired of trying to fall back to sleep by 5:00
Resting on the couch with the cats when H came down at 6:00
Falling asleep with a mug of coffee in my hands by 6:15
Finally out the door for a walk at 6:30
The dog was happy, but also confused
He likes his mornings slow

Pink sunrise
Crisp spring air
Birds chirping
“So good to start the day with movement”
“We should do this more often”

There are neighbors running up the hill by our house
Then down the hill
Then up the hill

“That will be us one day”
I say, as we shuffle towards them
“We start with a morning walk, but one day we’ll be running up the hill”

I’m drinking my coffee still
And hoping nobody notices I’m still in my pajamas

The neighbors stop at the bottom of the hill one by one to do push ups
“Should we sing to them?” I ask my 14 year old
You’re my inspiration . . .

But then the last man gets down in the middle of the street for his push ups
“That’s called testosterone,” I say
“There’s no reason on God’s green earth that you need to do push ups in the middle of the street”

We’re home now
For more coffee
It was a short walk
Pushups not included
But it was a good way
to start the day –
crisp

#sol21 March 24 Laundry Confession

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

Laundry Confession

I swear I organized my closet a few months ago
But things have piled up in there
One good thing about it though –
Now I know which clothes I always wear

I haven’t put my laundry away in weeks
It’s in a pile by my bed, on my floor
One good thing about it though –
I don’t even need to go in my messy closet anymore

My washing machine wasn’t working for awhile
Wouldn’t spin, or drain or clean or bubble
One good thing about it though –
It was just a sock in the bellows causing all the trouble

Now that my washing machine is fixed
I could get caught up with all the laundry
One bad thing about it though –
When it comes to cleaning, I live in a quandary





#sol21 March 21 A Sunday Procrastinator

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

I will always be a Sunday procrastinator.
This means all the things you think it might mean.
It means I procrastinate until Sunday.
It means I procrastinate on Sunday.

Side Quests are my thing, but so is closing my eyes to feel the sun on my face
and pouring myself another glass of seltzer water over ice
and breathing in the quiet of the chilly house while the kids play outside
and staring at my open notebooks with plans started

I will always be a Sunday procrastinator.
My house does not get cleaned on a Sunday.
My closet does not get organized on a Sunday.
This is not because I don’t want to do these chores.

I mean, I don’t – I don’t want to do the chores
but, I still plan that they will get done
but, then it’s Sunday and the sun is shining
but, then it’s Sunday late afternoon and the house is quiet

I will always be a Sunday procrastinator.
This means all the things you think it might mean.
It means I procrastinate until Sunday.
It means I procrastinate on Sunday.

#sol21 March 20 Starbucks Drive-Thru

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

I totally know better, but I still ordered mobile app Starbucks for drive-thru. It was just E and me in the van, but we wanted others to enjoy the coffee treat too. I texted to see if they wanted some, but didn’t hear back. . .

L and I have wanted to try some of their new oat milk iced lattes, and she had her driver’s test today. I thought I could bring her home a latte that would either be a “Congratulations!” or an”It’s okay! Better luck next time!” latte. I ordered hers without ice in case she wasn’t home yet. I’m considerate like that.

Then Mr. Thought texted to say they had gotten Dunkin.

There was nothing to do about it though, so E and I waited in the drive-thru line for over a half an hour. It’s just funny when you know better but you don’t do better, you know?

“Let’s just remember,” I said –

“Never to go to Starbucks on a Saturday?” E finished.

The thing about being in a line for so long is that you have a lot of time to chat, and to think.

I thought about how I should try to grab a spot and just walk in. But grabbing a spot with the traffic in that parking lot seemed worse than waiting in the line that curved around the building. So instead, we waited.

I wanted to know if L had passed her test. But I knew she’d want to tell me in person. So I just waited.

Finally we were just a few cars away from the window. At the speaker the barista informed me I couldn’t have it without ice because “for that drink, the ice makes the drink.” I maybe should have canceled her drink, since she got her Dunkin, but it was too complicated.

At last we were at the window and our drinks were on the way!

And then I knew why I had to go through the drive-thru today. It was because of the sign that makes me laugh. When I look at it, I think it is saying “Can drive! Can drive! Can drive!” Like a motivational cheer for those in the drive-thru. Last time I was at that window I tried, unsuccessfully to tell the barista why I was laughing.

It’s A CAN DRIVE. Like to collect cans.

This time I was able to tell E why I was laughing. I was also able to hope that it was a sign that L did indeed pass her driving test.

Can drive! Can drive! Can drive!

And now, friends, she can! 🙂

#sol21 March 14 Quiet Laundry

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

I was stopped at a light on a hill on the way to my parents house. The sky is blue today, the sun is bright, the wind is cold and noisey.

I watched as a one of those extra large playground balls rolled down the street toward me. It was weathered and pink and bumpy. I wondered if had been a bright red last spring. I wondered if it would roll into my car, and what the plan was if that happened. Would I need to get out of my car to move it? Would it pop? Could I just push it the mile to my folks’ house? It was too big to fit under the car . . .

I watched it as it skimmed my front bumper, and rolled down past the car behind me. Cars started turning down the road, blocking my view.

“I’ll never know what happens to that ball, or where it came from.” I thought as I continued to my parents’ house with my laundry.

Our washer is broken and the repair place says they can come next week. So until we get it fixed, we bring baskets and bags of laundry to my parents’ house. I don’t care how old you are, if you carry a basket or bag of laundry from your car to your parents basement, you’re basically 19. Even if one of those baskets is your 11 year old’s laundry.

An afternoon of laundry at my parents’ house felt like quiet respite. Maybe I shouldn’t get my washer fixed . . .

My dad made sure I got the settings on the washer correct, since last time I accidentally put the detergent in the spot for bleach.

My mom darned my torn sock. It’s a special sock, Mardi’s sock. I gave her donut socks last year, and after she died, I was given a pair back. These socks are holy to me, but I really don’t want them holey. (You can’t blame me for writing that. Seriously. It had to be said.)

Yea. My mom darned my sock, my dad made me tea, my laundry churned around in the basement. It was quiet. Maybe I shouldn’t get my washer fixed.

I packed up and drove home.

When I stopped at the light on the hill, I started looking out for that weathered playground ball. There is a creek and a park at the bottom of the hill, and I really hoped I’d see it there.

I mean, doesn’t a weathered playground ball deserve to retire on the water? I can imagine it floating around in the sun, playing with the ducks and enjoying the sounds of children at the playground.

But, I didn’t see it anywhere. Not in the street, not in the park, not in a lucky child’s hand.

“I’ll never know what happened to that ball, or where it came from.” I thought as I drove home, wondering about the metaphor of laundry, darning, quiet tea and a lonely lost weathered toy on a windy day.

“I’ll never know.”

#sol21 March 12 A Writer Who Can’t Be Trusted

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

Trust me

I’m a writer who can’t be trusted
to sit in a doctor’s office after my second covid shot
I watch like a writer
I listen like a writer
I take note.

An elderly woman parks her walker next to the vinyl chair
The nurse reaches to help her
The woman says, “I’m fine. I just have this for-“
“Security?” the nurse guesses and the woman agrees
“Security.”

A nurse grabs a syringe from the counter
“I like this one better now,” she says
Another nurse agrees and they laugh
“Well we get used to what we have, I guess.”
and they turn around to help the next in line

Voices from each side of the room filter in
“Hi my name is. . . I’m one of the nurses here.”
“I’m going to give you your second shot…”
“How did your first shot go?”
“You might have a little more of a reaction this time…”
“It’s normal. Chills, body aches – that’s your immune system responding…””
“Do you have an arm preference?”

A man in his eighties works to pull up his blue and black flannel shirt sleeve
as he is ushered to a chair to wait his 15 minutes
“Can I wait in the waiting room with my wife?” he asks
They agree, remind him to wait 15 minutes before leaving
“He’s going to wait with his wife,” the nurse explains to someone at the door
And it makes me feel sad to watch him still struggling with this flannel shirt sleeve, walking to sit with his wife

The two nurses are talking again
“This time is better” one says, “my back isn’t killing me this time”
“I didn’t think I could make it through the last super Saturday. All that bending.”
“I thought I might have to try it sitting down.”
“That kid behind us was sitting down”
“Well, I can’t kneel. I’m not going on my knees.”
“No. Not my knees.”

My 15 minutes are up and I walk out
I see the man in his blue flannel shirt walk to his car with his wife
I wonder if his wife is already vaccinated, or will be soon
What was that he said about why his wife came with him?
And it’s not until later do I realize there’s no way they waited their 15 minutes
and I hope he’s okay