1. The week did not start well. My friend and former colleague died of brain cancer. But the response from the online community of writers with poems made the list especially this ONE.
2. Preschool Read and Play continues to grow and we have consistency with families who attend. We now have bells and shakers for music. This week the local public librarian presented the program.
3. My friend, Barbara, came to spend the day with me. We student taught together. I had no license so she was my driver to school. She stepped in to read when I had to help a student.
4. Our School Showcase on Tuesday evening. We gave away over 500 pieces of pizza! Some many families came to hear the band, orchestra, choir, and to see what was happening in the classrooms.
5. The annual present exchange at my friend, Carol’s home. Carol is a retired teacher librarian. We have known each other for over 28 years. She gathers the people from all parts of her life for an evening. There’s food, drinks, and holiday adornments which we all must wear. This year we shared stories from Christmas past. My favorite was the woman who was raised in Hong Kong and what she would do in Christmas Day with her Catholic dad. How they would go to service, then out to the villages to see friends, and finally to a bakery. Her mother, a Buddhist, stayed home.
My friend, Carol.
More celebrations can be found at Ruth Ayres. What are you celebrating?
One of the best things about this online community of writers and readers is that when life hands you curves, people will send you poetry. That happened this week after announcing the passing of my friend and former co-worker who had brain cancer. She was 65 years young and only had been retired since 2010. This is one of the poems I received from Janet Fagal.
In Blackwater Woods
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go
- Mary Oliver
I have read this over and over this week, thinking of Oliver’s rules to live in this world., especially the letting go.
Poetry Friday is at Robyn Hood Black<strong.
Every week, people gather at Ruth Ayre Writes to share our weekly celebrations.
1. Being flexible. I had a Readers’ Choice Book Talk event with the public librarian that needed to be rescheduled to December. I feel for all classroom teachers. They are handed things to do at a moments’ notice anymore. Things that one wonders if it is truly what’s best for kids. It seems they are always assessing in the name of data. So I knew that I could be flexible and change the date.
2. The view of Mt. Hood on the way home from school on Tuesday. The mountain was glowing against the grey sky. The photo doesn’t do it justice.
3. Lunch and catching up with a college friend on Wednesday(no school). It’s so nice to be able to go to lunch mid-week.
4. Thanksgiving. My oldest grandgirl stayed overnight. She helped with making cranberry sauce and tried her hand at peeling yams. This was not to her liking which was fine. Dinner was great. Later I met up with her mom for late night shopping. For me, it’s the experience. I never have to have anything and I have never seen poor behavior.
5. An email from a friend that let me know she does read my Slice of Life Posts at Deowriter. It was such a good email.
What are you celebrating?
Five Star Things About This Week
Thank you Ruth Ayres for giving us a place to celebrate each week.
I am at Silver Falls Conference Center.
1. Working with a second grade class on writing haiku by focusing on images not syllables.
2. I found a boy tucked away in the corner of the everybody books, reading. He probably stayed in the library longer than expected.
3. A conversation I had with two first graders about my dad.
4. On the way to the writing retreat, I watched helicopters harvesting Christmas trees.
5. Noticing the frosted plants at the conference. The weather is clear and cold.
Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo By Nancy Bo Flood and photography by Jan Sonnenmair
Cowboy Up! is a fabulous hybrid of nonfiction and poetry. It has been nominated for the CYBILS in nonfiction but today I am focusing on the poetry.
If you have never been to a rodeo, this book provides a great introduction to the sport. In Navajo country, many young kids dream of being able to bull ride, sheep ride, and stay on a bucking bronco for eight seconds.
Each two page spread has action packed photography, a narrative poem, and an explanation of the event. It’s a day in the life of the rodeo.
The poem on the end pages:
I want to be a rodeo rider-
A barrel racing,
crazy bull chasing,
wild calf roping,
~Nancy Bo Flood
Today I am fortunate to be at an SCBWI-Oregon writing retreat at the fabulous Silver Falls Conference Center. Waving “hi” to my Poetry Friday pals at NCTE.
Poetry Friday is being held at
1.Co-teaching in a second grade class. Leading up to writing haiku by having students observe the out doors using their senses.
2.The beauty berry bush. Aren’t these berries gorgeous? We are so fortunate to have a lovely garden to greet all every morning at school.
3.Our monthly assembly to give out awards. We started this last year and it has helped to change the tone of the school. I give out the ‘Silver Star Bookworm Award’ to grades K-2 and the ‘Bibliomaniac Award to grades 3-5. They represent the best class for the month.
4.This kinder who wrote about being selected to get the award. I love the illustration of me.
5.Today, my friend Susan Blackaby read her new book, February Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise. It’s so much fun. And Susan is going to be our featured author for
school this year.
More celebrations at Ruth Ayres’ blog.
Head on over to Jama’s Alphabet Soup for the Poetry Friday round-up.
So today, I promise a Carole Boston Weatherford poem. It hasn’t arrived. This morning however, I read a post at The Nerdy Book Club and the poem Ruth Ayres resonated with me:
It is difficult
to get the news from poems,
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there.
—William Carlos Williams
Ruth Ayres has a new book, Celebrating authors. She talks about it at The Nerdy Book Club.