• rainbow over rippling sea in nature

    The Tide Turns

    As I sit down to write this, it is exactly one month since I was told I have cancer.  That day stands ingrained in my brain, with the days following feeling like I was riding turbulent ocean currents.  Over and over again I felt bombarded with waves of strong emotions and increasing fears.   Today, the tides of water move in a different direction.  I had a most interesting conversation with my oncologist.  The pathology from my recent surgery found absolutely no cancer in what was removed.  Her explanation is, that whatever abnormal cells existed were removed in the two biopsies I had. I am still in shock.  For months…

  • body of water

    Backpack Days

    I love to meet my students at the door each morning.  There are the usual morning tussles as they get their gear hung up and search their backpacks for needed items.  Those backpacks are an essential tool between home and school as notes and materials are passed back and forth between places.  It always amazes me what children think necessary to bring to school.  Their backpacks produce some surprising treasures some days. My children always used backpacks as well.  They were a handy catchall for all things school and helped in keeping my kids organized.  Most of the time, my children kept their packs relatively clean and orderly.   Still,…

  • green leaf plant beside river

    Peace

    Waiting is a challenging thing.  It is one thing to await a special event; it is quite the opposite process when time lingers before a challenging task or circumstance. The morning of my cancer surgery I struggle with what to do with my time.  I am not thrilled with my afternoon surgery appointment because I know that my mind will be racing in circles all morning, anticipating the events to come.  Trying to ignore my hunger pangs, as I hadn’t been allowed to eat for hours, I begin mindlessly surfing the internet to bide the time. Moments before I need to start the long drive to the hospital, an email…

  • scenic view of ocean during sunset

    Where Fear Treads

    Cancer.  It’s a word that strikes fear in even the strongest and heartiest of souls.  There are few people these days that haven’t had someone in their lives deal with this invasive disease.  No one wants or expects this diagnosis to be directed at them and it is extremely traumatic when the words are said – “You have cancer.” Just a few weeks ago I did something that has to rate as one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life – walk through the doors of my local cancer clinic.  As I struggled not to cry, I looked around at the multitude of people milling…

  • With This Ring

    Today is a day of cherished memories.  My wedding day was filled with joy and happiness, love and laughter.  Each year, as we celebrate another milestone, I am in awe of what God has done for me in providing my beloved husband.  He cares for me in a myriad of ways, the way God intends.  My life is full and rich with him in it. When my husband was ready to propose, he went to great lengths to find a unique engagement ring that would be especially meaningful to me.  Knowing my love for all things antique, my husband searched the world to find just what he wanted for me.…

  • white sailboat on water

    Shaking it Up

    I fondly remember waltzing around the room in the arms of my elderly uncle.  His joyful spirit encouraged me as I took fledgling steps in unknown dance patterns.  He was a spry little man, not a great deal taller than my ten-year-old self.  As he taught me the steps and whirled me around the room, his blue eyes sparkled with merriment.   His home was the scene of many special family events and celebrations.  They would peel back the carpet to reveal the polished hardwood beneath.  This dance floor served many as my father’s extended family loved to dance. I loved those events as a child.  It was a time…

  • scenic view of rainforest

    Doing the Impossible

    Some days are great but others are just upside down.  All it takes is one phone call or one incident and life is changed.  We can pursue life in one direction and wham – the brakes are applied and we must change our path.  At times, moving forward can seem impossible. I highly doubt that anyone can say life is easy.  No matter what our station in life, there are challenges.  There is no straight path through life.  Some parts of our journey are on the mountain tops with glorious experiences and relationships, and others are in the valleys where turmoil reigns.  At times, the road turns and we face…

  • Give a Little Whistle

    In Disney’s movie Pinocchio, he struggles with the choices a real boy must make about right and wrong.  His buddy, Jiminy Cricket, wants to help and urges Pinocchio to use a whistle as a signal to think about what he should do.  Jiminy teaches Pinocchio this song: “When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong, give a little whistle, give a little whistle.  When you meet temptation and the urge is very strong, give a little whistle, give a little whistle.” Signals are really useful to get our attention.  They trigger our brains to act in a particular way or to expect certain things to happen…

  • close up of leaf

    A Living Witness

    I am blessed with two wonderful mothers in my life.   My own mother is a quiet soul whose life radiates peace even amongst the most challenging of circumstances.  She calmly goes through life, caring for her family and finding a myriad of ways to show she loves us.  While she is not overly vocal about her faith, there is no doubt that it is what grounds her no matter what happens.   My dear mother-in-law is opposite in character.  Her vivacious personality embraces those around her with love and affection.  She opens her heart and her life to those around her, easily socializing in any crowd and making friends…

  • mountains with crepuscular ray

    The End in Mind

    I enjoy planning creative lessons for my students to engage them in learning.  I want them to build the skills and knowledge necessary to be strong, not only academically, but also in all other aspects of their lives.  This involves encouraging them to think, problem solve, and explore.   The best way for me to promote learning for my students is to have the end goal in mind.  As I work to make my lessons meaningful and productive, I am ever conscious of where I want my students to finish up.  I start planning how I will assess my students and work my way backward from that point, figuring out…