To Texas Again

Dancing in the Rain

Dancing in the Rain

There’s a saying that says something about not waiting for the sun but when life sends storms, you need to dance in the rain.  Calli, I guess, takes this literally.  It’s been raining forever in Flower Mound and is going to continue to rain forever while we’re there.  Calli had had enough of hanging out inside and went outside and danced. What a kid.

Jerry and I are heading to Texas on tomorrow morning.  It’s Lana’s ninth birthday on Wednesday and Declan’s preschool graduation on Thursday.  I’m going to both schools…Declan’s preschool and the girls’ elementary school…to do sea turtle presentations.   I did week long workshops two years ago for the girls.  This time, I’m going to spend two days with Declan’s four year old class and do hour long presentations in Lana and Calli’s rooms.   I’ll be in school a lot this week.  When I asked Lana’s teacher if she’d let me in, she asked if I’d mind doing ALL the third grades…all six of them. She suggested I do two sessions with 70 in each.  I told her it wasn’t my style.  I need to be able to have the kids up and moving and interacting and really didn’t want to be stuck with videos, lecture and powerpoint….and with 70 kids, that’s what it would be.  So instead of two groups of 70, I’m doing six groups of about 23…much better!

So…three different lesson plans (preschool, first and third grade), different videos, different activities.  Good thing I’ve retired….I can’t imagine doing this day after day after day.  I am way too old for this.  Lesson planning is just too much work.

But it will be fun.  I need a kid fix.  And sea turtles are fascinating creatures.  And the teachers, I know, are torn.  There’s so much you want to do with the kids at the end of the year BUT you’d give your first born kid for an extra hour to clean your desk.  So it wasn’t hard to get them to turn the kids over to me.  Any warm body at this point…and if that warm body is actually a retired teacher who can handle a class, all the better.

We have company right now..Nina Tepper and Billie Stewart…who are buying a house in Venice so they can escape the cold and snow for a few months each winter.  It’s been nice to have them around and they’ve joined us at yoga and breakfast with friends and turtle patrol.  They’ll be staying here about a few days longer after we head out for Texas. They’ve been going non-stop…house hunting and then furniture hunting and even car shopping.  They’re going to need to go home just to get a rest!

Mary Anne continues to do amazingly well.  She’s on maintenance chemo…goes every three weeks.  She’s over at Venice Oncology a lot (I think her car can get there by auto-pilot) because she’s always needing shots to boost her white blood count.  Still, she’s at every party, every gathering, walking every day and best of all, her two kids (one from Brooklyn and one from Savannah) showed up on her doorstep for Mother’s Day.  Another friend, Charlie Moran, who was director of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, is under Hospice Care and well aware his day are limited.  His family started a blog and his wife, son and daughter took turns keeping everyone posted on how he was doing.  But then, about a week ago, Charlie took over the blog and has been describing the work everyone is doing in the garden and how much he loves being outside.  He was an enormous influence on me as a writer and teacher of writing and, as I commented on his blog today, continues to teach me even now.

Now much reading these days…not with company (and lesson plans!)  I’m reading Niall Williams Four Letters of Love.  He wrote History of the Rain which was spectacular.  This one is magnificent too…his books are treasures.  That’s all I can say.  And thank you, Martha, for introducing me to such an incredible writer.

Be well, everyone.  And to my teacher friends…it’s nearly over. Hang in there.  Love to all.




13 thoughts on “To Texas Again

  1. Encourage Nina & Billie to join us at Croissant tomorrow…I’ll be there by 8:15!

    Jerri 521 Cedarwood Lane Venice, FL 34293 941-445-4118 E “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” Maya Angelou

    • Hi Jerri, after the GPS took us around in circles, we finally arrived at the Croissant, but alas, you had left. We will reconnect when we return.

  2. Have a safe trip to Texas and of course enjoy every minute with your grandchildren. Hope you’re not too exhausted after all your teaching. Sounds as though the prep was the hard part.

  3. I envy you getting into the classroom and really engaging. I agree, no powepoint for me. Get those kids involved! Can you fly up to CT and come to my grandkids’ classes? Only four more preps…

    Have a wonderful trip! I know you’ll post pictures and I’m looking forward to them.

    Please let me know where your friends buy. Did you mention Sarasota National to them?

  4. Thank you for introducing me to Niall Williams . His books remind me of Dickens– they read like poetry, I like to read parts aloud. When I worked nights, I loved it when it rained– especially when there was a baby to rock.
    Have a great trip! Remember Eddie Rabbit’s song about rain?

  5. Have a safe trip Mary and enjoy your time in the classrooms.
    Say “hi” to Nina for me !

  6. Irene Callahan

    Safe travels!

    Sent from my iPhone


  7. Wendie Highsmith

    Mary-How wonderful that going to Texas again is not about MD Anderson.

    Have a grand time! Jerry must be doing just fine.

    Love, Wendie

  8. Thank you- needed your news , miss you all. Happy safe travels to Texas , you will need a rest when you return.

    love the photo , it captured pure joy!

    Sent from my iPad Joy Kennedy


  9. Billie & I drove for a half hour trying to find Croussant & Co as the genie in the GPS must have had a hang over wanting us to park and walk across the Venice bridge. We finally found our destination only to catch Travina & Paul leaving the restaurant. At least we got to reconnect for a bit and did enjoy an amazing breakfast of vegetable quiche, pastry & latte. Venice continues to charm us with its people and beauty. Thank you Mary & Jerry for your hospitality and friendship. We have been here less than a week and you have taken us under your wings sharing your world and community of friends.

  10. Your soon-to-be students are so fortunate to have you for such interesting lessons. And you are sure to provide bragging rights for the three Rosses. Safe travels.

  11. Have an awesome visit a Mary. I know deep inside that you just love teaching those kids again and you’re so fantastic at it! Margi and I did TP this morning…in case you again didn’t get my email. We did have 1 nest and 2 false crawls. I’ll be thinking of all time those kids being mesmerized by you! Safe and sound enjoyable journeys my friend! Pam

  12. Thanks for your mail Mary. God bless you gal!

    Sent from my iPad


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