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.