Panama City Beach, Spring Break, and a Few Good Books

Friday, April 14, 2023

I love the sunlight on the water in the late afternoon.

I try to fold in a visit with my family when I come to Florida, I went a tiny bit further down the coast this time. No stopping in Destin, my regular go to. Just a little too much baggage to unpack during this vacation to add my brothers to my week. I do wish I could have spent some time with them, but oh how the relaxation of the salt air was desperately required! The water was crisp and clear and tumultuous and so healing.

While in the beach I read the book Verity by Colleen Hoover on the recommendation of one of my students. I am so glad I did! I used to read for pleasure every day before I went to bed. I have picked up so many books over the last few years and have not been able to focus enough to really read for enjoyment. Oh, how I have missed it. I cannot remember the last time I read a book I enjoyed so much, getting lost in so easily. When I was finished I really wanted to have a sit down with the characters and talk about some of their decisions! I have found my joy again. I immediately went to the local Walmart and bought 2 more titles by the same author. I’m already halfway through It Ends With Us. Life is good.

Spring Break…what can I say? I have enjoyed your company and now we must part ways – until next year.❤️

3 things: I am grateful for the white sandy beaches of the Panhandle that always soothe my soul; I am grateful for the opportunity and the space in my life to read for enjoyment again…to find my loves once again, to find ME again; I am grateful for this time called spring break that allows me, as a teacher, to find the strength and peace and patience to finish out the year strong.

Thank you for reading!

#gratitude #choosejoy #3things

Saturday morning #3things

April 1, 2023

I just took a deep breath before I begin. Not one of exasperation, but one of relaxation. A mindful reset.

Ahhhh…sleep

I am grateful for my health and able body: I am grateful that I can finally sleep well after decades of poor sleep; my house is a mess right now but I am so, so grateful to be able to say MY HOUSE. The clutter isn’t important. My peace and safety are way more important. I am grateful that I have learned not to let the little things bother me. And that is amazing. I guess that was four things – that last one snuck in there.

Be mindful. Be present. Be at peace. Have a great day everyone and thanks for reading!

#3things #choosejoy #gratitude

March 27, 2023 – 2 more weeks until spring break.

I am looking forward to my break in Panama City, Florida this year. I have never really taken the week of break for a vacation – in more than 20 years. Teachers and administrators around here are hanging on by a thread and the teenagers are ready for the warm weather…they are all twitter-pated. (shout out to Thumper)

Char’s Heart, inspired by my granddaughter, has been an amazing creative outlet for me. Click the image to see the whole shop, so far.

I am grateful that my recovery has brought me the ability to live one day at a time and reminds me that no matter how crazy things get – I can choose joy.

This weekend I had a lot of grading done in my yard. It’s a muddy mess, but I am excited to see things happening. Although I was supposed to be working on National Board Certification during this bobcat episode, the beep, beep, beep prevented me from being able to focus. The photo of the bobcat is right outside the open window where I was working. So, I chose a different endeavor (I love that word!) I made a t-shirt for my Etsy shop that reads “I choose joy”, pictured above.

My three things this morning are this: I am grateful for the time to grow, time to grieve, time to have fun…just time; I am grateful for finding new and fun creative outlets and, of course, a little time to explore them; I am grateful to have a special person in my life who makes it his mission to treat me like a Queen and make sure that I have all I want and need. Look at those roses! He didn’t just buy them, he also arranged them.

#choosejoy #charsheart #3things #gratitude

The end of an era, a bit of acceptance, and a new beginning.

March 23, 2023

This past weekend I finally removed the remnant pieces of my once-amazing classroom. Covid-19 forced the teachers to remove all non-standard seating in our high school and go back to boring, impersonal, 100-year-old rows of desks. I kept the items of comfortable seating in a room close to mine that was once a place where teachers could eat lunch together. I had no other choice at the time. But, I held on to it all until now just hoping to make it back there one day. Sadly, the pieces have scattered and broken down in storage and I just don’t have it in me to go backward.

So, I finally got the gumption to commit to this idea of moving forward and removing all the old wooden pieces that we made together. I pulled up in a pickup on Sunday and loaded it all up.

It has been a difficult transition since the end of 2019 and the start of 2020 for me; the death of my father, an empty nest, 3 graduations, a new son-in-law, 2 new grandchildren, a devastating divorce, the loss of my home, 3 moves, 4 surgeries, a new house, oh yea – and COVID. (Not a comprehensive list, but rather rock solid overwhelming I would say.) Ridding my space of these old artifacts seemed like somewhat of a cleansing of all of that baggage, even if I do miss the old classroom.

Funny, I got through those years with a phrase from my mother’s dear friend, “just move forward with purpose. That’s all you can do.” And I did. And I do, now.

So, I come back to my classroom, day after day, and I still have so much that makes my room special to me – that makes it comfortable and inviting for my students; a place where they want to be. And today, as cheesy as it is, I still smiled at the boy who told me that I am what makes my classroom special. He’s right. I am. (Thank you for that, young man.)

Healing is hard work: surviving, recovering; letting go of dreams, ideals, and of actual things. Hard, hard work. It’s purposeful and mindful. It is hard, but it is good. I, am good.

I am grateful that my students remind me every day of my purpose, my value, and my direction. And I am mindful of that gratitude I carry in my heart, always.

In closing, my 3thing are: I am grateful for the end of an era; a bit of acceptance; and a new beginning. Thanks for reading.

I did not start this post thinking about it this way, but now that I am done I thought I would share with you the shirt that I created and sell on my new Etsy t-shirt shop, Char’s Heart. It’s part of that new beginning of which I spoke.

This is one of the shirts I made inspired by my experiences. Browse my shop. Every shirt has a story, however brief they may be. Thank you, again, for reading.

www.fieldsofpoppies.org

Poppies in Italy

I took this picture in either 2013 or 2016 while touring Italy. I have been fortunate to travel to this beautiful country multiple times with students and it never fails to excite me. I do love poppies, so. And just look at that landscape! Sidebar: The Wizard of Oz is my all-time favorite and it was only recently that I even realized it was a Poppy field that the witch used to put them all to sleep.