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Who are the people in your neighborhood?

15 Oct

“Can I help you find an address?” I shouted to the woman across the street.

That’s not a car of one of the residents, I thought when I saw her minivan pull into the parking lot of the small apartment complex across the street.I was walking Lucy. Or rather, I was standing outside with Lucy. I might have said I was walking Lucy, but, at 13, she now tends to walk for short distances then stand, looking around at the world.

We were in a standing phase when the car pulled up. I’d seen the woman get out of her car, walk to one of the apartments, get back in her car, back up, repark, get out again. When she came back to the parking area, Lucy and I had moved enough for me to see she had a parcel in her hands. She looked up at the sign on the building and back at the package. That’s when I figured she might need help.

It turns out, the package was destined for my side of the street.

Delivery people often make mistakes in my neighborhood. The streets go from 30th Ave, to 30th Place, to 31st Ave. Deliveries meant for people on my street, 31st, often get delivered to 30th Place because people assume the street after 30th is 31st. Once, I had a package containing jewelry delivered to my house, even though it was destined for my equivalent on 30th Place. The residents were stunned when I showed up at the door, but thankful. My neighbors all know this to be true and more than once I’ve encountered one while walking (or standing with) Lucy, on their way to or from a delivery snafu. Fixing these delivery issues is a little inconvenient, but neighborly.

Lucy watched as the woman crossed the road and went up the front steps of our condominium complex. Then she followed. The package was delivered by the time we reached our door. Missions accomplished.

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Crunch!

17 Sep

I love the crunch of a good apple. It is one of the many reasons why Fall is my favorite season.

I was sitting at my desk yesterday, enjoying a crispy autumnal delight when I heard a CRUNCH. It was not a moment when I should have heard such a sound. Was something in the apple, I wondered illogically as I spat out the piece of apple. As I looked for foreign objects, my tongue wandered to the area from which the crunch had emanated. There were sharp edges and a space where tooth enamel used to be. A piece of my tooth had broken away.

Sunday night, despite this only being the third week of school, I had wished for one more day off. Slightly giddy with the realization that this was about to come true, I looked up my dentists phone number to make an appointment.

“I’m not experiencing any pain,” I told the receptionist. “I can do any day this week, but would prefer it not be on Wednesday, we have Back to School Night.”

Of course I got a Wednesday appointment. BTSN might be interesting this year!

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Maple syrup

13 Aug

This is the view out the window of my Airbnb in Montreal, where I am wrapping up my summer.

In the lower right corner, under the blue awning, a man is selling maple syrup. I am uncertain why he fascinates me, but he does.

A steady flow of customers comes his way, and he is there from early morning into early evening. Even from this distance, I can tell that he has great rapport with everyone he talks to, even if they don’t buy any maple syrup from him.

Itinerary k there is a lesson here. If you love what you do, you do it well, and people will be drawn to you.

This week’s book talks 4/22-26

26 Apr

Monday

The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers

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Tuesday

Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert by Marc Aronson

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Thursday

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

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Friday

Obsessed: A Memoir of my Life with OCD by Allison Britz

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This week’s book talks 4/1-4

4 Apr

It’s National Poetry Month, so this week I book talked novels in verse.

Monday

Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words  by Margarita Engle

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Tuesday

Audacity by Melanie Crowder

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Wednesday

Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath

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Thursday

Brown Girl Dreaming  by Jacqueline Woodson

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I am going to hear Jacqueline Woodson speak at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall tonight. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

 

 

 

Goodbye March

31 Mar

IMG_0019I don’t do much gardening anymore;
I only keep a box and
a few pots on my stoop.

But, like March,
the season of the flowering kale
has come to an end.

 

 

In its place comes April,
full of hope and new possibilities.

 

 

I have replaced the kale IMG_0020
with pansies for now.
Later, I’ll put my dahlia tubers in pots
and change up the pansies
for something that can take
the heat of summer.

And so, Spring Break ends,
this month of daily writing ends,
but the journey
around the sun
continues.

It ain’t over yet

17 Mar

Saturday morning, I ran through my regular weekday routine – up with the alarm, shower, coffee, walk Lucy – before heading out the door. I wasn’t on my way to school, I was on my way to our regions OBOB tournament.

OBOB is short for Oregon Battle of the Books and I was taking in a group of wiggly sixth grade boys, who I hoped knew their 16 books well enough to come out on top. They had battled through january and February to come out on top at our school. Today we’d find out if they had the stuff to get to the State finals.

Our very large and heavily populated region has been broken into three mini-regions. We should have had 16 teams, but apparently only ten would be showing up.

“That could be good,” I told the team late last week at a before school practice.

“But not if the weak teams dropped out,” replied one of the four. Too, true.

We arrived Saturday morning and looked over the four battles we’d have in the round robin portion of the morning. I was glad we were in the half of the teams that would be rotating – these boys needed to move between battles, not sit in the same room.IMG_0192

By the end of the round robin we had won all four matches and were hopeful we’d end up in the final four. We waited with the other 9 teams in the school cafeteria for the results were posted. As we waited, cupcakes arrived at a neighboring table and “Happy Birthday” could be heard. We all joined in. The more cupcakes arrived at another table and a second round of singing filled the room. What a way to spend your birthday!

A hush fell as the chairperson arrived to post the tallied points. We had the highest point total!

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And then we were off to the next battle. We were now in sudden death elimination battles and this was a tough one. Fortunately, the boys prevailed and we were in the final.

The final was made up of 32 questions, twice as many as the preceding rounds. I was nervous after the last match, but the boys were cool-headed and prevailed, beating the other team 95 to 35, and earning a trip to the State final.

I gave the boys the option to not meet to practice next week, and that we’d start up again after Spring Break. They would have none of it. They are excited about representing our school and our District and are eager to stay at the top of their game.

Wish us luck!

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