Another March 31st

 

Like previous years, another Slicing Challenge has ended.  Like the previous years, I was not perfect…I had a few Slices that weren’t my best and I missed a few days.  Like the previous years, I grew…I had Slices that evoked emotion in me as well as others and I produced writing that far surpassed my Slices from four years ago.  Like previous years, I am now left with one question…

Now what do I spend my days thinking about?

Every morning was the same…wake up, get ready and ask myself…

What will I Slice about today?

Every drive to work was the same…stop, go, slow down…

Should I Slice about that one time?  

Every work day was the same…teach, assist, encourage…

What format will I use today?

Every afternoon was the same…do the laundry, make dinner, feed the family…

Time is running out, what should I Slice about?

Some mornings, the Slices came easy, while others my creative mind struggled.  But no matter how difficult it was, there was nothing more satisfying that hitting that ‘Publish’ button.  Honestly, I’m always debating on February 28th, whether or not I am participating this year.  Yes, it’s a commitment.  Yes, it takes up some time.  Yes, it is definitely not easy.  But it is rewarding.  And yes, I will be participating next year.

 

She Sees Him

My Papa died several years ago, and even though he left memories in all our hearts, he left his mark on my parent’s home.

When my parents decided to add an addition to the house, two features were a must: a brick fireplace and the addition itself would also be brick

Now my Papa was a retired bricklayer, so there was no one better for the job.  Papa would come over every day to work and every day my mom would be his apprentice.  She worked with him, side by side, hauling bricks, mixing mortar, passing tools, and cleaning up.

She tells us quite often that those days, no matter how hard, were some of her favorite memories.  She cherishes those hours they spent together, daddy and daughter, even though many of them were spent in silence, just getting the job done.  Those are hours and days that can never be taken away from her.  My Papa put his heart and soul into that brickwork, and every morning, when my mom wakes up, she is lucky enough to see Papa.

My mom sees him whenever she looks at the magnificent fireplace in their living room

Whenever she decorates it with all our stockings, lights, and garland during Christmas time.

Whenever my dad lights a fire on those cold winter nights.

My mom sees him whenever she gazes upon the beautiful brickwork on their home.

Whenever she lounges on the back deck, reminiscing of old times in her own childhood home.

Whenever our family is gathered in the back yard for one of the numerous parties, having fun, but also yearning to have those empty seats filled again.

Yes, my Papa was taken from us  several years ago, but there is a part of him in my parent’s home, a part that can never be taken away.

Road Kill My Emotions

Today while my friend (and moral support) was driving me to court (I’m a teacher who was speeding in a school zone),  I noticed 3 dead raccoons on the side of the road.  And believe it or not, these poor raccoons (may they rest in peace) sparked today’s Slice.

About eight years ago, I made my first big purchase.  I had been at my first teaching job for about 3 months, was living with my parents (so no rent or bills), had a part time job, and money that was burning a whole in my pocket…so I bought a brand new car.  My car was so brand spanking new, it only had 6 miles on it!  It was such a huge commitment, and I was ecstatic.

One day, I was enjoying a cruise in my new ride.  I was driving down a stretch of road that had a speed limit of 50.  When suddenly I saw it…the raccoon.  I freaked out!  I couldn’t stop because I was going too fast.  I couldn’t swerve because I didn’t want to cause an accident.  So, I hit it.  The thud thud of my front and back  it, still haunts me to this day.  I was hysterical!

Oh my goodness!  I just killed a living thing,

What if that was a mommy raccoon?  I just orphaned a bunch of baby raccoons!

What if it was Daddy?  Now who’s going to feed and support all those little mouths?

I was inconsolable the rest of the drive home.  I panicked my father when he saw my face.  I managed to stammer through the tears.

“I…just…killed…a…raccoon!”

“Oh I’m sorry!  Did you check your car?”

Tears stop suddenly. “Why would I do that?”

“Raccoons are big.  They can cause damage.”

I ran out the door alarmed.  My bummer was cracked!  My brand, new baby was scarred.

My sympathy for the raccoon vanished instantly.

Scattergories

 

One of my favorite games to play with my classes was Scattergories.  It’s a perfect game for all ages.  It’s such a simple concept.  Each group receives the same  list of categories and the same letter.  They then have a set amount of time to come up with words that start with that letter and fit each category on the list.  You score points when your word is not the same as any other group.

It is such a fun game to moderate.  They get so excited when they come up with a creative and original word.  They try to hide their disappointment when their word is the same as another group.  They encourage other groups when they see that they are becoming a bit downtrodden. They are competitive.  They are working together.  They are learning.  And they are having fun.

Every time we played,  I think I had as much fun, if not more, than the students.  But I have one suggestion…if you ever decide to play…look at the categories before you start.  My second year of teaching 6th graders, the letter ‘P’ came up, with the category ‘Body Parts.’

Our Place

Last night, my husband and I went out to dinner at one of our favorites places.  We love this place because there’s always a high top in the bar, the average age of the crowd is between 45-50, and the food is delicious.  It’s one of those places that word hasn’t spread yet, so we don’t have to wait for a table on a Saturday night at 7.  It’s our place.

But last night was different.  It started off normal, we were able to get our high top in the bar, and ordered our favorite appetizer.  Then it happened…the young crowd started pouring in…pouring in as if they were dropped off by a bus.  The young crowd just kept coming, taking up every available space around us, standing in front of the bar, and blocking our view of the televisions.

“Oh man, the young kids are here.”

“What’s happening to our place?”

“Agh! There is so much flannel and backwards ball caps!”

And we continued to complain.  We asked the waitress about the crowd and found out that there was a party in the back.  The best part about it was, these ‘kids’ weren’t actually doing anything annoying, we were just being grumpy thirty somethings.

“I bet these kids are about 25 years old!”

“Yeah, remember when we were that young?  Did we act like that?”

Then the birthday girl came out.  She came out in her birthday sash.  Her birthday sash that said “Flirty and 30.”  30?  Crap…these ‘kids’ were our age.  I think we like that restaurant so much because we fit in so well with the 45-50 age group.

Book Envy

This was inspired by a fellow slicer’s slice Kim K. on Live, Love, Teach…My March Trade

 

 

 

They stare at me

Judging

From their spots on the dusty shelf.

They wonder

Hurt

“What did we do?”

“Why are we being ignored?”

I feel their

Anger.

“We’ve been nothing but true to you.”

“We’ve been there whenever you needed us.”

Soon, I say

Soon.

They are itching to be opened,

To have their pages turned,

To have me hang on their every word,

I miss you, I say.

I miss you.

I want to visit their characters.

I need to curl up and get lost in their stories.

I long to laugh and cry and feel anger with them again.

But I have to finish, I say

I have to finish.

I have been so dedicated to my Slices.

Written more during this challenge than the years prior.

Only missed one day.

I will finish strong.

One more week, I say to my books on their shelves.

One more week.

Wrigley’s Takeover

Hi!  My name is Wrigley (I’m named after some big backyard in the city where people are allowed to run around, but not puppies…I don’t get it.)  Anyway…my Mommy said that since it was National Puppy Day (and I’m 11 months old), I get to be the topic of her Slice today.  So, I thought I’d tell you a little about myself…what I like and don’t like.

Likes:

* Window gazing:  I love to lay on top of the couch cushions and watch the world go by my front window.  For the best view, I have to get my nose right up on the glass, and  I have to look from several different vantage points.  I’m not sure why this annoys Mommy so much…

* People:  Obviously Mommy and Daddy are number one…I love them equally, so they have to share that coveted spot.  Number two…everyone else.  And I mean everyone…delivery people…neighbors…the mailman…basically anyone who comes in or by the door.  Mommy says that I’m not a good watch dog, but I don’t understand, I am great at watching everyone walk right in…I even do it while wagging my tail.

*Kaner (my older kitty sister):  I love Kaner!!  I love chasing her and barking at her and trying to play with her and offering her my toys (which she never takes.)  I just don’t understand why she’s always so grumpy, I mean I’m constantly jumping on her to get her attention.  And I try to back her into corners, so that I have 100% of her attention.

Dislikes:

*Personal Space:  I don’t get it…why would I lay at the end of the bed, when it is so much more comfortable to lay in between Mommy and Daddy.  Also, the best is when I cuddle up right next to one of them while I sleep.  Same thing for the couches, why would I lay on that cold floor when I can lay on top of a warm Mommy or Daddy.

*Clutter:  I regularly help Mommy keep the house clean by making sure all the tables and shelves are clear.  I can’t get  to the garbage can, so I rip things up into little pieces, so it is easier for Mommy to vacuum up when she gets home.  I mean she loves that thing…she’s always using it.  I make sure to help Mommy clear the clutter when she’s at work, that way she’s surprised when she gets home.

*Being ignored:  I can’t help it, I’m only a baby, I crave attention.  I need to be the first fur baby greeted when Mommy and Daddy come home, even before they put down whatever is in their hands.  I need them to play with me at 10:00 at night because even though they’re ready for bed, I have so much pent up energy!  I know I shouldn’t back talk them when they tell me no, but I can’t help it…I mean, I’m not even 1 years old yet.
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(I mean, come one, look at this face.)