Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ready or Not

It’s D-Day tomorrow. Sixteen, excited, freshly scrubbed, and slightly intimidated little five-year-old bodies will appear at the “Purple Cat” door at my school’s kindergarten hallway. I’m not supposed to be the one greeting them but late last week my principal changed my life.
“Sylvia, I need your help. We have to add an additional kindergarten classroom and it has to be ready for the “meet and greet” Friday morning at 10:a.m. I don’t have a teacher yet, so you’ll need to substitute for a week or so until I get the go-ahead to hire someone.”
My stomach lurched as a million thoughts ran through my head; but these little babes have never been to school. Visions of desperate, crying-no, screaming, bodies clinging onto their mama’s arms and legs sent my imagination into over-drive. For a moment I pondered, "Is the use of duct tape considered inhumane treatment?"
One glance at the desperation written all over my principal’s face and my heart softened.
“Sure,” I smiled. “ No problem. I’ll get right on it.”
A cursory glance at the room, vacant, except for the quarter inch of dust over all counters, tables and chairs, a rolled up dirty carpet and several dead roaches, who did not survive the summer, was enough to send me to the janitor’s room in search of cleaning supplies. With sweat dripping from every pore on my body, I scrubbed, scoured and swept until I was certain the room could pass any standards the Health Department decreed.
After lugging more tables and chairs from a portable several hundred yards to my room, every muscle in my body felt as though I was qualifying for the next Olympics. But this was just the beginning. As any kindergarten teacher knows, bulletin boards must be covered in eye-catching colors and if you happen to be anything other than seven feet tall, heaven help you. For safety sake, the rule is: No standing on chairs or tables. Hunt down the one ladder that always disappears just when you need it.
Finally, with the last alphabet letter glued to the wall, and a copy of ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ propped up against the rocker ready to be read to my pupils, I sighed a breath of relief. I’m ready. Who knows-maybe I won’t need that duct tape after all.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shedding the Onion Skin

Since getting involved with a blog and a website, I feel the world knows more about me than I really had intended, but here I go again exposing yet another layer of my onion. A good friend asked me to get involved with “Honest Scrap”. What is that you ask? It’s eight little known facts you may or may not care to know about me. But here goes:
1. I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, until I married an American in 1972 and moved to the U.S.A.We have one son and two dear grandsons who live in Maine. We celebrated our thirty-seventh wedding anniversary July 1.
2. I taught Elementary School in Canada and continue to work as a resource teacher at Rhodes Elementary.

3. My high school had only eighty students and I was chosen to be the Valedictorian.

4. I have always expressed my thoughts better on paper so writing became an outlet
for my emotions. In the eighties, I decided to submit my work to publishers and
lo and behold my work began to be accepted for publication. You mean you can
actually be paid to do this?? My two novels, “Helena:Unwavering Courage” and “Summer Guest” are currently on

5. I enjoy cooking-especially desserts(My Canadian sweet tooth).

6. I became a Christian in my teens and sincerely believe in the power of salvation.

7. I believe once you’ve truly loved someone they will always have a part of your
8. I have been blessed with wonderful friends.

Okay, there is one more; I enjoy playing Mexican Train Dominoes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back in Town

I’m convinced that good times with family and friends fly by faster than the speed of light. At least that’s how it seemed to me while I was enjoying my visit with family and friends. Yes, it rained at some point in the day, almost every day but it did not dampen my enthusiasm for being around the folks I love. Sometimes Canadian summers have a mind of their own. On the positive side, the fish were biting, the mosquitoes were tolerable, the succulent red raspberries hung in clusters enticing one to brave the scratchy, thick thorns and gather enough for a fresh baked pie. The forests and fields were alive with lush vibrant life.
Even the downpour on the day of my book signing did not keep folks away. Held in a converted barn, it was the perfect atmosphere for the times and theme of my grandmother’s story. Several friends went away with a copy of Helena:Unwavering Courage.
Of course, a highlight of my vacation was the week I spent with our twin fourteen-month grandsons. There isn’t a muscle in my body that hasn’t been pulled or stretched while chasing those lightening –fast bodies. Their curiosity and constant baby talk kept my eyes and ears alert. I loved every minute of it.
Now it’s time to wind down and let the memories take root; thank you Lord. Once again I’ve been blessed.