The Percussion Bus

Sunday, March 13, 2022

#sol22: March 13

     My kids both had an I.G.S.M.A competition yesterday, so I had to drop them off at their schools on a Saturday morning to catch a bus to go to the performance.  My daughter had already been dropped off, and now it was my son's turn.  We pulled into the parking lot and started making our way to the front doors.  

      "Look, Mom!  There's the percussion bus, too!"

      "A percussion bus?"

      "Yeah, for the vibraphone and the timpani drums.  Those won't fit on a regular bus."

      I looked down the driveway, and saw the "percussion bus."  I was a yellow rental van.  I was suddenly thankful that they had one available in school bus yellow, because it did look like it fit right in with the regular buses.

      As he jumped out of the car, I made him pose.  I told him, as a percussionist, it was required.  


Shamrock Shakes

Saturday, March 12, 2022

#sol22: March 11th

Shamrock shakes for three,
with a healthy dose of whipped cream.

Riding shotgun after class,
this could be my dancers' dream.

Could all months be so great, 
and offer this minty treat?

I guess the answer is no,
so we'll just enjoy what's on my seat.


6 Word Stories

Thursday, March 10, 2022

#sol22: March 10

      Today, we had a meeting where we had to make a 6 word story in a group of 3, describing our year.  I'm usually a writer, so I was surprised how hard it was to write a story collectively.  In the end, I let my partners take the lead a bit and just contributed, but have been reflecting ever since about why that was so hard. We ended up starting with words that described struggles, then joy, and I realized that it's been more of a rollercoaster of a year than a linear plot line.  What story do I want to tell?  What year am I describing?  Honestly, I had to look through some pictures to tell my story.

A few are optimistic for the future.

One that is a bit more pessimistic, because there are a lot of things we can't control.

Perhaps a few that just show my current state of mind.

     One that is just more fun.  Because, Wordle.

     Maybe I can't write just one 6 word story about my year, but I am certainly feeling better after looking at some memories.  Perhaps there are just too many stories to tell.  For that, I am thankful.


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

#sol22: March 9

      Is it weird that instead of matching the immense basket of mismatched socks, I instead went to Target and bought my kids new socks?  That way, I could go another week without having to match those mismatched ones.  Is that strange?

     And, is it even more weird that the day after I bought those socks, I asked my daughter why I didn't buy myself some new socks, too?  Because this week I wore Christmas socks in March because that's where I'm at.  A nice new pack of mom socks would have been a super smart purchase.

     But then today, when I checked Twitter first thing and thought the world was just too much, and I realized that we also didn't have coffee to brew, and the kids didn't want to get up, and I was running around, I had to go to that sock basket.  I went into my room with a scowl on my face, and looked down.  There, on top, were two black socks.  A match, unmatched, but right next to each other.

     The sock fairy turned my day around. That pair of socks went on my feet, and I put one foot in front of the other, and it was a good day after all.

     Do you think the sock fairy will return on Thursday?  Fingers crossed...

Numbers in Perspective

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

#sol22: March 8th

$4.59 a gallon

$74.00 for a tank of gas

5,068 miles to Kyiv, Ukraine from my home

3,010,209 Kyiv citizens 

2 weeks into the Russian invasion

44,000,000 terrified citizens of Ukraine 

~2,000,000 Ukraine people are now refugees.


$4.59 a gallon is a price I can pay.

(But, seriously, I might start driving less.)


Yellow Ribbon

Monday, March 7, 2022

#sol22: March 7th

     The sun was shining brightly that fall day.  We were dressed in yellow, to make a yellow ribbon for osteosarcoma, and the trees seemed to get the message.  Two schools came together, an elementary school and a middle school, both united to support an ill 7th grader.  Students with yellow shirts and yellow ribbons, pinned to their shirts.  Many asking, "Is he here?  I hope he sees us."  I just kept saying, "I'm sure he does."  

     That day, I didn't know my role in supporting our student, or our staff.  I had never personally taught him, or his sister, but he is still our student.  So, I came to stand with his classmates and his teachers.  It's all I could think to do.  I remember taking pictures that day, thinking that somehow commemorating the event would make some small difference.  Who knows it if it did, but I felt like I needed to do something.  

     That picture, above, is the perspective I had that day, me standing in the ribbon.  One of many, but all for one.  

     This weekend, the call came.  Teachers, filled with grief, sharing the news of his passing.  

     Once again, I feel like I'm standing there, not quite sure what to do, but feeling like something needs to be done.  All I can think about is his family, and our teachers as they welcome students back tomorrow with one less classmate in attendance.  What I wouldn't give for that fall day, when perhaps there still seemed like there was hope.  But, I think what we felt that day was united support, and possibly a hope for a miracle or perhaps a peaceful goodbye.  He had already fought so hard, and so bravely.

      A friend of mine posted a St. Baldricks fundraiser the morning he passed, so I donated in his memory.  She, her wife, and her son shaved their heads that same day, and I hope the money raised by them and many others helps find an end to losses like these.  But, in the meantime, I guess we must just stand together again, and support each other the best we can, as grief always presents itself differently.  Unlike the sun shining brightly that day, grief is all cloud covered and waits to cast it's shadow at unexpected moments.  But, when the clouds pass, Amadeo will still be with us in our hearts,  as we look towards the sun.

Spectator in Stride

Sunday, March 6, 2022

#sol22: March 6

     "Come on guys!  It's time to go watch Dad!"

     "Can we sit in the car?"

     "Only until Dad should be finishing."


      This is the easiest race our little Curb Crew has each year to support my husband, the marathon runner.   This race is an 8k at the park district down the street.  My husband drives there himself and starts at 8am, and we know to show up by 8:30.  If we get there by 8:15, we can usually get a pretty close parking spot, too.  So, we throw on some Irish gear, and head to the Running O' the Green.  

     "Mom, can I have your shamrock hat?"

     "Here you go."

     "I'm not wearing any green today."

     "Suit yourself."

      We get there and find a nice spot, and wait for about 10 minutes before my daughter sees the time and says that we'd better start making our way over to the finish line.  We get out of the car and walk over to some paving stones that overlook the running path as it winds around the park district.  My son and I stand on the pavers, and my daughter jumped down and walked closer to the path on the grass below.  And we waited...

      "Here he comes!" I shout.

      It looked like my daughter didn't see him at first, even though he was literally the only runner on the path.  But, then I realized she was hatching a plan to run with him.  Before I knew it, the two were running together as he turned that last bend.  She had become a spectator in stride with the competitor.   Of course, to see him finish the race, I needed to run through the parking lot to cut through to the finish.  That sweet family moment was cut short.

      "Mom!  Are you crazy?  You're running through a parking lot!  Cars drive here!" my son yelled as he, too, ran through a parking lot.

      "We'll be fine.  They're all running."

     We got back to the path just in time for my husband to run past us, and my daughter rejoined us.  He passed right in front of us.

      "Go, BOD!"

      "Mom, that's so cringy.  That's so loud."

      So this is spectating the Running O' the Green with a pre-teen and a new teen.