The Moments of My Day

Here is a list of moments
that carried me through my day.
Some happy, some sad,
Some caused my nerves to fray.

Let’s start at the beginning
as the morn I groggily greet.
My daily dose of caffeine, yoga, and routine,
then to school I hastily speed.

I slid into my Wednesday a.m. meeting
just as the principal began to speak.
Next, my students came in quietly
and got to work without a squeak.

Next was art for the kiddos
and a parent meeting for me.
I hope she does what she says she’ll do.
Fingers crossed; I’ll wait and see.

Back to class with fifth grade
then fourth was next to teach.
They are learning to write literary essays.
For many, this is a reach.

Lunch, recess, then fourth grade again.
They worked well today.
Next, third grade, oh me, oh my!
A challenge-what can I say!

I helped with Crochet Club after school.
What a fun way to unwind.
I enjoyed watching them create
and seeing the satisfaction they find.

Now here I am-Home at last.
Online with my #TeachWrite friends.
Happily crafting poetry (or making an attempt)
as this day comes to an end.

2019 Tracy Vogelgesang

The Best Part of Me

The best part of me
believes the best is yet to come!
Each day that passes
I grow wiser,
love more deeply,
and find more joy in simple things.

The best part of me
shines brighter with my heart’s companion.
As we age together
we grow closer,
strengthen our bond,
and cherish the moments we have together.

The best part of me
thrills when I spend time with my children.
Adulting suits them well.
I grow prouder,
enjoy their company,
and know they make this world better.

The best part of me
giggles and squeals as we run through the house.
With tiny curls bouncing
she grows quickly,
calls me Mom-mom,
and builds precious, precious memories with Papa and me.

The best part of me
adjusts her headphones to hear me as I greet her.
With sketchbook beside her
she grows wiser,
dreams future dreams,
and treats Papa and me with much love and respect.

Yes, the best part of me
gets better as time passes day by day!
Each day that passes
I grow wiser,
love more deeply,
and find more joy in simple things.

2019 Tracy Vogelgesang

Lessons in Nature

My day at school today:

My heart bleeds
as I watch my student
for the past three years
pack his things-
mom and stepdad split.

My heart bleeds
as another student
will not get a meal
until midnight-
mom comes to then.

My heart bleeds
for the injustices
so many kids
face daily-
my heart aches.

After school I pull into my drive:

My bleeding heart
peeking above ground
mingling with other
budding plants-
spring is coming.

My bleeding heart
gives me hope
for brighter days
for all-
I cling to that.

My bleeding heart
reminds me that
fragile flowers blossom
despite the cold-
The kids will, too.

With a Grateful Heart #SOL19

“Should I really do this?” I questioned as I pasted the link to my first ever slice into the comments of the Day 1 Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Unknown territory, I was nervous about committing to a month of daily slicing.  Thanks to my Teach Write friends in our amazing Wednesday night writing group, though, I was encouraged to try.  So I did.

Now, thirty-one days later, I am so glad that I went through with it.  I have sliced every single day and enjoyed reading and commenting on other slices.  I have learned so much about writing from your slices and comments, and I have discovered new things about myself as a writer.  It is one thing to write daily, but it is quite another thing to commit to sharing my writing publicly every day.  This experience has helped me grow in ways I did not expect.  I am grateful.

So, thank you for reading and offering your comments, encouragement, and support.  Thanks, also, to all of the people at the Two Writing Teachers for hosting such a challenge.  I appreciate all of you and look forward to reading, writing, and learning beside you on Tuesdays.

Another Harry Potter Weekend #SOL19

Hogwarts!

“Wait! Put it on pause! I haven’t gotten my butterbeer yet!”  My oldest granddaughter says in a panic as the movie begins to play.  “Oh, and I haven’t gotten my snacks, either!”

“And I better go to the bathrooooom,” our youngest shouts as she suddenly zooms past us and runs out of the room.

Papa and I glance at each other and chuckle.  So begins our Harry Potter weekend movie marathon.

Periodically, we gather for a weekend of magic, butterbeer (purchased from a local vendor), and snacks that appeal to all tastes.   This weekend is one such weekend.

Choosing Wands at Ollivander’s

Yep, we’re that family.  We are nearing the label of Potterheads.  These stories are beloved by all ages in our family, and we have made many memories around them.  In fact, we’re currently in the process of planning our return visit to Harry’s magical world at Universal Studios.  My husband and oldest granddaughter are looking forward to breaking out their interactive wands and revisiting all of the areas where the magic comes to life.

The children return to the living room and settle into their favorite movie-watching spots.  It’s time for the magic to begin.

“Is everyone ready now?” Papa asks as he peers at each child.  They nod their heads.  “Okay.  Here we go!”  Papa pushes play, and I dim the lights.  Yes, here we go, ready to approach Platform 9 and 3/4 and enter that familiar, enchanted world yet again.

Silence #SOL19

As my Spring Break comes to a close, I pay tribute to those instances of quiet and solitude I’ve enjoyed this week.  Those magical, fleeting moments ground me, restore peace, encourage joy, and help me remember my humanity.

 

Silence

I seek it daily

so elusive, my soul’s treasure.

When received, a healing balm.

 

As stolen moments

or gifted bliss,

daily stillness is needed, valued.

 

Too much crushes me;

too little and I thirst.

When balanced, I thrive.

 

It’s my Divine connection

where truth and reality dwell.

A centering force, a refuge.

Silence

 

2019 Tracy Vogelgesang

A Sweet Remembrance, Part 2 #SOL19

Aprons on, buttered hands at the ready.  The wax paper squares are cut and stacked neatly.  My sisters in law and I move into position around Grandma’s kitchen table.  We are ready.  Bring it on!

A true labor of love, Grandma spends a lot of time over her stove to create these tasty morsels of heavenly goodness.  Standing at a height of under 5 feet, she literally has to stand on a wooden stool to reach over the deep, heavy pot and stir the bubbling confection as it cooks.  It is a lot of work, but she insists on doing it.  That candy contains so much more than sugar, cream, butter, etc., it contains love and lots of it!  That knowledge makes each morsel even more delicious.

After it has cooked to perfection, my mother in law helps Grandma handle the deep, heavy pot to pour the mouthwatering golden brown thick syrup onto the buttered cookie sheets.  Grandma then puts the cookie sheets on the steps leading upstairs where they will cool at just the right speed.  After a significant amount of time, she deems them ready to be cut and wrapped.

That is where the rest of us spring into action.  Grandma plops down cookie sheet after cookie sheet of the cooled, ooey, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.  She has them cut and ready.  We simply need to roll each piece carefully and wrap them in wax paper.

We all dig in.  Roll, wrap, twist, repeat.  The sequence goes on and on.  As the old saying goes, “Many hands make light work.”  Before we know it, we have several large bowls heaped high with wrapped candies.  Grandma takes the bowls and begins filling plastic bags with their contents.  These will go to various family members and friends.  Some she puts into decorative bowls to sit around the house.  Family members will enjoy these nuggets of love and goodness throughout the holiday season.  Thank you, Grandma, for your labor of love and this sweet, sweet remembrance.

A Sweet Remembrance #SOL19

Note: Thank you, Christine, for the idea to write about Grandma’s caramels.  Your suggestion really got me thinking and remembering!   

We open the back door and step inside the kitchen.  Immediately the mouthwatering scent of Grandma’s homemade caramels greets us.  It is nearing the holidays.  She will make seemingly endless batches of these delicious nuggets of goodness.  Grandma is there next to the stove with her beautiful warm smile and petite arms outstretched to give everyone hugs and kisses on the cheek.

“Are you hungry?” she asks.  Grandma always asks that question and always has food (most likely her famous spaghetti and meatballs) ready to serve.  We had eaten earlier, so we decline.  She puts a bowl of fresh caramels on the table.  “Take a few of those as you walk by,” she says.  Her caramels are as famous as her meatballs.  We all take some of the wrapped candy as we pass by the table and go into the living room.

“What are you up to today?” my husband, her grandson, asks.  They discuss the many things she has accomplished so far.  She is whirlwind of energy and can do spirit.  I love listening to her talk about her day.  She is a faith-filled woman with such enthusiasm and zeal for life, and she approaches every problem with a positive and resourceful attitude.  Her deep, enduring faith is a beautiful example for all of us.

During our visit, my husband pulls caramel after caramel out of his shirt pocket.  He always has a handful of caramels in his shirt pocket this time of the year.  He carefully untwists each end of the wax paper wrapper and pops the sweet confection into his mouth.  I can tell that he is savoring each sweet, creamy, and buttery morsel as they melt in his mouth.  I smile.  My heart warms to see him enjoy the company and the candy so much.

When our visit ends, she walks to the kitchen and promptly reappears, producing a quart-sized plastic bag full of caramels.  She hands them to my husband.  He bends over to give her a hug and she reminds him to share.   For a moment, I see a little boy and his grandma.  The vision makes me smile.  Another round of hugs and kisses commence as we make our way to the back door.  Another sweet memory made to tuck away for future reminiscing.

Cellophane Battle (or 10 Minutes of My Life I Will Never Get Back) #SOL19

I put my hand into the bag and with joyous anticipation draw out one sweet and creamy nugget.  I take it back to where I am writing and begin the process of removing it from its cellophane wrapper.

I slip one fingernail into the triangular fold of plastic at one end and pull.  It does not budge.  I give it more effort and attention and try again.  Nothing.  I walk over to the cabinet, pull a paring knife from the drawer, and slip it under the fold.  “Snap.”  Success!  I drop the knife back into the drawer and return to my computer.

The fold on the other end comes up easily, so I start working on grasping the overlap in the middle.  I can almost taste the candy.  Yum… Wait! Where is the overlap?  My fingers fumble around every part of the wrapper.  No luck.  Why can’t I find it?  My aggravation surfaces.

“Whose idea was it to buy these stupid things anyway?”  I ask aloud to no one in particular.  I grudgingly remember…it was mine.

My lip curls on one side and my eyes narrow.  I could give up.  Heaven knows I do not need this piece of candy, but my frustration and my pride have other plans.  Seriously, how hard can it be to remove a candy wrapper?

I study and tug, but with each pull I only succeed in snapping off tiny little pieces of cellophane.

“Thin, cheap stuff,” I mutter under my breath.  “Why can’t they wrap these stupid things in wax paper with twisted ends like Grandma use to do?”  I continue picking away.

Eventually, with a mountain of cellophane bits piled up on the napkin, I raise the caramel to make sure every last bit of plastic is gone.  I can almost hear the hallelujah chorus and see the golden light beaming from around the treasured confection.

“To the winner goes the spoils.”  Isn’t that how that old saying goes?  I have waited for this moment for nearly ten minutes.  This better be the best caramel ever!

I slowly bite into the candy.  With each chew, my spirit sinks a little lower.

Well…that was disappointing.  I sweep the multitude of cellophane bits into my hand, throw them away, and return to my writing.

One thing is for sure, this experience will make dieting a little easier.

The Birthing #SOL19

My world slumbers in the inky darkness of the predawn sky.

I sit in my pj’s, notebook open, steaming mug of coffee at my side,

waiting…waiting for the words to come during this treasured, magical time.

 

One poem penned-it’s crap.  I know it.

Yet I don’t give up.

 

The words-what words exactly, I’m not sure-

but some words are struggling to free themselves and be birthed.

A new thought, a new image, a new creation,

something which didn’t exist before.

 

The struggle is real, but the effort is worth it.

The words begin to make their way onto the page-

written, created, taking shape.

 

My world awakens in the blue, purple, pinkish-orange of the sunrise sky.

I sit in my pj’s, notebook closed, empty mug at my side.

The words arrived.  I welcome them and go on about my day.

 

2019 Tracy Vogelgesang