Good Things #42


1. heath-bar brownies

2. iced coffee with cream and just a little sugar

3. not wearing wool socks anymore

4. going to the gym with my sister and cousin…then topping it off with Starbucks

5. Sunday dinner with friends – barbecue chicken and steak, potato salad and ice cream sundaes

6. oranges

7. when one of my 8th graders brings surprise Lindt chocolates to class

8. the sun not fully setting even at 8:30PM

9. knitting the cutest sweater ever

10. singing “Set Me As a Seal” in preparation for my friend’s summertime wedding

[Is it bad that pretty much half of these things are food-related?]

Good Things #33: Things I Missed While Traveling


Bleary eyed and happy, I went back to work Tuesday. My whirlwind trip to Italy and Greece is over. We swept into school like celebrities, bombarded with hugs and questions and a plea for pictures.

The trip will get its own posts (they’re brewing as I type), but for today, here are some things I missed while I was away:

1. My bed. Yep, that’s right. I missed my bed with its cozy corner, soft fluffy blankets, and the pillow that seems like it was made just for me. Hotels apparently don’t know what I like.

2. Mom’s cooking. Okay, so I was in Italy. The food was good. I had tortellini to die for and enough feta to last most people a lifetime when I was in Greece. (Oh, and all those people were right. The ones I always thought were pretentious when they said, “You haven’t had gelato till you’ve had it in Italy.” I was annoyed because after one lick of nutella gelato con panna I realized they were right and I’d been living a lie). 

That being said…

The first bite of Mama’s homemade chicken pot pie and I was happy to be home. Happy to be an American. It was hot, salty, filled with gravy and homegrown winter squash and there’s nothing better on a cold February night.

3. Music. I didn’t listen to music. I don’t have music on my phone. I didn’t even know what I was missing until I heard a song floating through the streets of Rome and realized I hadn’t heard music in about three days. It was so strange. Maybe it was cleansing to clear my mental music palette. But I’ve got Renee Fleming playing right now because Italy re-invigorated me for classical.

4. My shower and non-travel-size hygiene products. I un-ashamedly missed my Lush shampoo and conditioner. I missed full-size toothpaste and face wash. I missed not being afraid of using the last drop of moisturizer BECAUSE MY FACE WOULD FLAKE OFF. Just kidding. Obviously I could have found a pharmacy before that happened.

5. Gym and Starbucks dates. I missed meeting my sister and cousin every Tuesday for the gym and Starbucks (because who works out without a good reward at the end?). I missed hashing over our teaching lives. I missed the regularity of things.

6. My family. And, there it is, the crown of all things missed. The whole time I was discovering the ruins of Pompeii, the Coliseum, the Oracle of Delphi, I was thinking how much my family would have loved it. Not the huge throngs of people, no, those they could’ve done without, but the history, the richness of humanity’s past, the amazing architecture and ingenuity of such a long-ago time. I missed talking with my mom and playing Jeopardy with my dad. I missed talking about our days and sitting at the table after dinner.

I had an amazing trip. For the first time I saw things I’d only imagined, and they’re real. I came back to school re-energized to teach Latin, and that’s the best reason I can think of to go on this trip.

Stay tuned.

Happy Friday It Was!

Yesterday was a funny day at work.

I think I was just glad it was Friday. I was doing everything too quickly: responding to emails like lightning and then wondering what I’d written; hurrying down the hallway and then slipping (only slightly!) and trying to pass it off like nothing happened; cutting open the stack of boxes from W.B. Mason, throwing scissors around like a six-year-old and slicing a perfect “v” into the ring finger of my right hand.

(I then had to find a bandaid and somehow open it and put it on without using that finger. It’s amazing I can still type as efficiently as I do…)

And the afternoon was topped with something we never would’ve expected.

In the kitchen, sitting on the counter, was a huge heated box filled with fifty Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

Apparently, a guy from Chick-fil-A stopped in and wanted to talk to us about doing a fundraiser. My first thought was: How would this go down? Would we sell Chick-fil-A at sports games? Would we earn points for every time we bought a sandwich? I want details, man.

And before he left, he put a box of hot chicken sandwiches in the kitchen and said, “Help yourself,” as he vanished in his little Chick-fil-A sedan.

An email was sent out immediately to all the staff and faculty, and I sat at the desk, watching as little groups of excited teachers flocked by. Every single one of them looked through the door at me, their eyes a little brighter, their steps a little lighter, and hardly anyone believing our luck.


(Well, ladies, your friends were delicious. I’d keep laying, if I were you.)