Saturday, March 16, 2013


The LIST is a many splendored thng.  It is a mainstay for organization.   It helps remember.  It  helps prioritize.  There are to do lists and wish lists.  There are grocery lists and gift lists.  There are bucket lists and homework lists.  Many children’s books are list books.  My journal is full of lists.  Favorites.  Hopes.  Writing ideas.  Fun words.  Below is a list of 25 things about me. Many of these truths on my list are seed ideas for future writing.   How do you use lists in your writing?

  1. I am the mother of two adult children that I adore.  They have been the center of my life and have ventured out to find their own life and dreams.  I am very proud of both of them.

  1. I am an empty nester in many ways—my friend, Barb, refers to empty nesting as “Flight Risk”.  After years of taking care of many, many things, I am happily entering a port of my life that is mine.

  1. In my “empty-nester” years, my home has become a place for many people to live short and long term or to visit.  I am glad my home continues to be a hub of activity.

  1. I love to travel.  My first vacation as a child was to Lake Celina with my family. My mom used to say that I have the travel bug.  I love seeing nature in all of its forms.  I love the majesty of Alaska and Colorado.  I love the endless skies of New Mexico.  The views of the Tuscan landscape and the architecture of Florence are breathtaking.  I will never get enough of the ocean or a quiet lake.  I love cityscapes.  I want to travel the world.

  1. In my profession I am first and foremost a literacy teacher.  When my son was little and I was in graduate school to become a literacy specialist, he wanted to teach me the Pledge of Allegiance.  He got to the end of the pledge and in his five year old voice said, “With litercy and justice for all.”  That became my professional mantra.  I believe that literacy is a pathway to liberty.  Because of this belief, whether I am a teacher or an English Language Arts Coordinator, a principal, or a staff developer—all roles that I have filled, my primary work is to promote literacy for all students.

  1. I wrote an essay for NPR’s This I Believe about topic number 5.  It was too long and not accepted.  I love to write, but my colleagues (especially those who need to read my memos) have told me that I can be wordy at times.

  1. I am notoriously a procrastinator—especially about things that really matter.  Ugg!

  1. I know that when life is stressful, you take one baby step toward your destination—this knowledge has served me well.

  1. I learned to swim in a 24-foot circular pool in my childhood backyard.  I remember diving off the ladder and my dad’s shoulders (something you would never do in a 4-5 foot deep pool now) and many evenings of swimming, play and fireflies.   My love for the water started here.

  1. My favorite book is The Book Thief.  I love the way the author uses the narrator’s voice as well as time sequence to make a compelling story.  I love being in my book club (where I read my favorite book as well as many other good books) because, besides good company, and interesting book and life conversation, it helps put time in a busy life to read.

  1. I love poetry. And music.  (Both touch the soul.)

  1. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a child, I never thought I would leave.  I did, though.  I moved to Rochester with my husband and family, when my daughter was three and my son was three months.  Rochester has been a good place to raise a family.  It is now my home.  (But I can imagine leaving if and when the time is right!)

  1. Meditating in the morning and evening keeps me centered and balanced.

  1. I would like to walk a mini-marathon.  Several summers ago I was training for this by walking on the Erie Canal and got up to nine miles.  Then school started and it got away from me—four miles short.  While I walked the canal—through 2 seasons and a few towns, I used to think about publishing a book about the seasons on the Erie Canal.

  1. I am a closet “Law and Order” junkie.  Although, I have gotten rid of cable and I don’t spend time watching anymore. 

  1. I like playing board games with friends and family.

  1. I love the natural lighting that occurs during dusk and dawn.  Sometimes the scenery of the countryside is so vivid during those times on my way to or from work that I have to pull off to the side of the road and just soak in the light and the scene for several minutes.

  1. I also love wild gray skies.  They have a beauty unlike any other.

  1. When I was in my early 30’s I stopped teaching to go to school to become a massage therapist.  I supported myself as a waitress and came inches away from having a new massage therapy career.  I loved that year, but I never regretted going back to teaching.  I gave a mean massage!

  1. As a young teacher I was a founding member (with Schultz of course) of the Schultz and Lipp Detective Agency.   We taught with passion and fun in those early teaching years.  We left that parochial agency and have both had varied and rich careers—but nothing can beat those early days!

  1. I love going to the theater  and have season tickets with my good friend.  We make an event out of that evening.  Good play, good food and good conversation.  Women friends are the nectar of life!

  1. I attended the Bay Area Writing Project when writing projects were just beginning (early 80’s).  Changed my teaching career and gave me many pleasant memories. . . writing in Berkeley cafes, sailing around Alcatraz on a yacht, having mom call me franticly from Cincinnati, sure that something was wrong because I didn’t answer earlier calls.  I didn’t understand that reaction then—I was a 25 year old doing my happy thing.  I understand the reaction now that I have walked in my mom’s shoes with my own 20 something daughter and son!  Thanks, Mom!

  1. One of my favorite times of the week is Saturday morning when I meet my daughter at Charlie’s for breakfast.

  1. I regret never having learned to play a musical instrument.  I live vicariously through m y son and his music.

  1. I am very grateful for my life, my family and my friends.  I try to bring to mind things for which I am grateful daily.


  1. I love your list....all of its...but the LITERACY and JUSTICE for all is a KEEPER FOR ME! Thanks for sharing...and please...with all your spare time and energy...make that into a teeshirt!

  2. Great list! I love board games too. I love making lists as well. :)

  3. We have so many common interests. I wish you lived closer. The Book Thief is my all time favorite read that brought me to tears on many occasions. I wrote about it last summer on a slice. I also live vicariously through my son's musical talent. Love travel and so wished I could have been with you at the Bay area Writing Project. I haven't ever done a Writing Project. I have lists in various places...but it still doesn't seem to help me with the procrastination thing. xo

  4. Nance,
    I would love to see you slice about the Book Thief. Can you send me the link?

  5. Lists what a splendid way to get to know someone - thank you for the reminder that no matter what role I have, I will always be a strong supporter of and passionate about literacy!! Enjoy your weekend!

  6. I agree "Women friends are the nectar of life"