Delights: March 4 to March 10

March 4: As I stepped out of the car to pick up our pizza, I heard a large group of children playing joyfully in the cold dark night. A schoolyard lay on the other side of the fence, but still… At last, with pizza on the carseat next to me, I rounded several corners until I drove past the schoolyard parking lot. There, a half-dozen people with fluorescent vests and orange torches directed scores of waiting cars to their proper rows and columns. I imagined the parents sending their kids out to play while they waited patiently. I had pizza, but those families were treated to their school’s first Fried Fish Dinner of Lent. 

This Assateague pony waited patiently until Kevin got off his bike to take this photo.

March 5: I walked past two little girls this afternoon but didn’t say hello. I walked past two little dogs but didn’t stoop to pet them. Eventually, I walked past two very furry buds on a tree. Then I caught myself, turned around and gently rubbed their softness between thumb and forefinger. I will choose differently if I see the little girls and the little dogs again. 

March 6: I needed to dress for three hours of front-yard gardening when all of my neighbors would be walking by. And I promptly discovered that I don’t have gardening pants. 

So I rooted through a bag of old clothes and found a pair of red flannel pants with white dots. To protect my arms against cuttings and sweepings, I donned a long-sleeve red shirt. Then I placed a red baseball cap on my head. Hmmm. I needed something to hold my cell phone and complete my eye-catching outfit. I know, a fanny-pack would be just the thing.

My friend Kathy sent me this photo of a lovely day in Duck, North Carolina.

March 7: This morning, I drove past a teenage girl in orange high-top sneakers, chartreuse backpack and pink striped hair tied in two bunches. She was heading in my direction: to our local high school, where I was about to start my new career as a substitute teacher. Thirty minutes later (and a little bit nervous), I waited outside my first classroom. Then I saw the same teenage girl: sneakers, backpack, candy-store hair. My good luck charm. I took a deep breath and entered my classroom.

Bonus: My friend Jennifer said she enjoyed watching me garden yesterday. My attire worked perfectly.

March 8: I stood at the door of my fifth grade class and greeted the children as they entered. Almost without exception they welcomed me with a wave or a smile. Even though they’d never met me before, they already trusted me. And I realized that I trusted them. So in our morning circle, I introduced myself and asked for help: to find the computer programs they were using, to honor their room’s customs and routines, and to coach me if I did the wrong thing. 

Six children immediately volunteered to be my assistant. Another child helped a classmate find their computer-based lesson. One asked me for help with math (fractions! lowest common denominators! acronyms I didn’t understand!). The entire class taught me the “Listen to Teacher” clap, which I hadn’t heard since Nate and Jeremiah left fifth grade many years ago. And a little boy gave me a wrapped cake when he saw that I had nothing to nibble during snack time.

A view across Sinepuxent Bay. Photo by Kevin Ogle

March 9: Today I learned that weather stations collect so much hourly data that the information needs to be transmitted in code. I learned the codes for precipitation, cloud-cover, wind speed and barometric pressure. And I learned how to summarize all that data (and more) in an pictogram the size of a thumbnail. . . . A person can learn a lot grading assignments for two high school Earth Science classes.

Bonus:  Today I received a note from the teacher of my (um, I mean, “the”) fifth grade class I served yesterday: “The students loved having you as a substitute teacher. They described how kind you were and how you treated them as partners in learning. Thank you! I am going to be out Tuesday March 29 if you are available to come back — the children would love it!”

The Earth Science teacher also asked me to sub for her on March 29. What to do? 

March 10: I took a long, long afternoon nap.

From my garden.

Bonus: I can’t stop looking at this splendid New Zealand sunflower from Thistles & Kiwis.

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18 thoughts on “Delights: March 4 to March 10

  1. Your gardening outfit sounds ideal! How lovely to have had a great experience as a substitute teacher – hopefully more to come. And thanks so much for the mention! My sunflowers are fading now so nice to remember what they looked like last week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for appreciating my gardening outfit. I felt a little silly, but the bliss of aging is that I find the whimsy in it! Regarding your sunflowers, some of your fans might appreciate an end-of-summer recap of your beauties. There’s no rule against delighting us multiple times with the same images. (And thanks for your kind words about my new teaching!)

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  2. Your posts are one of the highlights of my week. Always make me smile. So glad the substitute teaching was a smashing success. And oh that pony!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a fine compliment about my Delights, Laurie. Thank you! I imagine I’ll find more joy in my substitute teaching gig to share. . . . And I’ll tell Kevin you liked the pony: I realized later that it’s a video of him moving toward Kevin. I think you can picture it!

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  3. This is so wonderful, all of it. 🙂 Kids always recognise a good person. Always pet dogs. Always greet kids. Always accessorise. 😀 And you’ll go back and make the kids’ day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is laugh-out-loud funny. (And very kind too.) Yes, the fanny pack was an essential part of my ensemble. And you are right about the wisdom of greeting dogs and children. Sometimes I think I need to experience those lapses in order to shake me up a little for the next 100 times I get the chance!

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  4. Seems as if your new career has got off to a good start, and the note of appreciation from the teacher must have felt good. Plenty more rewarding times ahead for you and “your” (🙂) class. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. anneryanemailarizonaedu March 14, 2022 — 10:17 am

    I am NOT surprised that you are an excellent substitute teacher. But so grand to receive notes singing your praises and invites back! Love the gardening outfit story. Where is the photo ?????
    Hugs, Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Photo? Ha! Actually, I just folded the newly clean shirt & pants — and decided to keep them together for next time! I’ll ask Kevin to take a picture. Hugs right back to you! (And thanks for the kind words about substituting…)

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    2. Ditto on just knowing Carol Ann would be a great sub! Well said, Anne!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are sweet. Amazingly, I’m sitting right next to Anne as I read this (in Tucson, Arizona!). I’ll tell her that Ju-Lyn in Singapore gives her a thumbs up!

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      2. Woohoo! You are enjoying warmer climes! Yes please, send on my best regards!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. March 5th entry gave me pause and food for thought.

    Although I greet fellow-walkers & runners more these days (as opposed to keep my head down as people glance suspiciously at me when I run by), it is still not the same as pre-pandemic when I would shout out morning greetings. Have I just become used to the quiet or am I still not so sure about how my greetings would be received?

    I do ask what kind of vibe do I want to leave on the trails and pavements I traverse – I will continue to contemplate with each person & doggie I encounter.

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