Monthly Archives: June 2013

just what I needed…


Sometimes I have weeks that are almost are in hyper motion and I just sit back and say, wow, did I really just

…experience hearing Steve Layne’s Balcony Keynote (I have been waiting forever),

…witness the amazing Chris Tovani engage me in a fascinating piece of literature (I went to Literacy in Motion first part of the week and then All Write),

…meet some of the incredible women that I ‘Slice’ with weekly,

… challenged again by the use of writing notebooks by Penny Kittle,

…agree with about 100% of what Carl Anderson said about Writing Workshop creating innovative thinkers,

…and be reminded again by Mary Helen and Tammy that great books always mentor us as readers, writers and thinkers

…and in the end, I heard loud and clear from Ruth Ayres and Deb Gaby  that conferring, sitting next to our children, is the ‘heartbeat of writing workshop’ !

Bookish Encouragement, by Ruth Ayres

Bookish Encouragement, by Ruth Ayres

Meeting people who you already know from their writing feels just surreal, but was very special for all of us I think.  Of course,  all of us knew Elsie (L.C.), and Linda right away because they spend hours commenting on oh so many blogs every week. Immediately I wanted to pick Bonnie’s brain about Finland’s schools.  We were all able to thank Christie for keeping track of all the March slices…what a task… and sweet Betsy who organized some of us to comment on new ‘slicers’ blogs.    I found out that Ramona traveled all the way from Seattle and had such a delightful conversation with her about her wonderful students and family. Finally, Ruth … I only have one word for this amazing person…shine.  She lights up the world with her encouragement.

Some of the All Write girls.

Some of the All Write girls.

In the middle of all of this I spent two farewell days with Emily, John and Sam.  I spent hours on the toll-way trying to drive.  Everyone in my family has now determined that this is no longer in my skill repertoire.  Actually, I’m not sure that it ever was…let’s just say I am the exact opposite of an aggressive driver and that I only like traveling in the right lane and merging is usually disastrous.  Luckily there were no major disasters except getting lost on the south side.  I was maybe still crying from  leaving sweet Sammie at the airport to fly home to Ecuador. xo nanc

There once was a girl with a strawberry curl, right in the middle of her forehead...

There once was a girl with a strawberry curl, right in the middle of her forehead…

you too


you too have felt

the welling up,

of tears that rise

in unexpected moments

you too have felt

the numb,

the tiredness,

that comes with loss

you too have felt

the sympathetic song,

of friends, whose eyes

meet yours and then look down

you too have felt

grief, loss,


you too.


John 11;35   Jesus wept.

The gospel uses a simple sentence with a very strong verb.  He knows and understands grief.  He walks into our pain with us, into the darkness and that is enough for now.

I am still looking for that sliver of joy, it will also come, I know.


Her new home...paradise!

Her new home…paradise!

I write a story every week, it’s called a ‘slice of life’.   Today I want to offer you a slice of pie, my mother-in-law Verlee’s  famous pie, with a tender, flaky crust and cherries bursting with flavor.  Her pie will leave you breathless and you will want more of this heavenly pie shaped and rolled in love for all who sit at her table to rest.  My mother- in- law was the best baker that I knew; she tried to teach me how to create the crust, the secret ingredient to many of her creations.  She didn’t just create pies… Mississippi Mud, Cream Puffs as light as air, roast beef dinners and glorious dinner rolls that she had learned to form from her own mother.  I never became a baker, but her lessons of living life shall never be forgotten


She left us a few days ago.  I am broken-hearted; a huge hole is left in all our hearts because as she kneaded and baked… she also so loved.  Tender loving her hands held mine for all the years Dave and I have been married.  Verlee loved me as a friend and a daughter.


In our wedding 36 years ago, Dave and I picked this famous scripture about Naomi and Ruth.  It is a story about a mother and her daughter in-law. 


In Ruth 1:16 it says…But Ruth replied to Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”  It is our story, mine and Verlee’s.  She taught me about strength when the things of this world were so hard.  She loved with a fierce love, her beloved husband Bill, all of her children, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren and great – grand- children,friends,  in-laws,  and yes… even some outlaws.  I know many of you understood how steadfast she was, how resolved she was with this message…

God loves you, no matter what you have done or where you have been, he is calling you back.


She whispers to me today.  She is telling me to tell you, that everything has been worth it, but relationships matter most.  And that you matter to God.


John 3:16 says For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that who shall ever believe in him will not perish but have ever lasting life.


I would have never guessed that this Mother’s Day would be the last time I would celebrate with her on earth.  But I know that we will know each other and love forever in heaven… together, with all of our earthly family who has accepted this amazing gift, this gift that our wonderful God offers to each one of us. 


And in that day Verlee will be serving us cherry pie, cream puffs and I’m pretty sure, Kenny will have his rice pudding special, because, after all, he is her baby!


I will miss her greatly, I loved my precious mother in-law, Verlee.