Category Archives: Humorous Column

Grandma’s rules

IMG_1835I have always considered myself a rather strict grandmother. I believe children thrive the best when they have rules of conduct. Above all, they should never tell lies…like the whopper their grandmother is telling right now.

Okay, so my grandmothering techniques are a little “lax”, should we say. I still have my own sense of order when the grandchildren are here. Like the prime rule: whatever the grandchildren want is what they get.

I was excited to have the children here for a week to visit, but it was an unusual visit, since their mother and aunt were coming with them. Arthur, the younger boy, was openly aghast at this arrangement. Explaining his chagrin to his mother may have given her some warning of what was in store, “But Mom, if you are there too, it will take away our fun!”

Stefanie, the mother in question, related the conversation to me, with a question in her eyes, but what could I tell her–I had no idea what he might have meant by that. She implied that perhaps the children and I were in cahoots against her, but that is just silly…isn’t it?

How things were going to be different this visit was clear from the first morning. Royce, the older boy, fixed his morning bowl of Fruity Pebbles (apparently they aren’t allowed this sugar..I mean, cereal at home) and was headed to the living room to watch some more Wild Kratts on television. Stefanie stopped him on the way past her at the dining room table.

“Where are you going,” she said with a severe look (okay, it looked severe to me). “We have a rule about not eating in the living room.”

Royce’s mouth dropped open as he stared at her, “Grandma doesn’t have rules.”

“THAT rule, that’s what you mean, right darling? You didn’t mean Grandma doesn’t have any rules, you meant she doesn’t have THAT particular rule,” and by this time in my mad rush to stop the leak in the dam, Mother, Aunt and grandson are all looking at Grandma like she is nuts. “Just remember, that the rule is you must eat on the rug in front of the television.”

With a small push, I sent Royce to the living room to sit on the rug that had never been designated as the eating spot before and I tried to smile nonchalantly at my suspicious daughters.

The week did not improve as the boys sought out their favorite activities at Grandma’s house, and I tried to convince my daughters that there were indeed rules to the game. For instance, the boys were allowed to play in the mud, but they were not to THROW mud at each other…of course not. We had never had a mud fight before, right boys? Also, when it came to tree climbing–they must stay on the low branches. Grandma had always forbidden them to crawl up further than that, because, of course, that would be dangerous and no fun, right boys?

Snacks were another issue. The boys thought they could avail themselves of the cheese crackers, toaster strudels, juice packs, etc., without any restraints. I set their mother straight on that early on, though, when I told her that their snacks were strictly regulated. I had distinctly told Arthur he could not have any more toaster strudels and I did not fix him the last two…his grandfather did! Certainly, the boys were required to eat a fair and nutritious meal when one was fixed, so neither I nor the boys could explain to her how those empty snack pudding packs had appeared in the garbage and why they weren’t hungry for the delicious dinner that had been prepared.

Okay, so my daughters may have discovered that things are a little loose around Grandma’s house when the grandsons are there, but the boys and I have come up with an ingenious plan for future visits: Mom will stay home and so will Aunt Tracie, because she might rat us out, too! Who loves you, boys??? Grandma does, and that’s the only rule around here!





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Regarding the millers in Miller

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been the invasion of the moths this last month. All at once, I went to the back door and found it covered in moths, all of them trying to gain entry to the house. This is a yearly occurrence but the yield of moths varies. This year, we have a bumper crop.

For those of you who are unaware, when I refer to millers, it is moths I’m talking about, not some hapless family named Miller. As a child, that is what we called them, but the wider world knows these dusty-winged little annoyances as moths.

It doesn’t really matter what you call them, millers or moths, everyone can agree that they are about as annoying as it comes. They fly everywhere, cover window and door screens looking for ways to get in and when they are in, they blindly blunder into the most inconvenient places at the worse possible times.

I  have heard from different people this year that they are finding moths, in abundance, everywhere. They are behind curtains, flying out of bookshelves and even following campers as they try to relax and get away. It is impossible to escape them.

My grandsons called them “gray butterflies” when they were small, but these nasty winged monsters do not resemble butterflies in any way outside of their ability for flight.  They love the lights, thus the phrase, “moth drawn to a flame,” but they have even worse obsessions.

I went to the garage the other morning and found a swarming army of them crawling over the window in the garage, blocking out the light and resembling something straight out of the outer circle of hell. Okay, I don’t really know what the outer circle of hell looks like, but I’m almost certain that if I were unlucky enough to be there, there would be moths crawling all over the windows.

For at least a week every year, the advent of the moths causes us to turn our house into a killing field. We chase them around with flyswatters, slamming them ruthlessly against lamps, windows, chairs and tables. By the end of any given evening our floors are littered with little gray bodies and we are stomping around like Godzilla in the streets of Tokyo, looking for more victims to feed our blood lust.

The worst moment came this week, when the vicious devil-monsters connived me into attacking myself. I was sitting under a reading lamp when I suddenly got the shadow of a moth flying across the page. I immediately jumped up and grabbed my fly swatter, ready to shoot that thing down like the Bloody Red Baron. The dog crammed herself under the sofa as usual.

I began swatting at the moth violently when I felt it fly into my chest. I immediately grabbed the front of my shirt to pull it out and look for the moth. It took the opportunity to fly down the open front of my shirt. When Roy stepped into the room a few seconds later, he was treated to the spectacle of my running around, trying to tear off my shirt while slapping myself repeatedly in the chest with the flyswatter.

“Moth,” I said, by way of explanation because of his incredulous look.

“I understand,” he said, “it’s miller time around here.”

Keep your heads down and your swatters handy!IMG_1860


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Updating the Princess Diaries

If Roy and I ever decide to divorce (and believe me when I say he’s not getting off that easy), I will no doubt name his faithful dog, Josie, as co-respondent. The dog, known not so fondly by me as “the Princess,” is the object of more arguments between us than money or raising the children. All right, the children are grown, but money is an issue, and the dog and her antics outweighs it!


The dog is notorious for her antics around the house and Roy is notorious for defending her. Thus, “the Princess” has spent her life getting in trouble with me and wiggling out of trouble with Roy. Of course, when hunting season comes in the fall, she proves why she is so popular and I lose those arguments: she can chase and retrieve pheasants and I would rather be at ground zero in a nuclear blast than even try such a thing!

Her most long-standing trick has been her ability to plant her grubby front paws on the counter in my kitchen and check out whatever has been left there. She has an agreement with herself–if it’s food, it’s obviously just missed her bowl and landed on the counter, so she should not bother anyone and should just eat from there. If we happen to have left the butter dish open, she licks it so clean, you’d never know it was used. That’s just her being polite and neat.

She also enjoys dish towels, hot pads and particularly damp dish cloths. I don’t have to leave any of those things very long. She has a regular scouting cycle throughout the house and even when she doesn’t, she still has a radar. She can be lying prone on the living room floor, oblivious to all around her and I will lay a dishtowel gently on the counter and a five-alarm bell will go off in her head. Before I can make it from the kitchen to the living room, she is magically back, dishtowel laying peacefully by her side.\

Roy has been very indulgent about these forays by her. So while I am wiping the dirty paw prints from my counters and counting up the losses from her latest raid, Roy is sitting with the dog innocently at his side, piously advising me to better protect the things in my kitchen…that have every right to be on the counter…and not be confiscated by a stupid dog! He pats the Princess on the head, chanting, “Poor little dog…”, the dog sits beside him looking as if she would never dream of jumping on a counter, and I have visions in my head of both of them falling through a trap door into a large hole in a tragic “accident.”

This week, however, the Princess may have overstepped her bounds. I baked some banana bread, something that is close to Roy’s heart. We each had a slice or two of the fresh banana bread and the dog sat and pretended she wasn’t looking at us. The bread was carefully put away.

The next day, I got out the cutting board, knife, and bread and cut a couple of more slices. I just knew I’d want more, so I left it out and told Roy that it was there. He went out within two minutes and called back, “What, did you put the bread away already?”

I knew before I went out what I would find. The scene in the picture above only tells half the story; the rest comes in the form of a guilty-looking dog, standing in the doorway with crumbs still on her snout.

Roy was distraught. “I didn’t get to eat hardly any of the bread. How could you have eaten all of it!”

I walked past the Princess and gave her a pat on the head, “Poor little dog.” The kitchen wars continue.


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My Mom-pants Mystery

IMG_1793It’s a well-documented fact that I am not much of a cleaner…I don’t clean, so much as I…oh, what is the word? Oh yes, I’m not a cleaner, I’m a collector….okay, I’m a hoarder. There, I admit it. My house is an explosion waiting to happen, loaded to the gills with half-finished craft projects, plastic bottles I don’t want to throw in the landfill and papers, magazines and books that I never will get completely read.

I’ve always known this about myself and I’ve been fine with it. But after this week, I have to wonder if there is some sort of “garbage gremlin” attempting to work evil within these walls. I’m not really all that upset about the idea, and that’s because other than this thought, the most exciting thing that has happened to me this week was that I opened a new container of Metamucil fiber powder!

It was the mom pants that really started this line of thought. I was cleaning the back bedroom in my house which kind of serves as a “catch-all.” Don’t know what to do with those canceled tickets to the concert? Toss them back there. No place to file those out of focus pictures of…someone’s birthday? Lay them on the desk. Can’t find a place to keep those plastic bottles and empty paper rolls that you just know you’ll find a use for? Plenty of floor space in the spare bedroom.

After a few weeks of this kind of treatment, the room begins to look pretty bad. At times, I forget there is even a bed in there at all.  So this week, I decided to clean (by that I mean shift messy piles around and make them neater piles). And always, when I clean, I come to each item and I can say, “Oh yes, I remember where this came from, I was going to sew the buttons back on this, so I could wear it again.” And I carefully place the maxi-skirt in the eleventh pile it has occupied in 30 years. But I always know where they came from and why they are there.

What I didn’t expect this week was the discovery of the strange grocery bag. Yes, I have plenty of grocery bags, but this one was from a store I’d never heard of. I cautiously looked inside, because occasionally when I don’t know the outside package, a mouse or other creature has been located inside.

All that greeted me was a box with “conversation starter” cards, you know, those suggestions for small talk like, “so, do you like the toilet paper over the roll or under the roll and do you believe this has a religious significance?” or perhaps, “did you do some type of drugs in the 60s, or did you get this confused unaided by chemicals?”

Those were not the largest mystery, however. I also found a pair of women’s jeans in the bag. Perfectly good jeans that did not in anyway resemble anything that I own. Keep in mind, I have an aversion to jeans…I would rather wear tight burlap sacks strapped across my legs and a little too short in the inseams. Add to that the fact that they were nowhere near my size….never mind what that is!

Of course, the obvious solution was that one of my daughters brought them on a visit and left them. I consulted immediately. The older of my lovely progeny immediately rejected them on the basis of size and name brand, but she did request that I send a picture, which, as you can see above, I did. On receipt of the picture, my lovely younger child dismissed the whole thing with, “What, you think I’d wear Mom pants?”

This brings us to the mystery. How DID these pants appear in my back bedroom? Pants that either don’t fit the people in my family or that are too…mature-appearing. What are mom pants, anyway? I repeat my previous statement–I must have a garbage gremlin who is depositing mysterious items in my private clutter. I am outraged. I want those mysterious mom-pants out of my house.

I’m keeping the conversation starters, though. And by the way, “if a tree falls alone in the forest, is it liable for damages?” Wait, that wasn’t quite right!

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The story of Roy’s stepchildren

IMG_1791Okay, I bet I know what you’re thinking, “When did Roy get stepchildren and what do these tomatoes have to do with anything?” I promise you, it all fits together and I’ll explain.

I have never claimed to be a master gardener or anything like that. I have, over the years, started many plants from seed, pretty much all of which barely made it out of the “popping out of the ground” stage. At the present moment, I have an outside garden in which radishes and peas are making a sporadic appearance and beans and carrots have apparently elected not to appear at all. The tomatoes and peppers were bought as mature plants and have been holding nightly meetings to come up with new lists of demands—not enough sun, too much water, etc. I don’t think they like the neighborhood!

This is not necessarily a discouraging thing for me. I am used to failures on the gardening front. I have even come to accept and embrace those failings. I admire the flowers and plants of other people with a big smile on my face and a silent curse on their green thumbs stuck in the back of my throat…okay, maybe I am a little bitter.

But this spring, things are different. As you can see from the picture, I, me, Jackie Fauth, the plant killer, have raised six tomato plants from seed! These little girls are all mine due to my diligence, tender care, and maybe even the lullabies I have been singing them. That’s right, they LIKE my singing!

Every day, I go out to the garage to the table by the window with just the right amount of warmth and sun and I give water to them and I praise them–obviously, Prunella is the biggest and most beautiful, but I try not to have favorites, because Jammy and Saucy (the most size-impaired ones) get very jealous.

Roy has been watching this development with pretty much no comment. He does keep pointing out in a carefully logical voice that they are way behind the others and probably will never reach the point where they will squeeze out a tomato before the frost hits. He doesn’t know that I plan to keep them in the house this winter…maybe on his side of the bed!

I have been taking my girls out each day for a little sun. We have a visit; I tell them what I’ve been doing (yes, it HAS been a long pandemic, why do you ask?) and they show me their new leaves and the rate at which their roots are growing. We have a wonderful relationship and I really feel like a Master Gardener.

This week, however, I have begun to realize that Roy has perhaps unknowingly (but I don’t think so) been abusing my girls. I go outside and find them sitting ON THE GROUND with no thought to their well-being. When I complained that he was not providing them with the proper amount of moisture, he SPRAYED them with water! I went out to check on them and they were laying over, looking so sad.

“What did you do to them?” I raged. “Look at them! They are distraught!”

“I watered them, along with all the other plants,” he said, looking as though I’d lost my mind.

“You don’t dump water on their heads!” I was outraged. “You sprinkle some water GENTLY around their roots, or better still, put it in the bottom of the tray and they can use it when they are ready. They are traumatized; it will take me hours to get them comforted and back to normal.”

“Something’s not normal around here, that’s for sure,” he muttered as he started to walk away.

“Another thing,” I had just remembered, “I came out here yesterday when the wind was whipping and found these girls, BENT OVER, they were so terrified of the wind. How could you do that?”

It was then that he made reference to three things: 1) My gardening was a trifle obsessed; 2) Mental health needs to be carefully nurtured and 3) He didn’t sign on to this marriage to play stepfather to a bunch of tomatoes.

Some people are just selfish!

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Yoga not what I envisioned

woman in black tank top and black leggings standing near wall
Photo by Retha Ferguson on

Jackie Wells-Fauth

In case anyone is having problems with their eyesight, no, the woman in the picture is not me. I put it in because when I think of yoga, this is what I always envisioned. A beautiful, graceful stand on only one leg. My yoga is as similar to this as a flying cow is to a fairy (me being the cow, of course).

I have to admit I’ve come to the world of yoga rather late in the game and I may not be looking for the same things out of it that others are. I was told that if I did yoga, my balance would improve, my overall body toning would be better and I would experience things I never had before. One of those is true, but not exactly in the way they may have intended. The experiences have been profound!

Since I started late, I started slow, with a yoga for seniors routine. Now, the woman who was demonstrating the procedures had gray hair, but she didn’t bend like any senior I have ever seen and I certainly didn’t bend anything like her. She would demonstrate a move with precision and grace and I would follow with inaccuracy and imbalance. My eyes bulged, my joints popped and my body moved with all the beauty of a hog in the mud waller.

I was determined, however, and little by little, I began to master the moves she showed me. And most days, I am able to put my body in regular motion within a few hours of having done my yoga. I haven’t mastered that standing with my hands folded and one leg up, though. Oh, I can fold my hands all right, but that makes it difficult to grab the things around me when I attempt to bring my leg up and balance on only one limb! Now there’s an experience I never had before, so maybe all that hype is right!

Starting small was the theme of this project and so I am learning to do squats and body twists and ankle lifts. Well, I think I’m doing the squats correctly, as long as I don’t watch myself on the bends. I do a fair job of body twists, but when it comes to arching my back and staring upwards, I still see spots before my eyes…although maybe not as many;  I haven’t counted. The ankle lifts have been very helpful, but there again, I don’t like to watch that move. I think I’m being very graceful and ballet-like and a look in the mirror tells me that one wrong twist and the ballerina will be permanently scarred…not to mention the damage to things surrounding me if I go down.

So, the yoga actually has helped me with balance, and I know my body moves a little better and definitely I’ve experienced things I never did before, so I may have to amend my previous statement and admit that yoga has been beneficial. And if I ever master that standing on one leg with my hands folded, it’ll probably be because I’m actually leaning on the kitchen counter behind me. Happy yoga to you all!



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Put a mask on it…

94590223_3061795107192232_1116854340645027840_oI remember seeing world news over the years where in large, metropolitan areas, people wore masks. Either there was a lot of illness (although not like now) or a lot of smog or someone was just susceptible. I always felt bad for those people. Imagine my surprise to wake up one morning and discover that WE are those people!

Now, I’m not really here to debate the subject of whether we should wear masks or not. If you want to go without a mask, do so, but as for me and mine, I think we’ll wear masks. Our choice.

The real issue here, of course, is what kind of mask to wear. I have heard a thousand debates and a thousand types of masks touted and I am still not quite sure. I know we are not to wear the N-95 masks, as our medical people need them far worse. Since the 3-Ms and other mask-making businesses of the world are busy making those masks, we must fend for ourselves.

Now, I spend way too much time on Facebook and that has never been more apparent than now. If you spend five minutes on Facebook, someone will be showing you a new and more clever way to make masks. There are patterns and tutorials for every conceivable style of mask. And it changes quickly. Straight across the face masks soon gave way to a more fitted mask, which gave way to masks you didn’t have to sew. I like those best.

There is the heel of a sock mask, but I had problems with that. First of all, you have to cut up a perfectly good sock or you have to use one of the mis-mated old ones in the back of your drawer. I didn’t have any new socks, so I tried the mis-mated one. Now, I KNOW the sock was clean, but there is something about putting my nose in a sock that has been on my foot, that makes me very reluctant. I know there’s no smell, but trust me, there’s a smell!

My husband had a similar problem after I came up with the idea to use an old padded bra. I saw a great tutorial on cutting the cups apart and even using the elastic from the straps to secure it. Then my husband weighed in: he would not appear in public with half a bra strapped across his face! Some people are so fussy, but lucky for him, I couldn’t breathe in it, so I couldn’t wear it either.

In the end, after trying paper towels with staples, coffee filters and those neat ones you can make with a handkerchief and two pony tail holders (I couldn’t) I was getting ready to buy one made to look like a Minnesota Vikings poster or a cow licking its lips or even the one that looks like you have your faced shoved in the front zipper of your jeans.

My lovely daughter rescued us from that by making us some wonderful, durable masks. She sent them to us, along with a batch of delicious cookies, so we couldn’t resist showing our ingratitude with the picture I have included. We figured out how to eat the cookies and use the masks, but I will never again take for granted the simple act of drawing a deep, unimpeded breath…if I ever feel safe enough to go out without a mask again!

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Cleaning ditches causes b…., well, you know

There’s a little tradition that we have in rural America that I think is relatively unique to our small-town existence. It is the tradition of cleaning the ditches…twice a year civic groups, church groups, youth groups, etc., trudge through the ditches of our major highways, picking up the things that someone thoughtlessly or accidentally sent out a car window as they were traveling.

Now if you have ever done this, you know what an adventure it is. You have your giant garbage bag which is so large it trails out behind you, your gloves that will hopefully withstand anything up to and including Superman’s x-ray eyes, and sharp vision, ready to sort out those semi-decomposed pizza boxes hiding in the weeds.

It is my firm belief that beer and soda pop companies should be required to package their beverages in loud, patterned cans so they are easily discernible in the grass. As I’m staggering along, I sometimes don’t see those cans or bottles because their general makeup camouflages them. And there are some people out there who should seriously think about joining the baseball major leagues, because from a moving vehicle, they managed to pitch some of those things quite a distance. I rescued a number of them from the fence line on the far side of the ditch. I’d be impressed..except I probably shouldn’t be impressed by the people who throw their trash out the windows.

It’s true that you just never know what you might find. Last night’s haul included a lot of pizza boxes, a disquieting number of beer cans, some huge pieces of corrugated cardboard that didn’t want to fit in my bag and a number of latex gloves which were designed to cover not just the hand, but the whole arm; like something a woman might wear with a formal. I’m sure there’s a legitimate purpose to those gloves, but my imagination is working overtime on what they might have been protecting the hand and arm from. Needless to say, I handled those with the all the delicacy of a box of nitro-glycerin! The most exciting thing I found was a small calendar with a nude man decorating the top. And there was I, wondering what I was going to hang in that little nook in my hallway!

Things we are picking up are only half the fun. That mile and a half walk on uneven ground, through long grass which feels like sand or snow drifts is always fun. I like to think I’m fairly attuned to walking, but after ditch cleaning, I’m always humbled. The grass and sloping ground is hard enough, but add to that the fact that there are many holes dug by some animal or another, which make the possibility of shoving your foot down one and twisting an ankle very exciting. I have to admit to you that by the time I have drug through those ditches, I am so tired, that I sincerely believe that I would not notice a dead body lying in the weeds unless I trod directly upon it…and then I’d be too tired to put it in my sack!

Besides the trash in the ditches, there is always the adventure of the critters who actually live there. Nothing is such a thrill as picking up  a piece of plastic or cardboard only to uncover the snake or mouse that is living under it. They are understandably outraged by the disturbance and they are also not too crazy about the shrieking and stomping around that I do!

Ditch cleaning is over for the spring and in truth, I’m happy to do what I can to increase our environmental beauty. All that’s left for me now is to decide what to do with the trash. I mean, I know that the majority should just hit the dump, but I DID find a cigarette pack with four cigarettes in it. I mean, it IS finders keepers, right?


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How to be Teacher of the Year in the middle of a pandemic

Forgive the huge title, but I just can’t express the nature of this blog in any shorter or easier way. This year of “unprecedented, uncertain, unexplored, uncharted” experiences, has one more for me: how do you make it as Teacher of the Year in the middle of a pandemic?


First of all, just let me say that being selected as teacher of the year for my school is the greatest honor I can achieve. Any teacher who tells you that they don’t want to be teacher of the year is lying. Being Teacher of the Year is the educator’s Academy Award. And as you can see, the hardware is a whole lot cooler!

So, we’ve established: I wanted to be Teacher of the Year. I just never visualized it in quite this way before. Because to be Teacher of the Year on a normal year means honors and acknowledgement and recognition at graduation…along with the cool hardware. You are confident in your skills and you know just what to do in acknowledging the honor.

Now let’s cut to this year. I am going along, teaching my classes, boring some, inspiring others and generally lighting little fires under all of them…face-to-face, in the same old, teacher of the year way. Until the Pandemic hit. Suddenly, life has a whole new edge and so does the so-called Teacher of the Year.

While we were still in school, the Teacher of the Year was yanking her pens, paper, stapler, tape, you name it, out of the hands of startled students yelling, “I’ll do it! Don’t touch it!” And then taking the fore-named article over to the container by the door to douse them in hand sanitizer, while the unimpressed students were wondering to themselves just when the old girl had gone around the bend. Not very noble or sharing, but quite the germ-fighting strategy.

In addition, there was that added layer of Teacher of the Year finesse displayed every time a student coughed or sneezed. “I want that boy out of here, he just coughed for third time this week, and I’m convinced he’s infected!” Somehow, you might have expected the teacher of the year to be a little more sympathetic and a lot less pathetic, but the times, they are a-changing.

Now we come to that plague even greater than the coronavirus: remote learning. The teacher of the year is now reduced to sending out mind-numbingly long e-mails begging for those assignments not yet handed in…no, not from this week–you’re missing the one that I assigned a month ago–before school got out? Check the instructions I very carefully laid out for you in the remote classroom site! What? They’re not there? Hang on a minute!

Then, there are the endless videos. Until this pandemic struck, I had never videoed myself in any classroom environment because the wiggling and squirming I have to do to watch myself on film was just too painful. It does not become the Teacher of the Year. No matter, suddenly, I making videos on how to join classroom discussions or how to sew on buttons…”okay, you knot that thread like this, oops, that didn’t work, well, let’s try again…for the fourth time.” In case you’re interested, this year’s Teacher of the Year never did get it right!

I know there are many things out there much more difficult than having to navigate the waters of Teacher of the Year in a year where every teacher was pretty much teacher of the year…I just can’t think of any right now. So, I’ll put my beautiful hardware on the shelf where it catches the most sun, I’ll bask in the pleasure of receiving the honor and I will always remember it as unique. But if you see me standing stock still, looking out, as if at a large audience and smiling and nodding, you will know that I am envisioning the applause I would have received at graduation had those poor seniors had a normal one. Hey, even the Teacher of the Year can dream, right?

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May 9, 2020 · 5:00 pm

The 12th Speaker

I have been in the drama business for quite a few years. I coach it for students in my school, I have seen my own daughters involved in it and I write drama pieces as well. I know how hard it is to break in.

I’ve seen my daughters through a lot of action, so far. I remember well the time Stefanie piled her then-blond hair up in a bouncy pony-tail and played the wide-eyed, original ditzy girl in a community play. It was one of my favorite performances and it was hysterical because that was so not her, so it meant she could act. I remember Tracie’s first part which required her to simply drop a pail and look astonished. I remember thinking, “Well, was it just me, or was she pretty good at that?” It wasn’t just me…the next thing I knew my little bucket-dropper had the lead in the Christmas pageant.

I’ve been through many enjoyable performances since then. I wasn’t aware, however, that the family performance tradition might take in another generation. My two grandsons had begun the rite of passage of singing in school programs before I knew it and I was missing them, one after another. Of, of course I got to see video of it, but neither boy looked like they had a future on the stage. The older one looked unenthused and the younger one appeared to be fairly hostile.

That was, until this summer. By some miracle of scheduling, I was able to see my grandsons for the first time in their program…an end-of-vacation-Bible school extravaganza, complete with wild, tie-dyed shirts and orange and yellow headbands. I was elated. The younger one was going to be doing some singing and actions and the older one was going to speak!

Some of the older students had the main parts in the Biblical story of Daniel and the three faithful who were tossed in the furnace. The part of King Nebuchadnezzar was played by a feisty young lady with a real feel for the dramatic flair (take it from an old drama coach). But I was excited for my grandson, Royce’s part.

He came out and danced and went through the actions and words of the songs, which went very well. I got loads of pictures, fighting all the other parents and grandparents to get just the right shot. I even got some shots of my younger grandson, less hostile than normal, as he, too, joined in the singing.

“Here comes his part,” I whispered to my husband, excitedly.

“What part is he playing?” asked the proud Mama snapping pictures of her little ones beside me.

“He is Speaker Number 12,” I announced proudly and just then, he stepped up and in ringing, clear tones pronounced his one line and then moved aside to allow Speaker Number 13 to speak.

“Did you hear that?” I asked my husband. “He spoke loudly and clearly and right on time.”

“He didn’t even use the microphone,” his grandfather said, bursting with pride. “He’s a natural.”

So now, I add to the memory of his mother as the ditzy blond and his aunt as the astonished bucket dropper, the memory of my little orange and yellow flame-covered thespian in the memorable role of “Speaker Number 12.” You don’t think it’s too soon to book my tickets for his Broadway debut, do you?



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