Day 12

Hi everyone,

On April 2 Sandy and I were exposed to someone who the following day began feeling bad, was tested for novel coronavirus, and on April 6 learned the test results were positive. The Greene County Health Department placed us under quarantine for two weeks from April 2 with instructions to take our temperatures and report them twice daily. We’d read that in most people the incubation period of Covid-19 is five days but can be up to 11.5 days and in some cases longer. Other than sitting in the back yard on pretty days and taking a walk around the lake once we’ve remained inside. Robin and Tim shopped for groceries for us so we’ve been well supplied with basics and we’ve kept in touch with Robin, Jeff, Jennifer, and friends frequently by phone, text, and e-mail.

If you can’t go out to play, being cooped up with your best friend isn’t that hard to do. Being together is what we promised each other when we started our life as a couple. Today is Day 12 since the exposure. Neither of us has developed any symptoms and our temperatures remain within the normal range. After the first few days our worry factor subsided considerably and although we continue to be concerned, we feel safer with each passing day. Our quarantine period ends at midnight on April 16, and it will be wonderful to be free to leave the house again for groceries or meds, but we’ll wear the nifty masks Su Hutchens made for us and continue to observe the stay-at-home order.

Thank you!

Hi everyone,

Wow! I loved all your wonderful wishes yesterday for my birthday. I wanted to answer them all but fell behind and couldn’t keep up. But I read each one and smiled and thank you for taking the time.

A few years ago I keynoted a conference that fell on my birthday so 1,800 people in the audience sang Happy Birthday to me. It was great fun, but those fine folks sang because I ask them to. Yesterday Su Hutchens called from a 3rd grade class where she was substituting in Colorado so her kids could sing Happy Birthday to me. They sang because they wanted to, and it was SO much better. Su, thank you again. Please tell your students again how much I loved hearing their voices.

Oh lordy, I gots da windshield blues

Hi everyone,

Today’s sad story is reported by our pal Su Hutchens. With her permission I’m reprinting her note to me here. As you can see, this poor lady deserves a carload of poor babies and maybe they should be poetically phrased. Just saying.

Here’s the story…

I got my new car (a Rogue) two years ago. Had it about two months before a rock was thrown up on a gravel road and caused a big chip. The chip has steadily grown through the two years, but was on the passenger side, so it didn’t mess with my vision while driving.

About six weeks ago, my car was at Denver International Airport, and on the very day we flew home, there was an awful hail storm at the airport. In fact, our plane wasn’t allowed to land because of the storm, and we were diverted to another airport on the other side of the Rocky Mountains for a few hours.

You guessed it – the windshield was really busted now.

Today, we took the Rogue to Cheyenne to have the windshield replaced, along with the windshield on Danny’s truck, which was also broken. (The windshield place LOVED us today! Ha!)

I joked with the young lady at the windshield place…wondering if Danny or me would get the first chip.

Guess I tempted Fate, and she got even with me!

I had not even had the car for an HOUR, and was on the way home (just a few miles away!) when a pickup truck coming towards me on the gravel road that leads to our house kicked up a rock and…you guessed it…I now have a chip in the new windshield! The “starburst” around it is about the size of a quarter!!!! Oh yeah – the chip is down low on the driver’s side…of course!

I sure hope my phone wasn’t “listening” to me while I spewed a few choice words!!! (I can’t be mad at the truck driver – he even waved to me as he went by! This stuff just happens when you live in the country!)

Anyway – I called the windshield place, and they said to come back tomorrow and they’ll repair the chip for me.

Goodness gracious! It’s always something, huh???

Hope you and Sandy get a chuckle out of my sad tale. Honestly, I’m laughing about it now. It just wasn’t funny a few hours ago!


Wonderful weekend wonderful week

Hi everyone,

Over the weekend we had a good visit with friends from Colorado, Su and Danny Hutchens. Yesterday we all drove to Mansfield and toured the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. Almost the first things we saw were a sculpture and a painting on display by Cheryl Harness. Bill Anderson was in town for first ever children’s literature festival and other Wilder business. Got to meet Bill’s brother Jim Anderson and also was introduced to Christopher Radko, creator of the Christopher Radko line of Christmas ornaments.

Now I see a clear week without a single meeting or appointment scheduled during my working time. This is rare and I look forward to making things happen this week. All day every day it’s onward and upward!

Missouri Reader on poetry

Hi everyone,

There is more to this issue of Missouri Reader but a large section of it is dedicated to poetry. My thanks again to Sam Bommarito and Glenda Nugent for all their work to create this special issue of the Missouri IRA journal.

To see the entire issue, click on this link. To turn pages, hit the arrows at either margin. To increase font size, roll the top of your mouse forward or backward. To move around the page, move your mouse where you want to be. In the poetry section you’ll find beautiful articles by Mary Jo Fresch, Tim Rasinski, Eric Litwin, Melissa Cheesman Smith, William Kerns, Betty Porter Walls, and Molly Ness. My article also highlights our friend Susan Hutchens, April Halpin Wayland, and Missouri poets Constance Levy and Peggy Archer. Together it’s a joyful tour of how poetry enriches the learning experience of students and it provides numerous ways for teachers to make it all happen.

I hope you will give this issue a read and share it with as many people as you can. It is highly unusual to dedicate so much of an entire journal to the subject of poetry. Sam and Glenda have done their part so now I’d like to see the link shared as widely as possible. I haven’t asked if the editors would allow articles from this issue to be reprinted in other reading journal across the country, but I feel confident they would be happy to discuss that possibility as well as other ways of getting out the word!