Lessons Learned

So I had the best of intentions of writing some kind of narrative of every day in March.

Only to blow it on Day One.

I wrote on my blog yesterday morning but it wasn’t really a narrative so I didn’t post the link on the Two Writing Teachers blog.

I was pretty sure that I would have plenty of stories to tell after a day of volunteering at the Scholastic Warehouse Sale. (Thank heavens that the stomach virus was short-lived – they were BUSY yesterday and were more than grateful for the extra hands. The kids will be excited about the big box of books I brought home.)

I got home and went to the grocery store (to cover the basics just in case this storm that is heading our way actually does have some oomph to it and leaves us stuck at home for a day or two).

We got home from that and I grabbed my computer and phone and some reading material with the plan to type up a blog post. I found myself curled up with my son soon after that and read God Got a Dog and then started reading The Show Must Go On with him. A few chapters in, I told him he could read to me.

And that was the last thing I remembered until the alarm went off this morning.


So I didn’t get a chance to tell you about how my heart broke for the young man who was so enthusiastic about graphic novels and comic books that we had a great conversation about Bill Waterson (a fellow Calvin and Hobbes fan!) at about the time his mother began to holler at him that he could NOT get one more of THOSE books.

I didn’t get to tell you about the two giddy women who had $500 of money to spend on books for their students for a Literacy Night. It took them three or four trips back to the register to spend it all. They could hardly believe their good fortune – or that of their students.

I didn’t get to tell you about the two enthusiastic young student teachers I got to work with. They told me about getting to present at PETE & C this year and I told them to make sure that they were at PCTELA and NCTE in the fall. They told me about classmates from Elizabethtown College who presented in Boston last year at NCTE.

I didn’t get to tell you about the harried school librarian who was so happy to get books – but too overwhelmed to get them all cataloged between trips to warehouse sales because she has too many libraries to keep organized. She told me about how hard it is to keep up with everything – especially new titles coming out for the wide age ranges she needs to buy titles for. I scribbled her a note with my name (so she could find me) and Paul Hankins’ name and Nerdy Book Club (as good resources) before she had to rush off. I would have written in Teri Lesesne’s name also if I hadn’t stopped to remember how to spell it. I should have just written Professor Nana.

I didn’t get to tell you that I told every person I saw with a Barbara O’Connor book that she is the sweetest person I have ever met.

I didn’t get to tell you how giddy the one librarian was to hear about 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts when I saw that she had written in Wonder on one of her many papers.

The best of intentions can be there, but if we opt to do something else instead, those stories get lost in the shuffle and are left untold.

I wasn’t in the challenge for the prizes anyway. I was in it to encourage me to write, to pay attention to those details that are left unshared on most ordinary days and find a way to preserve and share them. I was in it to be part of a community I love.

And I’m still in it for those reasons.


18 thoughts on “Lessons Learned

  1. Cindy – I am also in it for the challenge of writing and today I set a timer or I might never have gotten something down. However, your post was so wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Timers…one of the best inventions ever. I swear I’d never clean if I didn’t set one to do just 15 mins of cleaning. Setting a time makes things feel more possible and less intimidating…and less like they will take over the rest of your day. Honestly, I think that’s one of my fears with writing. That I’ll get on a roll and not have the time to just keep going. (My guess is that this doesn’t happen all that often, but…)

  2. ell, I’m glad that you wrote to tell us about all that wonderful stuff, anyway, Cindy. What an amazing time you had at the book fair. Hope that young man was able to pick up a C&H book, too.

    • His dad made a reference to him being allowed to get the C&H book earlier, so I told them about the C&H documentary. I still haven’t seen it, but I recognized a fellow fan and figured I’d share the information.

  3. Sorry you feel you’ve blown it, but nothing could be farther from the truth! I’m thrilled to hear about all these things. Especially Mr. Browne’s 365 Precepts… I’m hitting that link right now! Thank you!

  4. I went to my first Scholastic Warehouse sale in Dec. and if I had $500 to spend – oh my I would have thought I was in heaven! I can’t imagine working one of those. I think my pile would have been to “infinity and beyond!” Thanks for writing today.

  5. Cindy, this is a wonderful post! I loved reading about the little stories about the different customers at the sale. I also loved all your tidbits about books, authors, websites and other helpful online personalities. It would have been a joy to be your customer at the sale!

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