Slice of Life Tuesday: Arrival

I grew up with a restless father – we were always moving from one big city to another, even at times from one country to another.  My college years were just as peripatetic, with many moves – some for good reason, and some because I was young and didn’t know any better.  By the time I was married and with small children to raise, I was ready to be in one place for a long time, at last.  But…jobs kept us on the move regardless of my readiness to call one place home for longer than a couple of years at a stretch.  I learned to be very good at packing and even better at unpacking: I could (and did) set up our household (with pictures on the wall, of course) in three days flat.

It took three moves just in northern New Jersey to get us to finally settle down, but we at last did, and then I had the luxury of not having to even think about moving for eighteen long years.  So, I guess I was out of practice for the move to our farm…and it showed.  We arrived on the heels of our moving van, and I was completely gobsmacked.  The contents of the van were unloaded with blinding speed by five super efficient men who needed to know, asap, “where does this go?”.  This should have been a simple enough question, but, as I said, I was out of practice.

When the truck finally roared out of our driveway and down our valley,  I just knew that the old “three days to unpack, with pictures” standard was a thing of the past.  I spent move in day trying to get my bearings and navigate the narrow pathways between towers of boxes (most of them, or so it seemed to me, labeled “books”), and trying to organize my thinking and prioritize.  It was beastly hot.  Our move involved several phases, one of which was to deliver furniture and belongings to each of our adult children in three different Brooklyn apartments on a blistering Sunday afternoon.  All of which is to say that I was not making much progress in the unpacking department.

The day after move in day was more of the same.  By late afternoon, drenched with sweat (and perhaps a few tears), I was ready to close up the farmhouse and find a nice bed and breakfast on a lake somewhere for a few days’ moving recovery time.

Then, the skies opened up and we had a brief summer shower – one of those lovely summer surprises, with the sun still shining in a small part of a still-blue sky.  And then, there was this:


Just when the human spirit needs it, sometimes, Mother Nature comes along to give one lightness and hope.  That afternoon, I needed both.


Poetry Friday: Going to Walden by Mary Oliver

Poetry Friday is hosted by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect


I think that Poetry Friday is the perfect time to launch a brand new blog for the brand new phase of my life: post retirement from teaching in a classroom, and on the cusp of venturing into the life of raising sheep and fiber farming.  I look forward to this Friday gathering so much – here, we celebrate the gifts of both poetry and the friendships that a communal love of poetry nourishes.  So, it’s only fitting to use Poetry Friday as a launching spot.

I’ve shared this Mary Oliver poem before on A Teaching Life, but, since the name of this new blog originates from the message of  this particular poem, I’ll share it again.   I’ll be thinking of it, especially those last two lines, on Tuesday, when I arrive to live at the farm and begin a new life.

Going to Walden by Mary Oliver

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