Slice of Life: Road Trip

The day was rainy. 



And it was Sunday. 

It’s supposed to be sunny on a Sunday in spring.

The only thing to do is to hop in the car and find that sunshine.

Amazingly, we discovered some sun a few miles down the road with a waterfall blown backwards by the wind.

The many rainstorms this spring resulted in flooding in fields and roads and flowing off the edge of the grand coulee. We found some of those flooded roads:

This is the creek flowing by a small town, where some if it is drying up now:

In the small towns dotting State Highway 21, we discovered a hidden sculpture:

A unique hotel

a truck museum

A view of the big sky over sagebrush, a lake, the forest, and wheat fields— all in one view:

And the sun!

Hurray!  The sun!

SOL17 DoodleaDay 8 Love


I grew up Lutheran. I don’t know what that means today, but I know that I learned that Jesus Loves Me, and Jesus loves you, and we are to treat others as we want to be treated because God is love. And love means many things — it means love in the family– everyone in the family. It means love through caring and kindness in the classroom. It means love through friendship and reaching out to those who have no one. It means love through compassion to those hurt, hurtful, afraid, lost, angry, homeless, helpless. It means love of the earth to protect that which provides all that we need to live.

So I am so troubled by the lack of love in the world today, even in my country now where for some reason, immigrants and refugees fleeing devastation are no longer welcome, where the poor are seen with contempt, and where providing support for the unsupported somehow costs too much. I see no compassion in policies and in actions that strip the protections for the earth, the needy, the sick, the poor, the homeless. For sure, we were not perfect before — but we had the compassion to plan for those who may need help.

At one time in my life, I needed help. At one time in his life, my husband needed help. We needed help for food and doctors for our first, beginning families. Divorce does that, by the way– all those supposed laws against women now being forged by supposed Christians forget how often women must care for themselves and their children on their own. And there was help when I needed it. I am so thankful for that help, so I would never begrudge or feel contempt for those using the programs that help with health, food, shelter; I would not think of disbanding those programs thinking that those people need to “pull up their bootstraps” and find work. I know it’s not that easy, and unless you have lived in the lives of those looking for help, shame for judging their need.

But no matter what, I keep my values, and will do my part to bring them back, and the programs that help people when they need it.

How do you keep your faith, your values of love and compassion in these times?


CDC ACES Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Responding to ACES by CORELABERTEWA and a pdf summary

Immigrants and Refugees, see Larry Ferlazzo’s post.

Face Poverty

Brian Jensen on Poverty

Evicted by Matthew Desmond


A half apple squished

up against the littered curb;

He paused and stooped down,

picked up the apple, brushed it,

walked away and bit.


Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today:  Draw the concept of Love without using hearts or the color red

Doodling Song: My Own Two Hands sung by Jack Johnson, written by Ben Harper

SOL17 DoodleaDay 7 Inner Critic


How do you overcome your inner critic?

#DoodleaDay is helping me have that conversation — the one in the above doodle. It’s so common, isn’t it? Especially if you’re just starting a project of any kind. For me it was starting blogging, and then to keep up with blogging.

And now it is doodling– I doodle in lines and squiggles; I’m not an artist, but I think this doodling daily is improving that, along with overcoming my blogging arguments.

So my advice to myself and my readers is to to keep trying — and like that last part on the doodle:

we learn when we read and watch what others do,

so acknowledge those who went before

by honoring them with your take

on what was learned from them,

and share so others learn too.

Just go where your heart takes you and share it–

As sharing like this makes the world great!


Places I’ve learned:

Resources to Start Blogging:

The Fear of Sharing by George Couros 

A Series of blog posts on blogging by George Couros

Why Educators Blog: A series by Sue Waters from Scroll down for more posts

A JumpStart in Technology Class by Jennifer Gonzalez [I’ve take it; it’s awesome- my work here]


haiku sol17 blossoms hail.001.jpeg

Ideas blossom

Doubt hails to destroy, yet melts

to open thought’s bud.


This post is:

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today:  Inner Critic Conversation

My Doodling song — one of my very favorites:

Title Song from Star Trek Enterprise: Where My Heart Will Take Me (Faith of the Heart) originally written by Diane Warren, reworked by Dennis McCarthy for Star Trek Enterprise and sung by Russell Watson.


Doodle by Sheri Edwards

Blossom image and poetry by Sheri Edwards

sol17 DoodleaDay 5 DigiLit Sunday

FullSizeRender 45 doodleaday_nature.jpg

Today is Sunday. It’s great for two reasons: Margaret Gibson’s DigiLit Sunday and it’s the best day of the week for me. And today’s DigiLit Sunday is about Slice of Life, a March writing challenge by the The Two Writing Teachers that asks us to write every day in March about a slice of our lives, a moment in time.

So today I ask you to join in the writing, to write, because it is “hard fun,” as Donald Murray shares, and because writing clears and clarifies the mind. And in these challenging times, we need that. Won’t you join?

I love Sundays. For most of our Sundays together, my husband and I enjoy the light of day shining through the window as we sip our coffee, his black and mine with cream. We spend hours reading and conversing on any topic: news, politics, history, nature, discoveries old and new, how things work, philosophy. It’s relaxing and freeing to have no hurry pushing us.


Not only does Scott brew the coffee, he also makes breakfast: eggs, many ways. So the day is extra special for me.

In years past, we had hopped in the car to visit grandkids two hours away — but they do grow up 🙂 so we do that less.

Many times, during the school year, I would spend the afternoon and evening on planning for my next week as middle school teacher. But now, I’m retired. Note to teachers: take the day off; your time is precious. [Not that I regret it– I loved it, but teachers shouldn’t have to work so many hours.]

Most of the time we take a walk or hike around town or around the hills of our little rural town.


Mule Deer in the credit union field

coulee art.JPG

Coulee Art [and yes, we probably know who did this]

Many of my nature photos come from these walks [which we now take almost daily]. This Sunday, these fall leftovers still shared their colors:


Oregon Grape


Oak Leaf [not native to our area, but planted in the park]

Other times we hop in the car for that traditional pastime from both our childhoods: the Sunday drive. Today we drove along Banks Lake, which is still mostly frozen over from the cold winter.


Banks Lake in the Grand Coulee [an irrigation reservoir with year round fishing]


Steamboat  Rock [history]

Banks Lake is surrounded by the Grand Coulee walls. [See Glacial Lake Missoula history]


Moon over Coulee Wall

Following the highway we turned off at Dry Falls, the largest ever waterfall, but created during the Ice Ages.


Dry Falls State Park [part of Glacial Lake Missoula history]

That lake is 350 ft below viewing area!

There we turned around and headed the long way home around through the plateau wheat fields around Hartline, Almira, and Wilbur. We detoured to Govan to take this picture of what’s left of a one-room school house:


Govan School House at Sunset

Sundays are a Slice of Life each week. My walks are a Slice of Life each day. In these days of darkness with a totalitarian leaning president, be sure to take care of yourself. In everyone’s life, to celebrate and to reflect, write your moments, your Slice of Life. Be with your family; enjoy nature, whether you walk the cement jungle or the rural trail. And share your moments and their relief; let the doing, writing and sharing renew your spirit and connect you with others.

As a teacher, my students loved Slice of Life; I’ve written about it here and here. For strategies for writers to revise their slice moments, see the work of Ralph Fletcher and Steve Peha. They both provide for strategies for writers workshop and the six  traits of writing. Through Slice of Life and writing strategies, students learn what Donald Murray expressed, “Writing is hard fun.”  So often over the years, students have said during writing class after sharing, “You’re right, Ms Edwards, writing is hard fun.”

So, for reflection and learning, for hope in good and hard times, write for some hard fun.


Thunder rumbling

Angry words

Daily insults

Inhumane turmoil

Get up

Stand up

Walk out





People laughing

Welcomed smiles

Daily kindness

Community cares

Lift up

Stand up

Walk in

Shake hands




Reflect inward

Connect thoughts

Write down moments

Humanity grows.



Coffee Photo: Sheri Edwards, AttributionNoncommercialShare AlikeFlickr

Deer Photo, by Scott Hunter, used with permission

Nature and Drive photos, Sheri Edwards [Creative Commons AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike

Doodle by Sheri Edwards


This post is:

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today:  Make a stain with a drink; Doodle it into something.

Doodling Song: It’s a Beautiful Morning by The Rascals


Part of Margaret Gibson’s DigiLit Sunday


Slice of Life


Rushing in with barely a ‘hello,’ but with scraps of paper in hand, students rushed across the room from their previous class and logged onto their computers in Google Apps.

“I’m ready for Slice of Life.”

“I’m writing about the fish I caught.”

“I’m writing about my brother’s birthday party.”

“I’m writing about the game last night.”

For most, I needed only to offer support and feedback when students asked. They popped over to read each other’s stories. They helped each other edit. The discussed what image would best fit. And most important, the students used their writing vocabulary: elaborate, dialogue, strong verbs, imagery, simile, sights, sounds, smells, paragraphing, netiquette.

And these students encouraged the hesitant ones.

The Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge is an exciting motivation to hook kids on writing. [How It Began and Slice of Life 2017]

I miss that.

So, I revised my menu for those students who did need some suggestions, and created it on my blog here, and will post below for anyone who would like to participate and may want some ideas for getting those hesitant writers.

BHS My Story


What’s my story? It starts on Avenue C. Click here to view “My Histro Map.”

“What is my story?” asks Mark Carman.

A story in picture and poetry above share a brief biography: My Histro or in docs here.

And as I learn and grow, I’ve revised and added to “Where I’m From:”


Where I’m From

I am from barefoot in lilac bushes

Shaded hideout and mud pies

I am from crab apples and roller skates

Hide and seek amongst fireflies;


I am from Chatty Kathy and paper dolls

Pebbles and Bam Bam scattered around

I am from basement play in make believe,

Treehouse fort and old rope swings;


I am from playing school in old time desks

Blackboard squeaks and Big Chief tablets

With wide spaces for small scribbles

in new colored pencils and cinnamon markers;


I am from books hugged close

As yellow elm and Russian olive leaves

Dance around in the swirls of autumn

Delivering me to the double doors of Will-Moore School.


I’m from “Dad Call Cindy” as Jeannie’s black lab follows,

In the alley we yell the words; she drops her head to stay

While we wander down to Elks swimming pool

Friends diving for dimes and swimming all day;


I am from splashing and chlorine ’til 5 o’clock closing.

Quick-stepping barefoot on hot black tar

Stopping a second at Dad’s Hedaul’s office

Hoping for help: “Can I have dime?”

Jeannie and I to Dairy Queen each

A Five cent chocolate dip

Finishes our daily swimming trip.


I am from Cousins, cards, and demolition cars

Peanut butter fudge high on the shelf in a bin;

Kids sneak the snack and Aunt Vera giggles;

her fudge frames my sheepish grin.


I am from Fishing, Wind, Toads, Sand

A lakeside cabin; a week of summer fun;

McIntosh, Tents, Hearts, and Solitaire Tournaments

Mosquitoes we slap and

Chipmunks we coax — quietly sitting, sunflower seeds,

presents held in our palms.


I am from Sturgeon, Paddlefish, Northern Pike,

Golden sunsets and sparkling sand

“Bottom’s up” warns each cast

A record fish and Daddy’s delight

Missouri River whirls, twirls,

keep safe from the current fright.


I am from slow, conversation walks through town

Vicki and I from her house to mine;

Empty pockets and time to spare;

On Floor 13 the janitor jokes we love to hear


I am from hours imagining through museum wonders:

Pronghorn antelope, buffalo,

Sitting Bull, Crow’s Heart, Four Bears,

Sakakawea, smallpox, Lewis and Clark,

Learning together on our own

Keeping cool in laughter, morning to dark.


I am from Skateboard down the capitol walk

chased away; always coming back;


I am from Judy and Ellen — we drive and dare

Dances and music; Teen Club midnights;

Catwalk dangers to sandbar capers

Curfew comes quick; watch the porch lights.


I am from Demonettes and Third Chair Drum

Calgary Stampede First Place Band

Summer Tour: Ghosts of the past

Yellowstone and Glacier Park


I am from Sixty degrees below zero

Windy walk wrapped in wool and leg warmers;

I am from one hundred degrees, thunderstorms,

Pouncing through puddles; laughing through leaves;


I am from knowing that through all these,

My mom is at home when help I need.


And now as years

Grow love and fears

I celebrate that I am from more:


I am from

hot, windy prairies

slapping mosquitoes

and skipping in the shade of

city trees

barefooted and free,

driving to refresh

to fish and to swim

in the cool wet shore

in the swirling power

of the Big Muddy;


I am from

bitter winters that

stole your breath

pushing your way

in the icy wind


of those barefoot days;

I am from

the wonders of story

read and written,


teens and preteens

to pen the power of their

stories and song

in a buzzing classroom

beside the multi-flowered meadow

in the shadow

of Moses Mountain;


I am from

Sharing my history

And love of nature

With two sons

Now men

Strong and caring,

Sharing their “I am from”


I am from

Scott and two

Daughters, now

Delightful mothers–

Chasing their dreams

Filling their lives


I am from

The wonders of ten

Wonderous grandkids,

Cousin camps







With grandma

And grandpa

Learning love

And where

They are from..


What’s your story?