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!

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?



Slice of Life Spring Break


Real readers find a place to read that’s cozy so they can relax and immerse themselves in the world of their tale. During lessons, they’re antsy learning new skills and they’re distracted by their neighbors. But during self-chosen reading, they’re cozy wrapped up in the wanderings in their new worlds, pulled into the their characters and connecting  to the action and conversation. They’re excited to share the antics of characters as they solve their problems. Sharing time starts with a burst of babbling we tame to take turns sharing the tales: from dinosaurs to diaries, wizards to warriors, each student spins the story or information that surprises them and keeps them reading the next day.

spring chalk

And during the short break during Chalk Doodle Granny Wacky Prize, we learn what’s really on their minds.

spring break chalk

So, grab a great read, find your cozy corner, and wander through a new world during your spring break!

Slice of Life 29th

dandelion painting

I’m looking forward to the first one, the one that dares poke it’s head into the neighborhood, the one that calls out, “Go ahead. Yell. But I’m still here.”

I do love dandelions with their sunny face beaming a, “See I’m here. I’m growing. I’m beautiful, and I’m here for you.” A sign in my room says, “My favorite flowers are dandelions because they refuse to stop growing.”

I refuse to stop learning; I hope my students keep that mindset — we certainly keep the idea and focus alive, letting it pop up like a dandelion to say, “Go ahead. Learn. Learn more. Grow like me.”

Slice of Life Posting

IMG_7753 pooka cloud

The cloud in the sky as I stopped at the curve looks like a happy puppy at far right, perhaps Pooka showing me the way around the detour.

The detour in my blog posting didn’t work out so well. I’ll need to read the directions for scheduling posts. I wrote three posts to schedule, but none posted.

They’re up now. I need a guide to get it done right…