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Posted by on May 26, 2018 in Everyday Life, Heart Clutter, Reflections | 0 comments


I woke up this morning to the sound of rain.

That sweet sound that echoes itself in the masses and reverberates.

It honestly hasn’t stopped raining since.

Steady, unrelenting, pulsating, quiet, gentle rain.

And oh yeah. My dogs have yet to pee. We’re on hour four of pee strike and going strong.

Dachshunds are like that. Rain is against their low lying bellied bodies peeing in wet grass.

And here I am, sitting on the porch, facing the lake, listening to the ramblings of crazy fishermen (who must be part fish) fishing.

It’s a very odd feeling to have a lot of pressure all over you and then suddenly have it released. All of it. All at once. And then you’re left with the space in which to sort the rest of yourself out.

Sale of house. Emptying out house. Selling furniture and nick nacks.

All while being single.

All while having two awesome friends who I couldn’t have done without.

Singleness is not for the feint of heart. Singleness comes with packages.


By yourself.

Me, myself, and I.

While it’s true my family is there for me, it’s not the same. It’s just not.

When you are single, the only person you can truly count on day in and day out is yourself.

Which is why it’s so important to have a newish car that won’t break down.

And being able to keep pressure from others out of your own decision making so you can discern for yourself what you want.

And my goodness.

It’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve had that opportunity.

Nobody in my face asking me to make a decision or if paperwork is ready or even asking what it is I want.

I’m so over it all.

All I want is the space to think through my own path and to be allowed to do so.

In the meantime, I will bloom where I am planted.

My classroom is about to be my project for the summer.

My body is about to do some self help inside and out.

My mind is going to develop its own sense of normal not navigated by others.

I just love summer. Even when it’s raining.

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Posted by on May 21, 2018 in Everyday Life, Heart Clutter, Reflections | 0 comments

if not me, then who?

You know those moments in life where you wish you were-I dunno-asleep, laid out in front of the television set watching Kathie Lee and Hoda talk about the latest gossip, or even swinging on the porch reading a book with a dachshund on your lap?

Well, that’s about all I’ve been capable of thinking about the past few weeks.

What a tornado. What a hot mess. It all left me ready to check myself into the nut house.

Selling a house is no joke. Selling your things, trying to organize repairs that need to get done, reading and re-reading and misreading the contract about what could go and what could stay, and finally, moving out the two truck loads of things that I decided to keep, all what with being single and having to rely on some amazing friends to get me through it-is no joke.

I am thankful for friends who never allow me to feel the full weight of being alone.

And all of this on top of my normal obligations. And on top of letting go of a house that has a piece of my heart. And on top of having to do it all on my own. Quite the shit sundae.

But because of my friends who helped see me through all of the craziness, I saw an end, a pause button, and I felt hope. Hope that my house would be passed along to a couple who would love my house as much as I did. Hope that living each day for what it is would help bring me to where I need to be.

I sat in a poverty workshop last Friday, focusing on kids dealing with extreme poverty and extreme stress that goes with it and how to reach these kids.

And I thought of a friend of mine who overcame poverty.

Her family did not, still has not, but she has.

She graduated high school with honors. She graduated a local university with honors. She won the art department award. She received an unheard of scholarship to a fancy schmancy art and design school in New York City.

I sat in my classroom, thinking about the workshop and thinking about my sweet friend. I texted her to let her and explained my morning and explained that my pride for her accomplishments had been puffed.

And do you know that I just happened to text her in the middle of a situation where she was having some difficulty with family members?

How do you like that.

The world is a slap in the face. That’s about what it amounts to. Horrible, selfish, “the world centers around me” people end up married with as many children as they like, and as much as I hate the saying, “no good deed goes unpunished”….it’s true.

And in that poverty workshop, the one thing that kids like my friend had to get themselves out of the poverty cycle was hope. In the midst of not knowing where their next meal was coming from, or having to give up their beloved pet at the animal shelter, or a mom with cancer, they had hope.

It’s up to us to give that hope. To receive that hope. To not keep it to ourselves.

Because if not us, then who?

My friend is my inspiration to get out of my bed and get myself to work each day. Her former self would fit in my classroom exceptionally. My kids are her. She is them. And when I catch myself thinking, “they don’t stand a chance”….I think of my friend.

And of course they stand a chance.

If we allow them the chance to stand.

I’m about to say goodbye to this group of kids and close up my classroom for the summer. I am physically and mentally exhausted, but there’s a part of me that wonders where and what and how some of my kids will be this summer. I am not the easiest teacher in the world. I am pretty hard on my kids and I build them up to be better. But I do pray that I’ve given them hope.

If not me, then who?

If not them, then who?


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Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in Everyday Life, Reflections | 0 comments

three short stories.

three short stories.

I’m in a mood.

Well screw that.

I’m in all flavors of moods.

The sour one after you eat too many sour patch kids, the sweet one after a spring rain, the bitter one after the scent of wild onions slathers the air after you mow your lawn for the first time in spring, the tangy one after a surprise is revealed.

By way of explanation, testing season opened this morning. After thirteen years of holding my kids tribute to the state of Tennessee, I’m still not exactly positive how I feel about it. All I know is I hate it. No judging. Unless you know. No judging.

My beautiful house also fell under contract under twelve hours.

Yes. You read that correct.

Under twelve hours.

My realtor called me when I was on the way to meet my Rodan + Fields rep for sunless tanner to let me know my house had just hit the MLS. I got a call an hour later that I had my first showing scheduled. I got a text not thirty minutes after that saying I had my second showing. Three hours later my third showing was scheduled.

And at 8:15, I got a call saying I had an offer.

The house my mom and my dad and I turned from a very depressed, very lonely rental house to a vibrant, confident, and loved home has fallen under contract.

I’ve had God directly speak to me before, but this time, He took out his trumpet and blasted it full volume into my ears as quietly and as loudly as He could.

Allison. My child. It’s time.

And so at 8:30, I signed the contract.

I can only hope, I can only pray that these new soon to be owners love and brag about this home as I did, as I would, as I do.

And then we have Lucy. Oh, Lucy.

My mother ran into a representative from Zignatures Dog Food, the brand that I feed my girls. I came upon this brand because Annie has IBS (yes, puppers can get IBS just like humans) and hers has been diagnosed as allergy induced. Sooooo, I searched for a hypoallergenic brand and landed this one that is also hypoglycemic and has never been recalled. SOLD. The girls love it. The representative gave my mom three cans of the turkey flavor they eat. I brought them home and the girls devoured it. Like wolves. Like wildebeests. When I bought more dry dog food, I went ahead and bought them a couple of cans of canned food as a treat.

It was gone before I could blink.

Apparently, the memo never got to to Lucy, who woke up at 5am, and cried in my face for an hour before I finally got up, she raced to the pantry, and cried where I had kept the cans of dog food. I had to show her empty cans in the trash can, an empty bag where her food had been kept.

She promptly stalked off, ears as far back as they could possibly go, furious with her mama’s betrayal.

Anybody that doesn’t understand a pup is like a kid needs a 5am wake up call from a dachshund who is more or less the equivalent of an advanced kindergartener.

My life in three short stories in the past week.

I left out the part about how my water bill stated paid and actually wasn’t paid and I had to haul my ass down to downtown Johnson City with my receipt to prove that I do enjoy my water and I pay for such. But that part wasn’t the best shade of me, or maybe it was from a different angle. One never knows how a different pair of glasses changes how you see. I also left out the part about how I still don’t have the energy to unpack the last load of stuff in my car, so I’ve been driving around like I live out of my vehicle. Shockingly, only one person has picked up on this fact, and she’s an antique dealer, so I’m not so sure she counts.

In all of my self made chaos, the love, devotion, grace, and compassion of God has kept me afloat. I will never understand Him, but I stand underneath Him, as He stands underneath me. It’s like a puzzle that will never be solved but will be solved on a daily basis. He is my favorite enigma. I know I am His.


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Posted by on Feb 24, 2018 in Everyday Life, Heart Clutter, Reflections | 0 comments

because someone needs to say it.

I am a professional educator.

I was trained by the best at Lees-McRae College and by one of the best teachers in Avery County as my mentor teacher in my student teaching.

I furthered my training at ETSU by receiving my masters in reading and my reading specialist certification.

To get where I am today, I took a standardized state test in every subject from third grade up until my senior year in high school. I had to take four PRAXIS entrance exams to get into my teaching program. I had to take another to get my license. And still yet, another to receive my reading specialist certification.

I have the ability to coach reading teachers from prek to high school level according to my masters degree. I have the ability to read between the lines of a oral reading record on a kid to see what exactly is going on with that kid and what I can use to supplement and improve upon their reading skills.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

I also have been accused by my students year after year for having eyes in the back of my head. I learn how each kid sounds when they walk and I know when a set of feet are out of line. It drives them batty.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

My friends used to tease me because I could whip up lesson plans and papers like a cake in college. Give me a syllabus and I’ll fill in the blanks.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

I’ve been through two hours of active shooter training each year of my teaching career. I can tell you in detail how the Virginia Tech shooting went down, how each room response related to deaths and survivors, and how the Aurora theater shooting went down as well.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

I have learned that exits are my friend. I know which cars belong in the parking lot and which look strange. I’m usually the first in the door in the mornings at school and I know there shouldn’t be any other vehicles in the lot. If there are, my gut winces and wonders. I’ve read articles about the differences between a normal gun shot wound and a wound from a semi automatic weapon. It is eye opening.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

I am a pain the butt to several congressmen in Nashville. I even had an assistant to one senator sigh when I told him who was calling. I call that a victory.

But I don’t know how to stop a semi automatic weapon.

My point is simple: I am so over all of these opinions on what to do, how to do it, throwing guns into my classroom, blah blah blah blah blah.

  1. More guns don’t solve the problem. A nine millimeter can’t hold a candle to the weapons of mass destruction (which is what they are). Diane Sawyer actually did a segment on this very idea. She brought in ten gun owners of various abilities, from expert to beginner and gave them all the same active shooter training. Each person sat in a lecture hall and a fake active shooter entered. Each “good guy with a gun” was shot and killed. Well, paint ball style, but a couple weren’t even able to reach for their gun.
  2. If I were to have a gun, should it be holstered to my waist throughout the day? Will I be provided with a bullet proof vest? Heck, should we have the PTO raise money for all children to have a bullet proof vest? Should I run to my gun or my kids? Which should be the priority? What about crazy kids? Even if kids don’t know which teachers have a gun in their room, believe me, they’ll figure it out. Kids are smarter than you give them credit for. And this whole idea that teachers could’ve had the last active shooter down flat is preposterous. Panic is a fickle creature and a powerful one at that. Panic changes the entire scenario. I would only trust trained military or the SWAT team in a panic situation. Not an educator trying to protect their kids.
  3. What about simply demanding that our schools are set up safer? What about bullet proof doors? What about armed intruder protections such as cameras throughout the school that have a live feed directly to the sheriff’s office? What about metal detectors at our high schools? What about being given the ability to call out bullying for what it is instead of dancing around it? Bullying is allowed in full force in this country, since the president is allowed to do it. That sends a powerful message to our youth, whether we think we teach them everything at home or not.
  4. We need to learn to love our kids more than our right to weapons of mass destruction. PERIOD.

So I guess I’m the “other bad guy” now. I’m alright with that. Full disclosure: I have begun to go to the shooting range myself. And I have really enjoyed it. It’s stress relieving and it’s not a terrible idea to know how to shoot. I’m not banning guns. I’m not running a red pen through the rights to guns to protect your family or go to the shooting range with in tow. I’m saying we need to look at these high school students as an example to all of us. They stood up. In nine days they have forced major change. Kids. The kids that we make fun of, the kids that we call “entitled brats”-these kids will be old enough to vote in the next election and special interests won’t be able to buy their opinions as they have bought so many in congress. They are the change, and they will be the change. They are amazing.

Because they will demand that the adults who have failed them stand up and do better.

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