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Blizzard! Home Is Where the Heart Is

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I can't get home

Maybe with a drone, certainly not even my trusty Subie with a car seat, would venture out in this weather. Sheets of ice, some obvious, some hidden, lurking.

Even walking like a penguin, I can't manage going out the door at the moment. 

My big poodle slipped on the ice today, and several of our friends. So obviously it makes sense to just stay put, read a good book, hang out on Twitter. Luckier this time, power is on. Makes one appreciative.

Mother Nature unleashed her fury this winter in Eugene. Maybe where you are, too. Ice storms, freezing rain, snow and ice have pummeled us pretty much non-stop for weeks now. I've been staying with my kids most of this time because my pellet stove broke and my house is freezing. The heat system can't keep up with the cold.

And the power was out for five days. I drove to school in areas strewn with mangled, downed trees, smashed cars, trees on roof, you get the idea. Eugene? Unthinkable. When I moved here I expected a mild climate. I have a lot of umbrellas. And layers.

Schools have been closed so much I'll bet school goes until end of June, maybe later. This is really tough on teachers to keep up the momentum.

Our school had four kids last week. I made it two days, then couldn't get there. Guilt ridden. Teacher Thom told me it wasn't safe to attempt it. Unimaginable, no littles. 

Being with Morgan is kinder joy, however, and memories in the making. She was bursting to get back to her school. One of seven in her class on Friday, pj day, a belated Polar Express and hot cocoa. I picked her up, carefully navigating the parking lot ice.

Go figure. No matter how prepared I thought I was, sometimes things just happen.

Weather. Life. How unpredictable. Weathering the storm.

I am home. Priorities

Home is where the heart is. And my heart is clearly here with my family.

How fortunate power is on and we are cozy and warm.

How fortunate we have food to eat. Stocked up ahead, and during a "window".

How fortunate so far no more trees crashing down. Like the one that hit my house.

How fortunate everyone is here together, safe today. Circle of love. A love fest.

Family engagement

Surrender and enjoy the 'staycation'. Family reading, board games, maybe a good movie.

Listen to and talk with each other. With no distractions, enjoy the quiet time.

Provide updates

Extended family and friends want to know what's going on, and number one, ensure we are safe and warm.

Putting up funny FB posts as well as weather reports, brings out our fun side.

Cell phone catch up and FaceTime. 


Pjs. Cocoa and popcorn.

Dance party is such a riot.

Twister. Shake your booty!

Snapchat. Love it.

 Make time stood still, fun!

Laugh. Lots. Tell jokes and stories. Sing. Make up lyrics.

Ok, a little You Tube and Go Noodle.

Watch The Crown on Netflix.

What I learned

Get a shovel. It can snow in Eugene.

Keep a good attitude. I cannot control this situation.

Bring more novels and junk magazines.

Napping A-ok. Take a break.

Do Pilates. Meditate.

Clean and do overdue projects.

Look at old photos. Maybe sort and organize.

Funny stuff

Send cat videos via Direct Message on FB.

More snapchat.

Be fully present

This is my opportunity to model good decision making for my kids. 

Use this gift of time to spend quality heartwarming memories with Morgan.

My chance to do nothing and clear my head. 

Celebrate the good in our life as a family. Share our gratitude.

Lesson Planning

All the kids are due back at school Tuesday, so I have a few more days to rethink what worked last week and transition after so many weather days. 

If I can get there. 

My creativity is in high gear. Combining phonemic awareness, sight words and word families with geography, for fully included ages 2-8. 

Life Lessons For Us All

Having a positive attitude in all difficult situations and making the best possible choices in fractions of time, test us. I know now that eventually life will thaw again, trails open up and flowers bloom. It's like that. 

Each life season offers us opportunity to celebrate the positive, work on whatever we need to fix, then move beyond whatever stuck us to the past, even what wasn't working.

I knew, after living in the mountains with my husband for many years, to always have a secondary heat source. I was really angry with myself for a couple weeks I was stuck with a dud pellet stove, of all things.

Then I reframed it, and got it right. My other Eugene home was waiting for me, their fireplace is perfect, their hearts filled with love.

Leaving footprints on your reading hearts, Rita




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Modeling the art and craft of teaching reading for 47 years, Mrs. Wirtz taught language arts, speech and reading at all levels preschool-adult, including penal. She served as Pre-school and K-6 Principal. Rita was also a Curriculum Consultant, ESEA, Title I Program Evaluator and literacy trainer. At the university level she taught school administration in the Bilingual Cohort at CSUS and National University, Sacto. Mrs. Wirtz also taught all reading courses for Chapman University for many years in Sacramento and Placerville, Ca., and mentored student teachers. On the national level she was a well known motivational Keynote Speaker and Seminar Leader. Most importantly, Rita walked the talk, teaching with teachers in more than 500 K-12 and special needs classrooms. Rita authored books, publications and Pre- YouTube, videos were filmed by San Diego County Office of Education. Calif. ASCD authored companion book guides, and Calif. school districts correlated her basic skills instruction with State Standards. Mrs. Wirtz' newest book is Reading Champs! Teaching Reading Made Easy, a review of the basic building blocks of English and Reading. Rita is currently teaching in a multi-age, fully incuded preschool, ages 2-8. Find Mrs. Wirtz on Twitter @RitaWirtz, Facebook and website- www.ritawirtz.com.

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Guest Sunday, 26 May 2019