An august August, 2018

Find The top o’ August’s Poetry Friday organized here.

And the August Spiritual Journal Thursday is corralled here.


The request from a school recently fluttered my way.
We were to pick a number from one to 70.
I picked 50. For no other reason than,
of the numbers, I am devoted to the round circle,
often oval, zero.
And five is a great rhyme number.
Alive, connive, dive, FIVE, hive, jive, live, survive….

In some sparkle of serendipity, the #50 that I randomly selected
is the right # for me. The crackerjack school leader there,
formerly a Florida Teacher of the Year,
has her staff’s back, asking us to send a book,
along with a note of strong spirit &
advice for the 2018-19 school year ahead.
Just pick a #, 1 through 70. And my anonymous
teacher 50 turns out to be someone
who will shape the days for the next nine months,
of a mixed-age class of young ones assigned
to special education. My heart pinged.

Zero/ Kathryn Otoshi
Zack’s Alligator
Little Cloud
Sea Monster’s First Day
Catching Kisses
Waiting for Wings
She Sang Promise
& for the teacher, Grant Snider’s The Shape of Ideas

Some few of you know that intense life experiences
with two developmentally delayed relatives are woven
into the defining nature of my psyche.
Although a relative published some about the topic, I haven’t, much.
One of the developmentally delayed relatives let me know that my column
on the topic was unwelcome; my respect for that person brought me to the
decision that I can wait to publish. But it didn’t block my writing.
Among other pieces, I created & revised & revised a
critiqued novel manuscript for MG with the theme threaded through it.
Some day I feel I will publish on this topic.
My heart soars for any educator working in any setting with
developmentally delayed spirits. Although the Americans With Disabilities Act
is a wondrous thing compared to what was before, if you are involved with
special needs students you likely know there can be gaps, chasms,
entire sinking bogs.
However, knowing the leadership at this school that the little package
flew to this week, I think those bright kids in special ed. are
in brilliant hands.


And so I turn my attention to the half-there picture of my calendar year,
summer. On the writing front, I’ve moved forward much on my historical setting
MG verse novel. And summer isn’t over at the end of August because actually in Florida,
we call close on summer ’bout Oct. 1st. Am I correct, Florida folks?

Our June, July & now our August bring some ebullient moments.
From our front yard garden we have savored
not only figs from our own tree,
but also eggplant, first time for our suburban garden. Yup, from seeds.

And cherry tomatoes.
And hot Vietnamese peppers.
And soon to come green/red sweet peppers.
And a glory of red, blue, lilac, pink & yellow flowers.

We trekked to our big dunes.

We visited the starfish & shark of the home-grown coastal lab.

C. all rights reserved

We discovered a wayside tiki hut cafe we didn’t know was hidden where we had moseyed
hundreds of times before.
And when the beach is too hot to reach, we slip into our cool pool, if we
are not in a monsoon moment. And at the pool, hummingbirds zip low across
the water to drink from the flowers of the shrimp plants & purple cone flowers.
And we watch the skies for big birds and tall clouds.

I hope your August is sweet & that it is august for you.
I expect to be back with another post some time in September.

23 thoughts on “An august August, 2018

  1. What a wonderful way to start the year and how wonderful that you got just the right person for you. Writing what we need to and writing about our loved ones is so complicated. I hope you enjoy the rest of August and the rest of your long summer.


  2. Wow, Jan. So much to enjoy in this post. We have to write what we have to write, but sharing it publicly — especially when our stories are interwoven with those of people we love — that can get challenging. Glad you followed your heart. (Also, figs are my favorite fruit. I’m envious!)


  3. Wonderful, wonderful. I’m glad that we as a society are finally starting to realise that all children have gifts that they can share with the world, talents they can build on and which can be nurtured, whatever their ability or developmental level. As an author I’ve been able to connect with a local hospice that serves families whose children often have different levels of ability, and it’s been an absolute joy and a privilege – a challenge at times, of course, what all the best things in life are challenging sometimes!


    • Hello Jane. Appreciations for your thoughts & especially,
      for sharing about a Hospice program of which I wasn’t aware.
      Must be some fabulous people behind creating that focus.
      And so nourishing of you, to share your
      considerable talents with the worthy program.
      More thanks.


  4. So much goodness flows through this post. Those are lucky teachers and students to have such thoughtful leadership to solicit such thoughtful support as you have sent. Enjoy those ocean breezes and lovely flowers and veggies.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lucky school kids to get your book and fun backstory Jan! Sounds like you’ve got a rich cornucopia coming up in your garden–enjoy. We’ve had some strawberries lots of flowers, milkweed, bees, monarchs, and now cucumbers and sweet pepper are making there way. Thanks for this fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing your experiences in writing about a subject that may get some push-back from people you know. If the topic is important to you, write it, but as you so smartly decided, now may not be the time to publish it. Good luck!

    By the way, you grow figs? I don’t believe I’ve ever see in fig tree in person. I find that so exciting!


    • I hope you get to visit one in person some day, Diane. The flourish with fun-shaped leaves, like giant three-leafs clovers, the fruit springs! directly from a branch, with no flower & turns from lime green to turkey brown before your eyes. If you are in North Florida some sultry summer (but I don’t recommend that time of year for being here unless you are acclimated to the humidity + heat, as we are) would love for you to stop by. Actually, stop by any season 🙂


  7. It’s hard to believe you are going to travel away from your special place, but hope to see you later this “august August” at the Book Bar. I have a family member who had special needs in school, know whereof you write at least a bit. What a sweet teacher to make those plans. The ADA helps some, but now the admin is taking some parts from it, sad to know. Best wishes on your new project!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh what a fabulous post. I’m working on revising my novel in verse as well
    Figs? My husband would love a fig tree. Don’t think it will fit on our deck
    Enjoy August.


  9. We’re in Maine and it’s hotter than expected. But so healing to watch the quiet ripples on the harbor as the tides come and go. Jan, I love hearing that you’re making progress on your MG novel in verse! I just revised mine again and feel I’m nearly ready to start submitting.


  10. What a spectacular visit with you today. Devoted to the solidly round zero. Huh! I find that so satisfying. I only celebrate birthdays in which my age ends with a “0” or a “5”. So, again, I see how you are a soul friend. I didn’t plant vegetables this year….which surely would have drowned if I did. But, I miss the growing things in my suburban garden. It’s good to see them in yours. There is nothing, NOTHING like fresh eggplant. Enjoy every bite. I agree with Irene. So much to love. You are a treasure for sharing with us.


    • Hi dear Linda. Since you mention that a garden would have been deluged, hope you are not
      near the Lynchburg area flooding worries of this weekend.
      I know you are savoring these August weeks.
      Keep enjoying.


  11. Oh, the back-to-school initiative by that principal made tears spring into my eyes! What a gift to her teachers (and their students)!! And what a perfect pairing you got with your lucky number 50!

    Enjoy your August!


    • So glad you are moved by this #1-70 numbers fun, Mary Lee.
      And I agree, lucky duck me to select #50.

      Appreciations for your hosting Poetry Friday today
      & appreciations for your august August.


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