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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Good Day

A good day outside as well
In reflection, yesterday was a good day for many reasons.

I slept well--not a given--but something to be thankful for.  I had energy for the day.

A South Bend Water Department worker came in the morning and determined that our low water pressure was due to our malfunctioning water softener.    This seemed like a fairly easy solution to our problem and we rejoiced in being able to flush the toilet and wash hands afterwards without waiting!  Today a sales person will come to talk about a new water softener.  As the old one lasted the 25 years we have lived here--and probably more before that-we can't complain!   

I read the news online and in our local paper.  I cleaned another section of our deck.  It is so satisfying to see the green mold come off without using a power washer, just my new very effective cleaner that hooks up to our garden hose.  A bit of scrubbing with a broom--and results!

At 1 pm I met with Laurie Hart, the education coordinator at Hope Ministries,  and R, a potential student, a woman supposedly with an "attitude" and a non-reader.   Our purpose for meeting was to see if we could work together--and if we both wanted to do so.  My present student wrote me a recommendation at my request.  She wrote that Mary told me to say how wonderful she was.  I don't think I did in those words!   She added that I was patient and understanding and that she was learning to read and she really is! 

R and I decided to give it a try and we attempted standardized testing.  This did not work.  She could not read even the very first items on the easiest Test of Adult Basic Education.  She did know the letter sounds and some sight words. So we began at the beginning with words that rhymed with words she did read correctly--"six" and "wet."  We continued with rhyming words with  the short vowel a sound.   She was very pleased to read long lists of words.   I showed her how these syllables can be put together to make longer words.   She left me with a hug and a request to pray for her!   

It takes some effort for me to meet someone new and to go downtown and now to make a plan for her.   But I am so grateful to be able to use the skills I have learned in working with students with dyslexia or just basic non-readers.  It made me happy to see how happy she was when we said good-bye. 

The afternoon brought time to read, peruse the internet some more, take a brief nap, go for a walk to get my 30 minutes of exercise, and have a glass of wine with Jim.

Then another adventure.  Walter Mosley, the author of many books including the One Book for Michiana this spring--The Devil in the Blue Dress--spoke at the downtown library.  The doors opened at 5 for a 6:30 presentation so I felt I had to get there early.  Parking was limited but there were plenty of seats.  The Merriman players presented jazz for us as we waited.  

It was great fun to hear Mosley speak.  He came in wearing his signature hat and began by reading a bit from The Devil book, his first Easy Rawlins novel, and then from Charcoal Joe, his 14th and latest one.  He spoke briefly about his writing and then asked for questions.  He handled the questions well and with good humor and frankness.  It struck me that he didn't have to spend much time on preparation for this event but that was OK.  Apparently he refused the invitation to South Bend until his friend Leonard Pitts encouraged him to come after his own excellent reception earlier this spring. 

I did not take advantage of the book signing time and came home to some reheated pizza, another glass of wine, and an evening of reading, a crossword puzzle, answering a Story Worth question about the best boss I ever had and posting it to the site and our four family recipients. 

It was a good day because I exercised, relaxed, learned, wrote, and was able to give to someone else.  

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