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Dear Allen

Dear Allen,

Today, you departed this world after a short but valiant fight with cancer.

Yours is a life that ended too soon.

Although I’ve known that this day would more than likely arrive, still I grieve.

I think back to the time when your sweet wife, Christina, became my best friend.  We were drawn together through our love for knitting, and we spent hours chatting in the KnittingHelp.com chatroom.

We had much in common…teenage children…husbands that had the habit of driving us nuts…fur babies who got into constant mischief.

It wasn’t until your eldest son, Austin, got badly burned and spent three months in a Shriner’s hospital that my friendship with Christina went to a deeper level.

We began talking on the phone daily.

That’s when you entered the picture.

Sometimes, when I called, you answered the phone, and we would talk about this and that.

I distinctly remember more times than not the conversations involved you sending Christina off to buy yarn…or sometimes you would be the person buying the yarn as a surprise.

Through our phone conversations and Facebook chats, I learned how deeply you cared for your family…how desperately you wanted to be a good husband and father.

You were quick to blame yourself for issues that arose.

Through the pictures that you and Christina posted online, I learned of your love for nature…how you yearned for a simpler way of life…one unencumbered by government control…the peace to live your life as you wanted.

Christina shared with me your dream of building a cabin and living off the land.

In fact, I was mightily impressed when you allowed Christina to begin raising chickens in the backyard and even built her a chicken coop to keep the hounds from stalking the winged creatures.

As I sit here in tears, I count myself fortunate to have gotten to know you over the years.  I’ll never forget overhearing you strumming a guitar and singing an original Bluegrass song you’d written.  I suspect you may have been nipping at some moonshine, but that little secret is safe with me and my two readers.

I will forever remember what would be our last conversation, and you downplayed how sick you really were.  I knew, though, from the sound of your voice, that the world would soon lose you.

Thank you for your friendship…for your honesty…for entrusting your wife’s friendship to me.

Thank you for supporting your wife’s varied interests…her love for homeless fur babies…her passion for gardening…her sudden decisions to reorganize the house.

You were always real.  You never put on airs, and people knew where they stood with you.

Don’t worry about Christina and the boys.  One thing your passing has taught me is that they have lots of family and friends who will love them through the difficult times ahead.

Though we never got to meet in person, you will forever be as much of a friend as those I see day-to-day.

It is with much love that I bid you adieu.

Love in Christ,


You Have Questions? I Have Answers

Today, I am giving a test.

When you teach, you can expect questions…especially before the test has “officially” started.

You can try to anticipate every single question a student might pose, but in the end, there will ALWAYS be questions.

This usually happens because students ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION while you are giving instructions the first time.

This also happens because students DO NOT PAY ATTENTION to the carefully typed out instructions posted on the SMARTBOARD!!!


It is one of the most aggravating parts of teaching.

One would think that high school students would have fewer questions.

Let me address that fallacy.


I cannot even imagine administering a test to an elementary student…which is why I am better off teaching high school.

Today, instead of answering questions the normal way, I have decided to do the following…

Yes, I realize that you are probably cringing right now.

It’s okay.  I would be too if I was reading this on YOUR blog.

Just the thought of a 44 year old woman doing interpretive dance…in the middle of a classroom…sends shivers down my spine.

Oh wait.

I am that woman.


Please consider this a warning that if you suddenly see “AuburnChick’s Interpretive Dancing” trending on social media, it will be me, trying to make a point.

I suspect that my teenagers will need to have eye surgery to remove the images burned into their brains.

I doubt that So You Think You Can Dance will be calling.

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