“Disaster Relief” or “It’s Just Stuff”


Yesterday, after a great day at school, I arrived home to Kip making dinner. I hadn’t even taken my shoes off when we heard a noise that sounded like someone was power washing the roof. We looked out the living room window and water was gushing out of the gutters and drains. We headed upstairs to discover water was pouring into our master bedroom through the windows, then through the lighting fixtures. Grabbing whatever I could to stop the water, police and firefighters arrived because our townhome building alarms were going off. A sprinkler system pipe in the attic of our townhouse burst sending thousands of gallons of water through our two floors and into the garage below our unit. Thankfully, the police, firefighters, association representatives, insurance company, and cleaning crews responded quickly. The walls, floors, carpeting, windows, ceilings, and furniture are significantly damaged. We’ll be out for three months for demolition and repairs and are determining what’s salvageable to go into storage and where we’re going to live.

The disaster relief referenced in the title is relief and support we have received from others. Social media was a life saver for me during this difficult situation. It’s only stuff, which can be replaced. Physically, we’re okay, but mentally, we’re shaken. The comments of care and concern, the offers of help, and the messages of support on Facebook, Twitter, and Voxer have been overwhelming. We’ll be okay and I know how fortunate we are. Others go through difficult situations and have fewer resources and support systems than we do. It’s just stuff, which can be replaced, but the support from friends near and far (some of whom I have never met in person) was priceless.

I’m fortunate to be part of the Principals In Action Voxer group. I shared the news with them first and said I’m going to lean on you the next few months. My friend, Brad Gustafson, a lyrically challenged member of the Voxer group, stepped out of his comfort zone and led a Voxeroke rendition of Lean On Me. I was crying tears of joy and laughter hearing that. Thank you all.


I Cried at School Today

IMG_0203I cried at school today. Yes, principals cry. Maybe I cried because I’ve worked hard with one particular family but I still can’t get their daughter to stop fighting on the bus. Maybe I cried because I had to comfort one of my 6th grade boys because a classmate made fun of his beautiful skin color. Maybe I cried because a mother who came in to discipline her child finally broke down and admitted she can’t read. Maybe I cried because some weeks we care so much and try to help so many and it seems like we’re not getting ahead. But, things have a way of coming together and sorting themselves out. At the end of the day, a first grader came to tell me this was his last day because he was moving. He then gave me a hug and said he was going to miss me. Yep, then I cried, again.