September 2021 Feature Article

Summer Task List–Nailed it!

Let me preface by saying that I have only recently retired from teaching elementary school. Perhaps my former career explains my seasonal need to ACCOMPLISH THINGS before the arrival of fall! Summer time was always the precious few months where I attempted to complete all manner of important tasks that not were not addressed in the busier times when I was up to my ears in third graders. Though I am not teaching these days, I still feel the need to “get cracka lackin’” as my previous principal would say. To that end, I set myself some lofty goals for this past summer. As we launch into September, it’s time to give myself a report card. Take a look at how I did!


  1. Clean out the closet. I have this problem, you see. It’s called a walk-in closet. Unfortunately, my closet is also the location for my giant book collection. This encompasses books I cannot part with (childhood favorites like George and Martha, remember those hippos?) and also boxes of my own books which my publisher kindly sends me for distribution and giveaways and such. Amazing stuff, but this space is also supposed to hold my clothes and shoes and things. So I determined that by gum I was going to bring some order to this out of control space. Did I do that? No, but I did manage to add several amazing books to my personal collection. Reading more books? That’s a win for me that trumps the clean closet project.


  1. Spend more time with family. I was mega excited when the shelter in place orders were finally dropped here in Northern, California. I cautiously ventured out and tried to see everyone whom I had not visited since the virus that shall not be named descended on our world. Friends? Check. Family? As best we could. Even some former co-workers? You bet! I had many more plans in place when that variant that shall not be named landed on Planet Earth. Dad burn it! So that task was only partially accomplished, but I did manage to make an online family with a group of amazing authors who contributed to a novella collection. BOY have we spent a lot of time together! On screen, mind you, but it’s better than nothing, right?


  1. Learn something practical….like Spanish. I have always wanted to acquire some handy life skills. Since both my parents are Spanish speakers, why not try to actually progress beyond my dismal high school mastery? And online classes abound now, so what could be easier? Ummm, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. I just couldn’t seem to make it happen. I did, however, manage to attend an online mystery conference. Practical life skills? Zero. Fun mystery talk with other authors? Check!

All in all, I failed to complete every one of my tasks, but I did manage to accomplish several things in spite of myself! How about you? What did you, or did you not, tackle this summer?

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