After twelve years of teaching English, focusing almost all of my energy on helping other people learn to write, I decided it’s time to do some writing of my own. For this reason, among many others, I quit my teaching job and am now in the process of creating a new life in my home community. My previous job had involved a long commute and left me feeling disconnected from the people around me. Now, as an aide in the local library and a writer for the local paper, I’m getting a chance to meet people and nurture connections with new friends and acquaintances. I never lost my love of teaching, so I’ve been especially grateful for the chance to substitute teach and work with elementary students in the After-School Program. I’m not making much money, but I have no regrets about the changes I’ve made. I can now spend more time with my husband and soon-to-be-five-year-old son, tackle projects I’ve been putting off for years, and visit friends without fretting about piles of grading and lesson plans. I’ll be able to dedicate more time and energy to my garden next year, and I’ll be able to write. I’ve been carrying around a notebook for awhile now, but my notes are scattered and often cryptic. This blog is the next phase in my effort to become more disciplined as a writer and preserve the memories that slip away all too easily.


I just realized how long it’s been since I posted this About page; in fact, I’d forgotten all about it until yesterday, when it occurred to me that things have changed in the two years since I first wrote it. I’m now proudly employed at the Eau Claire Community Foundation, where I never have the same day twice; there’s always some new project waiting to be done. It’s all in the service of connecting local nonprofits with grant money and giving donors opportunities for charitable giving, though, so even if my work isn’t lucrative, it’s always rewarding.

I had to write a lot of the content for our new website, which made its debut last fall; you can see it at www.eccommunityfoundation.org. In a sign that all things are connected, it turns out that the new website was created using WordPress, and my experience with this blog was what gave me the knowledge base to do the incredible amount of posting, revising, and updating webpages that my job requires of me. Writing definitely pays off.

Sage is now in first grade and on the verge of turning seven. I won’t add much more about him because he’s provided the fodder for most of my posts, so his childhood has been fairly well documented already.

I’m still happily married to Paul, who is (as always) a man of many talents: He’s a Computer Whisperer, Chicken Coop Architect, and Builder of Kubb Sets, among too many other things to list. Most importantly, though, he’s a wonderful father and the love of my life. I couldn’t ask for a better husband, and I’m not just saying that because if he hadn’t fixed my computer, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Although that definitely helps.


  1. Just wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for a few awards. http://tracicarver.com/2013/03/18/and-the-winner-is/
    Congrats and keep writing!

    1. Wow–I didn’t even know that you COULD get awards for blogging! (It seems my knowledge of blogs is comparable to your knowledge of “pansies.” I’ve recently discovered that my knowledge of birds is also on the same level. I’ve gotten quite a few since I started putting out feeders, but other than the basic birds like cardinals and chickadees, I have no idea what most of them are. All I know is that “the little blonde birds” have voracious appetites.) Anyway, I really appreciate your nomination of my blog, and I would like to second those other two bloggers who nominated yours. I really enjoy reading your posts, and I feel that the offers for book deals should come pouring in to you shortly (if they haven’t already). May you be rewarded for your literary efforts, and may you always be blessed with students for whom the term “illiterate” isn’t directly relevant! > Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2013 14:57:12 +0000 > To: reharris68@hotmail.com >

  2. The phrase “Amish” in your categories prompted me to check out your blog today. To have an endorsement from Traci Carver, our mutual blog friend, adds an additional “Wow” factor. You may want to check out my blog too: http://plainandfancygirl.wordpress.com which features the first 24 years of my life as a Mennonite in PA and then the years following in NC and now FL.

    1. Thanks for your suggestion; I just visited your site and started following your blog. Although most of my neighbors are Amish, we also have a strong Mennonite community in Augusta, so I’m definitely interested in learning more about their culture. I’m happy to have made your acquaintance and read your posts!

  3. I’m honored, Rebecca. I’m following yours too!

  4. Lois Smock · · Reply

    I have enjoyed your recent blogs about your Grandmother Naomi and her brother Paul.
    Their sister was my Mother (Marion) . I have tried writing Ruth but no answer so the only way
    I can learn anything about my family is through you. Hope to keep informed on how Naomi
    is doing. Lois (Farley) Smock

    1. Wow–what a great surprise to hear from you! I told Grandma, and she is thrilled at the idea of getting back in touch with you. I don’t want to post too much information publicly, but if you send me an email at reharris68@hotmail.com , maybe we can exchange addresses and phone numbers. In the meantime, I hope all is well with you!

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