The Suitcase Lady


May 1, 2018, 10:09 pm

Last Tuesday, my husband took matters into his own hands. I came home from school on our first 60 degree day and he was in the driveway attacking the remains of the previous week’s blizzard with a large snow shovel. Snow was strategically placed all over the driveway so it could catch the sun’s rays and melt. I believe the strategy he employed is called “divide and conquer.”

Winter in Wisconsin is an endurance contest. It’s not the blizzards that get to us. We’re tough. It is winter’s amazing tenacity that wears us down. There is something obscene about having snow hanging around the last week of April. How lucky I am to have a partner who goes out and attacks it.

While he was out bashing the piles of snow left by our plow guy, I was fighting back in my own way. One of my favorite schools lets me suggest topics that I present to their first and second graders. The teachers and I agreed that a lesson on the artists Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his two sons, Pieter Breughel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder was apropos. While one of Pieter the Elder’s most famous pictures is a frosty scene, Hunters in the Snow, I suggested we focus on his younger son, Jan the Elder, who invented the flower still life genre. I figured we all needed to fill the school walls with glorious blooms à la Jan’s style.

The kids drew and cut out over 150 flowers and helped me glue them all into a gigantic floral  mural. If spring doesn’t come to you, you just have to make your own flowers.

(Also note that this blog is not full of typos. The B family each used a different spelling for their last names and the kids loved that fact.)

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