Slice of Life Challenge day 26 #sol17


Yawning, I crept down to my basement.  Time to try to make a dent in the laundry, I thought.  With a busy family of five, the pile had grown uncharacteristically large.  Stepping off the last step of the staircase, my eyes rested upon the miscellaneous debris. Boxes of my daughters’ drawings, old files, plumbing parts, recycling, and seemingly millions of other items consumed the basement floor.  I sighed.  A new meaning for ‘unfinished basement.’

After switching a wet load of my family’s clothes to the dryer and starting a new load, I ascended the steps to the main floor. Rounding the bend through the dining room, I climbed the stairs to the upstairs.  Placing both feet on the landing, I looked up.  Still that hole in the ceiling.  I sighed again.  Spackling tools, a rubber mallet, and a stool rested guiltily upon the floor in the corner, refusing to make eye contact with me.  An unfinished job. We gotta get to that, I thought to myself.

Quickly dressing, I quick-stepped back down to the main floor, making my way toward the kitchen.  In the fireplace sat the pile of ashes I’d been meaning to sweep out.  Another one. Dismissing that thought, I made my way to the front door and out to the car. We needed milk to make pancakes.  Starting the car, I was immediately greeted by the check engine light, politely reminding me an oil change was due. Gotta schedule that today, I thought to myself.

Returning from the store, I turned to reenter the driveway.  That’s when I spied the large, panelled window adorning the front of the house, and remembered the sills were still rotten.  I gotta get those replaced this summer, I thought with another sigh.

Now back in the house, I could hear everyone was now awake and at the breakfast table.  The aroma of sizzling sausage greeted my nostrils, along with the playful chatter of my three daughters in the dining room.  Iris, the baby, sat laughing in her babyseat as Lexi teased and made jokes with her along with Livi.  Three beautiful daughters, all so young but so happy.  They too are unfinished.  But I think I’ll continue focusing on them. They’re what’s important.

I’ll get that other stuff later.




Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

16 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge day 26 #sol17”

  1. I really enjoy your writing Lanny. You pace your pieces so well and there is always a “so what” in there- a line that gets to the heart of it all. I love your daughter’s names too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Focus on the girls and that sausage. Priorities! It is also so nice to know that I’m not the only one with project after project waiting for me around every corner. Life gets in the way sometimes doesn’t it? Thanks for another “fly on the wall” slice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the repetition in this piece. It builds the tension of all that unfinished business and it makes the final decision of sitting down for the sausages and the daughters that much more satisfying. BTW, the unfinished business doesn’t go away as they get older–you’ll value the time with them way more than the ceiling repairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lanny, except for the girls it’s all Small Stuff. Give yourself credit; you were up before the house to switch the laundry and get the milk that keeps the wheels of family rolling along. Daniel ate his cereal with a measuring tablespoon because I forgot to start the dishwasher before bed. “It’s fine,” he said. “This is a table and I needed a spoon.” Chances are your girls aren’t noticing the “unfinished” unless it’s a bedtime story.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So much to do, so little time. But you’ve realized that the most important item on your agenda are your three daughters. Special. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought you ended this perfectly.
    And you made me feel so much better. I have a huge list like yours, only I’m not brave enough to actually write them down.

    Liked by 1 person

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