About Vanya Erickson

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Vanya Erickson has created 18 blog entries.

The Gift

Standing in my classroom making last-minute preparations, I could hear the buzz of excitement in the hallway. It was Teacher Day - and all the children had been “secretly” asked to surprise their teacher with a blossom from their garden. The school bell electrified their movements as they scurried into line outside their classrooms. I thought of last year’s flowers and grabbed two vases from the cabinet. [Read more]

When Words Fail You

The chatter in my head had been battering me all day. “See?  You’re not a real writer.”  “Who cares about what you have to say?” “Bah! You knew this would happen all along.” A week before, I had signed the publishing contract for my book and now I couldn’t write a damned thing.  The acquiring editor had gushed over my writing - so why this sudden insanity? [Read more]

The Poetry Box

For my birthday a few years ago my sweetheart made me a poetry box for our front garden. It’s surrounded by an old lavender bush and is a weathered thing of beauty, all wood and amber glass, with a window to view the poem from the sidewalk. I make sure the font is large enough to read when I place a new poem out each week. [Read more]

Their Voices Matter

It never ceases to amaze me the things my third grade students have been exposed to. Not a day goes by when I’m not asked something that forces me to respond to their worry. “Where do homeless children eat?” “Why do cell phone companies destroy rainforests to mine for tungsten?” “Will we all die if fossil fuels continue to be used?”  [Read more]

Life Changer

Baby Emily lay on the hospital bed, dwarfed by a sea of crisp white linen. I held my breath, my fingers gripping the cold metal railing by the side of her bed, relieved to be this close after my isolating hours alone in the small “family room” outside the morgue, [Read more]

Good Company

Sometimes I’m not sure if I can make it through the night. Or the hour. Or even the next 30 seconds. The pain behind my left eye is a raging clamp of hot metal on muscle, merciless in its persistence, waking me in my sleep. [Read more]

Good Work

Yesterday I officially told my school district that I’ll be retiring in June. For months now I’ve been purging, each week carrying a box or two of beloved things from my classroom to the faculty room for others to adopt; consulting with my accountant; researching the endless possibilities of what comes next. I’m ready. [Read more]

Pearl Harbor, 1941

The cover of Time Magazine with its horrific black-and-white image of a sinking ship and billowing smoke, anchored me to the spot. I snatched it from the rack, the last issue available: PEARL HARBOR - 75 YEARS LATER. [Read more]

Be Kind to Yourself

I just read that human beings are hard-wired to play hooky. Man, I feel so much better about myself now. Don’t get me wrong, I am one hard-working person, but there are times when I’m fed up with my own expectations. [Read more]

What We Can Do

My dear friend Marni lost her big brother to brain cancer this week. In my experience, there is nothing as devastating than watching someone you love crumble under the weight of loss. The ripple effect of his death sent shockwaves through me, and I shuddered at each successive text from Marni. [Read more]

Load More Posts