consistently persistent

A friend has recently been faithful to her new workout routine and it shows. She goes to a spot called Persistently Consistent Fitness – or maybe it is Consistently Persistent Fitness. Either way, she has a fun time and feels great.

She sent some friends an email from the owner offering a free month of workouts if we were interested. I replied that I was definitely interested and that I desperately needed it. Hopefully I can start my month after school is out so I can be more consistently persistent with my own new routine.

By the way, I wonder what the difference would be between consistently persistent and persistently consistent. Or are they essentially the same?

I have always said that the hardest thing about being a parent – or a teacher – is being consistent. Children, in their own ways, beg for this routine, yet they rub against it and can rub you raw in the process. But being consistent is definitely the key to success in the process – and happiness in the long run.

I have tried my best to be consistently persistent for 34 years in my teaching career. This is my last year and after exactly 23 more days of work I will retire. I wonder what I will attempt to be persistently consistent with next.

I have a great example to share of consistency and persistence but it will have to wait. I have not been consistent with my writing as of late – many truthful excuses but no good reasons. And my lack of persistence has caused me to write this at the last minute to make the posting deadline.

Hopefully I will find my consistently persistent writing routine and write that story soon. For now, here’s a preview:

stone stair closeup

what we know

Spring calls to us with the promise of green,

the fullness of buds,

the warmth of the sun in the bright blue sky.


But we know better than to depend on this display,

and we wait to plant our flowers.


The lawns green and cover over,

the rainbows of bulbed blooms light our smiles,

the leaves web between the branches of the sap filled trees.


But we know the cold hasn’t gone away to stay,

and we keep jackets and sweaters close by.


Winters are lined up to come for a visit.

redbud, dogwood, locust, and blackberry

reminding us of the nearness of shivers and cold.


But we know their power is fleeting and short-lived,

and we smile and wait, just a little longer…

might could have

Here’s a conversation I had with a friend at dinner tonight:

Have you ever heard someone say, “I might could have… done something or another?”

~Sure I have said that myself.

Do you think there’s anything wrong with it?

~Well, I guess it speaks a little of procrastination, but that’s not always the case.

No, I mean, do you think the grammar is incorrect?

~Why would it be?

Well we were talking about it the other day, and someone (not from around here) said they thought it sounded ridiculous.

~What’s wrong with it?

Apparently other parts of the country don’t use that expression, and they think it sounds funny when they hear the expression, “I might could have done so and so…”

~Yeah, like, “I’m fixing to…”

Exactly. I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with either one. Of course I grew up hearing them both, so they make sense to me.

~OK, so if it is bad grammar, what makes it bad?

Well I guess “might” and “could” are both verbs, and you can’t use them together.

~Why not?

I don’t know. Seems like you might could. It’s OK to use helping verbs, so maybe it’s a helping verb. Let’s Google it.


Here we go. This site says:     It’s not correct standard English grammar; it’s a local colloquialism. Might and could are both verbs, so strictly speaking, you can’t use them side by side like that. It’s perfectly fine in informal speech, but you’d better not put it in any formal exam papers! Dialects and colloquial phrases are interesting and make the world a more colorful place, People, shouldn’t be corrected on everything they say. However, in writing, one should always use proper grammar because it makes the meaning clearer to readers.    So it sounds like we can go on saying it, but we better not write it down.

~Hmmmm. So when you say, “I might could have,” might is a verb, right?

Yes, it is.

~But it means maybe, like “Maybe I could have done that,” right?

That’s right.

~Is maybe a verb?

No, you can’t maybe. But it isn’t a noun, and it’s not an adjective or a preposition.

~I think it’s an adverb. Look that up.

OK. Yes, you are right. It says here, maybe is an adverb.

~So, is it OK to say “I maybe could have eaten lobster tonight”?

Yum!  I know what you mean, but that doesn’t even sound right to me. I looked up something else. It says that might is a “modal verb.”

~What in the world is that?

This site says: Modals (verbs like “may” and “can”) express intent. They are used with the infinitive of other verbs to show the intent directed at that verb. Infinitives are always placed directly after the modal. Modals (want to, can, may, shall, must) are never used together with other modals…

~Oh, Lord. I never heard of that. We didn’t learn about modal verbs in school.

No, we didn’t either.

~Wonder what they called them back then? Helping verbs?

No, because then you might could put might and could together.

~Yes, that’s true. Oh well, I will continue to say “might could have” if it comes to mind.

I will too. And I might could have never asked this question in the first place.

~”Might could have never” can’t be right either.

green fuzz

I first spotted the green fuzz a few days ago. I had to rub my eyes and shake my head to be assured that I wasn’t seeing things. But no, it was real.

And now it has gotten more blurry as the days have passed. This new color is taking over. Larger and greener, almost glowing. Spreading all around, up high and down low. Multiplying everywhere. Just that quick.

The leaf buds are popping out of the bushes. They are starting to ever-so-slightly fill in the broad spaces between the limbs of the trees. The tops of the boxwoods are looking woolly, too – keeping their year- round green but lightening it up a bit, and blurring their edges with an incredible amount of new growth.

Once the warmer days – and nights – pushed their way in past the cold and blowing winter that had been in residence for so long, things started to change. The plants seem absolutely giddy to be able to show their true colors. The inimitable, celebratory spring green.

The return of spring is a glorious time, made even more spectacular this year by the polar vortex we have (hopefully) left behind. I hold dear the promise and dedication represented in the green fuzz that saturates our view.

green fuzz