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The Goddard Experience

May 7, 2014

The Goddard Experience

What a whirlwind of a month April was for me! For years, #1 on my bucket list has been a BFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. My journey began on April 7th. I hate flying (though I’ll do it if I must), so I drove from Florida to Vermont in two days. Now the other reason I drove was because I needed to be in Tennessee shortly after my residency ended, to host my daughter’s Senior Recital. As a Music major with a focus on Vocal Performance, this was the culmination of four years of incredibly hard work for Emmy. It is not something you miss. Each recital is devoted to one student, whose parents typically host a reception afterwards. The plan was for my husband to be on vacation at home for one week so he could do some projects he wanted to do AND to keep our little dog Sugar while I was away. We boarded her the first week of my residency and we both worried ourselves sick about her. (She did fine and they loved her!) Anyway, at the end of my residency, I would drive to Tennessee, where Perry would meet me with three boxes of stuff I had packed for the reception on April 22nd. THEN, we would take a few days OFF by ourselves in the mountains. Simple, right? Right. And then THIS happened. That, dear friends, is NOT the Suwannee River, upon which I LIVE. That is the ROAD to my house on the river. Rain in the Okefenokee Swamp feeds the tributaries that connect with the Suwannee and the river rises and falls accordingly. Lots of rain meant lots of rise, sometimes over a foot a day. The weird thing about our neighborhood is that the road floods before the yards, so when the water is rising and you don’t know when it will crest, you have to make the decision to get all of your “ground stuff” out of harm’s way while you still have a road. So, predictions were pointing to a moderate flood with more storms coming. Perry spent the first week of his “vacation” moving lawn tractors, vehicles and other equipment from beneath our house and from outbuildings at ground level (our home is on stilts because we’re in a flood zone) to storage units in town. By the time he left for Tennessee, stressed and exhausted, the water was just starting to creep over the road.

The recital was beautiful – my daughter is amazing and I will include a link on a subsequent post to prove it! The reception went well, though I must say I really needed more help. I didn’t get any pictures of all the hard work I put into table settings and food! Too busy making it happen.

The day after the recital, we made the decision to go on back home. The water was getting deep on the road and I would need to get the camper situated somewhere that I could work because this ain’t my first rodeo. I am NOT boating in and out of our neighborhood ever again. Some neighbors stay, but with my sensitivity to flood mosquitos (they are a breed of their own), it is just not healthy for me. And at this very minute, I have a swollen eye to prove it, but that’s a story for another day. So, this picture is the road the day after we went home. There were a few things, including his 1950 Ford 8N tractor, that he had not gotten out and that I would need to work. I shot this picture over my shoulder as I stood on our flatbed trailer pulled behind aforementioned tractor. I was steadying (or maybe it was steadying ME) a small refrigerator. It was touch and go getting out. The exhaust of the tractor was inches from the water. Had we hit a hole, we’d have been stuck.

Okay, so wait…I titled this The Goddard Experience and haven’t even mentioned that. It was incredible and exhausting and I am in the throes of the resulting work plan now. I’m excited about the program and will surely write more about it later, but right now I need to get back to work. If you want to know more about this college and how it works, check out


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