Angels without wings

Picture by author (current angel)

I have not always loved dogs. I grew up in a house about six-city blocks from the public school. No one thought anything of a five-year-old walking herself home from kindergarten each day. One spring sunny day I spotted a back dog coming my way. I froze. The dog kept coming and stopped about a foot away from me. We locked eyes. In my five year old brain, hours passed. The spell broke when my mother called my name;

“ Sally, Why are you just standing there?” My mother’s worried face peered out at me from the car.

“ The…


How Harry and Meghan took down the Monarchy in under two hours.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Much will be written and said in the days and weeks to come about Meghan and Harry. Who doesn’t know who they are? And who doesn’t have an opinion? I know I do. And whether you are on Team Meghan or Team Royal, one thing is sure; nothing is as it seems, and there are no winners in any of the scenarios.

We identify with; being silenced, being suicidal, cut off from family, feeling trapped, all legitimate issues. …


A Parody

Picture by author

I spent thirty-four years in the classroom teaching and learning about children. But I never learned the biggest lesson about being a teacher.
Work your contract.

Teaching is a job, a career, a way to make money. The minute you make it a calling, a mission, your life’s work, well, it’s hard to go back.

There are kids involved. The younger they are, the harder it will be. The ones that show up every day are easy because you know they are ok. If you can get another kid to take roll, do it. …


To my grandmother

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

As far as grandmothers go, I don’t remember a time she wasn’t in my life this Grandmother of mine. Her house was where the four of us walked after school. We would find our mother drinking tea and in earnest conversation; my mother sitting, often in tears and my Grandmother involved in a task; cooking, ironing, knitting. Her hands always seemed to be busy. I never saw her in pants. Women wore house dresses in the ’60s. Her hair was pulled back in a bun, and I think she braided it and cut the ends off herself.

We stayed with…


What dogs can teach us.

Photo by Deanna Fletcher on Unsplash

He smiled, like dogs do, and his warm brown eyes met mine. With a wagging tail he trotted between the Uhaul truck and the front door sniffing randomly at boxes and furniture as if to look for clues about me. I must have passed because I found him curled up on the front porch later that night. The neighbor girls were willing to share, having somewhat outgrown the idea of a dog and seemed more interested in makeup and talking about boys.

The first time I took off on a run, I heard something behind me, and there was Skippy…


Natural Coincidences

Photo by Author

It wasn’t the sun that woke me that November morning. The fog had rolled in, and the sky was drizzling rain. Not a day I would choose to descend the steps to the beach that early in the morning, but something called to me.

Upon arrival, my eyes spotted the quick darting of two shapes that flashed on the shore, feasting on a salmon. I hesitated, froze, not wishing to interrupt these seals and wondering how they managed to drag themselves on land. It was then, when they both scurried back to the water that I saw the small feet…


The Magic of Christmas

Photo by Karine Germain on Unsplash

She heard the clanging before she saw the girl ringing the bell beside the fake black cauldron next to the donation sign. The red Santa hat on her head bounced along with her singing of jingle bells.

That particular sound awakened something sad in Betsy. She always quickly walked by, never making eye contact, and never making any contributions. It was silly, but a little shiver ran down her spine this cold December day.

Betsy knew this melancholy would pass, but the beginning of December always started this way for her.

What she remembered was how empty the room had…


Teaching in December can be challenging, but the smallest reward can make your day.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

That Space Between Thanksgiving and Winter Break

I know you are doing everything you can to hold it together. After all, it’s December, and nothing of importance has been happening since Thanksgiving break. Every morning the kids have been flying into the classroom already full of sugar and seasonal cheer. Discarded pieces of candy canes are on the floor as well as foil wrappers from chocolate, along with their backpacks and coats.

All of the procedures taught in September are now out the window. The kids have forgotten how to line up, walk in the hall, and clean up after themselves. You are baffled at their ability…

Sally Gallagher

Teacher, writer, animal lover; curious about the world, passionate about the people I love.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store