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August 2, 2017

This week delivered one of my favorite events of the summer: the annual visit of Niece Becky’s Daycare. A field trip for them; a teaching day for me. My assignment for this year was to prepare and teach a lesson on manners, a topic near and dear to my heart.

When I taught in the classroom, I attempted to instill a sense of decorum. I like to think I bred a few niceties into my own offspring. And, as we all know, I’m a graduate of Sears Charm School and have written about the experience, which makes me a real expert. (shameless plug)

We began with a lesson on writing Thank-you notes. I’m a real stickler on this one, and I think it’s because way back when I married the first time, I grew bored with writing Thank-you notes and let the last few go. I’ve felt guilty about it since 1981.daycaremanners5

We learned about shaking hands and eye contact, which proved giggle-inducing.


And then we learned the proper way to set a table, a cool napkin fold, and the difference between a red and white wine glass.  daycaremanners6

We worked our way through a great handout from The Emily Post Institute.

And finally, we enjoyed a wonderfully polite lunch together with all guests cutting his/her own chicken with an almost perfectly-held knife and fork. And almost no elbows on the table.


I hope these seven kids remember to place the fork on the left, and not to say the words poop, pee, or fart at the table, and to always offer to help clean up. I hope I’ve acted to make this world a bit more genteel. But mostly, I hope they remember our group hugs and how Aunt Debi loved it when they visited and that they were blessed with a Daycare Mom who loved them enough to expose them to cool experiences.


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  1. This is so you! Having lived in a home with all boys, I , too know the challenge of teaching niceties. We all need more politeness in our world. You are a trooper and the queen of charm!!

    • Thank you, Sandy! So kind of you.


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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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