The end of an era – not for Lexington, but for me. Almost. The second to the last Janet Allen Literacy Institute with a team of folks I’ve been working with for 9 years. A community of friends I know I’ll stay in contact with, but not the same as us all hanging out together. The trip was fragmented. I arrived late into Lexington, spoke in the afternoon and immediately left for the airport and another conference in Vegas. It seemed so anticlimactic, as if we need to have a celebration with a cake and wild dancing. A few of us will be going to Anchorage in August, but most of the team will be back in school. Hasty goodbyes to LeeAnn, Steve, Jill and Chris – too short, too quick – like short stepping over rocks, trying to hurry, not being able to slide into long strides of conversation that might actually take us somewhere familiar. I have learned so much from everyone and wouldn’t be who I am today without these institutes and my friends who offered me a sense of community in what is often a solo career. Change is necessary – good even, but hard.