Friday, April 17, 2020

"The true happiness of a man is having a clear conscience and being useful for humanity." Leo Tolstoy 

As the lock down of the pandemic continues, I must ask you what you are doing for others.  This is not because I am a devoted humanitarian (although, I actually am), but because I have found that one of the keys to my happiness while living alone is to do something for others.  

My late husband and I were major photographers, and I am looking through ALL of our pictures.  We took pictures - of everywhere we went; of all of our 4th of July and Labor Day picnics for one hundred or more; of lavish dinner parties for 20; and of the little things - a pet squirrel in our backyard named Freddy; and of Binky Rittman, the bunny I received as a gift from my students who loved to be 12 years old. We were also in a local theater group, for which I was historian, so add another 500 pictures to look through. I have been working on this project for 8 days, so far.

Each picture is a memory - and I am scanning some to send in email or Facebook messenger, and sending some in snail mail.  My den is a mess - piles of pictures; old albums, now torn apart; stacks of addressed envelopes for picture recipients; and new picture containers.  I spent more than 4 days scanning more than 100 pictures and programs from shows for the New Kensington Civic Theatre Facebook page, and the happiness from so many folks seeing those memories online was well worth the time!  I found pictures of my 9 nephews that are so precious, and their parents did not have these pictures. I found pictures from my Theatre classes at school, when kids presented their set designs to the class, and I scanned and sent those on Messenger.  I even found pictures from the golf teams I have coached and sent those to my former players electronically.  All the recipients were so happy.

I feel accomplished.  I am clearing and organizing my hoard of pictures, and I am making others happy in the process.  During this time of pandemic, I feel like even a small distraction can help, so I am trying to do my part.  I am being useful for humanity.

I invite you to think about others during this shut-in, and you will feel happier because you did.  Stay safe, friends. 

One of the memories I found - of a February day in 1985 after a fresh snowfall, on the day after my late husband bought a new camera and lens.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  and a company called GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
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