Everything’s Just Ducky!

Meet Stewart, my rubber duck. Stewart and I have been traveling around together for a long, long time (19 years!). Stewart came into my life when I was 16 years old-- and how this happened is a very long and complicated story that involved a boy. The point here, really, is that he (Stewart and the boy) ultimately showed me that Steve was the ONE. See the purple ribbon around Stewart's neck? That's from Steve's graduation party when he received his bachelor's. The lamb next Stewart is Olive, named after The Olive Branch B&B in Broadway, England. My friend Jessica got her for me to commemorate our Cotswold hiking trip. I wanted to name her Jessi-baa, but Jess wouldn't let me. Stewart, too, went hiking through the Cotswolds.
Here is Stewart resting on a Roman wall somewhere between Bath and Tormarton.
Stewart gets refreshments at the Old Spot in Dursley.
This is Steve. If you can't tell, he's driving.
Stewart helps us navigate. Actually, he helped navigate me to Steve. Out of all of the guys I dated, Steve was the first to understand Stewart's importance to me. When we first started dating, I got a double-whammy of the Humboldt crud and bronchitis. Steve took care of me by bringing me soup, crackers, 7-Up and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Seeing the depths of my misery, he realized Stewart was across the room and asked, "Would you like me to bring Stewart over here?" If this isn't love, then I don't know what is. Steve fully embraced the fact that his (then) girlfriend had the tendencies of a five-year old.
This is Stewart on my bed at my grandma's house in Michigan. Not only is Steve accepting of Stewart, my family is, too (if you don't believe me, the polar bear needlepoint on the wall made by my grandma was done in homage to my cousin Jennie's stuffed polar bear, Bear). My grandparents included Stewart as part of the family. One special memory is when my grandfather's health sharply declined and I had to make a last minute trip to see him. When I finally arrived to his hospital room, I presented Stewart to my grandpa. His face brightened as he said, "It's Stewart!". When I had to return home, I said my final goodbye to my grandpa before heading off to the airport. Stewart provided comfort on the plane ride home.
Stewart has friends. This is Reed from the Seattle Public Library.
Reed lives on my desk at school (he's on the far right behind the vampire-- "I vant to duck your blood!"). These ducks remind me of the special people in my life. Vampiric duck and Fairy duck are from one of my most thoughtful co-workers. She's always thinking of others. Angel, Devil, and Baseball duck all came from the same student who failed my class. She kept asking me, "Would you like it if I got you a duck?" I said, "I would like it if you passed my class." I think giving me ducks instead was always her master plan. Luau duck is from Hawaii. The Jumping Out Of Box duck is from another co-worker and comrade-in-arms. Again, another person I am so thankful to work with-- we make great collaboration and happy hour buddies.
More ducks. These are two bookends that I stole from an ex-boyfriend (the one who sent me the Coca-Cola socks). I consider them to be my "reward".
Reindeer duck was a surprise from another teacher I work with who I have had the chance to get to know better this past year. Like my other ducks, he serves to remind me of the talented and dedicated teachers I am fortunate to work with.

Somewhere, I have a student drawing of an aristocratic duck name “Mr. Darcky”.  Where did I put him?!