Caprese Pasta Salad in a Jar

My best friend Heather Hollands and I at the Western wall in Israel.

My best friend Heather Hollands and I at the Western wall in Israel.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” 

― Anais Nin

Tomorrow begins my thirteenth year as a high school English teacher and I have been so lucky to share the wild journey with my best friend Heather. Even though we grew up with a mere thirty miles between us, we did not know each other until we became educators. If it was not for Heather I would never have the courage or ability to launch Produce with Amy. Three summers ago when we were at a National Writing Project resource development retreat in Austin, Texas we started a blog to celebrate our 10th year in the classroom called Blended Voices. Heather is a gifted and prolific writer and her posts always pushed and inspired me to write my own and we were able to both hold each other accountable. Those who know us well simply call us Hamy. If you want to know more about our friendship, read The Hamy Story, As Told By Heather.

Fall is always a time of change but this year as I type this I feel an uneasy feeling in my stomach. This week my best friend Heather, who for twelve years has taught 10th grade English across the hall from me, has been moving to a classroom in the middle school. This year our district had to make many deep financial cuts which resulted in many teachers losing their jobs, getting cut to part-time, and much shuffling of teaching positions. Yes,she will be in the same building, but not right across the hall. I know that Heather will do a phenomenal job teaching 6th and 7th grade English but I selfishly morn the fact that she no longer will be there for me to lean on during the day. No more quick little chats in between classes or brief visits in the copy room. True, we are often so busy that we have gone days without a sit-down, long conversation but I always knew she was there if I needed her. I do need her.

Heather’s new teaching position makes me want to stick to my goal of being productive during the week even more. We have decided that we will make sure to get together a couple of times a month during the week or weekend for Donors Choose, blog, and Squidoo dates. We have to carve out time for each other because that is what best friends do.

One of the things that I value the most about our friendship is that while we share a love for many of the same things, we can always inspire each other to try new things. We work so well as a team but can also get involved in projects independently. This year when I started Produce with Amy, Heather also found a way to accomplish her writing goals by discovering Squidoo. In fact, in true Heather fashion, not only did she start writing lenses Squidoo but she approached each deadline with gusto. To date she has ten lenses posted. Check out Heather’s Lensmaster Page.

When Mason Jar Salads took my blog by storm Heather told me that she was going to come up with a recipe for her favorite summer Caprese Pasta Salad.

Photo by Heather Hollands

Photo by Heather Hollands

Not only did Heather include a recipe but she also has links to where you can purchase supplies and even recommends great literary works that feature food. To check out Heather’s recipe click here: Caprese Pasta Salad in a Jar.

Photo by Heather Hollands

Photo by Heather Hollands

Please share Heather’s recipe on Facebook, pin it here on Pinterest, and make sure you check out and comment on her other lenses. I urge you to be careful because her lens on The Mackinac Island Fudge Experience will make you crave chocolate, her lens on Five Prepackaged, Healthier Snacks for School Lunch is timely and may really be of interest to parents who are looking for healthier options for lunches, and with Halloween right around the corner  – you must check out her clever ideas for How to Create a Bewitching Halloween BOOfet.

Not having Heather right across the hall from me will be a huge adjustment this year and I wish her the best of luck with her new position as a middle school teacher. Her students are extremely lucky to have such a talented writer, voracious reader, and passionate educator making sure that they reach their literacy potential. I am determined to make time to spend together and I guarantee we will write together while feasting on delicious food. Maybe Heather will create more lenses that feature her fabulous recipes? I will make sure to share them when she does. Thank you, Heather for your friendship and inspiration! ❤

Heather and I in Jerusalem, Israel spring of 2012.

Hamy in Jerusalem, Israel spring of 2012.

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