Monday, July 13, 2020

The Twenty-Fourth: Daily Delight

Well, then--where shall I begin? {At the beginning, K. Duh} 

The first possible delight of the day, is waking and discovering how many hours since I last checked the clock (something "working me", made an effort not to do). "An entire four hours!", I might remark to myself, while also inserting a mental high five.

And when Hope eats her food at the appointed time? It can feel like an unexpected gift of an hour, where I don't have to keep one eye on that dish, because Izzy does not need double meals.

Most days (particularly now, at this historical moment), I try to complete three crossword puzzles. How I love to come across a clue that my brain knows the answer to, yet I rarely know how. A delightful gobsmack?

SNAIL MAIL--both the receiving and the sending--and the joy is extended to crafting the replies; Having all of the ingredients for a recipe you chose at the last minute; Kitchen dance parties; Receiving a text from a bud; The pull of a good book; Writing; Taking a shower; Checking the plants in our yard; An earworm attached to a happy memory; Crawling into bed; Looking into N's eyes; Listening/visiting with our adult moppets; A job well done.

How about you? Where do you find your daily delights?

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Twenty-Third: Rocks, Agates, Stones, Pebbles, BamBam

Everyone enjoys rocks . . . right? Doesn't everyone have a small or large collection, or a favorite stone or six they keep close? What? They don't? Holy Sedimentary Rocks! How is this possible?

My first rock memory, was in Mrs. Minerva Kane's first grade classroom. We littles would bring in interesting bits of road gravel to share and she'd take it, admire its attributes, tell the owner what type of rock it was and then add it to the growing collection on the expansive window sill. She's the reason I used my first book sale quarter on a small book of gemstones.

Oh and did I mention that my folks were rockhounds? I don't recall any rock collecting trips during my time at home, but there was plenty of evidence to be found around our property. When my Pops decided to find a way to enjoy and display their prize finds, he created a base for a yard light. I don't know how involved I was in the process, but I do remember helping select and decide stone placement, when it was time to set them into the surface of the wet concrete.

Whenever we'd pass a rock shop during a road trip, I knew there was a chance the parents would stop. And the treat of touching, admiring those smooth, glossy surfaces, enjoying the patterns, crystals, colors and shapes, never got old: Montana Moss, Obsidian, Jasper, Tiger Eye, thunder eggs.

Many years later, when I was doing the science lessons with the wee folk, bud K and I eventually created a year end review. During our last sessions, we'd pass out remembering stones (agates) in velveteen pouches and each student would have the opportunity to share which science demo they enjoyed most. One year, all of us agreed that the breezy day we took our parachutes outside and one was caught in a tall tree and another sailed higher and higher, was a high point. Yes, that was some day. I can still picture your excited faces. Thanks for the joy.

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Twenty-Second: Reading Aloud

{Oh no! She's writing about reading again?Yes!}

Reading aloud can be quite enjoyable, but only WITH an audience. Otherwise . . . people may come to believe you're losing your marbles and you may shrug and wonder the same. {nothing new here} Besides, art needs feedback, in my opinion. I probably read to our two littles for far too long, but we all three enjoyed it. We digested Lucy Maude Montgomery, Madeleine L'Engle, Lee Nesbit and others who have since escaped my grey cells. I can even recall a summer trip, when I read my current novel, at the time, to N as he drove us across the state. All because I sensed, after a chapter, my constant laughter wasn't a kind gift to the driver--especially with a book that produced guffaws rather than chuckles.

During the first several years of working with the wee folk, it was rare for me to be given opportunities to read to them, but when we began doing small group weekly science lessons, I eventually found ways to wrap a book into our 20-30 minutes. I ended up with a nice collection of both fiction and nonfiction books that complemented our teaching targets. Then, during a lean time, our school district decided to cut librarians. We still had instructional assistants running the libraries, but running a class while checking out books, is a big job for one person.

Eventually I began reading the books during our library class--which led to me buying my own personal collection of books. And what a collection of books! So many characters! So many rhymes! And doing the voices and building the tension and milking the fun and oh how I miss it now. {K sighs and smiles} So, to sum up--it was an honor and a delight to read to all of you, whether for fun or knowledge, and I'll treasure the memories, as I travel through the following life chapters. Cheers!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Twenty-First: When They See You

This is for those adults who seem to understand that young folk want to be informed, seen and heard. Like the pilot, when lucky wee me got to join G'ma Weeks for a plane ride to the mountains. When we were first gaining altitude, and those power lines appeared to reach arms and wires out to ensnare and electrify us four(?) to death, the pilot casually commented (most likely after seeing my facial expression) on their presence and how they weren't as close as it seemed. Instant unclenching of the stomach muscles and the ability to enjoy the trip soon followed.

I can recall several instances of moments like that, like when a brother-in-law came to my rescue when a clutch cable broke on my first car. Afterwards, I felt like I'd contributed to the repair, rather than treated like a useless child. And then there was Uncle Dave, who we only saw once a year, but knew he'd see us and enjoy our company: he flipped as many pancakes as we could gobble up, gathered us to help churn ice cream, as he shared his favorite stories or (even better) act out his stories around the campfire. What joy! And I loved to retell those stories to others. Perhaps as a way of hanging onto the lore and making it stick in the memory?

To be honest, it's something I hoped to emulate as an adult, but the opportunities are rare these days. I'll take heart that I offered a few of those moments on the playground or in the classroom. There will be moments in the future--and here's me taking this opportunity to remind myself that the current situation is temporary. Truly.
See you . . . always.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Twentieth: Egg Me, Please

If there's one food that stands out above the others in my life, it would be eggs. It's a love affair that began early and stuck--like that missed smear of yolk on your plate."by the way, are you going to eat that?" Not like the dreaded banana, that (apparently) I was born to loathe. Mother would share that story once in awhile. She couldn't believe it was banana that I refused to get past my lips. (gag) I can.

But back to eggs, lovely eggs . . .  Every weekday childhood breakfast, included a bowl of oatmeal and an over easy egg with toast. I didn't dally over the oatmeal, but I had a particular routine/method when it came to enjoying that egg and the most important part was the division of the single piece of toast: toast for dipping and toast for slipping what remained of the egg onto--then open mouth to slowly, methodically, savor each buttery, yolky, crunchy, bite. Sigh.

There was one morning, (I remember, thanks to offending the cook) when Mother wasn't cooking breakfast--instead it was oldest sissy S at the stove (13 years older than I). She preferred to cook her eggs on a higher heat . . . leading to the DREADED wires around the egg edges! Sadly, this little imp pointed it out and the story still lives on. (No, I did not roll my eyes just now, I swear.)

Though, my most favorite egg memory, was when I was home in bed with one bug or another, and Mother would deliver a perfectly cooked, 3 minute egg, cubed and peppered on a saucer, with toast, to my bed. I tried to duplicate that nostalgic wee meal several times, but finally decided it was the memory and moment, rather than the actual food. Thanks for that lovely egg memory, Mom. Love you always.