Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Bite Did That?

I bought an apple yesterday. It was an ordinary apple, the kind I eat all the time. But this apple was amazing. One bite of that crunchy apple and my mind was aflood with memories. It was sweet and juicy and I was instantly transported to an apple grove where our kids reached for apples to fill our bushel basket. Another crunch and I was 14, it was a chilly fall night and I was at the Texas State Fair munching on caramel apples the size Texas!! My mind flitted to the colors of fall in the Utah canyons during my freshman year of college, the sounds of fall; football games as a cheerleader and marching with the band, the sound of helmet to helmet and the twang of the trampoline bounce as we rocketed into flips and spins with each touchdown. Another bite and I was watching my kiddos bob for apples at Fall Festivals, sewing Halloween costumes for the umpteenth time. Wow, how could one ordinary apple do all that?!?!?

It's Fall Break in our neck of the woods (or cactus as it may be) and that means a while week all to myself; days to read, ponder and make some more brain connections!! I made a list of things to do so I would not waste one precious minute of this week. My list was a simple one - some of the things it included were visiting Sonic for my favorite drink, walking through a favorite store, washing my sliding glass door, shopping with my daughter, getting my hair done, and calling a friend. I also included a few chores so anyone who saw my list might think I was at least appearing productive - yep, cleaning that closet really was therapeutic!! I even wrote down my favorite guilty pleasure - - laying in bed in the morning and reading til I was ready to get up for the day.

Actually each activity was a memory maker this week. Was it just because I had the time (or took the time) to watch, listen and enjoy the memories? The closet cleaning transported me again. Each pair of old shoes was a reminder of a dance, an event, an outfit. Each shirt folded up and ready to give away was a memory. Some items I could hardly bear to part with. These were the parts of my little girl, all grown up now, that I was unsure if I wanted to give away; unsure if she was ready to say goodbye to. Wow, one closet held all those thoughts and experiences??

The reading in bed each morning sent my memories back to flashlights and books under the covers in the bedroom with my sister, to cuddling in bed with my kiddos and reading story and after story to them. My brain was full of connections!! I am amazed at the connections our brain makes. When it somehow pieces places and names together, smells and sounds, images, events.

I'll see the cover of the book Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown now and always think of fall break, the Civil War, and friendship. I'll walk into my local bookstore and remember the smell when I picked up my copy Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; it was the smell of pages, ink, books, the cafe, and fresh bread baking!! This week has been a feast for my senses.

We're finishing our week with a trip to Las Vegas to be with all of our grown kiddos and see one of our sons get married. My brain is already making connections as I pack books for the drive, select clothes for the wedding and plan restaurants to eat at and celebrate in. It will be another packet of memories for my brain to open next time I bite into the perfect apple. I know an apple can do that!

Does your brain ever do that??

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When Little Things Become Big

Today I walked home for a mile in my sassy high heeled sandals. I tried to keep up with my husband and his incredibly long legs step for step. As we walked I could tell that my feet were beginning to hurt just a little. I was too proud to stop and fix what was bothering me. Instead I waited until I got home. What started out as a little blister is now a BIG blister. Ouch!

(I opted to not show you my real blister - too yucky!)

Other things go from little to big too!

My TBR pile .... it seems to be growing exponentially!! Just awhile ago it was a little pile....and then another must-read arrived this week. I can't wait for October break so I can catch up! Waiting in the wings: Black Angels, Catching Fire, Silksinger, Fablehaven (for Book Group,) The Other Queen ...and darn it, I'll probably add another book or two from some great suggestions!

My stacks of papers to be graded for Report Cards. I am doing much better than previous years but this last week of testing always snowballs. Where there only a few stray papers to grade now there are stacks!! I have English Language Report Cards, regular academic Report Cards, Reading lab Report Cards, Writing Portfolios, and End of Book Reports all due. I will need a Fall Break!


My silly mistakes!! They start out small and seem to grow overnight. When did I become so proficient at making mistakes? It seems the more I try to improve, the more mistakes I make; at home, at work, in my church service. I've decided to practice what I preach at school and remember that "Mistakes are the stepping stones to learning!!" Don't be afraid. It may take me awhile but I'll try to be willing to make mistakes!

I'm going to find some big bandaids now and admire my blisters....