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Category Archives: Memoir

The Gift of Time

We are in unprecedented days where the world is seemingly shut down for a time and we all hunker behind closed doors for fear of sickness. It feels scary, and lonely for some. For others it feels like a huge inconvenience that they deem unnecessary and fear driven. And then there are those who must go to work to save lives. For them it feels like a battle.

I’m choosing to view this time as a gift. A gift of working from home. A gift of extra days with my senior who will leave for college in the fall. A gift of concentrated time with my 12 year old on the precipice of adolescence. A gift of no practices, rehearsals, or stressful commute times. A gift of time.

Yesterday I started reading Little Women to my girls. We were struck by their creativity with so few resources, their time spent thinking and doing rather than zoning out. Their connection to each other. So in the spirit of 19th Century literature, here are a few things my daughters and I will be doing in the days to come:

Reading, writing, playing piano, playing ukulele, singing, Bible reading, chores, house projects, playing games, going for walks, dance parties, painting, crocheting, probably not performing plays, but who knows…our house often feels like one big musical theater rehearsal.

Since we don’t live in the 19th century there will also be video games, tv, movies, Snapchat, funny memes, and calling friends.

And since we are human, I’m sure there will be arguing, unkindness, laziness, annoying behaviors…and those who point out the annoying behaviors.

But we will do our best to redeem this time, love each other, lean on Jesus, pray for health and for those most affected by the battle, donate to helpful causes, check on the lonely, and wash our hands.

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Posted by on March 18, 2020 in Memoir, Uncategorized

 

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Reflections on my coffee addiction…

A few weeks ago I published a post titled, “Thank You for the Coffee” an ABBA-esque tribute to my husband and his loving coffee service. 

A few days ago the unthinkable happened.

There was no coffee in the house.

My thoughtful and loving husband had forgotten to mention he used the last of it to make coffee the day before. The panic stricken thoughts that ran through my mind were jarring.

“How could he FORGET to tell me we ran out of coffee?”

“He KNOWS how much my morning DEPENDS on coffee!” 

“Calm down. It will be ok. There is chai tea. I can just make some of that.”

“Ok, it’s not as good, but once I wake up, I can run to the store and buy real coffee.”

“How am I supposed to wake up?!”

This whole scenario made me really think hard about the history and nature of my coffee addiction. (Apparently, when I think hard, I think in bullet point lists.)

  •  I used to beg sips out of my mother’s coffee as a child (or often my dad’s because he added more sugar).
  •  The first time I drank coffee out of necessity was after a late night science project in middle school.
  •  I began to drink coffee regularly in college and even had a 4-cup coffee pot in my room.
  •  Probably the last time I went without was more than seven years ago while pregnant with my 4th child. Even then, I’m sure I just gave it up the first trimester.
  •  My addiction has now reached a level of panic and caffeine withdrawal symptoms if I miss my morning coffee.
  • One cup is like trying to eat one potato chip. I drink up to three every morning and often one in the afternoon.
  • The coffee experience is as much about the morning ritual as it is about the caffeine. The caffeine keeps me from having a headache, but the ritual starts my morning with a peaceful warm cup of joy during my quiet reading time. 
  •  Coffee is a vehicle for pleasant conversations with good friends.

Does any of this alarm me or make me think I should cut back?

 Absolutely not. 

I live in the land of a Starbucks on every corner and hip, trendy coffee shops on the opposite corner. 

I will, however, be more aware of our supply in the future. A morning without coffee is no morning at all.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Humor, Memoir

 

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Kindergarten Memories

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In the spirit of Anne Lamott, I asked my students to do a version of her “school lunch” writing exercise.* Instead of school lunch, we wrote about kindergarten. In the exercise, she asks her students to write down everything they can remember about school lunch and then see what stands out that could be turned into its own story. In her example it was the ‘boy against the fence’ who popped out of nowhere. In mine, it was Dennis. 

Dennis.

I don’t even remember his last name, but with his dark brown hair and deep blues eyes, he was the man – at least in kindergarten. In games of kissing tag, he was always my intended conquest.

You can imagine my thrill when we were made milk-buddies for the week. Everyday I walked to the lunch room with Dennis, entered the giant, dark, metal refrigerator, filled the milk crate with enough cartons for our class and carried it back to our classroom hand in hand….except for the milk crate between us. Our week together was bliss until the incident. The incident that scarred my kindergarten memories.

My teacher was only trying to keep us safe. Earlier in the week, a student, who had been running, collided with someone else and was badly hurt. She made a new rule: absolutely no running in the classroom.

In my exuberance to meet my milk buddy for our daily walk together, I scooted across the floor. I’m not sure you could really call it running….maybe more like race-walking. Either way, the teacher called it running and paddled me in front of everyone. Then sent me off in shame with my milk buddy, Dennis.

I was quiet as we walked down the hall that day. Then Dennis said the only three words I ever remember him saying to me, “did it hurt?”

“Did it hurt?” Not, “are you ok?” or “I’m sorry that happened to you. You most certainly weren’t running!” But, “did it hurt.” Like he was doing research to weigh the pros and cons of acting up in the future.

I told him that it embarrassed me more than hurt me, and we went on with our task.

I don’t remember pursuing Dennis much after our week as milk buddies.

I do remember the puffy alphabet letters….maybe a topic for another post.

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*Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird c.1994

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Memoir

 

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