Sunday, November 07, 2010

One is the Loneliest Number

I'm reading a ton of books on the craft of writing fiction and enjoying myself immensely- not to mention, driving my husband and daughter crazy as well. I love all these helpful exercises ( just like I love to take those personality tests, strengths assessments, funny quizzes- like "what vegetable are you?" which we will have to do another day).

Anyhow, a recent exercise was to write about your earliest memory of happiness or your earliest accomplishment. I'm sure one of my earliest accomplishments was that of getting heard- as I was one of five children. But the memory that came to my mind was one from Kindergarten.

One day, Mrs. Zigo, my teacher, told us to come up to the blackboard, one by one, and write a number. Simple exercise, I thought. I went up and carefully drew a "2" and apparently it was more than elegant. The woman went bezerk over it, commending me liberally in front of the whole class and then telling me to go down the hallway and get my father to come and see this grand work of art(?) I'd just written. My father was a fifth grade teacher in the school. And he came in and nodded, yes, it was a nice "2" and then he left. His lack of ecstasy did nothing to diminish my joy because if Mrs. Zigo thought it was the most perfect 2 in the world, then it had to be.

So there are several conclusions you can draw from this story if you want to.

1. Teachers have the incredible ability of making a kid feel absolutely competent and alive with hope- and even if its kindergarten, you never forget how high you soared on the day you were noticed for the wonder you really are.

2. Two is, obviously, my favorite number. Has been ever since kindergarten. Just a bid of odd info for you here.

3. Lastly- In a world where Looking Out for Number One has been the norm, the number two can sometimes be the preferred number. Here's an example- on a picnic, would you like it be just yourself- or you and someone else? (Forget how hungry you are, we're trying to get at something profound here.) Would you like one scoop of Thanksgiving Day Mashed Potatoes or two? I thought so.

A wise man said it best: "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed." (Eccl 4:9)

So there's my earliest accomplishment. But really, it was Mrs. Zigo's accomplishment- she took the number two and turned it into something so much more.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Making Room for the Turkey

This was the Thanksgiving table at my sister's house ...from last year. (There must have been another table nearby not shown in the picture because we are a huge extended family).

But everything changes, and this year we will be a rather disjointed bunch scattered across the map. I'm trying not to mourn this but its going to be a challenge doing the Thanksgiving Dinner at my house.

My problem is I have no room for a Turkey in my freezer or fridge. I've got more than just house cleaning to do now- I've got to start organizing and thinning out and using up the contents of my freezer to make way for the bird! So I'm baking up a storm again- bread puddings (to use up all the frozen loafs of bread), pumpkin chocolate chip cake (just because it's delicious), and baked macaroni and cheese (to use up all the shredded cheddar in the freezer).

So, again, if it takes me awhile to do another post, you'll know where I am and what I'm doing!