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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day Twenty-Eight of Thirty-One: Not My Nine-Year-Old

When did this happen? When did this little girl become double digits? Shawn and I were talking about it last night and realizing as we talked that in less time than we have known her she will likely be moving on. Starting an independent life of her own.

As I watched her last night decorating her cupcakes for school I could see that independence blooming. She's grown so much over the past year. Her confidence is no longer in short supply. She brushes her hair on a more regular basis (this is a big deal). Her style is all her own. The creativity inside her continues to make its mark and some day I am sure will make a splash in a big way.

She's not my nine-year-old anymore. :)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Day Twenty-Seven of Thirty-One: Not My House

Today I was teaching a poetry lesson on personification. I talked about taking an existing poem and just changing the perspective.
Did you write a poem about the sunrise? How do the trees tell the poem? How about the sun?

I also explained that personification is a great way to explore sensory details. Thinking about the five senses +1 (emotional feeling) and giving objects or non-human things senses can help when trying to add personification to a poem.

Later I was thinking about what I might personify in a poem. I thought about my poor empty house. As I started to write about it, I realized I wasn't personifying it quite like I expected but instead writing it a letter of sorts.

I sometimes wonder
if you miss us.
I feel bad
you were left behind.


We are okay.
Don't worry
but we miss you.
We'll visit again soon.

So, I decided to try again and write something truly from the house's perspective. I realized that I couldn't do it. It's a little too hard to think about the house as a person. Then I thought about how they are going to tear it down and I thought the house might wonder if that was going to happen. It might ask. I didn't want to tell the house. In a weird way, putting that in a poem would be like admitting the house was dead and I'm not quite ready to do that. I'm not ready to tell the house.

This place, it is not my house. It is a home. It is comfortable. My house is not jealous. It is not human. But I do sometimes feel its feelings. Its sadness. I feel it for the house. I am my house.

This is not my house. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Day Twenty-Six of Thirty-One: Not My Cabinet

My great-grandmother, Edith, was quite a character. When I was still living at home we would go every weekend to take her out to lunch and run different errands. She lived about thirty minutes from our house in a nursing home. She was a very observant lady who, even though she could barely see, didn't seem to miss a beat. Edith was always up for a trip or a good chicken wing. 

Because she spent a lot of time alone, she had a lot of time to think and watch the Lawrence Welk Show. We would often know when it was on because she would call to tell us the channel. Surely we would want to watch too. She would also call quite frequently to ask my mom about various items.

"Do you know where you put my salt and pepper shakers?"

There were so many things she wondered about and she would often give my mom directions as to which cabinet or drawer the item had once belonged to. I imagine it gave her a reason to call but I also think she honestly wondered about all her "stuff." 

I have a better appreciation for that wonder now. I sit here, all the time, my mind might be on any number of things but I still picture my house. I picture my cookbooks every Sunday because I would often grab one or two from the cabinet above my stove when I was making my meal plan for the week. Rarely did I actually pick a new recipe but I really liked looking through my cookbooks. I imagine my great-grandma also pictured her home and exactly where those salt and pepper shakers used to be. 

The cabinet above the stove here is empty. It's not my cabinet. I look forward to rebuilding my cookbook collection and filling up a cupboard with new memories one day. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Day Twenty-Five of Thirty-One: Not My Shoes

Back on day twelve I sliced about "not my style." I was ready to break into spring weather wear and mentioned the fact that I haven't purchased any sandals and I still only have one pair of shoes.

Well, now I don't even have those!
Elliot, my eleven year-old, and I have have the same size feet at the moment. He must, at all times, have two pairs of tennis shoes. We have learned we just always need a backup. This was one of the first purchases we made for the kids. He had one pair of shoes for a couple of days until I quickly bought another pair remembering the day would come when he would need a back-up for whatever reason.

Last week, one of his shoes got caught on the leg of a desk and tore a hole right in the side. He came home with packaging tape all over his foot and shoe. Enter back-up shoes! I was so proud that I had gotten them and wouldn't have to run out that night to get shoes.

The next day Elliot and my husband were playing soccer in the back yard. The ball went out on the ice covered channel. Without going into that story, Elliot's shoes got completely soaking wet. We put the shoes down in the basement near the heater in hopes they would be dry by morning. I was sure they would be.

It was a typical run around like crazy get this, grab that morning.
Elliot goes to put his shoes on and says, "Um, mom, my shoes are still really wet."
WHAT? A moment of panic, then I remember we have the same size foot!
"Here, try these on."
"These are perfect! They are actually kind of comfortable."


That night, as I watched him run around in the backyard I realized I didn't have shoes anymore. I'm pretty sure he's claimed them and knowing him, he'll need that back-up pair anyway.

Not my shoes, anymore. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Day Twenty-Four of Thirty-One: Not My Fans

I've never had a house with a ceiling fan. In this house, every single room has a ceiling fan. Each one is different and a little unique from the others. Today was warm. It actually felt a little hot! We had all the windows open and several of the fans going. The breeze throughout the house made me feel like I was outside. As I would walk from room to room I was constantly hit with moving air. It felt pretty good. Fresh. There is nothing better than opening up all the windows in the house on one of the first warm days of spring. Each breath feels a little cleansing like you are exhaling winter.

Not My Fans 
Well, three of the six anyway.

I wasn't allowed to turn this one (below) off. It's actually really warm in our bedroom! I promise that is not me complaining about the heat already. ;)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Day Twenty-Three of Thirty-One: Not My Fowl

Some of you may remember, from previous years, how much I have sliced about birds. I love birds. I have written many poems about them and I find them fascinating. I don't necessarily like "pet store" birds, they kind of freak me out, but birds in the wild. I love them!

When I was a little girl I would chase birds around my yard desperate to catch one. I wanted one so badly. When I see my first robin each year in the spring, it makes me so happy. I've been in near car crashes because of unusually early robins.

Perhaps one of my most favorite birds EVER is the Great Blue Heron. Once when we were kayaking down the river a few years back we saw one as it flew over the water. It was an amazing sight. I would occasionally see one on my drive to work. I don't think I ever got a picture of it. My kids got really good at getting my attention when a bird was near.

Tonight Elliot was taking the dog out and ran back in the house.

"Mom, get your phone. You aren't going to believe this."

There, right on the edge of the water was a heron eating a fish. I've never seen one eat right before my eyes like that. I scrambled to get my phone and video it's little dance on the side of the water. It was quite something. We watched for quite a while. Eventually, it moved on but it was a nice way to wrap up the day. It's not my fowl but it got my attention and I hope it comes back to visit again soon.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Day Twenty-Two of Thirty-One: Not My Couch

You know what's strange? Sitting in a house that is empty and doesn't belong to you while two people you don't know bring in a whole bunch of furniture that doesn't belong to you.

"Where would you like this?"
"Um...I What do you think?"

I remember sitting in the living room, Janie on one side, Elliot on the other. We just sat there and watched. They put together tables, furniture legs, and unwrapped throw pillows. They even had artwork to put on the walls. I declined. I wasn't really sure if we were allowed to put holes in the walls. 

I felt so lucky and yet so oddly out of place. Here we were in this nice home with furniture to lay our heads on and space to move. We were out of the hotel room and we were excited but at the same time unsettled. 

I think of all the furniture that we lounged on, I miss our couches the most. They were so comfy and I loved wrapping myself up in a blanket and snuggling into the corner. The sofa we are renting right now is a bit hard and not so comfy. It's not my couch but I do enjoy looking out the window while sitting on it.