Friday, May 27, 2016

Senior Day, or You Can't Go Home Again

Today is Senior Day at my high school. Currently I have four alumni hanging out in the library, waiting for their Senior friends to join them for lunch and the afternoon festivities.  I see this every year, and it doesn't matter which school I work. The alumni come back. 

I didn't do that. What I mean is, once I graduated, I didn’t spend time reminiscing about the “good ol’ days.” For me, at least, those days were over, in the rear view mirror, and there was no turning back. It's not that I didn't enjoy high school, or that I wasn't well-liked (I was a cheerleader and in band, so I covered the bases right there!). I was just too busy doing the college, work, life thing to worry about going back. I did, eventually, return, but it was kind of weird for me. The first time was just after my first year of college. I only visited two teachers and it was after school. We spoke of how I was doing  and I thanked them for the work they did in preparing me for college. I didn't feel the need to return after that. I said what I'd come to say.

Later on I returned professionally to do some of my pre-certification teacher observation hours. It took me an entire class period in one of the classrooms to realize that this was the very same room I spent four years taking Latin and English. It was so clean. So bright. The former inhabitant of that space, back in my day, had been in the room for at least 30 years! Gone were the books and years worth of memorabilia. Then there was the room across the hall, which belonged to my beloved history teacher. He passed away rather suddenly a few years after I graduated. Instead of his classroom being taken over by another teacher, it looked as if it had been made into an office or workroom. This was just too much for me.

My last return was for my 10 year reunion. It was not really that fun. I skipped my 20th. Facebook replaced my need to see many of the people I went to school with. Now, I'm venturing into new territory. I've accepted an invite to a multi-class reunion of sorts. A dinner at a restaurant in a different city than I even graduated from. I’m torn about attending, but if all else fails, I can make my excuses and leave after a few hours. 

I don't like walking down memory lane, which is probably why I am hesitant to even go to this reunion. I don't feel I have much in common with many of those I went to school with. My number one piece of advice that I give all Seniors: Don’t come back unless you have to. It's never the same. Thomas Wolfe was right- You can't go home again.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Day I Mowed, and Mowed, and Mowed

Yesterday was one of those days when you don't want to remember the date. It was an anniversary of something that should have been, but wasn't. I decided I was not going to let it get me down. That I was going to be happy. If I couldn't force happiness (because, really, you can't force yourself to be happy), I was going to keep myself busy. Yard work was my answer. So, I mowed. And mowed. Then mowed some more. My yard is pretty big, sitting on 1/4th an acre. My mom, who lives next door to me, has about the same amount of acreage. It took me a good 4 hours, with a few breaks in between sections, to get the whole area mowed. The great thing is, though, I use much of my mowing time to think, and boy did I do some thinking!
I've had this story idea germinating in my brain for a few years now. It was originally going to be a short film script for the Louisiana Film Prize, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to work for a novel. I had made note of that in the file, then sort of forgot about it. While mowing, this story popped up and I didn't want to shake it. Scenes and scenarios ran through my thoughts, and before I knew it, I was writing out dialogue in my head. I may have the first chapter written this week! It's been a while since I was this excited about a writing project. I can't wait to get to it.
So, what does the photo have to do with mowing? Nothing, but I love purslane, and I took this picture yesterday on one of my breaks. My grass is not nice enough to take a photo!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Longing for Patio Mornings

Lately, when I leave my house in the mornings to head off to work, I pass my datura bush with its previous evenings’ blooms in all their glory. They are so beautiful, I wish I could sit all morning, admiring their brilliance. Morning is the only time these lovelies can truly be appreciated since they start to unfold their trumpets just as the last of daylight slips away to the West. The bloom lasts less than 12 hours before they shrivel up, so my glances as I get into my car are about the only ones I get unless it's the weekend.  

This morning in particular, with the damp drops left over from an overnight rain, this bloom caught my attention and stopped me in my tracks. It glistened, glowing from within. I wanted so badly to have a seat, smell the dewy earth, and enjoy the morning. I wanted so badly to stay home and write. School will be out in just a few short weeks. I hope Ms. Datura saves some blooms back for me to see in June!