Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ordinary Gifts

     Celebrating with Ruth Ayres and others today. Come visit to see how wonderful it is to celebrate all the delights of the week! 
       Among all the other books I'm reading, I'm re-reading Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of An Ordinary Life, again loving her entries of the every day, and connecting this time to our celebrations each week. In her words, in the A's: AS - As self-conscious as rearranging what's on your coffee table before guests arrive--putting Art Forum and Milan Kundera's latest novel on top of People magazine and The Berenstine Bears' Potty Book. I used some of her work with my students when the book came out and was so loved, giving them a chance to have a fresh and positive look at their "ordinary" lives. It was a joy then, and today, too.

A few pieces from my ordinary week:
            I had the pleasure of having brunch last Sunday with a former colleague who's also no longer teaching. She was the "book buddy" I referred to often, and we met at a restaurant right at my favorite Indie bookstore, The Tattered Cover. It was like a spark to renew our talks, still about teaching, of course, about how it works NOT teaching, and about books. We won't stop reading and sharing!

             Many of you don't actually "see" me, so I'm sharing that I'm letting my hair grow. And I'm also telling that it's not easy. I have waves in some parts, and curls where they curl in different ways. I'm not too interested in this, but when a curl goes wrong in my bangs, I'm reminded that my grandfather used to say this rhyme to me: "There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. . ." I guess some things never change. 

            I have a confession to make. I do procrastinate, and most of the time, it's because I have a house repair. It's not easy being the only one to make decisions, so when I have some workman out to do "something", I have a tough time deciding if it's okay. For about ten days, I've heard a drip sound in one of the toilets. Yes, I knew it was not good to hear. And yes, I finally called and had a person out last Monday. He's here today to fix what's wrong because a part had to be picked up from the warehouse. So, it's okay. I did it. But I still don't like the doing.

            You know that Ingrid and Imogene form a big part of my life. This week I only saw Ingrid for a bit because her class had a campout trip, but Imi and I spent Tuesday afternoon at McDonald's. A nearby one has a new play space. I've been to quite a few amusement parks through the years, and although they're  larger and maybe fancier, I see the same joy in the kids playing here at McDonald's as in other places. There's something enticing to kids about climbing into tunnels, zipping down slides, and screaming!


            I hosted my book club Thursday evening. We love talking books, and talking "us". This time there were only five of us. I celebrate their life enthusiasm for doing things. One is waiting patiently for the adoption process to finalize, then she and her husband will have their first child! Another, my friend I wrote about above, is starting a new life without teaching. Right now, she and her husband are in NYC visiting their son, and seeing a play performed that was written by one of our former students! Another friend who already has a successful restaurant is stepping away from it to begin a new adventure in food trucks! It's always a joy to see these strong and courageous women.

            I worked at the bookstore Thursday, my usual shift, and met wonderful people who wanted to find books just for their own needs. One woman is in town because her husband is in the hospital. For her, easy reads to fill the time in the hospital room. Two teens came in on their 'off hours' to browse. One, an artist, bought an art book and the other bought a chocolate cookbook. They were already making plans for cooking that night!

My ordinary week is one I'm celebrating. And I did make a place for the needs of those after both the hurricanes. Those I know are all right, although one still needs power back, but others will continue to need help and we mustn't forget them. 

14 comments:

  1. I love that book by AKR. It's brilliant in it's simplicity! My favorite part of this post is how you describe the customers at the bookstore. I'm thinking about shopping in bookstores and I don't think anyone would be able to describe me or why I'm there. What a gift that you really see them and value their presence in the store. So glad to celebrate with you today!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. AKR's book makes me think and look and listen to what I would write, too. I love it, so glad you do, too. As for the bookstore, it may be because we do not have an onslaught of customers so I do have the time to talk with each one. It's fun to meet them & hear their stories.

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  2. "The Encyclopedia of Ordinary Things" and "Textbook" both touched me. I loved AKR's unexpected structures and her voice. I have learned to appreciate the ordinary more and more as the time goes by. It is true that I don't see you with my eyes but I see you with my heart through your stories (as Gloria Dump said in Because of Winn-Dixie)

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    1. Thanks, Terje, I know that I see you, too! AKR's Textbook is lovely, too, I agree, but thought I'd start by re-reading the Encyclopedia. I've forgotten some favorite parts! Her work inspires me to notice even more than is usual.

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  3. It's a joy to share ordinary moments of our lives. And I love The Tattered Cover! We have happy family memories of spending time there when we went to Colorado. I've been working on kicking out some long delayed items on my to do list, so I totally understand procrastinating needed items. It's such a relief when they get done. Happy weekend, my friend!

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    1. TC is terrific. I've been here so long that this is now the third site they've had (I think!) I'm glad to know you've been there. And those "needed" tasks that I can't do myself do linger! Ha! Someday the list will shorten I hope! Happy Weekend to you, too, Ramona!

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  4. I enjoyed reading about the ordinary parts of your week, Linda. I have to admit, the part about growing your hair caught my attention. It takes so much patience!

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    1. I am determined to try something different, and you are so right, it takes patience! Thanks, Laura!

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  5. I love AKR's nonfiction. I want to revisit them. I just ordered a copy of the Peter Reynolds poster that features her quote, "Make the most of your time here." She shared so much of herself and I'm thankful for that.

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    1. Yes, she left us extraordinary gifts. I'm loving this book all over again. Thanks, Crystal.

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  6. I'm with you on the awkwardness of growing out your hair. I went through that for my daughters' weddings. Now I've cut it some and trying to go with the natural curl. It's nice to just wash and go.
    AKR has so much to offer us still. I read Textbook and passed it on to my sister.
    I do love reading your ordinary weeks because they are so full of love and life.

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    1. I could let the hair go, but it's a few strange curls that are, well, not so great. Such a little problem. . . I do feel great when I read Amy K-R's words, a good part of my day! Thanks, Margaret.

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  7. YOU are an extraordinary gift, Linda. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your everyday life. I can relate to your hair growing out - my hair has some whack-a-doodle ideas when it gets to a certain length. AKR was a gem and inspiration, and so are you. =)

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    1. Great to hear from you! And, yes, AKR's words are special. Thank you!

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