Monday, May 19, 2008

200 things about me

1. oldest of 6
2. went to about 15 elementaries, I have lost count
3. still learned to read
4. read voraciously
5. still read, but elder vision changes the voracious part
6. forgot to say amen at the benediction at high school graduation, left everyone standing until I realized I needed to trot back up to the podium and release them
7. adored living within a mile of 6 matching cousins
8. churched myself in my late childhood and teen years still don't have "The Answers"
9. smashed my front teeth on the monkey bars in third grade, didn't get them repaired until after I graduated from high school
10. lived in California from first grade through fifth grade, that is why I hit
11. 6 feet tall--sunshine vitamin D
12. my sunshine vitamin D brother hit 6'7" that's not really about me is it.
13. my fifth grade teacher read The Jungle Book to us and Wind in the Willows
14. I read them over and over throughout my childhood and teen years
15. She also taught us watercolor and encouraged my love of art
16. I didn't get my bead for coloring in campfire girls because I colored outside the lines, and now
17. I am an art teacher
18. I am 7 years older than my baby brother and I was holding him in my lap when he was new and he gave a great kick and flew off my lap onto his head on the floor.
19. I saw that same brother in flames when he was two when he and my little sister were playing with a cigarette lighter before anyone in the house was up
20. I had to be an adult and a parent to realize that my 4 year old sister was not to blame, sorry Kathy, sometimes it takes a while to learn.
21. we lived in an apartment on stilts on the beach in California where people came galloping down on palominos
22. we went out to the beach to watch the grunions running, silver masses of tiny fish in the moonlight burned in my brain, waves full
23. we would ride around on the weekends and go to open houses for the California dream
24. one week orange groves,next week houses, or so it seemed
25. The air was so bad in the mid fifties that my throat and chest would hurt from the smog
26. there was a horrible heatwave when we lived in Inglewood, we laid out in the yard at night and watched the tv in the back door and vomited in the bushes from the heat
27. my parents would sing and dance and kiss in the kitchen
28. I would stand on a box and wash dishes after all the kids were asleep and Mom and Dad would eat steaks and watch tv
29. carnations in California have a fabulous odor that is tamed out of them now
30. I was nearsighted so I ate two bags of raw carrots to make my eyes better
31. I threw up orange slaw and lost a day
32. I overheard Mom's friends say she wasn't pregnant she just liked those tops
33. I witnessed the castration of the landlord's daughter's horse
34. I petted the landlord's highly trained lion killing hound dog
35. I babysat for JoAnn's kids when I was 8 and they had to break in their kitchen window because I was sound asleep on the couch
36. JoAnn took me to get my first glasses at a clinic because my dad thought poor vision was a government plot to get him to spend money
37. I may have been the only kid in the family to get glasses regularly, every few years, as they wore out
38. most everyone else needed them, but there was no JoAnn to get them started
39. and no clinic
40. JoAnn taught me to knit when I was 10
41. I knit one slipper and by the time I was finished I had grown out of it and swore off knitting for 50 years
42. then I took a class and the rest is hatstory
43. I drew and drew and doodled my way through school
44. I had good grades with little effort
45. that changed in college, country girl with no study skills
46. Ant T's good friend told me when she met me she thought I was beautiful, commanding, smart, and talented,
47. A far cry from the tall, skinny, ugly girl I thought I was
48. I just heard that in our long late night conversation about the hanging on to dear life of my sister-in-law-- I wish I'd felt that
49. she said I had that and that is why my kids are so fabulous, they knew it if I didn't, hmmmm.
50. she gave credit to their dad, too
51. grasshoppers and poinsettias were bigger in California
52. My PaPaw stayed with us for a few months when he had very bad emphysema and then lung cancer
53. He helped me wash dishes and taught me how to wash silverware
54. We would line up in the school cafeteria in Paramount and get our polio shots--I was not a good shot getter
55. jump ahead 50 years--I am having a completely new experience this weekend, moderating a panel at a lit fest in Chicago! Wow! I'm impressed
56. I learned to ride a bike on the landlord's daughter's bike and didn't have a bike of my own until I was married with a child
57. I would ride that sleeping baby to his doctors appointment with his head bobbing in the baby seat.
58. years later I once took the twin girls to a doc's appointment with one in a baby seat and the other in a backpack, I wonder why she didn't fall out over my head
59. back to childhood--we left the land of dreams and came back to Indiana in a car packed to the level of the back seat and the trunk full of mostly Dad's mechanic's tools.
60. by then there were 5 of us one a yearling and another on the way.
61. we never heard of fast food and survived on boiled potatoes and boiled eggs
62. somewhere in the great southwest there was an infestation of locusts or grasshoppers and the road was alive with millions of them covering everything.
63. I remember when someone came to buy what we were leaving behind and the offer was so low that even I, a 10 year-old was outraged and said so, in tears
64. I had to leave my book behind, a real hard back book "Lightfoot the Deer"
65. we had to leave our Christmas decorations
66. Mom had to leave her books
67. we had to leave Toby our parakeet behind
68. the neighbors who came in to take what was left, left the bird to die
69. as we got closer and closer to the Midwest, the world got greener and greener
70. the trees got closer and closer to the road
71. I thought we were in Chicago for some reason, but I just realized it must have been St. Louis, Chicago doesn't make any sense
72. we left so much behind, but I arrived at my favorite and lifelong friend's my cousins in an actual outfit,the newest thing, pedal pushers and a blouse with sailboats on it and a great California tan and white hair, soon to turn brown
73. we had what seemed like a long adventurous summer staying at my cousins
74. it was really two weeks
75. we 5 oldest slept in the barn loft and Neal the dog kept away the beasties in the night
76. that didn't seem the least bit scary
77. this started years of summer swimming all day every day in the creek in the summer
78 we all learned to swim there, some nearly drowned there and all without the watchful eye of adults
79. I got to be a total outsider for 6 years in a country school where you had to have several generations behind you to fit in
80. I don't go to class reunions
81. I have stayed in the city where I graduated from college and met my husband here
82. I don't think I can make it to 200 even parsing it down this small
83. I have three magnificent independent, successful, children
84. I earned a degree in studio art
85. elementary education
86. added art ed to that about 5 years ago
87. now I teach middle school art
88. A high school art teacher told me my students are really producing and I beam
89. this year I am counting the days until the end of school
90. my cousin Rose and I have both said our ashes should be thrown in the swimmin' hole
91. I watch too much tv or at least it is on
92. we did live one year in Florida
93. hated it
94. I had a CT scan last week and it sounded like my efficient washing machine just now
95. I have been listening to the Jill Bolte Taylor interviews on Oprah and friend
96. I am feeling more hopeful for my sister-in-law's recovery
97. I am anxious for dh to get there so he can feel better about this whole thing
98. I have a piece hanging temporarily at the Community Theater
99. I have 4 grandchildren, one I get to see a lot
100 I am grasping at straws here, this is worth a hundred points, I like middle schoolers

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