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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Best Days of My LIfe

I’m not one of those girls who cries a lot.

But lately I feeeeeel like crying—like when I'm listening to Dave Matthews, or when I’m hiking with my dog, or when I watch my sons studying.

Or when my students say “AHA!” or “Thank you,” or “This is so exciting!”

It feels like being pregnant, only without the vomit. 

Maybe I've discovered an alternative to pregnancy--something that creates a similar amount of emotional tenderness, but doesn’t include the stress over what you’re going to be able to eat next.

I think it requires reading and discussing ideas. On a daily basis. With a bunch of sassy pants teenagers.While simultaneously not getting enough sleep.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but sometimes during my classes, I forget to look at the clock. 

And sometimes I don’t wish I was the custodian.

And sometimes, when my students are interrupting each other to tell me what the sunshine represents in The Scarlet Letter, or why the ending is satisfying, I think to myself, “why did I want to get cancer again?”

Once in a while, I even think, “Why did I want my students to get cancer again?”

This I think, even if they call Hester Prynne a “Ho” or an “Idiot,” or Dimmesdale a Jerk.

I know, right? How did this happen?

Once I even thought, “If I were at home right now washing dishes and folding laundry I would have missed this conversation.”

But then I went home and we were out of clean dishes and clean socks, and I felt like crying all over again.

But I didn't.

I'm just not a crier.

Except in my sleep.

This morning I woke up and my pillow was wet. My face was wet too.

I had  been dreaming that my daughter was jumping around in our driveway in Hawaii with my three sons, who had little round crew-cut heads. She was 8 years old and her hair, parted in the middle, bounced off her shoulders as she spun around, singing with her signature raspy voice. As she turned toward me I caught sight of her face, dotted with familiar freckles, and I ran to her, pulled her into my arms, and hugged her tight.

I didn't let go either.

Then I burst into tears and said to my husband, "These are the best days of my life."








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Thursday, August 29, 2013

How can you tell you're in love . . .

. . . with your AP Language class?

Something about the way the students groan when the bell rings, then say, "We need to come to school earlier."

And how can you tell you're in love with your daughter?

You just know. Even before your water breaks at Kentucky Fried Chicken you know. And even after your heart breaks as she goes off to college you know.

But now she has gone off to study abroad in Paris. In other words, she's living my dream.

I would have lived my dream myself, if I hadn't decided to live my dad's dream of studying abroad in Isreal.

I could have lived my dream with my daughter if I hadn't decided to live my grandmother's dream of teaching high school.

Maybe someday, after I die, my granddaughter will live my dream of blogging across America in a van down by the river with my dog and my Nutribullet.


Sometimes I lay awake at night and think about how far away my daughter lives.

Instead of counting sheep I count miles. That's how I can tell I'm in love.

From God's view, I look like this, only with bigger hair.


 


Only a few days ago I could walk down the hall and down the stairs to reach my daughter.

Only a few months ago I didn't even have to get out of bed to talk with her through the closet between our rooms.

Only a few years ago, I could rub my belly and feel her reassuring kick.

But now she's in Paris.


She also got her mission call to Nashville, and she leaves one week after she returns from Paris.

.


I couldn't be happier.



At least I've got my AP Language class.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Good Morning Love

Close your eyes and inhale.

Now exhale.

That's right, let it all out.

Now go into a down dog, and feel the stretch. Slowly move into child's pose, and release all your worries into the universe.

Now try a cow stretch. A tree pose. A mountain pose. A bridge pose. Twist into an awkward chair pose . . .
Jump into a handstand. A finger stand. A nose stand . . . 

That's it. Now you're groovin'.

Now go grab a mango smoothie, and stick your toes in the sand. Lean back and let the sun have his way with you, while the waves yawn and stretch.

Now push play on this new Cubworld single "Good Morning Love" and pretend Jack Johnson is making your banana pancakes for breakfast.



Now watch this image swing back and forth as you listen to the song.


You are getting sleepy. Very sleeeeeeeepy.

When I snap my fingers you will wake up, and tell your love, good morning.


You all know I love me some Cubworld, and that his last album Speak Softly Carry a Big Stick could have been the soundtrack to my life, right?

Or was Step Lightly Create Out Loud?




Whatever.

Well Cubworld has done it again. You can take the boy's music out of the islands, but your can't take the islands out of the boy's music.

Click here to download this single for free until his new album comes out early next month.

And as if he's not talented enough, he's also the creator of COLD--Create Out Loud Designs Don't check it out unless you want to feel cool and hip.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Road Trippin'

I do other stuff besides teach high school you know. I paint stuff, and I eat stuff, and I complain about stuff. I also vacuum stuff, and worry about stuff.

And last week I packed stuff into my car--including my husband, my twins, and my dog, and we drove for hours and hours to watch my oldest son play basketball at the new 225 million dollar Matthew Knight Arena at the University of Oregon, which I'm pretty sure Nike paid for.

My daughter didn't come with us because, as she put it, she couldn't get off work, because, as she put it, someone has to work around here to pay for my study abroad to Paris in the fall!

(Raise your hand if you want to hide in her suitcase with me?) 

I have  never been to Oregon before, but as far as I can tell, it is exactly like Utah. Except  the voice inflection doesn’t have that game-show-host ring to it. 

And the air smells like a sprinkler rather than a sauna. 

And in Utah my hair looks like this:


But in Oregon my hair looks like this:  


Also, in Oregon The Department of Transportation super-sizes the speed limit signs and posts them every. single. mile along the interstate. I was able to memorize the speed limit in Oregon in less than six hours.

(What's the speed limit in Utah again? You'd think I would know it after graduating with a double major from traffic school.) 

But mostly Oregon is exactly like Utah. Except Oregon is a more "nurturing" environment, or, as my husband would say, a more “liberal,” environment.


You are not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. That job is outsourced to the locals, which is why Oregon was voted the state most likely to have clean windshields.

In a less “nurturing” environment, people pump their own gas and clean their own windshields. Take Utah for instance, no one is willing to pay someone to do something they can do themselves. Or can get someone to do for them for free.

Also, there are no plastic bags in Oregon, and I think the state has a restraining order on Walmart.  They are retro--still operating in the Fred Meyer time zone, which I believe is the late 80’s, early 90’s. They are also cool and hip, sporting chic little organic markets. My favorite was called Market of Choice. Like all the shopping venues in Oregonthe choice was not between paper or plastic, but between carrying your groceries to the car in your t-shirt, or paying a nickel for a paper bag.   

The hotels in Oregon also emphasize choice. That was the slogan for the hotel chain where we stayed in Pendleton. By Choice Hotels, which is a sweetened condensed way of saying, you chose this dump of your own volition, so quit your whining.  My twins were sure it was The Bates Motel disguised at a Rodeway Inn, so the slogan could also be a disclaimer: we are not responsible if you happen to get knocked off while staying here. 

My twins were so sure it was The Bates Motel they made us sleep right in front of the door--which was where the bed was located anyway, so it worked out perfectly. 


The Bates Motel in Oregon was a much better choice than The Bates Motel in Redding California. My new policy is, don't trust a hotel where the bathroom smells like a bathroom, or where the walls are spackled, but not painted, or where the tub is lower than the floor. You know it's bad when your dog paces the floor until 3 a.m., your husband passes on the free continental breakfast, and your twins are in the car with at a map at 6 a.m. 

Other slight differences between Utah and Oregon: Oregon has more video rental stores, less huge metal stars on their homes; more amber waves of grain, less purple mountains majesty; more Hall and Oats on the radio, less construction on the roads. Less liposuction, body contouring, and cellulite treatment commercials, more commercials about that purse who wants to do cartwheels but can’t because it doesn’t have the hand-eye coordination.

Other than that, I couldn't tell the two states apart. 

All in all, the road trip was a PaRtAy!  Here are the highlights: 



Meant to do that

Awwww 





 Thought you said meatballs and noodles







My first veggie burger



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