MeRrY ChRiStMaS!

A Memory as I Recall It

While searching in my recipe box for

holiday cookie favorites, I came upon this old
photo which graced our fridge for years.
I switched it to the safer
environment of the box as
I felt it had garnered enough
kitchen character.
It wasn't taken at Christmas, but somehow
the sticker frame and the photo became
a duo.

The great memory this picture encapsulates:
I was teaching second grade. It was year three
of my great four year career.
{said the housewife}
During that year, when my students and I
shared all the excitement of little Scout's
impending arrival,

one of the precious side effects was a ritual
that Evan and I fell into.

One day I mentioned in class how we liked to go
to Long John Silvers on Whatever Day ~
I can't recall which weekday or what the special was ~
and one of my students piped up that her family
liked going there, too. And I casually said how we could
meet there one day. Lo and behold, she came to class
with a note from mom and, long story short,
we made plans to meet there.

That first week started a sweet time capsule custom.
In the photo

above, which Mrs. Callihan asked us to pose for
and then generously shared a copy with me,
you see Evan, our Jon Cody, yours truly with Scout
cozily growing and awaiting her debut,
my adorable student, Courtney and her younger brother,
whose name is on the tip of my tongue, but
eluding me at the moment. Isn't he a cutie?

Some things I especially treasure about this photo,
apart from the obvious happenstance of how special
this impromptu chatter turned into a delightful
extension of my 'career'
and, therefore, defines much about my
short foray into teaching,
and, thanks in large part to this spontaneous photo,

a forever happy memory, are:

Jon Cody's groovy flat top, Courtney's awesome bow
and dress, little brother's Churchville Bumblebee sweatshirt,
the tennis shoe on the car roof ~ what is that? ~
my wedding ring on a ball chain, not because my
hands were swollen but because the pregnancy
immediately caused a strange gold allergic reaction

last but not least,
16 years later I am still wearing that chambray shirt
on a regular basis. I have patched it endlessly.
It still makes me feel as happy as I was when I
first borrowed it from Evan's side of the closet.
And this is the only photo that
serves as the memory of when
that came to be.
Thank you, Mrs. Callihan.

Merry Christmas Everyone.
May all your memories come true.



Where Have I Been?

It was a dark and stormy night...

It's been a long time since I've blogged.
I missed it a lot. But I was busy.
And still writing.
In fact, I was writing and writing...

...and writing...
I participated in NaNoWriMo.
That's National Novel Writing Month
and it takes place every November.
Since 1999. And it's international now.

The goal is to write a brand new
50,000 word {175 page}
novel in rough draft form
in the 30 days of November.
That's 1,667 words a day.

Evan, Scout and I all joined in.
Scout {15} wrote 20,611 words.
Evan wrote 51,600 words
and finished his novel.
I wrote 65,542 words.
Maybe first time's a charm because...
We did it!
But I wasn't finished with my novel...

So I kept at it until
at 10:00 AM on December 8th
I finished my novel
with 70,444 words.

It feels great.
It was really. really. really. hard.
It was also fun, satisfying and incredibly rewarding.

Now I am working on: Draft II ~ The Revision.
And I love it.
It's the best feeling to be reading
an entire novel from start to finish
~ that I wrote. It's surreal.
I highly recommend the experience.
Have a look around their site.
I would love to have you as my NaNoWriMo Buddy
in 2010.

In the meantime,
please read panel #3 above...
I am going to work my way
back into writing regularly
here at joonbeam. I want to say
to my visitors who have
faithfully checked in during
my absence. I appreciate your patience
and thoughtfulness.

So please come back often for more
earth friendly creations and tips,
favorite family recipes
and tales from my crazy journey
through this journey we call life.
"Don't leave me!" she cried.