Monday, February 6, 2017

"You'll Be Coming Back For More" Gina Waite

It may be a HUGE understatement when I say that parenting is a job I wasn't completely prepared for. I remember reading the "what to expects" and how to apply "love and logic" when parenting, books and boastfully thinking, "I got this!" ... In reality, what "I got" after becoming a parent was a healthy dose of sleep deprivation, the ability to speed dial my Mom in one-point-two seconds and a BRAND NEW RESPECT for my own parents. Yep, within the short time frame of nine months my level of understanding about parenting, AND THE REASON MY OWN PARENTS ACTED THE WAY THEY DID, deepened with every passing day. I completely understood why my parents did what they did for me! Without question or hesitation, my parents would risk life and limb to bend over backwards for a worthy cause to help anyone of their children out. EVEN if that meant staying up into the wee hours of the morning to help a sick, somewhat mentally deranged, daughter with a Creative Writing Story that she had to finish for school while recovering from the flu...true story.

My health as a child was relatively sound. I had issues with the joints of my skeletal system (easy dislocation of my shoulders, knees and several sprained ankles) but for the most part...I was a very healthy child. That is...UNTIL the fourth grade! 1982-1983 offered me the loveliest of it's Ammon Elementary teachers. Miss Jensen was beautiful, trendy and single...all qualities that aided in her occupational creativity and devotion...and aided in my desire to wanting to be just like her. I loved going to school that year, most especially for story time. In Miss Jensen's class we each had one of those carpet rectangles. You know the ones... acted as consumer carpet samples for Carpet Stores to loan out UNTIL carpeting styles changed...only to be turned over to educators as free story time pads. Teachers would then assign each one of their young charges a carpet pad to take with them into story time. I was excited the times I'd get the more high piled carpet pads, as for the most part, I don't think the carpet pad offered much PADDING. It was noted that the confines of the rectangular carpet pad you sat on were, in fact, the boundary of an invisible force field keeping your arms and legs tightly kempt so that everyone could enjoy the story....except for that one sugar-sensitive child that everyone experienced in one of their classes while growing up.

I sat on my carpet rectangle, wide-eyed, rounded back and slightly slack-jawed listening to stories like, "Where the Red Fern Grows," and "James & The Giant Peach." I grew to love literature that year and with it, grew to love creative writing. They say avid readers are the BEST writers...and though I concur with that idea, I ONLY wish it would also apply to viewing art. I cannot illustrate worth a darn! Miss Jensen encouraged each of us to begin a Creative Writing Notebook. One that she could offer a writing prompt on the chalkboard in hopes of letting our pens flow with fun ideas and story lines. I remember her writing the prompt, "Today it rained..." on the chalkboard one morning. I'm certain I had an incredulous look on my face when I first read the writing prompt. "What else would it rain but water....or is that the only option from a cumulonimbus cloud," I thought to myself. Hmmmmm... Cumulonimbus Cloud...could easily become a Cotton Candy Cloud, and a Cotton Candy Cloud could definitely produce Orange Soda Pop. The creative juices started to flow and the four walls of my classroom gave way to the Candy-themed World I was beginning to create in my mind. The only distraction, that day, in the designated 20-30 minutes of Creative Writing Time, was a sharp pain in my stomach which resulted in repeated, hard swallows to keep gastric acid out of my esophagus and mouth.

When the flu hits hard, fast and furious! I left school early that day, saddened at the prospect my body had succumbed to the flu. If I hadn't been writhing in SUCH dire gastrointestinal pain...I could have stayed and finished that fantastic beginning of a story. As I had finished my writing prompt time with the unpopular mishap of throwing up in the classmates were happy to say goodbye to me and allow my angel-of-a-mother to take me home and hopefully, rid myself of the unpopular mishap before returning. Driving home with my Mom, EVERYTHING SEEMED TO HURT, I think even my eyes hurt in the happy and bright surroundings of the day. I consoled myself with the idea that if I could just make it through the day...surely I'd be able to return to school and finish my story the next day! ...TWO WEEKS LATER...I was still spiking fevers and finding it difficult to do much other than vegitate in my cozy jammies, Don King-inspired hairdo and flannel blanket that had replaced my colorful and wonderfully coordinated school clothes and accessories. Now that I think of may have been the first time I knew what it felt like to have depression. I also think my Mom realized this as she walked in and sat next to me on the couch and suggested we finish my Orange Soda Pop Story! "NAH," I grumbled under the blanket that I pulled tightly to my chest...pretty sure a virus-induced, green cloud floated from lips as I uttered the grunt.

My Mother was a loving and determined woman. In fact, you're currently reading this story from a fb page and blog my Mother created...writing wonderful memories and ideas that she shared with her readers EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. of the work week for five solid months. She was planning to complete a year's worth of daily writings but that goal was cut short by her graduation into the Spirit World. (Now that I think of it...her blog might be her encouraging her children to continue her fb page and blog from the other side...Clever Girl!) Back to my story...she sat next to me in silence for several minutes. My Mom then got up off the couch, went over to her little desk in the kitchen and brought back a pen, notebook and a Diet Pepsi...all tools of a talented writer...and recited while she wrote, "The Day It Rained Orange Soda Pop," by Gina Terry. My glance toward her was indifferent as in that moment I had no idea who Gina Terry even was! The silence continued as my Mom looked my way and rested her pen on the tablet. I'm pretty sure I tried to avoid making eye contact with my Mom in that moment as there was some magical softening of my resolve when my green eyes met my Mom's, chestnut browns'. I think I took a deep breath and uttered the words, "One day I stayed home from school..." and the rest, as they say, is history! We finished that story in the wee hours of the following morning and I was able to take a completed copy back to school with me...ONE WEEK LATER! I missed a consecutive month of school that year....but attended class in the creative corners of my mind. Now I'd love to share my story with you but in honor of my Mom's legacy, I plan to post it on her Blog so you'll have to take the link below to the, "In a Nutshell' blog to read the rest of my story! Like my Mom, I'm a very determined lady and I hope you enjoy our, "The Day it Rained Orange Soda Pop." ...Yep, I predict you'll like it! So'll come back here in the future, for more!

"One day I stayed home from school because I was sick and it was one of those days you don't want to stay in bed.  No great t.v. shows were on, no little brothers to tease just a really boring day!  The weather didn't help, either!  It was even worse than I had originally looked as if it might begin to rain.  

Just at that moment, the lightning started crackling (but PINK lightning?) ...And the thunder clapped (but with a beat?)  Then it began to rain.  As I looked out my window I could hardly believe my eyes.  For instead of the silvery mirror-like drops of water I was used to seeing I watched as huge, round, orange-colored rain drops hit the ground running together to make rivers of Orange Soda, everywhere!  I watched from my window as children shot off the bus like bullets with their mouths, wide-opened, to catch as much of the sticky goodness as they could. 

What a dream come true...better than Christmas, Easter and the fourth of July rolled up into one!  No One could stay in one place too long as their feet started to stick to the ground. Laughingly, the children bumped into one another, screaming with joy, gurgling and taking this orange colored miracle in stride.

All too soon it passed and a peppermint stripped sun peeked out behind a pink, cotton candy cloud.  Did I say, boring day?  Silly me!!!!!"

See...Told you!  I'm a no-talent artist!