Saturday, February 25, 2012

Life in Our World – Speaking of . . .

Oh jeepers.  I mentioned I’m taking a writing class.  The instructor told us not to worry about thinking of a story.  She said, “Just describe a place.  Any place.”  So I described a place. 

Next she said, “Don’t worry about characters.  Just describe a character.  Any character.”  I described a character.

Next she said, “Describe your character in more detail by using dialogue.”  I did that, too.

In today’s assignment she wants me to combine everything together.  Oh no.  Nothing matches.   She told me not to worry about a story, so I didn’t.   I do not want to start over. 

I think I understand now how fantasy stories were created.   

Because of this class I had to learn about walruses – walruses talk and cry in my story and wear red-polka dotted swimsuits to diving class.  Walruses do not do that in real life.  

Because of this class I had to learn about imaginary friends.  Specialists agree that imaginary friends are very common in children, and usually extroverts create them more often than introverts.  That was a relief, because my character in one story is seven.  I was worried she might have outgrown an imaginary friend but specialists say they’re still common in seven year olds.  In fact, some specialists say that it isn’t too abnormal for teenagers to have them.  However, they all agree that if you still have them as an adult that is not normal. 

So while I am not finding this class easy or fun to write for, I am enjoying my research.

Speaking of research.  The other day Cali was thinking of a girl we knew a loooooong, loooooong time ago.  She wondered what had become of her and googled to see if there was any news.  Come to find out she’s a playboy model now.  Who knew?

Speaking of who knew, Dan got in a fight with the coyotes the other night and got ripped open.  Cali and Calvin treated him, but decided the wound was too deep and he needed a few staples.  I just remembered that I have a stitches staple gun up in my emergency first aid kit. 

Speaking of emergency, yesterday a student called and said one of his speakers was unavailable for a program he was responsible for and asked if I would pinch hit.  My topic was “Why I Love America.”  I said that one of the reasons that I love America is because it is a place where good men can develop and become great.  Like John Adams’ resoluteness, and George Washington’s deep spirituality and his ability to rally men, and Ben Franklin’s wisdom and people skills, and Samuel Adams’ bravado and courage, and Thomas Jefferson’s ability to write and inspire others, and James Madison’s genius.  Then I shared a few stories like these:

Abraham Lincoln’s first business venture failed and then he was badly beaten in his run for the state legislature.  His second business partner died leaving him with a $1,100 debt.  He failed to get an appointment to the U.S. land office, and he was beat twice vying for a seat in the U.S. Senate.  Once he was elected President, the South seceded from the union rather than submit “to such humiliation and degradation” as having him as their President.  His own political party even asked him to step down rather than run for re-election for the United States Presidency.  And yet, with all of that opposition against him, he fought with determination to leave the world better.  Or as he said, “I want it said of me by those who know me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” 

We were at West Point the week before Abe graduated, Grace and I were attending the military parade where the corps of cadets marched past the generals for inspection. Also standing near the generals were several old grads. One of the old grads was from the class of ’39.  He was pushed out onto the parade field in a wheelchair and sat next to the other standing dignitaries.  The band played.  The cadets, in mess-dress uniforms, marched out of the portals and onto the field.  After all the companies were in formation and roll call reported, the color guard led the parade past the team of inspecting generals.  The announcer asked us to remain seated until the flag passed directly in front of us.  I watched the soldier carrying the American flag draw near to the dignitaries.  They were all smartly saluting it.  No one was paying any attention to the old grad in the wheelchair.  He starting rocking, trying to get enough momentum to stand.  His legs weren’t strong enough to hoist him.  He struggled and struggled.  Just as the flag was passing before him, he got his legs underneath him and he stood as erect as those bent knees would allow and saluted the flag.  As soon as it had passed, his legs went out from under him and he collapsed into his wheelchair.  I love America because it is a country that recognizes the rights God intended for man to have and gives him freedom to become his best. 

Speaking of great things, Ande and Joe gave me Amazon prime which means free shipping.  In two days I had new ink for our printer.  Now I can create some things I needed a printer for.

Speaking of creating, Cali and Levin spent a major portion of the week here while Ray was traveling on business.  Cali sewed a new computer case and Calvin finished making a black powder gun.  Today they combined their efforts and made a new six foot shelf with large cast iron hooks to hang over the church bench in Ray and Cali’s entry way. 

Speaking of entry way, it’s time for me to go to bed.  That means exit.    

Cali and Levin as we went walking last night


Jill said...

If ever there was a perfect pinch-hitter speaker to talk about loving America it was meant to be you!!!

Gwen said...

Loved this whole post! (and I'm glad I'm not the girl you knew a LOOOONNNGGG time ago that now works for play boy!)

Grace said...

You are incredible at telling stories. I loved watching the old grad get up and salute the flag. That's something I will never forget.

michelle said...

Yep, you were the perfect person for that pinch-hitting job.

I love that Abe Lincoln quote, I haven't heard that one before.

Amazon Prime is a wonderful gift! Especially for someone who lives in a somewhat isolated place.

Elizabeth said...

A delightful post Jane, full of random goodness!

Marie said...

Wow, if that wasn't the perfect marriage of topic and presenter, I don't know what is!

I'd love to read that story when you are done. The walrus sounds adorable!

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

I always love your stories, but I also love the last picture. That is the cutest little boy! :)

Deidra said...

Levin is so cute I could eat him up!

That must be one thorough first aid kit to have a staple gun in it. Lucky you've got people willing to use it. I'd pass out.

I love the mental picture of a walrus in a swimming suit, and of the man saluting the flag. But for completely different reasons.

Deidra said...

Oh, and do you use your Amazon Prime for streaming movies or TV shows? It's like a date night that keeps on giving! :)

Becky said...

You bought ink :)

The story about the man standing for the flag made me cry; I love how patriotic you are Jane!

This is such a clever way to do a miscellaneous post!