Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Their Favorite Story - a Story About Sledding.

Today, I told my favorite story to my senior high school students.  Again.  The story of when I had my sledding accident. I know how to tell it just so - just so they know just how macho I am.

I was in seventh grade and had been missing the big hill at the elementary school when my friend, Melanie, gave me a call and asked me to go sledding.  She wanted to go down the hill by our home, the hill with all the trees.  I agreed and met her and her older sister at the top of the hill with the biggest clearing.  I followed Melanie down a few times and decided that this hill was even better than the elementary hill.

I remember looking down at the hill trying to find the best path, and I hopped onto my sled at full speed.  Wahoo!  Kerplunk!  I hit a pole and flew off the sled, landing face first in the snow with my right arm and my left arm by my side, and my right leg planted safely in the snow.  But, my right leg?  It landed on the top of the pole I had hit.

Yes it hurt, but Melanie's sister told me to shake it off and keep sledding.  I got up, brushed myself off, and zoomed down the hill a few more times.

Finally, when I looked down, I saw one red spot on my snowpants the size of a golf ball. I rolled up my snow pants and saw that my jeans were sopping with blood. I rolled up my jeans and saw the damaged jagged opening on my leg.

I showed my leg to Melanie's sister and she transported me on my sled to the arena which was the closest building in sight and called my mom. I should have gotten stitches that day.

For some reason, this story is their favorite.  They ask me to tell it over and over.  And so I do.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A New Friend...

Back in the day, we had many exchange students within the school system.  At one point, there were fifty students staying with our community.  I loved it.  I loved the possibility of new friends.  I loved learning new languages and having inspiration from their free-thinking ideas.  I am who I am today because of the friends I have chosen.

My favorite friends were from Japan, Germany, Spain, and Mexico.  I have the best memories of meeting students at school or their dormitory, and the sad memories of being with them when they boarded their planes to return home.

Earlier this summer, one of my friends from Japan asked me over facebook if I would host her daughter for a few weeks to help improve her English.  I didn't hesitate.  I said yes immediately.  Her daughter sat next to her and cheered when she saw my reply.

I forgot how much fun it is to help someone learn English and her facial expressions as she tries our food.  I loved making spaghetti and steaks and seeing a smile on her face.  I loved to see her politely eat her tater tot hotdish and just eat the tater tots. It's been lovely to hear her mother's far away laugh and smile within my new friend's face. 

My girls are now experiencing the wonder of the world watching Japanese movies with English Subtitles, eating Japanese Noodles and candy, and drinking Japanese Tea.

It's funny how the past has tapped me on my shoulder and reminded me of one of the greatest joys...  A New Friend....