I learned something interesting in the summer of 1984: Amish men will speak up if they choose to. We have many Amish families within about thirty miles of where I used to teach school. When my younger daughter was about 16 months old, I was at a garage sale in that same town. I'd put her in an umbrella stroller while I shopped and navigated the cars, driveways, and sidewalks. She was just a bit fussy, but not crying or screaming.
An Amish man was glaring at me and finally said, "What do you expect, Woman? You have your child in prison." I was so shocked, first because he spoke to me at all, second because I wasn't sure what he meant, and third because he was so confrontational. I was really flummoxed and must've asked, "What?" (I don't remember that clearly) because he repeated himself even louder, and he was not soft-spoken the 1st time.
As soon as I realized what he meant, I was furious. I looked right at him and assured him my child was NOT in prison, she was simply safely under my supervision, and as her mother, she was my responsibility not his. That did not go over well, and he countered with, "You women have no rules, no morals. How dare you talk to me like that?" I was angry, as was he. The husband who lived at the house started to walk toward us, and the Amish man left.
I remember exactly where that house and garage was, and every time I drive by it, the memories come back. I am NOT suggesting all Amish men act that way; I actually have no idea. I have encountered many over the years, and I've never seen one speak to a stranger before. Regardless, this was not a good experience.
This is certainly a sad tale. I had so planned to do the thirty days of gratitude, and instead, I didn’t even do ONE day of gratitude. I can see blogging has not become a routine for me. I will have to work at getting motivated, inspired, or whatever else it may take to get me writing again. Oof!!
As much as I looked forward to writing these gratitude posts, you’d think I could’ve gotten started. That was certainly my intention. However, I got distracted reading about yoga, going to yoga classes daydreaming about a yoga space in my house, and becoming overwhelmed about how much work it would be to create that space. Plus, I was still babysitting and driving Hubby after his surgery, thinking about Baby Cal, walking A & K, practicing the challenging “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” by Brahms, and otherwise just making more excuses. These aren’t even good reasons, just excuses. Oh, well, I acknowledge the difference.
Still, this challenge is a worthy task, so I will, indeed, write thirty of them. It may be interesting to see how I consolidate and present said task, For once, I hope to avoid making it hard.
Ever since my daughter, Jess Sedivy Gunderson, did this last year, I’ve wanted to do the 30 – Days of Gratitude Challenge. I waited an entire year because November is the month of “Thanksgiving/thanksgiving,” which is must be the challenge’s origin. Often I wanted to start sooner, and perhaps I will another year. Maybe I’ll continue past the 30 days. I plan to be flexible, which may depend on how well I do with the “challenge” of daily posting. I am not worried about finding enough to be thankful for.
My quick disclaimer is the posts will NOT be in order of importance. Therefore, my first post will not indicate what I am most thankful for. I’m not sure exactly how that will sort out. Most likely each post will reflect something that’s been on my mind, strikes me at the moment, spurs my memory, makes me laugh or contemplate. I can be grateful for that. I guess I will just need to wait, see, and write.
This is my first entry, and it shall be “short,” but not a “story.” As I used to tell my composition students, “You can’t sit and stare at a blinking cursor forever. Just write something. You can always move it around or change it later, but unless you put something down, you have nothing to work with.” It was good advice, and I need to listen to myself. I have had, and still do have, an interesting life. I have experienced, overheard, and observed some hilarious, tragic, quirky, curious, touching, and downright bizarre things. When I was teaching, I told and retold some of these little “stories,” and that kept them alive. When I retired, I decided to blog some before I forgot them. It is over a year later now, so I need to get started. My father used to type letters in which each paragraph was similar to a blog entry. When finished, he would “xerox” and mail his 1 – 3 page letter to his friends and family. Except for the delivery system, I assume my blog will be somewhat similar. My writings certainly are not meant to be symbolic or didactic or profound. Instead, my entries are primarily for reflecting, questioning, safekeeping, and, perhaps, some entertainment. I hope you find a few of them interesting.