Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Memoirs

This post was brought to you today by the letters J and C.

J (for Jayden) and C (for Cheryl) indirectly planted seeds for what is to be a new set of posts for me. But first, a brief explanation.

You see, I was recently explaining to Cheryl, my former secretary at Waukee Elementary, that I hadn't been blogging lately. 'It's just,' I told her, 'that nothing in Japan seems interesting to me anymore. My blogs, truthfully, come from the unexpected, odd, funny, and random, and truthfully, my life here is no longer any of those.'

On an unrelated note, I've been reading Beverly Cleary's memoir, 'A Girl From Yamhill' with one of my cherubs, Jayden, for the last few weeks. As our work together usually includes working on writing, I asked him to produce brief vignettes, much as Mrs. Cleary does, about his own life. Of course, it wouldn't be genuine if I didn't offer to do the same work myself, and so, a new style of writing for me, the personal memoir, was unexpectedly expected.

Being quite happy to be writing again, I felt to share the new works with you as well, if for nothing than to share my pieces, or write things that my family will (hopefully) enjoy reading. Of course, I do love to flaunt my way with words, and of course I wouldn't want to let my (small but supportive) audience down!

My first vignette was based from Mrs. Cleary's chapter called, 'Earliest Memories'. I asked Jayden to write his earliest memory (getting lost at Disneyland when he was 3), and I chose mine (my mother mowing the lawn). Below, and in subsequent posts, I share my memoirs with you.

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Grass.

The yard was quite small in the house where my mother and I lived, no bigger than the space where a large garage could have sat, and barely enough room for a small girl to play. Mowing the lawn was one of my mother’s favourite things to do, and whenever the weather was just right, that’s where she’d be.

As she walked back and forth, mowing even straight patterns in the grass, I could see her strong pale legs and her tattered lawn clothes, her hair matted to her sweaty forehead. I had seen the underside of a mower before, and knew better than to come too close as she moved. I chose to instead play with the neighbours, or around the rusting junk pile behind the house – an accumulation of once-new treasures that had built up over the years. No matter how far away I would play, though, I could never escape the combination of fresh cut grass mixed with dirty lawn clothes and sweat, the smells of a hard afternoon’s work in the yard.

On the rare occurrence when she’d ask if I wanted to help, I’d nod with trepid anticipation, slightly weary of the roaring blades that would soon be closer to my feet than hers. As I walked in front of her, barely tall enough to reach the bar, I pretended that it was important, the work I was doing, but secretly, I was always glad when the job was done. A big glass of ice water for both of us was always the reward, and although a simple treat, was all the more delicious for the work that went in to earning it.

2 comments:

Tamara said...

Love it. :) Miss you. :)
Tamara :)

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