School Daze: They Ain’t What They Used to Be

Flop – flop – floppity – bop bop! That was the sound of grandson Ian’s heavy plastic bag of supplies bouncing off his left leg walking into orientation last week at Mandarin Oaks Elementary School.

IanSchoolSupplies

I didn’t pay too much attention to its contents until I helped him place supplies into wire bins at the back of his classroom: Purell germicide, Clorox wipes, Ziploc freezer bags, even multiple boxes of Puffs tissues.. The only item I recognized as a school supply was a ream of paper to print pages from a classroom computer.

On the first day of class, Ian, now a third grader, carried an aqua-blue lunch zippered pouch and a black backpack no doubt stuffed with notebooks and crayons. As a first grader at Rheems Elementary School, I wore a dress and carried a plaid book-bag with a plastic handle and a metal lunch box, probably plaid too. In the 1940s, plaids or checks were in.

Google Images
Google Images
Second Grade: Rheems Elementary School
Second Grade: Rheems Elementary School

I didn’t learn the alphabet until I was five. But learning is speeded up these days. Students are pushed to advance. Ian and others in his age group probably have memorized their letters by age three or four. The curriculum in his particular third grade class includes reading twenty-five chapter books out of class during the school year. Peering into his book bag today, I spotted Madeleine l’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, and Kate DeCamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie. Reminiscing, I remember reading aloud and silently during class, simple books. Our teacher read to the class after lunch as we rested our heads on the desktop. Instructors then encouraged but did not quantify the number of books to read until junior high school.

Teachers nowadays may teach spelling, but do not issue students textbooks such as The Common-Word Spellers like this one below published in 1921 by Ginn and Company.

SpellngBook

Nor do grammar book titles these days warn students about getting tangled in English problems, negative wording that educators today would probably nix.

EnglishProblemsFinal

This antique practical English text by Easterbrook, Clark, and Knickerbocker bears a copyright date of 1935. Quaint but exquisite pen & ink illustrations announce various chapter headings, which also depict social skills needed for the business world, especially preparing for a career in journalism. Thanks to this gift from friend Carolyn, you can catch a glimpse below of what curriculum planners and textbook authors thought students needed to succeed in the 1930s.

The technology depicted here is mostly obsolete, yet it feels like a novelty because we are eighty years removed from this era.

SalesTalkVacuum1935

Hat in hand is a tip-off that the gentleman running the vacuum cleaner expects $$$ from his sales presentation, not a huge hug from an appreciative wife. Is the woman at the desk examining the manual? writing a check? Housewives then did not hesitate to open their doors to the Fuller Brush salesman and their ilk.


RadioProgText

iPods with ear-buds have replaced the big box with knobs enjoying pride of place here on the table. How about you?


CharacterConversationText1935

In an age when Facebook posts, text messaging and Snapchat often constitute communication, leaning in and maintaining eye contact suggests that face-to-face conversation can reveal character. Does this scene recall meaningful conversation with a loved one?


LibraryCardCat1935

For some, hand-held Kindles and Google searches have replaced library bookshelves and the card catalog. Remember those? And careful notes written in ink on index cards?

 


Jenna and Patrick Dalton on their first day of school at Mandarin Middle School, book bags de rigeur (2016-2017 academic year)
Jenna and Patrick Dalton on their first day of school at Mandarin Middle School, book bags de rigueur (2016-2017 academic year)

“School is hard. It’s a job. But instead of getting paid in money you get paid with knowledge.”  ~ Jenna after her first day of school, August 15, 2016

* * *

Your turn: Do any of the pictures above ignite a memory or spark a story? What is your take on current technology? What ways of communicating should be preserved?

 

How to Teach a Piano Lesson

“Joel, I’m going to the Christian Light Press in E-Town for some birthday cards, do you want to go along?”

“Okay, Mommy, do you think they have lollipops?” queried my mischievous son.

“I don’t think bookstores have lollipops at the counter like doctor’s offices do, but maybe they have other fun things to look at,” I said, thinking he would enjoy an excursion into town while visiting his cousins in Pennsylvania.

Entering the store, I spied precious novelties tempting to touch, a fact that struck me with a fearsome shudder because I had an 8-year-old in tow.

“Now don’t touch anything. Just look. Do you see the sign on the display? It says ‘If you break it, you buy it!’”

“Uh huh,” he said racing to the music boxes and other curios.

I turned to the bank of colorful greeting cards not far away eyeing cards appropriate for Mother and sister Jean.

“Squeak-thunk,” was the next sound I heard across the aisle, close to where I saw the top of Joel’s thatch of brown wavy hair.

Cards in hand I strode over toward Joel and saw him holding a toy baby grand piano. As I looked closer, I noticed the hinge to the piano lid was halfway broken off. Turning the piano upside down to reveal a music box attached underneath, I noted a sticker. The price tag announced: $ 13.95. Please understand, we were a struggling young family in the 1970s, my husband and I both teachers, so the money registered on my mental calculator as a staggering figure.

Right there and then I had a double D attack: disappointment at my son’s disobedience and dread coursing from head to toe knowing we had to face the owner and admit to the breakage.

My feet felt like lead as I led Joel by the hand and I trudged down the aisle toward the clerk/owner who appeared to be glowering at us behind a tall metal cash register with raised keys and a bottom drawer that slammed shut.

I approached the counter speechless but managed to turn over the music box revealing the price tag. Swallowing slowly I formed words, “I guess we’ll need to pay for this. My son broke it accidentally.”

“Yes, you will. You see what the sign says.” I knew the warning only too well.

Opening my wallet hesitantly, I shelled out the dollars and cents, Joel standing by my side his head hanging, embarrassed and chastened.

* * *

Leap forward over thirty years, and son Joel now has his own son Ian, also age eight.

Several weeks ago I presented Ian with this same piano that has sat on my bookshelves for decades, occupying space between American poetry and art history books. Because we are downsizing, I have been passing along keepsakes to the next generation.

Joel was privy to my intention and approved my gifting the piano that plays the Lord’s Prayer as a tinkling, lullaby tune.

The presentation of the bequest began with a sturdy, red shoebox surrounded by tissue and foam padding. And then the unveiling . . .

IanOpeningPiano

Turning the wind-up key, voilá – sweet music filled the air.

PianoTwist Key

I announced, “When, he was your age, your dad broke off one of the legs on this toy piano.”

“Oh, no, not a leg, the hinge was broken off,” Joel corrected.

JoelPassingToIan

My memory had played tricks on me and the cause of the accident had morphed into something else.

Memory can be fuzzy sometimes. It’s not fixed as a photograph / locked in an album, / but it changes, it develops, mixed with time,” as Barbara Crooker wisely observes in her poem, Not a Spoon, a Key. Sometimes memory can even be wrong.

Squinting now at the underside, I see the replacement on the left, slightly larger screw and bolt than those on the other side. Lid held up with two toothpicks.

IngeFixed

ChristianLightPress13.95

And here it is, good as new!

PianoUpClose

 

Not a word was spoken about doing the right or wrong thing.

Words weren’t necessary.

 


 

 

Can you relate to my dilemma here?

Has your memory of family incidents every played tricks on you? Readers will enjoy your story and so will I.

 

Coming next: Raise a Mug to the Irish

Ian and Jenna’s A-Mazing Mystery Trip with Nana’s Twisty Turns

Dr. Seuss explores the maze of life in his famous book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! On the first page he assures readers:

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

And that’s just what Jenna and Ian did when they visited Conner’s A-Maizing Acres this past October near Hilliard, Florida guiding their grand-parents from one station to the next. (Yes, they did learn “maize” is a type of corn.)

During the one-hour trip in the car, Ian read poems from The Random House Book of Poetry for Children to his cousin Jenna. He didn’t read from Dr. Seuss’ book, though whose wise words weave a web throughout this travelogue.

IanJennaBackseat

Then, a snapshot at the entrance . . .

JennaCutout

The Conner Barn offers much to keep little hands busy . . .

BuildScarecrowBuildLOGcabin

After a hayride to the field, we tackle the maze . . .

Hayride

There were Rules and a Life-Guard at the entrance to make sure we didn’t get hopelessly lost or ejected!

The staff were exceptionally friendly. We imagine the rules were a response to previous infractions.
The staff were exceptionally friendly. We imagine the rules were a response to previous infractions.

LifeGuardMaze

Jenna and Ian steered us away from blind alleys, saving us false steps and loss of sanity. No danger of losing our way with these two at the lead!

WalkingMaze

Like Dr. Seuss explains, it’s easy to take missteps and get lost.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

But we had such good guides, not a chance this would happen to us fortunately!

Next, while Jenna and I shopped for pumpkins, Ian bounced around on the spider web . . .

IanWalkWeb

We also visited the Micro Farm with an aquaponic system:

WelcomeAquaFarm

AquaponicsJenna

Aquaponics: Growing plants in water and gravel, clay pebbles or lava rock.

We learned King Nebuchadnezzar built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon with an aquaponic system as a tribute to his wife.

One of their favorite pauses: The horse farm . . .

WhiteHorse2Kids

Dr. Seuss continues . . . I’m sorry to say so / but, sadly, it’s true / that Bang-ups and Hang-ups / happen to you.

No, the Hang-up didn’t happen to either Jenna or Ian. It happened to their NaNa. The Cylinder-on-Rollers looked exciting and easy . . . until I got into one and right from the start, felt disoriented and dizzy and not very smart. Still, Jenna and I persisted through to the end – with less than wonderful results.

I’m physically fit and strong for my age (so I’m told),

but when I exited the roller I felt much less bold!

I had to wonder the truth of the Seuss line “You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Yet, I suppose these closing lines below from Dr. Seuss still would apply to us. We made it to the end of the course, more or less . . .

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Seuss’ shouts optimism and assurance on his last page:

Today is your day!

So . . . get on your way!


Have you done something lately to get out of your comfort zone, maybe even made a fool of yourself? Any memories of antics in times past?

Coming next: Quiet Lives Matter, My Brother Mark

A Plate, a Parade, and a Song

First of all, there was no parade and no song.

But there was a plate. A plate of cupcakes. I can show you the plate, but the cupcakes are missing. Why? Because our grandchildren ate them all up. In fact the two older boys ate theirs up seconds after they landed on the plate. I missed the photo op completely.

PlateRemembrance

Last weekend the family gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July. Some months ago, I had read Laura Brennan’s suggestion about celebrating success of family members with a plate of accomplishment. I caught her enthusiasm and thought “What a great idea!” All four grand-kids had received recognition at school this past year, so it seemed sensible to combine a national holiday with a family celebration.

Laura says,

We have a fun and easy way to celebrate in our house: it’s called The Plate of Accomplishment. In going through my mom’s stuff, I found one lone, gorgeous dinner plate – shimmery,  just lovely. So when one of us has an accomplishment to celebrate, they get to eat dinner on that plate. It comes out with much fanfare (a mini-parade, actually) and a song: “It is the Plate of Accomplishment, it is the Great Great Plate of Accomplishment …

Our grand-kids’ accomplishments were not measured by degrees as adults might do. There was as much hoopla about a memo from a teacher dashed off in minutes as for a bound book in a school library.

And so it went in birth order. . .

We celebrated Patrick’s printed book “My Life as a Pencil”

PatrickBookContestHome

And Curtis’ recognition for academic achievement among 5th graders in the District

CuritisMedallion

Jenna’s gift for noticing trash on the playground and stopping to pick it up at recess

JennaGrade4JCD

JennaCharReportAnd Ian’s quality of charity and compassion

IanPhotoJuly15

Ian: Character trait of Charity & Compassion
Ian: Character trait of Charity & Compassion. He also received a senior yellow belt,  Tae Kwon Do

As long as the pixels and electrons hold together on this website, today’s post will be a family record for the Daltons and the Beamans for years to come. Just as importantly, I pass this celebration along as a template to commemorate all sorts of happy occasions among your own friends and family members, including nieces and nephews.

Back to the celebration: I don’t really think my grand-kids paid much attention when I read them the inscription on the back of the plate. They knew cupcakes were coming! Yet the Old Testament writer Zephaniah prophesied the power of praise . . .

Plate ReverseZechIn my Mennonite upbringing in the 1950s and 60s, honor given to a family member would probably be shyly appreciated but not expressed openly. Why? Because recognition of this sort smacked of pride, the worst sin of all. After my high school graduation with honors, my parents barely acknowledged all the recognition I received. During my Eastern Mennonite College graduation ceremony, not a word was spoken about my ranking in the class. Such practices were soon to change though. I was near the end of the Old Guard.

It is definitely not psychologically sound to overlook the accomplishments of the deserving and according to Zephaniah, it is certainly not biblical either.

*  *  *

As you read this post, did a name or two pop into mind, someone deserving of a plate of accomplishment?  It’s your turn to tell!

Coming next: Oh, Beautiful – Amber Grain & Grainy Amber

Two Boys: One Moment in Time

Recently Grandpa Cliff and NaNa Marian took the Beaman boys to the Odditorium (not a misspelling!) of Ripley’s Believe It or Not in St. Augustine Florida.

The Saturday excursion was billed as a Mystery Trip, so the boys didn’t know exactly where they were going, but they did know it would be fun. After a 40-minute drive south from Jacksonville, the Mystery Bus with windshield wipers chugging away pulled into the very last parking space at Ripley’s.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not is a franchise with various locations nation-wide, dealing in “bizarre events and items so strange and unusual, that readers might question the claims.” Some of the 20,000 photographs, 30,000 artifacts, and more than 100,000 cartoon panels in the collection are displayed here at The Oldest City location.

Some of the jaw-dropping oddities we saw:

  • Lord’s Prayer etched onto the head of a pin
  • This prayer also etched onto a grain of rice
  • Erector set parts made into the World’s Largest Ferris Wheel model
  • Arabian camel nose plugs
  • Replica of the Notre Dame Cathedral constructed with over 160,000 match sticks
  • Voodoo doll in an ancient basket
  • Mannequin of man weighing over a half ton

ErectorRipley

Camel Nose Plugs

 CLiffRipley
Model of Notre Dame Cathedral constructed of 160,000 match sticks
Model of Notre Dame Cathedral constructed of 160,000 match sticks
And this one took me back in time, Curtis and Ian looking at the Lord’s Prayer etched on a grain of rice through a microscope . . .
CurtIANripleys

Seeing the back of Curtis’ head (on left) reminded me of our son Joel’s image at a similar age. So I flashed back in time, and then I was struck piercingly into flash forward motion with the thought that grandson Curtis will be in middle school in the fall. With poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, I lament “O World! O Life! O TIme! (Where has all the time gone? Not long ago he was just entering first grade!)

A few weeks ago, Shirley Hershey Showalter, who publishes weekly Magical Memoir Moments, posed an engaging prompt for writers. In the March 3, 2015 edition she took her readers on a visit to the Wheel of Time. Looking at a photo of her grandson Owen staring out the window watching his mother leave for work, Showalter imagines what his thoughts might be. She remembered a similar moment years ago when her own son, perhaps wistfully, watched her leave the house for her job. Then she poses two questions for her readers:

When was the last time something pierced your heart?

Did it ignite the Wheel of Time in you?

Contemplating the second question as I gazed at Curtis and Ian, I realized a ping of joy along as three thoughts came to mind all at once: We are blessed to have them, their whole life is ahead of them, and as the photo seems to suggest, they are facing forward to meet the future . . .

Photographer Angela Strassheim, in a recent exhibition at Jacksonville’s Museum of Contemporary Art, specializes in framing the lives of her nieces and nephews as they pass through early stages of their lives. Her collection illustrates the precious, fleeting nature of childhood and adolescence. One photograph that caught my eye was the “Girl in Blue Dress” which depicts a pixie princess frozen in a childhood phase that evaporates all too quickly. This large photo of Strassheim’s niece with dimensions of 75 x 60 inches, probably foreshadows the young girl becoming a married woman, draped as she is now in a canopy over her bed that seems to mimic a bridal veil.

MOCA_Angela Strassheim_Girl Bride photo

Robert Ripley is right. Life is full of mystery and awe. Sometimes it’s un-unbelievable too!

Your thoughts are always welcome here. Do join the conversation . . .

What’s Red at Christmastime?

Color psychologists say red represents energy, passion, and motivation to act. Red is everywhere this season: Santa’s costume, cranberry dishes, poinsettias.

I’m seeing red too. In Ian’s Santa cap at the Orchestra Zoo . . .

IanViolinSanta

In Mother’s cranberry fruit salad recipe which I took to a Christmas party at a friend’s house last week . . .

CranberryDish

Ruth L_Moms Cranberry reci copy

(Everything with the word Mom in it is my scribbling. The rest is in her own handwriting, a keepsake in my recipe box.)

Beautiful pots of poinsettias!

poinsettias

One more thing read at Christmas, the beautiful Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20Luke2

What can you add to the red – or to the read in your tradition? The conversation starts here. 

Coming next: Short and Sweet: A Belgian Christmas Card

At Home with Grandkids: Fun Stuff to Do

BAKE
It’s cold outside, maybe even Polar-vortex cold, and Saturdays with Grandma or Aunt or Mom will be spent indoors. One cold day three of our grandkids warmed up the house, at least the kitchen, with cupcake baking.

Gkids_2 kids_ top_chocolate +lowers_071008

Gkids_2 kids_bottom_chocolate+flowers_071008

Yes, it’s fun to help mix up the batter and lick the beaters, but the grandest thing is putting the plastic Gerbera daisy in the flower pot or scooping up the “chocolate” dirt. It’s okay that we get frosting all over our arms and face – Grandma doesn’t care, now does she?


TINKER and LINK

Downstairs the grand-kids find the ottoman/toy chest with classics like Lincoln Logs, just like sets from the 1960s but with added plastic gadgets. Tinkertoys – there is just no way to improve on Tinkertoys!

LincolnTinkerToys


STACK

Do you have a deck of jumbo cards? If so, you are in business. Patrick and Curtis both learned the meaning of the expression “house of cards” as they tried to stack playing cards on a shaky foundation. Incredibly they persisted even after a collapse or two. Bryan Berg, who holds the world record for a 75-story card tower, can rest easy. Still, both boys couldn’t enjoy the challenge more, as Patrick illustrates:

HappyPyramid6162_mod


FLICK

Their dad Cliff retooled this marble flick board from an old oaken desk in 1978 when Crista was 9 and Joel, 7. They both competed in “Flick the Marble,” trying to earn the higher number of points, best out of three! All four grandkids have since enjoyed the board. Even grand-nephew Noah and grand-niece Emily give it a whirl here.

EmilyNoah

GameBoard


WRITE with GRATITUDE

Back in February 2013, when “plain and fancy” launched, the theme of Grah-ti-Tood, announced my first blog post. The grandkids’ gratitude books were featured along with pictures Curtis and Ian had drawn. They are a year older now, and their thanksgiving continues. Sometimes reluctantly. But this time spontaneously, as conversation around the breakfast table last month moved around to things to be thankful for.

GratitudeCurtisIan

Curtis_Ian_Gratitude Book_102514

On October 25, 2014, Curtis is grateful for friends and thankful that the wars are not hurting me badly (Oh, my)! Ian says, “I am thankful that blueberry pancakes are the best!” Curtis’ illustrations are cartoon-like. Ian’s pancake is realistic with shading.

Each unique.


I am sure you thought of a game or activity to add to the assortment here. Suggestions, comments – it’s your turn!

Coming next: Moments of Discovery # 3: Two Butter Stories and an Autograph Book

The Million Dollar Baby: Ian’s Miracle Birth

Since my mother’s death in July, I have written several posts of her home-going including A Grief Observed: Missing Mother and Crossing the Bar.

This time I’m focusing on a birth, our grandson Ian’s miraculous birth seven years ago this week. According to the doctor’s calculations, he was scheduled to arrive on January 9, his Grandpa Beaman’s birthday. Instead he made his appearance on his mother Sarah’s birthday, October 5.

All births are miraculous, really, the tiny embryo maturing into a marvelous baby with millions of synapses making connections within the brain, a sense of rhythm and an ability to breathe and suckle at the same time. One study mentioned that babies can pick out the gender of other babies even when they are cross-dressed, something adults cannot do.

But Ian’s birth at 26 weeks gestation weighing a mere 2 pounds, 5 ounces meant many un-connected synapses and a severely undeveloped breathing apparatus. For weeks it was touch-and-go, and we weren’t certain that we would be bringing him home from the NIC Unit at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Aside from the frightening awareness that Ian had a hole in his heart, we were introduced to a whole new vocabulary of problems: bradycardia, retinopathy, hip dysplasia. Translation: Slow, interrupted heartbeat requiring a nose cannula, undeveloped blood vessels in retina, and an immature hip ball and sock requiring a harness to hold legs in a frog-like fashion. Here is his photo-story:

Ian_02_NIC Unit_112707

Hello, world!
Hello, world!

My journal records that on November 29, 2007 Ian weighs 4 pounds, 3 ounces and is taking three bottles a day. He is also employing the services of a speech therapist and an occupational therapist along with physical therapy.

How would a speech therapist help a premature baby who can’t speak or an occupational therapist assist a child whose main job was trying to survive? Speech therapy facilitated the transition from tube feeding to bottle feeding and the occupational therapy improved the range of motion inhibited by hip dysplasia.

"Did you finally bring me home?" asks Ian.
“Did you finally bring me home?” asks Ian.

After a 14-week stay in the hospital, Ian is brought home. Glory, hallelujah! Though still on a breathing apparatus, he resumes a more normal life with his family, under the watchful eye of his brother.

"Ian, here's my advice," says Dr. Curtis.
“Ian, here’s my advice,” says Dr. Curtis.

Praise God – At age seven, Ian is now at the 98 percentile in height and weight for his age and is taking an advanced course of study in first grade at his school. There are delays in behavioral development though, possibly attributable to his prematurity. But who can be sure whether it’s prematurity or personality.

IanGrade1BrainsBrawn

*  *  *

I wrote a letter to each of my grand-children before their first birthday and sent it to their home address so it would have a post-mark. In Ian’s case, I waited until the one-year mark to write and send his letter. Call it a welcome-to-the-world, a blessing from Grandma/NaNa in writing. Here is a copy of the letter he received:

IanLetter1

IanLetter2

Ian has not opened this letter yet though he is able to read. In fact, none of the grand-children have opened and read their letters and I’m wondering at what age they should be read. It seems the opening and reading calls for some special occasion. What do you think? I welcome your suggestions!

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful . . . .

Psalm 139: 13, 14   NIRV

Your advice on letter reading welcome. Other comments or suggestions from your own experience. You will always get a reply from me and maybe from other readers. Thank you!

“Every child is a story yet to be told.”   Sesame Street

Moments of Extreme Emotion: 100th Post Mark

Today I have reached a milestone, 100 blog posts and counting. Thank you, thank you for all your clicks, views, and commentary so far. I am commemorating this event in pictures.

Sunshine and Rain by Ian Christopher Beaman
“Sunshine and Rain” by Ian Christopher Beaman

Blogging is like life, up and down, sad and happy, rain and shine, day in and day out. Here is how Ian sees his Grandma/NaNa, picturing me with a split image, one eye blue, the other rosy pink. Does he see me as both a realist and an optimist? I can only surmise because I don’t know what is going on in his six-year-old mind. The bluest eye sees cold, hard facts; the other eye views life with rose-tinted glasses. A balanced view, if you ask me! Also, if you notice, he pictures me as being fruitful too: bushels of apples in the tree.

Did I say blogging is like life? Here’s the inside scoop on what writing blog posts is really like:

Blog_Extreme Emotions_Cry_7x5_300

But I love every minute. Really, I do!

RevBlog_Extreme_100 Posts_5x5_150

Most importantly, I get to send stories out into the ether and then “talk” to you after the writing is posted. We make a connection.

Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and then love will be seen at its height.

E. M. Forster  Howard’s End

My heart leaps up when you join the conversation.

Now it’s your turn:

What blog post is most memorable to you?  What would like to see more of?  Less of?

Voting is still open for My Gutsy Story.

To read the story:  http://soniamarsh.com/2013/12/rising-above-the-pettiness-to-focus-on-the-positive-by-marian-beaman.html

Sm.pleaseVote

To vote for my story:  http://soniamarsh.com/2014/01/vote-for-your-favorite-december-2013-my-gutsy-story.html         Thank you!

White Paper Bags Glowing with Light, a Favorite Thing

Traditional luminaria of the Christmas season have their origins in the culture of Spain. Impressed with the paper lanterns from the Chinese culture, Spanish merchants decided to make their own version when they returned home.

Killarney Shores, our community, has kept this tradition alive during the Christmas season with votive candles seated in 2 inches of sand all enveloped in white paper bags. We space them 3-4 feet apart ringing the curvy streets of Emerald Isle Circle, Leprechaun Court, St. Patrick Lane, and Killarney Drive in the neighborhood.

Recently, the candle-lighting event has become a family tradition too with grandchildren lending a hand in the preparations of bag filling and lighting the votives. Last year it was the Dalton duo, this year the Beaman boys.

ModPlacingBags

Grandboys Curtis and Ian, outfitted as shepherds, placing bags on the curb of the street.

White paper bag glowing from within
White paper bag glowing from within

All done, surveying the view.

LumStreetView

ColorfulSheps+NaNa

A little tipsy – both the boy and a bag!

Lighting dozens of candles is exhausting, we need a snack . . .

BoysLumSnackWhat favorite things do you do this season, maybe like us, repeating year after year.

Join the conversation. Inquiring minds want to know about yours!

Your comments welcome; I will always reply!

Woo-hoo, a chance to play with fire!
Woo-hoo, a chance to play with fire!

To view my entry to the My Gutsy Story Contest, click here. Voting takes place in January 2014.