I was reading my friend Mary's blog this morning and the post really hit home. I emailed her and asked if I could use her blog as a springboard for mine and she said I could....so here I am. Graduation is now past and students are all enjoying the fruits of their hard work....summer! I live in a small town and they have Kindergarten, eighth grade and high school graduation here....I grew up where that did not happen. You graduated from high school....and college if you were lucky. I went to one of the kindergarten graduations last year and sat through an enormous number of awards being given out for endless things....everyone got a certificate and /or ribbon. I finally numbed myself to the endlessness of this event and thought back to my own kindergarten days.....so if you will indulge me follow me back in time to 1958-59. My mom worked at a pre-K place called Opportunity. It was probably something like Head Start today. I went with her because that was how it was done. Then came Kindergarten, which was not mandatory in my day. I went to Vedado Park for Kindergarten along with all the other 5 year old neighborhood children. It was fun. I remember lessons, crafts, and play time. I did not graduate....when summer came it was over....period. Then I went to Belvedere Elementary and was there until I was in the 6th grade. I did not graduate from there either. I never won a ribbon....I loved school and learning.....but I was not an outstanding student. I was just a student. I remember once in 5th grade making a cake (on my own)....from my Betty Crockers Kids Cookbook for Miss Reynolds for Christmas. I was embarassed by the fact that my gift was homemade and all the other children brought jewelry, cologne, scarves....but later in the year during a slide show....there was my cake and a picture of Miss Reynolds smiling as she ate it. THAT MADE ME FEEL SPECIAL....and it was not some cheap ribbon. I played softball in school and until I was 40....but never won any great award. I played right field. I could catch left handed hitters balls....but I was not an outstanding player....I was just me. In Junior High School I did not graduate either...I left Conniston at the end of my 9th grade year to pursue a career in high school. I sang in the choir there....but never was given some award just because I was......I got things like people saying, "your solo was beautiful. God has really given you a voice.' When did that go away? When did it become necessary to give ribbons and awards for everything? I was the kid who sat in the back and tried my best not to draw attention to myself. I lived through others and watched as they would shine. Awards....something given for an exceptional feat. Everyone is NOT special.....at least not in a ribbon sort of way....but the thing that always made me feel special was not grosgrain in nature. I felt special because I had parents who loved me unconditionally, a God who provided my every need and created me in His image, friends who were good and loved me...and now kids and wonderful husband who show me how special I am everyday with a touch, a hug, an email, a text....I am not special in the special world view of special way.....but inside the walls of the house on Hwy 22 with Frank.....and inside the hearts of my family and friends....I AM SPECIAL....and that is what life is all about.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.