Friday, November 10, 2017

Hope of America Award

Today my body is demanding a rest day,  and I am happy to oblige.  This afternoon,  I'll be doing finances on the computer (wrapped up in two warm blankets and snuggled into the couch), but I spent much of the morning binge-reading some of my favorite blogs. I haven't done it for a while,  so there's a lot of catch-up to do.  Darn. 

http://www.nieniedialogues.com/2017/05/ollie-hope-of-america.html As I read about how proud one mother was of her 6th grade son because he was awarded the Hope of America Award, something warmed in the back of my brain. I got that award, too - when I was an awkward 6th grader.

I've always wondered why. I even wanted to contact my elementary school principal and ask him why, out of all the other much more talented and smart and cute and self-assured girls in the sixth grade, why did he pick me?  

The last few years of elementary school were rough. I had one or two friends at most. I was growing and gangly-tall, felt so different from all the other kids, and bounced a ball by myself at lunch recess, softly singing "Only the Lonely Can Play."  I wasn't good at socializing, I was pretty bad at jumping rope, and I hated dodge ball.  In the classroom, I alternated between cocky-smart and burying my head in my arms on my desk and hoping no one would see me.  What on earth did Mr. Nichols see in that little girl?

I looked it up. I found out the award is given under the direction of the Kiwanis Club to one girl and boy in each elementary school.  Usually they are chosen for their academic work,  good citizenship, and leadership. Another article cited the children's "positive influence on others" as a criteria. 

My beloved elementary school principal passed away a few years ago,  so I'll never be able to ask him my questions. I still wonder.  But for today, I can still work on being a positive influence on others. I can make my own little corner of the world a better place.  If we all did that, there would be plenty of hope for America.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

My Mop


My hair grows fast - it always has.  Since high school, I have let it grow long for a while, then I chop it all off and donate it to a hair charity.  Or I think about selling my hair and let it sit in a box for a while while  I dream of all the money I'll make, and then I send it to a hair charity.

I've always gotten lots of comments and questions about how I can get it to grow so well.  Unfortunately, I don't have any good answers, since it kind of grows all by itself.  I have no hair elixirs or magic tonics - just the thick, fast-growing hair my mom and dad blessed me with.  They each had a pretty good head of hair so I know where it comes from.

Mostly, it grows so long because I am too lazy to get it cut often.  I've tried it short (like every few years when I chop it off), but it grows quickly enough that I'd have to go to the hairdresser every couple or three weeks, or it loses its shape in a big, messy way.  It's not that I don't like the salon - in fact I have a favorite hair center where I go (maybe yearly?) that I love.  Mostly because the hairdresser has known me since I was a wee little girl, because she loved my mother, and that Trent and I met because of that hair place.  Not getting my hair cut often, on the other hand, is cheaper and easier.  That's the win right there!

When we bought our fixer-upper house this spring, I vowed I'd cut my hair off because I knew it would get in the way.  And it did, but I just didn't want to take the time out to 1) figure out what kind of a style I wanted, and 2) actually go to the salon.  So I put up with it.  And put it up a lot.  Yes, I did almost dip the end of my braid in the paint can multiple times.  Yes, I did get stuck a few times when my hair wrapped itself around a raw piece of lumber.  Yes, it did get full of dust and sheetrock mud.  But I bought a couple of Flexi-clips, and they were amazing!  I've never found anything that would hold up my heavy hair consistently and without pulling, but I am totally sold on these clips.  No product affiliation or anything, just an ever-so-happy customer.  And they are so pretty!

Anyway, I still have my long hair, and it's still attached to my head.  It was my Halloween costume this year. - we were Adam and Eve.  Actually, it was a reprise from last year, but hey, if you have a costume this easy, why not?  I did Lady Godiva for part of the time too, and handed out chocolates.


I do love my long hair, but it does tend to get in the way.  Like when I get in a car - I always close some of my hair in the door.  Or buckle it into the seat belt.  How about when you unbuckle your seat belt and the belt gets retracted back into the... wherever it goes... and it sucks some of your hair down there, too?  Love it.

I tuck my hair into my pants.  When I get dressed and pull a shirt over my head, I can't just flip the hair out of my shirt.  It takes three or four pulls to get it all out.  I've started zipping my hair into the fly on my jeans.  If I put on a coat over my hair, I'm frozen like that and can't move my head.  And static!  Oh, it's bad.  I'll zap everyone in the room at the same time if my hair starts getting big and charged.  Which is all winter long.

We won't talk about how really long hair is a liability in the bathroom.  Let's just say that I love my Flixi-clips and they are really, really fast at making and holding up a bun.  Because sometimes you need to be fast.  Showering, on the other hand, takes forever.  I can't roll over in bed because I'm laying on my hair.  Sometimes I can't roll over because Trent is laying on my hair.  Hair gets stuck in your armpits or wraps around your body, especially if it is wet.  The hair, not the armpit.

And the vacuum hates me.  There is always shed hair on the floor and it winds around your toes as you walk across the room.  I've never had hair this long, and it is pretty interesting to see how it is like a toddler and gets into everything.

But I like it.  It's flowy and feminine.  It keeps me warm in the winter - like wearing my very own fur coat.  And it's pretty.  The bottom of the braid is still beautifully brown, which is more than I can say for the hairs sprouting out closer to my head.  My hair is a beautifully fun accessory that I can do differently every day.  It's part of me, part of my identity.  One day I'll cut it, but for today, it's in a really cool 4-strand braid.  And I found a new bun I want to try for tomorrow!