Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sweet Country Life

I haven't written for a while, and the reason is that I started a new job.  That, and the fact that we also started construction on our house.  You can see the progress at our business blog, which I have a link for at the bottom of this blog.  It's coming along fast, but it's been a ton of work for my husband.  For me?  Well, I pretty much just pick out faucets and bathtubs and light fixtures, but it DOES require a lot of thought! :-)

My job, though, is going great.  I'm teaching K4 in a Title I school in an area that is most accurately described as.... rural.  And I actually love it.  On my drive to work, which takes about 25 minutes, I go through only one red light, and it's less than a mile from where I live. (However, they are putting in a four-way stop on the highway in September, so I will have to start stopping there!)  On the way, I pass peach orchards, tractors (lots of tractors), cows (LOTS of cows), and old farmers selling watermelons, tomatoes, and lemonade at roadside stands.  There's one house I look at every morning because the old man is either putting out his peaches on his stand in the front yard, or he's already got them ready and he, his wife, and several friends are sitting in chairs in the carport just visiting.  I'm always just a little jealous because they look like they are having a good time!  Maybe one day I'll pull over and ask if I can join them :-)

The kids in my class are just precious, and I have to admit that I kind of love the fact that they AREN'T the children of all the people I went to high school with!  It's nice sometimes when people DON'T know the teacher quite so well, because it makes those parent-teacher conferences just a little less awkward.  Everybody has been really nice and helpful to me since, even though I live in a nearby small town, I don't know this area as well. 

Last week, I had to stop at a tiny gas station just as I left school because my tank was beyond empty.  I'm a little spoiled to the pumps at the gas station near my house where you just swipe your card at the pump and never have to go in, so I wasn't too thrilled about the old pumps that looked like they came straight out of the Andy Griffith Show.  But like I said, I was beyond empty, so it really wasn't up for debate!  By the time I went in, gave the man my card, went back out and pumped gas, and went back in to get my card, the door had been held for me by no less than 4 men.  They all stepped way back, opened the door with a flourish, and grinned at me from under their ball caps.  One even said, "Come on out, gal!" which I loved because I just love to hear old men say, "Gal."  Even though I live in the South, where chivalry is alive and well and this kind of behavior is expected, it was nice to be reminded that it tends to be most vibrant in small, country communities.  My own small town is no exception, but you know, I got the feeling that they actually noticed that I wasn't from around there, and I think they went the extra mile to make me feel welcome. 

And that, my friends, is why I've never once wanted to be a city girl! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time Capsule

Last night, my grandma for some reason had out a huge box of pictures from the past 60 years of family history.  Apparently, every time she got ahold of a picture she just threw it in that box without rhyme or reason, so to say it was disorganized would be the understatement of the century.  If you can get past all the unfortunate fashion choices, facial expressions that convey an emotion that is best descibed as "abject misery," and the fact that everyone is quite a big larger than they were in those pictures (vertically and horizontally), you can see things about people that you never really saw before.  Because, you know, it's easy to forget that before these people were your parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents, they were just PEOPLE.  They were children once, and they played in the yard with their dog, and they graduated from high school (well, some of them did... others had to quit long before to work on the farm), and they went to school dances, and they got new cars, and they fell in love and got married, and they got unfortunate hair-dos, and they went to the beach in funny looking bathing suits, and they had birthday parties with homemade cakes that were leaning to one side. 

They probably never imagined that they would grow old, or what we, their future generations, would be like, or how different things would be in the future.  And I started thinking, wouldn't it be amazing if we could be handed a box of random photos from OUR future, and get the chance to just go through them and look at all those people who don't even exist yet?  What would it be like to see them graduate, and go on vacation, and open presents at Christmas, and smile into the camera in a hospital gown while holding a tiny baby?  Would we laugh at our clothes and hair-dos, and about how naive and hopeful we were?  Would we cry about the ones who we notice are absent in the photos? 

Isn't it amazing that we can capture these moments in time and look at them so many years later, and think about how much time has passed and how much has happened to the people in them since them?  I feel lucky that my ancestors had access to cameras, and that I know what my great-great grandparents looked like.

What will my great-great grandchildren think of me?  They will certainly have a lot more pictures to look at than I've had, because the technology has come so far since then.

And won't it lose some of it's magic when they're looking at a digital image rather than holding a faded picture with bent corners in their hands?

I think I'm going to start printing more of my pictures so they can go into a box one day, so my great-grandchildren can laugh at my hair and my clothes and my funny looking car.