|The fixer-upper we bought when I was a |
kid. It looks like it could stand to be fixed
up again.Courtesy: Google Maps.
Shy in social situations, I found making friends difficult. So I sat on the step at recess, secretly annoyed that they recited the jump-roping chant wrong, yet longing for an invitation to join in.
|Manure, just right for pelting your |
friend. Courtesy: Newsvine.com
The following Monday, Johnna reported the social faux pas. My city ways didn't pass muster. Ostracized for refusing to sling cow dung, years later, my dad put it into perspective: While teaching, he heard of a kid, taunted, because his firefighter dad perished in a blaze. I won't repeat the wording, lest it haunt you as it has me. As I recall my first year at the new school, I shed no tears. But I weep inside for a boy, who, in his moment of greatest need, experienced cruelty rather than compassion.
My fifth grade teacher (I could inject "bless his heart" here, but won't) took me out of class one day, a few weeks into the school year. The aide admonished my classmates to include me while the teacher assured me that Lisa would be my recess playmate. She was--for a few days. Walking back into the classroom following the 'be-nice-to-Laura' lecture remains my life's most humiliating moment. That the teachers were trying to help provided little salve for my embarrassment. I chose to homeschool, partially, because of my experience.
|Our back yard.|
Recently I googled Johnna. She runs an online store, like I do. She's a homesteader. She teaches classes on making cheese and soap, and foraging wild herbs. She homeschools.
Oh, my. She could be my friend.
|Here's Johnna. Doggonit, I even owned |
the same dress. Courtesy: Publicradio.org.
|Here I am, picking blueberries.|
But I know myself too well. I still bear the social reticence that kept me a fifth grade outsider. So I'll pick up my No. 2 pencil instead, and write how I now realize perhaps Johnna and I are more alike than different. The city girl can befriend the country girl.
Children grow up, and time turns manure into soil.