Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful on Paper, Week One

Taking a cue from Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane's Rachel Reeves, I'm joining this month in being Thankful on Paper. 

I thought a lot about who I would write to. Only four to highlight? I could write to ten people every day of the month and still have more to thank! 

This also being NaNoWriMo, and I being in the throes of writing (or trying to keep up), I thought about dedicating each Thursday to four people who really influenced my imagination and my thirst for all things literary. A babysitter growing up, my fifth grade teacher Miss Ruth, and my two high school English teachers - Ziretta and Hamilton.

Then I realized that only one of them I could actually send a letter to. So as kinda a cheater first Thankful Thursday, here are the four I was going to do but can't exactly.

I don't even remember the babysitter's name, only that she would gather my brother and I around a globe, and we would take turns spinning it and stopping it with our finger. Then she would leave us in the room for five minutes to prepare for our "expedition," and when we came out she would somehow have converted parts of our house to wherever we were traveling. Even if it was somewhere in Mexico and she slapped on a Chevy's sombrero, grabbed my parent's maracas and made made an impression. So thanks...Unnamed Babysitter.

I have no idea where Miss Ruth went, but we read so many interesting books in that class...books I still have! And I'm pretty sure she was completely aware that I was reading far ahead under my desk during the "read out loud" part of class, but she never said a word. She was one of the only teachers who could give a legit answer when I would ask why I needed to know what we were learning (ie math will always be a part of life). Before her all I got was that it was prep for the next grade.

Ziretta was one of those wacky, dead-poets-society-type teachers who would take his podium up on a counter to quite literally look over our shoulders while we took a test to make sure no one cheated. If I ever began to zone out in class he would make his way over to my desk and SLAP his hand down scaring the bejeebers out of me while yelling out my last name--CURRAN! Quirks aside, he also showed me how much deeper you can look into literature, and kept urging me to join the Orange County Academic Decathalon.  I think I only went to one meeting, but it was nice knowing someone thought I was smart enough that I should join. 

Mrs. Hamilton carried that theme of digging into literature over into AP English, giving me my first taste of Pride & Prejudice, and making us practice writing over and over and over until we had it drilled in our head that the first lines of anything were the most important ('scuze me while I rewrite the opening of this blog). She was also my freshman English teacher, and on the first day wore a black snake necklace with ruby eyes. No one dared cross her, but the longer you knew her the more you found she really is a softie. Okay maybe softie isn't the right word, but definitely a gem. She still works at Calvary...and I've had a card I've been meaning to send her for years...maybe I'll actually get around to it this month!

ALLL that to say that rather than focus on these influential people, I chose to highlight people I can actually get in touch with.

First up is Charissa.

2003 at the Tower of London
My randomly-picked roommate my freshman year of college. She taught me that some rules are okay to break. We've had pillow fights and peanut fights and newspaper fights, and during one torrential rainstorm we headed to the softball field and she taught me some basic training combat moves in the mud. I still have the pajamas that were dyed orange from the gritty and slimy field. 

We backpacked around the UK and Ireland together, explored alleys, got to play Eddie Vedder's guitar and Miles Davis' trumpet in the basement vault of the Hard Rock Cafe while the tour guide flipped off the alarms for us and went upstairs to smoke a joint. 

We've cried together, called each other out, and I've lost track of the times I've been called a nag. We flew a kite in a sandstorm, woke up outside on an Easter morning to the sound of coyotes, got scared out of our wits by a mule's head appearing in my driver side window and chewing on my steering wheel, and hopped a fence to sit in a hotel hot tub and smoke cigars, but I still can't get her to go nossing with me.

She taught me that thankfully our Lord is a God of grace. 

Grace is getting what we don't deserve. 

And that's what she is, a friend I don't deserve. 

Love you Charis.

she's going to kill me to putting this picture up...


  1. What an awesome babysitter! Wow, she really did an awesome job with you and didn't just talk to her friends on the phone the entire time (like so many often do).

  2. What great memories of awesome people! Thanks for sharing about all of them!

  3. this is wonderful! it's always amazing how people have greatly influenced me and others, even if we can't remember their names:)
    thanks for sharing ALL of these wonderful peeks into your gratitude!

  4. so cute! i love it! what an awesome babysitter!

  5. Were I close enough to tackle you, I just might, for choosing two of the worst pictures we've ever taken together :) But the memories are wonderfully chosen: our first great adventure together and our most recent. I'm honored to make your list, K8, and you must know that I am so thankful for your friendship and love. You have blessed my life tremendously since we were first thrown together at PLNU and for that maybe I should send the administration a thank you card :)

    I loved re-living the memories you listed. I don't know how you chose those - my mind was reeling with all the ones in between :) I can't wait to make some more! I love you, Brittany Kaitlynn Keturah Curran Palmer.

  6. This is awesome....and I loved reading Charissa's comment too! A good friend is a treasure. Wonderful!

  7. This is such a cute post! I feel the same way about choosing only four people. I already chose my four people, but I want to add more!! I might just do what you did and still write to and about more people.

    Thank you for sharing!

  8. What wonderful memories and your writing style just had me riveted to your post.
    Thank you so much for sharing - can't wait for the next installment :-)