Well, it’s Wednesday. Time to revisit our collaborative community story.
I know there are a number of professional and amateur writers following or at least visiting this blog, so now’s you chance to contribute … and we can use your help!
We started you off by introducing Samantha on her way home. When we last left her, she had just pulled into the driveway … the same one she had pulled out of so many years ago. She grabbed her old key and opened the front door. The complete storyline thus far is on my blog, wisdomfromafather.com. Visit Wednesday Writing III. Here’s where we left off.
I thought I had a normal childhood. Dad was the light of my life, my biggest fan and supporter. And I was his little girl.
Mom was a different relationship. Even as a young girl there was a tension between us. I always sought her approval, but Mom was critical. I could get all A’s and B’s and Mom would focus on my lone C. I could get all dressed up and she would tell me my dress was wrinkled. She didn’t like my friends or my music and always dismissed my opinions. To top it off, whatever happened, the whole town knew. Mom liked to “share” at the beauty parlor, the grocery store, at church — everywhere! — although her version of events didn’t always mirror reality.
But, Mom was a great cook. She could make anything taste good.
She wasn’t an accomplished chef, but learned her kitchen skills from her Mom, who had learned it from her Mom. Recipes were guidelines and Mom always knew when to add a “pinch” of this or cut back on that.
And she included me in the kitchen, firmly teaching me the basics from early on and sharing her skills as I grew up.
I remember one time when I was around five. I had always followed Mom around the kitchen and had already learned about her critical nature. This day, however, she handed me an apron and had me help mix in the chocolate chips into the cookie dough. At five years old, that was a monumental task and a good part of the batter ended up on my once-clean apron. I started to cry, but Mom scooped me up in her arms and said, “Sam, that’s okay. That’s why we wear aprons when we cook.”
When it came to kitchen skills, Mom was open and forgiving.
I sailed through elementary and high school. In fact, I graduated in the top five of my class at Our Lady Queen of Peace High School. I always thought it was quite an accomplishment, but Mom always added, “Of course, there were only 66 graduates.”
I was well liked in high school, but never did a lot of dating. It’s hard to “find” someone at an all-girl school. The few times I did go out, Mom always seemed to embarrass me with my date and I never went out with the same boy twice.
My best friends from grade school, Mary Bernadette — who we called “Bernie” — Betty, Lynn and Pat, loved to come over, especially when Mom went on a cooking spree. Bernie, Betty and Lynn went to Our Lady Queen of Peace, but Pat was the “rebel” and went to public school. Mom always picked on her, too.
I learned my way around the kitchen during those pre-teen and teen years and Mom was always there to coach me through a lunch or dinner, although my dishes never quite measured up to her standards.
All I knew was I had to get out of here. Because of my grades, I could go just about anywhere, and was accepted at a number of major colleges. I chose the College of Mount Saint Vincent and its nursing program, although the sight of blood makes me sick. It was a case of trying to please everyone else but myself.
Dad, over Mom’s objections, brought me a red Mustang convertible for graduation and for my daily commute to The Bronx. It was my independence. Once I had those keys in my hands, I was never home. It was off with my girls, often ending up at the hot dog joint just to flirt with the guys…
There you go, readers. We still have to develop Samantha’s story. (Although we haven’t stated it yet, we’ll find out Samantha is 55 and her two children have finished college and are out on their own. She is also an occupational therapist.) What about her schooling? How did she do in school? What’s next with her relationships, story?
All you have to do is put down your thoughts and get them to me. You can post your ideas as comments on the blog – but remember everyone will see them, so the “surprise” factor might get lost – or you can e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each Wednesday I will continue the story on the blog, along with that week’s attribution and periodically update Reveille/Between the Lakes readers. I hope we can have some fun with this.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: The Scripture says rain falls on the just and the unjust. When you find yourself facing a crisis, it’s easy to give up your happiness, panic and fall apart. But you have to realize crisis is not a surprise to God. It may be unexpected to us, but God knows the end from the beginning. God has solutions to problems we haven’t even had. And God would not have allowed the difficulty unless He had a divine purpose for it.