Wow. I did it. I started a blog!
I was waiting to have a purpose to start a blog, most notably, a teaching job back home in the states. I've seen so many manicured and diverse blogs that teachers have unabashedly spent countless hours hovered over a computer perfecting. All are full of wonderful ideas and inspirational pictures of extremely organized classrooms. Since I didn't get a chance to concentrate on these elements of teacherhood while I was teaching in Germany, I am still working towards attaining this goal (I take my Texas certification test July 22!). I decided that in addition to studying, I'm going to get a head start on writing for my future Houston classroom by joining Teachers Write!, a free online teachers writing workshop.
For the first assignment, we needed to make time to write, meaning finding out when in our schedule will we be consistently dedicating time to just alone with our creative thoughts. I decided that until Mitch (my wonderful, hardworking fiancée) and I move back to Houston, I could dedicate about 15-20 minutes in the afternoons before he comes. Yeah, we have a few trips planned. We are going to meet up with my father and his fiancée in Paris in two days. We're going to Berlin the next week. We move back to Houston the following week. Looks like I'm just going to have to bring a notebook and pen around with me.
My first Monday writing warm up is to describe the kitchen of my childhood. So here goes..
At first, it was a place where the family regularly convened for dinners. Mom's favorite dinner to "cook"was pasta with vodka sauce and turkey meatballs (which she did not make from scratch). Everything I ate up until I moved to college, except for Dad's occasional arroz con pollo or picadillo, was packaged, jarred or frozen. It doesn't mean it wasn't delicious and it doesn't mean the time spent together eating this food wasn't valuable. Conversations were what you would expect between adults and their children at the dinner table.. "How was school?" "How was work?", etc. Despite the redundancy of food and conversation, I loved this time because my parents both worked hard, late and often. Dinner was the time where my sister and I had their full attention. Everyone was together and, oftentimes, there was laughter. The kitchen was where we got to know one another a little bit better.
Then, sadly, my mom left, my parents got divorced and the kitchen became a lonely place. A full-stocked fridge turned into something that would have contained spider webs if it were biologically possible for the spiders to survive in the cold atmosphere. There was no more pasta and vodka sauce and no more turkey meatballs. Dinners for my sister and I quickly turned to bowls of cereal or macaroni and cheese, which we ate alone and quickly. The kitchen which once emitted an aura of warm orange light, bright red countertops, apple themed decor and the sound of sliding chairs was now a shell of its former self. Walking into the kitchen became a lonely task. The kitchen grew old with us but it didn't age well. Countertops cracked from wear. Curtains faded and stained. Even the window screens were torn and ragged.
It's not all sad, though. There is one time of year where everything has always been the same and the kitchen becomes alive once again. That's Thanksgiving.