As a young girl in the 1960s, I was fascinated by the older girls on the school bus. I noticed everything about them. Lois had a "flip" hairdo that held in perfect place. She also went steady, as evidenced by a boy's class ring bound up in angora yarn so that it would fit on her finger.
Susan and Connie sat together wearing pantyhose and miniskirts. They carried purses, which intrigued me to no end. I am still a handbag girl over any other item of clothing or accessory. Can you believe it? I was bold enough to ask if I could go through their purses! AND THEY LET ME!
Another thing I noticed about the teenage girls is that they carried, then balanced on their laps, these massive stacks of textbooks and notebooks! Day in, and day out, they carried them to and from school. I was intrigued with the way they kept them stacked, often with other things on top of the stack, such as lunch sacks and specialty projects with their purses on the side.
Are book bags and totes that new? I do not think any teenage girl in that era carried their books and other supplies in anything other than a stack on their laps. Am I wrong?
I remember our son Ben telling me when he was a small kid that he would be happy to be an adult because adults don't have homework!
I told him that we do, indeed, it's just that our homework amounts to thinks such as cleaning the house, seeing to repairs and appointments, paying bills and cooking meals.
And while all of that is still true, I am now channeling my 1960s Wanna-Be Girl. Oh, how I wanted to be like those "big girls." I wanted a trendy flip hairdo for my limp brown mop. I wanted to wear a boy's class ring with fluffy yarn around it in different colors to match my outfits. I wanted to wear miniskirts so short that I was amazed they covered what they were supposed to. I wanted to wear hose! And heels. And have cosmetics in my handbags. I wanted to balance a big old stack of books on my lap and do it gracefully with none hitting the floor on those bumpy gravel roads.
Here's my current stack of homework.
1. On top is friend and former boss Tina West's new devotional, "Stillness." There's a beautiful devotion a day to last this whole year--or any year. She includes the days of the month, but wisely didn't limit them to a given year so the book will be fresh no matter what year you read or gift it. If you'd like to get hold of Tina for a copy, send me a message at email@example.com and I'll connect you.
2, For the pure relaxation and joy of it, I'm reading my mother's copy of "The Land, The People," by Rachel Peden. Rachel was a columnist for The Indianapolis Star and the Muncie Evening Press back in the 1940s through the '60s. Her first book was "Rural Free," which Indiana University Press reprinted a few years ago. After reading the review copy, I went to my bookshelves where Mom's copy of the sequel, "The Land, The People," has stood tall on hers or my shelves for most of my life. It was published nationally by KNOPF. A sequel to that is "Speak to the Earth: Pages from a farmwife's journal,." As soon as I finish "The Land" I will delve into this one, also from KNOPF.
Purely delightful reading of another time, but with values, sayings, and familiar moments from farm life from my youth, and before I was born. Yummy treats while nestled with a dog and an afghan on a winter's eve.
3. Also for pure fun is the new copy of Southern Living magazine, compliments of my friend Gay's mother, Betty Greenwood, who thought of me when she was offered to treat a friend to a free subscription. Thank you Betty. I don't currently subscribe to any magazines, and am treated to hand-me-downs of others from Gay.
4. Next is "Jesus in Me," by Anne Graham Lotz. Our church small group is studying this book together so I need to get my homework done for our next Zoom.
5. Then my worksheets are folded in my Bible as I have daily homework for my Bible Study Fellowship, an international, non-denominational Bible study that meets via Zoom on Monday nights. I have plenty of work to get to there.
6. And lastly, an ongoing project in the white binder that will eventually bear fruit. Details down the road...
Just as those high school girls with their homework to complete, I've got mine too. Whatever age we are at, there are things to be done, lessons to be completed, and learned.
What are you working on in the heart of winter? What are you reading, writing, planning and seeing to?