Monday, April 26, 2010

Chocolate Covered Peeps and Mississippi Tornadoes

I was surprised yesterday by a package from my best friend (YOU ROCK LULU!)--A huge box of dark chocolate covered peeps! What could be better than cheap marshmallow goodness made stale by sitting it on the counter for a few days? Adding chocolate, of course! Stale peeps have been my guilty pleasure for about 15 years now, and my true Giuli friends indulge my passion by buying them on sale after Easter and passing them on. My habit has been aided by living in the dry climate of Arizona. One year in Mississippi, I slashed the packages open and put them on top of the fridge. I waited and waited for them to get stale, and 6 months later they were still moist and soft--yuck! Here in Zonie land, it only takes a couple of days for them to get to their peak state of chewiness. On a similar subject, has anyone noticed that bread gets moldy very quickly in the South, but only gets very hard in more arid climates? Except good old bunny bread, which has some sort of unmentionable chemical that keeps it "fresh" for about a month.

On a more somber note, I'm a little slow on the national news because Jack and I don't have TV, but as soon as I heard about the twisters in my beloved Mississippi, I ran to school and looked it up on the Internet. I read dozens of stories and watched the videos, and almost cried when it showed all of the homes and roads devastated. My goodness, it looked just like Hattiesburg after Katrina!!!!! I can still smell the chainsaws cutting through the pine trees so that we could get out of our neighborhood. The troopers of Yazoo City have a tough road ahead of them, but in true Southern fashion, the residents and volunteers are rolling up their sleeves and gettin it done. One of the neatest things about the storm aftermath in Mississippi was attending the block "pot lucks", where everyone cleaned out their freezer and cooked it up on the gas grills for friends and neighbors. Some of the fare that we ate one night was barbecued pork, steaks, fish, and hot dogs. Once the streets were clear, everyone on my block cleaned up limbs in surrounding yards, tarped roofs, and surrounded battery powered TVs to get the latest news updates. Our good ol' neighbor, Bob, spurred by homemade moonshine, mowed the yards of the entire street in a fit of good humor one day. It was surely the most scary experience of my life to be at the mercy of Nature, but the love and support of family and friends made it bittersweet. I absolutely ADORE the wonderful people of Mississippi, and I will love them until the day I die. Please keep these folks in your prayers, and share the love-Mississippi style-with your neighbors.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Louisa May Alcott was a genius!

First of all, I'd like to share with you my random teacher's lounge tear off calender quote of the week:

While faith makes all things possible, it is love that makes all things easy.

Isn't that just stinkin profound? It has been a boring, AIMS state testing week experience. I've had hallway duty. Oh, don't gasp with excitement! For 12 hours this week I've been guarding the hallway--not from intruders or masked ninjas--but from noise causing 4th and 5th graders getting rowdy while on potty break. The bad news is, I discovered that the hallway stays a frigid 60 degrees, the good news is that I've read two good books!!!!! In desperation yesterday morning I realized that I hadn't picked a new one, and grabbed an ancient one from the bookshelf that I probably haven't looked at in 17 years--"Little Men" by Alcott. It is strange how motherhood (and especially being a mother to a raggedy toddler boy) changes your perception of classic novels. I was at times rolling with laughter at the playful antics of Jo's boys, and then at other times brushing away tears as Alcott describes the search for Jo's little son Rob, who gets lost in the woods picking blackberries for his mommy. When Jo and the search party discover him, he is fast asleep in the woods, with a berry stained mouth and sweaty red face. He only eats just a few berries, despite his fearful hunger, because he was saving them for his "Marmar". After clutching him to her, Robby says "I knew that you would come!", and then proceeds to shove the berries into her mouth. Reading this novel reminds me of the sweaty dirt-stained hands that wrap so tightly around his Momma's neck and the incessant goodnight kisses bestowed upon me by my Max. I admit that I indulge him with caresses and loves and kindnesses a lot, but I don't think that he will ever fault me for not loving him enough. I am ever realizing that he is more of a miracle than I ever supposed. That unique little body and stout mind were meant to come to us, and I pray that we can grow him into a fruitful tree before long.