Saturday, December 22, 2012

This was originally written  2/12/08 as an assignment for a writing group.
An Unwanted Wanted Gift
By Maxine Hennis 

When I was small, we didn’t get lots of Christmas presents like children do these days.  We had a stocking filled with fruit and nuts and some little pieces of candy.  We usually got maybe one or two presents.  When I was about 10, I was enthralled with the idea of having majorette boots and a baton.  I pictured myself strutting around, throwing my baton away up in the air and catching it without a hitch.  
I also spent many hours at my little school room type desk my mom had found for me somewhere.  I loved to draw and went through lots of paper.  I saw a small personal sized blackboard in a store and then and there…that was my favorite and utmost desire.  I could spend lots of time drawing and not waste all that paper.  So that became another thing I wanted very badly.    I obviously voiced these desires to family members over and over.  Then…
The Christmas tree was set up in the living room of the big old two-story rock house where we lived.  About a week before Christmas, I saw it!  It was a box about 3 feet by 2 ½ feet by about 4 inches.  I just knew there was a blackboard in there.  I was so happy, so excited,  and so impatient for the day to come when we could open our presents.    

Finally it was Christmas morning.  I could hardly contain my excitement.  Finally, it was my turn to open my present.  I turned it around and around, shook it, and, then I opened it.  I opened one end and peeked in.  I could see nothing, especially anything that looked like a blackboard.  There were newspapers stuffed in the box and I began pulling the pieces out, one at a time.  I couldn’t reach the papers anymore so I turned the box over and opened the other end.  There was something wrapped in Christmas paper.  It was about 18 inches long, had two heads on it, and was solid.  To my incredible surprise, there was a baton!  I was so thrilled and disappointed at the same time.  I can never explain how I felt, betrayed, foolish because they had tricked me, happy to have a baton, but deeply hurt that I didn’t get the blackboard.  Several minutes later my oldest sister brought in another gift for me.  It was the blackboard.   

This might be a good time to share my suspicions.  My oldest sister, who was probably in her early 20’s, was kind of a rascal.  I have always suspected it was her idea to deceive me, thinking it would be funny.  Obviously the blackboard came in the box but they used the box to hide the baton.  Seems funnier as an adult but it seemed really mean to me at that time. 

I played with the baton a lot the first few weeks, then occasionally.  I learned to twirl it, move it from hand to hand in the middle of a twirl, and to toss it in the air and catch it.  However, I spent countless hours playing with that blackboard.  That was the favorite gift I ever received as a child.  When I outgrew it, I gave it to a nephew, who played with it a lot, too.  Was that gift comparable to an Ipod now?   It’s hard to imagine a child these days getting that much pleasure out of a blackboard and a box of chalk.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My One Dream
By Maxine Hennis
A few years ago I belonged to a Writers' Group at our Church.  This was originally written on 1/27/09. 

I’ve been thinking about the idea of a Bucket List.  You know, the things I’d like to do before I die.  The one thing that obsessed me when I was very young, was…..I’d like to fly! Not in an airplane, or a glider, not on a parachute.  I mean actually fly, you know, wings and all.  The same dream that the Wright brothers had.

I recall a dream I had when I was very young.  I was flying and soaring freely, with no constraints as to where I went, how long I stay in the air, or with whom I flew.   In this dream I flew high, up with the eagles, soaring and floating on the wind.  I soared over Pikes’ Peak and back to the prairie.  I flew down into the trees along the Arkansas River, watching the water birds along the bank.   

I was puzzled as to why I could suddenly fly.  I planned on asking my mother about it when I returned home.  When I saw her again, I asked her about it.  She replied that some things are just programmed into certain individuals but that not all had the same abilities.  Some individuals were better prepared to run, swim, jump, or to defend themselves.  Some were more adept at providing for themselves and their families.  The list was quite long and I understood exactly what she meant.  I was so grateful I had been given the wonderful ability to fly. 

As my dream continued, I found myself landing in some very peculiar places.   Places I would have thought were impossible to access.  But, of course, I could access them because I was able to reach them through my ability to fly unhindered.   

The dream was so vivid and detailed.  I could see the sagebrush on the prairie, and the wildflowers along the creeks.  As my dream progressed, I began to realize that this was all a dream and that, when I awoke, I would be the same as before.  Unable to fly. 

I willed myself to continue the dream as long as possible.  I willfully made myself fly recklessly around and through some trees and rocks.  Suddenly I found myself falling, falling, falling……………. I had fallen out of the nest!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I can't believe I finally was able to access this old blog of mine!   There is still confusion about the name of the blog.  At first I named it momsbehind but decided that gave a different message than I intended, so I changed it to momstheword.  So if you want to access it, and one doesn't work, try the other one.  I hope you will read some of my old blogs.  Thanks.