Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 48 --Perfect Day Out

At the start of our walk near the entrance of
the Binghamton University Nature Preserve

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link:

This week's prompt is - Perfect Day Out

Cast your mind back to a day when you experienced the perfect day out.
Describe the setting
Who you were with?
Why were you there?
What or who made it special
How does the memory of that day make you feel?

It started as a simple walk in the woods last Sunday. It was beautiful day filled with bright sunshine, cool air, and with just a hint of breeze. The family and I wanted to get out and take in some nature. Sometimes nature communicates to you on a level that can't fully be put into words. It just has to be experienced. 

Flowers my daughter gave me.

While on the other side of the lake, I started to find myself looking up at the forest canopy. I felt at moments transported back in time to a place in Craven County, NC called Riverdale. My Mitchell family line came from this wooded area in eastern North Carolina. Small family farms speckled the landscape but mainly there was the forest. My 3rd great grandparents owned land there, raised children, and created a homeplace. My 2nd great grandmother Rosa Mitchell Jones was the only child to leave those woods and she settled eventually in Morehead City. What was her motivation for leaving? Was she following her husband, who's family already lived in Morehead.? Was it for job opportunities? Or was she tired of looking up and seeing only small bits of sky in between the branches of green. Maybe those branches were holding her back from her own dreams.  Sometimes, I find myself imagining being present during some conversation that took place long ago between Rosa and her mother Annie Taylor Mitchell. Rosa turns to her mother at the end and says, "Momma, I just got to get out of these woods."

Then I see my daughter on the path in front of me and I am back in 2014. I breathe in the fresh and feel a heightened sense of satisfaction. On days like this, if you allow yourself to be present you may be able to open a door to the past. 

Heading back to civilization.

I love seeing this man smile.

A girl on the move.

From present to past and past to present.
 A perfect day out can merge the memories of both together.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Book Of Me: Prompt 47 --Awards

If you are not familiar with this wonderful project that was created by Julie Goucher of the Angler's Rest blog, please refer to this link:

This week's prompt is - Awards
Have you or a close family member received one?
What was it for?
How was it presented?
Do you still have it?
Have you inherited an award?
If so, who was awarded it and what for?

I haven't inherited any awards but I have earned a few in my lifetime. I think awards are good in terms of giving recognition for a job well done. I don't think they are what we should strive for in life. I think we should look for happiness and doing what you have a passion for. Still, I can't say I didn't like getting awards.  I've enjoyed and appreciated each and every one that I've ever been given.

The earliest award I can remember receiving was the "Student of the Month" award. I attended St. Pascal's Baylon, a Catholic school located in St. Albans, NY. This award was given out at the end of each month to the top students for each class.  I don't want to brag, but I was given this award many times during my tenure there.  I was a kid and I was under the impression that I was supposed to get this award every month. I didn't understand that teachers had to rotate giving it to the other smart students in my class. Secretly, I would be annoyed when I didn't receive it. It's funny how a child's mind works. I remember that the award was on white paper and printed in black ink with a fancy blue border. I was impressed by how official looking the certificate was.

The next award that sticks out in my memory is from when I went to sleep away camp. I must have been about 8 years old. There was a camp Olympics. It was a big deal, at least it felt like a big deal because the winners received actual medals!  There were 6 cabins and each cabin would represent a different country. I was a member of cabin 5 and we represented Venezuela. We even came up with our own chant to cheer our team on when competing. We raced and swam, and for the life of me I can't remember the rest of the events now. Somehow, even though we weren't the oldest group, we won! I was ecstatic to get one of those medals. 

When I was in high school, I got the nerve up to sign up for a lip sync talent show my school held each year called "Puttin' on the Hits." My first couple of years in high school I was a bit of a shy kid, but by my senior year I had started to put myself out there. Originally, a few of my friends and I had planned to lip synch together, however a week before the competion my friends opted out. I still wanted to do it even though I was nervous wreck. I went ahead as a solo performer and lip synched "Black Cat" by Janet Jackson. I gave it my all. I danced. I jumped off the stage. I even did a power slide as I came running back on to the stage, leaving a huge run in the black tights I was wearing. When it was all said and done, I managed to take home 3rd place in the solo category. Just to refresh everyone's memory regarding the good old days of lip synching, here's a clip from the TV show that our high school talent show was based off of.

I used to fence when I attended college. It was a club sport at the school I went to, not varsity level or anything but I was good enough to earn a few medals and trophies. You can catch a glimpse of those awards on my post Looking Back While Looking Forward.

Over the years, I've worked different retail sales jobs and on occasion I was given awards for providing excellent customer service. They were usually the sort of thing that was given out after a store was visited by a secret shopper.

The last position I held before becoming a stay-at-home mom was that of a unit manager at a call center. It was a center that handled collections.  The job was stressful at times, especially for my reps who had to call folks about their outstanding balances on their accounts. I was good at motivating them to keep their cool while on the telephone and as a result, we made or exceeded team goals often. I was awarded unit manager of the month on a couple of occasions because of this.

I was especially proud of being included in Family Tree Magazine's Top 40 Genealogy Blogs of 2013.  I was so shocked and honored to be included in the company of so many talented bloggers.

That's all I can think of now. Next stop, Prompt 48.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: First Day Of School Sept 2014

The kids have been back in school for a couple of weeks now. I just found time today to post these. Here's to another great school year!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Something About Me Saturday: I Can Get Goofy Sometimes

I love slapstick comedy. The more ridiculous something can be, I think the better and usually the result will be that I will laugh my head off. I love props and silliness and bought a bunch of these glasses with big noses for my husband's birthday last week. So here's a few pictures of me having a good time with them.