Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Letter - Snapshots

On Wednesdays, I have the opportunity to share work from a group of 8th graders at Goshen Middle School, in Goshen, Indiana.  Lisa Herschberger, a great friend and someone I used to teach with, is their teacher and she and I have the pleasure of talking about reading and writing with this group of kids.  This week, I want to share a project that they were working on called "snapshots."  Reading through them, it looks as though the kids took a magnifying glass to an important moment, or special memory in their lives: meeting a best friend, spending time in a favorite place, even getting in a car accident.  The pieces are outstanding.  Today, I'd like to share Teryn's.  When she wrote to me introducing herself, she told me she likes to read and write.  After you read her snapshot, you will see why.

The Barn
The sweet fragrance of hay reached my nostrils as I inhaled deeply.  Chickens clucked softly as they pecked at the soft earth no doubt in search of bugs. A soft gust of wind blew around me, whipping my dark hair wildly about my face, blowing the slight scent of horse to me.  I turned to survey the interior and my heart skipped a beat. There, standing in the light of the doorway was a sleek black mare, her milk chocolate brown eyes soft.  I made eye contact as I approached her slowly.  She stamped her large strong hooves and snorted softly.  She could crush my skull in an instant but I wasn't fearful, just aware.
"Shh-it's OK pretty girl, I won't hurt you,"I whispered in a soft voice.  I slowly stretched out my hand to stroke her soft, warm, velvety nose and I grinned.

"That's a good girl." I said and jumped about a mile as a small calico cat twined itself between my ankles, purring rather loudly.  I smiled.  I loved it there in the barn.

I was inspired by Teryn's writing, and thought I'd try my hand at a snapshot of my own.

A Windy Day
 We could hear the wind rattling the walls of our condo all day today.  I didn't think much of it until we were getting ready to take Hadley to ballet lessons.  She and I were having a clipped conversation regarding the kind of clothing she should wear outside.

"No, Mom.  I am NOT wearing sweatpants over my pink tights." 

Hadley is very proud of her pink tights as she is the rest of her ballet attire: a pink leotard with a glittery heart in the center, a pink tulle skirt, and pink ballet slippers.  She owns this outfit when she wears it.  She wasn't going to wear sweatpants.

The three of us walked down the stairs of our building - Hadley in front leaping down the stairs in true ballerina style, Harper bringing up the rear holding her toy sheep and cow - we looked liked a page out of a Fancy Nancy book.

When we got to the bottom of the stairs, and I opened the door to the outside, the three of us gasped at the wind's signature: gold, red, and orange leaves were all over the ground.  We couldn't even see the sidewalk or the grass.  Hadley crunched her way into the leaves, picking up one or two, and then stopped and looked up at the trees.

"Mama!  The wind blew the leaves off the trees!"

"I know," I said, noticing that her tone suggested the wind did the leaves a favor.

"They're ready for winter!" she exclaimed.  Her eyes were huge and she was smiling.

And then she began to run.

"That tree's ready for winter!  And so is that one!  Ooo!  All those trees over there are ready for winter!"  She was running and pointing and yelling, and she was so happy. 

Harper and I watched her run down the sidewalk in her ballet clothes pointing and screaming - a pink firecracker against the deep colors of autumn.  Harper started to run, too.  The sheep and the cow she violently insisted she take along thunked on the leaves, forgotten.  I picked them up and stuffed  them in my bag and began to run after my girls.  And then I was running with them; pointing out trees that are ready for winter and kicking up crunchy leaves with my shoes.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post. It is beautiful to be able to write caught memories this way as snapshots. I would also want to pass this on to teachers as well as mommies as a great creative writing option.