What I Did On My Summer Vacation

When you were a kid returning to school each September, was one of your first assignments to write a composition detailing what you did on your summer vacation?

I remember those early autumn days… sitting in a slightly too-warm classroom, when summer refused to end simply because school was in session again.

There we’d sit – all spiffy in our first-day-of-school outfits. Most of them involved a sweater (think sweating!) or possibly some corduroy – not the coolest of fabrics. Actually, it wasn’t cool in any sense of the word, but I won’t get into the angst of peer pressure, at this juncture. 😉

While we sweltered, we had to wrack our brains for a scintillating summation of the preceding couple of months. Our essays would be read aloud eventually, which of course added even more pressure.

Little did we know then that these annoyances would look pretty unimportant in hindsight. Funny how the lens of experience allows one to remember – no cherish! – all of the little details of our youth . . . the kindness of a particular teacher, the sharing of a snack with the student who sat beside you, new notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils with still unused erasers, the freedom to play in the crisp fall air after school was out for the day. All these things and so much more . . .

We’ve had a taste of fall weather here, lately . . .

It always takes me back . . . 😀


Will you share your autumn memories?



Friday Favorites

When I was a child, I had to learn many poems by heart.

Was it the same for you?

Looking back on it, I believe that memorization is what sparked my love for poetry. Those verses really came alive when a chorus of grade school kids recited them with enthusiastic expression and dramatic hand gestures! Can’t you just picture it? 😉

The words to many poems are still etched in my memory. It’s nice to recall them from time to time so for this week’s Friday Favorites, I have an old favorite! It never seems to lose its power – no matter how often it’s read.



~by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master;
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run–
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!


Can you remember a poem that you had to learn?


Happy First Weekend in April, Kids!

And Happy Birthday (story here) to my Dad, who is 85 today. 😀

Hugs all around,


Back to School

I’ve been seeing the big yellow buses doing their practice runs – which can only mean the first day of school is near.

Actually, in a recent comment Kelly mentioned that her fall semester would begin this week. Fingers crossed she gets some great professors with a talent for making their subjects interesting! 🙂

To tie in with the school theme, I have post about a time I got in trouble at school, when I was a kid.

I KNOW!!! Can you imagine that?!? LOL 😉

Click here to read the details.



You’re Kids In My Book

Hi Kids!

Maybe you’ve wondered why I call you “Kids” when I write a blog post . . .

Is it because some of you are young enough to actually be my kids?

Is it because I’m trying to be funny (You know, using that wacky “Crystal-style” sense of humor)? 😉

Well, I guess that’s part of it, but there’s a little more to the story . . .

Several years ago, I decided to go back to college to take some business courses. My own kids had finished school and I figured it was time for Mom to return. I chose to go evenings – so there would be other adults with me. I didn’t want to be “the old lady” in a class of very young students.

The whole thing was quite a wonderful adventure. I met such an interesting and diverse group. Each person brought the richness of his or her life-experience to the classes. It was also rewarding for the teachers. They had an audience who were there by choice and totally engaged in learning (not kids who *had* to go).

Shortly after I started my first semester, I came home from class one night, full of excitement about the course I was taking. I breathlessly recounted the details of the evening to Sir Beads. I talked about the professor, and his fascinating lecture, and how glad I was that I found the book he recommended because “a lot of the other kids hadn’t been able to buy it at their local bookstores”!

Sir Beads immediately started to chuckle. I wasn’t sure why, at first. Then I suddenly realized what I had just said.

I said “KIDS”!

I couldn’t believe it. This was a class of students whose ages ranged from about 30 to 65 years old. NONE of us were “kids”!

I started to giggle. It had been decades since I was in school, and now after all those years, I instinctively described my fellow classmates as “kids”! It was as if I had traveled back in time to a place I’d been before. In my mind, this new group of adult peers had, almost instantly, been transformed into the childhood companions of old. It makes sense though – the situation was similar! We were a group sharing a learning experience – the work, the fun, the studying, the exams – all of it. We had a common bond.

I can tell you I learned a lot during those years when I returned to school. Most important of all, I came to truly understand that the “kid” inside of me would always be there, just under the surface, waiting to pop out with wonder and excitement, at any time!

I guess I always knew that, on some level, but I’d never realized the depth of it.

Remember to nurture your own inner child!

Ok, Kids? 🙂