Monday, August 25, 2008

New Shoes and Number Two Pencils

Important Give Away announcement at the end...

Welcome back from the Olympics and a final congratulations to Cheryl, Cassie, and Peggy for earning the gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively.  Not to mention... the coveted patches for their jeans.  Patches should arrive with Amy and Alden, Highlowaha's very own dedicated and talented Olympic correspondents (who, by now, have hopefully landed safely in CA).
 Highlowaha Decathlon Medal Ceremony

Onward and upward.  Time to move on to the next outlet for our creativity.  

The start of school.  Aahhhh...  fall is in the air, even though it's 90+ degrees in Dallas.  TODAY marks the first day of school for all the schools in our district.  A special shout-out to Anthony, my handsome nephew who, today, embarks on the first day of his entire schooling experience... kindergarten.  He's all set up with the perfect Hulk back pack and all the essential school supplies guaranteed to make him an "A" student.

Weeks ago I introduced you to Nan, my very special neighbor who personifies c*r*e*a*t*i*v*i*t*y!  One afternoon, apropos of I don't know what, Nan told me about one of her many family traditions.  She explained that each year on the first day of school, she places a special table cloth over her kitchen table.  A simple gesture designed to help build the anticipation and excitement that comes with a new school year.  Don't you remember this feeling as a kid?  New clothes, new school supplies, and a totally clean slate.   Oooohhh, the excitement of it all.

I loved the idea from the moment I heard it.  I knew immediately I needed a table cloth.  Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and Nan was about to receive a Whopping compliment from me - her admiring neighbor.  I was unabashedly going to copy her idea.  Problem.  How would I, the not-so-talented-Claudia, get a table cloth?  I'm only an idea spotter.  I'm don't have the talent or the skill to make any of this stuff happen.

In walks Christi - seamstress extraordinaire - and close friend to my sister in-law.  Cassie suggested I give Christi a call to see if she might work with me to sew my very own back-to-school-soon-to-be-family-heirloom-tablecloth.  Kat, if you're out there... yes, this was going to be MY attempt at learning to sew (a skill we both agreed we wanted to learn).  I purchased all the fixins and Christi agreed to help.  Long story short... through the grace of Christy, I have my table cloth,though I am not a single stitch closer to knowing how to sew than I was before this whole episode started.  Suffice it to say, it's far easier for a pro like Christi to sew when she doesn't have a sub-novice hanging around her neck like an albatross.  
I have big plans for my new favorite belonging.  Today, a beautiful tablecloth marking the beginning of a new Beeny tradition.  But over time... over time... a warm and subtle reminder of an annual right of passage.  Our childhoods are made up of only 13 (counting kindergarten) first days of school and yet, those 13 days, and all the emotion that goes along with them, somehow represents so much more!  A table cloth for only 13 days of the year?  Impractical, I know.  But, isn't a table cloth only viewed on rare occasion part of what makes it feel extra special?  I think so (I love the table cloth so much, I might have to concede to the first week of school).  I hope to add over time, a small framed collection of their annual school pictures somehow woven into a centerpiece.  I imagine it being a short stroll down memory lane.

One more small note about the first day of school then a question... then you're outta here.

I recently saw in a catalog an idea for First Day of School Cones.  The idea originated in Germany.  Parents give their children giant paper cones filled with school supplies, small gifts, and candy.  I refused to order their $68.00 cones from the catalog, but decided I could probably improvise and make a much scaled down version.  My version... made of card stock in about 4 minutes and yes, still filled with school supplies.  My makeshift cone is also smaller (which ultimately means less expensive to fill).
Now a question for the day...  What is your favorite memory of "back to school" from when you were a kid?  As for me... First, our annual family trip to the Bass Shoe Outlet for new school shoes and, second... lining all our school supplies up on the desks in our bedroom and starring and talking about them for hours.

Your turn.

Oooohhhhh.... have I mentioned I am going to GIVE AWAY a second Back To School Family Heirloom Tablecloth, hand crafted by the very talented Christi?  Yes, I am.  One week from today (Monday, September 1).  You didn't think I was going to get on my blog and brag about my great new family heirloom and then leave you hanging.  Did you?  Hopefully you know me better than that, by now.  To be in the drawing to win the tablecloth, you must make sure I have in my possession, BY SATURDAY, August 30 (should be mailed by Wednesday, a.m.), the following:
  • A minimum of one Make Your Mark paragraph from you, to be used in our Make Your Mark campaign and, 
  • A minimum of one recommendation for a teacher who you think ought to receive one of our Random Acts.  No submission... no chance of winning.  And trust me when I tell you... kids or no kids, you will want this table cloth.  It would make a spectacular gift or... hang on to it until you have your own family.
As added incentive... collect five paragraphs (and the accompanying $5.00) and earn a Patchwork Patch.  Don't know what I'm talking about?  Check out the posts from August 5 and August 7.  

Montana, are you still out there?

Signing off until tomorrow...

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