Archive | September 2013

A New Look

Last week my friend Christy came over to help my mom (and me) with my website. I was pretty excited because I wanted to hang out with Christy. Last year when she came over, I was in school so I missed out on all the fun! We got out the very pretty tea set from China that Morielle gave my mom for her birthday. I was hoping Christy would come early and my mom was stressed because she couldn’t remember everything Christy had told her last time. Silly mom!

Christy always has very interesting clothes and this time she had some very pretty gloves. I wanted to take a picture, of course. My mom served the tea and we chatted a little and then they worked on the computer. I was hanging out with them at the table. All of a sudden my mom jumped up, grabbed a couple of pot holders and her camera they went outside to take pictures. Crazy. I stayed inside and just watched from the window. Then my mom called into the house and suggested that I take a picture of them taking pictures. So I got my camera and then I had to put my shoes on. By the time I was ready, they were all done. But they went ahead and took some more pictures so for the photo. It was fun! I am very careful with my camera and with my routines like putting on my shoes so I can be a little slow. My mom is always telling me to hurry up but `hurrying up’ is just not my style!

They ran back inside and put the photos on the computer. Of course, I followed them and hung out with them at the table drinking my tea. Actually, I did not drink my tea. My mom was surprised when she was cleaning up to find my tea cup still full of tea.  `Did you have fun drinking tea with Christy?’  Yes, of course, I had fun drinking tea with Christy! It is not about the tea. It is about hanging out with friends and enjoying my adult life. Silly mom.

Anyway, they made some changes in the way my website looks. I hope you like it. In the process they tried a few things that did not work. In one try, they wrote a post and then later deleted it. But in the end they had success with uploading the pot holder pictures. They also added a Page called `Mathalia in the Media.’ It has links to the newspaper articles about me and a link to the television story about my swimming.

Chicken Update: Work

I wrote about enjoying the chickens in my last post. The next thing my mom wanted me to learn: feed and water them, and clean out the coop. The fun was over and now the work! `Wash out the water pan, Mathalia.’ Well, directions like that don’t work for me the first time I do something. So we both held the pan and then her hand pushed my hand around to wipe. We cleaned the little pan together and she did the big bucket. I filled the bucket full of water which was easy. My mom carried the bucket and I carried the pan.

I walked into the coop and I stopped completely frozen at a standstill because the chickens were pecking and making me crazy. My mom said that they were hungry and thirsty and told me to hurry up and put the pan ON the brick so she could give them their water. I shooed the chickens and put the brick IN the pan! I thought my mom would be so proud because I was `shooing’ chickens. But she laughed! And then she did it right so the chickens could have their water without waiting for me to understand directions.

Oh what a relief! The chickens stopped pecking. Once the chickens were happy then I could start helping again. My mom gave me the cup of food and showed me how to pour it into their feed dish. I did not bend down and get close to the dish. I just poured it down on their eating heads.  My mom laughed!!

The next time my mom brought the feed dish outside for me to fill. It was easy to fill it but then the tricky part was getting it back into the coop with all the hungry pecking chickens. My mom opened the door and the chickens rushed at the food and I  froze and dropped the feed dish. My mom started laughing and telling me that I had to pick up the dish and move it to the middle of the hen house.  NO WAY!! Not with so many pecking chickens!

She showed me how to find the handle under the hungry chicken that was perched on top. She started taking pictures while shooing chickens back into the coop and left me to figure it out by myself. And I did! I stepped over the crazy chickens and then I patted the one chicken off the handle and picked up the feed dish and set it down farther inside.  My mom was so proud of me: shooing a chicken and moving the food dish.

One day we had to clean them out. My mom thought I would not be much help but I surprised her! `Clean out the coop’ does not work for me. But scooping the dirty wood shavings into a nice pile far away from the eating chickens and then handing me a shovel and telling me to put the shavings into a bucket was just what I needed. I showed my mom that I like to take care of chickens! We had the coop looking clean with fresh wood shavings ready for the first day of school.

Chicken Update: Part One

I went out to the Ag. Center to feed and water my chickens this weekend and I found an egg!! Well, really my mom told me that there was something very exciting in the chicken coop and I had to find it: I found a big black feather. She laughed and told me to keep looking. Then I saw the egg! I took it home and ate it for breakfast. Yum!!

During the summer we tried to visit the chickens every day. My mom wanted me to get used to them and not be so afraid of their pecking: `Chickens peck, Mathalia; that is just what they do.’

At first, my mom made me go into the coop but I always got scared with all the pecking at my boots and shorts. My mom wanted me to enjoy the chickens and not be afraid of them. We worked out a system: I waited on the stoop and she brought out one chicken at a time. This worked a lot better for me.  Sometimes we remembered a rag for my lap. Sometimes I got poop on my pants: `That’s what happens when you are a farm girl, Mathalia!’

My mom sat with me and the stoop and kept an eye on the chicken because . . . if the pecking startled me, I let go of the chicken! Hah! And I don’t run after chickens—that’s my mom’s job: `Mathalia! Don’t let go! I am not fast enough to catch her and you are not going to help me!’ In fact, my mom was pretty good at catching chickens—too bad I never got a picture of her chasing a chicken. But you never know maybe such a photo op can still happen :).

After petting and talking to the chicken, we took her around to the outdoor chicken run. My mom held the chicken while I climbed the ladder. Then she handed me the chicken and my mom yelled:` Hold her Mathalia; don’t let go!’ And she would run around, get her camera ready and say, `Okay now!’ Hah!  We sure have had a lot of fun trying to get nice pictures!

Adult life: Children’s Message

I like to talk to my mom in the car because then she really listens to me instead of telling me to `hurry up’ or do this or do that. Usually I choose the topic that I want to talk about which is why my mom has a notebook in the car: if she doesn’t understand what I say, I have to write it down. She also makes me finish my sentences. I usually introduce a topic by saying one word. She writes it in the notebook with a couple of blanks and then I have to fill in the blanks and finish the sentence. Only then will she  respond to my ideas. Hah! Let us hope that she is always safe when she drives and writes!

Anyway my last few months in high school we were constantly driving back and forth to Big Sky  and the Ag. Center. I was always talking about `Graduation‘. She would wait and wait for me to say more and `finish the thought’ as she likes to say: `I am excited about Graduation.’ Or `Graduation is June 1, 2013.’ Or `2013 is my turn.’ Full sentences like that make her happy.

When we were done talking about Graduation, she would start talking about `Adult Life’ beginning on June 2, 2013. One of her big ideas about Adult Life was the Children’s Message at church:

Mathalia, there is nothing wrong about your going up for the Children’s Message. You can go up there your whole life, if you want to do that. God wants all of us—no matter how old we are—to approach Him as a child.  BUT you might want to think about NOT going up for the Children’s Message to listen with the other children but staying with me in the pew and listening with all the other adults. I don’t want to tell you what to do. I just want you to think about it.

And so I did: I thought about it all during the month of May. I really liked going up for the Children’s Message; I liked listening to the Pastor; I liked listening watching the other children; I liked to hear their answers to the question. Sometimes the Pastor would take us around to look at the windows in the church. It was all very fun!

But on Sunday, June 9, I was excited to stay with my mom in the pew as one of my `Adult Life’ choices.  My mom did not talk about it that Sunday morning at all. She let me decide. I had done my thinking and I loved being an adult while I watched the children walk to the front. I think that my mom was a little sad or maybe we were having one of those `bittersweet’ moments: I was enjoying the `sweet’ part acting like an adult and listening from the pew; and my mom was enjoying the `bitter’ part acting like a `basket case’ during `Great is Thy Faithfulness’ which we sang right after the Children’s Message. Silly Mom.

On the way home in the car my mom explained why. She said:

We sang that song the Sunday after you were born, Mathalia. My mind was rather in a fog those first few weeks but I have the bulletin so I know: it was April 10, 1994. You were two days old. Certainly God has been faithful to you during your childhood for 19 years and 2 months. We sang it again today, the beginning of your Adult Life. He will continue to be faithful and give His `own dear presence to cheer and to guide.’ He will give `strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.’

Which reminds me of the poem I wrote after the Transitions conference in November. I  included it in my Creative Writing Class Poetry Book:


After the rain the sun

After the winter the spring

After the spring the summer

After the summer the harvest

This is the way of life

till the life be done;

After the preschool the kindergarten

After the grammar school the high school

After the high school the adventure

This is the way of life for everyone.

All we need to do abled or disabled,

Give thanks till the life be done

love is the way of life.

After the love, the thanks.

That’s it for now. I have many more `Adult Life’ stories to tell.