This girl loves…companionship.

My faithful companion

My faithful companion

Many of us have pets-loyal companions, always there when you need them.

My dog Bagel has been with me for eleven years.  He is “the love of my life” as I like to coo into his ear as I kiss the top of his cold, wet nose.  No matter how many books or one-of-a-kind sandals he chewed as a puppy, nor how many times I have had the carpets cleaned because he has shown his anger by lifting a leg, nor how many times I’ve cleaned up throw-up at 3am, or even the countless sleepless nights I’ve watched over him because he has gotten into my private stash of chocolate, he still remains one of the most important beings in my life.

At night, before I go to bed, I say a few words to God, asking for another set of eyes to watch over my family or help ease their pain in some way, Bagel is always included.  He is right up there with my family, and rightfully so, because he is my family.

During this difficult economic time, I read or hear stories of pets being abandoned because their owners can no longer afford to take care of them.  This cuts me to the core because I feel that taking care of my dog is just as important as taking care of myself.  If I had one piece of bread, you can bet I would cut it in half and share it with Bagel.

Maybe my attachment to Bagel is odd to some people because he is an animal, not a human-a fact I am well aware of.  To be clear, I am not one of those pet owners that dresses their dog up, strolling them around town pretending they are human.   I am that pet owner, however, that takes off a day of work to nurse a sick dog to health as I would if I had a child of my own.

I never leave the house without saying goodbye or telling Bagel that I love him just as I never let a family member go on a vacation without telling them the same.  Bagel has been there when I’ve cried over a broken heart; he’s been there when I’ve danced and sang because something spectacular has happened; he’s been there waiting at door to greet me after a long, tiring day at work; he has just BEEN THERE.  He is the most loyal companion I could ever ask for and I am constantly grateful for his adoring eyes, his waging tail, and his soft fur I can bury my face into when I need to feel loved.

This girl loves…rainy days.

Raindrops on Wellies...a few of my favorite things!

Raindrops on Wellies…a few of my favorite things!

Waking up to clouds in the sky and rain puddles at your feet probably does not do much for your attitude. You are thinking about the traffic that will ensue, the water that will inevitably soak your socks and shoes, and the mist that will either frizz your curls or flatten your straight locks. All of these are the general result of a rainy day in a normally sunny state.

Waking up to clouds, though, for me has the opposite effect. Instead of dooming me, a rainy day means I will get to remember my favorite place: England.

The smells, the sounds, the feeling of raindrops upon my head or the cool breeze prickling my skin allow memories to literally “flood” back.

I can remember walking down a street sodden with rain, dodging puddles of muddy water, on my way to class. I would clamber into the classroom, instantly shrug off my rain coat and settle in for the latest lecture about the life of William Shakespeare. To learn such things in the land of the Bard, while rain gently tapped at the window, would engrain itself forever in my memory. After class a walk over to the nearest pub for hot soup and drinks with my friends would energize me enough for the reading that awaited me back at my dorm. Falling asleep as the wind blew lightly against the heavy felt curtains, the rain fell softly, and the sound of a nearby owl hooted would lull me into the deepest, most peaceful sleep of my entire life.

These rare rainy days are ones I look forward to for in them I get to time travel through my most favorite memories, reliving the most important and exciting time of my life.

This girl loves…learning.

If my feelings were captured in a photo, this is what it would have looked like today.

If my feelings were captured in a photo, this is what it would have looked like today.

Today my heart was warmed.

Eleven, eight- and nine-year-olds gasped in disbelief when I told them of a college student’s editorial about how reading classical texts was a waste of time.   Their feelings were fully justified as they stated exactly why and how this editorial conveyed falsehoods.

They believe that by reading we gain insight into the past, learn about ourselves and others through character relationships, as well as make meaningful connections to our lives, other texts, and to the world.

When told of the college student’s reasoning as to why reading was a waste of time (reading cutting into time that could be best spent socializing) my students mentioned that you could get together with your friends and discuss the books you were reading. (Ha!  From their mouth to God’s ears, I say.)  I feel it’s worth mentioning that two more students exemplified this idea by explaining that their weekend plans included a game of touch football while they recited lines from a Shakespearean play.  The importance of making connections was also stated beautifully when one student made a connection from the fairies in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (the classical text we are currently studying) to a fairy known to all children-the tooth fairy.

I believe that by listening to them today, I gained insight.You may rest assured that all is not lost because our future includes young people not demanding more television or computer time, but young people readily arguing the importance of studying great literature.

This girl loves…blogging.

I am a girl that thinks about a thousand thoughts a second.

I’m thinking about love at this second-love of life, love of food, love of poetry, love of love itself.

Thus spawned a new idea: a blog.  A place for me to record these thoughts.  My hope is that you derive some pleasure from it as I seek to derive pleasure from everyday life.  Recording and sharing has become a part of my daily life and for me, there is no better way to share my story than through my pictures.

This was the photo that started it all...

This was the photo that started it all…