dentist-158225_1280There’s a character in my book that needs to get put in his place. He’s handsome, popular and good at sports…feels entitled. You know the type. Something needs to be done to put him in his place. I’ll have to talk to the author.

I have my fair share of “getting put in your place” stories but I think you’ll enjoy the one I’m about to share, especially with “Back to School” right around the corner. It happened in my second grade classroom.

Being a young teacher, I was full of ideas. I liked to think I had the best lessons planned for the day and the children would always be captivated. It’s exciting when you see many hands in the air, asking questions and participating.

After one great lesson, in my opinion, a few hands shot in the air. I called on some of the children but noticed one in particular. The dark-haired little girl’s hand wiggled wildly and her eyes sparkled with excitement. I told myself that she really got something out of the lesson and couldn’t wait to hear her question.

When I called on her imagine my surprise when she asked, “Are those teeth?” She pointed to the long necklace dangling from my neck. In my defense, wearing a long string of beads was popular back then. They were a pale yellow of smooth, unusual shapes.

I looked down at the necklace and back up at her. Was she fixated on those the entire time? Did she hear any of the great lesson I just taught?

Oh. My. Gosh. I was just put in my place. And I had to laugh. We all began to laugh that day because it was funny. Did she get anything out of the lesson? Probably not.  Maybe getting put in your place once in awhile causes one to do a maintenance check. It was a great reminder. Sometimes we need to be put in our place.

I never wore those beads to school again. Every time I opened the drawer where I placed them, they seemed to be smiling up at me, winking as a reminder.

So what did I learn that day at school?

The first was a life lesson. Don’t ever get too full of yourself.

The second was a school lesson. Don’t ever think a lesson was absorbed into children’s minds in just one great lesson. It might take a lot of smaller, review sessions to  break through or finally sink in.

And last but not least the third and final lesson. Don’t take life too seriously because you may just miss the humor of it.

I learned a lot that day. Sometimes it’s okay to be put in your place. Plus it’s never too late to learn a valuable lesson, no matter how old you are.

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Seize the day! Take the bull by the horns. Figures of speech, also known as similes, are often used to encourage or make a point. They sound better than someone telling you to try again or don’t give up which is still good advice. I much prefer “Follow your Dreams”.

I recently read that an author should have a tagline after their name. I’ve been toying with Nancy Pennick, Follow Your Dreams for awhile and don’t know if that works or not. It’s supposed to help the reader remember your name and recognize your brand. Who thought I’d have to learn marketing when I started writing.

After a career in teaching, I never thought I’d begin a second as a writer. My dream was to live the quiet, peaceful life and catch up on the things I always wanted to do when I worked, like traveling and organizing the closets.

One of the things on my to-do list was to head out west so I began researching where I’d like to go. The Grand Canyon was a definite must and I was open to other locations. Since we have a timeshare, I decided to take advantage of staying at their resorts.

Our trip was aptly named “Out West” and we began our journey in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There were five of us on this leg of the trip. We started off in downtown Santa Fe, parking next to a broken meter. The meter police happened to be strolling by when we realized it wasn’t working and he said we were fine. Imagine our surprise when we returned to find a ticket on the windshield. Welcome to Santa Fe!

We had covered a lot of ground on that sightseeing vacation 05 028adventure, ending at the Loretto Chapel with its magnificent spiral staircase that looks like it has no visible means of support. That town, rich in art and history, left us with a feeling of truly being out west from the pale red stucco buildings to the southwest art dotting the landscape.

While in New Mexico we visited Sandia Peak in Albuquerque and took the tramway to the top of the mountain.vacation 05 062
It grew dark on the way back down and gave us another perspective of the mountain. A quick day trip the other way took us to Taos and ended that part of our journey.

We hopped in the car for a short six hour drive to Sedona, Arizona. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The road taking us into town was wrapped around a mountain, filled with twists and turns. We screamed like we were on an amusement ride as we descended, later laughing about how it really wasn’t all that bad. My favorite part of being in Sedona was that some of the rock formations had names. Coffee pot was my favorite and as you see in the picture, it really does look like one. Then there were characters from the Peanuts gang, Lucy and Snoopy. She’s up top and he’s lying on his back on his doghouse.

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It was finally on to the Grand Canyon, which I’ve already covered in another post, and won’t bore you again with details. The final leg of the journey was Las Vegas where we were joined by other members of the family. It was an overwhelming place but once we got used to it, we loved it. We called the Paris Hotel home for a few short days getting to travel to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Anything’s possible in Vegas!

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After we returned home and back to normal, I sorted through endless pictures, proud I fulfilled one of my dream trips. Those photos would always remind me I did it.

Just recently a Home Goods Store opened in my city. My sister and I strolled through the aisles and we came across a wicker head of a bull, horns and all. Really, we did. I had to stop and admire it. I told my sister if someone bought that they literally could take the bull by the horns. We had a good laugh and moved on.

But think about it. Isn’t that a good reminder in life? If you really want to do something like change careers, learn to dance, travel out west, go back to school or write a book, you should do it. No one’s stopping you. Take the bull by the horns…or as I like to say, follow your dreams.

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