Teachers Write! – Describe a Specific Place

As part of the writing prompt for today’s yesterday’s Teacher’s Write, we were encouraged to pick a place and write a description of that place. Here is my paragraph(s) written within the two minute time frame and then additional time to rewrite with more details.

The prairie grasses stand tall in the deep road ditch. They gently sway with the wind. A hidden treasure waits. Wild asparagus. “I found some, mom. Over here.” The mom rushes over while pushing away the dew-filled cattails. Her two siblings run toward her. More wild asparagus for supper.

She can almost taste the tender stalks melting against her tongue. She sighs, though, realizing that before the asparagus can be cooked, they all will have to be checked for wood ticks. She runs her hands over her arms and legs quickly just in case she can feel one trying to crawl into her skin now.The thought makes all her muscles cringe even more than usual after pulling the fresh vegatables.

The siblings get ready to cross the gravel road. First they look to the right. Dust billows in the distance of a few short miles. Is it a green tractor moving between fields or the large slow orange road plow making its daily trip to even out the gravel that gathers into ruts? Maybe it is one of the fast-moving semi trucks moving livestock or grain for the farmers. They hope it isn’t the semi truck. It kicks up so much dust. Dust that will cover the laundry hanging out to dry in the yard. dust that will hang in the air as if in slow motion as it returns to the ground.

They will wait until the dust-maker passes before attempting to cross again. Finally, One more look to the right. Grandpa is checking his mail box. The wind across the prairie muffled their high-pitch excited screams to get his attention. Instead of waving at them, he turns around, shuffles through his mail, and disappears into the grove of trees that hides his driveway and protects his homestead.

Maybe they will walk down to their grandparents later today. They know a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies waits for them.  Their dog barrels out from the slough that sits in front of their grandparents grove of trees. She is barking nonstop. Her growls mean she is mad. She never growls like that at the kids. Her coat is drenching wet. She must have gotten into another fight with a muskrat. She will probably win the battle later tonight and drag the wet carcass in front of the house.

They look to the left. They see a farmer drive his tractor across his field. They are glad it is the smell of fresh black dirt that floats through the air instead of the manure from the farmer’s livestock being spread to fertiilze the soil.

They run across the road, losing their balance here and there as they go across the uneven gravel. Laughter of the children erupts. Their arms swing. Their heads are pointed toward the sky. The wide open sky that tonight will be as black as black can be and full of endless stars and a large glowing moon. If they are lucky, they just might see the northern lights ripple through the sky.

Home. Our destination across the gravel is my childhood home.

View from my home in Minnesota:

The prompt started with writing for two minutes. Then taking a minute for each sense. I was amazed at how much I still needed/wanted to write when my two minutes were done. I actually didn’t set the timer on my phone for one minute per sense. I just started to rewrite. I know more work can be done, but for now I am pleased with my description and I think I might be able to fit it into my WIP.

I bought my niece a book

I bought my niece a book.

Buying her a book is not a new thing or a thing worthy of a blog post.  What is worthy of a blog post is that my niece is not like everyone else.

Her ribs are flared out instead of following the normal path.  Her body moves a bit differently than everyone else’s.  She has a “giddy up in her hitch” as we say. Her body can’t tolerate as much action as the rest of us can.

A lot more is physically different about her than every other 4-year-old.

When I see my niece, I see a beautiful child who works harder, endures pain longer, laughs louder, smiles brighter, and is just full of more life than a lot of adults I know.

I see a little girl who runs as hard as she can to keep up with others – especially my boys. A little girl who dances beautifully as her ribs and legs flare a bit differently in her leotard. A little girl who also acknowledges when she reaches her limits and needs to rest or use a stroller. I see a little girl who endures medical tests, treatments, surgeries, and doctors. I see a little girl who can inspire so many people – if they just allow themselves to see beyond her age.

She and her younger sister have a long road ahead of them.  They both have been diagnosed with Morquio Syndrome/MPS IV Type A.

My sister explains it best in that the body is missing or does not produce enough of a specific enzyme. That missing enzyme is what breaks down the natural long sugars that the body produces. The unbroken down long sugars build up in the body causing skeletal abnormalities and can lead to problems with vision, hearing, and the heart. It is a progressive condition with no current cure. Currently, clinical trials are underway for an enzyme replacement therapy. My nieces are in the process of becoming a part of these clinical trials.

The book I bought for my niece is  Willow by Denise Brennan Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan.

I first noticed the book because of the title. It is my niece’s first name.  Willow.

I bought the book because the reviews and description said the phrase “except Willow” occurs throughout the book.  I wasn’t sure what to fully expect, and I had the book shipped to my house first.  That way I could read it and “approve” it for my  niece’s sister’s sake.

This simple book left me with tears in my eyes.  I won’t share with you the details of the book. I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you!

My prayer is that as Willow goes through life and hears things such as “except Willow” she will have an even greater impact than the heroine in this story.

So Willow, keep being “except Willow.”  Because you are special. You are inspiring. You are brave.  You are resilient. You are my niece!

I’m posting every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.