the teacher to remember

This week I spent some time training about the wonders of Word & Excel Mail Merge. I reminisced for a moment about first discovering Mail Merge, and how valuable it has been over the years in my career. And I realized, this person may remember this moment for the rest of their life, ok, maybe not. But showing someone something wonderful and new, is so rewarding. Afterall, our brains seem to get permanently embedded with memories of the first, the greatest, the worst and the recent.

It’s the memory that alludes you in the moment you do something pefectly normal, when you can’t help but think, “I’m so grateful they showed me this.” Every time you make really great sweet tea (thank you, Mom!), when you put a boullion cube into a pan of gravy (thank you, Grandma), or when you grind freshly roasted coffee beans, to the perfect degree (thank you Keith’s best man & pastor friend, Derek). Those memories are forever attached to the ones who planted them there.

I remember my business teachers who taught of amazing business and computer tricks. The one that stands out the most was Mrs. Black at Dothan High School teaching us about savvy business attire, and in her southern buttermilk-thick accent telling us how to “double up” our panty hose, “Ladies, if you get a run in one leg, just cut it off, and double it up with another pair of one legged hose.” Because saving money on purchasing pantyhose would come in handy in our future career. Mrs. Black also taught me great jargon, like “bark bustin’ cold,”  that I absolutely must use when it gets below 49 degrees in the south.

I love teaching my neices and nephews amazing and new things, like blowing bubbles with your gum, turning on the jets in a garden tub full of bubbles, how to jump in mud puddles, and where grandma keeps all her good candy. Their parents thank me for it, with someday payback warnings.

When I was five, our church bookkeeper taught me how to make paper-clip bracelets and necklaces, remember those?. Fast foward 20 years, when I was hired to work on staff as the youth assistant in that same church, with the same bookkeeper. I carried on her legacy of paperclip jewelry and belt making for kids, teaching all the staff kids who came into my office looking to play. One day our Music Minister warned me, “please, our mini-van can’t handle any more jewelry.”

I think about someone special when…singing scales,  painting my nails, wringing out the dishcloth at night so it won’t sour, and cleaning out the lint filter in the dryer (that’s right, saving our family money, baby!)

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