Paper, Pens, and Post-Its

IMG_4841

Backpacks for a new school year

Book stores top my list of pleasant stores to visit. Office supply stores come in second. Yesterday I stopped into Office Depot to buy a medium spiral notebook, the size that fits in my purse. A helpful young man directed me to Aisle 13 where I found a 3-pack with red, blue, and black covers. Of course, I couldn’t check out yet. What if I’d forgotten something? Better to refresh my mind. So, I strolled other aisles, as I’m prone to do. Good thing. I soon recalled I hadn’t yet picked up my donations for Project 1649, Rock County’s organization that helps homeless youths. I kept roaming but with a new purpose. I wandered, analyzing, choosing.  Backpacks, pens, pencils, highlighters.

From an early age I’ve loved school and office supplies. I guess it’s how I roll. In first grade I had a box of Jumbo Crayons. In those days, the eight colors came in a heavy, flat cardboard box with a lift-off lid. I recall placing the colors in a special order. Purple and orange were always in the center. They were the royalty, the king and queen. Brown and green were on each side, the courtiers. And on. Not sure why I did this, except for my enchantment with stories my mom read from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. As I arranged the vibrant colors, I’d think of the stories. A daydreamer.

Vintage ad for Nifty Notebook

Vintage ad for Nifty Notebook, 1963

The appearance of the Nifty Notebook in about 5th grade awed me. It had a such a cool, sleek look with it’s two top holes, and magnetic pencil box. A vintage ad from Newspapers.com shows it on sale for $.98 with filler paper at $.69. It was a bit pricey for a large family in the early 1960’s. I knew if I wanted such a cool notebook, I’d have to buy it myself with earned money. And I did. I saved and bought a lovely green version. Although I only used it for a year or so, I held on to it for ages, buried in my bottom dresser drawer, then in a box. Memories.

August is the month to hunt for and buy school supplies. Shopping for them, or even just strolling through the stores brings back the excitement of Back-to-School. Backpacks, three-ring binders with fresh packages of notebook paper, colorful pocket folders, pencils and pens, erasers, rulers, scissors, index cards, composition books. And who can forget the fragrant smell of a new box of crayons?

IMG_4830 I recall shopping with my sons for their supplies when they were young. It was a fun time, bursting with anticipation for a new school year, a year to be filled with learning and creativity. Using their brand-new supplies, they learned printing, handwriting and telling stories. They painted and colored. They wrote spelling words and numbers. They made images from their growing minds.

I’ve been a student, a mom, a secretary, and a writer.  In the wonder and joy of each profession I’ve needed these supplies. They’re the tools used to communicate and to create. Of course, I haven’t touched on the technology that first came in my sons’ middle years. The wonder of that is for a different post.

Today’s Accomplishments

It’s been 5+ years since my last blog post. Much has happened since then but I won’t try to catch up now. Today, I…

… Cleaned the gutters. To be truthful, I hired a recommended pro to clean them. I just wrote the check. The growing forest of tiny maple trees that yesterday clogged the front expanse and back corners of my gutters is now gone. Cleared away. During thunderstorms I can rest easy, at least until fall.

… Met with my dietician to review what I have been eating, should be eating, how much of it, along with a few helpful tips to keep me on track. Good motivation for the coming months, if only I can stick to it. I also learned she’s retiring next month. Good news for her, not so much for me. I’ll miss our meetings.

… Answered a couple emails to friends. I keep vowing to surprise folks and start sending handwritten letters with ink on real stationery, mailed in envelopes with stamps, as we once did. Just haven’t gotten there yet. I love old-fashioned, penned letters. If enough of us sent them, perhaps we’d keep the U.S. Post Office in business.

… Pulled more weeds from my backyard jungle. Yesterday I weeded for a few hours, until my back began to ache. My gutter guy gave me the name of someone who specializes in garden weeds and lawn care. The thing is, I’d really like to do it myself. I feel better than I have in years and it’s good exercise. Still, it’s nice to have an alternative. I’ll keep the man’s name handy. When I tired of pulling weeds today I…

… Sat on my deck. I savored the sun, breezes, and perfection of blue skies and a 78 degree temperature. While sunning I read more chapters of John Grisham’s CAMINO ISLAND. It’s an interesting book about the world of literary and art thievery, different from Grisham’s usual thrillers about lawyers but still a quick read, a page-turner.

… Opened my laptop and typed “WordPress.com”.  Back in June 2008, when blogs were all the rage, I started this one — Stringing Beads. It began as a journal about me and the things I love — writing, family, love, life. The posts lessened after Tom’s death. My last post was around Valentines Day 2014, a re-hash of my last Valentine to him.  I stopped blogging.  Facebook became an outlet. Today when I opened WordPress, I found I needed to figure it all out again. I’d forgotten to renew my domain name. It was subsequently sold to a Texan.  I got a new one through WP and began refreshing my mind about how to blog.

Stringing Beads is now at debmaher.net.  Whether blogs are still “hot” or not, I hope you’ll follow my new posts, and perhaps skim back through a few of the old (in Archives tag, above). Comments are always welcome.