And for today, here’s a Friday Five looking at the other end of things: Firsts. With so many folks starting school, college, seminary, etc. I’ve been thinking of a lot of other firsts in my life. Share with us, if you will:
- Your first “place” – whether it was an apartment, dorm room, or home with a new spouse, the first place where you really felt like a grown-up: There I was, not yet divorced yet raw out of the town house I had owned with my soon-to-be ex, an airedale in tow, and only a teacher’s salary. In Minneapolis where dogs were not welcome in many apartments. I found an apartment carved out of an old house. It was NOT very romantic and not very safe. But it was home. My first home. When I read in the living room, I could hear the toilet paper being unrolled in the apartment next door. But it was my living room. A place where I could read and live in peace.
- Your first time away from home. Construe this any way you want. College? Girl Scout Camp? Study Abroad? Camp Fire Girl’s Camp at Green Lake a bit north of the Twin Cities. Water, art and time away–what more could an eight-year-old want!!!
- Your first job in your field of endeavor (so, not babysitting, unless you are A Professional Babysitter today): Today, I am celebrating the 40th anniversary of my first professional job–Social Studies teacher at Burnsville High School in Burnsville, Minnesota. I was one of seven women to join that Social Studies Department that year. We were hired as a result of a Women’s Equity League suit against the Twin Cities metropolitan school districts. As I look back, I see how challenging it was–not only the teaching but also breaking into a male bastion. “I get by with a little help from my friends” rings in my head. Three of us were particularly close. We carpooled together. We cried together. We laughed together. We plotted together. We have shared the seasons of our adult life together–births of children, the death of a spouse, disappointments and joys. One is here with me this weekend. The other died this year. We are entering a new season.
- Your first time hosting. Again, construed broadly, this could be a dinner for the in-laws, your first time to have guests for a holiday meal, etc. I’m going to go with the next time which is this weekend. We are hosting a 130th birthday party. Family and friends from all over the country are coming to Albuquerque for a weekend of celebration. Yesterday my friend and I prepared by having a day at the spa. Today we are shopping in Santa Fe and getting the last minute fixings for the drop by dinner on Saturday. Sunday is the Big Event. A party for 75 people. Then a departure breakfast here on Monday. To help folks get to know each other, we’re having a human scavenger hunt on Saturday night. And we’re also giving presents to everyone who comes to the party. Wow is that fun to put together! Really. I smiled at every question and with every gift. Best question: There are introverts here. Find them!
- Your first love.That can be a person or something else!! Swimming. It’s still a source of joy and freedom. Wish I could be heading off to the pool this very moment.