9/07/2007

Lynda and the Alphabet



My sister Lynda, the younger, cute one here, can be the sweetest girl in the world. She can also be very stubborn and determined.

I was reminded recently of a time when her stubbonness led her to accomplish something very unusual, very difficult and questionably useful.

This past month there has been a challenge among some bloggers to create an alphabet of posts - writing a post a day in alphabetical order. Patti Digh, 37 Days has created a wonderful set of posts and I have enjoyed every word of them. I hate to see her approach Z - knowing the project will close.

Then I thought of Lynda.

Remember when you had to memorize the alphabet? We all did, you know.

Well I remember when Lynda came home from Elizabeth School - I think it was the second grade, and announced that she had to learn the alphabet backwards. And she wanted somebody to help her. She needed spmeone to listen to her recite the letters backwards. z - y - x - w - v etc.

Try it. I had to write that down to even get started.

No amount of talking could dissuade her from her task. She was determined. She knew that is what the teacher had said. She was not going to learn it forwards. She was going to learn it backwards. And, she did. She stuck with it until she could recite it strait through from z to a.

She and her husband Henry are joining us for the Storytelling Festival in Williamsburg in a couple of weeks. I have to delve deeper into this. Have I got my facts straight? Can she still recite the alphabet backwards? How has this feat of learning served her through the rest of her life? What other things does she do backwards?

Is it possible that the teacher really told the class to memorize the alphabet backwards or could she have said - "you're going to learn the alphabet backwards and forwards?"

Hmmm. One of the imponderables; one of the mysteries of life - I have a lot of those free floating through my brain at times.

They keep me occupied.

Its better use of brain power than trying to figure out what idiot decided to announce to the world that the Air Force was grounding all our air protection on a certain day in September and then giving the date. Go figure. This is Homeland Security? (oops - a little blurt - sorry)

But, I stray from the topic. I wrote to Patti about Lynda's accomplishment - hoping that she will take up a new challenge and start again - z -y - x - w - ----

Patti wrote back: IF I ever do that, I will do it in honor of your sister.

Ah, Lynda!

4 comments:

storyteller said...

I'm so pleased to find your interesting story about your sister and have you Bookmarked so I can return to read more when time permits. That Patti at 37 Days is some resource! I'm grateful to my friend Kara for providing that link a few days back.

As a teacher, I heard stories from parents often about what their kids thought they heard ME say in class. We all had wonderful laughs many times at the miscommunications ... but since laughter is healing (and since I'm not perfect and never will be) ... I treasure these stories of my own. Emboldened by your example, I may share a few at Small Reflections in the weeks and months ahead.
Hugs and blessings,

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