Friday, April 11, 2014

Prairie Eydie Writes A Fan Letter


I am 17 days into the 30 Day Challenge.  I wrote to my doctor, nurse, and college roommate.  I sent a card of gratitude to the long suffering substitute who endured my squirrely students while I recovered from sinus surgery.  Sprinkled in the mix are thank you, birthday, and thinking of you cards.  Everyone I wrote to are people I know AND love.  Now I am ready to branch out and write some letters to people I don't know. 

Dear Sharon, I find that rotating the crops is very important . . .
I am going to write some fan letters. I talked this over with Prairie Sherry because part of the challenge is writing to people you normally wouldn't write to.  (Spoiler alert!!!  Prairie Sherry is going to write to Michelle Obama.  Knowing Sharon, she'll be asking for some organic gardening tips.  Sharon already has guns Michelle would die for.)

Is that my letter from Eydie?  I've been waiting 32 years for this!
I decided to start out by writing to Bruce Springsteen.  I have been a fan since Jr. High.  His photo hangs over my desk at work.  I listen to him when I cook dinner and on road trips to Costco.  (I am having a hard time getting rid of XM radio because of E Street Radio.)  My daughter, Lulu, cried when she found out "Brucie" wasn't coming to her birthday party.  

Prairie Eydie is determined to make Hummels cool

Now I am wishing that I chose someone easier to write to.  Someone like Oprah's best friend, Gayle. 

First dilemma.  What am I going to write this fan letter on?  Definitely not my on my Hello Kitty thank you cards OR on the homemade Hummel-reading-a-paper-on-a-toilet card.  The love postcards are all wrong as well.  (Actually the love postcards aren't really appropriate for anyone.)

BRUCE!  You are the cat's meow.
Second Dilemma.  What am I going to write?  I am don't want to be totally lame.  Like.  "I listened to "Born to Run" whenever I am going through a tough time."  OR  "I dance with my kids to "Dream Baby Dream" and it is my favorite song on your new album."  OR  "I know you were singing "No Surrender" to me at Alpine Valley back in 1986.  Do you remember?"

Prairie Friends.  I don't ask for much.  But I am asking for help with this fan letter.  I just want my form letter and glossy photo.   

Shake out your hand and keep writing those cards/letters!

Prairie Eydie

Thursday, April 3, 2014

She's Baaaaaaaaaack!

So, where in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks has Prairie Sherry been hiding these past months?  I suspect some of you think I may have ended up in extended rehab after the wrist break and the heavy reliance on mind-altering and pain-numbing drugs. It is true that I spent a good part of January carrying on conversations with myself and wandering about the house trying not to bump into furniture.

Weep, Michelle Obama.

Truth is, the wrist is healing very nicely.  I'm not doing push-ups or bench pressing yet, but since these have never been a part of my health maintenance, I am not terribly concerned. Let me tell you what I have been doing.

Oops, no women in this pic.
Besides the teaching gig, I went back to my high school roots, and I am working at a new supermarket that moved into my side of Madison. Despite the fact that I am now working about 65 hours a week, I am enjoying the new challenge.  One of my favorite parts of the job is that I get to wear starched shirts, tailored black pants, and dress shoes. I have always been a sucker for a uniform. I do find it amusing that as a teacher I am required to wear a shapeless man's t-shirt with a cartoonish school logo and blue jeans every Thursday to boost student morale. Whose morale was ever boosted by tacky?

"Hey kids, let's learn about
literary devices

My job is customer service.  Yes, I am the one who gives you a refund when you go home to discover that you already have three containers of salt squirreled away in your pantry.  I give you your rain check when we run out of the $1.28 strawberries.  I sell you your book of stamps so you can complete Prairie Eydie's 30-day-card-writing challenge.  I can also satisfy your gambling addiction with Lotto tickets, rent you a Rug Doctor, send out your dry cleaning, create your money order, connect you to the bakery, cash your paycheck, hold your groceries while you run home for your debit card, and call AAA when you lock your keys and cell in the car. I like to think of it as professional problem solving. 

This week is my spring break at school, so I am "relaxing" at home. My challenge is to get the kitchen thoroughly cleaned and hopefully find my favorite paring knife that has been missing since my drug-hazed January.  So far I haven't found the knife, but I discovered that this family owns 27 pairs of chop sticks and something that pits, peels, and cuts mangoes. Continuing in my cleaning frenzy and being the eternal optimist, I have chipped 6 months of road salt off the Toyota.  I have tempted the weather gods even further by tossing the filth-encrusted car mats in lieu of spanky-new mats.  I am also helping our newest family member settle in.  

Oliver Twist Harry Houdini Puttmann

On Saturday I brought home a 12 pound bundle of tannish doggy fluff we have named Oliver, as in Oliver Twist.  The name was a no-brainer after he looked at us with these mournful eyes that seem to be begging for that extra bowl of porridge. Olly is nine years old, has no teeth, is a cuddlier, and a Houdini when it comes to slipping any sort of barricade I devise to keep him into the kitchen area while we are gone. I was sure that the last one was impenetrable, but he proved me wrong.  Olly has had a rough life. Found as a stray, he was rescued from euthanasia at a high-kill shelter by a local organization called Shelter From the Storm  He has been waiting for a home for six months.  He and Rory seem to have reached a detente that has both parties agreeing the share the downstairs sofa with me--Rory on my left and Olly on my right. Peace negotiations continue.  

Impossible since neither have opposable thumbs.

Glad to have found my way back to the blog!

Prairie Sherry

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Prairie Grl Goes "All Nancy Drew"

I haven't ordered this t-shirt. . .  yet!
I have wanted to write to my 4th grade teacher for a long time.  Over the years I have composed the letter in my head, but have never written, addressed, and stamped it.  In fact, I think I created the 30 Days, 30 Letters/Cards Challenge so I would actually write to her.

Travel back in time with me.

My younger brother, Pete, was born when I was in 4th grade.  Previously, I had a ten year starring role in the family as the youngest.  I was excited to be a big sister, but I became needy.  Needy & lonely in a way that quiet, bookish girls can become.

At least once a day, I would go to the back of the room where my  teacher quietly wrote lesson plans or graded papers.   Her grade book was immaculate, each percentage fitting perfectly into a teeny green box.  I would stand with my hands behind my back - waiting.  She would finish what she was doing, fold her hands on her desk, and look at me.  Then she did the most wonderful thing!  She would listen to me talk.  Believe me when I say, I would talk and talk AND talk.  I don't remember what I told her, but I do remember talking . . . a lot.  

She could have told me she was too busy.  She could have let me talk while she continued grading.  She could have run in the opposite direction every time she saw me coming.  But.  She didn't.  She gave me her full attention and listened.

Currently, I am a reading specialist for middle school students.  Students often want to chat with me.  Sometimes I don't want to chat.  I want to complete my paperwork, check my emails, and go to the bathroom.  Maybe even talk with an adult.  But.  I remember my 4th grade teacher and the love she gave me - just by listening.  Everyday.  No matter what she was doing.

I now have my teacher's address.  (A little "Nancy Drew Sleuthing" came into play here.  For some reason I knew that my dear friend is friends with my teacher's son.  See?  It isn't hard to find someone's address!)  After I post this blog, I will write her a letter.  I feel blessed that I am able to tell her how much she means to me.

Prairie Eydie