Reading, Teaching, Learning

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Slice of Life Challenge - Day 5 - A Place to Love

  
THANK YOU, Slicers, for such a warm welcome to SOLSC!!
  
In case this is your first time reading my slices, here is my focus for the challenge: my fifth graders and I are going to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge this month, and they're writing memoirs.  I thought I'd do the same kind of writing - memory writing - throughout the challenge.  My new writing idea/goal is to write an early chapter book series based around a character very much like me, so remembering my childhood stories is very important for that project.  I'm going to be writing around photographs and memorabilia.  On Tuesday, I read All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan to my class.  I always read it during memoir units.  It's just a beautiful book.  After reading it, I asked the kids to describe their favorite places in their slices.  I did a childhood place. 

     Of all the places to love when I was a child, I loved our back woods best.   Where else could you feel as free and calm?  You could traipse across the pasture, pass the pond teeming with fish, turtles, and frogs, and walk up over a small hill, and enter our band of woods.  There was a creek that ran parallel through the trees, bubbling over rocks and full of salamanders and other assorted creatures, that when I was in the mood, would take the time to catch and release.  The slimy skin of the salamander, slick as ice; it's body whipping back and forth  like a  flag in the wind, and no matter how quick, still surprised me.  A log crossed over one part so that I could tiptoe across when the water got high.  Trees lined the creek, their gnarled and prehistoric-looking roots holding on to muddy banks.  One tree was special to me, it's large limbs reaching over the water, its fingertips testing the temperature, the base of it perfect for sitting on and reading.  There was a little copse of trees, that when connected by twine and branches, made for a perfect pretend log cabin.  I was Laura Ingalls Wilder in that little cabin, benches made from rocks and logs, pretend plates and utensils made out of leaves, sticks, and loose bark.  Sometimes I was an Indian girl, my hair braided up tight, and I would lead my horse back with me to pose as my wild Paint.  Lady and Sugar, our dogs, would accompany me, saving me from imagined beasts that would howl at my makeshift door.  Of all the places to love, those days when I had nothing to do but BE, I loved the woods the best.


9 comments:

  1. Your back woods sound like a great place to love. I had to go to camp, camping, or our family's summer place to have those kinds of adventures. What a treasure for it to be at your house!

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    1. It was definitely a treasure and an adventure! I was lucky. :-)

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  2. To be, to pretend, to play, to wander, to explore - you had the woods for you. You created images, making me want to enter your woods back then.

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  3. We had a back field, a front woods and swamp, big rocks and ledges, a rope on a tree branch to swing over the river, apple and pine trees to sit in, and, of course, all the creatures that go along with it! Wasn't it a wonderful way to spend your childhood! Thanks for sharing this and bringing back the wonderful memories!

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    1. Oooh- a rope swing over the river - how wonderful!

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  4. I so enjoy reading your slices, Holly. I was a city girl, born and bred in big cities. Your childhood sounds so magically earthy and filled with the wonders of the natural world.

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    1. I bet the city had its own wonderful adventures!

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  5. My back woods wasn't near the size of yours - or with as much going on, but I loved it. I was convinced it was magical.

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