Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LIfe as I Knew It


Harriet Michael's photo.Fall 

Fall was once an enigma to me. As a little girl growing up in a tropical land, I had no memory of autumn. Oh, I had experienced it when my parents were in America on furlough but I was too young to remember what it was like. And a year of furlough when you are only five years old is a year of so many new things, it’s hard to process (and remember) it all.

But nonetheless, I loved the fall and I still do. Why did I love it so?  I think the credit goes to my missionary aunt who taught me in school–my Aunt Lil Wasson.  

Because she had a teaching degree and several children of her own in need of an education, Aunt Lil bravely took on the job of elementary teacher to all the MK’s (missionary kids) on the Ogbomoso compound. Ogbomoso had both a hospital and seminary with about a half a dozen missionary families working in each, so all together these missionaries had at least a dozen or more elementary age children depending on who was on furlough in any given year. Aunt Lil taught all of us in her garage which had been made into a one room school house. She was a brave woman, indeed. (The sketch at the top is of her garage school.)

She loved the fall. Aunt Lil grew up in Arkansas where trees were abundant and falls were glorious. Of course Nigeria where we were had only two seasons–rainy and dry. But Aunt Lil always decorated her school room with fall pictures and had her American citizen students learn about their homeland. I can still remember sitting in her class and looking at the decorations which were all around me–bright orange pumpkins, brown squirrels with nuts in their mouths, and trees with red, orange, and yellow leaves.   

She had one picture of Jack Frost painting a leaf which always intrigued me. Of course we knew Jack Frost was not real but my imagination went wild just the same with thoughts of a magical place where the world turned bright colors, shiny, frosty crystals formed on the ground, and a little elf painted the leaves when children were not looking.

“Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate.” – Victor Webster