Life Changing Book

The first book that changed my life forever, wasn’t an inspirational or motivational book.  The author is not a guru of any type.  The first book that changed my life forever, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.

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I have dyslexia and the school I was attending used phonics to teach us to read.  I have nothing against phonics, but it is a horrible way to teach a child with dyslexia.  However, that information was not known at the time.

I also have a hearing disability that made it impossible for me to differentiate some of the vowel sounds.

What a combination?  It’s no wonder I struggled learning to read and lost the desire to even try.

I was in forth grade and the teacher decided to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to the class.  Each day, she would read a couple of chapters.  I would close my eyes and picture the story in my mind.  It was my favorite part of the day.

When she finished reading the book, I felt lost.  I wanted to know more about Peter and his brother.  I went to the library and eventually read all the books they had by Judy Blume.  After I ran out of Judy Blume books, I started to read books by Beverly Cleary.  Next I was ready about Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew.

It was a struggle at first, but the more time I spent reading the better I got.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the most effective way to teach someone with my set of disabilities to read was through a method of repetitive sight reading.  Since I fell in love with stories, that is exactly what I was doing.

It was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing that motivated me to develop my reading skills and gave me a love for books.  It changed my life forever.

Pictures Tell a Funny Story

These pictures tell a funny story.

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This picture was taken November 1958.  The girl on the right is Kathy, my aunt.  It’s her birthday, so the cake is for her.  The girl on the left is Rita, my mother.  She is obviously upset about not having her own cake.  Just look at that face.

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This picture was taken later that same day.  There are two things that really stand out to me.

  1.  My grandparents were poor and they didn’t have money to buy birthday gifts for Kathy.  However, my grandmother worked hard to make the day special.  She baked a cake, curled Kathy’s hair, and dressed the girls in their best clothes.
  2. My mom is no longer frowning.  Instead, she is now smiling and has her own cake.  If you look close, you will see my mom’s cake is bigger than Kathy’s.  Obviously, my mom was capable of throwing some epic fits in her younger years.  How else would she end up with a cake bigger than the birthday girl’s cake.  I think my mom was an extremely difficult child.

The Lost Dog

It had been a good day.  I was smiling as I opened the door and I was thinking about all that had transpired that day.

My dog, Joey, spotted a rabbit in the front yard while the door was open and he bolted past me and was gone like a streak of lightning.

I dropped my bag on the floor and felt a sense of overwhelming panic.  The sun was almost done and finding him in the dark would be no easy task.

I grabbed a leash, a few treats, and jumped into my jeep in hopes of quickly located my lost dog.

I drove all over the neighborhood for two hours.  Each minute that past weighed heavy on my heart.  Joey is a big goof-ball, but I love him.

Gwen was also out searching for Joey, and Mom was at home posting his information on neighborhood websites.

Finally, my phone rang and I answered with great anticipation.  The lady on the other end of the line said she had our dog.  Her husband opened the door and Joey ran past him so fast it about gave the poor man a heart attack.

She said Joey was drinking water, eating treats, and playing with her dog.  Basically, he was having a grand old time.

Gwen and I went to pick up Joey and gave him a big hug.  We felt relieved to have our friend back home safe and sound.

Anthropomorphized my Dogs

I got to wondering what my dogs would be like as people.  This is what I came up with.

Ben is a Great Pyrenees and the laziest dog I have ever seen.  I think Ben would be a mid-level office worker that spends all his free time watching T.V.

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Blue is an Australian Cattle Dog.  He would make a wonderful drill sergeant, because he loves barking out orders and telling everyone where they should be going.

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Joey is a Labrador/Pyrenees mix.  He is hyperactive, stubborn, and goofy.  I can picture Joey as an excellent high school P.E. teacher.

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Norton is a terrier mix.  He may be the smallest dog in our family, but his brothers never mess with him.  He has a big attitude.  I think Norton would be a successful politician.

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Buddy is a Rottweiler/Beagle mix.  He is all about fairness.  In fact, if Buddy sees one of his brothers being mean to another brother he will jump into action and defend the one being wronged.  That’s why I think Buddy would be a social worker.

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