Life is constantly changing; it doesn’t ever let me catch my breath. I prefer consistency, slow shifts, and want everyone’s movements to revolve around my life and my expectations. I admit it I am selfish in my own particular way, and I want all of my friend’s decisions to depend on my acceptance and comfort. They seem to accept this, but go ahead and do what they had planned anyway!

 Major changes happened in the last couple of years; two of my best friends have moved away from me. Not because they have disassociated themselves from me, but they actually moved to other areas of God’s beautiful world! They are encountering new and exciting adventures, and I am left with their empty spaces.

 I was very much involved in the most recent move; I helped with packing and a two day marathon “Big” moving sale. She lived on a farm and had a big house plus many out-buildings which were all full. We re-arranged mega, multiple home, yard, barn, workshop, and shed items, to ensure a great sale. It did!

 One of the perks of this loving labor of mine was to choose anything (I mean “anything”) she wasn’t taking to her new (far away) home, and let it become a part of my “left behind “life. I selected a few items, a painted pitcher, unusual stone jug, a crock, a book or two, and various other items. On the last day of preparation for the move I stumbled into, literally, a closet and there in all of its well-used glory was the prize! I couldn’t believe my eyes, a heavy green metal object screwed to the interior wall, my heart thumped wildly for joy. I had found treasure, along with childhood memories.

I always wanted one, even though I have had many that were hand held, a free-standing one sits on my desk as I write, but it has to be used carefully due to its propensity to tip over when used. There it was; a heavy duty, with a hand crank, a virtual grinding machine; one that makes that soothing “gurrring” sound as it chews the shank and sharpens the tips of yellow or black wood pencils. There is nothing in this world like a very sharp point!

Why was I having spasms’, and chills brought on by such a simple thing; a pencil sharpener? School! That is why, school. Sharpening my pencils was my release, my recreation, my way out of a boring assignment! I would sharpen all of my pencils several times a day, or as often as I could get away with it. I would sharpen anyone’s pencils, even the teachers.

I would “left side slide” out of my right arm desk top chair; take a slow measured steps (I am sure I did this ‘cause I am a "counter"…steps, lines on the wall, I count anything and everything ) toward the object of my “time-killer!

You need to understand; I was a free spirited child, my body was in the class, but the real “me” was riding my Dad’s orange bicycle, with my skirt hiked up and my socks dangerously close to getting caught in the chain. In my dreams my hair is flowing behind me, but it wasn’t, it was fairly short, thick, naturally curly and coarse, it never moved independently of my head; it was like a hat.

There I would stand, counting the turns, hoping the point would break and I could start all over again! I sometimes erased the black board (yes, black) but, too many other students were in line for that job, so mostly I sharpened! This caused me to develop a love for pencils that has lasted until today; I always choose one over a pen, unless ink is required.

I learned to love the eraser on the tip of my pencils, and due to so much time spent in the business of “sharpening”, I had to use them often, ah that’s the rub; oh! Sorry.

So there I was, in the closet, mourning the nearing departure of my friend, while desiring a screwdriver so I could remove the object of my obsession. I did the job and carefully carried it like a trophy to the backseat of my car and tucked it in a cup holder for a safe ride home.

“Why in the world?” you ask, didn’t I just buy one years ago? Well, I’m cheap (having owned the various fore mentioned ones), and forgetful and I must shop with reminders and it just never made the list, and besides, sometimes yearning is more satisfying than fulfillment; you know?

It is now ensconced in my pantry, directly over the trash can, “Oh! How could I have forgotten… emptying the pencil sharpener was another time-consuming project, almost as satisfying as turning the handle and it brought about a secondary type of avoidance of studying, a break to go to the restroom to wash my fingers.

Oh, I knew all of the tricks involving a pencil, and a “break” (oops, sorry again!) I must be feeling pun-ish today, but not the punish-ment I experienced because of my many trips to the front of the room, as I risk my life standing so near the teacher’s desk, eating up all of my pencils just so I could enjoy fleeting moments away from my prison, I mean desk!

Life happened, I moved on… and speaking of moving, my friend is gone, and I am re-adjusting myself again, and when the pity-party gets boring I just saunter, pencil in hand, to my pantry. Somehow a strange peaceful sense of escape comes over me, as I grab the handle. Suddenly I have the desire to ride a bicycle; I might ride it to visit my friend.

I could... you know!


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