An Apple from the Teacher #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

I’ll never forget that day in 1972 when my fifth grade teacher at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind gave me an apple, and it wasn’t because I was her star pupil, which I don’t think I was. Mrs. Jones, as I’ll call her, got it into her head that I needed to try foods I hadn’t eaten before. I don’t know why I was the only student singled out for this treatment.

After everyone else in the class had gone to the gym for physical education, I sat at my desk in the front row with this apple, while Mrs. Jones sat at hers, watching me. At first, I was only too glad not to have to go to P.E. But after I took the first bite of bitter apple, I would have given anything to be in the locker room, struggling to fasten the snaps on my gym suit. But Mrs. Jones insisted I stay there until I finish eating the apple.

A few minutes later, after managing to swallow a few more bites, I asked if I could get a drink of water from the fountain down the hall to wash down the bitter taste, but Mrs. Jones said no. She must have thought I was planning an escape, but that never occurred to me.

After a few more agonizing minutes, I managed to get the whole apple down. My stomach revolted, as I got up and made my way to her desk, intending to tell her I needed to use the restroom. But I realized I wouldn’t make it that far. I’d like to think that I regurgitated that apple all over that teacher, but common sense prevailed, and I used a nearby wastebasket instead. Since then, I haven’t been able to eat an apple by itself, although I like apple pie, apple sauce, etc. One bad apple can upset an entire barrel.

How about you? Is there an incident in your life that you’ll never forget. Please tell us about it.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Facebook

Website

 

Halloween Sickness #Poetry

With Halloween just around the corner, here’s a poem I wrote that was published in this month’s issue of The Writer’s Grapevine, a publication of Tell It to the World Marketing. You can click on the title to hear me read it. I hope you have a safe and happy Halloween.

***

Halloween SICKNESS

 

 

In the fifth grade classroom,

topless pumpkins sit on our desks.

Still recovering from stomach flu,

while others laugh and chatter over their pumpkins,

I grit my teeth,

stick my hands inside mine, grasp slimy innards.

The stench fills the air.

 

“Please, may I go to the bathroom?” I ask.

“I have to throw up.”

 

“No,” the teacher answers.

“You need to finish your pumpkin.”

 

My stomach heaves, mouth opens.

Amid exclamations of disgust from my classmates,

the pumpkin, desk, floor, teacher

are covered with my own innards.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.