I'm only passing through...
...I Was Crazy
Published on March 29, 2006 By new-age nomad In Classic

My kindergarden teacher gave us an assignment:

Go outside to the playground and pick up one thing from nature that you think is beautiful.

My classmates began scurrying around in a race to find the most beautiful things before anyone else could get their hands on them.

I lingered next to the door, wondering how I could ever just pick one thing when I saw so much beauty. I watched as the kids picked up leaves, rocks, twigs, and blades of grass. I didn't want anything anyone else had, of that I was sure. I saw no beauty in anything that was repeated and unoriginal, even then. What I really wanted to do was walk over to my favorite piece of playground equipment, that ancient jungle gym in the shape of an old car, uproot it and carry it inside.

I just stood there watching. After the allotted amount of time passed, my teacher approached me with that all too familiar look of perplexity on her face.

"Trinitie, you're going to have to find something soon; we're going inside."

So I walked directly ahead, fighting tears that have cursed my entire life. I cry when I feel that I'm not understood, or when I don't understand.

Through cloudy eyes I spotted my object of desire. Leaning down, I picked up a flattened chocolate milk carton with the lettering faded to smudges and with dust etched into the folded parts.

I returned to my teacher's side and held out my treasure.

"Trinitie, the assignment was to find something from nature."

"I know," I honestly replied, still offering my piece of wonder in one hand. The way I figure, milk cartons were made from paper and paper was made from trees, so this was just as much a part of nature as anything else.

"Are you sure this is what you want?" There's that puzzled look again.

"I am."

After attending numerous schools, I returned to that school in the fourth grade. I went to visit my old teacher. In a frame, there was the title "1991 Kindergarden Class" with 5 rows of preserved "nature" items. They were placed in rows by similarities: one row of twigs, one of rocks, one of leaves, etc.. The fifth row had only one item. "Trinitie" was written beneath it, and pride swallowed me whole.

That teacher was wise for not making me pick a different item. She saw in my teary but triumphant eyes that I was not joking that day in kindergarden.

A man supported his family by cutting down that tree. A woman chatted with her friends at the factory where the carton was manufactured. A farmer raised cows and provided milk, while another man supplied the chocolate. A child drank from that milk carton and received nourishment. It was the connection between countless people who might never cross paths, but affected each other regardless. Then, it was discarded...forgotten.

I had resurrected it in all it's splendor. There it was on the wall, displayed in a frame for all to see.

No one else had done that.


Comments (Page 1)
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on Mar 29, 2006
I love it! I'll never look at milk cartons the same way. The kids at work get one of those every day with their dinner. Now I feel kinda sad that we throw them away. We have to throw them away but I like knowing that one is preserved somewhere in Texas with your name by it.
It reminds me a little bit of my story in 1st grade when the teacher asked what our favorite food was. I remember that same feeling that I didn't want to have the same answer of anyone else. So I picked one of my favorites -- a banana sandwich with Miracle Whip. They displayed the answers on the wall and my parents thought it was hilarious and kind of weird when they saw it at open house. I was proud.
That's not NEARLY as cool as your beautiful milk carton but it reminded me of it.
on Mar 29, 2006
This is one of my favorite stories you tell. I'm glad you posted it. I love the blogTrin, but more importantly, I love you.
on Mar 30, 2006
Trin this is really a good blog!
on Mar 31, 2006
You don't know me and I don't know you personally, but I read your blog often. You are a beautiful soul! Thanks for sharing!

on Apr 03, 2006

M, I would like to know you!

Lainy, I don't know if it's possible, now, for you to come live with me.    I'm moving into my car at the end of the month to save money for Germany (don't ask).  This makes me very sad because I LOVE YOU SO!

Jennifer, I think we all initially want to be different, but most of us lose that desire to the need to be accepted.

Tenille, I like me alot, too.


on Apr 04, 2006
Trin, you need to call me I want to know about this whole Germany thing! Eddie is suppossed to be coming by the house in a little bit, and I am going to give him the poem that I wrote him. I am really scared about how he will react, but I will let you know, if you call me!
on Apr 05, 2006

Girl, I don't have long distance on my phone!  You'd have to call me!


on Apr 05, 2006
Hey Trin, I see you haven't posted recently, but that I'd drop by to say thanks for the comments. I'm trying to only post things I'm at least remotely proud of and often it seems like those are the pieces that generate the lowest interest. However, I do appreciate you taking the time to show support.

Peace be with us all
on Apr 06, 2006

Ummm, March 29 is pretty recent, genius.

And about the support, it wouldn't be there if you weren't COMPLETELY AMAZING!



on Apr 06, 2006
This was absolutely beautiful. Sorry I didn't see it sooner! Thanks!
on Apr 07, 2006
I'm confused. I've read this before--was it in a former life? I like it, but what is most disturbing to me is that the date says its a week old and I read it months ago.

Is this what it's like to have dementia?

Is the "classic" distinction for resurrecting good "old" pieces?

It reminds me a little bit of how slow I was on the uptake with vitalbs. For a few months I just assumed it was some kind of vitamin supplement you marketed or something.

on Apr 11, 2006

Buddah, as always, it's nice to know someone of your talent on my site.

Paul, I did actually write this on the date that is posted.  If you've read it before, someone else must have had a similar experience.  I don't know. *shrugs*  I've told Dan about it before, I think, but I don't think he talks about me enough for the story to be transmitted.

BTW, the vitalbs thing MADE ME LAUGH MY BUTT OFF!  I'm marketing Vitamin AL BS.     How did you finally figure it out?

Oh, and did you like this article?


on Apr 18, 2006
I wonder if you told the story in a reply to another blog, because I remember it in detail--I could swear it's the same version, right down to the "no one else had done that" at the end.

Yes, I Iiked it, and obviously it was very memorable.

I suppose I figured it out just like those pictures that you can see two ways. One day instead of the ugly witch I saw the beautiful lady, or something like that. Instead of Vi-talbs I saw vital-bs. Who really knows how the mind works except God.

on Apr 18, 2006

*ahem*  Did you just call me an ugly witch?


p.s.  Again, no previous versions of this have been written.

on Jun 29, 2007
I sure hope my little sister who loves to write returns soon. I miss her brilliant ideas . . .
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