The only thing I remember from my third grade social studies class is the word “nomad.” I was simply not a fan of the subject of social studies. Those nomad people. Who were they? And why didn’t they find a home? They lived somewhere on another continent. I wondered why they didn’t build a house and live like normal people.

I remember a lot from my elementary school days. I remember the row my desk was in within each classroom. The alphabet was displayed on the wall above the large chalkboard in each room. I loved my very organized desk. I even remember how Sister Virginia made an example of me by telling other students they should keep their desks as clean and organized as mine.

So I know I have it in me to be very organized, but as an adult with so many places to go and things to do, I’m simply a wannabe with the super-organized housekeeping thing.

The daydreamer in me was my internal coping measure for all things boring back in my school days. Would it be safe to say that daydreaming is a built-in gift from the Creator? He knew we needed hope.

There were times I was called upon to read the next paragraph about the poor nomad people. The teacher apparently knew I had no clue where I was to start reading. Reading aloud was something I loved to do, but interrupting a good daydream is something a teacher ought not do.

Maybe I should have been asked to stand in front of the class and read the entire chapter aloud. It would have kept me awake and perhaps taught me some narrative or speaking skills.

Phonics, on the other hand, was the most incredible, wonderful topic there ever could be. I remember we carried our chairs to our reading circles and studied away. Good times.

I know what the class of 1983 was studying in biology class for I found my sister’s homework. Jeanette would be graduating soon, and with her she would take her new knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of a fish.

I knew Jeanette would not remember the work she had completed back in May of 1981, so being The Sorter of All Things Saved, I texted a picture of her homework to her.

I pointed out the question she had skipped: Describe the economic importance of frogs.

There it was – a question she should be able to answer. Why did she leave it blank?

She’s had four decades to ponder that question. Certainly she is old enough and wise enough now. She would know the answer. But she didn’t.  

Even the men in my life who know all about fishing and hunting look at me quite blankly when I ask them to discuss the economic importance of frogs.

We can ponder questions such as those and come up with a rather lame answer, or we can go straight to the internet and type our question in. I found out there are a lot of things I never knew about frogs after searching for the economic importance of frogs. All I know is: I don’t care to hold a frog. I have plenty of children in my life who will take care of handling frogs for me.

Another question on the saved biology test: Describe the body changes that occur in the metamorphosis of a frog. Jeanette answered the question with: It goes from a tadpole to a frog in about 5 or 6 different stages. Did I know that answer? Kind of. Sort of. It is nice to have the internet at our fingertips so we can read it again and watch videos. I found out frogs are more fascinating than I thought.

Jeanette has no artistic abilities, but somehow she managed to draw a fish and label the parts. I’m sure that she and her classmates found their knowledge of the anatomy of a fish came in handy over the years. Who knows how many games of Trivial Pursuit they played and knew that “gill filaments” or “pyloric caeca” was the answer their team would need?

I haven’t told her that I found another drawing of a properly labeled earthworm.

Jeanette’s saved homework could now be referred to as “vintage homework.” It might sell for a mighty fine price at an antique store.

Perhaps I should frame the drawings of the fish and the worm, and someone who owns a lake cottage will find a place on the wall and appreciate her work.

My daydreams about heaven may be a bit self-centered. I wonder if there is phonics in heaven? And writing – I hope it’s the beautiful cursive style. Will I be meeting any of those nomad people? If so, I will  know they found their home in heaven?

Fishermen may be asking about fishing in heaven. How about woodworking? And frogs – are there plenty of frogs in heaven for the children to hold?

I’m sure there won’t be any more social studies classes in heaven. I will just talk to the nomad people and get their side of the story.

There will be no need for daydreaming in heaven; after all, we are in heaven. We will have a lot of catching up to do. Will we meet our ancestors?  How will we know who they are?  Heaven will certainly be a place where everyone knows your name.

I imagine there are times when all of us have felt our life on earth doesn’t have much meaning. Maybe downright purposeless. We ask ourselves what we are supposed to be doing while on earth.  And while we’re pondering, we put another load of clothes in the washing machine. Or find some work to do around the house so we can stop thinking about it.   

When I’m feeling like I’m just roaming through life, I sometimes come to my senses and pick up the Bible. I want the Book to fall open to just the right page. When that doesn’t happen, perhaps I should make myself stand and read an entire chapter of the Bible aloud, for I know that would stop my daydreaming and make me pay attention.

It seems to me life boils down to living in God’s will which could mean less wandering but plenty of wondering about the fascinating things upon His earth. There are places to go and people to see in this world designed just for us – full of crickets, toads, and worms. Full of daydreamers and fishermen. Full of tadpoles that morph into frogs.

God’s creatures have ways they navigate on this earth: some swim, some jump, some slither, and some walk. Some know their purpose and where they are going. Some don’t. We just need to watch our step, and help others with their steps, as we put one foot in front of the other and line up with God’s Word – a Gift that guides us to where our home will someday be.

Copyright © Marlene Oxender 2022

I wonder if any of Jeanette’s classmates were able to come up with an answer regarding the economic importance of frogs.
While Jeanette was answering questions about fish, Steven was out fishing.
I’m told this fish is probably a bluegill.
He had his Fonzi shirt on the day this photo was taken.
Steven’s middle name is Arthur, having been named after our Great Uncle Art Upp.
One of Steven’s nicknames was Arthur Fonzarelli,
and he did a great impersonation of “The Fonz.”

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