Sunday, June 9, 2013

In Translation

When I took this photo, I planned a page in my head with the title "Ants!"  This is the memory I have every time I cross this bridge when visiting Biltmore.  It has to do with our French club outings.

However, when I started journaling, I soon realized that there was little I remembered of the giggling teenage girl on those outings.  The memories soon turned to my favorite high school teacher, Mrs. Thomas, who planned the outings and so much more.  Here is the journaling:

Whenever I leave the Biltmore house, drive past the gardens and come to this bridge my mind always goes “Ants!”  I remember Terry shouting that once when we were all leaning on the bridge after touring the house on our French club outing.  There were little red ants everywhere and all the teenage girls screamed.  We loved walking the grounds as much as the mansion. 

Every year Mrs. Thomas, my favorite high school teacher, took her French club to tour the Biltmore.  I really don’t remember much about the tours, but I remember my first day in her class on my first day of high school. I remember how excited I was to learn a phrase in French.  I practiced it all the way home on the bus so that I can tell my mother as soon as I got home – “Je t’aime.” Despite three years of high school French I was never very good speaking the language, but I learned many other things from Mrs. Thomas.  She traveled to Europe frequently.  She delighted in telling us about Pompeii and other sites.  At least once a year she would tell us the story of how she was so embarrassed in school when she had not completed all her homework and was called on to read a section she had not translated.  I was also on her yearbook staff which was a huge responsibility she took on each year. 

Mrs. Thomas missed most of my senior year because she had cancer.  Janet Ford and I went to visit her at Baptist and took her flowers which we forgot to put in water.  I think she was delighted that we came all the way to visit her.  She passed away while my friends and I were at the beach after graduation.  They offered for us to go home but I declined knowing that Mrs. Thomas, of all people, would not want me to interrupt a trip.  My mother went to the visitation. 

I don’t think everyone warmed up to her as I did.  Years later, I can see that she was a confident woman who wasn’t afraid to be different.   She loved to travel and she loved to share memories in the yearbook.  She had the traits I was drawn to as a young woman even if I didn’t understand it at the time. I will always remember her, her smile, her frankness and her appreciation of different cultures, and her love of teaching young people.

So my memories took me in a different direction and brought to light something I'd never realized in why I loved my teacher so much.  For a young woman who was often a bit different from her classmates having a teacher who liked going her own way was enlightening.

For the page, I used mistable cardstock from Stampin' Up!  This product is discontinued there but I've seen some Heidi Swapp at Michaels and another brand (maybe Pink Paislee) at Archivers.  I liked the French themed logo that came out after misting.  I used several buttons including one from an old Limited sweater that has a French logo. Lots of trims and a Cricut cut title finished off the layout.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Just a reminder... you can still register for my Scrapinar on Wednesday night.  If you can't attend on that evening, the video will be available for a time afterwards but you do have to preregister.  It's free.  Here's the link:  


  1. What a stunning layout and I just love the story you told about your teacher. How lovely. I just love visiting the Biltmore too. I go every time I get a chance. It just awes me each time.

  2. This is a beautiful layout, a beautiful photo and a beautiful memory.
    You have touched my heart once again with your words.

  3. Lisa, you always tell such lovely stories. What is that old saying? A teacher touches the future? Apparently Mrs. Thomas did. Thanks for the great layout and the touching story.

  4. So beautiful all around, Lisa. Lovely page and a very touching story.

  5. so pretty and what a lovely story. thanks so much for sharing!!

  6. Gorgeous page. I love your journalling. So heartfelt.


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