I was in Missouri recently for my hometown book tour. What a blast connecting with people in Kahoka that I had not seen for decades. One of them was my favorite teacher, Mrs. June Kice.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

 Henry Brooks Adams

I attended Ashton School, a three-room country school instead of the common one-room country school. The first, second, and third graders met together. The fourth, fifth, and sixth graders were also on the same floor with a wall dividing us from the little ones.  When I graduated to the seventh grade in 1962, classes were held in the lower level of the school house. I really thought I had made it! Our large classroom which also included the eighth graders opened into the lunchroom. We were fortunate to have daily hot lunches prepared by a wonderful cook. I still remember the scrumptious peanut butter cookies that Mamie made for us. I liked to play ciphering matches and challenging my opponent to a multiplication problem was my favorite competition.Mrs. Kice was my seventh and eighth grade teacher, and I adored her. She made it fun to learn yet at the same time she was challenging and made me think. She was motivating and encouraging and smiled a lot. You would find her on the playground cheering us on in our baseball games.

Mrs. Kice and her husband, Burdette, attended my Kahoka book signing, and I was thrilled to see them. She greeted me with the familiar engaging smile that I always remembered.  We reminisced about our days at the Ashton School. She recounted a spectacular catch I made at third base. I joked that it was probably the only ball I ever caught since I did not inherit my father’s baseball talent.She brought me a surprise. “I have something for you,” she mysteriously said. “Oh, a photo?” I asked as she reached into her handbag.Instead, she pulled out a glass. “You gave this to me for Christmas when you were an eighth grader. It’s been on my desk all these years!” The six inch clear goblet on a short footed pedestal was decorated with pink and white hearts around the rim along with three sets of pink and white cloverleaves above the pedestal. I recognized it as one of my craft projects.“You saved it all this time!” I exclaimed.

“I think it’s time to return it to you.”

“I am honored to have the gift back. I am remodeling my office, and this will have a special spot on my desk always,” I proudly said.

Thank you Mrs. Kice for having a profound influence on my life and being a part of my book! Your effect on the world will continue to ripple with each person who reads Tatianna.

Bountiful Blessings!