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Ayres HallFor some reason, May is a month of change for me.  Graduations are everywhere, professors and parents are sending off their young ones, preparing them for a world of work, education, and challenge.  They may not always make it known, but parents always have a spot in their hearts yearning for their children to come back home someday.

Parents don’t always know it, but sometimes the lessons and values they teach their children stick with them.  The warm feelings of hot chocolate on the couch during a cold wintery day and homemade potato soup for a sore throat stay with us for a long, long time to come.

Those warm feelings, memories, smells beckon me back time and time again to the country town where everyone knows each other on a first-name basis, if you run out of gas someone you know isn’t too far away, and there’s only a scarce few red lights you can run at night when no one is watching.  The smell of Red Door on a big sweater never fades; the smell of Old Spice mixed with old man never ages on a white button-down shirt, nor does the sound of Dad’s radio in the garage grow silent.  Things like that never go away.

It’s been three years since I graduated from high school and moved to Knoxville for furthering my education at the University of Tennessee.  Most of those three years I beat myself up for coming here over a guy I ended up breaking up with halfway through my sophomore year.  Sometimes I still regret my decision, at least, until Sunday night.

All students here at UT have thought about, at least once, about going on the roof of the esteemed Ayres Hall on the Hill.  It’s easily the highest point on campus, and it looks over all of downtown, campus, the Fort Sanders area, and beyond; it truly is a sight to take in for yourself.

My friends, Rob, and I (after roasting marshmallows at the Torchbearer, another UT landmark) roamed over to the Hill and parked.  We walked up the road, and since Ayres is under renovations and fenced off, we had to find a way through the fence.  We did, and after finding a way into the building, walked in.  We walked through the main area, up the flights of stairs until they ended on the third floor, then found an alternate, metal staircase that took us up to the fourth floor and ultimately the bell tower.

I have a fear of heights—and immense, horrifying fear of heights.  At this point, it was obvious that no one should have been allowed into that portion of the building, and I was getting nervous.  We were SO close to the top, but I couldn’t manage to muster the courage to climb the last few sets of steep stairs to the “dark room,” then the roof.

I just knew I wasn’t going to make it, and I would have stayed at the bottom until everyone made it to the top, then came back down.

One of the girls in the group came back down the stairs and gave me a pep talk.  “I’m not going to leave you down here alone,” she said, “but I’m not NOT going up there, either.”  Basically, I had no choice but to finish my climb and make my efforts worth something.

It was dark.  I was scared.  With what little light there was, I could see straight through the stairs and all the way to the bottom.  It was a long, long way down (for me, at least).

To her (and my) surprise, I decided I was going to finish my journey to the top.

I followed the people in front of me, and when I felt the rush of fresh, cool air hit my face I knew I had made it.

I climbed out of the hole and onto the flat roof.  The first thing I saw was Neyland Stadium below, then the sparkling river reflecting the light from the moon and stars, then Downtown Knoxville, and then the faces of the people I had made it with.
A smile crept across my face the way we crept around the Hill from the community service officer below.  And then excitement hit me.

If it hadn’t been for the fear of getting caught, I would have yelled from the roof top, “I’m the king of the world!”  It felt like I’d just climbed Mount Everest, and every time I pass by Ayres I smile and think of that night, the mischievousness,  the fear, the accomplishment, the view.  I was on top of the world, and after that I knew I had come to UT for a reason, if only for staring my fear straight in the face and conquering it.  Of course, I met the love of my life here, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything, but I feel like somewhere down the road we would have met anyway.

Since that night, I’ve been thinking a lot about the person I was when I graduated from high school.  I’m not the same person.  She would have never done anything like that; she was too timid and never did anything wrong.  The person I am today knows that life isn’t worth living if you can’t take risks, but knowing which risks to take is half the battle.  Some rules are meant to be broken.

But, sometimes in life, you need to go back home to get in touch with your roots, know where you came from and never forget it.  Remember the morals and beliefs you were raised with, because they are your foundation.  My brother once described my mother in one word: port.  She sends us off into the world, however, she’s always the place we go back to for stability.  For me, she’s the lighthouse.  She warns me of dangers nearby, but gives me a light to follow to come back home.  She’s my stability, my rock, my foundation.

Mom, I love you.  Always.

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So, on this lazy Saturday morn…erm… afternoon I’ve decided to dedicate this post to someone rather special to me…

Oh, here she goes, getting all mushy and crap again…

OK, so that first line was a bit cliche… sorry.  Anyways, I think Rob Williams has a lot of potential as a fiction/sci-fi writer, but that’s not what I’m posting today.  Today, I’m posting some poems he wrote for me because I really wanted to share them with you.  🙂  I’m just going to start copying and pasting… now.  (Check out his Deviant Art page here for fan fic, too)

Love You for Forever

Girl, I cant believe we got into this mess
it was just you and me
in my brown coat,
in your black dress.

So come hold me and kiss me, baby
take me back to when we had drinks in our hands,
we said
“yes, no, OK”.

Ive been trying to figure out what happened to us
how this all went to hell
were we in love
or was it only lust?

It’s killing us, to be together.
So just what can I do,
I won’t lose you for forever.

I love you. Yes, I love you
I’ll love you for forever.

I can’t stand it, the pain I’ve put you through
you left him
I stepped in
and now I’m stuck on like glue.

We got it wrong, went too fast
now we’re in too deep
just crawling our way
back into the past.

I’ll be here for you no matter what the cost
even It’s killing me now
we can start anew
not all is lost.

It’s killing us, to be together.
So just what can I do,
I won’t lose you for forever.

I love you. Yes, I love you
I’ll love you for forever.

Please baby don’t leave me here alone
I’m asking you
and begging you
don’t put down the phone.

I know you’re in your car
waiting in the rain,
trying to remember
just who you are.

But listen to me,
don’t give up the fight,
hang on
cause I’ll save both you and me.

It’s killing us, to be together.
So just what can I do,
I won’t lose you for forever.

I love you. Yes, I love you
I’ll love you for forever.

Just My Love

Hey, just a minute my dear
there’s something, I want you to hear
This thing is getting frightening
it’s struck me hard like lightning
But don’t panic, don’t you worry
cause we’re together and there’s no hurry

It’s just love, girl
nothing but love, girl
my mind goes in a whirl
when I think of you, girl

You know soon everyone will see
and they’ll have to just let us be
The world will marvel at our charm
when we dance, you in my arms
I’ll pull you in for the kiss
babe, you know there’s nothing as great as this

It’s just love girl
nothing but love girl
my mind goes in a whirl
when I think of you girl

I can’t describe to you nice
it feels to me, my mind and body melted like ice
I don’t what I was before
but now it’s clear to me, I’m something more
I’m not afraid anymore, I’m just fine
cause you are there for me, my baby, mine

It’s just love girl
nothing but love girl
my mind goes in a whirl
when I think of you girl

Another World

Do you remember babe, it was after nine
I came over to chat
and then we lost track of time

It’s really funny, looking back to that night
you and I were baking cookies
but found each other the sweeter sight

We also had to do some homework
but I forgot about my back
when you gave me that little smirk

There wasn’t any thought to it
just you and me
you put me on like a perfect fit

I can’t explain the feelings I felt
the sight I saw
when your blues eyes made me melt

I started to wonder was I still alive
you’re too beautiful
could it have been a dream, a lie?

If I had tried, I couldn’t have let go
you grabbed my hand
entranced me, mesmerized me so

We talked for hours about everything
about life, religion, love
some how you just made my heart sing

For that night, my spirit was in whirl
we were in heaven, in space
we were visiting another world

No babe, I won’t forget the time or the place
when I lost all myself
inside your pretty little face

I’ll Dream of Helen

Girl there is this feeling I get when I think of you
I try to get by, go on, but its still rolling through
There’s this strong hunger in me that I can’t seem to feed
my parents, my brother, my dog wonder what I need

I know what I want, I know what I need
she’s the prettiest little blonde
eyes the bluest you’ll ever see
She makes me feel strong, she makes me feel weak
I can’t do a thing without her
even talk to her in my dreams

I’ve tried to get her off my mind and get back to work
but no matter what I do, all I see is her smirk
and when I’m driving down the road, I can hear her voice
and all the radio in the world, she’s my first choice

I know what I want, I know what I need
she’s the prettiest little blonde
eyes the bluest you’ll ever see
She makes me feel strong, she makes me feel weak
I can’t do a thing without her
even talk to her in my dreams

So she called me up to day, I was so ecstatic
said she had to see me soon, she was so emphatic
you know you’re special when you make someone jump for joy
especially when she’s the type they fought for in Troy

I know what I want, I know what I need
she’s the prettiest little blonde
eyes the bluest you’ll ever see
She makes me feel strong, she makes me feel weak
I can’t do a thing without her
even talk to her in my dreams

She is my princess, my darling angel, yes it’s true
she filled my body with a passion I never knew
it’s so strange but before this I don’t know who we were
feels like I’m running in circles, til I can see her

I know what I want, I know what I need
she’s the prettiest little blonde
eyes the bluest you’ll ever see
She makes me feel strong, she makes me feel weak
I can’t do a thing without her
even talk to her in my dreams

So I’ll go home tonight and wrap in up in covers
and I think about how someday we’ll be great lovers
Hel, you stole something that I only share with a few
it’s my only heart, and when I sleep, I’ll dream of you!

Same Old

We never thought it could happen
but time has flown by and it’s getting old
We can feel the mystery is gone
and all the little puzzles have been solved.
Yet I’m still here thinking about you;
you’re still thinking about me.
I know they said it wouldn’t last;
that spark between us would burn out.
But I realize there’s still more to do.
I’ve been thinking of you today.
You know getting you was so hard,
but that was merely half the battle.
Honey, I’m staying until the end.
I believe we can make this happen,
since honey, I’ll always love you!

Isn’t he just amazing?!  I think so, too 😉

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So I’ve been wanting to blog for some time now, and I recently just posted one I started working on… Wednesday I think?

Eh, anyways, I have to say that today was a good one. Fridays always are for me. I was supposed to take an oral exam in French, but unfortunately it was postponed until next week. Unfortunately, our professor has strep throat. Which sucks. Big ones.

So, instead of butchering the eloquent French language today, my other half and I spent some time in Downtown Knoxville before he had to go to work at 4. It was fun.

The first place I took him to was J’s Mega Mart (please check out the awesome blog entry on it) on Gay Street (which is NOT where a lot of homosexuals hang out, fyi).

This place, if I may say so myself, is freaking AWESOME. They have wigs. They have extensions. They have hats (see below).

They have food, toiletries and home decor. It, in every sense of the phrase, is a mega mart. It’s a Wal-Mart not on steroids. It’s amazing. In fact, today was the second time I’ve been there this week; yesterday I went for work to compose a blog. Unfortunately, I can’t post it until I get pics on there. Meh.

{meanwhile on the farm…}

Speaking of Downtown Knoxville, I’m beginning to spend some serious quality time down there. I’ve always been a fan of old bigger cities (than Wartburg—anything bigger than Wartburg is a big city to me), but Knoxville holds a special place in my heart for sure. For years of driving on the Interstate to Dollywood from my hometown we would always go through a portion of Downtown. I can remember looking out the van window (we had an awesome ’90-something blue Dodge Caravan. Word.) and wondered if the Sunsphere was a giant golden tee-ball Knoxville won for being awesome in the sport, and then I would look longingly to be amongst the old towering buildings and perhaps someday live in Sterchi Lofts.

My fingers are crossed that I might next year. With a cat. Possibly, MAYBE, a roommate, room permitting.

{sigh}

There’s just something about Downtown Knoxville that entrances me. I’m not quite sure what it is—the atmosphere, friendly faces, art, culture, businesses, extravagance of downtown living, old buildings, walking—but it gets me hooked every time.

I just feel grown-up down there; I feel independent and like I’m finally living my dream.. or one of them at least.

Looking back just even a few years ago on my life, my thoughts, my perspectives, I can remember an earnestness, this burning desire, to be downtown somewhere, anywhere. Granted, Knoxville is NOTHING like New York City, but it still gives that home-y downtown vibe.

{epiphany}

That’s it! Eureka! Downtown Knoxville feels like home, keeps me there, because it DOES have a home-y-ness to it!

{word}

Dang it, if I’m not meant for urban, city living then dang… If I can’t afford it I’ll just take a cardboard box with me when my lease is over. That’ll work. My gym has showers.

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Driving home this Sunday afternoon out of sheer spontaneity (well, close to it) made my heart race and sing out to a clear blue sky and trees adorned with bright red, orange and yellow leaves.  It’s autumn time in Tennessee.

I come from a place where everyone knows everybody else, much like Andy Griffith’s town of Mayberry.  There’s a total of maybe 4 red lights (one of which shouldn’t be operating, but that’s just my opinion) and a “downtown” consisting of a courthouse, post office and the corner ice cream/antique shop with a quaint barbershop next door complete with a barber pole on the side.  Imagine all that, plus three schools, a Hardee’s, Sonic and gas stations nestled inside rolling mountaintops guarded by a regional prison where my dad has worked for some 20 years now.  That’s where I come from:  Wartburg, Tennessee, a population that can fit inside Neyland Stadium with room for the rest of the county to spare.

The drive home Sunday showed me views I missed since moving to Knoxville.  Farms with old barns, junked-up cars (even an old camper, you know the ones, with a big “W” on the side) and the occasional sight of horses or cows made for perfect scenery.  With the car window rolled down driving on highway 62, I could smell the leaves blowing past my Ford Focus as I negotiated turns that weren’t made for the speed I was going at (It’s OK Mom, I do it all the time — I just wanted to get home to that homemade sourdough bread of yours).

Why I decided to go home Sunday only to drive an hour back to Knoxville I have no idea.  I suppose the simplicity of rural living called me back – in only a way homes can – to enjoy the changing of the seasons down by the river with friends, sharing warm kisses between sips of hot cocoa with Lance and watch the boys throw football under a canopy of gilded leaves.  Little treasures like that remind me that goodness does exist in a world of murders, theives and chaos.

I always enjoy stepping back into my warm childhood home after the brisk autumn air chills my skin.  There’s usually a warm, home-y aroma mixed with bread and cookies fresh from the oven and the promise of hot cider and wassail waiting to be enjoyed.  After reuniting with Fido and Nala after being months apart, Mom greets me with a warm hug and we make our way to the living room where the fireplace is warm, or the back porch where we can enjoy the weather, and simply catch up on our lives.

There’s a song that conveniently played on my iPod yesterday in the car, and I found it to be fitting.  It’s from a local band I’ve mentioned before, Christabel and the Jons.  It’s called, “Thankful.”  I’d say it was my theme yesterday…

“This is where I feel the most at home,
Rythym of the water, so nice and slow…”

“I’m thankful, so thankful, for my life..”

I drove past where my grandparents used to live before they passed away about ten years ago.  It hit me like a ton of bricks how much I missed them… my fondest memories of them are from this time of year and Christmas, when my grandma started cooking for an army of countless children, grand children and great grand children… Grandpa would always “test” the food… she would always get on to him for it… “Harold, get your finger outta that!” she’d say..  I remember she’d always sit in her rocking chair crocheting a doll or blanket for someone and watch The Price is Right (back when Bob Barker was the host.  It’s just not the same with Drew), Wheel of Fortune or during the day, Matlock.

You could always feel the love in their home.  It was small, but full of warmth – especially on those deep, cold winter nights.  My fondest memory I believe was when I was a small girl.  It was Christmas, and Wartburg’s Christmas parade was still something spectacular at my age.  That night was especially chilly, and I sat in Grandma and Grandpa’s old grey Ford to stay warm with Grandpa.  After the parade, we all went to their house (literally just across the woods from our house) for sweets and hot chocolate.  I don’t remember much except for what I told you just then, but I do remember everyone was happy.  I remember Grandpa laughing or at least smiling that big gummy grin of his (he had dentures but decided against wearing them — ever).  Grandma, of course, had a kitchen full of cookies, chocolate and treats I wouldn’t dare eat in one sitting today.  Everyone was there, and it was the perfect definition of family.

It was a tradition for a while with my immediate family after Grandma and Grandpa passed away to stay in an old, rustic cabin for a few days at Thanksgiving in the mountains somewhere.  Brandon and Steph were in school at Gardner-Webb University seeking their Masters of Divinity (they got it, by the way), so we always chose somewhere in Western North Carolina.  The first cabin we stayed in was tucked away somewhere in Black Mountain, North Carolina (I think) nearby Chimney Rock (again, I think it was Chimney Rock.  It was wherever they filmed Last of the Mohicans, I know that).  Unfortunately for me, I had tonselitis that year and didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I would’ve liked to… except for the fact that I thought I puked up my tonsils… but that’s another story.
Anyways, all six of us piled around a small kitchenette complete with a picnic-esque dining room table (I told you, this cabin was old and rustic) and shared Thanksgiving dinner that year.  The next morning, we awoke to snow flurries.  It was perfect.  There was just enough snow for a light 3/4 of an inch dusting, but not too much to worry about driving conditions.  We all took a walk through the woods among mountain laurel and a babbling brook that ran beside the cabin.

It was beautiful.

I hope to one day have the same kind of love and warmth that my family has had over the years.  It would only be right to carry on the family tradition.  It seems that not many families share that same love anymore, and that’s sad.  What the world needs now more than anything is love, sweet love.

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Time. It changes things, and change reflects time’s nature.

This weekend brought many thoughts to the forefront of my mind… for some reason when family comes to visit it just happens.

I left the snug room in the apartment I share with Brandon and Steph last Thursday to drive home to Wartburg for the 4th of July holiday. Mom told me previously that she remodeled my butterfly covered bright blue bedroom, so it was no surprise to me when I came home and saw that it was now a neutral brown, black and teal colored room with a futon instead of my bed inside. It was expected.

I’ve had many changes in my life. I’ve had my ups, downs and breakdowns alongside moments of triumph.

And for some reason, great weeks are always followed by something looming… by utterly crappy emotions, experiences and moments that build character.

Right now, my character is treading a sea filled with tears. I am an emotional being.

Last week was amazing; I’ll just be honest. I worked out everyday, ate amazingly healthy even for me, and I even went shopping at Gap (c’mon, the sales are irresistible). Two nights ended in conversations with Lance lasting more than 30 minutes, the weather was perfect and it was a short week: July 4th fell on a Friday.

Plus, I saw numerous relatives that stayed at the house all weekend from Ohio.

It was nearly perfect. I was home, seeing family, on a very extended weekend.

But all good things come to an end.

An indescribable feeling of emptiness surrounds me when a full house suddenly decreases to three people in a matter of moments. Watching them drive away was like being punched in the gut and I realized… the perfect weekend was over, and I, too, would soon return to my work-filled routine.

In an attempt to bring back the feelings that once were only a matter of hours ago, I walked outside onto the lone porch and into the empty yard. I picked up the corn bags and started practicing my corn hole techniques, then moved on to ladder golf once my arms were sore. My parents came out to relax, and Dad and I played a few rounds of ladder golf. But something besides the laughter and babies, someone without imposable thumbs, was missing.

Peanut.

I remember when I first laid eyes on that dog. It was a chilly November night, and Lance and I had just left church and pulled in the driveway when something small and white in the headlights caught my attention.

At first, I thought it was a rabbit, but then after looking closer I realized it was a very skittish mix of Jack Russell Terrier and something else. He was only a pup and skinny as a rail. You could count the ribs on him.

My heart melted right away, and after countless attempts to pet him, Lance and I finally coaxed him to get close to us with some leftover fries. Dad at first wanted to pay him no attention, hoping he would go back home, if he had one at all. Mom had a way, though, and Dad too warmed up to him and eventually built a doghouse complete with carpet and heat for colder nights.

We named him Peanut for two reasons:

  1. He peed a lot
  2. He was hyper, like a nut. No other name suited him better…

Mom saw him first. He was under the back porch by a bush. Normally he would be roaming around the back yard sniffing his territory with Fido, our aging Chihuahua. Something about Peanut wasn’t right… Dad had to pull him out from his spot and immediately we knew a vet must intervene.

We drove over to Karns and waited to see the vet. He was puny; didn’t move hardly at all… peaceful, almost.

Tests were run and everything checked out O.K. We paid the bill and went on our way, thinking he would recover after some prescribed medication.

Apparently, we were wrong.

A pet’s death never comes easily, no matter how long he or she is with you. We grow attached, play with them and either congratulate or regurgitate at the sight of a prized trophy on the back doorstep. We yell when they run out into the road and comfort them when they’re afraid of thunderstorms. We love them unconditionally, and they love us back. They learn from us, and we learn from them.

It’s been over one year since I gave my valedictory at graduation. I wish I’d kept it; it kicked butt, basically. It covered all the bases and summed up our years in the Morgan County School System pretty well: touch on getting screwed over multiple times, quickly change subject to how that helped us adapt to change, ending with learning to embrace our changes ahead in life, and I even sprinkled some song lyrics here and there.

Looking back now, I realize that speech was mostly meant for me. I knew I wasn’t ready to change my way of life; I knew I wasn’t really ready for everything I once knew to be stripped away in a matter of months (I once tried, unsuccessfully, to drown myself when I was 10 after my oldest brother graduated high school and two months later my grandma passed away. I was afraid of the future, the unknown). Once I thought I’d adapted to what had changed then, something else came along and signaled to me that I was growing up — my bedroom changed, I’m working more than relaxing during the summer, it’s hard to cope with a pet of only eight months dying.

It doesn’t help that I’m also gaining a year this Wednesday (July 16).

Change sucks. As Ben Folds once wrote in his song Still Fighting It,

“everybody knows it sucks to grow up, but everybody does…and let me tell you what, the years go on and we’re still fighting it…”

No matter how old we get, no matter how “seasoned” we are, will be, or ever were, it seems that change is the biggest challenge for each human being, for each soul. Time and change go hand-in-hand; they’re in cahoots with each other. They resemble Siamese twins joined at the hip and are inseparable. It’s inevitable.

“…And life’s like an hourglass glued to the table.”

Such haunting words, yet they fit now.

We can’t re-wind life. What’s happened has happened, and there’s no changing it. All we can do is roll with the punches, adapt, learn and move on. That’s time, that’s change and that’s life.

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Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the ones that you wonder what could possibly happen next, hoping all the while that things wouldn’t, couldn’t get any worse?

Today started off innocent enough. I drove from Wartburg to Knoxville this morning, battling traffic, or slow beat-up trucks doing 50 in a 55 rather, for a math final. Typical for Morgan County. Might I add there’s usually never a good time to pass?

Right, so I got to Pellissippi OK and (hopefully) aced the final and finished it around 11:30. That gave me just enough time to head over to Gay Street for WDVX’s Blue Plate Special. Today featured Miss Tess and my favorite, Christabel and the Johns.

Great music and great crowds gathered in the Knoxville Visitor’s Center make for a great warm, June afternoon with not a cloud in the sky (except for those nice white fluffy ones). Basically, it was just the perfect summer day and to make it even better, I had no set schedule to go by.

After Blue Plate was over and the DJ said his closing lines, I headed out for lunch at Tomato Head (all the talk of food made my stomach growl, plus I hadn’t had any real food to eat).

Upon arrival, I walked in the restaurant, ordered my Kepner melt with fruit and water to drink, then sat down at a table with a MetroPulse. After reading a good few articles and realizing people coming in after me got their food and all I had was a lemon-less water, I decided to see what was up (nicely, I might add). It seemed to be they forgot to make my lunch, but the nice lady offered me free dessert of my choice to make up for it. I’m not a stranger to sweets, so I accepted.

My food came (along with a free vegan coconut cupcake), and I went to Coffee and Chocolate for a drink to go with my newfound sunshine.

Afterwards, I walked back toward my car, tea and cupcake in hand (I would eat it at the Beacon while laying the paper out tonight). Only one problem…

Is that my car? I thought I parked…. there….. no…. couldn’t be… surely….

Holy….

Mother….

MY CAR IS GONE!

I am an emotional being that is very attached to my belongings (1. Car; 2. iPod inside car). Immediately I freaked out, but tried to keep myself calm while asking the ladies standing there if they’d seen a silver Focus, only failing by sobbing almost uncontrollably while big hot tears rolled out from under my sunglasses. One blessed woman asked if I’d parked in the first slot on the bridge we were looking at. I had. Apparently cops like to park there, too.

In my depression and unbelief, I also threw away my uneaten, untouched free cupcake.

Thankfully I knew my brother would be working at First Baptist Church in Knoxville that afternoon, so while on the phone with Mom (who helped tremendously) I made my way there…
…only to discover he’d already left. And doesn’t answer his phone.

So now let me paint this picture for you. Imagine yourself a young lady alone in Downtown Knoxville. Not too bad, nothing you can’t handle, right? OK, now imagine yourself a young lady alone in Downtown Knoxville with no transportation, no friends, no family, or no one to call on to take you to the KPD Impound lot to rescue your baby. At least, no one within an hour drive that will pick up the phone.

At this point I’m wishing I hadn’t thrown my cupcake away; at least it would’ve helped to make me feel better a little bit. I start telling myself that maybe some homeless guy found it… there’s a reason for everything.

At this point, I just want to be alone, so I find the most remote part of the church and lock myself in a bathroom. I slide down on the bathroom floor and just cry.

Just…. cry.

Then, I snap myself out of it, muster up some maturity, and head back out into the world. And you know what? Brandon does answer his phone sometimes and is kind enough to rescue his little sister… and the “baby.”

And you want to know what else? I finally had my cupcake — and I made it all by myself.

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I was in Beta Club in high school, and yes, I was one of the dorky valedictorians keeping you from the cookouts after graduation ceremonies because I liked to write and give long-winded speeches about growing up, change and moving on. You’re welcome.

While I was in Beta Club, though, my now boyfriend (who wrote this story for the school’s website) talked me into running for secretary for the state’s Beta Club. I did, and I did pretty good and all until the second round of elections: question and answer.

Before the question and answer session, before standing on stage once more in front of thousands of people (we’re talking ALL Beta Clubs from the state of Tennessee here), those in charge let us look at each question to gather our thoughts and come up with an answer for each one. I had great answers for all of them… but one…

And that’s the one I drew out of the hat.
The question? “If you could ask the POTUS one question, what would it be?”

Naturally, plenty of controversial questions popped into my head. Questions like “Why are we in Iraq?” and “Why not help people in Africa instead?” or “Why don’t you do something about global warming?” immediately came to my mind, but of course I’m running for a state office and want votes, so I figured none of the above would be a safe option.

I opted for a safe, harmless question that ultimately cost me the election in an uncontroversial way: “What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” My defense? I like knowing stupid stuff like that about people, because I like to connect with others. I’m a fun person.

I was (and still am) blonde. And a former cheerleader on top of that.
And my campaign was, “Red, White and Blonde/Expect more, elect Moore” with “Not just another dumb blonde,” printed on the front of each shirt. Fitting, no?

Whatever. I didn’t want the office anyway. Too much responsibility and stuffy-ness for my taste.

If I could go back and do it over again, I’d have better answers. Questions like, “How many lives will it take for you to pull out of Iraq completely?” “How do you plan on *helping to lower gas prices?” and “Do you realize how bad America looks in the global eye?” would be great choices, and by now most may agree with me on that.

So, I ask you, what would you ask the President of the United States? And why?

**Note:  Re-worded after reader comment.  Thanks!

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