Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quill #65 - 25 Things About Me (crossposted from FaceBook)

1. When I was a child, the only pets I ever loved died tragic deaths.

One hung itself on a leash when my parents weren't watching it while I was visiting grandparents, one was hit by a school bus on the street in front of our house, one was 14 years old when I got her and died within a few months, one got pneumonia because my parents wouldn't let it live in the house, and one died of car fumes because my parents didn't want the puppy in the car and the ride in the trunk took too long. I think this, combined with my father's attitude toward pets, made me the kind of person who is afraid to be attached too strongly to animals.

2. I'm a Libra. And while I've never put a whole lot of stock in astrology, I have taken the concept of fairness to heart. I have always been the kind of person who sought fairness and tried to be fair to others. I have often failed, but not for lack of trying.

3. The first time I remember being put on a diet was when I was eight years old. My mother decided she wasn't happy with her own appearance and she wanted company on her calorie counting program. At the time, I was normal for my age and development.

4. My high school class voted me the "Hardest Worker." In the four years, I got maybe two or three grades lower than an A, and placed third in my class. We were told that the top 5 people were so close that officials had to go back to grade school to assess who would be valedictorian.

5. The top two professions I wanted to follow, when I graduated in 1979, were denied to me because of my gender.

6. I had three miscarriages between my two children, mostly due to stress. In fact, our son was a miracle baby because I almost lost him twice, and daughter was a miracle baby because, even though I was under some of the worst stress of my life at that point, absolutely nothing went wrong with the pregnancy. Just for the record, I'm proud of both my children and cherish the time we spend together, even moreso now that I have a wonderful daughter-in-law and grandkids.

7. I am a philosophical Taoist. I believe that Christ was influenced by Taoism during the time he wandered and that the best parts of his message came from this earlier wisdom. I also think that much of his message has been distorted. I respect almost all religions. One of the few I don't respect, sadly, is the Taoist religion as it is now practiced. I would still defend the right to worship it.

8. I appreciate my parents and the childhood they gave me. I don't think they were perfect, and people make mistakes, but they did the best they could. All flaws in my character are my fault, not theirs. I also appreciate the extended family I had. I didn't always show my gratitude, but it was there. Is there.

9. I enjoy intellectual pursuits, but the whole reason for living is to love and be loved by others. Without family and friends, I wouldn't have reason to continue.

10. I don't think kids today are worse than kids before our time, or that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. I think, rather, that I'm more aware of problems that I mostly ignored when I was busy raising kids and working for survival. Now that I have time to pay more attention, I'm astounded by the problems that need fixing. On the bright side, I trust my kids and their generation to make a better future. I see evidence of improvement in some areas that I thought were lost causes.

11. I have spent most of my life refusing to hate anyone, ever. I have forgiven people who hurt my family, who hurt me, even those who hurt my children when they were small children. And, at this time in my life, I find myself angry enough with certain politicians that it's a good thing I'll never meet them. It's a good thing I don't carry weapons. I'm not sure that I wouldn't consider it worth spending the rest of my life in prison to remove their influences from the world. This is something I'm having to work to overcome in myself.

12. I don't like wind hitting my face. I feel like I can't breathe and start to panic.

13. I'm so scared of heights that I get vertigo in balconies. I've been this way all of my life and, to my knowledge, I've never fallen or been dropped from a height.

14. Candles, incenses and strong odors of any kind, especially chemical or floral, cause me to have serious headaches, get congested, and have trouble breathing. They actually affect me almost as badly as cigarette smoke. I often have to leave a store, restaurant, or even a friend's house due to the beautiful scents around me.

15. I'm thrilled to be playing Miss Maudie Atkinson in To Kill a Mockingbird. I think I was extremely fortunate to be chosen for the play and to have been given this part, especially, because I like being a champion for positive change.

16. I have given away, mostly to strangers, mostly to children, almost 14,000 books. If more books given to children didn't make -some- kind of difference, it wasn't for lack of trying. I'm 4libros on if you want to look.

17. I was a theatre critic in St. Louis for a few years for a public radio station.

18. My three favorite (non-religious) books are _The_Princess_Bride_ by William Goldman, _Illusions_ by Richard Bach (author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull), and _A_Dirty_Job_ by Christopher Moore. I also enjoy Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. There are many many more I could recommend, but these are my top few.

19. The most I was ever paid for a short story or poem was $50. That's happened three times, all three from winning literary contests. My short story, "The Mountain," has been published in small magazines five times.

20. This November 1st will be husband's and my 30th wedding anniversary. When we married, there were people actively opposed to our union. In fact, there were so many rumors that ours was a "necessary" wedding that, when I had trouble saying my vows, the minister almost stopped the ceremony. The rumors were completely unfounded. I was so much in love that, every time I looked at him, I started crying from happiness. My mother had the same problem at her wedding.

21. I crochet baby blankets and other items for charity.

22. Thanks mostly to my parents, I've visited almost every state in the union, three provinces of Canada, two Mexican states and London, England. I've lived in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Arizona. In my almost 49 years of life, I've moved about 44 times.

23. I collect obscure poetry, owls, fiber arts, good quality pencils, and books.

24. I plan to copy this note from FaceBook to my blog. I've only been blogging for a few months. I started with the idea of putting all my writings in one place, so that my kids could read it, if they ever wanted to. The project has grown and I find myself writing more than I have in some time. Additionally, blogging has opened up a whole new community to me, one that has some very interesting people in it.

25. The best stories I ever told were imagined to entertain my middle brother at times during our childhood when our parents put me in charge of him and we had few to no toys to play with. I doubt he remembers "Pirate Ship" and "Junkyard Orphans." I barely do. But, this skill saved me from numerous spankings. I was the eldest and his actions reflected on my own, and I can only remember one time in my entire youth when he was held accountable for misbehaving when I was "in charge." Rather than resenting anyone for this normal part of family life, I am grateful for the development it gave to my creativity. Kids today have too many distractions from exploring their own minds. ;-) Yeah, I know, that's an "old person" thing to say.

1 comment:

  1. You are not old. But when you are, you'll be a very cool old lady. I'll sit on the front porch waving my cane at kids crossing the lawn, and you'll bring them cookies.