Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Quick Glance.

This is a tidbit of a story I've been attempting to tackle for a quite a while now, but every time I sit down to drain my thoughts, new ideas pop into my head leaving me stumped and questioning my paths. So, to keep myself motivated, I'll blog about it and hopefully get some feedback! Enjoy!
October 2, 1979
Denmark, Maine

I could hear the pulsing of the techno guitar thumping in my chest like fireworks as Maci pulled her raggedy and pathetic excuse for a vehicle over to the side of the road and shifted us into park. The infectious beat of Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” was being blared so loud from our friend Jen’s house that we both thought the lyrics were going to rip the house apart board by board until it was stripped bare. Colorful and mesmerizing lights were sporadically kissing the glass on the windows, reflecting the rainbow into the garden that thrived below, and silhouettes of figures were fading in and out of our view as if apparitions were hosting the get together.
The house itself sat perched on the crest of a small hill, a pedestal that made it just a hair superior than the rest. From the edge of the development, its rooftop was the only one that could be seen peeking up through the tangle of treetops. It stood three stories tall, hosted a two car-door garage, and had a front door so grand that I bet a sofa could squeeze horizontally through it. A fenced in patio rested on the back steps, complete with an oval shaped swimming pool, a stainless steel gas grill, and enough wooden lounge chairs to start a lumber company. Flowers and shrubs accented nearly every corner of the house, splashing hints of white and yellow around like the place was a palette. Needless to say, I was unequivocally jealous of Jennifer Hartley.
Admit it, we all have that perfect friend that doesn’t seem to contain one iota of bad luck lurking in his or her blood. The one that has the successful parents who willingly shovel money to them like snow; the gorgeous house that looks like it belongs in those housekeeping magazines rather than stamped in the middle of nowhere, Maine; the straight-A would-rather-die-than-play-hooky-for-one-day student who just seems to have everything going for him or her. The one that was born into greatness, and was destined for nothing less. For me, those characteristics resided and took shape in the form of Jennifer Hartley: The goody-two-shoes with a halo attached to her scalp from birth and a glowing personality like she was a descendant from Heaven directly.  At least, so it appeared.
Since we were close to her, though, Maci and I knew just how quickly that facade could melt—especially under the temptation of liquor. On the outside, Jen was someone you heard about in the paper for receiving Honor Roll; someone that you wanted to meet and become friends with; someone that you wished you were. But the second alcohol trickled down her throat, she morphed into the person she really was underneath all the smoke and mirrors: A party girl with the world at her disposable and a beautiful house at her fingertips. And trust me, she wasn’t oblivious to that fact despite the rather humble and giving air she thrust upon passer-by. She was wealthy, witty, and wicked, a triple threat so ferocious it would leave your head spinning for months. 
But that’s why we all became friends with her. We knew that if we glued ourselves to her hips then we’d have an instant one-way ticket to free and unlimited alcohol, partying, and whatever else we could get our hands on. So, turning our pockets inside out and coming up empty handed, we obviously cashed in as quickly as we could on the freight train constructed of pure gold.
“Bitch’n,” noted Maci, stepping out onto the sidewalk and straightening her fringed, suede miniskirt and pink, striped tube top. 
I ran a hand through the waves in my hair that curled around the edges of my face like ripples in the ocean. “Did you expect anything less?” I teased. “All of her parties are so chill. Now let’s book, we’re already late as it is!”
“That’s your own fault, you know? I waited in your driveway for fifteen minutes!” she laughed, soaking in the yellow beam of the porch light as we approached the front door.
“And you have my dad to thank, not me. We got into this crazy fight when he found out I was going to a party and refused to let me leave. Good thing he was drinking too much to notice me sneak out the back door, otherwise I wouldn’t even be here.”
I rubbed the back of my neck. Good wasn’t the word I had intended to use when it came to my father’s drinking problem, because I knew it was everything but. Serious, frightening, dangerous, but not good. And everyday it spiraled further and further out of control as the loss of my mother weighed on his heart, nipping and picking at it until there was nothing left. Cecilia, my mother, was a chain smoker and died of lung cancer when I was thirteen. The age where I craved her love the most. Who would I cuddle with when my first boyfriend broke my throbbing heart? Who was going to carve me into the woman I would one day become? Who was going to teach me how to shed unconditional love like the pedals on a flower?
Looking to my father for assistance, I realized that bigger problems were laying ahead that not even a mother could solve. Arthur, my father, did not handle her death well to say the least. Comprehending that the person who wholeheartedly completed you could no longer breathe in your scent, feel your touch, or sense your passion was something he couldn’t wrap his head around. It was if he was gorged from the inside out, appearing to be alive on the outside but being as hollow as a grave on the inside, and I didn’t have the tools to save him. All I could do was watch and pray that this nightmare would suddenly end and that things would return to their original state.
That, I knew, was frankly impossible. How could somebody regrow them self from the ground up if their roots had been plucked clean? He was as dead as he could be, only his innards were still pumping and thrashing with the hope of survival. They believed in him even when he didn’t, but that didn’t change a thing.
Days upon days would tick by without a single word being exchanged between the two of us, and sometimes our paths wouldn’t even cross. Half of the time I forgot he even existed, and the other half I considered him to be more of a patient in my makeshift hospital rather than a father. I had to remind him to bathe, I had to make him dinner every night, I had to nurture him when he was vomiting profusely in the toilet. I had to fetch him his booze, though I knew that was only feeding the fire. What else was I to do, though? If I refused, he’d beat me with his balled up hands and stiff legs until I had no other choice but to comply. If I submitted, he’d drink until he could no longer function; no longer feel pain or longing.
When it dwindled down to it, it was either my life. Or his.
But how could that decision be left up to me to make? How could I choose between the well-being of my father and the well-being of myself when I wanted us both to be okay? I knew that wasn’t an option, but that’s what I needed.
Unable to tear us apart any further, I turned to the one thing that I knew from experience would help me relinquish my troubles to the sky: Alcohol. When I first gathered this thought into my mind, I dismissed it entirely, viewing my father’s condition as reason enough not to get tangled in that web. But as his state of mind continued to diminish before my eyes, I saw only myself as the cause and just couldn’t handle the mess I had convinced myself that I had made.
So, poking my head into the refrigerator and inhaling the overbearing and pungent scent of beer, I did what I had witnessed for nearly five years. My lips curled perfectly around the cool top of the bottle as if it was manufactured specifically for them; the liquid swished around in my mouth, declaring all of the crevices its new territory; it trickled down my throat like a spider crawling down a drain. Everything about my first sip was addictive and indescribable, and it felt like I was floating on a cloud above my worries and life.
That’s how it started: With just one innocent sip. Which quickly turned to one bottle; to two; to eventually three. My father never noticed that his liquor was depleting faster than the crack of a whip, so sneaking a few here and there wasn’t an issue at all. In fact, it had gotten so bad that I was making a trip to the grocery store nearly every day to buy the largest packs they had just to get us both through the night, but I didn’t care. I was finally able to cope with the hand I was dealt, and anything that could do that was worth it to me. Alcohol was both a blessing and a curse: Binding me to my situation while helping me cope with everything swirling around me. It could also change people in a snap, and that change—that overtaking of willpower and self-control—was what caused me to leap to such drastic heights. It was a route that I had not anticipated, but accepted.
And it led me straight to the front door of Jennifer Hartley.
The music instantly smothered me in sweat and adrenaline as I stepped into the bouncing house, feeling the rhythm of people’s hearts thumping to the beat. The foyer was littered with teenagers bobbing and swaying casually to the music as small talk and pick up lines were being thrown like baseballs around the room, and I felt myself ease onto the scene as I spotted the red plastic cups occupying most of their hands. 
Good, I thought. I need a drink.
Snapping my eyes to the curved staircase, I tracked the body that was stomping down them like a hurricane and making a beeline for me and Maci. Judging by the wildly curly black locks flowing behind her like a storm, the fit and trim figure that most models could only dream of, and the savvy fashion sense that words couldn’t describe easily, it could only be one person.
“You made it!” squealed Jen giddily, bounding off the last step of the staircase wobbly and folding us into a warm hug caked thick with liquor. “I was starting to think you were going to blow me off.”
“And miss this?” posed Maci with a grin as long as the Mississippi River. “You must be joking! But you can blame little Miss. Punctual here for our tardiness. I swear,” she started, turning her attention to me, “you have no concept of time.”
I laughed. “Sorry, girls, but this hair isn’t going to funk itself. You didn’t want me showing up looking like I just rolled out of bed, now did you?” It wasn’t the best or most believable fib I had ever whipped out of my pocket on short notice, considering my hair barely hung below my jawline, but it would have to do. Besides, it seemed like Jen was too tipsy to put two and two together, anyhow, so I had a feeling that if I had said I was busy slaying a dinosaur she wouldn’t have even thought twice about it. 
But I had to be severely careful with such a delicate situation balancing on thin wires, because with one slight slip of the lips, it could all come tumbling down onto my body like stones. The only other person besides myself that was aware of my father’s current condition was Maci, and I planned on keeping it that way. It’s not that I thought Jen wasn’t capable of harboring such a secret between her teeth, because I knew she was more than competent; it’s just that I didn’t think she could do it when she wasn’t sober. Like I said before, she was an entirely different person under the influence and I didn’t trust a rickety minded Jen with anything but supplying alcohol. How could I ensure that my complications would remain under wraps when she was too drunk to control her bladder, let alone her lips? For the promise of one more drink, I bet she’d be willing to broadcast my issues over the school speaker systems, and that’s what scared me the most about telling her. If I did, I knew a vicious grapevine effect would occur, causing everybody to secretly know of my hardships but only whisper about them when my back was turned. 
I could barely climb out of the hole I’d been flung into now, so adding all of that dead weight onto my shoulders would surely plummet me back into darkness. A place I was scrambling desperately not to return to.
Following the weaving figure of Jen cautiously, avoiding the rowdy boys hurling priceless antiques to one another in the bend of the staircase as if they were footballs, she guided us to the little hint of light peeking through the gloom of the pit. It was sitting there on the granite countertop island, beaming at us like it was an old friend, and I could already feel my muscles start to relax. 
“Dig in!” shouted Jen excitedly, displaying the bottles of alcohol lined up like soldiers on the kitchen island as if she was Susan Stafford on Wheel of Fortune
I giggled, my eyes feasting on the liquids vibrating to the sound of the music and my head spinning with the joyous thought that I would soon forget all about my life for a while and just feel nothing at all. “You’re so lucky,” I blurted out, snatching a bottle from the counter and chugging nearly half of it in one gulp, “that your parents are gone on a business trip. They’ve left you this house, plenty of booze, and a stereo system with stacks of cassettes! What more could you ask for?” Before anybody could answer, I downed the rest of the bottle and reached for another naturally.
“I hear you,” agreed Maci, adjusting her curly, blonde hair so it tumbled down to one side of her body. “This is totally rad! They trust you with everything, you know?”
We watched as Jen bathed in the compliments we were showering her with, her skin shimmering from both that and the alcohol swimming through her system. Her makeup, I had just noticed, was running down her face like a river from sweat, and her eyes were coated in a blood red tint. “And as long as they don’t find out,” she started, her words spilling together like glue, “they always will.” She chuckled as she reached for a bottle and placed it to her shiny lips. “Now I’m going to go find Jake, so you girls boogey on down and relax.”
Her hips swayed like a swing as she went to hunt down her boyfriend, Maci and I nodding like robots and sipping from our drinks casually. The bittersweet taste of the alcohol was erupting through my pores and tickling my taste buds, but its effects were enough for me to look passed all that. My head was already floating around in the clouds, the puffy atmosphere distorting reality and blocking my memory from creeping to the front of my mind. With just one drink, I was already feeling better.
After rocking to the beat for a few minutes by ourselves in the grand, squeaky clean kitchen, Maci and I decided to scope out the rest of the party guests, though, peering around the corner and into the spacious living room, we discovered that most of them had already fled the scene because it was nearly midnight. All that occupied the room was a couple aggressively kissing on the expensive, leather sofa, a group of girls with their hair all parted to the left side snickering about fashion and gossiping about celebrities in the corner, a lone girl sporting bell bottom jeans with flowers spiraling up the sides nipping at a bottle of water on the couch opposite the lovebirds, and a mysteriously tall man with shades concealing his eyes leaning up against the stone fireplace like a statue. There was something about that man, standing so cooly by himself, that seemed utterly familiar to me.
“Is that . . . ?” awed Maci suddenly. Glancing to her, I realized her eyes were glued to the same slick person mine were, and her jaw was practically on the floor.
“It must be,” I injected, honing in on the subject who still hadn’t swayed an inch since we first noticed him. His jawline was very defined as if it was drawn in by a pencil, his white trousers and denim jacket accentuated his muscles slightly, and his thick, wavy hair was brushed out of his face and trickled down his neck like a stream. Just like it had done before.
Shoving my drink into Maci’s free hand, I briskly strode over to him and faked a stumble to solicit a reaction from his seemingly frozen features. It wasn’t an over-the-top fall-flat-on-my-face kind of topple, but one that would send me to my knees at the feet of the man I once knew. And I realized it worked when I looked up and found myself staring, once again, into his deep blue eyes.
“Victoria Schaffer,” he greeted, immediately recognizing me and easing me onto my feet with his muscled fingers. They felt soft and light against my skin, and I instantly got the chills just being in his presence. I brushed off my skirt and tidied up my brown overcoat that dangled just below my waistline, acting like seeing him again wasn’t out of the ordinary.
“Wilbur Dempley? Is that really you?” I asked, though I already knew the answer. I could tell the second our skin mingled that it was Wilbur Dempley, the man I had once called my own. 
“In the flesh,” he stated, tucking his shades into the back pocket of his pants and running a quick hand through his hair. “I don’t believe that I’m seeing you right now!”
So he was shocked, too. After spending two years inside someone’s heart, learning the way that it operated and becoming its conductor, then being snipped out of it like cancer only to reunite with them once again could do that to a person. 
“I don’t believe it, either,” I spoke softly, gulping up his creamy scent and staring at him, fixated. Was this how love worked? Could you lose someone you loved, then, nine months later, fall right back into their arms without missing a beat?
He cuddled me into his arms, as if to answer my question; as if we had never grown apart. I could feel our hearts rekindling their flame and trying to make up for lost time as I sank into him. “Why are you here?” I finally asked, the question looming above our heads like darkness.
He cracked a smile under the pressure. “The truth: Because Jennifer Hartley throws killer parties, and because my parents are up visiting relatives. This is the only night I had off from shlepping all over Denmark with them, and I’m damn glad I spent it here. Otherwise,” he said, tugging at the back of my skirt with both of his hands, “I never would have seen you.”
His hands slipped under the waistline of my skirt and pressed up against my skin underneath, rubbing it soothingly until I felt myself go limp from his touch. He rammed our lips together, our tongues wrapping around themselves like a knot until I could taste the beer still fresh in his mouth. Our bodies were so close that not even the thinnest of paper could slide in between us, and it was suddenly nine months ago all over again. I knew that this fit of passion that had overcome him was what he had wanted give me when we were still together, to let me know how much he cared, but back then I wouldn’t have allowed it. I was still too innocent and naive to think that this was acceptable before marriage, but now I felt more ready.
“Let’s go,” I breathed, his lips slithering down my neck like a snake, “somewhere more suitable.”
Without uttering a sound, he latched onto my wrist and led me back through the kitchen—both of us picking up a bottle of beer—and into the now abandoned foyer, the chandelier reflecting shades of pink, orange, and blue as the disco lights danced across its shiny surface. He pulled me under its glistening light, a makeshift mistletoe, and drowned me in a kiss so raw and fiery I thought I was going to explode from the inside out. My body was radiating heat like the sun, my blood was pumping to the rhythm of his heart, we were slowly uncovering the pieces of the puzzle we had been missing for far too long.
He suddenly stopped, as if this was all too much for him to handle at once. His calm, blue eyes connected with mine, and I could feel our veins slowly intertwining with each other as they had once done before. We were plunging into love without a parachute, preparing for the ground to rise and meet us where we stood.
“This time, Victoria, I’m not letting you go” he assured me, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ears and softly kissing my cheek—very much unlike the heated movements he’d just been executing. “I promise.”
I sighed and turned my head away from him, tears welling in my eyes just at the thought. “What happens when tomorrow comes? And you’re up north and I’m not with you? What—.”
His mouth, warm and sweet, covered mine instantly before I could finish my pondering. “To Hell with tomorrow, Vic. We have tonight, and I’m not about to waste it thinking about anything else but right here and right now.”
His words sliced right through me, deep and true. All I could do was stare right at the man who had left me speechless and wonder how I could have ever let him slip through my hands like sand. Looking at him now, it didn’t even seem possible.
And for the first time, I kissed him. I kissed him with everything I had bubbling inside of me, emptying myself entirely in that one moment. My soul poured out of my lips and into his body, falling into his landscape and fitting him like clothing. My skin peeled from my body and wrapped itself around him like an invisible blanket. My heart broke free from its cage and melded into his, forever making us one. With that one meeting of lips, I had given myself, all of myself, to someone I was never going to see again, trusting him not to break me when we parted.
“We also have each other,” I added, tearing our lips apart and bursting into tears.
A warm finger brushed under my eyes, clearing them away almost instantly. “And we always will.”
He bundled me in an embrace that shook me to my core. There was so much passion, so much affection, so much emotion coating every movement, every phrase, every word, that I knew departing was unfeasible. No way was I going to split from his grasp ever again. No way would I want to. When something felt this spectacularly right, you simply didn’t question it.
Burying my head deep into his chest, I let the tears run as free as a river. The sound of his heart was quick and steady; drums pounding to a beat. Thump. Thump. Thump.
Then, I heard the shot; the sound of a breaking promise.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Little Luck.

The past couple of days have, to say the least, been jam-packed with positivity and baby steps toward the future, which, as of late, has been looking pretty darn bright. I’ve received my third straight 100 on an Algebra II test, I was told by my history teacher that my Honors project was fantastic (I received a 100 on that, as well), and I was nominated for Winter Carnival King for the Class of 2013 (though I didn’t win)! Needless to say, I am proud of myself for always tapping into my full potential, something that I regret not doing before now. It’s hard to look back at my life and wonder why I didn’t snatch up every opportunity to be the best person I could be, both academically and personally. But for me, every regret and mistake that I’ve made only pushes me that much more to climb every mountain and evade every obstacle with a smile plastered on my face, knowing that I’m at least trying.
And, looking at my mother, I realize that I must have inherited this from her. Every single day, from the moment she wakes until the moment she goes to bed, she tries to be the very best mother she can be, loving and caring for each one of her four children equally. She sacrifices days that she should be recuperating from her surgery for us, making sure that we always have just what we need, though she should be focusing on her needs. She bares her constant aches and pains for us, battling them each and every day to ensure the daily chores around the house get done. And, though it seems pestering and annoying, she always asks how my day was from school or work, something that shows she cares and something that I take for granted. Truly, my mother is the epitome of strength and determination, never ever accepting “no” as an answer, and she never ceases to amaze or inspire me every day. Though I may not say it often, I admire and love her for everything she does and is for me.
And her hard work has finally paid off! Though my academic accolades are important, they are not the reason I’m absolutely ecstatic about my week. My mother, through her daunting pain and tenacious attitude, has finally gotten a reward that she’s waited for for a very, very long time. This reward is so surreal, and it feels like (to all of us) we’re just going to wake up one day and realize we were just dreaming it. It feels like this little amount of luck that we’ve been praying for is a big joke, and it certainly hasn’t set in, yet. All of us, however, are very excited and relieved that something finally good has happened to us, even though it feels absolutely wrong.
Seeing this unravel is giving me the sense of “if you do good, good things will happen to you”, something that I’ve always questioned. This news has given me the hope that I’ve lost, and I can’t help but to feel that all of my hard work will, one day, pay off, too.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chicken, HuggerMugger, and my Grammie.

It's not very often that I get to spend time with my Grammie and her friend Natalie without my younger cousins clinging onto them like needles on a pine tree, but last night was one of those exceptions. We all had quite a time not having to occupy the younger kids, and it felt really good going out as a group of adults. Don't get me wrong, I love having my younger cousins around, but sometimes it's nice to just jump ship and swim freely for a while, not tied down by the pestering and hounding that accompanies all young children. And let me tell you, the water was definitely fine.
After working an impromptu shift at my job, I gathered up my things and we headed off to Windham for a bite to eat and stop at the Pet Store, all in celebration of my birthday! (Which, of course, already happened.) With our stomachs a rumble, we pulled into the driveway of Rustlers, a fairly new restaurant, our minds swimming with food. Right when we stepped into the restaurant, Western paraphernalia attacked us, and I knew I was going to be digging into something delicious. Us three opted for a wooden booth, and we made ourselves comfortable before ordering our food. 
It really was a fun time eating over plates of chicken parmesan, steak, and potatoes, and not to mention, satisfying! After a celebratory dinner, we zoomed over to the Pet Store and ogled at all of the animals for sale. One group of ferrets in particular caught all of our eyes, and we found ourselves watching them for what had to be about twenty minutes straight! There was about five of them, and one of them was going around and biting the jugulars of the others, sparking a feud between all of them. Some were fighting in their water bowl, others were brawling on the ground, and a few were begging us to save them. It really was quite a sight, and got me thinking: What if humans were put in their predicament (trapped in a glass box with four other humans, sharing their water and food for all to see)? Would one of the five humans attack the others, or turn people against each other to benefit himself? I can imagine at least one human would go completely mental before too long—I know I would. I can't stand being forced into places for long periods of time, especially if I know I'm not able to escape (not that that has ever happened).
We eventually called it a night after a few games of "HuggerMugger" (which my Grammie calls "HungerMunger"), and boy was I glad. I was out like a light as soon as my head hit the pillow, exhausted after a long, exciting day. Despite having to work the next day, I had a blast—easily one of the best outings of my memory. If there is anybody who knows how to have fun without having to spend a lot of money, it's my Grammie for sure. She really is one of the most creative and loving people I've ever met, and that's why I love her. She is willing to do for others even if others don't do for her, and that's a quality that I one day hope to obtain. She truly is one of my biggest role models in life, and I cherish every day with her.
It's like I always say, "I'm never too old to be with my Grammie." Because I don't know what I'd do without her.

Friday, January 27, 2012


On this glorious snow day, I woke up with a clear goal planted in my mind: Read. All day. It is a very rare occasion that I actually have the time to plop into a cushy position on my bed, engulf myself in fluffy blankets, and crack open a good book, seeing as I'm usually so overwhelmed with my studies and other after school activities that I neglect my hobbies. But today, however, was a completely different tale, one that I am happy to say went according to plan. It felt so refreshing to finally take a day off for just myself—and the characters in whichever book I'm reading, of course—that I've decided that I must do this more often. Perhaps weekly, or even daily (if time allows).

The novel that stole my attention for the day was written by my favorite author, Jodi Picoult, and is about a man that gets accused of committing a heinous crime against a teenage girl that had taken an interest in him. Set in Salem Falls, New Hampshire, Salem Falls is a dark, spellbinding novel that took me through a loop, every new page unfolding another part of the mystery. Picoult really knows how to attack the heart of her readers, making her characters so unbelievably real that you could pass them on the street tomorrow without even thinking twice. She delves so deep into the storyline that the reader gets tied up, forcing him/her to continue reading to untangle him/herself from the mess Picoult left behind. She is, by far, the most detailed and elaborate author that I've ever read, and I'm so glad that the characters in Salem Falls were able to wind their way into my life today. If you haven't read any of her novels, I highly recommend them. You seriously will not regret picking up any of her novels, all of them dealing with such delicate topics that you won't be able to put them down.
Not to mention, the endings of her novels leave you craving even more. Just when you think you know the ending, she pulls a lever and sends you spiraling into uncharted territory, leaving you utterly speechless. I know I've never been able to predict a single one of her endings, and that's what makes them so enrapturing. She truly is a phenomenal author.
I can't help but to wonder if I'll ever be as good as her, considering I want to be an author. I know she puts so much time and effort into researching, and that's something I don't know if I'll ever be able to tackle. My goal in life is to write a novel that leaves my readers speechless, just like Jodi Picoult. I can honestly say she is one of my biggest and most influential inspirations for my short story writings, and I hope to be as good as her someday. And maybe, just maybe, I will be.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Little TLC.

The discussion of packing, painting, and money is always a hot topic in my household, especially in such a poor economy. We're always pressing our noses into the local newspapers or snooping on the internet to find our next home; the right home. But who's to say the 'right' home isn't right where we are? I happen to like the house my family and I are currently calling our humble abode: It's in town, conveniently located next to just about everything, it's nice and cozy, though a little crammed, and it's got a wonderful view of the quaint town of Bridgton, something that I find myself marveling at from time to time. To me, it's just right for our family. But, then again, who's to say what the 'right' home is?
Over the past 6 months, or so, my family and I have scoured the streets of downtown Bridgton for 'For Sale' signs taped in the darkened windows of abandoned homes, wondering which one would suit us perfectly. A quick call to a realtor answered that question. In total, I believe we've inspected about 5 houses, all of which were accompanied by "This may need a little work", and "Oh, I like this room" phrases. I remember one particular house I was very fond of, and could see my family living in easily. No, it wasn't because it had a ridiculously large bathroom, or that it had a living space above the garage, it was because of this little room that had a bookshelf that stretched from one side to the other. My mind instantly swam in potential at the sight of it. The room had an emerald green, carpeted floor, and the walls were light brown, vertical panels – so it wasn't overly appealing – but there was just something about it that 'clicked' inside my brain. The second I walked into the room, I could see myself reading in a bean bag chair by the window that exposed the surrounding forest, soaking in the natural sunlight while getting lost in a good story. It just felt so right. That's why I've decided that, in my first house, it is mandatory to have a small, study-like room to read books in or just to relax in.

Though I don't think the most previous house we looked at contained anything as special as that room. Located directly across the street from the house with my favorite room, this house sounds like it may just be our next address. My father, who get's all gung-ho about these sorts of things, especially thinks that this house will be ours, though it does need quite a bit of TLC. Unfortunately, I was at school when my parents went to check out the house, so I wasn't able to get a hands on feel for the place, leaving me without an opinion. It really is too bad, too, because house-hunting is something that I've grown quite attached to. There's just something about seeing a bare house, an empty canvas, with loads of untapped potential that really excites me. I love being able to go, "Oh, I bet this would look great here," and ,"Hmm...what would go in this room?" because it sort of gives me that feeling of inspiration (without all of the hard work that usually follows). But I am a bit nervous for our potential move.
However, I'm sure that wherever we end up, we'll be where we should be. Though it may not be the right place, it'll be our place. And that's all that really matters. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Amish You.

As I sit here, on my comfortable, leather couch, typing rapidly on my Macbook Pro, watching mindless television by the dim, electric light of the lamp in the living room, I wonder what it would be like if all of this just disappeared? If the couch disintegrated into a handmade, wooden rocking chair, if my Macbook Pro morphed into an ink pen and a piece of parchment, if the television converted itself into a pasture, and if the electric lamp downgraded into an oil lamp. How different would everything be? 
Personally, I’ve always wanted to, at least, attempt to live an Amish-based lifestyle. There’s just something so enticing about living off the land that you thrive on, knowing that you’re the one that grew the vegetable being consumed at the dinner table, knowing that you’re the one that tended the cows for the milk that night. I think that it would definitely be a technologically sobering experience, and would really open my eyes to see just how dependent the world really is on the electronics swarming around it. We’ve leaned on our cell phones during emergencies, relied on our computers to send that vital message, and we’ve tuned in to our favorite news station to gather the latest information on the happenings around the world. But what would happen if we were stripped off all that? What if we were — and dare I say it — forced to have actual face-to-face communication with other human beings?
I would seriously love to experience the lifestyle of an Amish person, for maybe even a year, just to see what it’s like to live in a place that is almost alien to the current day person. I would enjoy documenting my time as an Amish person to later reiterate my knowledge into a book, spreading my journey for all to see. I think it would be such a great experiment that I’d love to test out one day, though I’m unsure on when that day will come (if it ever will). Perhaps it won’t, but it’s a dream that I’d love to fulfill.
So get prepared butter churners, well pumps, and pastures, because I’m coming. Some way, some how, I’m coming.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Finally," he sighed.

Honestly, it’s been way too long. Though I doubt my calculations are accurate, I’m going to say that I’ve somewhat fallen off the face of the earth for about a year, now. What, with my school work, after school activities, and weekend job, I’ve sort of brushed writing to the side of the things that I thought were most important. Yes, I’ve been doing excellent at school, yes, I’ve been injecting myself into many after school events, and yes, I’m making my own money, but I’ve forgotten about what I love most. Sitting here, in the darkness of the earth’s shadow, I realize just how neglectful I’ve been. Sighing, I, hesitantly, pick up a pencil and begin to write.
Though I haven’t a clue where to begin. Perhaps, despite it being winter, I’ll talk about my adventurous summer! Man, it sure was jam-packed with tons of wonderful trips, outings, and love (provided by my family, of course). Out of everything I wrapped myself up in, my absolute favorite event was when my Grammie, her friend Natalie, and my two cousins Liza, and Jonnaka, wandered  through the magical gates of Story Land. We had a grand ol’ time together, reminiscing, laughing, and loving. 

It truly was an experience that I will always treasure, seeing as we’re never all together at the same time. I am so grateful that all of our unique and distinct personalities were able to shine that day, every one of us pulling something different out of it that will stay locked away in our hearts forever. I know that, for me, it was not about where we went at all, it was just about spending time with the people that I love and cherish the most in the world: My family. For all I cared, we could’ve been cooped up by the air conditioning at my Grammie’s house, fiddling with a deck of cards or flipping hastily through the channels on the television. It wouldn’t’ve mattered to me one bit.
Because my family is the one thing that I’ll never grow out of.