I was not popular in school. In fact I was kind of a geek. I liked to read and I would try to make it to the library often. I hated homework, so I would use my free time often to try to get it done. These things made me a bit of a geek.
Overall I was excruciatingly shy. I think it was some of my social anxiety shining through. I was the girl in glasses and braces with acne… more reason’s to not fit in. And I had untreated allergies so I always had facial tissues handy. I was a geeky girl. The only thing missing was that I was not a band geek.
People talk about wanting to go back to their teen years. I say no way. It was painfully awkward for me. Now I embrace my geekiness, I still read, still shy and I do still like to learn new things. So I am at least now Geeky and proud (aka too old to care anymore).
As near as I can tell, it is an Edna Buchanan quote that says “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” I have always believed this. I value friendships very highly. As I write this I have done so many rewrites because I can’t find a clear way to express how important they are to me. I think the most important thing is to let them know how you feel about them… life happens and you won’t always get the chance to say it.
I love horses! One of those things on my bucket list would be to be able to see wild horses running free. Horses remind me of freedom. Which is really kind of odd considering most of my encounters have been with horses that are fenced in.
My fondest memory of a time with horses came with a friend who was like a big sister. We rode our bikes to an area where the local college kept horses. And we would pet them and scratch them and occasionally bring them treats. It probably was against some rule but no one ever said anything to us. I remember coming home with dirt caked on our hands from rubbing the horses so much. We even had names for them. Good memories!
I also have a bad memory of horses. One night with a former boyfriend, we were headed home, came up over a hill to find horses all over the road. They had gotten out of their fence and were every where. He tried to stop and avoid them only to run almost head on into one and hit one with the back of the truck. At nearly 55 mph on the highway the horse did not survive. We looked for the other one but it was no where to be found. And my boyfriend and I were pretty lucky. I had a couple of cuts and bruised my chest from hitting the dashboard (no, we were not wearing seat belts…. we were VERY lucky) and he was bruised by the steering wheel.
Just a handful of time have I actually been on a horse. A couple of times as a kid at the carnival where you ride a pony in a circle. Once with a friend from school whose aunt had horses. And once with a boyfriend whose friend had a horse. I wish it was more times.
If I ever win a big lottery, I am buying a horse… well I guess I should start with a farm or ranch where I could keep him, but then second thing I am buying a horse. They are such beautiful creatures!
I was a normal teenager… ok, there is no “normal” for a teenager, true. But I was thrilled to take Drivers Ed to get my driver’s license; I even took the course through summer school so when October rolled around I would be ready. It didn’t go quite as I planned.
All throughout Drivers Ed I drove a small economy car. And I didn’t do any “practice” driving at home. By the time I had completed the course I was pretty comfortable with that little car. Then it was a 2 1/2 month wait until I could take my drivers test. In Iowa at the time it was a lottery system as to which people would have to take a driving test and which wouldn’t. I was a lucky one picked (because they picked October birthdays). When it came time to practice I panicked – mom and dad had a station wagon. It was like a boat, HUGE, going on forever behind me. I couldn’t drive that beast. So, somehow I talked my sister into taking her car – an Oldsmobile of some kind.
I passed my written test and got ready for the driving test… I failed it. I forgot to signal on a road that took a sharp right (the only way to go, but still a “turn”) and my turns were too wide. So I practiced a little bit with my sister’s car before she protested too much. I did take the test again and passed.
But, then what? It was back home to that land mass of a car that I couldn’t drive. Then the tables turn. Dad wanted to get a car that was not a family vehicle. He got a Pontiac Firebird. Suddenly I thought more about driving and finally wore him down and started driving… this was when I was a senior in high school; two years after I could have gotten my license. I loved that car!
I was a late bloomer behind the wheel but I finally got comfortable driving. Now in my battle with anxiety I have issues in heavy traffic and will not take the interstate at 70 mph, instead taking the highways at the slower 55 mph. And I still won’t drive a big car!
I found something… that’s what I told my husband. Of course I had already found the lump weeks before that. I kept quiet because I didn’t want to ruin our anniversary and I couldn’t see worrying him if it was nothing to worry about. But when it went past a mammogram, to an ultrasound, and then a needle biopsy, I wanted, no needed, someone to lean on.
The doctors would call me just hours before I was going to go out of town for the weekend and tell me the results were “worrisome.” I scheduled an out patient surgery and my journey with breast cancer at just 36 began.
I battled through chemo and radiation. Lost my hair and wore mostly funky bandannas. I slept, a LOT. The fatigue was intense. Worked through almost all of it. And discovered some friends that really stepped up to help me.
It was almost a year from discovery to the end of treatments. But now I can say I am a 16 year survivor. Grateful for every year I get!
I come from a family of readers. Both my parent read a lot, both my grandmothers were avid readers and I remember my grandfather reading the Omaha newspaper front to back everyday.
I would have to say that Judy Blume was a big influence in my love of reading. There were other books I remember from growing up, No Flying in the House, Going Crazy, and Little House in the Big Woods. Then my Dad introduced me to suspense, thrillers and science fiction/fantasy. I found Stephen King, V. C. Andrews, and Piers Anthony.
Lately with my chronic fatigue I find it hard to read as much as I used to. But, I read a lot here on WordPress and I occasionally listen to audio books. I have been so behind on blogs until this weekend there was not a lot of spare time to read. Now I hope to get to the Bruce Springsteen autobiography and the book Strange Weather by Joe Hill (he is one of my favorite authors), but first I promised my daughter (who reads more than anyone I know) I would read a book she bought on Kindle.
I have given it much thought and I think I will pick a topic of sorts. Basically a chance for you to get to know me a little bit better. Each day I will pick something about me to write about. I hope you enjoy this little challenge, I think I will.
A is for Agate
When I was young we had a friend whose dog had puppies. They were a mix of a Pekingese and a Poodle, a Peekapoo. We brought one home and waited to see how he interacted with the cats we already had. But first we had to name him.
My dad came up with the name of Agate. I only knew of it as a type of stone. There is also the definition from the word origins that meant a diminutive person… that is what Dad said would fit this little dog perfectly.
He was a good little watch dog and ate more cat food than dog food. He was very protective and would growl at a couple of my friends when they came over, never bite only threatened.
Sadly my Mom had him taken to the animal shelter when we got new carpet. She did it while I was in school and I never got a chance to say goodbye. I still miss my little Agate.