November 21, 2002 ~ 23 Lists of 23 Things
Since I turned 23 today, I decided to borrow a wonderful idea from Juliana. She's 20, so she made 20 lists of 20 things. I loved reading hers, so I decided to make my own, but instead used 23 (of course, this increased the length in its entirety by 99 items, so I got in over my head! I've been working on this since Monday). Some of the topics are ones that she used, many are new ones that I came up with. So, without further ado, here is more about me than you ever needed or wanted to know. (529 things about me, to be exact).
23 lists of 23 things
1. 23 places that I would like to visit or visit again
1. Alaska (especially the mountains and the tundra).
2. Scotland (the Highlands, especially. I'd also like to see the MacRae castle, as I'm part of the MacRae clan--they dropped the "Mac" and changed the spelling to Ray when they came to America).
3. London (again).
4. Wyoming/Montana region (The Rockies, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, desert--temperate desert).
5. New York City (again, but for much longer this time).
6. Backpacking in the Northwest (again. And again and again--especially in the conifer forests).
7. San Francisco.
8. Arizona / New Mexico (I've never seen a cactus that wasn't growing in a pot!).
9. One of those "mystery spots." (You know, those places where the gravity is "off," and things roll uphill?).
10. The Grand Canyon.
11. Seattle (again).
14. New England.
15. A tour of (some of) South America.
16. Deeper South (North Carolina is the South, but not that Southern).
17. The San Juan Islands (again).
18. I would love to see parts of the Middle East, but that is not terribly likely to happen in my lifetime (too much political upheaval).
19. I would love to see parts of southern Asia, but, again, I don't know how likely that is, unless I can find a good guide.
20. Caves. (Again. More of them. It doesn't really matter which ones.)
21. The Oregon Coast (again--especially the rocky, cliff-lined parts).
22. The high desert of Oregon (because I lived in the state for 19 years but never did visit its desert).
23. Somewhere other than Earth. The moon. Or even merely a space shuttle in space. (Hey, it said "would like to visit"...)
2. 23 things that I hope to do in the next 23 years
1. Write several novels.
2. Publish those novels.
3. Give birth (preferably more than just once).
4. Be a wonderful mother.
5. Keep my own garden.
6. From my list of places, visit at least five of the places that I have never been to and all of the ones that I have been to.
7. Make some quilts.
8. Significantly change the world for the better.
9. Maintain my passion for causes like peace and a better environment.
10. Meet a few more of my wonderful internet friends.
11. Visit again those whom I've met already.
12. Get better at the little things: answering letters, calling people to let them know that I love them, giving surprise gifts, and sending Christmas cards.
13. Learn to play the flute (really play it).
14. Celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary (okay... in 23 years plus a little under one month).
15. Celebrate my 25th journal-versary. (Yes, I seriously think that I will still be doing this when I'm fifty. I can't leave the story with no end, now, can I?)
16. Read... well, everything. Heh.
17. Have my student loans paid off. (Good Lord, I hope so...)
18. Be satisfied with my education. If this means going to Grad School, so be it. If this means never going to school again, so be it. So long as I feel that I have done the right thing.
19. Be in regular communication with all of the people whom I love. Actually, I hope to have restored this one by the end of the year. Dad may be a challenge, though.
20. Either re-learn Spanish or learn a new language.
21. Live in a place where we can have cats and dogs.
22. Become more well-versed in mythology, folklore, and legends.
23. Be able to look back at all that I've done so far and be confident that I have lived a full life and did the very best that I could.
3. 23 things that I will want to tell my children
1. Treat other living things as you wish to be treated.
2. Everything you do, every action or inaction you choose, changes the world. Take care to choose the actions or inactions that are right, true, and good, and always try to be aware of how you are affecting the world around you.
3. Tread lightly on the earth. Cause as little damage as is possible, and don't over-consume.
4. Revenge is not honorable or right.
5. Have faith and hope, and never take either of those things from someone else.
6. Know yourself, and be at peace with yourself.
7. Be honest. Lies will come back to betray you.
8. Death, pain, struggle, and challenges are inevitable. What matters is how you deal with them.
9. Live passionately.
10. What is popular is not always right; what is right is not always popular.
11. Have compassion for those who have less than you (be it money, food, clothes, or health) and give them what you can.
12. Do not steal.
13. "People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Love Them Anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Do Good Anyway. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies; Succeed Anyway. The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow; Do Good Anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable; Be Honest and Frank Anyway. What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight; Build Anyway. People really need help but may attack you if you help them; Help People Anyway. Give the world the best you have, and you'll get kicked in the teeth; Give The World the Best You've Got Anyway." ~ Found engraved on the wall of Mother Teresa's hut in Calcutta (translated).
14. Leave a place better than you found it.
15. Violence is not an answer.
16. Give time in service to good causes.
17. Dream, and pursue those dreams.
18. Work hard.
19. Laugh and be joyful.
20. Let your life speak.
21. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
22. Question what people tell you, even what I tell you.
4. 23 things that I love about Morgan
1. His passion (both his passion for me and his passion to live fully).
2. His mind/intelligence.
3. His soft spots (both physical and mental--that spot between his collarbone and neck, his sentimentality despite his gruff persona).
4. His determination.
5. His compassion and concern.
6. His poetic/sentimental/romantic side.
7. His eyes.
8. That he completes me.
9. That he keeps me from being too serious.
10. That he balances me. (I'm the optimist, and he's the pessimist; I'm a dreamer, and he's much more practical; I'm too serious, and he's prone to bouts of silliness).
11. That he is protective but not overbearing.
12. His spirituality.
13. His writing. (Hey, how else could he have wooed me by email?)
14. His ability to read my mind.
15. Our shared interests.
16. That he is extremely creative.
17. His cooking (oh my!).
18. That he bandages my wounds and eases my worries.
19. That I can talk to him about absolutely anything.
20. That we don't keep anything from one another.
21. His unwavering support.
22. His individuality.
23. The way that he completely surprises me with absolutely incredibly thoughtful gifts like a used sewing machine and table bought in our own neighborhood (!!). (More about that in the next entry, because this entry is going to be WAY too long).
5. 23 romantic things that make me fall in love all over again
1. A kiss on the neck.
2. Unexpected help with my chores/duties.
5. A good debate.
6. Reading out-loud.
8. Warm blankets in the winter.
9. Shooting stars (star-gazing in general)
10. Hiking, backpacking, camping, spelunking, rock climbing, etc. together.
11. Dinner out for two.
12. Dinner in for two.
13. Sharing in wonder. (Nature watching, etc.)
14. Long and beautiful love letters.
15. Eye contact. (Soul-gazing).
16. Working on something together.
17. Being held.
18. Soft, grazing touches.
20. Caring about my writing.
21. Reading in bed.
22. Cuddling, nuzzling.
23. Long and meaningful conversations.
6. 23 books that you should read (because I love them)
1. Les Miserables (unabridged) by Victor Hugo
2. Anything by Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden, etc.) (Nonfiction).
3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
4. The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot. (Actually a book-length poem).
5. The Time series by Madeline L'Engle
6 and 7. The Sneeches and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
8. 1984 by George Orwell
9. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
10. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
11. The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
12-15. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
16. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
17. A classic Russian novel. (Brothers Karamazov, Doctor Zhivago, War and Peace, etc., just because everyone should read a Russian novel at some point).
18. Flip through a Norton Anthology or the equivalent and see what catches your eye.
19. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books by Douglas Adams (for something lighter).
20. Dune by Frank Herbert
21. The Sacred Texts of several different religions (for understanding of others, as well as understanding of yourself)
22. Mythology. (Something, anything).
23. The "Great Classics" for a nice rounded background.
7. 23 movies that you should see (because I love them)
1. Life Is Beatiful.
2-4. The Star Wars Trilogy (the old one, not those new disappointments).
5-7. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (because I trust that the second two movies will be just as good as the first was).
8. The Green Mile.
9. Steel Magnolias.
10. Dead Poet's Society.
12. The Dark Crystal (Mmmmmmmm.... Gelfling!)
13. The Rats of Nimh
14. The Last Unicorn.
18. Dances with Wolves.
19. All Summer in a Day (very short, probably hard to find, but based on Ray Bradbury's short story).
21. The Neverending Story
22. Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
23. Forest Gump.
8. 23 good quotes
1. Each man is haunted until his humanity awakens. ~Blake
2. You know the value of every article of merchandise, but if you don't know the value of your own soul, it's all foolishness. ~Rumi
3. The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars... ~ Jack Kerouac
4. People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant. ~Helen Keller
5. Have no fear of robbers or murderers. They are external dangers, petty dangers. We should fear ourselves. Prejudices are the real robbers; vices the real murderers. The great dangers are within us. Why worry about what threatens our heads or our purses? Let us think instead of what threatens our souls. ~Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
6. There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. ~G.K. Chesterton
7. The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. ~Albert Schweitzer
8. Someday our grandchildren will very likely look back at the individual, selfish control of the wealth of the world by a small elite, the same way we view slavery today. ~Corinne Mclaughlin and Gordon Davidson
9. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. ~Archbishop Desmond Tutu
10. All things are possible once enough human beings realize that everything is at stake. ~Norman Cousins
11. As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves. ~Gandhi
12. An authentic spirituality does not cater to culture; it calls culture to accountability. ~Joan Chittister
13. The plain fact is that we are starving people, not deliberately in the sense that we want them to die, but willfully in the sense that we prefer their death to our own inconvenience. ~Victor Gollancz
14. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
15. The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern. ~ Max Lucado
16. We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. ~Mother Teresa
17. Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who did not hear the music. ~Angela Monet
18. Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought. ~Graham Greene
19. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. ~Mahatma Ghandi
20. People need your Love the most when they appear to deserve it the least. ~John Harrington
21. I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ~Voltaire
22. This planet is obviously being used as an insane asylum by other planets. ~George Bernard Shaw
23. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13
9. 23 musicians or music that you may like (because I do)
1. Lorena McKennit.
3. Simon and Garfunkel.
4. A Perfect Circle.
5. Medieval Baebes.
6. Billy Joel (oh, shush).
8. Jars of Clay (their first two albums, not so sure about the later stuff).
9. Tori Amos.
10. The Piano Man at Portland's Saturday Market.
11. The last of the Mohicans Soundtrack.
12. Braveheart Soundtrack.
13. Harry Chapin.
14. Dead Can Dance (only the female vocals, though).
16. Abwun. (Aramaic prayers set to music).
17. Jeffery Hyde Thompson (local).
18. Juliana Finch (local, and a friend, and the instigator of this whole list frenzy).
19. Dream Theater.
20. Celtic Flute.
10. 23 characters whom I love
1. Jean Valjean (Les Miserables, the novel)
2-3. Data and Q (Star Trek: The Next Generation, television show; yes, I used to watch television.)
4. Amelie (Amelie, movie)
5-8. Tom Bombadil, Arigorn, the Ents, and Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings)
9. Mr. Jackson (from one of my short stories. Is that conceited? I don't know where he came from, but I loved him when he came out.)
10. John Keating (Dead Poet's Society, movie).
11. Creb (The Clan of the Cavebear, novel).
12. Guido (Life Is Beautiful, movie).
13. Dr. Ellie Arroway (Contact, movie--I've not read the book).
14. John Coffey (The Green Mile, movie--again, I've not read the book).
15. Celie (The Color Purple, novel).
16. The Giver (The Giver, novel).
17. The Lorax (The Lorax, children's book).
18. Ford Prefect (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series, novels).
19. Charles Wallace (A Wrinkle in Time and the following books).
20. Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes, comic strip).
21. Milton's Satan (Seriously. Paradise Lost, book-length poem.).
22. Louie (Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles).
23. Bansuri the Wolf (a character that Morgan role-played in the chatroom).
11. 23 beliefs
1. I believe that I am making a huge difference in the world both by my actions and my inactions.
2. I believe that every moment is an important choice.
3. I believe that there are many things that science cannot explain.
4. I also believe that there are many things that religions cannot explain.
5. I believe that people, animals, trees, life, love, or whatever is moral are worth far more than money or power.
6. I do not believe that death is an end.
7. I believe that online friends are just as important and meaningful as friends in the flesh.
8. I believe in soulmates, and I believe that I have found mine.
9. I believe that there is nothing in existence that is either fully good or fully evil.
10. I believe that destruction and waste are wrong. (I realize that it is impossible to be alive without causing at least a little death and destruction, but I believe in doing everything in my power to keep it to a minimum.)
11. My husband and I met online, and I believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
12. I believe that there are many things that can be worse than death.
13. I believe that it is entirely possible to love a complete stranger.
14. Most people think I'm too sensitive, empathic, and compassionate, but I believe that those traits are right for me.
15. I believe that shopping malls are evil. I will not be dissuaded from this viewpoint. ;-)
16. I do not believe that there is One True Way to act or to speak or to believe.
17. I believe that the world is far too complex for any person to have the Ultimate Truth.
18. I believe in Source/God/Infinite.
19. I believe that I am here for a purpose, and so are you.
20. I believe that prayer makes a difference, but that it is important to act, too.
21. I believe that opposite hate are both apathy and love, opposite apathy are both love and hate, and opposite love are both hate and apathy.
22. I believe that it is your right and your duty to disagree with me on as many of these beliefs as you like.
23. I believe that I'll still like you regardless.
12. 23 things that I love about my life
2. My job.
3. My friends.
4. My family.
5. There are no fences in my neighborhood.
6. A beautiful house to live in.
7. I live in a great community.
8. I have fields and trees and mountains and lots of wild creatures living around my house.
9. I can hike everyday after work.
10. I have the means and the time to write.
12. Great food.
13. I am healthy.
14. I don't feel that I have to hide who I am.
15. Moments of beauty are at every turn.
16. I am generally very happy.
17. At the places where I spend 99% of my time, everyone knows my name (work, home, my immediate neighborhood, the grocery, the bakery, a few restaurants, etc.)
18. I have a means of transportation (however crippled it may be!)
19. My supervisor is wonderful.
20. I can express myself without worrying about governmental repression (hopefully, anyway... The new homeland security laws are FRIGHTENING.).
21. I have had a lot of amazing experiences already.
22. Animals love me.
23. I have a gift with words and language.
13. 23 things that I am often seen doing
4. Being with Morgan
5. Cooking or baking
9. Skimming the news
10. Bird watching
17. Taking pictures (when I have a camera, anyway)
18. Doodling, painting, or drawing (more and more now days)
19. Looking out the window
20. Talking (usually very quietly)
21. Crafting, in one way or another
22. Fixing things
23. Drinking water (I always have a water bottle with me)
14. 23 things that I love to touch
2. Sand (running through my fingers).
3. Cold glass panes.
4. Flower petals.
6. Feathers (especially down, and especially on a live bird--the feathers on the back of an owl's head).
8. Clay on a potter's wheel.
9. Fur (but only on a live animal).
11. Melted wax.
12. Morgan's cheeks after a shave.
13. The wind.
14. Pine/fir needles.
15. Grass (on my bare feet).
17. Fireflies (the breath of wind when they take off).
19. Soap suds.
22. Snow against my face.
23. The feet of small bugs or spiders, crawling across my hand.
15. 23 things that I love to hear
3. Moving water (in a natural setting).
4. Wind in the pines and firs.
5. Wind in leaves.
6. The crackle of fallen leaves.
7. Bird song.
8. Fog horns.
9. Flute music.
10. (and other kinds of music, too).
12. Ocean waves.
13. Rustling fabric.
15. The sound that water makes when it is boiling.
16. The whirr of a sewing machine.
17. Wind chimes.
18. Morgan's voice.
19. Pages turning.
20. Wind whistling.
21. Someone humming or singing quietly to him/herself.
23. Tibetan singing bowl.
16. 23 things that I love to taste
6. Wasabi (the light green paste that comes with sushi... I love that spicy tingling sensation that spreads up into my brain and makes my eyes water and body shiver).
7. Dark chocolate.
13. Paht Thai.
14. Masamon curry.
17. Cookie dough.
20. Coconut milk based dishes.
17. 23 things that I love to see
1. Moving water.
3. Reflections on water.
4. Rings radiating out from a drop of water.
5. Dust particles in sunlight.
6. Sunlight reflecting off of surfaces.
7. (Sunrise/sunset especially).
8. Shooting stars.
9. Stars in general.
11. The ocean.
13. Natural colors (I don't like neons and such).
17. People's eyes.
19. Rainbows/refracted light.
20. The waves that go across a field of grass when the wind blows on it.
21. Close-up macro pictures.
22. Wood grain.
23. Fireflies in a field.
18. 23 things that I love to smell
3. The musky smell of furred animals.
4. Baking spice cake.
5. Rice cooking.
8. Burning candles.
9. Wood smoke.
10. Fresh air.
11. Morgan's hair after a shower (herbal essences)
12. or Morgan's cheeks after a shave.
13. Pine trees.
14. old musty books.
15. new books.
16. spiced cider.
17. Garlic roasting.
19. Essential oils.
20. Sandalwood incense.
21. Dragon's blood incense.
22. Almond extract.
19. 23 things that I love to wear
1. Long coats.
2. Turtle necks.
3. Long dresses.
4. Long wrinkle skirts (I think that they are called "witch broom skirts"?)
5. Long skirts in general.
6. Velvet anything.
10. Dark blue.
11. Dark green.
12. Dark purple.
13. Poet shirts.
14. My velvet sweats.
15. Comfort over anything else.
16. Loose, flowing things.
17. Long-sleeved button-up shirts.
18. Sandals in the summer.
20. Embroidered dresses, shirts.
21. Velvet jackets.
22. Scarves when it is very cold.
23. Nothin' (heh).
20. 23 things that I refuse to wear (aka: Yes, I'm a little neurotic and a bit of a prude when it comes to clothes)
1. Bright or unnatural colors. (Or pink. Or pastels. Ugh.)
4. Anything with too varied or wild of a pattern.
5. Tight clothing.
6. Anything that feels too synthetic.
9. Low-cut shirts.
10. Make-up or nail polish.
11. Jewelry other than my wedding ring.
12. High heels.
13. Pinch-toed shoes.
15. Print T-Shirts or clothing with words or slogans on it (with the exception of my MFA shirt).
16. Short skirts.
17. I will only wear my hair up if it is absolutely necessary.
18. Tags in my clothing. I cut the tags out of all of my clothing.
19. Designer / Name-brand clothes.
20. Leather (Two exceptions. Gifts with leather that were given to me before I became a vegetarian. My work/hiking boots, and those I will only buy second-hand. If I can find a decent, heavy-duty boot made out of something other than leather, then those will no longer be an exception.).
21. High contrasts.
22. Anything reflective.
21. 23 childhood memories
1. Third and fourth grade. The secret magic land on the edge of the elementary school playground that could only be reached if one did a very specific sequence of movements (for example: clockwise around one tree trunk, three times counter clockwise around another, put three nuts through the crook of one tree, and walk through the split trunk of another). Unfortunately, I have forgotten the sequence, so I will never be able to return to that magical land.
2. Once in second grade, one of my friends picked something up out of the mud and started drawing (in mud) on the wall of the school building. I told her to stop it, because it was against the rules, but she kept doing it. A teacher came up, and my friend ran away, so I got punished for it. My second-grade self was devastated, for I was being punished for telling someone not to do something wrong.
3. Trying to catch crawdads with my cousins in the creek in the park across the street from my grandmother's house.
4. Winning the school-wide creative writing contest in second grade.
5. Willy Taylor, the class trouble-maker in second grade had a very messy desk. Finally, the teacher got fed up with it and ordered him to clean out his desk. She stood over him while he started pulling things out. The whole class watched. Beads and toys and random things kept falling out and rolling across the floor. And then Willy pulled out a piece of paper that had something written on it over and over and over again, front and back. Another student sitting in the desk next to Willy read out loud from it, "I love Melissa Ray. I love Melissa Ray. I love Melissa..." The class broke out into pandemonium, and I ran to the bathroom and cried my little heart out. I hadn't had a clue until that moment. Oh, the embarrassment!
6. Watching my mother sew for hours and hours and hours.
7. Helping my father in his workshop.
8. There was a tree in the back yard of the main house that I grew up in (we moved a few times early-on), a variegated maple, which I climbed all of the time.
9. My dad helping me build a fort in the back yard for a Girl Scout badge project.
10. Hiding in my closet with my little brother when we heard mom open the "wooden spoon drawer," whether we knew that we had done something wrong or not. (She spanked us with a wooden spoon).
11. Getting my first period in the middle of a primitive camping trip. We had hiked in five miles to the middle of nowhere and had nothing but a hole in the ground for a toilet. I had no idea what to do, but luckily I had a wonderful camp councilor who helped me. That same primitive camping trip, I also got a bee sting on the bottom of my foot, so I couldn't walk too well, threw up several times from food poisoning (like half of the rest of the campers), and had been bitten a gazillion times by mosquitoes. That week was also one of the rare (for Oregon or Washington) weeks when the temperature rose above 100 degrees for several days in a row, and everyone in the camp got a mild case of heat sickness. But it built character, eh?
12. The first time that I got online was with the Commodore 64 (before Microsoft *gasp* ever existed, at least in the eyes of the public) that my dad had brought home from his work. I must have been about 10 at the time (still in Elementary school), but I figured out how to dial-up through the local public library with that 14.4 modem and looked at some bulletin boards. Black and white Telnet, baby. With pixels at least a millimeter thick. Oh yes.
13. I kept "experiments" in my closet, where my mom couldn't find them. (You know, torn-apart electrical parts, mold samples, strange dead bugs that I had found).
14. My brother and I were always jealous of each other's toys. I liked "boy's toys." I coveted his matchbox cars, his "Transformers," his remote-control cars, his Technic Legos, his radio-building kit, his "tools", and the toy trucks that I loved to dig "roads" for in the back yard. He liked his toys, but he also always wanted to play with my Barbies, my My Little Ponies, my baby dolls, my paper dolls, my sewing kits, and my jewelry. He'll probably kill me if he ever finds this. Heh. I don't care much for gender roles. (If I have a girl, she will get all the "boy's toys" she wants, thank you very much.)
15. When I was about fifteen, I almost died in a rock-climbing fall. I fell 50 feet down a steep embankment and landed on a large boulder. Landing there was actually lucky, or else I would have fallen an additional 50 feet and into the creek below. I was incredibly lucky. I had no broken bones. Some bruised ribs were the most serious injury. I was wearing a helmet and pads, so the worst of such a fall was prevented. I was in shock at first, couldn't move. My backpack and clothing were all torn up. My entire body was bruised, in a thousand little places where I had hit against the rocks as I fell. I had blood all over me, cuts everywhere. It was a very dusty slope, with lots of shale and small pebbles, and these got under my clothing and cut me more on the way down. I inhaled a bunch of it too, and my lungs burned as if they had a billion paper cuts. This dust also got under my eyelids, scratching against the surface of my eyes. I was incredibly lucky, though. After a long rest, my dad and brother helped me down the rest of the slope to the creek where I tried to wash my cuts and made sure that I didn't have any broken bones. I was able to climb down the rest of the way. (But the looks that I got when we stopped at a convenience store on the way home! I didn't have a change of clothes, and my face alone was caked in mud and blood and a lovely bruise or two.) I still love rock-climbing, however, despite it all.
16. I never did break any bones, or have any cavities, still to this day. (We'll see what happens when I finally get to the dentist...)
17. On my twelfth birthday, my mom put the candles of my cake sticking out from the sides of the cake, in an attempt to make them harder to blow out. She succeeded. I ended up catching my hair on fire in the attempt. One side of my head was in flames. (My brother thought that this was hilarious).
18. My brother's hamster committed suicide. I kid you not.
19. One afternoon my little sister came to me with tears in her eyes (she was about three years old). "Don't tell Mommy or Daddy," she pleaded with me. "Don't tell them what?" "No, don't tell Mommy! Promise!" "Anna, I may need to tell them. What's wrong? Are you hurt?" She finally burst into new tears and wailed, "There's a Lego man in my nose!!" It's not every day that someone tells you that she has a Lego man in her nose. It took all of the self-control that I could muster to keep from laughing my head off. I was only nine. This was prime comedy material. To my little sister, however, the day of the Lego Man Nasal Invasion was the end of her little three-year-old world. I took her to my dad, who got out the needle-nose tweezers and a flashlight and extracted the Lego Man from her nose (as it turns out, it was only a Lego man's hand, not a Lego man in his entirety).
20. One day when I was playing in the sprinkler, my mother looked out the window to check on me and saw that I was holding the sprinkler up in the air, waving it around wildly, hopping in circles on one foot, and screaming bloody murder. No, I wasn't doing a ritualistic sprinkler dance. After my screams had died down and the water was turned off, I eventually managed to communicate to my mother that I had stepped on a bee (which had stung me) and had, in desperation, grabbed the sprinkler to steady myself as I jumped around on one foot. Nevermind that the sprinkler was a free-moving object and would provide no support at all. I just grabbed at the only thing there.
21. My brother was a very vomitous baby. It seemed as if he was puking every few minutes. Sometimes it was rather explosive. My father would film us with his Super-8 movie camera, and he'd have to splice out a segment every few minutes because my brother had puked. (One day in a particularly devious mood, my father took all of these "vomit cuts" and spliced them all together so that we had a good five-minute movie of my brother puking over and over and over again.) Anyway, one day my dad had my brother in his arms and the doorbell rang. As soon as my father opened the door, my brother gave a rather miraculous display of his projectile vomiting skills and let his talent arch across the living room. The poor postman stood there with a package outstretched and a stricken look on his face. "Uh... here's your package," he said, before he ran away.
22. When I was about 13 or 14, I went sailing for a week in the San Juan Islands on a large wooden schooner called "The Adventuress." I loved sleeping in the bays below deck, rocking to sleep. I loved taking the night watch, looking at the stars (so bright away from land, and watching the dark water. I loved climbing the mast to the crow's nest, helping with the rigging, and such. It was a great experience.
23. My paternal grandmother was the main person in my childhood who encouraged my writing and other artistic endeavors. She would give me art supplies, paper, read books with me, write stories with me, and hold poetry sessions (in the back yard during the summer, in her RV in the driveway in the winter). When I had doubts about my ability to succeed in an artistic field, she wouldn't hear anything of it. She has been my main creative inspiration throughout my entire life. She's an amazing woman.
22. 23 things around my house that say something about me
1. The large quantity of books (many laying half-read on end tables, couches, bed stands, etc.).
2. The vast array of different sorts of art supplies.
3. The wide variety of writing supplies: computers, various types of pens, pencils, and such, all sorts of paper and journals, dictionaries, thesauruses, grammar guides, writing aid books, etc.
4. Extremely comfortable (though not very pretty) hand-me-down furniture.
5. The quilt that my mother made on our bed.
6. Organic (mostly local) vegan foods in my cupboard.
7. Environmentally conscious cleaning supplies and toiletries. (I swear, if I wasn't so poor I'd be such a yuppie.)
8. The boxes and boxes of old school papers and projects stored under my bed.
9. The large quantity of sacred/religious/spiritual texts from all sorts of religions.
10. The potted plants.
11. The second-hand clothes in my closet.
12. The little wreath of ivy hanging from my bedside lampshade (which I wore on my head at our wedding).
13. The lack of a television.
14. The lack of alcohol (aside from cooking wine).
15. The candles. Everywhere.
16. The stash of children's books for "someday..."
17. Little feathers, fall leaves, pretty rocks, and sea shells decorating surfaces and shelves that were picked up here and there on various hikes, camping trips, beach trips and such.
18. The camping supplies stored under the bed and in the deacon's bench.
19. Various and interesting cooking utensils in the kitchen for all of the cooking experiments that we embark on.
20. The random assortment of plates, glasses, bowls, etc. that were passed down from various family members.
21. The handmade/homemade art and decorations on the walls.
22. The bag full of various bamboo flutes sitting in the living room that Morgan plays and I mean to play.
23. Various scraps of paper and post-it notes cluttering my desk, full of web addresses, story ideas, scraps of poetry, news articles, reminders, books to check out, etc.
23. 23 great words
And if you read all the way to here, I am incredibly impressed!
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