Well, Howdy Ya’ll!

I love the South. I do, I do.

I lived 8 years in Virginia during a crucial age – 10-18, all the way from elementary school to graduation. I lived in North Virginia – on the bare fringes of the South, but there were still a ton of Southern families there. I fell in love with the landscape, the people, the community, the cooking. True, I did not like country music – what non-Southerner would? But, as my time there ended, I started to enjoy it – to love it. True, I still can only take a bare minimum of twangy country music, but I have converted.

Even before that, country was in my blood. True, it’s a little different then Southern, but some of it is the same. My dad was born and raised in a tiny farming community in Idaho. I, myself, am Idahoan. That’s all there is in the southeast corner of Idaho – Country!

All these movies with Southern accents – I love it. Every now and then, I happen to speak in a Southern accent. I lived there 8 years, listening to friends speak with a Southern accent. Then, here at college, I lived two years with Texan roommates. Of course, I was bound to randomly speak with a Southern Accent.

I love the culture of the South. The accents, the big houses, community, barbeques, family, dancing, all of it. I would love to move back there. How amazing would it be to marry a Southern man, proud of where he came from, proud of where he was returning to. Then, to live there all my life, raise my children there, be part of the community…sigh. A dream come true.

2011 New Year's Resolutions

This past year has been full of adventure – I ended the last school year poorly in the social realm, albeit great in the academic realm. I traveled to Great Britain during the summer. In the fall, I moved into a house and had all new roommates.

I did pretty well for 2010’s resolutions:
– For the most part of the year, I worked out, though, I faltered near the end of the year.
– I did dress for success – in the Winter semester, I had to for my Secondary Education class, but this Fall semester, I decided to keep the tradition.
– Winter semester, I gained a 3.89 GPA, Summer I got a 4.0, and this Fall, I got a 3.78.
– I was plenty sociable – the hardest part was this semester, without my previous roommates leading the way in social life. But, I was able to occasionally step out of my box.
– For the most part, I was able to keep my living area cleaned – in my house now, I don’t mind doing the dishes all the time, or scrubbing the bathroom if needs be.
– I still need to do better early to bed and early to rise.
– I have not spent time every week doing charity or service.

This year, I want to continue the foundation stones I laid in 2010.
– As always, I will keep a GPA higher than 3.7
– As always, I will work out 5 days a week and keep my ideal weight.
– I will do more chairty and service this year.
– I will BE the right person – the kind of friend I want, the kind of homemaker I should be, etc.
– I will continue stepping out of my box socially.
– I will study Welsh for at least 1 hour a week.

The Last to Offer

The pear tree in my front yard is bare. Spindly red branches stick straight up out of brown branches, looking like a tree from a Tim Burton film.

Throughout the semester, it had been a perfect circle of green leaves and pears. Even into the fall, a multicolored spectrum with green pears dominated my front yard.

Now, the leaves are all on the grass, or in the ditch, or flown away with the wind. All, but one pear, who dares to stay on the tree. It is the last fruit the tree has to offer before the winter.

It is also the last I have to offer. I have worked too far, too hard, too long. My leaves have all fallen off. The fruits have been picked one by one. You never bore any fruit over the summer, I’ve decided. There was nothing I could take – no delicious apricots, no juicy apples, no scrumptious oranges. It’s been a one way trail.

Sadly, after this pear has dropped, I will have to give up. Shed my leaves to prepare for a new season. Let’s see how long the last pear lasts on the tree.

Hide and Seek

Today, I had to take two of my siblings to a park to play. A park – in the middle of the desert? Green grass, trees, shade, playground and swing, full of kids having fun? In the desert? I went, and it was pathetic. Little less than an acre, a few trees, a set of swings and a slide with accompanying monkey-bars. Fun? No.

So, as I sat on the swings, watching my two siblings try and have fun, I remembered the wonderfully large and fun park near college. My roomies and I would go there barefooted and release our inner-child. No such luck here. I moved to the picnic table under the shade and opened my book. My eyes never focused on the pages.

My two siblings were doing tricks on the monkey-bars. I looked at the trees, most too limpy or too high to climb. Then, I saw one. With the first spot to climb at 6 feet, it would be tricky, especially with that rough texture of bark, especially in flip-flops. But, then again, as a child, I was an expert at climbing trees. I went over and grabbed on to the lowest branch, standing on my toes to reach it. I jumped, reached higher, and jumped again, climbing up as if I were on a coconut tree. Once I got settled, I relaxed. This was more like it. I love being in trees – up high, wind blowing, becoming one with nature.

My siblings came over to where I was sitting and couldn’t see me. I watched them with a smile as they tried to look around for me. I took off a flip-flop and through it toward them. They saw it land and looked over to the trees, expecting me to pop out from behind one. They still couldn’t see me. I through the other one, now balancing on the tree barefooted. It hit my sister, she went over to where it was thrown, still looking at the ground level. My brother, however, caught on and saw me. Finally, my sister saw me too.

I laughed. Unwittingly, I had started a game of hide-and-seek, long ago unfinished. As a 12 year old, I hid in a tree with fall leaves, while wearing a maroon and gold shirt (my jr. high colors) and was never found during hide and seek. Now, with a hint, I was finally found in a green tree, while wearing a green shirt. I started to have fun. My brother climbed up. I helped my sister up.

But, as I got down, I was terribly scratched and pierced by numerous splinters. Hide and seek was over.

Summer Break

I have always disliked summer break…swimming, pool parties, beaches, barbeque, sleepovers, lazy days, library adventures, they are all done within the first few weeks. After that, what else is there to do?

This past year I have had the roughest school year yet – not only with classes, which, while very exciting and interesting, where a challenge to keep up with, but also with also issues. Social issues with friends and roommates, mental issues, family issues, etc. I gave the whole year 150% effort – grades (succesful), working out (mostly succesful), and trying to fix a few broken friendships (not so succesful).

Summer. Brand new start for me. I love starting anew, it fills me with hope, courage, determination, and exciting for what’s to come. I have 10 more days, and I have not started over.

Studying Welsh has been inconsistant, I cracked open my novel’s notebook once or twice, working out has given way to sleeping in. A few things have worked out – scripture reading has improved, and I have started to mend the broken bridges, and of course, I have been working almost every day for Wales and next semester of school.

But really what this summer has been for me is a break. A break from everything. A break from trying. A break from stress. A break from expectations. Although I may not like it on a day to day basis, thinking I should be doing or working on things I’ve lazily decided not to, I’ve come to realize it’s ok.

It’s ok. Break time. Enjoy the summer. Relax. Be lazy. Have fun. Don’t stress.

But then again, I only have to keep myself from tearing my hair out for another week and a half until my life stops being on pause.