Sunday, July 13, 2008

40 Somethings #'s 10, 11, 12 & 13

Looks like I left you high and dry there for a bit, eh? Sorry 'bout that. It's been a wild ride the past few days. Nothing big, just life. You all know how that goes, right?

But I think I still have a lot of 40 Somethings to share, don't I? Glad ya'll got a kick out of the frog story. Believe it or not, I have another one but it's icky in a different sort of way.

So, let's see, where was I?

My oldest brother, Rick, and his wife Judith, did two things when I was about 9 or so that changed my life:

They gave me the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander and they gave me a journal.

This book series opened my eyes to a whole new world and I never looked back. I loved Taran, the pig herder and all of his adventures. I became a true fantasy lover, right then and there.

The journal was difficult at first. What should I write? What should I say? But soon I filled it from cover to cover with poetry and thoughts. Who knew I'd be laying the foundation for a future in writing.

I went on to fill a huge binder with my poetry and doodles. Some of it's not too bad, lol! If you're really nice maybe I'll post one of my old poems just for amusement.

From the Prydain Chronicles I moved on to the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McAffrey.

Since my dad left, Mom had been so busy that I don't remember her having much time for me or much interest in, well, my interests. However, she was a book lover too and when I found out that Anne McAffrey was coming to Toronto and would be doing a book signing, she actually agreed to take me. I was astounded. So wonderful! I'd get to meet Anne McAffrey!

We drove downtown, and went to the huge bookstore there. We stood in line forever to meet Ms. McAffrey.

I had brought two of my books with me, Dragondrums and Dragonsinger, for her to sign. She signed them both and when I told her I wanted to be a writer like her, she looked at me and smiled. Her hair was pure white but her skin seemed young, it was an odd mixture, but she was entirely likeable.

She said, "Never give up on your dreams, no matter what anyone tells you. Just never, ever, give up."

And I never, ever will!

Just before my thirteenth birthday, my mom moved us to London, Ontario. Until then, we'd had one or two brothers living with us all the time, now it was just the two of us. We moved into a small townhouse in a nice development.

She bought me a puppy just before we moved, I named her Yenta because she was always talking, little wimpers all the way to yelps. (I was a big fan of Fiddler on the Roof) Yenta was part German Shepard and part Australian Sheepdog. She was one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen.

We moved, as I said, in early July, but there were no kids my age around, or at least not that I could see. I spent all my summer days with Yenta. We roamed the fields behind our townhouse, went for long walks and I trained and trained her. I was alone, but not lonely - I loved Yenta with all my heart.

Except Yenta lived up to her name and talked too much for our neighbors to bear. We had to give her away and it broke my heart. Mom worked hard to find a good place for her, and I know she did. But luck was not with Yenta, because just a few short months after moving to her new place she was hit by a car and died.

I cried more upon learning she had died than I did when I had to send her away. It was more heartbreaking to me to know she was just gone, than it was to think she was only gone from my life. She was such a beautiful girl, such a good, sweet girl. I still miss her.

So I can't leave you on that sad note, can I?

When I started school, grade eight, I created quite a stir. I hadn't met anyone yet, even though I'd been there for two months already, so and I was the only new girl the school got that year. Very exciting!

Right away I met Laurie, who took me under her wing and made me her new BFF (though we didn't have BFF's back then, at least not in the acronym sort of way!)

I got voted Prettiest Girl in School that year. Can you believe it? Shocked me!

I think I got voted that because of the jeans I wore. Oh yes, I had quite the look going:

Hair just past the shoulders, parted in the middle, bangs frayed a la Charlie's Angels. Blue eyeshadow, of course. Pin stripe blouse with the little rounded white collar with ribbon tie at the neck (anyone remember those?) And the the pies de resistance, the white Jordache jeans with requisit blue comb in the back pocket. One boy told me my jeans were so tight he could read the date of the quarter in my back pocket. Ha! He must've been lookin' at my bottom awfully close, then, eh? And then to top it all off, or bottom it all off, I had blue Nike runners (remember the ones with the big white swoosh?) with the tongues sticking out.

Ahh yeah, I was stylin. I mean, of course I won prettiest girl - I was undeniably hot.