Me… When the smiling sun comes up to embrace a new day… I am excited. When the chilly wind blows its hardest, messing my hair…
Bad Girl House
Years ago, I found something strange in a book that belonged to my mom. It sent me searching for answers that I still don’t feel I’ve conclusively found. When I was in the eighth grade I needed to find a book to read for my Language Arts class, so I could ultimately write the dreaded book report. My mom had been both a math and English major when she attended college to become a teacher. That meant that there was no shortage of books at our house. There were boxes and boxes of books in our basement to go through. There was just about anything you could want. I eventually found one that sounded good to me.
I was… a child. a lonely child. a neglected child. an emotionally neglected child. a creative child. alone with my record player.
Bad Girl House
During our first summer together, John and I went on a few small trips with his family. The first trip was to Mohican State Park. We were going to spend the day canoeing. The weather had certainly cooperated with our plans. The sun was out for the entire day, making the river shine and the overgrowth along the banks glow. I was in a canoe with John and his son. Jonathan sat in the center of the boat since he still didn’t have the strength to steer the narrow boat. John’s brother Tom, his sister Nina, and her boyfriend Joe shared another canoe. Nana and Papa were paddling along somewhere behind us. It was a typical canoe trip of trying to keep up with each other, avoiding the banks of the river, and attempting to tip each other over. John, who always seemed to be in a hurry, even on a day that was supposed to be relaxing, kept us moving down the river at a pretty good pace. We were so far ahead of everyone else, that we sat and watched for them to when we reach the end of the course. When everyone had finally arrived, and canoes were put away, we all stood along the shore for awhile before leaving. Catching me by surprise, Papa grabbed my shoulders from behind and pretended that he was going to toss me in the river. He was joking around since my canoe hadn’t gotten turned over at all that day. Everyone was laughing playfully as he let go right at the river’s edge. It made me feel good to be included like that. Unfortunately, that was the first and only time he would ever acted like that around me.
Grandpa's Like To...
Grandpa’s like to… Take you for walks in the park to feed the birds. Take you fishing. Even when you hang your feel over the side of the boat and you scare the fish away.
Bad Girl House
A choir rehearsal never went by without a guy named Dan shamelessly attempting to get the attention of every girl in the room. He acted just the little boys on the play ground pulling the pigtails of the girls he liked before running away. I suppose that he had never outgrown that childish manner of flirting. I wouldn’t have described what he was doing as charming, but he deserved an A for effort. Most of the other girls avoided him, or at least ignored him the best that they could. Some of them already knew what he was like, because he was also in the marching band with them. The band had started practicing over the summer because of the football season, so they had a slight advantage on the singers that hadn’t met him yet. I was one of the girls that he hadn’t seen, so he must have seen it as an opportunity to see how I would react. He would often tap me on the shoulder, and wave at me with a goofy grin on his face when I turned around. On a day that he was being particularly annoying, he wouldn’t stop tapping me on the shoulder during a rehearsal. We were standing on risers, practicing for an upcoming concert, so there already wasn’t a lot of personal space to speak of. Dan had been placed behind me. Every time the director stopped the choir, I felt his finger tapping at me. The first few times I turned around to see him looking around at the ceiling. I just smiled. After a few more taps, I had to start ignoring him. I was taking our rehearsal seriously, and I had had enough. His tapping got a little bit harder, but I still didn’t turn around. He must have gotten the message, because he gave up for the day.
Bad Girl House
In February of 2002, I suspected that I was pregnant with my second child. My system was normally right on time, and I wasn’t on birth control. I just had a gut feeling, and after a home pregnancy test, I had a definite answer. I had a sudden feeling of excitement that Jessica was going to have a younger brother or sister. It wasn’t long before I made my first trip to the local obstetrician. John made sure that he and Jessica came back from Ohio so they could go with me to the doctor’s office on a Saturday afternoon. Like many of the newer buildings in the area, this one was meant to look like a modern barn. It didn’t look like a doctor’s office, but more like a hardware store. The parking lot was completely full, as was the waiting room. It was a narrow room that spanned the front of the building. There was a row of chairs along both long walls that only left about three feet down the center. We were able to sit down once someone else’s name was called. It never took much time for John to become extremely impatient. He always had somewhere else to be, or something better he could be doing. Our wait was becoming so long that he even threatened to leave. That never made sense to me, because we would just be doing the same thing next time, which added up to more time spent waiting.
Bad Girl House
In the fall of 1995, I was going to go to college at the University of Akron. I had been accepted into the University, but I still needed to be accepted into the School of Music where I would be studying to become a music teacher. It was already mid-summer, and I hadn’t registered for my classes yet because, I was waiting to see what I should actually sign up for. Perspective music students had to audition to be accepted into the School of Music. I was hoping that my voice at least had the potential to be accepted. Even though I had been playing the piano for most of my life, I knew that I wasn’t good enough to compete at the college level. Since I wanted to teach choirs, I was auditioning to be a voice major. I was required to present two songs to the School of Music’s voice faculty. More often than not, I was the accompanist instead of the singer, and I definitely was not a confident soloist. Luckily, I did have one song that I felt comfortable with. I had sang it at a high school event where students receive ratings on their performances from local music teachers. I had gotten the highest possible rating, and it was the only classical solo piece I had ever learned.