When I saw this blog post in the challenge, I didn't have to think about what I was going to write. Unfortunately, my earliest memory is also one of my scariest.
I couldn't have been more than three when a tornado came through Charleston. I remember standing in front of the screen door. My mom was behind me. My sisters had just gotten off the bus from school, and all of a sudden, Mom flung open the door and yelled at them to run. They came hustling up the driveway. I remember looking up and seeing this huge black cloud (what I thought was a cloud at the time), and I couldn't stop looking at it. It looked like it was going to swallow our house. I started crying, and we were all shuffled into the kitchen to stand in the doorway, which was what we thought we were supposed to do at the time.
The tornado passed over us, but for the longest time, I had an overwhelming fear of tornadoes. Whenever a tornado watch would be issued, my stomach would clench, and if there was a tornado warning, I was a basket case. When I was twelve, a tornado did hit our house, and that only added fuel to my fire. Now, years and years later, I've managed to overcome the fear, but I have never forgotten that first memory.
Today's blog challenge was for me to write a letter to anyone, and I chose Americans because this has been heavy on my heart for the past several weeks. I originally posted this on my personal Facebook page.
With politics heating up in the race to the White House, the negative ads are in high volume as is the mud-slinging which brings me to the point of this letter. I simply don't understand why all of the name-calling is necessary. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, there is such a thing as common decency. We're never all going to agree on what changes this country needs, but making fun of the candidates, calling them names, and/or wishing ill will toward any of them is beneath all of us as human beings.
I have plenty of friends whose politics I don't agree with, but we manage to still be friends because we respect each other. Our views are just that. Our views. Just because your views differ from someone else's doesn't make that person stupid or incompetent.
We are ALL entitled to our opinion, regardless of whether or not you agree with it. And my opinion differing from yours doesn't make mine any less valid. I wish we could all just accept that so that we don't spend the next several months in a contest to see who can be the nastiest about the candidates. Disagree with their policies, their opinions, but attacking them on a personal level accomplishes nothing.
We are not schoolyard bullies, and we can use language to describe our views without tearing someone down in the process. These candidates have families and loved ones just as we do. Whatever they believe, they are human beings.
So today's challenge is to write something about a photo I took myself. I take so many photos! It was interesting looking through my galleries to find one that jumped out at me and said "write about me". Ultimately, I chose this one, which is the Royal Palace in Madrid.
I had the amazing opportunity to go to Spain in 2012, and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The Royal Place really is as opulent on the inside as it was on the outside, but we weren't allowed to take pictures inside.
As I walked through the hallways with my friend, I imagined the kings and queens who'd lived there before. There was so much to see that it was difficult to tear myself away from each room. From the gowns to the china and busts, it was the ultimate look at Spain's history. And I can't wait to pay it another visit!
Today's post is a little more difficult because I already have a long list of facts about me posted right here! How much more can I tell you? I guess that's why it's called a challenge so I'm going to try not to duplicate. If I do, it's an honest mistake!
Though the challenge is something I miss, I'm changing that to a someone instead.
Her name is Theresa, and we were the best of friends in college. She was a year ahead of me, and when she graduated, she took a staff position there. As I finished college, we drifted away. I don't even remember saying goodbye to her. I do remember looking for her several times after college. That was long before the Internet so the search was even more difficult.
Lately, I've started looking for her again to no avail. I regret not keeping in touch with her. She kept me sane my junior year of college, but what I remember most about her is her laugh. She loved life so much that it was impossible to be down around her. I wish I could find her.
So I'll end today's blog with this: if someone is close to your heart, keep them there. Your life won't be the same without them.
What is your response when you get asked this question? If you haven't been asked the question, think about it for a moment. My answer is always the same. Tomorrow.
I'm always excited about tomorrow because it's a fresh day where no mistakes have yet been made, and you can correct the ones you made yesterday. While I am excited about today as well, tomorrow just gives me the promise of more.
I wake up with a clean slate, with a list of things I want to get accomplished, and gratitude that I've risen to see another day. Life is precious, and I never want to take that for granted!
I could cheat and just name my friends, but since I'm aware that would be cheating, I'll do this right. I am abundantly blessed so these five things are only the tip of the iceberg for me!
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!