Pop can in the shower

My bathroom is a calm brown with blue accents (towels, baskets, candle holders, etc.). Technically, I share it with my three older brothers, but since one of them doesn’t even live here anymore and the other two are usually off at college, I call it my own. I keep it clean and orderly…sometimes. There may be coffee rings on the white counter and hair ties everywhere, but at least it’s clean filth. It’s not yucky boy filth.

Ever since we received a rain shower head from Mom and Dad for Christmas, showers have been delightful. Instead of a spazzy spritz of water, a nice, warm downpour erupts from every pore of the the shower head and easily washes away every bit of dirt from the body. Showers are preferable for me. I like a nice bath every now and then, but I get bored with nothing to do.

So tonight, like any other night, I took a shower once night fell. I got the water running while I used the toilet, then stripped down (don’t worry – this isn’t going to get X-Rated) and climbed into the shower and was welcomed by a spray of water at perfect shower temperature. I started by wetting my hair completely and then applying a dollop of my shampoo. While I was rinsing it out, I happened to glance up to my left at the ledge where I usually see a yellow and green sponge. Next to the sponge, I saw a pop can. Instantly I knew which brother was the culprit.

My first thought was: I wonder if there’s anymore pop left? (I checked and it was empty.)

My second thought was: Ugh, I HATE it when the boys come home and trash the bathroom!

My third thought was: Now I’m going to have to add that can to the recyclables as if it’s my mess!

My fourth thought was: Wow, I’m actually kind of thirsty. It would be nice to have a grape pop right now.

My fifth thought was: Oh my gosh, what a genius idea!
I went from being totally disgusted to being totally amazed. If I had been Adam (whom I am sure was the culprit), I would have set my unfinished pop on the counter in the bathroom and then commenced my shower. But Adam – being Adam – couldn’t have that. He took his unfinished pop into the shower with him and simply set it on the top ledge, away from any excess water. Imagine how refreshing it must have been to take a swig of a nice cold cola (though I do not like cola) during a hot shower. Adam constantly catches me off guard with these really simple ideas that I would never even think to do.

Maybe next time I’ll take my unfinished can of pop in with me so I can enjoy it in the shower.

For everything there is a season

It was like greeting an old friend as soon as my feet found the pavement. The snow had melted just enough and the air seemed balmy in all its glory of forty degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve always found it amazing just how different forty degrees can be, depending on the perspective you’re taking. When the seasons change from summer to fall, 40 degrees seems like the coldest temperature on earth. But, when the winter chill backs off a bit and lets in some of that 40-degree air, it’s as if spring has come early. It’s the same temperature and yet, it’s different.

I had considered making up a quick playlist of songs I could listen to while I ran, but I opted to leave my iPods at home, instead. The birds sang as I left the cul-de-sac I have lived on my whole life and let my legs carry me out to the main road and down the hill. I was surprised at how good I felt and let that carry me through the pain as muscles were put back into use after remaining dormant for nearly two months. The pain gave me something to think about and something to distract me from the mountain of homework I had to do and the hardships I had been dealing with on a regular basis.

When I was running, I didn’t have to feel anything but the pain from the exertion I was putting my body through. When I thought about it hard enough, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, but if I just let my mind wander and let my legs do my thinking for me, nothing really mattered. I ran by a business that owes my dad money and considered trashing it. But, I didn’t. I kept running and made my way toward the hill that stood menacingly in the not-so-distant distance.

My energy deteriorated once I reached the top, but I kept on running. I reached my halfway mark and kept going. I thought about how natural it is for me to run and how effortless it can be once I am in good shape to do it. I thought about the summer and how the three of us took part of this same route in an effort to be in shape for cross-country season. I thought about how fast the time goes and how it doesn’t make sense to try and cherish every moment. If you’re too busy cherishing, you’re not living. You’re just trying to keep it in your memory forever. A memory should be something you remember effortlessly, not something you save onto the desktop in your brain so you can click on it and wait for it to load.

I decided against taking a shortcut and instead went the whole way around and back to my street. I took a left, ran down to the green Pennysaver box and then took a right, thinking in my head about that last 200m that I face with every race I run on the track. I ran halfway up my slushy driveway and then bent over to catch my breath. I always do this, and then I bend my knees carefully before reaching my full height (5’2″ if you were wondering) and then walking around a little bit, my hands over my head.

I entered through the side garage door, made my way through the traffic blocking my way to the house door (sleds, snowshoes, etc) and shed my running sneakers (New Balance this year – a brand I never really gave a chance until over the summer), grabbed my already-full glass of water off of our butcher block-esque island and downed it in a second.

My ears stung from the cold and my breathing was wheezy with each inhale and exhale I made.

“How’d you feel?” my dad asked.

“All right,” I replied. “I started out too fast and was dead by the end, but it felt good to run. I’m gonna go lay down now.”

I entered the family room and plopped onto our brand-new couch to catch my wheezy breaths. After thirty minutes passed without my daddy turning on the TV, I went upstairs and grabbed The Lovely Bones and continued reading from where I had left off right before daddy had picked me up at the school just barely an hour previously. We sat there, father and daughter, reading our books of choice: his a Yankee book that someone had gotten him and mine a novel that had been made into yet another movie based off of a book. He wore one of his many pairs of $0.99 reading glasses and I wore the sweat and dirt of a girl who had almost made it through one of the toughest weeks of her sixteen years of living, and was coming out on the other side unscathed and perfectly fine.

At 4 o’clock, I tossed my book down and ran the shower upstairs in the bathroom that all of my brothers had vacated and bestowed unto me (we painted it a light brown and pretty light blue and got rid of the old Mickey Mouse theme that had previously reigned).

Before shedding my clothing, I focused on the length of my hair in the mirror. Back in ninth grade, it was a shock of bright-red curls. Now, it’s back to its normal color (brown/blond/red depending on the season and amount of sun received), though the curls have been kept (I have not dyed my hair since November 2008). I’ve decided that I want it to be long for when I take my senior pictures. I thought to myself Oh yeah, it will be long enough by the summer after this one!

And then it hit me.

I will be taking my senior pictures this summer. It’s crazy just how much time flies and how one change in your thoughts can create a chain-reaction of changes throughout your entire mind. At the moment, I am halfway through my junior year of high school. In June, I will sing in the Chamber Choir and watch some of my best friends ever don those white and blue robes and graduate from our little sliver of the universe and move on to bigger (and better) things. This hit me hard because I realized that I haven’t exactly enjoyed my high school experience that much. In recent months, Misery had taken over my entire being and forced me to look at everything pessimistically. But now, happy little Emily is back, and she plans on staying happy and little until she is forced to grow up in a year and a half.

The only birdie left

I guess I never thought that this part of my life would actually come. I spent so much time looking forward to it yet dreading it at the same time that I didn’t even notice when it actually arrived.

We recently dropped my littlest big brother off at the college where he will spend the next four years of his life. I’m the only bird left in the nest.

I feel sort of abandoned. Alone, scared, confused. I get irritated with my parents very easily now because all of their attention is on me. It’s certainly not a bad thing, but at times it’s not the best thing either. When you go up the stairs in my house, you are faced with a long hallway. Take a right and you’ve got my parents’ and my room along with my daddy’s office. This section is still thriving and full of life. Take a left instead, and you are faced with three empty bedrooms and a bathroom. This is the dead end of the upstairs hallway.

That bathroom is the only good thing that has come out of all this. We recently painted the walls a beautiful brown and got light blue and brown polka-dotted towels. The rest of the bathroom is accented by that beautiful light blue color. It is now all mine. After years of sharing with my brothers, then my parents, then my brothers again, I finally have a bathroom all to myself. The day we moved Adam out, we arrived home and I immediately got crackin’ on that bathroom. I had to clean and scour and scrub all of the yucky boy germs out of it. The vanity now gleams, the cabinet immediately to the right when you walk in is stocked with an extra hand towel, washcloth, toilet paper, and paper towels. On the top shelves are candles, cool-colored lanterns from my room, and an awesome blue twisty light thing that I stole from my brother Jordan’s room (shhhh!). Gone are my brothers’ little bath pouf things, instead where they were hanging I have two of mine taking up space. Gone are their empty shampoo bottles. Instead, only mind are present.

I’m sad that all of my boys are gone. Jordan’s coming back soon, but he’ll leave again, I know. In the meantime, I’m going to cherish not having to put the toilet seat down everytime I need to use the toilet.

Playing mom

The dishwasher has been unloaded and loaded, cans have been distributed to the recycling bin in the garage and the last piece of cheese pizza left over from last night has been eaten to provide me with the necessary fuel to carry on. Upstairs, the hallway is a complete disaster. Every piece of clothing from the bathroom, Trevor’s room and my room have been sorted into the correct piles based on color. There’s a dark pile, white pile, bright pile, beach towel pile, and a jean pile at my end of the hallway. One pile has been moved to the washing machine down here in the bathroom which is now churning away and getting those towels clean (for the second time this week). My only fear is that I will run out of detergent.

This is me playing the stay-at-home mom. Everyone’s working, and though I do have a job it doesn’t require me to sit in a bleak office all day. I am free to do as I please.

After all of the clothes in that filthy hallway have been washed I am totally free. Then I can clean my room (which is in the messiest state it has EVER been in) and clean up the tangled mess the kittens have made out of my yarn. Yep, free as a bird.

SQUEE!!!

I am no longer mourning the loss of my lovely Pumpkin. He has passed on, I have moved on (shedding tears, yes) and tried to keep living life (which really wasn’t all the hard, I am sorry to report).

Every Christmas Eve we have our Family Christmas. We wake up, open the presents that we bought for one another (I had Jordan’s name this year – yes, we pick names), and then laze around utilizing whatever it is that we received. Well, this year it was all mixed up. I woke at thirty minutes after eleven, quickly added fringe to both Jordan’s and my daddy’s scarves, and then went downstairs. Everyone was up except for Adam. I decided to take a shower while I waited for his awakening.

After I got out of the shower, my parents were almost out the door by the time I made it into the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee. “Gotta go run to Wal-Mart!” they said. I didn’t think anything of it.

I settled down with my coffee (don’t worry, I always put more creamer into it than actual coffee – maybe I shouldn’t even be drinking it!) in the Family Room and readied myself for the endless marathon of Man Vs Wild that was stretching out before me into infinity. My parents took off, and I sat around watching Bear and letting him teach me survival techniques. Except for the time we switched the channel to TLC (and watched that crazy family with almost eighteen kids!) because we had seen the Man Vs Wild episode that was showing, our TV stayed on Discovery Channel until my parents got home.

They pulled in, we muted the TV and went into the other room to open presents. My dad was first (him being the oldest), and so I went and got my finished scarf for him and let him open it. After that, my mom told me to wait for Trevor, and I noticed something moving in a crate near the tree. I instantly teared up and was yelling at Trevor to get in the room QUICK. As soon as he got in, I rushed over to the crate (the one with the big red bow on it that I failed to notice when I grabbed the present for my dad – I don’t even know how that happened) and opened the little grey door. Out came this tiny little grey, tan, and white kitten. I burst into tears and couldn’t stop gushing over this cute little thing. “Hey, Em! You better get the toy out for her that’s in the crate too” came Jordan’s suggestion. I kneeled down and looked in the crate, ready to reach out and grab said toy. Instead, there was a pair of tiny little eyes staring back at me. “OH MY GOD!!! TWO?!?!?!?!” Yeah, I started crying – I was so happy that I got the one – well, two – things that I wanted.

Welcome to our family little Ruby and Eloise. Already we have started calling Ruby “Rube” and “Rubes,” and Eloise has now been dubbed “Elle,” “Ellie,” “Weeze,” and “Weezie.” I have taken many a photo of them with my camera, and have spent a lot of today watching them play in the bathroom (where they are staying for now). It’s going to be fun to watch them grow up!!!