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.

I’m scared

Lately I have been having a hard time accepting things. Namely the fact that once a moment is over, I can never get it back. All I can do is remember. That’s what really hits me hard.

I don’t cherish school days. Those are going to constantly be churning for the next eight months. I have plenty of those moments left. No, it’s the little things and moments that happen in my life that I’m scared to lose after they happen. After Homecoming, I told myself to cherish the feeling of the hot water bubbling around me and the pleasant conversation exchanging between the three (and at one point, four) of us. I told myself to live it because it would soon be gone. Now, all I can do is remember. And, it bugs me.

What also gets me is that I will have an amazing time with a certain group of people, but the sad fact is that the odds of being in the company of these same certain people are very slim. Especially once this year is over and some of them head off to college to begin the second part of their lives.

I’m scared that I’ll wake up and look in the mirror to find my 25-year-old self staring back and not know where the hell the time went. I’m scared about the future. I know that I want to get married and have a kid or two, but what is frightening is that I can’t see beyond that daydream. I can’t picture what my kids will look like or who my husband will be. I know it’s going to happen eventually, but that’s all I know. And, that scares me.

I’m scared that I’ll wake up and greet the morning of my very last day on Earth without even knowing it.

What every girl wants

My room situated in one of the four corners of the second floor (third if you count the basement as a floor); right in the front. I have two windows: one on the side of the house and one on the front. The side window looks out onto the roof of our first-story garage right next door. The front window looks out to our walkway up to the porch and the driveway that leads up to that garage I just mentioned.

On Friday I decided that I would not be attending our optional Saturday practice the next day. I made up my mind to sleep-in that day instead.

Like clockwork, Saturday morning I woke up at 8:00 without the help of an alarm (which I had promptly turned off the night before). I was pissed. I rolled over and fell asleep again.

I woke up the next time to “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!” and heard the sound of quick footsteps on the pavement in my driveway just below me. It took me a second to clear away the dreamy haze around my thoughts to decipher the meaning behind the shout and the footfalls. When I realized what was happening, I jumped right out of bed and ran downstairs. My dad beat me to the door, and just beyond it stood a group of boys covered in rainwater and showing it off on their naked upper bodies.

“Where’s Emily?!?” they called.

“She’s sleeping,” my dad replied.

“Umm…no I’m not!” I said and then stepped outside to confront my visitors.

The whole cross country team was beaming at me as I stood there in my sleeping shorts, old stained Super 8 shirt, and extreme bedhead (but, what did I care?). Kevin (the one who yelled the thing about Rapunzel) lifted me up to wake me up and left me soaked from the water on his body. They had run all the way from the school up to my road and figured they might as well drop in and say hi to me. Before they all ran off, I grabbed my boyfriend and kissed him.

I woke up to a group of shirtless boys standing on my front porch looking for me. That’s probably what every girl wants to wake up to in the morning. It sure did brighten my day considerably.

I have now been to a beach

For the past few years, I have been complaining about how I have never been to the beach. Friends have promised to take me, but, alas, their promises were not kept. I remained a beach virgin. Until today.

We had a cross-country meet today at a State Park near the lake. I swore that I would go swimming in the Lake after my race, and I did. We finished the girls Varsity race (third place for me…we went against an awesome team) and my two friends and I headed down to the lake. We did not end up swimming. We touched the water, took a few pictures, then fled to watch the “men” in their race. (THEY WON!)

After their race, my brother wanted to go swimming. My friend Ashley and I were all for it, and we began walking back towards the lake with the new guy. Soon we were joined by half of the boy’s team, and we ran to the beach. I took off my warm-up pants (my best friend’s PJs, hehe – I borrowed them from him and never gave them back), and ran to the shore. Yeah, it was cold, and today wasn’t the hottest September day we’ve had. I looked behind me and saw half of the boy’s team running towards me in just their spandex. Haha, hello!

We all ran into the water, and jumped over the waves as they came. New guy even joined in and wore his boxers (he didn’t run today – not enough practices). Soon, Ashley and I realized that our shorts were see-through, so we waded deeper and deeper into the water in an attempt to hide ourselves.

It was the most fun I have ever had at a cross-country meet (and I have been to quite a few in my lifetime). Cute guys in spandex in freezing water with waves that reached my shoulders…yeah, FUN! I will probably be sick tomorrow, and if I am, I will just remember how much laughter our little adventure brought me. Today was a day I will not soon forget.

Visiting the bro

For the past two summers, my eldest brother has been writing for The Chautauquan Daily newspaper that is distributed by little paper boys all across The Chautauqua Institution. Other than the snobby, old rich people, I actually would not mind living there.

Last summer we visited him at his job and went on a walk all around one side of the Institution. The sky started dropping raindrops (of course), but we kept going, letting our two dogs pull us along by their leashes. Despite the horrible weather, I found every aspect of the Institution absolutely gorgeous.

This year we visited again, walking along on the red brick and gazing in awe at some of the beautiful old homes. Again, it started raining while we were there. At first I braved the rain, letting the hood of my hoodie soak up the wetness, but then it became too much for me to handle. My dad gave me the umbrella he had been holding for me, and I put it up, instantly relieved by the dryness. Everywhere we looked, there were pretty houses and beautiful mansions. We passed a few houses that were erected this past winter of ’08; houses that didn’t even exist when we visited last year.

The snobby people that live there ignored us, so we ignored them. We walked and walked and walked, looking left and right at the architecture. We passed the Opera house and visited the Rain Garden outside of the theater building. We visited the Amphitheater again and listened to the Chautauqua Choir for a little while. I still find the Amphitheater amazing.

If I lived in the Institution, I would want to own a small cottage near the lake, overlooking the water. I would walk and ride my bike everywhere, and would go to the Amphitheater daily. Maybe I would try going to the Opera, but I would probably end up covering my ears and running out.

Our visits there have been pleasant – despite the heavy rainfall. Hopefully some Sunday we will go there WITHOUT rain following behind us.

Oxymorons

Today I decided to lay out in the sun for awhile. Not because I wanted to get super tan (I really do not see the point in changing the color of one’s skin, and I will never pay to go tanning), but because the sun was so appealing. I changed into my bathing suit, and approached the diving board, preparing to jump in just so the sun could have something to make evaporate.

I splashed into the cool, turquoise pool, and surfaced gasping for breath. It is not a good idea to swim with gum in your mouth, let me tell you. My feet touched the solid bottom of the shallow end, and I slowly walked over to the stairs. It is funny how you don’t feel just how cold the wind is until you are totally wet. I felt like someone was up in the sky purposely blowing cold air on me, attempting to dry me off. I lay down on the lounge, and closed my eyes, enjoying the gentle warmth of the sun. The wind continued to blow, but the sun continued to shine.

After my mother got off the phone (she was outside talking on it for almost three hours), she went inside, and then all was quiet except for the raging wind. I got up to lean the back of the lounge back further so I could lay down on my stomach, exposing my back to the relentless sun. While I was lying there, I was thinking about how it rained yesterday morning. At first it did not strike me – but then it did. A rainy Sunday. Why, that is an oxymoron!!! Now, every Sunday that it rains, I shall be thinking about that and smiling. I never really thought of it before.

I like that oxymoron, but my favorite will forever be: smart man.