For those of you who read by blog titled “Word!” (for those of you who didn’t….for shame! haha..no. It was all these random cool facts I found out about words) I have a funny story that involved a word…a ridiculously long word from that blog. Image

I was chatting with my Mom on the phone, telling her about my fairly recent start at blogging and how helpful it is reading other people’s blogs for novel writing and life inspiration and laughs.

I am the type of person that LOVES finding out random facts and stories and I MUST TELL them to people!

So in our conversation I am suddenly burst out, full of excitement, “Mom! Oh my gosh you have to guess how long the longest word in the dictionary is!” (Yes….nerdy History major/English minor alert!) My Mom gives a few low-ball guesses before I just blurt out, “Forty-five letters long!” I proceed to attempt to tell her from memory the word is:  pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis- a disease in the lungs caused by inhaling very fine irritant particles. Of course I butcher the pronunciation, the word I told her sounded more like, “Pneumo…bla..bla…bla…bla…osis.” After a few futile attempts to pronounce the word I add in, “Just trust me mom…it is a CRAZY word.” My Mom is taking nursing classes so she is very into medical terminology and is intrigued by the word. She says, “Send me a text of what the word looks like…I want to see it!”

A few days later I write the word on a slip of scrap paper from work so I can copy it via text and send it to Mom.  It doesn’t quite fit in one line on the piece of paper so I split the word. It looked like this on the note:

pneumonoultramicroscopicsi

icovolcanoconiosis

I also got my paycheck that day. Since my purse is a scary black hole that eats paper I decide the best thing to do is put my scrap piece of paper with the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolanoconiosis beside my paycheck in the envelope that came with the check…won’t be losing THAT in my purse (we hope). I’m brilliant I know. The work day is a full one and on the way back I don’t make it to the bank on time. No biggie. I slip the Imageenvelope with my paycheck into the night drop and drive off grateful my account is soon to be replenished.

Yesterday I got a little letter in the mail from the bank. It has my deposit receipt and… a note attached to a scrap piece of paper with a very long…yet cryptic-looking word on the said piece of paper. The note read, “We found this along with your deposit….we thought you may need it.”

I laughed.

I couldn’t believe they actually sent me my scrap piece of paper for starters. Secondly I got to thinking what they must have thought about the word. They were probably like, “Ummm….what the??” Not everyday you open a deposit envelope and find a check and a mysterious piece of paper with a jumble of 45 letters on it. I can’t help but wonder if they thought it was some kind of password…a crazy…unbreakable password….or that I was some crazy person. Haha!

Have you ever accidentally “deposited” something that wasn’t supposed to be deposited?

 

Here is a good quote I found…doesn’t have anything really to do with my

crazy long word I accidentally gave to the bank

but always a good reminder!

Image

 

 

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The young boy, Han Velsing, stood frozen in fear. The snow covered world around him suddenly filled with an unholy presence. He felt his eyes burn from the evil that permeated the air. He knew what was coming. He heard the thrust of powerful wings bat the air and then the crunch of snow when it landed. Sweat began to trickle down Han’s forehead even though it was bitterly cold. His predator stood towering in front of him. The Vampire’s skin was white as a porcelain picture. His cheeks were sucked in and hollow. He smiled wickedly, showing off his sharp teeth. Han dashed away knowing it was pointless. In seconds the vampire thrust Han brutally into the snow. Han’s trembling fingers gripped the item in his pocket. It was something his Mother always told him to carry with him for good luck. As the Vampire’s fangs lunged towards him, Han screamed and shoved the pungent “good luck” charm in the beast’s face. The Vampire screamed like a mountain lion and his body began to convulse violently. He thrashed and jerked and then was still. Han had killed the monster. Amazed, Han stared at the object that saved his life….a clove of garlic.


 

Garlic…the ancient herb

This bulb which is  bursting with flavor, is probably one of the most usedGArlic spices around the world…or at least in my kitchen. I am a garlic fanatic!It is one of those staple ingredients that is a MUST in every kitchen and for every cook. Just take one whiff of a garlic bulb and you will know that it is a strong cooking ingredient when used raw, however when you cook it the garlic sweetens.

  Garlic has been used by people all over the world for ages. Not just centuries; we’re talking THOUSANDS of years.  The exact time garlic was cultivated isn’t certain, but it was grown in Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C. Culturally, garlic has been a prized spice.

In Egypt,  “Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids 583px-037_1941_-_Great_Pyramid_at_Giza_Egypt_by_Tom_Beazley_03and were placed in Tutankhamen tomb.” -from Spice Islands Website.

In the works of Hippocrates, Pliny the Elder, the Bible, Homer and several other famous historic documents have noted garlic in their writings used as medication.

Garlic was given to the ancient Greek athletes when they were competing in the Olympics.

Garlic was believed by many cultures to increase strength and endurance.

In many countries, garlic was a staple food for soldiers.

Henry IV of France was baptized in water with cloves of garlic.

Garlic was hung on door posts and around necks to ward off evil spirits. In Europe it was believed it would ward off werewolves , demons and evil spirits, The Plague, and rabid animals (probably how the werewolf legend was born).

According to a Korean legend garlic was considered to be sacred food.

China is the largest producer of garlic…23 billion pounds are grown annually. WOW!

Garlic is full of vitamin C and research shows it is a cholesterol fighter, cancer fighter, fights infections and has anti-aging properties.

It has been referred to as “The Stinking Rose”.

Different cultures all over the world seemed to believe that garlic was good for pulmonary disorders and respiratory disorders as well as being beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

The only thing I don’t quite enjoy about garlic is the way it makes your hands and breathe REEK. There have been times when I have chopped garlic and scrubbed my hands 10 times and still the smell remains. And when it’s in my mouth? No toothpaste, no mouthwash, no liquid can seem to rid that horrid smell. During my garlic research I found that parsley is something that will kill garlic breath. I haven’t tried it but I will! One thing I have tried is swishing my mouth out with organic, unrefined coconut oil; it seems to get rid of the smell/flavor for the most part.

Garlic is really good for you and it is so easy to add this ancient ingredient to practically all of your cooking. Sprinkle garlic into your pasta, dice it and add it to vegetables, put it in your marinades (always turns out good), make homemade ranch dressing (That’s what I do! you need 1 clove of garlic, lots of dill, chives, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, a little bit of milk

This stuff is from heaven!

This stuff is from heaven!

and salt and pepper. Toss is a blender and walla! Ranch Dressing goodness!). Use in olive oil with Parmesan and Italian Spices for bread dipping oil.  Basically, garlic is what’s for dinner!

Are there any special ways you use garlic?

 

Sources:

The American Society for Nutritional Sciences, “Historical Perspective on the Use of Garlic”; Wikipedia; Spice Islands; Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy.

While we don’t know the exact date garlic was first cultivated, we know it was grown in Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC. Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids and were placed in King Tutankhamun’s tomb – See more at: http://www.spiceislands.com/Adjustable_Grinders/Garlic_and_Herb_Adjustable_Grinder#sthash.WcfwA8iF.dpuf
While we don’t know the exact date garlic was first cultivated, we know it was grown in Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC. Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids and were placed in King Tutankhamun’s tomb – See more at: http://www.spiceislands.com/Adjustable_Grinders/Garlic_and_Herb_Adjustable_Grinder#sthash.WcfwA8iF.dpuf

“How I Met Your Mother”- Father’s Day Tribute

A Dad and Mom story in honor of Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) ….

I’ve called my father, “Daddy” my entire life and my Mother I’ve called “Mom”; the main reason I can think I did this is because Mom was “the boat shoesenforcer” of rules and Daddy was the “treat buyer and gift giver”. With no sons and six daughters my Dad is a total softy! Dads are important and I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am for my AMAZING Dad.

My Dad has black hair with just a few stray hairs. He is 5 ft 8inch and built. I think having muscles comes easier to him than most people or something!His olive skin is lined with just a few wrinkles on his forehead and by the corners of his light brown eyes. In a nut-shell, my Dad looks like he stumbled upon the fountain of youth.

When he and my Mom met, he was a young Air Force cadet that had traveled the world. He has seriously been the coolest places..I’m so jealous!

Here is their story: 

“How I Met Your Mother”

My Mom had gone to Colorado to live with her sister and experience life away from the small Illinois town she grew up in. My Mom is a fighter with a work ethic like no other. With no job lined up she headed for the Rocky Mountains and ended up working at the movie theater on the Air Force Base. Mom has always been devoted to staying active and eating healthy. (once she went on this super organic-like dandelion and tree leaf eating organic diet. One time my grandma put a poisonous leaf in her salad as a joke…and my poor Mom ate it! I’ll share that story one of these days!) Quickly after settling in, she was running on the treadmill and lifting small weights at the gym on base.

My Dad was a wanna-be-body builder at the time. His life was filled with Protein, Protein Shakes, Vegetables, Lean Meat and an untouchable three hour allotment of “lifting” time in the gym.  He was a city-boy who grew up in a rundown apartment in the crowded city of Chicago.

When he first saw my Mom  at the theater he was transfixed on her beauty. With her elbow length nut-brown hair, long and

Don't worry...my Dad didn't look like Arnold!

Don’t worry…my Dad didn’t look like Arnold!

elegant neck and cute slightly up-turned nose-she was stunning! He wanted to ask her for her number right then and there. As he tried to come up with some kind of debonaire thing to say he headed towards her window. He stared at her blankly for a few realizing up close she was ridiculously pretty.

“Hi, how are you?” she asked smiling, her eyes twinkling with mischievousness.

My Dad opened his mouth but NOTHING came out.

She stared at him looking confused. “Sir?”

He sputtered out the movie he wanted to see and after paying fled away from her presence. He felt like kicking himself, but he was used to this feeling. That was his flaw…he could not talk to pretty girls…even if his life depended on it.
2 days later…

My Dad was at the gym…his muscles burning as he lifted the dumbbells. He threw down the weights on a spongy blue mat and mopped his forehead with his towel. The gym, like most gyms was equipped with about 400 mirrors. My Dad looked in the mirror as he took a swig from his water bottle of his now lukewarm water and suddenly he nearly fell over. Among the body builders, fat fighters and buzz cuts was a girl…not just any girl..the girl. The girl from the theater! It was like fate had brought her here. His water bottle fell from his hand sending water flying across his work out partner as it hit the floor.

Jill, his work-out partner, flung herself up and grabbed the water bottle and locked eyes with my Dad’s eyes, lethally. Jill was the only girl my Dad could seem to talk to; it was probably because all of the protein and steroids she had taken that caused her to look more like a man than a woman. “What the heck!” She demanded in her deep woman body-builder voice.

“S-sorry,” My Dad mumbled still staring at the girl from the theater.

Jill followed his gaze and then rolled her eyes. “Why don’t you just focus on the workout and stop checking out every girl you see!” she said and swiftly picked up a 30Lb dumbbell like it was made of feathers.

“That’s not just any girl…its the movie theater girl!”

Jill put down the weight and put her hand on where her hips had once been. She raised a pointy eyebrow, “Her?”

My Dad nodded.

“What are you waiting for? Go talk to her!” Jill snapped her towel playfully at my Dad.

“Ouch!” My Dad winced as the “playful” towel slap made contact with his skin.

“Wait…Pete, she looks REALLY young. Like…really young.”

My Dad studied my Mom as she prepared to do leg lifts. Something about her looked younger than he remembered…that he couldn’t deny. “She’s not wearing make-up like she was last time.” He said.

Jill shook her head forcefully. “No, No. She’s gotta be like 18; maybe 19-tops. And a 19 year old is gonna want nothing to do with a 26 year old. She’s gonna think you’re an old man!”

My Dad wasn’t gonna give up. Something in his heart seemed to whisper not to let this girl go.

He took a step towards her…then another…then another…then-he was running back to Jill, petrified.

“You really have a problem you know that! I think you need to see someone!” Jill said wiping off the condensation that had gathered near her reseeding hair line.

“Wait! You could go talk to her for me!”

Jill looked at the girl. “Are you for real?”

“Please! You owe me!” He begged her and then said, “Remember that time when the guys at Big–

Jill flung her hand in his face immediately silencing him. “Fine!” She hissed.

My Dad watched barely breathing as Jill strolled over to my Mom. All he could see was Jill and the girl laughing and then Jill pointed at him. He waved feeling totally dorky.

Jill came back over with a smug look of accomplishment plastered on her face. She waved a piece of paper in her hand. “Now no one owes anybody anything!” she said and handed my Dad the paper with the girl’s name, Patricia, and a phone number. “But,” Jill added, “She is 19 just like I guessed. Gosh I’m good. So…good luck with that!”

My Dad hardly heard her. He felt like he could fly he was so full of happiness. He smiled at “Patricia” and she flashed a smile back.

It was history.

The funny part of this story is that when my Dad took my Mom on their first date, he literally told my Mom he was only 22…three years older than her. And we didn’t find out till YEARS later ( I was 10!) that he was really was 4 years older than we all thought. We all thought he was pulling some kind of crazy joke. He looked so young…ridiculously young. He had to show us his birth certificate to prove it! My Mom was furious of course…at first but now we all think it’s hysterical that he got away with that for so long!quote-heaven


 

The cool thing about my parents is that they didn’t come from great backgrounds. They came from broken families. I’m so thankful that my Mom and Dad decided their lives didn’t have to be that way. They decided they would be different and their family would be different and filled with love. Yes, they make mistakes(my Dad lied about his age for years!) but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. If you come from a broken family or don’t have good parents…you can lead a different path. You can be an awesome Father or Mother.

What goes around comes around.

I thought I would share an adventure story that my twin sister Andrea told me over the weekend. By the way she is going to be starting a blog too! thebrowneyedgirl part two? I’m not sure! I know it will be good…she’s a great writer!

Andrea and her husband Tyler have been married for just two months. After their honeymoon they quickly decided to expand the family by getting a rescue dog from the human society….her name is Pyra.

A few weeks ago Andrea and Tyler and Pyra set out in their small ford truck to the Sand Dunes. (If you are ever in Colorado….YOU HAVE TO SEE THE SAND DUNES. It is like a mini Sahara dessert(but it’s not that mini) with a

Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

beautiful backdrop of mountains. AMAZING!) Pyra is a nervous pup that gets even more nervous when she is in a car. The poor golden lab mix has thrown-up a few times already when Andrea and Tyler have taken her on trips.

“Babe, maybe we should let Pyra sit in front,” Tyler said while tossing the last backpack into the truck bed.

Andrea looked down at the dog’s big black eyes that already looked nervous about just seeing the car. “I don’t know Honey, if she sits in my lap she will probably throw-up all over me!” Andrea said feeling her stomach turn at the thought of throw up. She could handle blood, she could handle bugs…but she couldn’t handle throw-up.

“I mean…you could sit in the back seat?” Tyler didn’t make eye contact with her.

Andrea laughed thinking he was joking. But then she realized…he wasn’t.

She glanced at the basically non-existent seat wedged between the truck bed and front seats. It was so small that the only way anyone could sit back there was sideways. “You can’t be serious!”

Tyler kicked at the ground, making dust swirl. “I mean I’m only saying it because it is a long drive and if Pyra hurls then it will be super hard to clean it up back there.”

Andrea started to protest but stopped. It wasn’t really a big deal right? Wife crammed, sitting sideways in the back seat…dog in the front? Tyler gave her a “puppy-dog eyed” look and puckered his bottom lip.

Andrea sighed and said, “Fine….but you owe me!”

“Trust me Babe…this will make it so much easier on both of us!”

*

They set off.

*

The ride over was fairly uneventful except for the horrified and almost sinister looks from people in other cars noticing that the dog was in front and the wife in back.

During the few days trip there was grilling, fishing, climbing up the dunes, laughing with friends, ghost stories. For Andrea, the weekend had been a blast. For the most part…other than the part where she got completely sun burnt and now looked more lobster than human; and the part where she got about 2 hours of sleep each night.

*

On the journey back Andrea once again crawled in the back of the truck. sickShe stared out the window at the scenery passing by and then closed her eyes. Her head felt like a rubber mallet was being pounded on the insides of her brain. Her eyes hurt with every movement and even when she closed them the ache persisted. Her pink skin stung and tingled. Her back and legs were stiff boards from the cramped position she held. She just hoped she could last 2 more hours.

Meanwhile Pyra, the happy camper, sat in the front seat…head out the window, tongue hanging out sending drool flying in the breeze.

A thick glob of the drool didn’t make it out the window. Instead  it flung across Andrea’s face.

Suddenly…she felt her throat water. Her stomach flipped flopped. Her trembling fingers touched the dog saliva and that was it. Chunks flew everywhere! Seeing and smelling the throw-up just made her hurl more….over and over and over again all over the back of that car.

Needless to say…Wife goes in the front seat…

Dog in the back. Lesson learned.

 

HAUNTED

 A shiver ran up my spine as I stared into the black hole in front of me. My fingers had turned white with the way I was gripping the steering wheel. I never believed in ghosts, but I knew for certain that there was evil out there: the devil, demons, witch craft; I knew unseen evil existed.And it is a scary thing. For years I had decided that one day I would take the drive into the mountains on the dusty road that led you through a series of haunted tunnels simply to just say I did it. To knock an item off of the ‘ol bucket list. Here I was, on Gold Camp road staring into the face of a tunnel carved through a mountain, uncertain that if I drove through it I would come out of the other side in one piece. I put the car in drive.

*
Three years earlier…

“Haunted?” I repeated, my voice full of disbelief. It was just another day at the zoo, a blisteringly hot day. I stared out one of the two massive windows that made up Safari Cafe. Don’t be fooled. It was nothing of a quaint sandwich shop you imagine when you here the word cafe. It was a more of a “pop-up” carnival stand where people order from the window and receive their food from the next window and sit outside on picnic tables. Food choices were: cotton candy, hot dogs, chips, popcorn and pretzels all for exorbetent prices. (And people never looked at the prices either so when you rang up their order shock and awe were in order…and not the good kind of shock an awe) The floors were constantly sticky with soda syrup and ketchup stained beyond help. If it was hot outside, you could always count on it being at least 10 degrees warmer inside. Anyway, back to my story….

“Yes,” Kelsey said nodding her head and her circular blue eyes growing even larger. 

I adjusted my visor, annoyed that I had to wear one; what possible purpose do visor’s have when you aren’t outside other than making you look like an explosion from the 1990’s? I pulled closer to the window hoping to catch a breeze from outside. “Well, what’s the story?” I asked her curiously. 

Kelsey spoke with her hands and her voice became more dramatic. “About 30 years ago, a school group was going on a field trip into the mountains and they took Gold Camp Road, hoping to make the trip shorter by cutting through the tunnels. Many people had driven through the tunnels before, they were without question, safe. BUT, the when the school group drove through, one of the tunnels caved in crushing the bus and killing everyone inside.” 

I shivered ghost stories were always worse when children are involved. But still, I reminded myself it was just a ghost story, make believe stuff, nothing to fret about. 

“So, people say that now, all the tunnels along that road are haunted by the children’s ghosts,” Kelsey’s soft voice had by now completely turned into the typical ghost story voice. “Legend says you drive into into one of the tunnels at night, turn off all of the car lights and stay parked for as long as you can handle. When you drive out, little hand prints from the ghost children will be all over your car.” 

I started shaking my head trying to shut down my over active imagination. 

“I didn’t believe it either, but it happened to me!” Her eyes were huge now. Suddenly the sun disappeared; my heart beet a little faster as if the ghost children knew that we were talking about them. I glanced at the sky, it was just a cloud passing by over head. 

“You saw finger prints on your car?”

Kelsey nodded. “But not right away. We drove up there, me and my girlfriends totally thinking it was just a bunch of crap! We parked, let the dust settle on the car and drove away without a single finger print!” 

We were momentarily cut off by a lady asking for a lid and a straw. “I’m sorry, Ma’am but we don’t have any lids or straws due to the fact that they are animal hazards,” Kelsey said the line we all knew by heart. The lady left our window with a helpless moan like the world would be ending in the next 5 minutes. Kelsey and I rolled our eyes and I reminded her of where she left off on the ghost story. 

“Yeah, so like we got to my friend’s house and were laughing and stuff and then one of my friend’s just screams bloody murder!” Kelsey mimicked her friend, sending a couple looks our way. 

“When we got out of the car there were the little hand prints…and I am not lying. It was totally scary.” 

“At least the worse they do is put hand prints all over your car,” I said jokingly. 

“No, if you get hand prints, you are cursed. My friend, is like so worried; and it’s true bad stuff has already started happening since we went last week.” 

“What kind of stuff?”I asked. 

“Like, ok her Dad lost his job on Monday and he was like totally secure in it; and my friend, Anna, keeps having dreams and seeing the children in her room!”

“That is creepy!” I exclaimed with a shiver.
“You have to go!” Kelsey urged me, “it’s a totally out of this world experience.”
“Yeah, NO.” I said. I am the girl who cannot watch horror movies, even CSI gives me nightmares.
“You don’t want to be the lame grandparent who doesn’t have any cool stories do you?”She asked with a laugh.
I laughed back and said,”Maybe I’ll put it on my bucket list..” If I did go…it couldn’t be that bad. The Ghost Adventures show was so worked up it was almost funny to watch. That is what this would be like. The ghost story wasn’t true. I knew it wasn’t true. 

*

 

*
“Maybe we shouldn’t do this!”My twin sister Andrea cried out and grabbed my hand. Usually she was the one who was a bit more daring than me. (Even she had urged me to continue driving on the haunted road when I hesitated upon a stop sign crossed out with graffiti and in place of the word stop was written, “GO.”) Here we were terrified twenty-four year old’s just trying not to be totally lame grandparents.

Suddenly we heard car wheels squeal behind us. People were waiting. This was like a tourist attraction…there were other people around us what could possibly happen? And the guy behind us in his white pickup truck made it impossible to turn around so the only choice we had was to go through the tunnel.

“Let’s just do it!” I said summoning up any remaining courage I had. The silver honda I was driving lurched as it drove over deep dips carved into the red dirt road. Andrea and I both screamed as we entered the tunnel as if ghostly children would grab us at any moment. My car lights bounced on the stony walls but they still hadn’t picked up the end of the tunnel. We were encased in an eerie darkness. Finally I saw the end which meant we were in the middle. Which meant now was the time to park the car and turn out the lights.

With trembling hands I set the car in park and watched the dust swirl around us before turning off the headlights. The blackness that surrounded us is a darkness you can feel. There was no difference between closing my eyes and having them open.Evil was lurking. With a terrified scream I flicked the lights back on and raced the car and Andrea and myself into safety.

Andrea and I both squealed in delight that we had finally accomplished driving through the Gold Camp Tunnels. We had conquered a fear and that’s the best feeling in the world. And no ghostly finger or hand prints…..yet.

I hope you enjoy my vacation inspired story! I went to the Gold Camp Tunnels again last week when I was in Colorado and man! They are freaky but it’s just something you got to do!

Any haunted places in your homeland?

The edge of a cliff

I was harnessed in and there was no way out. “I can’t do it!” I screamed. “please don’t make me.” My heart was beating like it was trying out for the Jumanjii sound effects. My throat was dry as I attempted to swallow and let out a soft moan. My fingers were cramping and slick with sweat as I held on for dear life. “Just take deep breaths!” called the voice from far below. “I am not letting you down until you reach the top!” he shoated with a chuckle. I glanced down for a second and that was enough for my life to begin to flash before my eyes. It was all about to be over. I could see the news reporting the said story of  how a 24 year old fell to her death.  The buckels wrapped around my thighs were squeezed to the point that I felt as though my circulation was getting cutt off. My shoes were silly looking with smooth black undersides and zero grips, and yet, somehow I was expected to climb up the side of a cliff in these tredless shoes. I offered to climb barefoot- claiming that the indians did it all the time and had no problems. My fingers began to tremble, they couldn’t hold on much longer. There is a moment when your life when it hits you that you are living in your last and final minutes of life. Death was close- I could feel it. As I clung in the balance of life and death I thought of the events that led to my current situation.

Our team of six consisted of my two sisters, Katie and Andrea, Katie’s boyfriend, Noah, and two experienced climbers, Erin and Paul. We headed off into the canyon with Red Rocks towering around us on each side. The Erin and Paul each had massive back packs filled with all sorts of rope, shoes, chalk, and harnesses. All I was thinking about was how I was going to finally mark something off of my bucket list. Erin and Paul surveyed the flat sides of the rocks looking for the perfect spot to “set up camp”. Suddenly they threw thier packs to the ground. We had found it. Erin announced, “This is it. Simple but challenging climb.” I looked up at the rock attempting to see the top. There it was about 100ft up with little birds fluttering around the top as if they were the only ones that could reach it. Butterflies started in my stomach but I quickly told myself, “This is easy.”

Erin looked like somekind of monkey as he effortlessly scaled the the rock’s side. He stood at the top and shoated to us below, “This view-this is why I do this! When you guys get to the top you gotta hang out and take it all in.” He strapped the rope in the harness and turned around and leaped against the wall down. This was a piece of cake. Noah, then my sisters climbed up. It was Andrea that sent my butterflies off again. She was in a panick, “This is so scary!”She called out with a shaky voice, “like worse than any rollar coaster!” But it looked so simple. Before we knew it with Paul’s encouragement she made it to the top. When she got back down, it was my turn.

As I suited up in the harness the butterflies were going nuts in my stomach. Erin pulled the strap on the harness tightly around my legs. I put on the strange black shoes that reminded me of ballerina slippers and I dusted my hands with the chalk and took a deep breath. I was about to accomplish something. I found a crevice in the wall and pulled myself up. I felt muscles that I didn’t know exist kick into gear. I went up and up. Climbing was like a rythm- hand crevice, foot crevice-pull. I chanted this to myself for a while and listened to the words from below encouraging me on. Then I looked down. The ground seemed to dissapear from view. My eyes, I’m sure popped out of my head when I realized the ground was very far away. “I don’t think I can go further.” I said letting my fear of heights get the best of me. “You can do it!” my sisters prompted me. I looked up searching for a new place to put my fingers. I grabbed a small ledge and pulled my foot upward. I kept climbing. It was harder than ab ripper ex, which I thought, an impossible feet to accomplish. I was about seventy-five feet up when I froze. I couldn’t find anywhere to move my hand. The cliff was like a polished piece of wood. Suddenly I felt the muscles in my legs want to give up. I when I glanced down again. It now seemed like I was looking into an abyss. I felt my stomach jump to my throat. I frantically searched for somewhere to put my hands. My legs started to slide. “I’m gonna fall!” I said in a screech. “No your not!” came Erin’s voice. He was way to optimistic I decided. Terror began to take over me. I no longer cared about accomplishing I was a fool for signing up for this anyway; I had seen Verticle Limit and that didn’t end well. So I just held on frozen as if any move would make me fall to my death. “Find something to grab hold of!” Erin shoated. “O-o-k.” I said quietly and slowly turned my head side to side. Nothing. “Erin! I can’t, please help.I seriously think I might be about to have a heart attack.” “Keep looking,” he said, “Up above you there is a rock that is pushed out just a little. Grab it and pull yourself up!” I searched once again. My legs were beginning to feel cramped. There is was the rock I could grab. “I found it!” I screamed. “Great. Now grab that and pull yourself up.” I crawled my hand upward, attempted to remain glued to the wall. Suddenly out of nowhere my legs slid. I screamed and regrabbed the crevice I had let go. I began to wimper. In a matter of moments I had turned from undeaftable to a complete painsy. My knee stung and I knew it was bleeding. I felt a wave of nausea run over me. I tried to swallow but it felt like cotten balls were stuffed in my mouth. “I can’t do it!” I screamed. And this is where you meet me at the beginning of my story.

“Just go up!” Erin called. “Wow,” I thought, “there’s a genius.” “I am gonna pull the ropes and you keep climbing up!” He said. “No!” I said a tear rolled down my face. I was facing the end. The ropes strained against me and then began to pull me. I had to move, Erin was forcing me to. “Autumn, I am not going to let you fall. You finish this. Just go up!” He called out his voice filled with inspiration. Since I decided that I was going to die anyway I went with the rope. I looked up. I was close, so close. I kept my eyes up and I thrust out my hand and jumped with my feet. An amazing thing happened. I grabbed the rock! “I got it!” I called out with a smile. I felt something- hope. Hope that this was not the end. That I could make it to the top. And I will not forget that view.

All of us have fear. Wee can either controle fear or let it controle us. How do we face our fears? Look up and don’t loose heart. (1 Tim. 2:8; Luke 18:1) I think to really live is to face some of our fears, because if we don’t, we will never get to see the view from the top. blockquote>

Your Spot

 

Everyone has to have “a spot.”  You know that sacred place where you can go and just be; It could be a dock by a lake; it could be the roof of your house; it could be your chair in a coffee shop; whatever it is, it is your spot. Your spot for thinking, for inspiration, or to just be alone. I was in search of my “spot” for a long time. I used to live in Colorado right on the edge of the mountains. Hiking and seeing mountain tops was an almost everyday experience for me that I absolutely loved so I wanted my spot to be on a mountain top. I also love any kind of twinkly light: stars, christmas lights, candles, and the list goes on. This is the story of how I found my spot.  In Colorado there is dirt road that goes into the mountain we call “Gold Camp Road” and rumor is that its haunted. So to get to Gold camp you start on Gold Camp Road which slowly winds in and out of huge, beautiful  houses and you keep going; to your left the houses start to become fewer and fewer until they all fade away and before you know it there is not much in front of you except the dark face of a mountain. Wait! There is also a stop sign that the stop is spray painted over and is now a go sign haha. The road turns to dirt and you start to say your prayers! You keep following the narrow road up and up. You can see little but the sides of the mountain and blackness. Pine trees and rocky cliffs surround you until suddenly you reach an opening: my mountain top. Right in front of you is the sea of thousands of twinkling city lights. It is absolutely breath taking. I pull off and find a place to sit on a boulder and just take it in. I have tried to take pictures of this view but it can never capture how beautiful it is.  I never get sick of going up there and seeing all those lights. What makes this spot special is that it is quiet and the best word I could think of to describe the view is magical. The best memories I have is just chatting and laughing with my friends at my spot. Everyone has to have their special spot! So if you don’t have one-find one! And if you do what is your special spot?