Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Grand Adventure

~"It's a play!" "Just a bunch of silliness, really." "I should hope so."~
Finding Neverland

On that note of approval, allow me to present an event of grand proportions that occurred this past week (with a minuscule amount of embellishment).

The Characters (in order of appearance)

Heroic rescuer------------------played by me
Damsel in distress------------------played by Samantha
The Messenger Bird------------------played by my cell phone
The Treasure------------------played by Samantha's sketchpad
The Cave------------------played by the locker
The Beast------------------played by the drawing board
The Labyrinth------------------played by the HFAC

Once upon a time in a land with which we are all very familiar there was a heroic rescuer who was trudging through gulfs of misery and woe when the cry of a fair maiden in dire need of assistance came floating through the air. The rescuer paused, listening, but could not determine the source nor the message of the plea. Suddenly, a little bird appeared on her shoulder with a small envelope containing a message in its mouth. "Help!" it read. "I am in desperate need of a treasure, but it is locked in the belly of a beast and I am unable to retrieve it!" "Never fear!" replied the heroic rescuer. "I shall conquer yon beast! Direct me, fair maiden, [though how the rescuer knew that the maiden was fair is beyond the knowledge of this bard] to this savage creature that I may vanquish him!" "Bless you noble one! You are indeed a heroic rescuer! The beast may be found at the top of a large labyrinth in a cave guarded by many foes. There is a secret combination of magic numbers that will give you entrance to the inner chamber. Get in, retrieve the treasures from the jaws of the beast, and I will forever be thankful unto thee, heroic rescuer. Beware! The way is treacherous! I shall await your return."

Drawing up all her courage, the heroic rescuer plunged into the labyrinth. Alas! So many pathways! How would she ever succeed? Just as it looked that she would be doomed to spend the rest of eternity trapped in this twisting maze of dead-ends and traps, she saw a light ahead. The way to the cave! On she dashed, and in no time she found herself in front of the daunting cave entrance. Mustering her wit, she plunged into the series of magic numbers that would unlock the door. But to no avail! She tried again, with all the precision and agility this heroic rescuer possessed. Again, she failed. No, she thought to herself. I will not be conquered. I have come too far to fail now. Summoning the messenger bird, she sent out a petition for aid. "What is the secret to breaking the spell?" Her wait was agonizing. Finally, the little bird returned with the answer. "You must squeeze the soft spot." Of course! Every challenge, every riddle, every beast has a weak spot. Finally the heroic rescuer succeeded in gaining access to the cave. She advanced cautiously.

The beast's jaws were far more terrible than anything the rescuer could have imagined in her wildest dreams! Fire spewed from the depths, razor-sharp teeth the size of stalactites gleamed with sterling steel menace along the perimeter. Undaunted, the heroic rescuer leapt towards the ferocious creature and snatched the treasure from its clutches. AAAaaaggghhh!! A scream pierced the air as the rescuer's fingers tore along the fangs of the fiend, blood gushing from the wounds. [these injuries may or may not have been caused by the brutal weather's impact on the rescuer's already dry and eczema-infested skin and may or may not have been present before the aforementioned encounter.]

Injured, yet triumphant, the rescuer had one last battle ahead: that with the elements to voyage to the fair maiden's residence. Fighting against fierce cold and raging winds, the heroic rescuer was battered, bruised, and broken. Just as she thought her body was about to succumb, she forged on and finally arrived at the castle. "You have done it! You are truly a noble and courageous soul! [you may have noticed at this point that the characters in this tale are quite dramatic and prone to shout all their verbal exchanges with passionate emotion] Please, accept this token of my gratitude." Whereupon the damsel bestowed upon the heroic rescuer with a goblet of healing beverage made of the exotic and rare cacoa bean. "Thank you my lady," replied the heroic rescuer. "You are most gracious and kind." "From this day forward," declared the damsel, "you shall be knighted 'Fearless Champion!'" With her newly-bestowed title, the now fearless champion dwelt in the castle along with the damsel where they awaited many more dashing adventures.


Bosom Friends

I realized the other day that there are several things I take for granted. I watched Anne of Green Gables over Christmas and it got me thinking about friendship. I've always wished I had a bosom friend, to take a phrase from Anne, but as yet haven't found a kindred spirit. I've also wished that I had a really good group of chums upon whom I can call and with whom I can have all kinds of adventures. Just as I was thinking this, Samantha came to mind; however, I immediately pushed the idea aside. She doesn't count, I thought. She's my sister, she's supposed to like me. She's supposed to be my friend.

But as I thought about it more, I had to chastise myself a little bit. As far as a group of friends, I realized that I can find that in my immediate family. The funnest times, my favorite times, are whenever I just hang out and play with my family. It doesn't matter what we do, it is never draining and always enjoyable. I can laugh really loudly, be goofy, and say dumb things and they will always love and accept me. I realized that there are lots of people who are not very close to their family at all; some have little, if any, contact with them for one reason or another. Then again, some people have quite a bit of conflict in their home and contend with differences of opinion, personality, and values. Samantha and I have never been enemies. Sure, we've quarreled or had frustrations about this or that, but other than those small squabbles we have been the best of friends for as long as I can remember. We played together as little girls, cooperated as young denarians, and now that we've gotten older, we confide and share in our experiences together as we learn about life. We have similar interests and temperaments which really give us a unique understanding of each other. One thing that has been really important to me is that we share goals and a strong work ethic. Doing well in school and challenging myself academically is very important to me and Samantha helps me with that by sharing that passion and pursuit of excellence.

I'm really grateful that Heavenly Father decided to give me such a great family and such a great friend who also doubles as a sister. I know I'll always have her in my life and we'll always be friends forever. Yeah, forever. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ruler of the Empire!

I forgot how fun Monopoly is. I am definitely to be feared wherever this game is concerned. Behold, the spikes of terror!!

We played on New Year's Eve and I slowly but surely took over, one person at a time. But of course, I am a purist. I made sure that everyone was sucked dry before they forfeited their entire worth over to me. I took my mantra from one of my favorite films, No Reservations: "Mortgage, baby! Mortgage!" I then took their figurines and placed their effigies in the middle of my new domain, the mementos of my triumph.

Pardon me a cruel chuckle...MWA HA HA!!