Monday, September 15, 2014

Mis Spent Youth

When I was a little girl, I used to love sitting in my Dad's room and thumb through his albums listening to his stories of the hows and whys he loved a certain song.  I'm positive it's the reason for my own love of music and why I've tried to create the same nostalgia with my own children.

I would sit and listen to these stories and imagine my father on these adventures of his mis spent youth.  And wonder when or if I would get to go on my exploring one day.  

The first of my favorite stories happened before I was born.  My then 17 year old father had been in a horrific car accident. He was in the hospital for several weeks, had skin graft surgeries to replace his eye lid and even after his release still had bandages and a cane to walk with.  Needless to say, he looked pretty banged up but my dad being who he is was still quite the charmer.   He walked up to the concert venue to buy tickets for an upcoming show, the salesman struck up a conversation about the extent of my Dad's injuries and what had happened to him.   He talked for awhile and eventually the sales guy gave him two backstage passes.  The night of the show my Dad and his friend went to the concert, went back stage and then hung out with the band for the weekend in their hotel room.  
The musicians? Were Lynard Skynard.  

My other favorite music story occurred when I was around 4 years old.  My dad worked for  a then up and coming company called CableVision.  He was in a small town of rural Indiana, got off work early and went to a small hole in the wall for a beer or three.   The owner of said bar just happened to be there with his guitar.  His first album had just been released and was starting to get play time on radios.  He ended up playing for hours that afternoon. 

You may know him as John Mellencamp, but back then he was John Cougar.  

Suffice it to say, I had some high expectations for when I started going to concerts.  Unfortunately, nothing that has awesome has happened yet.  But I"m not giving up hope yet. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Are you Real?

Several weeks ago,  a friend brought something up about my siblings.  He was commenting on how my brother was my kids' only uncle.  The following is the conversation from my kitchen::

Friend:  So, T is the kids' only uncle, right? 
me:  No.  I have 3 brothers. 
Friend:  yeah, but he's your only REAL brother. 
me:  No.  I have 3 brothers. 
Friend:  Yeah, but the others are only half.  
me:  No I have 3 brothers. 
Friend:  But how many kids did your parents have? 
me:  My mom has me and two boys.   And I have a brother and sister with my dad. 
Friend:  So, you have no real brothers or sisters. 
me:  No.  I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. 

This kept on for awhile until he finally gave up arguing with me because I refused to admit that I didn't have anything less than REAL siblings.   It eventually got to the point that I told him if he brought it up again, he would leave.   Simply because he can't understand that I love my siblings just as much as he loves his, regardless of our parentage, I shouldn't have to listen to it. 

And he is not the only person I've encountered who described our relationship as half-brother/sister.   Maybe I never saw it that way because they were never talked about that way in my house.  Our parents never said anything other than that's your sister.    I knew growing up that my family wasn't the norm.  I was raised by my grandparents.   And my siblings lived with our parents.  That's just the way it was.  I didn't sit and wonder about why mine was the way it was.  

the day after I graduated high school 

Christmas 2002 or 2003

One day, Jolie is going to realize that the boys don't have the same biological father as she does.  And I don't want her thinking they are anything other than who they are-- her brothers.   And Andrew loves her just as much as he loves Nathan.  Probably more because he doesn't have to share a room with her therefore she's less annoying.

Families are not meant to come in a cookie cutter package all wrapped in a pretty little bow.   How boring would that be if everything was the same?    Why can't we embrace the differences and appreciate them?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dark Hope: book One of the Archangel Prophecies ~ Book Review

I think we've established that I'm a bookaholic.     And even though I'm a married mother in my (gasp) mid-30's, I still like to read a well-written Young Adult novel.  Just check out my GoodReads bookshelf.    Here's another one to add to the list.   I finished it within 24 hours of starting. The author's writing style made it easy to get lost in the pages of the story.  I just sat and read for hours, always wanting to know what was going to happen next.

"Dark Hope" by Monica McGurk is told from the point of view of Hope Carmichael, a 15 year old girl who has been sheltered by her overly religious father for most of her life.   She was kidnapped as a small child and left with a mark on her neck.    Just shy of her 16th birthday, she makes the decision to move from his protective house in Alabama to her mother's house in Atlanta, Georgia.   She wants to live a normal teenage life until she meets a boy.  

Michael is beautiful and mysterious.  And he has decided he wants to be friends with Hope.  At the same time, the readers are trying to learning what does all of this have to do with the business 
of human trafficking just on the outskirts of suburban Atlanta life.  
Without revealing TOO much,  by the end of the novel you learn about the mysterious mark on Hope's neck, the dangerous boy she's falling in love but also the Prophecy and Fallen Angels.  

One of the worst things about reading a series is waiting for the next novel to be released.  I'm already ready for book two.   I want to know what happens to Hope's parents.  And I'm not sure how I feel about Henri.  

If you get the chance to read it, I highly recommend it.  It gets two thumbs up from this girl. In fact, I've already passed my copy along to my son's girlfriend.  I'm patiently waiting for her to finish it so we can discuss what she thinks. 

On a side note, the author Monica McGurk is also on social media:  Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.