Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Once Was A Home

     Ahem... Well I truthfully have no explanation as to why it has been...4 months since my last post. (I have to admit, when I found my way back to my blog I choked on my coffee on seeing that the last post was in July.)  But truthfully I have been beyond busy. With school starting and my extreme distaste for trying to find free time I haven't been able to wiggle writing into my schedule.  But of course I can't ignore it for too much longer before I get some snarky voice in the back of my head reminding me that the outstanding 6 people who read this blog may actually want to hear more.
     So I suppose I should start with what has happened over the summer.  Well as some may, or may not know, on the 22nd of May an F5 tornado ripped it's way through Joplin Missouri.  Through my church, my friend Ashley and I went on an RV trip to help with the relief efforts.  When we went it had been around 3 months since the tornado struck.  Three months is a long time, a lot of things can change in that period of time.  But in Joplin, it was like time stood still.  Three months hadn't mad that grand of a difference and there ceased to be piles of debris to search through.
     It's hard for some to imagine the devastation that existed there.  It wasn't simply some uprooted trees and minor shingle damage.  No. This was like a child took a puzzle version of the city and flipped it over.
The tipped over puzzle of the lovely man pictured below

Such a wonderful man... though he may have been a hoarder, he told some charming stories of his now deceased wife and though I am quite allergic he had an adorable baby kitten no bigger than the palm of your hand.

Personals: personal objects that are salvageable. These were my favorites to find.  The man above's wife's collection of recipes.

Someone's outlet cover

Take a moment to think about your home, the smell, the size, the things inside.  The pictures below were all once someone's home.  The place someone returned to every night.  Perhaps the only place they every felt safe.  Now look at what has be come of them.  Remind yourself after each picture: "This was once a home".

 Observe the roof of this house, not very normal.

A very unfortunate end for these two cars, extremely scary to imagine what it would have been like to be inside (not that anyone was, I'm just saying because they obviously were not shown much sympathy.)

 This picture should be rotated. For some reason it didn't, however if you were wondering: yes, this was a lamp post.

The front of this house is caved in, it's hard to tell from this angle but was tediously balanced from the inside I was constantly panicked that the entire wall would fall in on us.

An apartment complex, half of the group were searching for personal's here. I wasn't part of that group so I only have a picture from the outside.

And perhaps worst of all: their high school.

   I suppose it is impossible to truly understand the level of utter destruction that we saw there through these few pictures but perhaps you gained some sense of comprehension.  This was three months after the storm itself,  now seven months later I'm not quite sure if very much has changed unless they finally brought in the bulldozers and leveled the rest of the city.  It's tragic and does nothing to relieve my paranoia but at the same time, it forces you to realize just how fast the puzzle can be broken.  And even more; how long it takes to put every piece back in it's place.  That is, all the pieces that you can find in the wreckage.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dancing on Stars

     As you may, or may not, have noticed from my little We Heart It widget, I have found a new obsession.  Ballet. When I was little I had always dreamed of becoming a ballerina.  The grace, the poise, the beauty.  It was, I'll admit, extremely appealing to 5 year old me.  Or even more, the idea that perfection resided only in those who could stand, daintily perched on their toes.  Sometimes when looking at the pictures or watching an actual performance those feelings creep back into me and I have this terrible feeling deep in the pit of my soul.  Regret.
     You see I begged my mother for months on end to be able to take ballet classes and, after a few weeks of constant pestering, she relented and took me to a dance studio. To say I was entranced by the dancing girls and the wall of mirrors would be a severe understatement.  I ached to be a part of it, a part of the beauty and seemingly sheer perfection.  Then this world I had built up around ballet came crashing down around me.  Shards of my dream fell on me, like tiny stars, burning my imagination.  5 year old me did not like this.  We were told that it would be no problem for me to do ballet, as long as I took tap lessons along side it.  This simple request, this easy addition disgusted me.  In my mind ballet was the incarnation of beauty and grace whereas tap was the exact opposite.  I saw it as loud, obnoxious and flawed.
     My mom tried to convince me that it was fun and I would enjoy it.  This was unacceptable.  I told her over and over again that I didn't care "it's not all that cool anyways".  Finally she gave up and so did I.  The dream of being one of those girls who danced on stars had been stained, somehow it seemed less beautiful to me.
     That was until the beginning of 8th grade when we had POP day, or, People of Prominence.  We were told that we needed to find a person who had made some sort of contribution to the world and "become" them.  We spent weeks writing and memorizing a speech written in the first person pov of our subject.  I chose Anna Pavlova.  She was a famous Ballerina and after scanning tirelessly through pictures of her dancing, the spark of my old dream reemerged.

     Then again, quite recently when I was looking at pictures of ballet dancers.  Suddenly I saw it again.  The same picture that my young mind had conjured up, except more precise and perhaps even more beautiful than before.

     The last two and the first one would have to be my favorites.  But all the same, I cannot help but to feel a deep seeded feeling of regret.  I should have tried tap, the truth is: I probably would have loved it, tap is geared towards the sharpness and precision where as ballet is more about the body control and the careful blend between grace and not breaking your ankles. It really is sad to know that the opportunity was there, and I pushed it away.  Now, it's far too late to try and learn, it's just one of those things that you have to start young or, well, you just give up on it.  I wonder if perhaps anyone else has done something like I did, give up on a dream you had when you were young, or give up an opportunity that you regret? My hope of dancing was permanently shattered, the pieces are too small, and I am to old, to try to reassemble it.  But, that doesn't mean that I don't still dream when ever I look at the pictures.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What I Need

     Yes it's true, I don't particularly need anything aside from food, water, and shelter.  But I am, to my constant distaste, a teenage girl.  And as a petty, hormonal, teenage girl, there is one more thing to add to this list of needs. Clothes.  Yes, what a shocker.  But despite how trite this may sound: I actually do need more clothes.  I recently emptied my closet and sold a large portion of it to Once Upon A Child and the remainder will be donated to Goodwill.  Now what used to look like this...

Now looks like this....

    True, I am exaggerating a wee bit. But all things considering; I do need to buy some select new clothes that will make my closet... well I'd like to say happier.  So in the hopes that I will soon make a sizable amount of money through both cleaning my house and the little thing mentioned here, I have decided to compile a little shopping list of what I would like to buy.

    Floral Dresses:  If you know me at all you would know that I have a love-hate relationship with pants.  Some days there is nothing on earth that could force me into a pair of pants.  Plus; I love being a girl, all dressed up and prissy.

      High waisted skirts: Either floral or solid color.  Just something that I can pair with a nice sheer blouse or a simple tee depending on the mood I'm in.

     Shirts with lace:  I'm not a big fan of the all over lace tops but I do appreciate the shirts with an intricate detail on them such as lace or crochet inserts.

     Cardigans, Cardigans, Cardigans: I will never have too many.  I am in dire need of cardigans that I can use to layer with.  Solid, to pair with a dress, skirt, or blouse.  Bold, for a more dramatic, focus piece of the outfit.  Then, of course, floral, one can never have too many floral anything.

     These shoes: enough said. 

    Blazers: I like the preppy look.  Especially when I'm heading to my AP classes.  They just scream "I mean business".  Plus I love the versatility of them, they can easily go with anything you want to wear and can dress up any outfit.

     Snazzy tights: Pretty much all of the tights that you will find on ModCloth.  I swear that web site is my obsession, I check every couple of hours to see if there is anything new.

     Vintage inspired jewelry: Anything vintage calls to me. I love their ability to transcend time and remain beautiful and classic no matter how long they've been around.

     So now each time I go out shopping, I will have this list tight in hand.  My goal is to secure everything on this list by the time school starts so I will finally have a "happy" closet.  Happy closet = Happy Kaitlyn.  Plus I don't feel as guilty wanting these things because I know that my old clothes will be going to someone in need so, it truly is a win win situation.

All credit is given to the original owners, and designers of these pictures and clothes.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

To Welcome You Home

     I am currently crying.  Not just crying, I am incoherently, shamelessly, bawling and my fingers are shaking that it is near impossible to type.  But that's O.K. because I don't need to say anything more than to tell you to watch this, because it says everything.


     Thank you J.K Rowling for everything you have done. For your mind, your endless amount of passion, and for these books the world has so deeply fallen in love with.  And finally: thank you for giving us all a home worth returning too.

Friday, July 8, 2011

They Walk Among Us

     We see them everyday.  Whether we recognize them or not, they are still there.  Still watching us, still living apparently normal lives like the rest of the population.  But they are anything but normal, they are something far beyond what some humans will ever dream of being.  Daily miracles are they only thing that can alert us to their presence. That shows they truly do walk among us
     What am I talking about you my ask?  If you guessed aliens.... well then I don't know what to say to you.... creeps.  No. I happen to be speaking of something a bit less sci-fy and a bit more.. pure.  Angels.  Regardless of if you believe in God or not, it can't be argued that some people aren't the true incarnation of all things good.  These are the people we should aspire to be.  They are selfless and caring, truthful and honest, they are all things good and not in the least bit evil.  Miracles despite their grandeur or simplicity can be traced back to them.  Now for clarification: I am not speaking of the winged angels residing in heaven.  I am speaking of the people who go above and beyond what is "normal" when it comes to doing good deeds.

     This is the exact thing I saw the last time I flew on an air plane.  An act of kindness that only a true human angel would preform.  As per usual, we had a very early flight down to Florida.  If you are anything like, well, everyone, you would be fairly irritated to be getting on a flight at 7:00 a.m.  Now it really isn't all that bad if you are riding in first class though.  Big squashy seats, a somewhat decent breakfast, and free drinks.  Sounds like a dream, I know.  Well unfortunately we didn't have first class seats.  Meaning we sat in the ever so wonderful coach seats.  Cramped, uncomfortable, loud. Yeah well to sum it all up: no one likes coach. But this is irrelevant to the story at hand.

      Once we finally got up in the air and were "permitted to move about the cabin" the pilot came on over the intercom announcing that we had an Iraqi soldier on the plane with us and that it would be much appreciated if, when we landed, we allowed him off the plane first.  He was going back to his station in a few weeks and it would be great if he could enjoy as much of his vacation as possible.  This set the plane-goers in a bit of a clapping frenzy that I politely joined in.
     This man was an angel in my mind.  He gives up everything, puts his life on the line, all for the safety of complete strangers, people he will never know. Yet still he fights to protect us.  Selflessness is a very strong, primary characteristic that all angels posses and he is the pure embodiment of it.  I cannot truthfully say that I support the war.  I simply don't believe in it.  But seeing as I am completely uneducated when it comes down to anything regarding warfare, I am in absolutely no place to be saying what should or should not be going on over seas.

    But this was just the beginning of an inspiring plane ride.  We were blessed to have another angel among us.  Sadly I didn't have the mind to write down his name so, for the sake of this post, we shall call him our John Doe.  John Doe was a wealthy business man on his way down to a work conference in Florida.  How do I know this? I don't.  But I did infer it.  John was riding in first class, signifying a slight amount of wealth.  Now this isn't  enough to prove he was a wealthy nor that he was a business man but something else did.  His suit.  Let's face it; planes are uncomfortable, they are always either two hot, or too cold and no normal person wears a suit on one.  Face it, what you wear is fairly symbolic of your line of work.  Target workers wear red shirts and khakis, business men wear suits.  And NOTHING, I mean nothing says "I'm wealthy" the way Armani does.  Don't ask how I know it was Armani... just don't, but I'd bet my life that it was.

    So Mr. John would be the last person you would expect to be an angel, but he was.  After the pilot's little announcement and the clapping died down, we get word that Mr. Armani (John Doe) wanted to swap seats with the soldier.  Now what's so major about that? You may be asking.  To answer that question I will refer you to paragraph 3 of this post.  And not only was the soldier in coach, no, he was in the very back of the plane. With the screaming children, the *ahem* larger people who don't fit in the seat properly, yet Mr. John wanted to trade anyways.

    This is an angel to me.  A person who is so selfless that they will give up anything, regardless of how petty, for the bettering of the lives of strangers. I don't know if this fits the bill to be called a miracle but I do know that it is people like Mr. John and the soldier who make miracles happen.  They are angels and they are the ones who we should all aspire to be. If only everyone in our society acted like this, could you just imagine how beautiful the world would be then?
   So go.  Be a miracle.  It doesn't matter how major or how minor your actions are because whether you know it or not, someone will see it, and they will be inspired in the way I have.  Do good deeds and be happy to help a stranger.  Be an angel and recognize the unrecognized, for it only takes a second glance to see that they truly do walk among us.

Credit for all of these pictures goes to their original owners.