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Running for my life

23 Oct

As I run through the woods past the deep reds and oranges of the surrounding trees, my heavily worn sneakers crunching the leaves below, I gasp in quick breaths of cool air.  Glancing over my left shoulder I see about a dozen other people straining to catch up.  My ears and nose are chilled from extended exposure.  My knees are numb and weak under the weight of my body.  My head is pounding with each stride from stress.  Still, I press on with determination.  Ahead, I can see the path narrow to two person width and it appears to be on an incline.  I slow my pace slightly to better handle the unevenness of the terrain.  I take giant strong steps onto the gritty dirt hill and proceed forward despite my exhaustion. 

After just 50 yards, I spot a lone figure in the middle of the path facing my direction.  Clothed in a white jumpsuit that is splattered with blood, the dark haired person sways slowly back and forth, staring mostly at the ground.  I stop in my tracks and wait for others to catch up to me and assess the situation.  There is a foothold in the hill to the right of him and the tree to the right of that has a low hanging branch that can be used for quick leverage to pull oneself past him.  Once more runners have closed in around me, we quiet down and begin to slowly file past him one by one.  I wait for several people to pass me before I muster up the courage to take my turn. 

Placing my shaky foot into the small divot, I get closer to the mumbling figure and keep my face turned away from him,  preparing to squeak by.  I tell myself not to look up close at his wild ice blue eyes and droopy face with ugly jagged teeth.  He growls and reaches out at me just as I grasp the tree branch above my head and pull myself to safety past him.  The intensity of the close encounter has made my heart skip a beat and, before I know it, my feet have carried me a few hundred yards away.  Once I know he has remained in his spot behind me to terrorize others, I realize I can take a short breather.  I lean my body forward against a tree and shiver from the dampness of my sweaty tshirt clinging to my skin. 

“C’mon, guys!  There’s a clearing up ahead,” shouts a tall skinny man as he whizzes past, others following closely behind.  I push off my resting post and jog to catch up.  As I eventually come to the edge of the tree line with the others our jaws drop in unison.  In the middle of the vast open field before us sits a large wall climb surrounded by dozens of bloodied growling figures milling around in the tall grass.  It will take lots of speed and strategy to get through this.  I glance down at my flag belt to ensure that my three hanging flags are properly secured before closing my eyes and taking a deep breath and allowing my adrenaline to kick in and propel me through the “deadly” crowd…      

This post is in honor of both my love for Halloween and my impending participation in the “Run For Your Lives” Zombie 5K this coming weekend.  Hopefully I will “survive”…

The most important title!

13 May

Daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, friend, confidant, secretary, amatuer writer…  All of these are words that can be used to describe me in relation to others.  But, my most important title in life is, and will forever be, Mom!

Ever since my precious Little Man came into my life 3 and 1/2 years ago, I became a role model, a teacher, a provider and a leader all in one!  So, this week, one of the prompts given on Mama Kat’s site was to share a lesson from my mother that still sticks with me to this day.  I learned so much from my mom over the years and it is hard to pick out just one thing that has stuck with me.  Many lessons she taught me are ones that I am instilling in Lil Guy every day as he learns and grows.  From practicing good manners to treating others the way you want to be treated to “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” I am making sure that Lil Guy has the proper foundation to build from into a wonderful grown man one day.

Thanks Mom for everything you’ve done and taught me over the years!  You have supplied me with the stepstone of tools to raise the best child I can!  And, I want to thank Lil Guy for enriching my life thus far.  I love every moment spent with you, buddy and am so proud to call myself your Mom!!!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers and grandmothers and female caregivers out there!  Enjoy your day!

From ice cream to lightning bugs

11 May

One of the prompts given on Mama Kat’s site this week was to list my top 10 favorite things about summer growing up.  Without further ado:

1.  Running down the street with change in hand to catch the ice cream truck

2.  Feeling my stomach jump up into my chest as I jumped from the high dive at the city pool in Baker Park

3.  Watching cartoons and the old Batman TV show in the cool comfort of the basement on hot afternoons

4.  Running through the sprinkler and flying down the slip-n-slide

5.  Riding bikes down to 7 Eleven to buy slurpees and candy

6.  Feeding the ducks at the pond in Baker Park

7.  Eating junk food at the Thurmont carnival and riding rides into the night

8.  Watching the 4th of July fireworks at Ft. Detrick from my best friend’s backyard

9.  Going to my Aunt Ila’s house for entire weekend sleepovers

10.  Chasing lightning bugs around the yard to catch them in my insect cage

Your turn!  What are your 10 favorite things about summer growing up?

Ultimate Blog Party 2012!

16 Apr

Yay, it’s the Ultimate Blog Party 2012!  I love a good party, and I hope you do too!  So, welcome if you don’t already know me!  My name is Jen and I am a single full-time working mom.  I work by day as an administrative assistant and leave it behind to come home and support my energetic 3-year-old Lil Guy at night.  He is truly the light of my life!  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English and creative writing is my passion.  So, I use this blog to express my thoughts on life and motherhood at times but mainly as a release for my creative writing talent.

I like to participate in a few different memes regularly like Wordless Wednesday (when I can come up with interesting photos), Words on Edge for fictional inspiration and Mama Kat’s Pretty Much Infamous Writer’s Workshop for other writing ideas.  My ultimate goal one day, is to become a novelist, so maybe through one of these starting prompts, I can eventually build into a long story and work towards that…

Anyway, I encourage you to poke around my site, read as much as you’d like and if you wish, become a follower through email or Facebook: Sticky Note Queen.  And, comments are always welcome as I love to hear reactions to my writing and suggestions that will help me grow!

Here are the links to a few of my favorite creative writing pieces I’ve written to get you started:

14 Years Later

For It’s One, Two, Three Strikes; You’re Out!

For Malaika

Ode To My Toddler

Growing

Ghosts And Lace

The Most Peaceful Place

Lost love

1 Apr

I came across a box of memories last night and it brought me to tears.  For the last several months, I’ve had to put on my tough face and remain focused at all times but amidst all of that, I’ve forgotten how much I miss you.

You were my companion for many years; remaining by my side through thick and thin.  Whenever I had a bad day, the comfort of you sitting next to me and listening while I talked out my stresses was just what I needed.  Every time I came home, just knowing you were there filled the entire house with a welcoming presence.  I still remember leisurely walks we would take in the neighborhood or by the water in Annapolis when the weather was nice.  And, the sound of your breathing and warm body pressed up next to mine always helped me fall asleep at night.

But, you were taken from me too soon.  Last February, the sudden sickness that overcame you took us all by surprise and broke my heart.  As I sat holding your worn purple leash in my hand last night, still with small strands of your fir attached to it, I fondly thought of the amazing last day at the park we spent together.  It should have been so cold out but we had an unexpectedly warm 70 degree day for February.  So, we ventured out with you on my lap in the car and your head out the window with your signature tongue hanging out and puggy smile as we made our way to the park.  I remember your slow limp as we wandered around in the grass together taking pictures for probably the last time.

I had a constant headache that entire last week of your life from crying and worrying so much.  And, I will never forget how hard it was to say goodbye to you, kiss you one last time and watch you take your last breath.  And, as time has passed, I don’t cry every time I see a pug on TV anymore but I smile with rememberance and appreciation of all the time I had with you.  I still wish sometimes that you were here to lay beside me or let me hold you and pet you as I confide in you.

One day, I will have another pug of my own.  And, though she will be different than you, I will probably always think of you when I hear her snort or laugh when I see her “Elvis lip” snaggletooth as you used to do.

You are my girl Suzie and I’ll always love you!

RIP Suzie Q!  July 2002 – February 19, 2011

Yay – It’s my SITS Day!

23 Feb

Hello, and welcome to all of my readers out there – old and new – to my cozy little place in cyberspace!  It’s finally my SITS Day and to paraphrase Dr. Seuss; “(I’m) off to Great Places! Today is (my) day!  (My) mountain is waiting, so… get on (the) way!”  For those of you who don’t know what SITS is, it is a blogging community made up of thousands of female bloggers who support one another through education, comments and they feature a different blogger each day (which today is ME!).  Their community motto is: “the secret to success is support!”

Blogging Resources for Women
My name is Jen I am a single full-time working mom.  I work by day as an administrative assistant and leave it behind to come home and support my energetic 3-year-old Lil Guy at night.  He is truly the light of my life!  I use this blog to express my thoughts on life and motherhood at times but also as a release for my creative writing talent.

I like to participate in a few different memes regularly like Wordless Wednesday (when I can come up with interesting photos), Words on Edge for fictional inspiration and Mama Kat’s Pretty Much Infamous Writer’s Workshop for other writing ideas.  My ultimate goal one day, is to become a novelist, so maybe through one of these starting prompts, I can eventually build into a long story and work towards that…

Anyway, I encourage you to poke around my site, read as much as you’d like and if you wish, become a follower through email or Facebook.  And, comments are always welcome as I love to hear reactions to my writing and suggestions that will help me grow!

The most peaceful place

23 Jan

I shuffle through the crowd in my three layers of clothes;  the outer shell being waterproof pants, a bulky winter jacket and furry hat and gloves.  The sea of people with skis or snowboards attached to their boots doesn’t move quickly but with purpose toward the chairlift ahead.  I dig my ski poles hard into the snow and push off closer to the front of the line.  The large metal chairs swing fast around the huge wheel and scoop riders up before beginning the slow incline up the mountain.

When it’s my turn to ride, I firmly plant my skis on the yellow line and glance over my shoulder to wait for the moment when the moving chair makes contact with the back of my knees and I lean back to rest on the seat.  I pull my poles to my chest and swing the overhead bar down in front of me to “lock” me into position.  The slow gentle bob of the lift is relaxing as it carries me overtop the slope and the snowboarding park with its jumps and ramps where the bold showcase their tricks.  I always appreciate passing over at just the moment when a snowboarder is clearly showing off for his friends and then embarassingly lands on his butt!

I chuckle to myself as the journey up the mountain continues.  If it weren’t so cold out, I could almost fall asleep due to the soft mellow music playing over the loudspeakers and the faint lights casting a warm glow across the terrain below.  As the lift begins to ascend at a steeper angle, the night becomes darker around me and the whistle of the wind is the only sound I hear as the end of the ride is within my sights now.

Approaching the lift’s drop-off point, I lift the lap bar over my head again and wiggle toward the edge of my seat.  The chair speeds in to the landing and I push my poles into the ground to cruise out of the way and toward the slopes ahead.  I am faced with several choices: the easy and intermediate slopes to my left, or the three advanced slopes straight ahead and to my right.  I know that whichever route I choose, I will enjoy simply because I love to ski!  Ever since I learned to ski in my 4th grade ski club in Korea, I have had a passion for it.  And, even though I am plagued with an extreme fear of heights, I have found that the ski slopes are one place that I can somewhat conquer my fear!

There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of standing atop a steep snow covered slope to take in the amazing view before zooming downward at record speed!  Even though I will be racing down the mountain, almost out of control, I will fall into a swift zig zag pattern as I keep my skis parallel while shifting my weight to make turns.  I will whiz past other skiiers and the tall sturdy trees as if they aren’t even there.  The chill that will hit my exposed cheeks and the loud “whoosh” that rings in my ears will not bother me as I focus on form and savor the excitement I feel as if I’m the only one in the world at that particular moment.

I can barely contain myself now as the anxiety of that exhilarating feeling takes over and I slide my skis in the direction of the first sign with a black diamond on it.  After several steps and a moment of adjusting my poles around my wrists and my hat down around my ears, I nudge the ends of my skis to the edge of the slope.  Looking down, I smile and internally squeal “Here I go!” …