lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Childhood Change April 16, 2016

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Growing up, I had godparents. I mean, we weren’t really close to them, and I didn’t really know them. They were who my parents chose before I was even born. I don’t know if my parents ever sat me down to tell us or if my sister and I just sort of absorbed the information the way kids do, but we always knew that if something happened to our parents, we would be sent to live with our godparents.

Duh duh duh!

It was terrifying. Not because they were mean or because we were afraid they would starve us. No. We were scared because they didn’t believe in Santa. That and their youngest child was psychotic. Like truly. I think there was something wrong with her. She stayed at our house for a sleepover once, and only once. Why? Because halfway through the night, she started calling the doorknobs mommy and daddy and was having full conversations for them. We had to go get her mom, who was also staying at the house, to make her stop. It was a bad night for everyone.

But back to the Santa business. (more…)

 

A Rehashing of the Teddy Trial March 21, 2016

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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A long time ago my sister gave my beloved stuffed puppy a swirly. I thought the matter was over and done with. In fact, I even wrote a blog about it. But it seems the matter is far from over.

The way I remember it my sister gave my stuffed puppy a swirly. After a lot of crying, I decided to take revenge. And not just any revenge. A horrible revenge that can only be executed by the likes of a little sister.

My sister had a teddy bear that she loved very much. Since my big sister had hurt my puppy, I would take revenge on Teddy. While my mother was Lysoling the toilet germs out of puppy, I found my sister’s teddy, fastened a very impressive noose for a child, and hung Teddy over my sister’s bed with a note that read something along the lines of —

You smell. I cannot take living with your awful stink anymore. Goodbye cruel world. (more…)

 

#GratefulAuthor August 17, 2015

My mother has always been a little indulgent. Not like buying my sister and me the coolest shoes that all the kids had to have, or buying me a puppy any of the million times I asked for one. More like my sister decided that she desperately needed to go to summer camp, so my mother became the camp’s arts director so my sister and I could go to camp for the summer. Or when I decided I need more dance classes and she found another studio where I could moonlight.

But my favorite was the day my sister decided she needed a bag of cement. My sister didn’t know what exactly she needed the cement for, only that it was vital that she make something out of it.

Most parents would probably have refused to by their thirteen-year-old a bag of cement, and even more would probably have been furious when that child proceeded to ruin a chunk of grass in the backyard, experimenting with the cement until that child managed to produce a thing that almost resembled really sandy art.

But the best part of the story is today my sister is a ceramic artist and art professor. And it all started with my mom sighing and buying my sister a bag of creepy concrete.

For me and writing, it was not so difficult to get the supplies to begin. (more…)

 

A Magical Mystery Birthday Event August 10, 2015

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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When I was little, every once in a while my mother would pack me, my sister, and whatever foreign exchange student we had at the time into the car and take us on a magical mystery tour. Sometimes we would leave super early in the morning. Sometimes she would announce at lunch that we were all to get in the car. She would never tell us where we were heading.

If it was an overnight trip, she would give us a list of things to pack. Like a swim suit, an outfit for the theatre, and clothes we could get muddy. We’d never know which of the things we’d really need. She just did it to throw us off the scent. We were allowed to guess at where we were going, but she’d never answer.

And then we’d end up at a state park or outdoor theatre. Sometimes we’d have a picnic. And once we ended up in Canada. But it was always a wonderful adventure.

I turn the big 3-0 tomorrow. I know, I’m old as poop. And have accomplished nothing with my life. I’ve wasted thirty years, and I will leave no mark on this earth. Please excuse my yearly birthday freak out.

But aside from my lack of life accomplishments. My husband is taking me on a magical mystery tour for my birthday. I know we’ll be camping. I know we’re leaving late tomorrow night. But that’s it! I have no idea where I’ll be for my Birthday! It’s a little terrifying, and I love it!

On a psychotic side note, for some reason getting 500 likes on my author Facebook page before I’m officially over the hill somehow seems really important. Maybe it’s because Facebook keeps asking why I haven’t accomplished this yet.

So, help me with my crazy Birthday wish, and help an aging author reach her social media goal. I’ll feel young and hip. In with them cool kids. And able to compete with the whippersnappers.

Follow this link and Like me!

But seriously, y’all. Thanks for being a part of my madness. You are all beautiful and wonderful!

 

The Hair Hacker April 27, 2015

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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When I was little, my parents used our house as a Bed and Breakfast. To me, that mostly meant having ten minutes to find every sock I had lost in the house when someone called from town and wanted a room for the night. But every once in a while, there was a guest that stood out.

There was one regular who came to the Inn all the time. He was divorced, and every time he had his two girls for the weekend he would bring them to the Inn. I don’t know if he didn’t have room for them at home or if he just didn’t want to be on his own with two children, but whatever the reason, two weekends a month he would show up. One of the girls was a little older than I was and really cool, but the little one was just a little crazy. She was always nice when we played together, but she had a very strong desire to cut her hair.

Whenever this family was coming, my mother would have to go through the inn and hide everything that could possible cut hair. Sewing scissors, nail clippers, everything.

If you forgot a Swiss army knife, that kid would find it and start chopping off chunks of her hair! (more…)

 

The Best Worst Idea Ever March 7, 2015

When I was little, my mother took my whole Girl Scout troop to a lodge every winter. For more background of that lodge and how it nearly killed me a few times, click here.

But this story is about how I almost got my sister killed. Love you, sis!

See we wanted to go sledding down the giant hill, but for some grownup reason, that just couldn’t be allowed this time.

There was a little hill out in front of the lodge, and all the adults said that was plenty big enough for sledding. We went down it a few times, but it was honestly anti-climactic. The adults went inside to do grownup things, and we tried to have fun with our terrible hill.

But then we realized that if we built a snow ramp at the bottom, we could fly into the air and land in the parking lot. This was clearly better than just meandering slowly down the hill on a sled. (more…)

 

The Baby Out the Window February 28, 2015

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I am on my way back up to the frozen north. And having spent the first part of winter in Florida, I am not looking forward to the snow. I mean, I want to look at it. I just don’t want it to touch me. Or seep into my boots.

I grew up in a valley settled between four mountain ranges. It’s a lovely place, but every once in a while, a storm will settle over the valley and pound us to death. When I was little, we had a really bad blizzard. The wind was so strong, it blew the snow up onto our covered, four-foot-high porch, so we couldn’t even open the door to get out of the house. We were surrounded by five feet of snow all around.

But my mother, refusing to be trapped in her own home by mother nature, told my sister and me that we were going to play a fun game. She wrapped us up in all our winter clothes and tossed us out the window into the snow. Then she tossed down shovels and called, “Shovel the door out! I’ll have cocoa waiting when you get in!” (more…)