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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “On the Way.”

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In-between moments can be just as memorable as grand finales. This week, share a photo you took on the way to something else.

My husband and I were on our way to Ramstein in Germany, and we got off at the wrong train station. It was beautiful though, one of the most gorgeous small towns we had come across. We had to wait an hour and a half until the next train arrived that was going to our destination, and we had a wonderful time…we wouldn’t have minded if it took longer! I have kind of an obsession with flowing water, and while it was hard to pick only one photo from our brief stop, I really love this one.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.”

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

I immediately thought of my ninth grade science teacher, Mrs. Conlon. Sure, I’ve had many wonderful, thoughtful, caring teachers, but Mrs. Conlon stands out the most. I remember the very first class I had of hers, sitting nervously in the back of the room. It was the last class of the very first day of high school, and my other five teachers were a mixture of nice and strict. I was wondering what type she would be. She was writing on the board when we first arrived. But when she turned around to welcome us, I immediately liked her. She was friendly, warm, and had an eccentric air about her, which I loved. Biology quickly became my favorite class and this was when I realized my love of science. I joined the club she was the faculty leader of, the Science Club, and had some of the best times of my high school life.

I remember we made a float for the homecoming parade…and it gave me something to look forward to for months. Our school’s team, the golden eagles, were playing the rival high school’s team, the bears. We decided to build a cage on our float with a bear inside and golden eagle football players lovingly waving and cheering at the crowd. But wait, that’s too boring, I thought. When it’s our time to “shine” (a.k.a. the parade stops so we can dance around), why don’t we have the bear escape? And how about the golden eagles triumphantly beat it back into its cage, as we hoped to demolish the opposing team? No one wanted to be the bear, though. The costume was hot and it would be weird to shake and rattle the cage bars and then embarrassingly get “beaten” back into the cage.

Well, of course I had to volunteer. Who wouldn’t want to act like a bear?

It was awesome. It was so much fun. Mrs. Conlon was out there with us day after day, helping make our float and sewing together the bear costume. She really went above and beyond what was asked of her, she should have made us do all the work, but she was too nice to do that to us. When we had to come in on Saturdays just to make sure it was ready in time, she gave up some of her time off to come help us.

But that wasn’t all she did for me. We had some of my mom’s old friends living with us, and they were horrible house guests, to put it gently. I won’t get into them here because this is a post bragging about how awesome my old science teacher was, but let’s just say it caused the whole house to have a lot of tension with each other. One day, I arrived home from school and immediately the older daughter (who was college aged) starting picking a fight with me, I can’t even remember about what. Then her little sister (around my age, but she had dropped out of school) joined in with her, yelling at me and continuing the fight, and I decided to ride my bike back to school. I was a bus kid because my school was five miles away, but I didn’t care, because anywhere would be better than being home. And the library was always open late and I could hole myself up in there and read to my heart’s content until my mom came home from work.

After the bike ride up there (which felt like an eternity to a 15-year-old kid), I was brooding and fuming (as teenagers like to do) and was too upset to want to read. So, I went to find Mrs. Conlon. She was on her way to a meeting, but after seeing my face and hearing about how I rode my bike back up to school immediately after arriving home, she sat down with me and talked to me for over two hours. About the family, about my mom, about my brother, about my struggling grades, about anything and everything. I remembered towards the end of our talk that she had said she was on her way to a meeting and asked her about it. She told me I was much more important than going to a boring meeting and she would much rather have been sitting there talking to me.

I started to cry. I really felt like she was the one adult in my life that I could count on, that I could trust, that I felt really truly cared for me. She could have told me to go home, to go find a school counselor, to come back another day, anything really. She certainly didn’t have to blow off a meeting for me, that wasn’t in her job description. But she stayed and she talked to me and I felt better than I had in weeks. It’s been over 10 years and I still have fond memories of her and what an amazing, compassionate, incredible person she was. I came to see her occasionally throughout the years, the last time was when I started college in 2009, and she always remembered me, was always so excited to see me and catch up and genuinely seemed to care how life was turning out for me. I miss her terribly and she will forever be one of the most special people in my life, and definitely the teacher whom had the biggest impact for the best on my life. She instilled in me a love of science, she showed me compassion in a turbulent time in my life, she encouraged me to go after my dreams of becoming a nurse, and she taught me that it doesn’t matter where you came from in life, that you are still important and worthy and can do anything or be anything you want to be.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Papa Loves Mambo.”

What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

This prompt made me happy, because I have some very fond memories of listening to music with my mother growing up. We had one of those huge, tall stereos that were popular in the ’80s…and it was on pretty much 24/7. It definitely helped fuel my love of music…I have music playing almost all day in my home now, too. The only difference in my house growing up and our house now is the type of music…my mom was a country girl, she loved her horses and cowboy boots, and her taste in music was the same. It was almost like Alabama, Kenny Chesney, Diamond Rio, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, and Garth Brooks were helping to raise us all. She fell in love with Brad Paisley when he came out, but I was a lot older by then and don’t remember listening to him growing up.

I’m more into pop and rock personally. I don’t hate country music (I never could) but I don’t really like it and you won’t really hear me listening to it on my own. When I’m with my mom we listen to it and I enjoy it then, but then when I come home it’s back to Katy Perry, The Fray, Goo Goo Dolls, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Paramore, Coldplay, and Echosmith, among many others. I loved to listen to the German pop artists when we were in Germany, but sadly, I don’t know any of their names. I should probably go look up some German music, though, because it would be great to hear them again. And there’s a lot of Japanese pop music that I love, especially the Vocaloids (which also has its own show and plenty of fan art). Now my husband is obsessed with classical music so I’m learning that I enjoy listening to a lot of those composers also (and he calls my music garbage…meh). I think the only genre I don’t like is rap, although my dad and I both like a lot of Eminem’s songs.

So I guess since I grew up listening to country I should love it more, but I just don’t for some reason. But I still loved growing up in a house that was always filled with music. I even joined the band in eighth grade and learned how to play the flute, and presently I’d love to learn to play the violin, that is a goal of mine. That might be a good goal to start on this year!

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Opposite Day.”

If you normally write non-fiction, post a photo. If you normally post images, write fiction. If you normally write fiction, write a poem. If you normally write poetry, draw a picture.

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The happiest day of my life, the day my husband came home from a six and half month long deployment in 2012.

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“If your furniture, appliances, and other inanimate objects at home had feelings and emotions, to which item would you owe the biggest apology?”

I’m sorry but as soon as I saw this particular daily prompt I literally laughed out loud. I thought it was an awesome and humorous question to ask, and even though it was posted earlier this month, I really wanted to answer it.

I would owe quite a few items apologies. I guess I could say my floor deserves the biggest apology because I allow everyone to walk all over it, but I know that’s not what the prompt is talking about. The Wii U gets a lot of hate from both my husband and I, he doesn’t like it because it’s a childish console and not as great as the Xbox or Playstation, I’m angry at it because I expected better games to be out for it by now, it’s been a huge disappointment. But we still use it for Netflix and Hulu so it’s not completely neglected. My washer gets a lot of hate for all the issues we’ve had with it, but when it’s working it does a good job of washing our clothes and I’m appreciative of some of the flaws it has, like the lid lock doesn’t work. I sometimes like to watch the clothes agitate and spin (to make sure they’re really getting clean) and I don’t want a modest washer that won’t let me peek at it while it’s working.

The prompt doesn’t mention if they have sight or other senses, but if they did, I definitely owe the stuffed animals on our headboard the biggest apology of all, for reasons that I’m sure are obvious.

But I need to narrow it down to one, and that is pretty tough. I’ve wronged plenty of inanimate objects in my life and I owe them all restitution.  I guess since living here I really should apologize to our gas stove. I hate it, I don’t like it, I prefer electric. And my mom is famous for making innocent things seem dreadful and full of danger and just generally thinking of the worst case scenario and she was panicked for me upon learning our new house had a gas stove. I love you, but, really Mom? We have detectors to make sure it’s not leaking gas, and I know this is an issue our housing office takes seriously so I don’t think they would let us live in a house with defective gas lines or stoves. I can sleep soundly at night, not worrying over a murderous stove on the first floor (even though it certainly has motive for killing us). My friend who lives next door has a fancier stove than ours, so that also brought a new thing to hate about it. It doesn’t tell us when it’s pre-heated and it doesn’t have a digital display or controls which I miss about our last house’s oven. The tray underneath that is suppose to be used to store our baking pans is too small and narrow to fit anything but our tiniest pizza pan, and I learned the hard way I can’t even store that under there because the heat from the stove burned it black.

So, gas stove, I am sorry I hate you so much. I’m sorry that my hands slip and sometimes your oven door slams shut. I’m sorry that when I burned my arm as I pulled a tray of chicken out of you, that I cursed you and then promptly dropped said tray on top of you. I’m sorry that we seriously considered dragging you out to the shed and replacing you with an electric stove of our choosing, and that the only reason we didn’t is because we don’t know how to replace a gas stove and we didn’t want to risk doing it incorrectly and leaking your fuel everywhere. I’m sorry I judge you based on your looks because you’re not a very pretty stove. I’m sorry I couldn’t get use to your smell for weeks, so I avoided using you as much as possible. I do thank you for making our dinner most nights, and for boiling the sweet tea I love to drink, even if it takes you nearly twice as long as our last stove to bring things to a boil.

Was that not a very good apology? I’m sorry I’m not more sorry. You are, after all, an inanimate object and I don’t feel that bad about hating you because I know we only have to deal with you for three years, and then you will be someone else’s problem. Or joy. I know a lot of people prefer gas stoves, and I’m sorry I’m not one of them.