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Finding Myself

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Dedicated to my sister Elaine, whose lighthearted suggestion that I write this book, has become a reality.
Jan 1, 2008
Dear Diary, or Journal, or whatever exactly you are. You are the first diary I’ve ever had, so despite my lack of experience with a pen, you shall have to tolerate me as your future companion. I am turned 13 today. Just in case you were wondering, my name is Irene, which means peace. I can’t say as I believe my name suits me, but I still kind of like it. You, dear Diary, are my birthday present from Daddy. I almost said Dad, but he doesn’t like it when I say that. We went together to Target this evening just to find you. Elaine came with us, she’s my eldest sister. I’ll be sure to write every day, and tell you just what I’ve been up to. Normally, a little too much for my own good, which is more interesting than the healthy amount of activity. Mother would highly disapprove of such a statement, but I don’t see why if I’m going to think it I should refrain from saying so. I should get to bed now before I get caught, it’s late.
Jan 16, 2008
I’m so sorry I didn’t write. So much of nothing has kept me occupied, until just now that is. The cat just went missing. I think that is incorrect grammar, because I said something similar earlier when talking to Elaine and Mother scolded me for it. Anyway… I’m glad it went missing! I still haven’t forgiven it for biting my toe in the middle of the night; it scared me half to death. Besides, it killed my favorite mouse last week, AND; ate it!
Jan 20, 2008
Dear Journal, I must call you a journal from now on, because Nannie sent me a Dairy with a lock and key, and Mom says this is really a journal. I thought if you used anything like a dairy that is what it became. Apparently, I was mistaken.
Jan 23, 2008
Daniel and I were arguing today, as usual. He was criticizing the German population for not being very intelligent. “I think you picked the wrong topic, we Americans don’t exactly have the best intellectual record”, I said honestly. “Oh yea?” he was indignant. Aren’t your favorite authors, Sir Walter Scot and Jane Austin?” “Yes, so what’s your point?” I asked, unsure what he was getting at. “Well, he said smugly, they are not exactly German are they?” “That’s correct, I told him, they’re not exactly American either”. “What about Gorge Macdonald and Emily Dickinson?” “They’re English”, I said simply. He didn’t give up at that, “Isn’t Avi American?” “Don’t know, do you?” He didn’t answer. “Well you’re American, he said after a moment, and an author.” “Not yet, besides, you said my writing was brainless.” “It is!”, he stated glaring at me. “Oh, well as you say, I’m American.” “What grade did you get in math this week?” he asked suddenly. “I made a B, why do ask?” “I knew it!” he saidtriumphantly, it’s because you’re part German. “Curious, I said aloud, is that why you failed English, because you are part German?” “That was the fault of the dumb person who arranged the lessons.” “Yes; an American, another example of our superior intelligence?” “I am not German”! he declared indignantly. “Well I’m sure, I said sarcastically, that as a superior being, you had prenatal control over whether you were born in Germany or the US.” At this point, Mother requested that we two contrary ones quit quarreling. “Certainly Mother, I said with a disdainful glace at Daniel, it never does any good to argue with Monsieur featherhead”. “Well, Daniel informed me, it certainly takes a featherhead to say something like that to me”! “How come?” I wanted to know. “Because, he said haughtily, I just might let you have it for that. “What’s that supposed mean”, I asked without the slightest interest in finding out. “ It means Ma’am, he replied with mock respect, that I have more brains than you, and I know how to use them.” “Interesting, I said as I turned way, I’ll remember that next time when you fail Algebra.” “I made an A in algebra, miss know-it-all”. “Ok, I said on my way outside, congratulations this time, not sympathy the next.” But, much as I hate to admit it, I do hope he gets good grades with Algebra next time as well.
Jan 26, 2008
The children have all caught, what Mother refers to as, spring fever. Which mean that with all the lovely weather of late, they spend all their time out of doors, occupied in various activity’s. Mostly playing tag games, radar and jump-rope. That was OK at first, but they have these two silly verses, known as jump-rope songs, which they keep singing over and over. The one, Cinderella, the other, Teddy bear, and I had heard them both one to many times. So I requested they try a different one. Christy indignantly informed me, that those were the only two they knew. Oh, do you have to sing then, I enquired wearily. “Yes! That helps us keep time with the rope”, August said cheerfully. “So come up with one”, I suggested desperately. “Impossible”, was the general opinion. “ I know, Michael said, handing me the rope, when we say go, you have to make it to fifty and come up with a new one of your own before you reach the end of the count. If you don’t, he added smiling, we’re going to keep singing till you do”. “That doesn’t sound fair’, I said laughing. But I had no choice. So somehow or other I said this…
If you find a mush-room,
Give it to my elf-y friend.
Though it take a little while,
You may make a friend of him.
When I find a mush-room,
I give it to my elf-y friend,
Though it took a little while,
I did make a friend of him.
A big mistake on my part, sence the fateful moment those few silly words met my lips; I haven’t heard the last of them. Still put to the tune I randomly gave them at the time. That is the only jump-rope accompaniment I’ve heard for the last three days. So instead of two songs, I now am stuck with one. Like all jump-rope songs, it is nothing more than a short, incoherent bit of poetry, if it can be called such. I only wish they’d given me a moment to think about it first. Then maybe it wouldn’t be quite so silly. August is particularly fond of it, because she fancies that her little pointed ears make her a relation to those tiny mythical creatures, otherwise known, as elves. I think it is actually supposed to be the leprechaun, which though somewhat similar is not the same as elf; that is supposed to be so fond of mushrooms.
Next evening,
Elaine did not feel well today. The children were making a lot of noise, and she didn’t like that. So I took them outside and kept them occupied. Or was it the other way round? They certainly kept me busy. I was dubbed it in a freeze- tag game. Any time I caught one of them they faked hurt, and said I had to let them go. Naturally, I lost of course. After all, I don’t suppose they would have wanted me to be it if they had expected me to win. They might have been slightly more sympathetic ,and let me keep one prisoner. At least then I wouldn’t have looked quite so foolish running around trying to catch them. All in all though, I believe I enjoyed it. When they grew tired; I let them help me make popcorn balls. We were supposed to freeze them, but the children were so impatient, Mother said they could have them warm. I was too tired to care one way the other, except about my finger, which unfortunately, had been slightly burnt in the cooking process. I never was much of a cook. In any case, I seem always to end up in worse condition than the stuff I attempt to make. What I need is a recipe for how to keep from getting burnt.
Feb 2, 2008
Mom wrote a poem this morning, it goes like this.
Fishy, fishy, on my plate,
First I cooked you, then we ate.
That’s just like her; to think of something disgusting like that.
Date something, Dear Diary,


Mom and Dad have decided it’s Ok for me to have dancing lessons. I’m going to learn to Irish dance. It’s going to be so much fun! I can scarcely wait for lessons to begin, but I’m too excited to write for now. I’ve wanted this for so long. I thought they would never allow it. I can’t dance at all, but I’ve tried composing dance steps, and they’re kind of fun. The children and I practice them while everyone else is gone, or did, till we got caught. Mother and Dad, unawares to us, had been watching. Mom said she was impressed with my choreography. I didn’t bother to ask what that meant.
Feb 6, 2008
Dear Diary,

Dance lessons have been postponed for the present. We can’t afford them right now. I don’t really understand why I feel so disappointed. Dad did promise we would try next week. I don’t feel like writing for now. I think I shall draw; only I’m grown tired of drawing. I still haven’t learned to draw the bark on a pine tree. It always comes out looking more plastic than wood.
Feb 13, 2008
We can’t afford to see about lessons this week. I know I’m too old for this, but I feel like crying. I shall try to just forget for now; next week will be here quicker that way.
Feb 14, 2008
Terrific! I’m grounded. That was the last thing I wanted at present. But the reason? Dad’s on night shift. So now, when it gets dim out, Mom seems to get hysterical. I realize this is typical for Mother, but of late it is getting overboard. Mathew stepped out onto the porch, and looked down into the garden. He saw an orange light, which disappeared when he stared at it. Big deal, it was probably a ghost, or something as realistic. He told Mother, who immediately locked all the doors. She also grounded us and covered the windows. She even tied dishes to the doors for alarms. I don’t know what she was scared of. I only wish it had been a ghost, at least then she would have fainted, and we would still be allowed out of doors. Unfortunately, I don’t believe mother knows how to faint. I can’t blame her, I don’t either.
Feb 20, 2008
Dance lessons it would seem, have been forgotten entirely. That’s OK I guess, I’ll just forget as well. Then I won’t feel so empty. Everything will go back to normal. I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked dance lessons anyway. I miss the cat, I mean, I suppose it will just seem a little odd at first, having it gone so long. I’m really quite happy. I’m sure this gloomy feeling only comes from the fact I have a headache.
Feb 23, 2008
I’m teaching Pearl to ride her new bike. All she’s learned so far is how to bandage her own skent knees.
Feb 25, 2008
I made the children paper animal costumes. We put curtains in front of the hallway, and used the hall as backstage. Mom, Dad, Elaine, Mathew and Daniel made up the audience. All the other children’s had parts in the play. At least we called it a play. It was a lot of nonsense we concocted from some children’s poetry I found. August was a butterfly and Rose a frog. They gave the announcements between acts. Christy was a cow, and recited a psalm from the Bible. That was her idea. Michel and Pearl played the cat and bird in the poem, Little Robin Red Breast. Then Michel finished it up with his own little stunt. He dressed as a pig and we packed him into a large box with a flip up lid. Then our little announcers informed the audience that they were about to see “the pinkest pig in the box that ever poked his snout out’. The audience roared with laughter, when Michel emerged from the box, wiggling his pink snout and ears. He was supposed to say oink, but he forgot to say anything. As the audience laughed themselves silly, he lifted off his paper head cover, revealing a flushed and confused face, and asked me weakly what it was he was supposed to say. Needless to say, I found the whole situation rather embarrassing. So, I snuck off to my room, and I’m still here.
Feb 27, 2008
I have forgotten all about dancing lessons. I haven’t thought of them once. I shall be perfectly happy without them. I mean, I am perfectly happy without them. I shall never wish for them again. Everything is back to normal. Well; almost, there is one slight difference. Elaine keeps telling me I was a fool to believe Mom and Dad in the first place. But they didn’t lie on purpose; sometimes I think Elaine is over critical.
Feb 28, 2008
Elaine is mad at me, and it’s my entire fault to, but I wouldn’t admit it for the world. It all started with the return of the cat. I was reading right here behind the curtains that surround my bed, when I felt it spring up beside me. It smelled terrible, so I gave it a bath and dried it off. It followed me back here and snuggled up beside me. I fell back to reading my book, Bridge to Terabithia where I had left off. I never like to cry about anything, but I had just reached the sad part of the story, and couldn’t help it. Daniel came in, and grabbed the cat. Its claws brushed me as it was lifted away. I screeched out of fright, pain and anger. I really think I imagined most of the pain, as I was so sure it WOULD, hurt. Elaine screamed at us both, and especially me. Because I insisted on making wimpy excuses, she became very angry. All the time, I was trying to fight back the tears caused by the book. So finally I started crying, and now she says I’m an awful brat. I might be, but not for the reasons she imagines. I feel terrible about it all. If I didn’t think it would make her madder, I would apologize, but forget it, that would be stupid, unless I decided to tell the truth.
Date I-don’t-know
Mother, Elaine and I were just playing Mensa. We used the word Mandible. Mother won of course. I found 99 words, Elaine 80 and Mother 120. I don’t know if I have that many words in my vocabulary. Of course; I never counted to see.
March something, 2008, 12:47 PM
I haven’t written in ever so long, and haven’t time to write. Dad’s parents are coming in a few days.
March 15, 2008
Dearest Diary,


I’m so nervous; I’m not sure whether I’m distressed or thrilled. Nannie and Papaw, Dad’s Parents, will be here tomorrow. Mom and Elaine said the way I keep managing to be everywhere at once and not accomplish anything, one would think I was expecting my boyfriend here any minute. Not that I have a boyfriend, they’re just teasing, but I don’t find it very funny. How to keep from behaving in a way that would cause such obnoxious remarks is beyond me. Sence I never had a boyfriend and I’m sure I don’t know how one behaves when they are expecting theirs to show up at any moment. But they shouldn’t say such things. I would never have a boyfriend in the first place. I don’t like boys, after they get past the cute stage they are nothing but an inconvenience. I should know, I have two brothers past that stage. Aside from throwing things at me every time I’m not looking, they delight in trying to scare me. And boys have tendency to carry bugs around, you know like; crickets and worms… which is something I don’t easily tolerate. They also think Irish dancing is silly, and it isn’t!
March 19, 2008
The visit is over. I’ve been so busy while they were here; I had no time to write. There is not much to be said, that wasn’t better left unsaid, about the visit. So I shall leave it at that, and thank heaven it’s all over. And please don’t misunderstand me Diary dear, I didn’t mean that to be euphemistic.
March 27, 2008
It’s hailing! at this time of year. I’ve never seen hail before. It’s like the sky is raining imperfect ice cubes, only not quite so big. It makes me feel all funny inside, almost like I was scared, only I think it’s cool! Nothing so exiting has happened in a long time. I’m going back to watch it.
Evening,
The hail has stopped, and the power is out. Daddy is cooking dinner on the grill outside. The air indoors and out, is moist and warm, and Dad says we can light all the candles when it gets completely dark. This is almost like living inside a cave, only much more fascinating.
April 2, 2008
Mother and Dad’s 20th anniversary is tomorrow. I am to make them a gigantic chocolate cake, and put white frosting all over it. That’s if I don’t need help on account of getting burnt again. Actually, I’m pretty good with cakes… if they come out of a box that is. This one is going to be real, and I am, really, nervous.
April 3, 2008
Don’t ask me what happened at the anniversary party.
April 8, 2008
The cool windy weather seems to have inspired the birds this morning. For like the wind, their cheerful songs begin with the treetops and make their way from there. Their simple lighthearted notes charming every living creature into an irrational happiness. I can mimic many of their songs with an accuracy that seems to confuse them. I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but I found myself caught up in a lively conversation with one of them. It held a dignified superiority from its elegant position on the branch above me, yet it dained to humor me by chattering back and forth. Naturally I haven’t the slightest idea what we were saying; I scarcely think that it would make a difference. Finally I laughed, and as though I had insulted its dignity, it lifted its head indignantly and fell silent. I wish I could stay outside all day. I have studies to finish though, and so I have to behave myself and stay in.
April 17, 2008
Mathew wants to stay in town with Dad for a while. I suppose I should be worried about him. I am worried, about the fact I lost the ring Nannie gave me. I don’t really like jewelry; aside from being pretty it has no use. I don’t know what I’m going to tell Nannie if I don’t have it when she comes back though.
April 18, 2008
Daniel found my ring under the porch and wanted me to pay him for finding it. I thought that was ridiculous, but I gave him a dollar, the only one I had. He wasn’t satisfied with that so I lent him my recorder, as he had wanted to learn to play it. He returned it in a matter of minutes, with the short explanation that, it was junk, and refused to work. I gave it a thorough cleaning and put it safely away. He only said that because he doesn’t know how to use it. He sure got some interesting noises out of it though. Still… I think I’ll stick to the simplicity of real notes.
April 19, 2008
Little children never cease to amaze me. This evening Mom came to help oversee that the little ones got to bed. We both interred the room to see Rose lying on her back kicking her feet in the air. She’s just been learning to talk fluently, and her newest favorite words are, death, dead and die. Mother gave her a scolding look, and she saw it. Instead of putting her dress down, which is what she understood Mother wanted, she began to scream. Apparently lacking knowledge of what it means to be ladylike, she sent her words ringing through the house. “Somebody help me put my dress down before I die!” I was smothering a laugh, when Mother turned to give me a warning look and told me to turn out the light. As I left the room I heard one last, “before I diiiieeee!”
April 22, 2008
That wicked cat went and caught a bird! We tried to save it but it didn’t live more than half an hour. I think I shall give the cat a bath, and forget to turn off the hot water. Maybe then it will learn what it feels like to be on the receiving end.
April 23, 2008
For the first time in my life, I feel sorry for Daniel. He is the unofficial repair man around here, and he is proud of it. He fixes the appliances, and any other broken stuff. Dad’s recliner broke, that is, the back came off. Daniel was called to fix it, and it appeared he had succeeded. The chair-back looked very much attached. He gave a loud shout of,” Hurraaaaay,” before leaping into it. Instead of reclining like it should have, the, fixed, part broke, and sent him sailing over the back of the chair. Poor fellow, he wasn’t hurt, but everyone was there to witness his failure, and I believe that hurt him more than anything.
April 26, 2008
Mathew came home today. The first thing he did when he stepped in the door, was to wrinkle his nose, ask, “What is that smell?” And retreat directly to his room. Do boys never have any manners?
May 3, 2008
Daniel mowed the grass today and expects me to think that is something. The unbelievable stupidity of a brother! I told him I believed I could mow the grass if I had a mind to. The children raked the grass into a big heap, and allotted out portions for building hay houses. The flees are visible, hopping in and out of the hay. The children are trying to catch them in jars. Whoever catches a flee had better not bring it in hear. I’ll put it strait way in there bed and tuck it in.
May 7, 2008
Elaine is clueless when it comes to name calling. If she’d said I was a pessimist, or a brat, or just an idiot, I might have halfway taken her seriously. She called me none of these things however, she says I’m morbid! If it were funny, I might be able to laugh. But it’s not funny to call anyone morbid, and I’m not morbid. Wait a minute; didn’t I just state that she was no good at name calling? If the point of name-calling is to make a person feel uncomfortable, I’m afraid she succeeded. Anyway, I’m NOT, morbid.
June 1, 2008
I really must try to keep a more steady record of things. I shall try to catch up tomorrow. It’s too late to write now.
June 3, 2008 8:06 PM
Elaine and her precious ideas! If it’s wrong to laugh at people, I’m afraid I’m a helpless case. She said guys are going to fall for my face. Really: it’s entertaining just listening to some of the nonsense she talks about like it was facts. If a guy: fell for a face, as she put it, it would have to be a stunningly beautiful one. And I should hope it took more than a beautiful face for a guy to fall in love, elsewise human kind is doomed. Besides, I should hate to think any guy would fall in love with me, for then I should have to feel sorry for him. In any case I trust I’m safely not nice enough that I can be confident that won’t happen. And here I thought there wasn’t any advantage to, not being a very nice person.
June 3, 2008
I had long sense given up writing poetry because I had never written a decent poem that I could tolerate. They always sounded so flat. But sense Elaine told me that poetry has to be inspired I had given up. This morning I got up early and slipped out the window so as not to wake anyone by using the squeaky door, and watched the sun come up. Sense then I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. So finally, I picked up a pen and started trying to describe it. I don’t think it’s a perfect poem, in fact, it think it’s kind of pathetic… but I still kind of like it. It’s the first real poem I’ve ever written. I know you can’t tell me what you think of it diary dear, but I shall copy it hear all the same so you can read it.
Sunrise
Radiantly beautiful





























Everlasting suitable






























The sunrise



































Of the eastern skies


































It leaves you peaceful



































And makes you useful





























When you carry away































To keep for the day































The memories of the morning





























But when the sunrises






























On a rainy day
































What do you feel

































Or think and say?
---------------------------------------
June 12, 2008 9:00 PM
Dear Diary, for the first time today, I heard a recording of June Anderson. Her voice is so beautiful it makes me ache inside. Probably because I wish I could sing a third as well. I can scarcely hold a tune though, and it’s frustrating enough that I rarely try.
June 19, 2008
Ha! Got what I wanted… sort of. The children keep leaving the books out, and when Mom asks who left a book out, naturally, sense the culprit doesn’t want punished, they don’t speak up. So Mom decided to do something about it. Daniel suggested we select a family librarian. This would mean that we have to check out the family books. The person chosen as librarian would write down the name of the book, and the person checking it out. Same way when it’s returned. Sense it was Daniel’s idea, Mom decided he should get the job of librarian. We children raised a ruckus, and that includes me. So finally Mother, to Daniel’s dismay, decided to be librarian herself. I suppose it was naughty of me, I cannot however, say am at all penitent. Daniel and I are not on the best of terms. I am inclined to believe that is a little of both of our faults. Naturally, I think him to be more at fault than myself. I’m sure he believes things to be the other way round. But: I’m sure I’m correct.
June 27, 2008

I have greatly missed playing Elaine’s piano; sense she first forbade me to touch it. Mathew chipped a key, and now she’s mad at all of us. She told me my playing is flat and expressionless, nothing like hers, to quote her. But I believe the real reason is she’s upset because her hands hurt, and now she can’t play. I feel sorry for her, but I don’t think she would take kindly to my sympathy, so: I keep it to myself.
June 28, 2008
Mother wanted me to memories the Ten Commandments. Apparently I didn’t know what they were, as when I began reciting them she said I was reciting the B Attitudes. Aside from the embarrassment, I must say I find it disappointing that after all my efforts I haven’t even started.
July 6, 2008
So much can happen in one day, that if I were to skip a few days and try to catch up on my diary record, it would take two hours. This morning as I slipped from bed I was informed I had ten minutes to be dressed and in the van, because the family was going to tour the York fire department. I got dressed in a half asleep daze. I had to braid and pin up my hair without a mirror and take Elaine’s word for it that it looked just fine. Because we were in a hurry, we discover once we were half there that Augusts hair was a mess and she wore only one dirty sock beneath her perfectly ironed silky dress. I did her hair the best I could from my position beside her. As I brushed: I noticed a lock had been cut. When I mentioned this to Elaine, August became all red in the face and started pointing to things out the window. As she chattered nonstop I tried to question her about the missing lock. She refused to speak on the subject and became even more evasive as I discovered several more missing locks. We can only assume she was having a stilling experiment on her hair and wasn’t pleased with the results. I shall have to French braid her hair until it repairs itself, so much for her lovely golden curls. We had a pleasant tour of the fire department. I had hoped to get to slide down the pole, but they had replaced it with stairs. They probably wouldn’t have let us do that anyway. They said they took it out because they had tricks played on them, like having the pole greased. After that, nothing much happened. We went to Wal-Mart and then came home. Christy became sick; she caught the flu or something of the like. I made a mobile hung with gifts and pinned it to the ceiling above her bed. Mother when back to town to get Christy some soup, and had difficulty with the van brakes when she tried to leave the parking lot. So when she and Elaine, who was with her, stayed there for a while talking to Dad over the phone, one of the workers offered to drive them home. That did not prove necessary, but the attention pleased Elaine. At least, by the fact that upon relaying the story to me she smiled, I have assumed as much.
July 7, 2008
Dear diary, I keep forgetting to mention it, but I’ve been doing a little more experimenting, so to speak; with poetry. It’s kind of fun. I just chose a thought pattern or any old topic and put my opinions on it into words. Like this.
Almost
Beffell the night
Now blumeth the day
If only I might
Just this once say
What's been in my heart
For a year or two
Without that art
Of subdelty due
To one such subject
As it holds
Not intirely correct
For modlisctic molds
------------------
See what I mean? A delightful lot of nonsense. Only…I’m afraid it’s true. I hate that. Every time I put pen to paper I say too much, and it all comes out a so completely, true. That’s OK I guess, or would be if I had a more angelic nature. Never mind that, if I write something I didn’t mean to I’ll burn it. Speaking of which, I keep meaning to burn this book. I haven’t got around to it yet. But don’t fret Diary Dear, you won’t know the difference, especially after you translate to a pile of ashes.




July 13, 2008
Dear Diary, I just lost a Monopoly game. That must seam kind of insignificant: It is actually. I thought sense I haven’t written in a while though, that I would try to get back into the habit. I’m not so sure that’s a good idea, but I like not so good ideas, as I’ve had more experience with them than any other kind of idea. We will be going to Tennessee in a few days to visit relatives. It’s a long trip from hear; were we are out in the country somewhere in South Carolina. But; I should have plenty of time to write on the trip. OH! Actually, I forgot that I tend to get carsick. So maybe that’s not such a good idea. And I know I just said that I like idea’s that are not such good ideas but: this is one idea that is, well: not at all such a good or tolerable sounding idea.
July 15, 2008
Sense we are going to see relatives I have never seen before, and may never see again; I made up my mind to avoid making any really awful impressions for this first meeting. So I’m practicing, or was practicing, being perfect for one day. I thought it would be no problem. I haven’t succeeded in two tries. I had no idea just how often I sin every day. The first day, even with keeping my goal in mind at all times, I racked up a list. First of all, I glared at Daniel, for no other reason than he glared at me. Naturally that provoked him into glaring harder. I determined not to glare at him again, and instead got up to go outside. I was thinking about slamming the door, but was sure as I shut it that it would not slam. Perhaps somewhere in there travelings my brain signals got mixed. Whatever happened, I slammed that door louder than I ever have before. I jumped as the vibrations of the slam ran through the porch, and hurried away feeling guilty. But it wasn’t five minutes till August came out and stated chattering about who knows what. Having already succeeded in putting myself on edge; I turned and through a handful of pine-needles at her and told her to go away. What both stopped and stared at each other in surprise at my action, then August turned, and ran away. Part of me wanted to run after her and apologize, but I was destined to go against my better judgment that day. I fled into the woody patch near our house that we call Pettle-Toun because of the bicycle paths we racked, and I sat on the log pile near the incomplete log cabin to contemplate my bad attitude. Today was even worse, what with lying about feeling just fine when my head was hurting so as I could scare think. I also through dish duds at Daniel for trying to pull Pearls hair. Daniel looked daggers at me, and said in a menacing voice; if you weren’t a girl, I’d really let you have it for that. I said, fair as fair, if you guys, weren’t so delicate, I’d have thrown this sponge at you. I was washing dishes you see. Needless to say: that was a provocative statement. Mom herd and saw only the lasts of it all, and screamed and scolded something awful. Perhaps that is why I stopped listening after the first few words and wished it were OK to throw dish-suds at Mothers. So… all in all, I didn’t just fail, I’m beginning to thing if my relatives don’t like me, they shall have very good reason. That’s not a comforting thought.
July 18, 2008
I’m here at Grandmothers, that is, Mom’s Mothers house. We are in Tennessee now, and I am trying to catch my breath after a miserable trip. I am exhausted, but do not feel like sleeping.
July 19, 2008
Well… the first day of our visit is over. I spent the better part of it learning soccer from my cousins, playing cards, and enjoying myself. I’m surprised that everything turned out so well considering the events of the morning. A friend of Grandmothers came to take her away for a few hours. All of us were present for the civil hello. Sometime between the time Mother called me for this, and Grandmother left with her friend, I noticed something which was to cause much disruption to my morning; a little gray spider, on the top of my shoe. I didn’t want to draw any attention to this, so I carefully lifted my other foot, and gently tried to brush the spider onto the floor with my shoe. I only succeeded in getting it to climb on my other shoe: only now it was in a hurry. It began hastily climbing up my sock and soon reached the teetering point above the socks top. When I felt it brush my leg I panicked. I still did not want draw any attention, so I slipped from the room trying to move at a reasonable pace. Once in the safety of the bathroom, I searched my clothing franticly for the spider. After a moment I saw it drop of my sleeve onto the counter. I left it there to find its own company and went to the bedroom where I am staying nights while I’m here. I sat rather suddenly upon the bed as I felt all week inside. Through the thin silky dress I wore I could tell I’d just sat on the pile of lightweight metal hairpins I’d left there earlier. I stood after a moment and walked slowly from the room and down the hall. It was almost at the same instant Mathew came to ask me was I coming outside that I heard the sound of a hairpin hit the floor. Pretending to be casually scalping my hands behind me, my fingers began franticly to gather hairpins from the seat of my dress wear static electricity had caught them. I felt my face blush as I accidently dropped one and it bounced on the flooring. I hid the remainder of the pins in my hand and deposited them on the counter as I went through the kitchen. I will never know if anyone saw, but my face still burns when I remember.
July 23, 2008
We are back home again, and the trip went well… all except for the traveling part.
July 24, 2008
Dear Diary, everyone has the flu. I’m not going to complain because it’s nothing special to me. I am reading the Bible because I have nothing better to do.
Later that day,
Dear Diary, the Bible is awful! I was just reading the story of Solomon. I thought from the start that he was perfect. It was such a relief after so many of the other caricatures were wicked. I was getting quite sick of it all. Then he had to stop being good to. I know it’s foolish of me, but I couldn’t help crying, and I’m never reading that awful book again. I don’t know who wrote it, but they should be ashamed of themselves. It was nothing but a dreadful disappointment and I don’t see the point of reading it. Dad says preachers don’t encourage you to read it because they don’t want you to know what it says. Maybe it’s because they understand it better and don’t want it to hurt you.
July 28, 2008
Dear Diary, Dad is coming home tonight, and we are going to the lake tomorrow. I wish I could stay home. I don’t like being in the sun. It makes me turn all tan. Oh! I have some fascinating news. I’ll be able to tell you if I can stop laughing for a minute. Dad’s going to, talk to me tonight, and you know what about? I used the word damn. Well the ruckus they made over it was really quite delightful. I can’t say as I haven’t thought it a time or to, so I guess the habit caught up with me. But really, although an unintentional slip of the tongue, it was quite harmless. I was listening to my newest classical cd, and Moms chair; which was just to my write, is awfully squeaky. One person after another sat in it until the squeaking was getting on my nerves. Finally; Rose ran across the room, jumped into it and began rocking furiously. So instead of the squeaking keeping the cd company, the cd kept the squeaking company. Finally I tuned to Rose and said as calmly as I could, would you please stop squeaking that damn chair? Now it’s kind of absurd if you think about it. Daniel however, flipped out, called Dad, and is hoping with all his short sighted heart that I will get a whipping. Unfortunately for him, he is destined to be disappointed. I thoroughly expect to enjoy this interview. The fool! As if anyone cared what happened to that squeaky old chair. If there is any mischief involved in this it’s in Daniel’s trying to get back at me for reporting his misbehavior yesterday and having Mom and Elaine back me up on it.
July 29, 2008
Ah well, mischief is doomed to disappointment, Dad wimped out. He asked Mom to request that I please not use swear words. Mom and Elaine think it’s funny.
July 30, 2008
We went to a library sail today, and Elaine found a three tenors concert. It seems the whole family, with the exception of myself, likes Luciano Pavarotti the best of the three. Sense they all made it plain they thought there was something wrong with anyone who disagreed with them: I kept my opinions to myself. I don’t particularly like any one of them better than the other two. I do feel sorry for Jose Carreras though, because Dad thinks he makes funny facial expressions and made quite a deal of it. His facial expressions are not so unusual, and I don’t think Dad had a write to make fun of him. There’s nothing funny about him, except that unusual hairstyle. In any case I didn’t laugh at him for it, except on the inside. And I think maybe his singing was the best, except I’m not so sure.
August 2, 2008
Dear Diary, I shall be gone all day.
August 3, 2008 7:00 AM
Yesterday was tolerably boring. We went all the way to Spartanburg, just to shop at Sam’s, and walked it would seem, in circles round the store for hours. I remember one wonderful moment in the day. Stepping out of the vehicle and realizing I was back home. The first living being to welcome me back was a large spider with wiggly legs, dangling above the front door. I was so wearily happy I smiled at it, and said excuse me please, as I ducked beneath it to go inside. It may have been my imagination, but I think it understood me.
August 5, 2008
Elaine let me put up her hair today. She normally wears it down. It looked so pretty all braided and pinned. Her hair is always so shiny, I wonder why mine isn’t. She said she didn’t know I was so gentle, or she would have let me put it up sooner. I asked, do you really think so? I shouldn’t have because her response disappointed me terribly. She said, yes: except when you jab me with the hairpins. I wasn’t aware I had.
Date…
Write now I’m lying on my bed, with the cat beside me, apparently writing. It’s somewhere around 10:30 AM, and I am listening to the sound of heavy rain on the roof. Dad says it’s raining cats and Dogs, but I think I’ve the only cat within miles write hear beside me. I just love it when it rains outside, it makes it so much nicer being indoors. Everyone else is in a grumpy mood, which gives me one more reason to be optimistic. I make it a habit you see, to always disagree with the general opinions and moods.
August 7, 2008

Christy and I are mad at each other, in a sort of halfhearted way. The original reason has slipped my mind, or perhaps there wasn’t one. But all of us girls were having a writing competition, just for the fun of it, and we were all supposed to write a poem about a favorite or least favorite something or someone. Christy said she was going to write about the cat. So… I said I would write about cats in general. What Christy wrote, I will never know, but I got a fascinating response to mine. She became so furious she tore it all up. That’s OK, I still remember it. It goes like this.





CAST





They claw your best clothes to peacies




And play all day with your mice





Then they turn them lose





But not for the sake of being nice





No to mention they catch your toes at night





To startle you out of bed





And then to quiet them down





You have to pat them on the head
------------------------------
Everyone else liked it. I don’t really dislike cats; they are everything I said they were. But… I still like them. Anyway sense Christy’s mad at me I thought I may as well return the favor. She is, at present, brushing the cat in sulky silence. Not so much over the poem itself I think, but because everyone else liked it. I don’t understand how she manages to take offence at such tiny little things. I didn’t after all, write it to be mean. Just to disagree with what I knew she was going to write. But she was already upset with me this morning for heaven knows what, unless it was my throwing a pillow at her for waking me up, or perhaps hiding her hairbrush because she thought it was funny mine was lost. I don’t see why she should take offence at that. I gave it back to her two minutes before she had two appear for breakfast. In fact, as far as I know, she doesn’t know I was the cause of its disappearance. Hu? That makes it sound like this is all my fault!



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