Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Got Tagged! : )

Melanie over at Country Roads tagged me to answer a few questions about myself and I figured I'd play along.  I'll be picking a few of you to tag as well, so be on the lookout!  ; ) 

1. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
I have so many!  It seems that life was much simpler then.  I'm sorry that my kids don't have that same simplicity to enjoy.  I grew up in a small community where it was safe for kids to stay out at night catching fireflies in Mason jars and playing Spotlight until curfew; where you could walk to the community pool and spend the balmy summer days splashing and tanning and eating snow cones with friends; where an abundant snowfall brought out the Flexible Flyers, half-burned candles to wax the runners, and hours of fun barreling down Blankenship Hill; where rainy days meant a blanket thrown down on the covered porch for hours of play with Barbie, Ken and all their friends and accessories.

2. Where is your favorite place to travel to/visit and why?

I haven't traveled extensively.  We tend to find places we enjoy and then make many return trips.  And my taste in getaways varies as much as my mood.  I love New York City!  All the history, the excitement, the YANKEES!  : )  I also love quiet days spent in Ohio Amish Country, driving scenic back roads and browsing through shops that are off the beaten path.  Disney World is another favorite place, too.  It all depends upon the mood I'm in at the time!  : )

3. What is  your favorite dessert?
Well now, there's another tough one!  I love fruit pies and anything chocolate.  I adore homemade cinnamon rolls and freshly baked kolaches.  Eating out?  Make mine Black Tie Mousse Cake from Olive Garden.  : )

4. What did you want to be 'when you grew up'?

Above all else I always wanted to be a wife and a mom.  I managed to accomplish that without much trouble.  ; )  Once upon a time I had a dream of being an interior designer.  I had chosen the school (Art Institute of Pittsburgh) and even spent some time shadowing a designer in 'the big city' (Charleston.)  That little dream was simply not meant to come true and I'm okay with that.  There was another dream that was even bigger than that one.  A dream that continues to hold a very special place in my heart; that has, at least in a small way, come somewhat true:  To be a published writer.  I finally feel (mostly) comfortable calling myself a writer and I've had a few pieces published in smaller markets.  But that all too common dream of writing The Great American Novel still eludes me.  ; )

5. What is an important life lesson you've learned?

My Daddy taught me charity, and that is very important to me.  It's a lesson that we Tucker kids learned early on and not just because Daddy spoke of it, but because he lived it in front of us every single day.  He was one of the most giving people I have ever known.  You don't have to be rich (we certainly were not) to be charitable and to help others who have a need.

Another life lesson I learned through experience is to be comfortable in my own skin, and if I'm not...well, I'm the only one who can change that.  I can't rely on someone else to make me happy or to 'complete' me.  I am a whole person all on my own.  Of course I need others and I value every one of them for all the ways they enrich my life.  I don't know what I'd do without my family and the amazing friends I hold dear.  I don't even know what I'd do without those who haven't been so terrific.  Those who have been stumbling blocks or who have treated me in a way that was hurtful or inconsiderate.  They've taught me valuable lessons on trust and the things that really matter in life.  And they've also taught me that I am the only person who can control my reaction to things and how I allow them to affect me.

6. Which would you prefer to receive for Valentine's Day..chocolates or flowers?
I'm a pretty simple gal.  I love a bouquet of flowers, but I certainly don't need the most expensive roses in the shop.  A handful of daisies makes me really happy.  : )  And candy is wonderful, but they don't have to be the pricy ones from Godiva.  I get just as much pleasure from a tin of Almond Roca or a package of mini Dove bars.  ; )

7. Reality tv--love or hate?
I am not a reality tv fan, except for American Idol.  There is something about a pure, beautiful, well controlled voice that sends a chill down your spine.  Of course, there's also something about a squealing, off-key train wreck on stage that's good for a giggle, too.  ; )

8. Are you a morning person or night person?

I enjoy sleep far too much to be a night person, I'm afraid.  As I've gotten older I have found that I truly enjoy an early morning spent in solitude.  Summer mornings spent on the front porch swing, listening to birdsong and gathering my thoughts for the that's what I'm talkin' about.  : )

9. Do you prefer books or magazines AND what is your favorite book/magazine you've read?

Seriously?  What's not to love about either of them?  I subscribe to several women's magazines and I typically devour them each in one sitting.

But sometimes I want something more substantial.  Something that will draw me in and make me want more, more, MORE!  Dean Koontz, Patricia Cornwell, Jonathan Kellerman...they all see to it that I am adequately entertained.  I learn so much from these amazing writers because they care enough about the stories they craft to make sure that what they put out there isn't just fluff.  Intricate plots; realistic, well-rounded characters; everything that makes you keep turning the page.

However, don't totally write off the fluff!  Fluff is GOOD!  Sometimes I want to escape and I don't want to think.  That's when I grab a Janet Evanovich, a Susan Wiggs, or a Dorothea Benton Frank.  Fabulous stories that can transport you to another place, away from the mundane everyday-ness of your own life, and provide a terrific little retreat from reality.

Nothing wrong with a classic now and then either.  Lucy Maude Montgomery's Anne series is absolute perfection.  Anything by Dickens is great.  Steinbeck is deep and Poe is haunting.  Take your pick.  

Can you tell I love to read?  : )

10. What do you collect?
Right now I'd be inclined to say MEMORIES.  I'm enjoying my kids and grandkids.  My husband and I are making more time for each other and rediscovering why we married in the first place.  Two of my kids are in their 20s, and then there's a 14 year old and a 9 year old.  Those two older ones grew up so quickly and it gives me a pretty good idea of what to expect with my two 'babies'.  I refuse to allow time to slip through my fingers without making plenty of great memories to comfort me when the nest is empty.

Aside from that, you know by now that I'm doing my best to declutter.  Collecting things?  Just not necessary at this point in my life. 

11. What is your favorite hymn?
The Old Rugged Cross; Amazing Grace; Thank You, Lord.  

Oldies but goodies, ya know?  : )

Well, there are my answers to the questions Melanie sent to me.  Now I'll take some time to come up with eleven questions to send to a few bloggers I think might enjoy participating.  I think it's fun to learn a little more about each other, don't you?  : )