Thursday, May 30, 2013

Only 15?!

I've been enjoying these weekly writing prompts from Mama Kat at Mama's Losin' It.  I think I'm really going to like THIS one: list 15 reasons I am AWESOME (emphasis mine).

1. I have beautiful handwriting. Block printing, D'Nealian, cursive, you name it, and I can write that way.

2. I'm good at reading out loud. Just ask my preschoolers.

3. I still like to skip.

4. I don't drink, but it doesn't bother me if you do. I can go out with friends and act just as stupid sober as they do a little on the drunk side, and it didn't cost me more than the price of a Diet Coke.

They're all shit-faced, except for me.
Every last one of them....

5. I make the best caramel popcorn you will ever eat. No lie.

6. I can read a map and follow highway directional signs. That is very awesome if you happen to be married to someone who can do neither.

7. When I color, I stay inside the lines.

8. I make Halloween costumes or costumes for school plays or projects without using a pattern. I get material (or sometimes repurpose something I found at a thrift store) and sew it just by guess and by golly.

I replicated this... making THIS for National History Day.

9. I can pack a car trunk like nobody's business.

10. I try to comment on most blog posts I read, especially link ups, and I always reply when someone comments on my posts. 

11. I always pick the check out line that is the slowest, so if you see me waiting in a line, pick another one. You're welcome.

Yeah, not if I'M standing in line.

12. I don't sweat the small stuff. Paper or plastic? Whatev. 

13. I'm very flexible. Unless it involves Thanksgiving dinner, then not so much. 

14. I'm always game to go out to lunch.


Linking to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Prompt #1 15 Reasons You're Awesome.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Monday, May 27, 2013

Points To Ponder

Some things I've been pondering....

I think the Zoladex injection I received last month was a dud. Because I didn't have any hot flashes the entire month. And I thought, "Sweeeeeet! They're OVER." But when I got my new injection? Yeah, hot flash after hot flash after hot flash. Damn.

Without a doubt, Mother Nature hates Joplin, Missouri. In the past month, we had tornado warnings, a freeze warning, 87 degree weather and 33 degree weather WITH SNOW. IN MAY.

Ice cream trucks should not be allowed to stop in the middle of a street with their little warning arm extended so it's difficult, if not impossible, to pass them. YOU ARE NOT A SCHOOL BUS, MR. PEDOPHILE ICE CREAM TRUCK DRIVER.

All right, fellas, unless your abs are ripped, do NOT stretch your arms over your head until your shirt lifts up. No one wants to see your beer belly.

I am always immediately and profoundly sorry when I trim my own bangs.

Why be a storm chaser? If you sit still long enough, the storm will come to you.

I am no prude, but the Herbal Essence shampoo commercials offend me so much that I wouldn't use their product if it were the last shampoo on earth.

The half price shakes after 8 p.m. promotion at Sonic is both fantastic and horrible, but if they could figure out how to make them half the calories, then it would be just fantastic.

I really dislike reality tv.

I actually enjoy hearing my daughter teaching herself to play the ukulele. Who knew?

My parents have become completely unteachable in matters of electronics, specifically, cell phones.

Malt-O-Meal's version of Cap'n Crunch (I looked it up, it's "Cap'n") is better than the real thing.

I'd feel better if I went to the bathroom, but I'm too lazy to get up. I'm sure that speaks volumes about me.

Or in this case, sitting in a chair....

Have to go rest my brain now.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

They're Random, All Right

This week's writing challenge by Mama Kat was to list six random facts about yourself. SIX. This is going to be haaarrrrrd! I kind of feel as though I have already revealed it all. That there could not possibly be one thing that I have not already divulged about myself, whether you wanted to know it about me or not. (You're probably thinking the same thing, if you have followed me for some time.) But here goes:

1. I have a recurring dream that I have to pee, but the only toilet is in the middle of a large room, and the room is crowded. No one seems to find a toilet located in the middle of a room odd except for me. And no one pays one bit of attention to me when I finally DO give in and sit on the toilet, but even so, I just can't pee. And guess what? When I wake up from the dream, I have to PEE. 

2. I am scared to go in our basement by myself at night. So I don't.

3. I still have a baby tooth. It is a molar, and there is no permanent tooth underneath it. This discovery was made by our dentist when I was about 13. He went on to tell my mother the detailed (and very expensive) plan he had for fixing this, which included pulling the baby tooth, putting braces on me, and giving me a bridge to fill the space. My mother stopped him and asked how long the baby tooth would stay in my head if we did nothing. The dentist replied that it could fall out tomorrow or it could stay in there until I was an adult. My mom answered, "In that case, we'll leave it in there and let her husband worry about it." The dentist was rather appalled that she would take that approach, but she was willing to take the risk, and now, my husband has to worry about it. So far, so good, though.

4. Kettle cooked jalapeno potato chips make me sneeze. I found that out today.

5. My first job was at McDonald's, the summer after I graduated from high school. We wore bilious green polyester double-knit uniforms and white caps with a matching stripe. I didn't want anyone I knew to come in and see me, so I picked a McDonald's to work at that was about a thirty minute drive from my neighborhood. 

6. Playing Candy Crush Saga always makes me wish I had a big box of Jujyfruits.

Linking to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Prompt #2 List six random facts about yourself.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Live In Tornado Alley

When spring finally rolls into our area, so does tornado season. We in Joplin, Missouri, are a little twitchy about this. Where we once were casual about tornado watches, we now cancel activities and glue ourselves to the tv for storm coverage. 

And when the tornado sirens blow, we MOVE. 

I was born and raised in Tornado Alley. Which is a misnomer, because it's no alley. It's more like a vast parking lot, stretching across much of the mid-section of the United States. On the evening of May 20, 1957, an F5 tornado ripped through the Ruskin Heights area, just south of Kansas City, destroying the high school, a junior high, an elementary school, a church, a shopping center, and hundreds of relatively new homes and other businesses. Few of the homes had basements, and there were no storm sirens. 34 people were killed, including two staff members at the high school. 

What was left of Ruskin High School - 5/20/57

My parents bought a home in Ruskin Heights a few years later, after everything had been rebuilt. I grew up attending Ruskin Heights Presbyterian Church, which had been destroyed in the tornado and which served as a temporary morgue in the aftermath of the storm. Warning sirens had been installed after the tornado, and everyone heeded them. Our home didn't have a basement, but our next door neighbors' did, and we headed there any time the sirens blew. We even had a key to their home, in case they weren't there when a storm came through. The schools were rebuilt, but if there were so much as a tornado WATCH, we were sent home from school (something we kids LOVED, as we might get sent home early once or twice a week during the spring).

There were other reminders of the tornado as well, such as the church member who was confined to a wheelchair due to her injuries (and who had had a young daughter pulled from her arms as she ran for shelter at the church that evening). The nail heads that attached the drywall to the studs in our homes were all raised bumps, as the pressure of the tornado had forced them to pop out slightly.  In fact, I was a pretty big kid before I found out that this wasn't "normal" in a home. 

And when the sirens blew that there was a tornado warning (meaning a tornado had been SIGHTED, for those of you who don't live in Tornado Alley), we hustled to a basement. Fast.

So, after many years of moving around the country, my husband and I moved back to Missouri. And the most important criteria I had for finding a house was that it HAD to have a basement. I may have lost my childhood terror of hearing those sirens, but I knew that tornadoes meant BUSINESS, and I had a healthy respect for their power.

Then on the evening of May 22, 2011, while a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued and rain was pelting down, a tornado was spotted on the Kansas/Missouri border just west of Joplin, and the tornado sirens were sounded.

We jumped into action, with the house rule of putting on tennis shoes, grabbing the cell phones, the car keys, and my purse, and heading to our basement.  Our cats followed us down, curious as to why we were rushing around so, and we shut the door and turned on the radio.

Regular programming was interrupted with the weather report. The tornado was moving to the northeast, heading directly toward our part of town. My husband and I exchanged glances and he said, "This is really going to happen." 

My daughter, then 12, sat on the floor next to the furnace (and the litter box), a large Rubbermaid container over her head, crying.

My 15 year old son, who had grabbed a bag of pretzels on his way through the kitchen to the basement, was stuffing pretzels in his mouth, crumbs flying everywhere.

I was madly sweeping up kitty litter, having determined the safest place in the basement was right where the litter box was.

My husband was listening to the progress of the tornado.

The cats were milling about.

The announcer began talking about the tornado being on the ground in an area known as Iron Gates. Then there was talk of the hospital being hit. We were confused. That was NOT the path the tornado was supposed to be taking.  I stopped sweeping and listened. The tornado had changed its path. It was no longer headed towards our neighborhood. Instead, it cut a swath up to a mile wide and over six miles long across the heart of the city. 

The high school was destroyed, as was one of the two hospitals in town, three elementary schools, plus churches and businesses. Nearly 7000 homes were completely destroyed, with hundreds more sustaining damage. 161 people were killed, hundreds injured. While our home was spared, our lives would never be the same. (You can read about a major way I was affected here and here.

Mercy Hospital, completely gutted.

Joplin High School

Beyond the sign was once
the high school, surrounded
by homes and big trees.

The beloved dance studio where
my daughter spent much of her time.

Sad little dancer.

Today is the anniversary of the Ruskin tornado. In two days, it will be the second anniversary of the Joplin tornado. We spent half an hour in our basement this evening when a line of severe thunderstorms brought the imminent threat of a tornado.

And earlier today, before it made its way across Oklahoma to us, the same storm that came through Joplin produced a tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. News reports are still coming in, and it will be awhile before we know just how devastating this tornado was. I hope they feel the prayers coming their way from those who have been there and understand.

Mother Nature can be a mean, ugly, old bitch. Don't turn your back on her. Heed warnings. Be safe.

***If you feel led to give, please consider donating to the American Red Cross. You can make a $10 donation to the Disaster Relief Fund via text message by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999. If you wish to direct your donation specifically towards Oklahoma tornado relief, you can call 1-800-REDCROSS. Your local Red Cross office will also take your monetary donation.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Don't Blink!

My son is graduating from high school on Sunday. This is him, just yesterday:

Then I blinked, and this is him today:

No kidding, folks, it happened that fast.

I had four months of maternity leave when he was born, and I spent most of it holding him, as though I could bank that time for when I had to go back to work.

Silver lining time (I always have one): Being away from him all day, I didn't see him ease into each little developmental milestone; instead, I was surprised with a hit right between the eyes by them.

On his first Halloween, which was less than two weeks after I returned to work, I dressed him in a little clown costume he had been given as a gift (because I swear to GOD I would never have purchased a clown costume for him myself), then sat him on the floor, holding him in a sitting position with one hand while I got ready to take a picture with the other hand. As soon as I had the camera pointed and ready to go, I quickly let go of him, hoping to snap a picture of him in a sitting position before he toppled over. Only he didn't fall. He sat there, propping himself up with one hand. 

"How long have you been able to do THAT?" I asked him. 

He continued to sit and drool a little.  He could sit up and I DIDN'T KNOW, because he was at daycare all day. BAM! Right between the eyes.

When he was six months old, I was dying from a sinus infection and pink eye (which, miraculously, I did not pass on to my son, even while breastfeeding him). One evening, while I was lying on my side on the couch, feeling miserable and sorry for myself, he crawled over to me. I was gazing down at the top of his ginger head through my filmy, pink-eye infected eyes when suddenly, he rose, pulling himself up on the edge of the couch and standing there grinning at me. A few minutes later, he lowered himself back to the ground, only to pull himself up again, and not only stand there but also to cruise a few steps along the couch.

"When did you learn how to do THAT?"

He was around 20 months old and was sitting on the couch with me while I read to him. He pointed a finger about an inch from my eyeball and said, "Mommy. Eyes. Geen"

Um, what?

"Mommy, Eyes. Geen," he repeated.

"Yesss, Mommy's eyes ARE green. How did you know that?"  I pointed to the blue couch. "What color is this?"


That's two correct. Is it a fluke?

I continued to quiz him, with him accurately telling me the color of different items as I pointed to them.




I was beyond surprised.

And then I blinked. And now he's graduating from high school.

He's graduating with honors, giving a commencement speech, planning to become an interventional cardiologist.

Nothing surprises me about this. Nothing at all.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Linking to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Prompt #2 - Share something your child said or did that surprised you.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oh, The Power Of An 8 Year Old

One week from tomorrow, my son graduates from high school. Know what that means? Time for another embarrassing story!

But first, let me show you how handsome he is:

Esquire print ad.

GQ cover.

He's a ginger. And hates it when I say so.
But facts is facts....

This is the story of how my son shut down the entire eastern seaboard.

We took a family vacation to eastern Pennsylvania the summer my kids were 8 and 4 to visit my husband's sister and her family, who were living there at the time. (She likes to be mentioned in blogs, so here you go, Kristin!) After several lovely days spent with them, we headed north from Wilkes-Barre and into upstate New York.

We spent a day visiting the Finger Lakes area, hiking to several gorgeous waterfalls and spending the afternoon at Lake Cayuga. I had read in a travel book that Indian legend said that God laid His hand down on the most beautiful part of the Earth and created the Finger Lakes, and I have to say I agree. The next day, we continued north, stopping at a beach on the shore of Lake Ontario. It wasn't officially open for swimming yet, as it was fairly early in the morning, but we waded, and Kyle picked up rocks. Lots of smooth, oval rocks. Lots of them. Like two Walmart sacks full. We continued on to Golden Hill State Park and toured the lighthouse there.  (TRUST ME when I say you should visit this area some time. It's truly beautiful. I wanted to move there immediately, but my husband pointed out, rightly, that I wouldn't last one winter.) 

You can stay on the top floor.
Wouldn't that be cool?

I had planned for us to get to Niagara Falls in time for lunch, but we were having such a good time on the shore of Lake Ontario that we didn't get to Niagara Falls until nearly 4:00 in the afternoon. We were finally there, standing on the U.S. side, the falls below us. I happened to look over at my son and noticed he had a good-sized rock in his hand.

"Don't throw that! You don't know what's below us! There could be people down there."

We then walked over the bridge, which still sends ripples of terror straight up my hoo-haw just REMEMBERING it, to the Canada side for lunch. (I'll spare you the details at this time of my interaction with an uppity Canadian border patrol agent. Suffice it to say that I did NOT end up in jail, although my husband was pretty sure it was going to happen.) 

The scene of the crime.

As we walked through the city towards the Rain Forest Cafe, we passed a hotel where people were outside talking about the power being out and the elevator stuck (WITH PEOPLE ON IT). We continued to the restaurant. Now, if you've ever been inside a Rain Forest Cafe, you know it's dimly lit, but this was RIDICULOUS. We could hardly see at all. And it was warm and stuffy. After our (very expensive) lunch, we stopped at a souvenir shop, so I could buy a snow globe. It was open, but there were no lights on. Hmmm. I got my snow globe, and we headed back to the U.S. (Where, when entering the country again, my husband told me to let HIM deal with the border agent this time and to sit on THAT BENCH and KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT.) It was now after 5:00 in the afternoon. We were way off my schedule of getting to our hotel on the Ohio/Indiana border, but we had had SUCH a good day (in spite of the Canadian border agent). We loaded ourselves back into the car and headed out of town.

I have always heard disparaging comments about the city of Buffalo, but we drove through it at 6:00 on a Thursday evening, and there wasn't a BIT of traffic. Smooth sailing. The only really odd thing we noticed was the  traffic light at the toll booth that showed red when you pulled up and green when you had paid the correct toll was off. Interesting.

We kept driving towards Cleveland. Very little traffic still. And as we looked closer, we noticed that all the businesses we could see from the freeway appeared to be closed. Fast food. Gas stations. Malls. On Thursday evening? We turned on the radio to see if we could find an explanation.

The explanation was that there was a blackout. A big one. As we headed south out of Cleveland, we continued to listen to the news coverage as the sun set and the world became very, very dark. 50 million people were without power in eight states and Ontario. 

We were very tense as we drove across Ohio surrounded in eerie darkness. It was as though we were in a sci-fi movie. Or was it an act of terrorism? The kids were very quiet, sitting in the back of the car, as was my husband, who was beginning to worry about things like gasoline. And our dwindling supply of it. I was babbling about nothing, trying to keep everyone distracted, when the radio announcer said the cause of the blackout appeared to have originated at Niagara Falls.

I should not have done the following, but I did it anyway.

I turned towards my son and said, "Did you throw that rock when we were at Niagara Falls?"

Through the darkness, I heard, "Daddy said it was okay." 

(I'm probably going to hell for this.)


Silence from the backseat, as he tried to gauge just how much trouble he was in.

We finally found a gas station with power and filled our tank, just before the station ran out of fuel. We made it to our hotel around 1 a.m., and they had power. We drove the rest of the way home the next day without incident.

But we never really told our son that he wasn't the reason for the power outage.

Or was he?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Talents Are Many...

There's a commercial currently airing in our area which promotes Oklahoma tourism with the song, appropriately enough, "Oklahoma." I love the song, and I love the way the commercial was shot. And I LOVE singing with it.  

See, one of the few things I haven't already revealed about myself in previous blog posts is that I have always wanted to sing Broadway-style. You know, really able to belt out a song.

The only thing holding me back is my lack of singing talent.

I am, however, not without other talents. Allow me to expound.

I am a terrific speller. Really terrific. And my son has inherited that talent from me. 

And that leads me to another talent. I am quite good at Bananagrams. Being a terrific speller helps, as does the ability to see words in a random bunch of letters. My son and I always pick this game on family game night, because we beat the pants off my husband and daughter.

I can pick objects up with my toes. Both of my kids have this ability as well. It beats bending over all the time! 

I have an uncanny ability to find a chin hair when I am nowhere NEAR a pair of tweezers with which to remove it. Then I dwell on it until such time as I AM near a pair of tweezers.

I can blog with a 24 pound cat lying on my right arm while at the same time head-butting my free hand, trying to cop a scratch on the head. (He is alternating this with licking my hand and looking adoringly into my eyes.)

I'd take a current pic, but that would
require that I have three hands.

I hate to brag, but there's probably no one better than me at avoiding housework. See? Doing it right now.

I'm also a gifted procrastinator in general. And I have passed that trait on to my son.
When pressed, my 14 year old daughter allowed that I was good at baking and chauffering her to all of her activities. She threw in "and giving hugs" at the last minute and called it my Mother's Day gift.

My husband contributed that I was excellent at buying produce that I ended up throwing away and at repairing leaky toilet valves.
Gratuitously showing off a senior pic.

I couldn't ask my 17 year old son for his contribution, as he is sleeping as late as possible to avoid studying for two tests that he has this morning. That's my boy.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a pair of tweezers.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Linking to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Prompt #3 - Describe a talent or flaw that seems to be in your genes. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Of Tonsils And Riots

I threatened here to write about my tonsillectomy experience some day. Today is some day.

I was one of those kids who got tonsillitis. A lot. Usually along with an ear infection. My mom never had to tell me to wear a hat outside in the winter, because I KNEW what it would do to my ears (and I had a bunch of really cute hats, all crocheted - it was the late 60s - early 70s, after all). In fact, my right ear hurts RIGHT NOW just with the memory of all those sore throats and ear aches of my childhood.

I used to scream and cry and hold onto the coffee table with my toes to keep my mom from taking me to the doctor, because, inevitably, there would be a penicillin shot in the end (no pun intended).

Eventually, our family doctor decided it was time for the tonsils to come out, which was certainly not uncommon during that era. Surgery was scheduled for April 10, 1968, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Kansas City. It was five days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. I was seven years old.

The Lorraine Motel, Memphis

I went to school as usual on April 9, the day before my surgery, but my mom told me not to get a lunch, because she and my dad would be there to pick me up and take me to the hospital before then. I told all my classmates how I was leaving to get my tonsils out. I was hot shit.

Lunch time neared, and my parents didn't come.

The class went to lunch, but I didn't get a tray. Just sat there sadly, waiting.

My classmates began to mock me, saying I was lying about getting my tonsils out.

Finally, my parents arrived, having been delayed when my dad couldn't leave work when he had planned. I wasn't a big ol' liar after all. 

Once at the hospital, we went to the admitting office. It was pretty much the same long, boring process it is now (computerization has NOT sped up this process one itty bitty bit). My suitcase was beside us, and I pulled out the Raggedy Ann doll my Grandma Mary had given me because of my surgery. She had a music box inside her (Raggedy Ann, not my grandma). I had Raggedy Ann in my lap for all of five seconds when I dropped her onto the hard tile floor.

I snatched her up, checking her over for injuries. I then tried to wind up the music box.

And it was broken.

She's had a rough life....

It was a very sad girl that was taken up to the 8th floor of the hospital. My bed would be in a ward with room for eight children. My side of the room had three beds and a crib. The crib and one bed were empty. We were immediately greeted by the occupant of the other bed, a girl named Charmaine who was a year younger than I was, had half of her hair shaved off under a large bandage, and was there because she had been hit by a car and suffered a skull injury. Although, if it weren't for the fact that half of her head was swathed in a bandage, you would never know anything was wrong with her, as she hopped around the room and talked non-stop.

My parents settled me into my bed and gave me some gifts, which included a Magic 8 Ball - sweet! Charmaine sat on my bed while I opened my gifts and chattered about the other kids in the ward, one of whom had had her tonsillectomy earlier that day and was still sleeping off her anesthesia.  As we were playing with the Magic 8 Ball, a nurse came in the room with a wheelchair and the tonsillectomy patient was loaded sleepily into it and wheeled away.

I was awestruck. A wheelchair? I'd get to leave in a WHEELCHAIR? This was the life! It almost made the Raggedy Ann incident okay.

Charmaine, who had been in the hospital for some time, took me down the hall to visit the playroom. All the hospital personnel knew her, and she pretty much had the run of the place. The playroom was a big bore, and I wanted to go back to our room and get in bed with my Raggedy Ann, my blankie and my stuffed dog (creatively named "Snoopy"). But when I got there, Snoopy and blankie were gone. Panic and tears again, and after a little searching, my mom found them under the crib in our room. That little prankster Charmaine hid them. (I think we can all begin to see how she might have been capable of darting out in front of a car and getting hit.)

It cost extra in those days to have access to the tv in your hospital room, and my parents did not have the kind of money to spend on something like a tv for the few short hours I would be in the hospital. But the parents of a child on the other side of the ward did pay for one, and my parents  kept disappearing over there to watch something that was unfolding in Kansas City.

See, that was the day of Dr. King's funeral. And since his death, there had been rioting in cities across America. Chicago. Baltimore. Washington, D.C. And now, Kansas City. It began with a student march outside City Hall, protesting the government's failure to close schools on this day. The deployment of tear gas on the protesters by police was the catalyst to two days of rioting, resulting in five deaths and nearly a hundred buildings damaged or destroyed.

Some of these buildings were within blocks of the hospital.

 My parents finally, reluctantly, had to leave me and go home. They were terrified of leaving me in the hospital. On their way to our home in the suburbs, they met the National Guard in their armored vehicles, entering the city.

I didn't understand exactly what was happening or why, but I did know that Charmaine and I could stand at the big north-facing window by her bed and see fires glowing. And I would run over and peek at the tv coverage until the mom turned it off so it wouldn't scare me.

My parents came back early the next morning for my surgery, driving down heavily guarded streets, mindful of the possibility of snipers, a smoky haze in the air. 

My surgery was uneventful. My recovery even more so. Then things started to go downhill.

As I was coming out of the anesthesia, my throat was very sore, and I was given a little bowl of Jello.

Lemon Jello.

Who, exactly, gives a 7 year old kid LEMON JELLO?

I cried, and everyone thought I was crying because my throat hurt. I couldn't talk, so I couldn't explain the tears.

Soon, it was time to send me home, and I brightened up inside. Finally, it was time for my wheelchair ride! A nurse came in the room with the wheelchair as my parents gathered my things. My dad then turned to the nurse and said, "She's fine to walk. She doesn't need the wheelchair." 


Crying silently, I shuffled out the door and down the hall with my parents. We got as far as the nurse's station when I threw up.

(That would be the second time IN MY LIFE for this to happen, the third and final time being three years later.)

My only thought was that NOW I would get that wheelchair. But instead of the proffered wheelchair, my dad said he would just carry me, and he did. I continued to cry silently.

I certainly recovered physically from the tonsillectomy, and apparently, in record time, because I asked for, and ate, bacon the very next morning.

But I've never forgotten watching the tv coverage that first night of the riots, nor seeing those flames out the hospital window, not understanding the "why" of it any more than I understood why my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to walk out of the hospital instead of ride in a wheelchair.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Linking to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Prompt #1 -  How old were you? Share one of the first news stories you remember caring about.