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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Monday, June 25, 2007

How I almost killed my cellphone

I was at the Utah Arts Festival Friday, where I performed at The Word Ecstatic in the Community Writing Center. It was my first time at the Arts Festival, and my daughter and I were having a lot of fun looking around at all the wonderful things there. When it was time for me to head over to the stage for my show, we stopped in the restroom to freshen up. It was 100 degrees outside that day, and that always does a number on my makeup and complexion, so I made sure to check my face up close in the mirror to make sure I wouldn't be grotesque up on stage. My vanity was very nearly my undoing.

As I leaned up close to the mirror, my purse slid down my arm toward the faucet of the sink. The sink was one of those automatic ones that start when you wave your hands in front of it. It also works when your purse slides down in front of it. When the water started, I quickly pulled it away, and felt the outside to see how wet it got. I didn't feel anything. Whew. We left the bathroom.

My daughter then quickly said as soon as we got out in the hallway, "Mom, you need to get the water out of your purse." I responded, "I checked, it's not wet." She said, "It went straight into the pocket!" My purse has all of those cool little pockets on the outside that store things, and one of them was for cellphones. The purse did not get wet out the OUTSIDE, the water went straight into the pocket containing the cellphone, and filled it completely. That darn pocket was pretty well stitched because the water wasn't even leaking out of the bottom. I had to tip my purse upside down and let the water pour out of the cellphone pocket. My cellphone had a wonderful soaking bath for a good minute or two. I opened it. It said, "Battery Charging". Interesting, because it wasn't plugged into the charger at all. I was certain I had killed it. For one of the stupidest reasons ever.

The story ends well, after getting the cellphone home and disconnecting the battery pack, and still having water dripping out of it. A good 12 hours and some drying time later has the phone working again. I think.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bloody Vacation

When I was in fourth grade, my family discovered the Lava Bed National Monument in northern California. It was a short trip from my house in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and we had so much fun there! My favorite part were the caves, which were mostly fairly easy to explore, and rental for helmets and flashlights were inexpensive. There were also historical aspects to the lava beds. In 1869, President Grant sent troops to defeat the Modoc Indians, which used the lava beds as a natural stronghold against the army. VERY effectively. The stronghold up there was fun to hike through, and with it's twisty paths, and places to hide, it was easy to see how the Modocs could hold out against the army for so long.

It was on one of our several trips to the lava beds that disaster struck. My cousins were with us, and my cousin Shannon was running through Captain Jack's Stronghold, to catch up with some of the family that had wandered ahead on the trail. Her tennis shoes slipped on some of the loose stones, and she fell, smacking her head against a lava rock. It got her right behind the ear, and when she got up, blood started spurting out from the cut, spraying a good foot out from her head. Everyone immediately went into emergency mode, which means, they started to panic. They needed to stop the bleeding, and fast. So my mother turned to me. She pulled off my shirt, and used it as a compress to stop the bleeding. I was ten years old, shirtless, and completely mortified. And now that my shirt was being used for direct pressure, it wasn't as if we could substitute anything else until the bleeding had stopped.

I wandered half naked through the rest of the stronghold, trying to ignore stares from other tourists. Shannon kept holding the shirt to her ear, but it was clear after half an hour that the bleeding had stopped, and she was going to be fine. When we carefully pried my shirt away, the wound was a tiny little cut- not even the gaping head wound we had thought it was. I got my shirt back, but now it was covered with blood. A LOT of blood. Blood that made the shirt still slightly damp and sticky. At least grateful I had something to wear, I overheard some fellow tourists commenting that it looked like I had been a victim in the war. I returned to being humiliated. At the end of the day, though we tried to soak the shirt to get the blood out, the thing had to be thrown away. My cousin forgot all about the trauma, and was back to her old self. I was emotionally scarred forever and ever, but was mostly fine.

I should note, that my six year old male cousin Brad, my father, and my uncle were all on the trip, and all of THEM kept their shirts.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


When I was in the second grade, my grandparents moved to Oklahoma. We lived in Oregon, so we planned big summer trips to go and visit them. On this particular day, we were at someone's house, and they had given my sister and I some watermelon to eat. It was a scorching hot day, and the watermelon tasted wonderful. It was juicy and dripping, and we sat out on the porch enjoying every bite.

We were still finishing the last bit of watermelon when the musical sound of an ice cream truck was heard. Ice cream is even better than watermelon! We frantically begged my parents for ice cream, and they agreed we could have something. My mother went out with us to meet the ice cream truck, and we stood on the sidewalk excitedly waiting for the truck to arrive.

That was when my feet burst into flames. At least, it felt that way. I looked down as my feet started to burn with a sudden and intense heat, and screamed at the swarm of fire ants that had covered my feet. All that watermelon juice had dripped down my legs and onto my sandal-covered feet. The nest of red ants living in the sidewalk couldn't resist the tasty snack, and raced to get a bite. There was a blur of activity, with people trying to get the ants off of me, and to tend the mass of little red welts forming on my feet. When all was calmed down, the ice cream truck had come and gone, and I had very sore feet instead.

Watermelon. A great summer snack for people and insects. Apparently also good with a side of human flesh.

"To be a person
is to have a story to tell."

- Isak Dinesen  

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