Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Opening Up

Last night I received a called from my friend Christine, whom I've known for over a decade. We first got to know each other in the church nursery where we spent many hours talking about life while looking after little ones. She has encouraged me through years of highs and lows. She was my first follower on Classical Quest. I'm pretty sure she's read nearly every post.

Half the stuff on the following list are things about me Christine did not know:


Adriana of Classical Quest.

In 2nd grade I was reprimanded for reading Charlotte's Web during Math class.

In 3rd grade I was screamed at during gym class for daydreaming when I was supposed to be guarding the soccer goal.

In 5th grade a teacher found one of my poems on the floor. She sent me straight to the principal's office. I thought I was in trouble! But instead I got to read my poem to the whole school. 

In 6th grade I was bullied in the school bathroom. Three girls banged my head into a porcelain sink while my closest childhood friend watched.

At age twelve I made a list of goals. Most of the things on that list have now come true.

At fourteen I started working at an Italian food commissary where I was trained to mix spices for secret recipes.

At fifteen I learned to water ski on the third most beautiful lake in the world.

I turned seventeen on a ship on the Moskva River in Russia.

Inside the Kremlin, I was sternly scolded for leaning on a czar's coffin.

I subscribed to Martha Stewart Living before "Martha Stewart" was a household name.

At nineteen I spent a summer with my best friend in Hungary. We got lost in Budapest for an entire day -- on foot with no cell phones. The moment we found the American Embassy was one of the greatest moments of my life.

While in Hungary, I came upon the ruins of a small synagogue which had been abandoned during World War II. It was hard to get to because of weeds and brambles. 

I've been to the top of a Turkish minaret where I aided a German man who was paralyzed with acrophobia.

I've never had a graduation ceremony. 

Throughout my teens I lived in a old farmhouse fixer-upper. One morning during our first winter there, I woke up with snow on my chest. I had a bucket on my floor to catch leaks in Spring. I have hauled water. I'm pretty good at building a fire. I can patch dry-wall.

My crumpled high school diploma came in the mail. 

I was a traveling piano teacher for a few years. 

I took lessons on a Steinway grand from a nun who was a student of Madame Conness, close friend of Sergei Rachmaninoff.

My lessons cost $5.00 an hour.

Whenever I attempt to play the piano in public, I feel much like that German man who had acrophobia. I struggle with guilt over this.

I married an ex-rodeo cowboy who could build a log cabin the wilderness with his bare hands. He is the embodiment of the most noble characters I read about: honest, brave, loyal, diligent. He never reads or discusses classic literature, but he is very wise and he makes a mean batch of sausage gravy every Sunday morning.

I've helped process a deer on my dining room table.

I have five kids: boy, girl, boy, boy, girl. 

I'm so scatterbrained that I've learned to depend on my kids for important information like what day it is.

I lived in a basement for four years with a lot of morning sickness and very little sunshine. 

Ina Garten taught me how to cook. (Not in person -- I collect her cookbooks!) I've prepared over 50 of her recipes.

When I feel blue, I make soup.

I dread doing housework every single day.

I used to make cross-stitch samplers for friends; Now I make cyber-samplers for friends.

I wasn't allowed to watch television or listen to popular music for most of my childhood; Most of the 1980s went right over my head.

I always wear waterproof mascara because I cry easily, both happy tears and sad.

The librarian from my local public library once called to tell me that since the card-catalog was computerized 17 years previously, I had checked out more books than any other person in my county.

I've learned more useful insights from mothering than from all the books I've ever read.

I experienced postpartum depression for the first time, after my fifth baby.

My pastor once described me as a "vision caster." That is a description I treasure! I love to visualize achievement in others. Since I started blogging, I've found I have an uncanny knack for following bloggers long before they reach rock-star-blogger status. I really enjoy commenting on growing blogs and helping build communities.

Once you become a rock-star, you probably won't hear from me as much. But I'm still here, and you're always welcome to come over to Classical Quest for a quiet chat and a cup of cyber tea!


  1. Adriana, I want to comment on every single one of these little and not-so-little revelations! I'll mention one, though, because we have it in common: helping someone with vertigo.

    When I was a young teen, a friend and I were climbing a cliff at the beach in the town where I grew up. I reached the top first and looked down to see his progress. He was frozen in place, a little more than halfway up. He couldn't move up or down, and despite me telling him where a good handhold was, he couldn't let go of the grip he had on the rocks right in front of his face.

    I lowered myself back over the cliff's edge and made my way to his side. Once there I was able to show him right where he should put his hand next. I'd put my hand on a rock and then remove it, and he'd then put his hand there as I placed my arm around his waist to steady him against the rock wall. We repeated the process and soon he was at the top.

    I have no idea why that happened to him. It wasn't the first time we'd climbed the cliffs together, and he was usually a fairly brave kid.

    I hadn't thought about that episode in a while, Adriana. Maybe I should blog about it!

    And speaking of blogging, since you visit my blog regularly and it's not a big site by any stretch of the imagination, does that mean I'm on the road to rock stardom? If so, please please please keep coming by to sit a spell and chat!



    1. You really should blog about that, Tim! I would love to see you draw a spiritual lesson there. I see a great story: struggle, danger, fear, friendship, weakness, strength, courage.

      Here's the address for my minaret. (Sorry Blogger won't let me link in comments.)


      The man was plastered to the wall facing out. The railing was very flimsy. The platform was narrow. I stood in front of him facing him and he looked at me while we edged our way back to the door. As he started down the stairs, he stopped, looked back and thanked me profusely

      P.S. Um yes, you are on the road to stardom! I'm not worried that becoming a rock-star will change you though. Thank you for your hospitality. I know it's genuine. :)

      P.P.S. I think you should write a book.

    2. What, another book? I already wrote two novels! Not that anyone has published them though.



    3. Are you serious?!! :) Can you tell me what they're about? Or is that top secret?

    4. Amateur detective solves local mysteries. Female lead. Told in first person.

    5. I'm putting in now for signed copies of your novels when they're published!!

    6. Re blogging about cliff - I wrote a piece on it, and it will be up in a couple weeks. In the post, I completely blamed ... um ... gave you credit you for making me write about the cliff.

    7. You did?!! How exciting!!
      I can't wait to read it! :D

  2. I love this! I've lived in some unusual places myself -- I once lived in a chicken hatchery to name the strangest place. :)

    1. I would love to read about what it was like to live in a chicken hatchery!

      The day we moved out of the basement, I walked back through one more time. So many memories. It was a small place and every square inch was PACKED with memories.

  3. I like the library stat! I wonder if my daughter could beat your record. She routinely used to have 100 books out a time (100 was the limit). Now she's down to about 25 at a time.

    I have dealt with my dread of housework by not doing it. Poof -- problem solved! ;-)

    Loved this post!

    1. Wow! I bet she could beat my record! I would love to know that! I don't remember the actual number.I could probably find out though. I received the call a few years ago. They invited me to be a "Friend of the Library." I got to meet with other "Friends" and organize book sales and help decide how funds where used and stuff like that. It was fun!

      I admit, your solution to your dread of housework sounds tempting! ;)

  4. Love it! Though it makes me feel that my own life is very flat... :D

    1. Thank you, Fanda. :)

      Have you read The Pilgrim's Progress?
      It helps me to think of a flat season in my life as walking through "The Plain of Contentment." I've spent LONG stretches of time there!

  5. I love this list. It is so much fun to see this side of you.

    1. It's been cathartic for me to recount! It's brought a lot of feelings to the surface -- both happy and sad.

      I keep thinking of other things too. Like: I wonder if I should tell everyone that I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue? Would they care to know that I often talk to my kids like Junior Asparagus? Deep thoughts. :)


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