A Writer's Journey

July 14, 2017

I Dream of Paris…

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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I knew that when I got to high school, I wanted to study French. And I did, even though Spanish probably would’ve been more useful. I was one of eleven girls in my high school class who learned the language and we all got really close because our class was so small. We also learned about French culture and history, enjoying our lessons. Our one dream was to go to Disneyland Paris as a class.

However, we went to Catholic school so there definitely was no budget to send us to Paris. We had enough to go to Quebec in Canada, which was gorgeous and still gave us a chance to practice our French. And in college, I went abroad to England and don’t regret it.

There was a plan for a family vacation to France when I graduated college. We would visit Paris and my father wanted to go to Normandy, since his father landed at Utah Beach on D-Day. He also spent a month stationed at Marseilles. My grandfather didn’t speak much of his time in the war so I guess my father wanted to feel closer to that part of him. However, I graduated in 2008 just as the recession kicked in, so that trip got scrubbed. We went to Boston instead.

Yet, I still want to go to Paris. I would love to stroll down the streets of the City of Lights, take in the sights, take in the history and just be there. It would be a dream come true.

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July 10, 2017

Lessons Learned on Vacation

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I went to Walt Disney World during June. My father retired at the end of April and this was his celebration. So my parents, sister, aunt and I went down to spend a week at the Most Magical Place on Earth. At the end of that week, I learned some things about myself.

I am an adult.

No, that’s not a “I’m too old for Walt Disney World” realization. I firmly believe that you can never outgrow Disney World and that there’s plenty to do as an adult, even without a child.

It’s just a realization.

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November 14, 2016

Farewell to a Special Lady

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Last week was a crazy one.

And not just because of the election.

(Though the election was a crazy one. Definitely one we’ll be reading about in years to come).

Wednesday morning, my great-aunt passed away five days short of her 91st birthday.

My Aunt Jennie was a spitfire who only slowed down because her body broke down. Her mind was still sharp as a tack and her tongue just as sharp until the very end.

She was the youngest of four children and was close to her sisters, including my grandmother. Following my great-grandmother’s death, though, my great-aunt decided to go live with relatives in South Carolina. So she was close with her cousins down there as well as their families. In the past few years, she tried to go down as often as she could to be with her cousins and I know it was a relief to my Aunt Pauline to have her there following the death of Aunt Aphrodite.

Aunt Jennie married my Uncle George and had one son, James. (Called Jimmy). But she also had a large role in raising her niece and nephews, my father included. They are all like siblings and I don’t call them “aunt” and “uncle” just because it’s respectful.

Last year, I wrote in her birthday card that I want to be her when I grow up. My cousin called me a brown-noser but it was the truth. Aunt Jennie did not let age slow her down. She became an auxiliary police officer, acted in an off-off Broadway play, was a Red Apple Lady at LaGuardia Airport, and did so much more. She was more active than I am now and I’m young. She was definitely a model for the theory that age is only a number.

So goodbye, Aunt Jennie. We will miss you but take comfort that you lived a full life. I also know that you are with your husband, your parents and your siblings again. We will meet again one day and I’m sure you’ll have lots of stories to tell.

Hopefully, so will I.

Rest in Peace.

June 6, 2016

Jury Duty

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I was on on jury duty for most of May. I was called to report on April 29th, empaneled and unfortunately, I was chosen to be an alternate juror. It was a civil case regarding medical malpractice. The plaintiff and his wife sued his orthopedic surgeon and an infectious disease doctor, claiming they were negligent in their treatment of him post-knee replacement and that they failed to diagnose a knee infection in a timely manner.

After I was chosen, I knew they wouldn’t settle. This was five years in the making and things were pretty tense between the lawyers. They had to go outside twice during voir dire and one of those times ended up with a trip to the judge. And one of the doctors being sued was present for jury selection. This all screamed “Not going to settle” to me.

On the first Monday of May, I reported back to the courthouse and we were brought up to our jury deliberation room. The judge’s clerk came and spoke with us, getting our phone numbers and giving us his—just in case. He explained some things to us and then we were brought into the courtroom. The judge gave us our instructions for the trial and then the lawyers began with their opening statements.

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