Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Thirteen #200

Well, here it is. My 200th Thursday Thirteen. I pondered what to do for this momentous occasion, and I have decided I will simply list the 13 greatest things that have ever happened to me. I hope you will forgive me for the indulgence.

My guy!
1. My marriage. We said our vows on November 18, 1983, but we met on Friday, October 8, 1982, and our first date was two days later. We had vaguely known each other as children, because we rode the same school bus, but since he was four years older than I, he paid me little attention.

2. Obtaining my BA from Hollins College in 1993. It took me eight years to obtain this piece of paper, because I went part-time, dodging illnesses and work issues to stay in school. I was the only person in my immediate family to obtain a college degree, and next year I will have my MA. I am quite pleased with this.

3. Building our own home. In 1987, my husband, with hammer in hand, set out to construct our dwelling. Some days I joined him, when the work was something I could handle. It is not a big or fancy place, but we enjoy it and love it. How much dearer can it be, since we built it with our own four hands?

4. In October 1984, my first published article, "Making Shiloh Apple Butter," appeared in The Fincastle Herald, our local newspaper. I went on to write for that publication as a staff writer and then as a stringer. My byline appeared there at least annually, if not more often than that, for the next 25 years.

5. In 1986, I won the first of several Virginia Press Association Awards for my newspaper writing. The awards were a great acknowledgement of the work I was doing.

6. In 2009, I won first place in the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest, something I'd tried to do several times before. I always placed but "first" had proved elusive until that year.

7. In 1999, we bought our first new car, which was a white Ford Taurus. Prior to that we had always purchased used vehicles, usually dealer models with about 10,000 miles on them. Unfortunately, the Taurus had issues and in 2003 we traded it for a brand new blue Toyota Camry. That is the car I am still driving. I have no plans to rid myself of it anytime soon.

8. In 1981, I graduated from high school. I was 5th in my class (out of about 225) and a committee of my classmates chose me to be a senior speaker. I was very honored to give such a speech, though I was not then, and am not now, much of a public speaker.

9. In 1986, I went up in a hot air balloon. The trip went from Daleville to Amsterdam, roughly following US 220 for about six miles. My husband was in the chase crew; he would not ride in the balloon. It was fantastic to be above the world in something so quiet.

10. In 1979, I went to Spain and France on a trip sponsored by my high school Spanish teacher and the French teacher. I was a Spanish student. We visited Madrid, then took a train to Paris. We had to leave Madrid a day early because the train workers were calling for a strike on the following day. I confess that I remember more of Paris than I do of Spain, for Paris had the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and all of those other things that just cry out to be remembered. This has been my only trip across the Atlantic, so far, and it was certainly a wonderful opportunity. I probably never properly thanked my parents for giving me this gift.

11.  In 1976, my parents, my brother, my grandmother, and my two young uncles, then ages 16 and 12, and myself all climbed into a van and took a long ride from Virginia to California. Along the way we saw a lot of the United States. We took the southern route down and the northern route back. We stopped at the Grand Canyon, went to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, and saw Old Faithful blow its top in Yellowstone National Forest. We saw giant California redwood trees, vast plains, and big cities.

12. In 1993, for my graduation present, we went to Disney in Orlando, Florida. We spent four days in searing heat, visiting the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. I loved the nightly fireworks displays, the rides, and the feel of the place.

The palace in Williamsburg,
 from our 2006 trip.
13. Visiting Williamsburg. I first visited Williamsburg when I was in the sixth grade. Our entire class went, taking buses first to Richmond then venturing on to the colonial town. I have been back several times as an adult, and I always find the place enchanting.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 200th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. I love Williamsburg, too! I plan to go back in the spring, and seeing the Governor's Palace got me in that vacation state of mind.

    Congratulations on your degree. I think your dedication to attaining that goal is great.

    And happy 200th!

  2. Wow. The big 200! I think the world is richer for your writing and your life. I appreciate you and the stories you share.

  3. This is a powerful list. So many of the items were important points in my life, too - such as my marriage to my husband, my purchase of my first house, my graduation and degrees. They are the kinds of things that move a life.

  4. Yeah for #2 especially! I returned to college at 40 and am working toward my BFA, so I know what a struggle it can be.

    This week’s TT LINKS -BtV - Dreamtime - Storyteller’s Web

  5. Wow---so much to be proud of and thankful for here! Your #11 is a dream of mine---I don't really have much desire to cross the Atlantic, but I would love to see the U.S. and Canada. So far, the furthest I've traveled is Illinois, but I hope my husband and I can take a big roadtrip someday. I have a yearning to see the sequoias. And Niagara Falls. (But not on the same trip!)

    And a big congratulations on all those writing awards, Anita. Judging from your writing on here, they are well-deserved.

  6. You should make a Friday 14.

    14. June 5, 1966. I got the greatest gift of all. The most handsome, sweet and loving little brother in the world arrived. (Only to terrorize me for the remainder of my life!)

    LOVE YA SIS!!!

  7. 200! I can't wait to get there. Thank you for sharing those highlights. What a wonderful feeling it must be to have built your house with your own hands!

    Happy #T13,

    World's Collide

  8. Some wonderful memories--Paris definitely stays in your mind and soul. Congrats on your 200th T13!

  9. That trip to California sounds so memorable! My first published article was in Mothering magazine.

  10. PS How does the press association award come about. Do they read papers or does someone submit possibilities?

  11. Wow- 200- impressive.
    That's a lot of people who went on that trip in '76.

    Enjoy your Thursday!

  12. I have had some serious fun in Disneyworld, my wedding is my favorite day, and I just received a gift certificate from my parents for a hot air balloon ride. It's nice meeting you through this wonderful post! Best wishes. Happy TT!

  13. Fabulous post, much to be proud of.

    Happy TT!


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