Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let Freedom Ring!

Happy Independence Day fellow Blog followers! I know I'm in Mexico and therefore I'm not joining in the celebrations and parties, but I am American! I taught a Sunday School class to 3-5 year olds today and I told them a little about Independence Day and let them make flags out of colored paper and sticks. They had a lot of fun and it made me think! What would our Founding Father's think now if they saw The United States? Would they be pleased with the path their country had taken? Would they be glad they fought the War for Independence and lost so many lives? I wonder what life would be like if we were still ruled by the King of England... Just always keep in mind, IN GOD IS OUR TRUST. He knows what is best for us and he will be there to help us should we ask with a sincere heart! I love my life and I'm grateful for the Independence I have!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Penelope the Pixie Princess

The paper I picked was penned as follows, "Take a sheet of paper and write a short story using as many words beginning with the letter P as possible." So here goes.

One perfect day in the Province of Pixieland a plump pony pranced down a pebble strewn path that led through the pine trees of the Plutonian Park. Sitting astride her back was the pixie princess Penelope. She was perfectly pleased with the picturesque beauty of the park and wasn't paying attention to the path before her.
Suddenly from seemingly nowhere a poisonous python slithered underneath her pony's paws completely petrifying the poor creature. In a state of panic the pony leaped over the python pitching Penelope off of her back, pell mell down the path she landed with a plop in a patch of wild peonies. The pony ran away in the direction of the palace.
Panting, Penelope picked herself up from the ground. "Oh Pshaw!" she cried when she saw the dark purple stains on her party pinafore from the peonies. She wiped the few tears pooled on her cheeks and tried to clean the stains from her pinafore. But hard as she tried it still looked as if someone had spilled plum juice all over her and she realized the stain was permanent. She straightened her pointy wings and shook them gently to drop the speckles of dirt from them.
She reached into her pocket and pulled forth a packet of pistachio flavored popcorn kernels. The magic kernels were supposed to make you feel pessimistic and Penelope felt the need to pamper herself. So she popped one in her mouth and was quite perplexed at the speed with which it dissolved on her tongue.
The powerful potion of the popcorn made her feel so good that she began to dance around the park. Suddenly she felt the presence of another person and turned to see a peasant boy coming from behind the pomegranate bushes. Not wanting to be seen she quickly hid behind a pudgy pine tree.
The peasant boy saw the pale pink of her pinafore sticking out from the tree and quickly he drew forth his pencil shooter and aimed it at the pine tree. He pulled the trigger. Pencils and occasionally a pen flew through the air and pegged into the trunk.
Penelope screamed at the pointless persecution and ran out from behind the tree. When the peasant boy noticed the pixie princess he promptly fell to his patched knees and plead for forgiveness. The putrid smell of his filthiness filled Penelope's nostrils but when she looked at the pitiful peasant she couldn't help but laugh and forgive him.
At the sound of her perfectly pleasing laugh Peter, the peasant, lifted his head. His eyes probed her face and when he saw the mess she was in he too began to laugh.
Penelope's pride was hurt at his prank and she turned on the pathetic peasant. "How dare you poke fun at me." she cried.
"I'm so sorry," panted Peter, "but you are such a mess."
"I'm a mess!" cried Penelope, her pupils growing to twice their normal size. "I presume you haven't seen yourself lately. You smell like pig poo and don't look such a perfectly painted picture either. You provoke me with your prideful personality."
"Please pardon me Princess!" Peter sobered up, "I forgot my place. I hope you don't take it personal." He bowed his head again.
"It's alright," said Penelope. "People always say mean things to me then, remembering the power my parents have as rulers over the Province of Pixieland, they beg pardon, which of course I properly give."
"I know I should pay a penalty for my persecutions, but I promise to protect you from whatever pain I can as a penance for my meanness," Peter pledged.
"Thank you," Penelope smiled. "But that seems a pointless pledge as when we part I don't presume we will be in each other's presence again and this whole incident will become part of the past."
"I pray that the princess doesn't thing me pushy, but these parts of the land are very perilous especially for one lone person. You are much better off to travel in pairs and I would like to be your partner and see you safely to the end of your journey," he said politely.
"That pleases me very much. I am only going to the palace which is not more than a few paces from this place. I was out riding my pony when he was petrified by a poisonous python on the path and he ran away leaving me in a heap on the ground. Hence the mess. Now I'm trying to make my way home before my parents panic."
"I don't have a pony or any other mount for the princess, but I will walk alongside you to the palace and protect you from anything, whether it be demented penguins or famished piranhas. So Penelope pointed in the direction of the palace and off they pattered.
Penelope tried hard to keep up with Peter's fast pace and soon she began to perspire profusely. She persuaded Peter to stop for a moment of peaceful rest.
They parked beside a pure pond. Penelope sat beneath the shade of a giant poplar tree. A pair of peacocks spread their plumes and strutted around the pond. "It's like poetry!" sighed Penelope as she pondered on the particular peace of their small paradise.
"I hope you don't think me presumptuous for asking but why don't you fly from place to place?" asked Peter. "After all, you are a pixie and you do have wings."
"Well, people do try to persuade me to tell them the story and I don't like to but you seem to probably be a caring person so I shall tell you. When my mother was pregnant with me she received a parcel of pickled peas. She ate the peas and they were poisoned. She came down pneumonia and as a result I was born with a paralyzed wing." Penelope sighed, "My mother took my problem to the most professional pediatricians and they all prescribed pricey pills for their patient to take." She then chuckled, "One pathetic physician even said I should wear polyester pajama pants and sleep without a pillow but of course nothing worked and still I can't fly. I'm able to float a little but it takes a lot of patience and practice to keep from falling."
"I'm sorry. I'm sure your parents tried everything for their precious baby. As I believe there is no price too great to pay for health and perfection." Peter patter her arm reassuringly.
He took the pack from his back and pulled some cold potatoes out. He passed one to Penelope. It was wrapped in wax paper to preserve the freshness. "Sorry I have no plate to put them on," he apologized. He then put a small pile of black pepper in her palm and she pinched a sprinkle over her portion of potato. The taste was unlike anything Penelope had eaten before and her stomach rumbled with pleasure as it was filled.
Next Peter pulled forth a perfect peach and a pastel pear. "You pick," he offered. She took the perfect peach and with pleasure she sunk her pearly whites into it's fuzzy peelings. The crisp sweetness pleased her immensely and she thanked Peter profusely for his kindness in allowing her to partake of his small picnic.
"No problem," Peter assured her. "Most people would perish to dine with a princess. Especially one that presents such a pretty picture as yourself."
Penelope blushed a dark pink and absently played with a stray lock of her golden tresses, which was her habit when embarrassed. "I'd forgotten who I was being here with you and looking like I do," she chuckled.
"I beg pardon, but your look is priceless," Peter laughed as Penelope pushed the stray lock behind her ear and giggled. A lone pigeon flew down from her roost in the overhanging branches and began pecking at the fallen crumbs of their forgotten picnic.
The sight of another life reminded Penelope where she was and she quickly stood. "We must get moving before it gets any later. There is to be a party at the palace tonight in honor of some pompous Prince Paganini. I've never met him but my parents hope I will choose him to spend the rest of my life with. I hate having to perform before the public but I guess I chose my lot in the preexistence."
Peter stirred uncomfortably at the name of Prince Paganini but he stood and said, "Then I guess our hour of a perfect picnic is over and we shall leave this small paradise to some other passerby to partake of it's perfection." He packed the remains of their picnic and then followed Penelope down the path.
They reached the palace gates just as Polaris was beginning to twinkle in the sky. Peter took Penelope's hand and gently placed a kiss on her fingers. "I never believed it possible that I could enjoy such a day with a princess and though I will not be seeing you again I want to thank you for this pleasurable afternoon."
"Don't be silly," Penelope laughed. "You shall see me again for I shall order you to the palace where I shall delight you with a performance on my pianoforte."
"Would that the pleasure could be mine," Peter sighed, "But one day you will understand." With these peculiar words of farewell Peter parted from the pixie princess and disappeared into the darkness.
"Wait!" Penelope called out. "Come back!" there was no answer and the perplexed princess turned to the castle.
"Who goes there!" a voice called from above.
"It is I, Princess Penelope."
The guard laughed to himself at the thought of the princess being out on such a night. "What is the password?" he asked.
Penelope quickly recited a popular poem about painting poppies and the guard let down the portcullis. "Pardon me for not recognizing you but I couldn't see you well in this darkness," he stammered.
"It's quite alright." She ran quickly across the patio and up the porch steps. She paused before the huge pine doors to catch her breath then realizing that their could be people already there for the party she frantically ran around the side of the palace and through a small secret passageway not many people knew about.
The passage led into a small parlor next to the family's private living quarters and as Penelope moved the large painting covering the opening a surprised maid screamed.
"Polly it is only I the princess," Penelope quickly revealed herself.
"Oh Princess, I did not know. My, what a panic the palace is in looking for you!" cried the startled maid.
"Find my parents and send them to me quickly," Penelope ordered as she hurried from the parlor and into her rooms. She threw her stained clothes into the closet and donned a plush robe just as her door was thrown open and her parents flew in.
"Oh my precious princess!" Queen Pamela sobbed as she enveloped Penelope in her pudgy arms. "I've been so paranoid. When I learned your pet pony returned without you I thought some horrible peril had befallen you. I knew we shouldn't have let you ride alone! I was running around the palace like a possessed person, calling the police to send a search party out for you. Fortunately my physician said my condition wouldn't be permanent and once you returned I'd feel better and I already do."
"I can't breathe!" Penelope choked.
"Pamela! You are suffocating our daughter," King Phillip pointed out.
"Don't patronize me Phillip," Pamela puffed as she released her hold on her daughter. "Can't you see I've been panicked at the thought of losing my darling pixie!"
"I'm fine Mother."
Queen Pamela suddenly remembered the party and gasped, "We must make a plan, guests should be arriving any moment and we are not ready to present our princess. Quickly Phillip you must keep them preoccupied while I perform magic and transform this dirty pixie into a princess! Polly! Perdita! Come quick!" she called as she grabbed Penelope's hand and rushed to her powder room.
"We have your gown ready to throw on. It's nowhere near plain!" Queen Pamela assured her.
Polly rushed in with a pale periwinkle gown set in pearls. It was exquisitely perfect, made from the most popular pattern and Penelope forgot about her tired muscles as they pulled it over her head and around her wings.
Her mother pinched her daughter's cheeks and primped her hair then she took some slippers from atop her dresser and placed them around her tiny feet. She took a pricey peridot pendant and placed it at her throat. Then stepping back she admired her daughter with all the pride only a mother can feel. "Perfect," she whispered.
"Let's move dearest mother," Penelope prodded, "We can't be too late."
"Prince Paganini is going to adore you!"
"Don't remind me."
As the double doors opened the music ended and the dancers stopped their promenading around the floor. Everyone stood tall and bowed their heads as a beaming Queen paraded her darling daughter through the room and up to the throne where her father awaited her.
Penelope curtsied low before her father as was the custom. King Phillip took her hand and led her up the steps to stand beside him. "I would like to present you to the Prince of Picasso, Peter Paganini. You will honor him as his partner for the first dance."
As Penelope met Peter's eyes she gasped slightly in surprise. A broad grin split Peter's face as he took her arm and led her down the stairs and onto the dance floor.
"Your Highness," he bowed and the music started. Penelope placed her palm in his and they twirled around the floor.
"The peasant boy! I don't believe it. Is this your punishment for my pride?" she asked.
"Oh certainly not. But I would have given all the pennies on the planet to capture your look of surprise when you saw me."
"So you pretended to be a peasant? Why?"
"I wasn't pretending. You never asked my if I was the prince."
"I don't normally make it my practice to ask every peasant I meet whether he is secretly royalty or not."
"Well my Pixie Princess, do you find me as pompous as you presumed me to be?"
"No," Penelope smiled, "You're perfect."
"I think it would please your parents and mine, if you chose me to be your prince, pompous as I may be."
"I think it would please me very much to be your princess," Penelope laughed her perfectly pleasing laugh as Peter picked her up and twirled her around the room and onto eternity!

THE END, of a perfectly plotted parable!
-Michelle Langford

Friday, May 7, 2010

One night in sleepless slumber

On April 19 2010 I went with my parents, the midwife, and my sister to Hermosillo to a hospital where my mom planned on giving birth to my little brother. We traveled all day and waited all night because that's what you do in Mexico is wait on everybody.

After waiting for things to be figured out until midnight, we checked Mom into the hospital and went to find a place to sleep. The Dr. in Montezuma had recommended the hospital housing across the street. She said it was nice so we walked over there. As we were leaving, Amber the midwife who was 7 months pregnant, said to me, "Michelle you might want to get a few pillows and some toilet paper."
I just laughed and said, "Believe me Amber, if they don't have toilet paper and pillows in here then we are not staying here!" She just laughed as if she knew something I didn't.

We arrived at our destination...across the street...and dad proceeds to order the room. The man behind the desk says, "The men's quarters are full so we can only give you room for the women." Which of course I missed. So Daddy ordered the room and paid then says, "I'm going to sleep in the truck." He leaves and a little Mexican woman comes up with a stack of blankets and says "Follow me." I saw the blankets and thought Wow, they aren't very on the ball if they haven't changed the blankets yet. But I didn't care because I was so tired. Melanie, the sister, decided to go buy some water and Amber and I followed the women across the room and through a door. The room was dark and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust but when they did I was completely and utterly shocked!

I stood in the doorway of a long skinny room. The walls on either side were lined in cots with white sheets. Sleeping women and children filled the cots. Every now and then someone would cough and a few people were snoring. To make it worse the cots were an inch apart. there would be two together then a small night stand. then two more. So basically you were in the same bed as a stranger. The bathroom door was opened halfway and I could see into it. It was so dirty and smelled so bad that the stench drifted out and into the room.

The woman stopped at the first bed, pulled the old sheet off, put a new folded one on the edge and said, "You can have this cot." Amber took and she walked past the sleeping women in the next bed and then stopped at the next empty one. "And this one." she said putting the last blanket and two sheets on it. I asked her where the third one was as there were three of us and she said, "This one is bigger than the other one so two of you can share." I was like "OKAY!" but I didn't say anything. She could tell I was surprised by the look on my face and said, "I do have a mattress under a bed somewhere." she looked under a few beds and pulled out a half flat air mattress. When I saw it I immediately said, "We'll share." just picturing sleeping on that mattress so close to the floor made me shiver. The woman put it back and left. I spread my sheet over the bed then looked at the bed only and inch from mine. A woman and a young boy were asleep in it. The toddler's face was right next to where my head would lay.

Melanie came from buying water and when she walked in the room the look on her face was too much for Amber to take and she burst out laughing. She was hiding her face under the pillows so as not to wake people. Melanie exclaimed, "Holy freaking cow! It smells like Sh** in here!" Between fits of laughter Amber gasped, "Shut the bathroom door and it won't smell so bad." So Melanie did then she walked to where I was laying and asked, "Where is my bed?" I said, "We get to share." She looked at the little boy sleeping next to us and said, "I'm supposed to sleep next to him? No way, I might get a disease or something." I burst out laughing...quietly of course and said, "Don't worry, you get your own sheet." She shook her head and said, "I'm going to go sleep in the truck with Dad," then she left.

I wanted to jump up and run with her but then I thought of what my Mother was going through and I decided I could handle this. So I spread my blanket out and realized it didn't cover my whole body. Don't ask how the lady thought I was supposed to share it with another person. I lay down as close to the edge as I could. Then I realized, I should have brought a pillow. So in my most innocent and puppyish voice I asked Amber if I could please have a pillow. She just laughed and said, "No." so I stuffed the extra sheet under my head, prayed, "God please keep the bed bugs and lice off of me for tonight." Then I fell asleep scratching my head with just the thought of lice.

I woke up countless times in the night and looked over at Amber to see if she was ready to get out of there. I found her with the door part way open and her head sticking out for a breath of fresh air. She told me later that she would keep opening the door all night but the Lady would walk by and close it again.

Finally around 6:30 we got out of there. We walked straight to the truck and Amber stuck her head in the open window and said, "You don't know what you put us through last night!" Dad just started laughing and apologized. "It was like a third world country war hospital." I thought it reminded me of a concentration camp!

Needless to say, we got a nice hotel room the next night!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Laugh and cry, live and die!

Life has been so busy lately I hardly find time for myself. My two sisters left, one to Louisiana and the other to Utah. Mom just had the baby and I'm stuck taking care of everyone and everything along with teaching school but I'm doing great! It's amazing how much there is to do and how little time to do it in. I'm grateful for this experience though for it will only make me stronger and able to handle more. I feel like I learn so much each day and want to do so much more. Maybe one day I will!

I sit sometimes and wish I could go back and change things. Whether it was something I did or didn't do or say but then I realize that everyone makes mistakes and we learn from them. I'm grateful for my mistakes because now I know how to do it right the next time!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Life is what you make it!

Some people complain that their lives are miserable while others think they have the best life ever. But if you notice, the people who live miserable lives usually have negative attitudes. There is always a bright side to everything. The people who lead the best lives are the ones who can find the bright side and make the best of life. Live in the moment. I read something once about how adults are always waiting...if they are going somewhere then they are waiting to get there, once they are there then they are waiting to leave. We always wait for the next party or for something amazing to happen. Whereas children live in the moment. If they are going somewhere then they play games and enjoy the scenery on the way. Once they get there they enjoy themselves. I think we should stop waiting and start living because after all that is what life is for, to live. Not to wait and wait until you finally up and die without ever having enjoyed living.