Tag Archives: memories

Family Tradition

Today my Grandpa and I ran errands in his 1966 cherry red Chevy Impala. As we drove, he told me about his adopted Dad (a tavern owner) who would drop by every tavern they passed when they went anywhere for a few beers ‘to be neighborly’ with his tavern buddies.

He died of sclerosis of the liver.

After a long, thoughtful pause, reflecting on the death, Grandpa announced: “Let’s stop for a beer.”

So we found a tavern in “a one horse town without the horse” and kept up the family tradition.


The Adult in the Room

I really enjoyed myself yesterday playing board games with my first cousins once removed. They’re 6 and 7 and let me tell you, the world’s biggest cheaters! And still I had to cheat twice as hard to lose. 

I also had to pull rank a few times.

 The 7-year-old decided he did not like how the 6-year-olds were playing the game and tried to insert his own rules. They spiritedly protested. He decided to pull out his trump card.

“Well, I am a year older than you so you have to do what I say.” 

I decided it was time to get involved and maturely responded, “Well, I am older than all of you so you have to do what I say!”

This brought down censor from the people older than me in the room (not playing the game!) with a reproof not to pull age. 

So I pulled reading ability. The next dispute resolved around a card requiring the player to return to their home base. The 6-year-olds struggled with it and the 7-year-old informed them that he could read better and it said no such thing. 

So I said I could read better than all of them and it did too say that!

So we switched to Uno. My grandma (the children’s great-grandma) and brother joined us. The 6-year-old, having created a barrier so  we could not “see her cards”, then preceded to pull all the skips, take twos, reverse, and color changes from the pile of cards. She left us to divvy up the rest as we wished. 

When asked how she managed to get such good cards, she frankly said, “I took them!”

And the next round, when someone else shuffled and gave her a perfectly normal hand, she informed us she did not like playing the adult way! 


The Mixed Blessing of an Old Friend

This past weekend I visited my friend Sara. We figure we met online around age 12; we certainly met in person for the first time at age 16. Not only did she know me at my craziest, she introduces me to people by telling them about it. 

“This is Amy. I didn’t like her when we met because she was super hyper.”

“This is my friend Amy. In high school I pulled her off picnic tables because when debate got really heated she would turn bright red and stand on them to make her point.”

“This is Amy! She went on her first plane ride with me and I kept having to forcibly drag her through the airport because she kept pausing to complain about the historical inaccuracy of the murals on the airport walls.”

And the worst part? I don’t have any horrible stories to tell back! Either I don’t remember them or she was just really mature at 16. Or, as probably more likely, I was the crazy one and anything she did paled compared to me standing on picnic tables.

Or irritating the tour guide at the White House with my steady stream of commentary. 

Or staying up till 4 am watching the Disney Channel because by golly I was not going to let the cable TV in our hotel room go to waste. 

In conclusion, it is good to have old friends. It keeps you humble. 


Morning Coffee and Reminiscent Rambles

It is 10:16 am and I have yet to have my morning coffee. This strikes me as a very poor time to write a blog post. But it is also the only downtime I have today so if I’m going to post anything more substantial than, “Going AWOL till Monday. Will fill you in later”…this is it. 

(I just took a sip. Reason slowly breaks through the fog of my brain.)

I met with a 1L yesterday (for coffee! I love coffee.) As I reminisced about the horrors of my first year of law school, I remembered that I gave up coffee for those first 3 months or so. At the time everyone was like, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!”

And to be honest, even now I am like “WHAT WAS I THINKING?!”

(Another sip. Ahhh, warm and delicious.) 

But I was drowning and just trying to survive. My anxiety already spiked through the roof on a daily basis, I did not need a caffeine shot to help it. 

Today I met with a fellow 3L (it was supposed to be for coffee but I could not find parking so we literally drove around for 40 minutes and missed the coffee-getting window. Why do I live in a city?!)

We reminisced about how awful 1L year was. And then how terrible 2L year turned out to be. Then with a sigh, we shrugged and switched to which state bar to take. 

(Three sips in an I’m almost human.)

Lawyers often told me growing up not to go to law school. I was always deeply offended by it. ‘There is no other way to become a lawyer except by going to law school,’ I would think angrily. ‘What unreasonable advice you give!’

But now I understand it. I try not to give the same advice I heard because, honestly, it only made me more stubborn and determined to go. But I understand that the words did not come from a place of job security or mockery. They were genuinely trying to save me from some pretty miserable experiences. 

Yet we go through pain to grow. I don’t think I would repeat 1L and 2L year even if you paid me. (I mean, knowing what I know now it would probably be easier but I am presuming I would repeat without knowing what I know now.) But I don’t regret who I am for having gone through it. 

At least, not today. 

Check back in once I’m actually graduated. Or finished my cup of coffee. 

(Ahhhh, coffee.)


Better Than Goodwill

My aunt has a saying: “Shop at home first.”

Bethany and I drove into Milwaukee today to visit our grandparents. We planned to hit Goodwill on the way but ran out of time.

Good thing too because by the time we left Grandma and Grandpa’s my car was too full for anything else. What with a desk and punch bowl and decorations and tea set…

And the best part is not just that we got it free (which it would not be at Goodwill!) The best part is that everything has a story. From great, great grandparents to wedding gifts to semi-recent rummage purchases, each item comes with a story that continues with us.

So thank you to all the relatives that have helped furnish my apartment. My sister and I are daily surrounded by gifts and love. ❤️


Happy Summer Memories

Some days I stare at my computer and wonder what the heck to write about. (If you ever wonder which days those are, look to the ones where I talk about books. Books are my inevitable go-to for inspiration.) Other days, I seem to drown in things to say. As this happens to be one of those days where I cannot seem to pick which thing to settle on, here are three happy summer memories that occurred over the last few days:

  • I got to see Ginnie and her kids. Ginnie and I have been friends since high school (maybe middle school in my case) and I am always grateful to see her. Old friends who continue to stick around are some of the best people out there. And if she was not enough, Ginnie has 3 adorable children! We took them to the Madison’s Children’s Museum and had a lovely time. I highly recommend the place. 
  • Friday night I saw my nephew AND went to a neighborhood bonfire! Both proved super fun. One of the neighbors is my age and also entering her 3L year of law school. It is always fun to compare notes and bemoan our life decisions. 
  • Finally…I attended a birthday party for my  cousins! I got to see family and celebrate three of my amazing cousins (plus my brother) last night. They all continue to age at a rapid pace. Delightful company and food…what is not to love? 

25: A Year In Review

I am spending my last day as a 25-year-old working on a Law & Information Technology final for a class that ended in May. It feels oddly symbolic–and utterly depressing. 

I also work today. This too feels symbolic. I spent most of the first half of my year in this office crafting my law review note and trying to squeeze work hours in while juggling twenty other commitments. 

Neither memory leaves me feeling particularly joyful. 25 is not a year I would willingly repeat. 

Colorado, Madison, Thailand, Madison some more. The real takeaway I see from 25 is that the second year of law school is somehow more terrible than first year. And I didn’t even think that was possible. 

I suppose I grew as a writer and traveler this past year. I overcame a lot. I think I also failed a lot. Or at least I fell flat on my face more times than I care to count. 

I am not sure what hopes to have for 26. It will cover one more year of law school. It feels a bit like one more year to ‘get through,’ which I don’t want to be the case. I love birthdays because they mean a new start. But with 2L year still nipping at my heels and 3L year looming ahead, I feel more braced than expectant. 

But you know what? Here is to 26. As my favorite poet, Tanner Olson, says: hope doesn’t let the story end.

And another year of law school is not the end of the story. So, that is how I want to approach 26. Hopeful. Even if I am not really sure what to hope for. Because it represents a new year and a new chance to kick law school’s butt. Or at least try not to let it totally kick mine. 


So…Who Am I? And Why Korea?

It occurred to me that as my network of readers expands, a lot of stuff I take for granted that you all know about me…you might not actually know about me. 

So, hi! My name is Amy. I am an American and I spent the last five-ish months studying abroad in Thailand. I like books, black and white movies, and blogging every day. Back home I am a semi-sensible law student with a perchance for over-committing to everything that strikes my interest. Which is most things. 

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing about my trip to Busan, South Korea. And it was amazing! It lived up to my impossibly high expectations. I love Korean dramas, Korean pop music, Korean food, traditional Korean clothing, the Korean language….and now South Korea itself!

I hope you enjoy walking through these memories with me! Let the fangirling begin! 


To Tori

Dear Tori,

Tomorrow you get married! If I have one regret about coming to Thailand, it is that I am missing such a wonderful day. But today is not a day for regret but for excitement! You are marrying your best friend! I am so happy for you. 

You have been my friend and partner in crime for so many years that I have probably forgotten more than half our adventures already! I am so grateful for every one of them. From an international, online girls’ bible study to a writing forum for our friends to the best New Years Eve party ever, you have turned my crazy ideas into reality for at least a decade now. 

Remember the first time we met in real life? We were so excited to meet we scared your parents by enthusiastically running and shouting and hugging! We rocked the Intelligence Committee and put on that ridiculous skit that only made sense to people on the Gen J forums and toured that incredible castle in Colorado. 

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And then we met up again in Texas! Who would guess as we sat hiding by that glass elevator discussing future dreams and plans that your future would lead you back to Texas?! And then we snuck out to meet Dan and Jennifer and in the end probably spent more time with that super-chatty Uber driver. 

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And then we both worked for AFP and could swap war stories! 

And then you came and visited me and we drove to Minnesota to hang out with our friends! And you came to my shared graduation party. (Were they separate trips? I cannot remember now!)

And then, most epic of all, that time you flew out with barely any warning and we accidentally crashed Sarah’s wedding? I will never forget driving across Wisconsin in the middle of summer without working air conditioning and then quick changing near a corn field so we didn’t look quite so sweaty and disreputable when we arrived. And then we got to polka!

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Then I flew out and visited you after a crazy election season and we had many adventures in Montana! We ate ethnic food and smelled tea that might have been the remains of King Tut and did an escape room. It remains one of the most relaxing and fun vacations I have ever taken. 

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And we plotted and we schemed and managed to pull together a New Years Party within a month! So many amazing friends in one place. Remember how excited we were about the murder mystery and how unexpectedly sketch it ended up being? And of course, Jordan and Ashley met…but that is a post for next weekend. 

Then I spent a summer at camp but we still managed to see each other for a quick visit and eat Korean!

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So many memories and so may pixelated photos! And yet even these correspond to only a fraction of our interactions. If I could, I would post a picture of hand-written letters that stretch a dozen pages, of forum posts and Facebook messages, of book club chats and bookish gossip, of Hamilton songs, of laughter and tears. 

You are an incredible, beautiful, amazing woman and I am so grateful to know you. Though our friendship will always look a little different going forward once you get married, I think of it as an advantage. Whatever our next scheme ends up being, we will now have three heads plotting instead of two! (Or, four or five or six or seven or eight depending how many Gen Jers we drag in with us!)

Congratulations on your wedding, my friend. May it be the happiest of days! 

Amy


October 29th

Today was…challenging. It began with a dead alarm clock & missed meeting and most recently concluded with me cutting my tongue trying to lick the envelope on the absentee ballot my town sent back because my witness failed to put an address on it. Let’s say things didn’t get better in-between.

However, Facebook memories reminded me that October 29th is usually a great day! So here is a quick strolls through some fun memories:

1 Year Ago

I won the undying approval of my neighbor in church this morning by knowing all the words to How Great Thou Art. She introduced me to 6 different people as, “Amy, Who Knows All The Words To How Great Thou Art.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell her I actually just couldn’t find a hymnal so I closed my eyes and did my best!

2 Years Ago:

“BLT is back!!!” shout the Jimmy John’s employees and silently I wonder if I should have gone to Subway instead. 
#DayofAction#IamBLT

3 Years Ago:

Bekah’s car rental…

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4 Years Ago:

Article: Even More Terrible Things Are Happening To The American Girl Doll Brand Than You Thought

(Arguably not a happy memory because I love American Girl but memorable.)

5 Years Ago:

Someone put me in charge of directions for touring Bath, England. I believe I’m saying, “This is the middle of the circle.” 

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9 Years Ago:

is leaving for her SAT in VA! Goodbye peoples!

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(SAT would be Student Action Team. I did not travel to Virginia to take the Scholastic Assessment Test.)