Saturday, November 5, 2011

Not Lucky--Blessed

Thanksgiving has never really had much meaning for me. That sounds kinda petty, but it honestly just isn't one of the holidays that I anticipate or truly love. For me, it always seems to be kind of a pitstop, a point to get through to get to Christmas. You can really tell this by looking at my past blogs. Last year, I didn't say a peep about Thanksgiving. This year however, it's been a little different.

I've been on a Nicki Minaj kick lately, and I was listening to this song--

The lines, "No, I'm not lucky, I'm blessed--yes." really spoke to me. Because she's right. I'm not lucky. I'm blessed. Truly blessed.

So here's a sappy Thanksgiving post. I'm going make a list (you all know how I love lists) of seventeen ways God has blessed me. Why seventeen? Because that's all I could think of. Lol.

1. God

I am thankful for God. I am thankful that through all my temper tantrums, my irrationality, even when I hated and cursed Him, He stuck with me. He led me back to Him through the careful use of my friends, the people I've met, and my transforming experience in Oxford. I don't think I'll ever understand why He loves me and why He puts up with me, but I know I am truly grateful that He does.

2. Old friends

I love this picture because it captures everyone I love in a place that I love. These are the ladies that have been there for me, no matter how hard. These are the girls I'd do anything for and I thank God every day for bringing them into my life.

3. New friends

This past year, I've done a lot in a lot of places. Whenever I do something new, say, transfer to a new university, go to England, etc., I always have this strangely irrational fear that I will not make any new friends and be shunned. This has never been the case. Especially this year, I've met so many amazing people that have impacted my life in incredible ways. For that, I'm grateful and indebted to them. I hope they remain in my life and continue to help me grow and learn.

4. My VBC seminar

Instead of taking formal classes, I chose to do a fifteen credit project this semester. The project involved researching 'vernacular memorials'--such as tattoo memorials or roadside crosses, things of that nature. My initial reasoning for doing this project was to take a break for the routine of regular courses and try and get back on my feet but in all honesty, this seminar has done so much for me. It's given me confidence in my abilities, reminded me that if I work hard enough, I can do anything. It's forced me to work outside my comfort zone and honestly create something, something I can be proud of. Most of all, it's forced me to face my fears of death. I will never be comfortable with death, but I think the emotional maturity I've gained from this project has prepared me better to deal with it.

5. My trip to England

I very nearly did not go to England this summer. There were financial struggles, I missed several paperwork deadlines, I nearly didn't get the loan I needed, etc. For a while there, I was sure I would not go. But God worked it out. I am so grateful He did. I gained some of those new friends on that trip. I visited places I'd always wanted to go to. Most importantly, on a rainy day in Oxford, I came back to Him. Good lord, where would I be now if I hadn't gone?

6. My family

I'll be honest, my family drives me crazy. My oldest brother's inability to wash a dish. My mother's inability to see how awesome she is. My family's basic inability to communicate with each other. But if there's one thing I've learned in my VBC seminar, no one lives forever. I appreciate them and love them even more for being there. And through all the little aggravations, there will always be things I love about them. Saul's never failing ability to make me laugh for one. When my oldest brother (the one who can't wash a dish) brags about my favorite papers. My middle brother's patience. How my mother never fails to coddle me when I want to be coddles. My father's determination to fix anything that comes up in my life. They are my family, and I love them fiercely.

7. My Grandpa

I love my Grandpa. He's the only grandparent I've ever known, and he is incredible. I have been blessed enough to see him regularly and actually forge a relationship with him. He's 96 and I know he won't be around forever. But I'm so thankful for the time I've been given with him.

8. My sister

My sister is obviously a part of number 6, my family, but the amount of my gratitude for having her in my life deserves its own spot. I met my sister for the first time the fall of 2008--well, technically, the first letter from her arrived not long after my eighteenth birthday. I met her the following summer. That story will have its own blog post one of these days, but suffice it to say she is incredible and God has blessed me sooo much for bringing us together.

9. My cat

This seems an overly sentimental one, but I'm feeling particularly sappy, so deal. This occurred to me last night, while I was reading on my bed, and my darling crotchety cat hopped on my bed and curled up next to my chest. There is nothing quite as contenting as a cat using you as a pillow, purring up a storm. I have had this cat, formerly called Goldenrod (I've been calling him THE DOCTOR lately due to my obsession with Doctor Who) since I was nine years old. He has been a constant companion and is very dear to my heart.

10. My mother's new job

My mother has been searching for a new job for a good two years now. It has caused my family no end of stress and fear. This past month, she finally was accepted into a new position. I haven't stopped thanking God for it.

11. My music

I am thankful that God blessed me with musical genes and a musical momma. Everything I write comes from Him and everything I play/sing would be nothing without Him.

12. My writing

All the stories I create, all the blogs I scribble, all the papers I sweat over--these are the things I love to work on and I am so blessed that He granted me a talent at it.

13. My puppy

I have the most beautiful German Shepherd in the world. She is slightly neurotic and drools over all my sheets and is generally crazy, but I love her to bits. She is my baby.

14. My church

I've never felt quite at home with a church. I refused to get confirmed at thirteen and basically flitted from church to church, feeling that nothing was a right fit for me. However, the church that was attached to my school--has always been a home, even when I didn't see it that way. They recently sent me a college care package and I was so touched by their love and thoughts. So nowadays, I've accepted it--Immanuel Lutheran will always be my home church.

15. C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis has impacted my life so powerfully. He has been quite possibly my greatest teacher, leading me forward in my faith and challenging me to think critically and logically. His words have meant everything to me, and for all he's done, I am thankful.

16. House Church

I mentioned before that finding new churches is often a trial for me. It's even worse when I'm in an unfamiliar school and town. I prayed to find a new spiritual home and like he does, God answered my prayers. He introduced me to someone in my VBC seminar who led me to House Church, a weekly Bible study and Sunday church. Having a friend there was comforting and relaxed me. So I am thankful for that.

17. My education

I have been very blessed education-wise. My father, with somewhat snobbish intentions, refused to send any of his children to public schools so my brothers and I went to private institutions our entire life. This was a very important stepping stone in my life, however, and I'm grateful for it. The quality of my education has always been good and my very Lutheran high school and elementary school gave me a wonderful Christian foundation to fall back on.

In the end, it's true. I'm not lucky, I'm blessed, and I hope never to forget that.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Top 5 Females on TV I Love

I'll be honest, I like TV. Now don't get me wrong, as an English major, I'll always prefer books. But there are times when I'm lazy, and I just don't feel like concentrating too hard. That's when I'll switch on the TV (or in all honesty, pirate something online, cuz that's just how I roll.)

But here's something I don't like. I don't always like how women are represented on television. I understand, it's hard. You want a character that's likable but you also want a character that's human. You want a character that can kick ass if need be, but you also want a character with vulnerability. For some reason, screenwriters can do it well with men and not so well with women. So here's my list of my favorite women on television.

1. Rory Gilmore from "Gilmore Girls"

I won't lie, when I was twelve years old, I wanted to BE Rory Gilmore. In some fashion, I still do. (Although I would've chosen Jess, cuz he was sooo much better than stupid Logan, JUST SAYING) She was relatable to me and to a lot of girls. She was bookish, she was quiet, the quintessential good girl. People thought she was shy but in actuality, she was loads of fun with a quick wit. Like I said. Relatable.

Rory also grows as a person. We see her fight with her mother, Lorelai, (who'd be on this list as well but I didn't have room) we celebrate when she gets into Yale, we wring our hands in anguish when she drops out for that short period of time. She makes mistakes but she learns from them and always manages to fix her life in time.

I think what I love about Rory is she's never let a guy decide her fate. She's been in relationship after relationship--but it's never affected her dreams in a negative way. She tried to make it work with Dean, she didn't run away with Jess when he asked her to (even though I sort of wanted her to and she kind of wanted to as well, she made the right decision, plus it forced Jess to grow up himself) and she DIDN'T marry Logan when she graduated from Yale. She's always known her own mind, which is something admirable in a female character.

2. Jo Harvelle from "Supernatural"

There was a LOT of Jo hate when she first appeared on the show, but I loved her. She was badass, she didn't take any crap, and she handled a shotgun beautifully. She also punched Dean, which is just sort of amazing in itself.

Jo can also hold her own. I'm pretty sure she could out-hunt Dean and Sam and she also managed to convince her mother that she could be a hunter. Trust me, Ellen Harvelle is a tough nut to crack. She also deserves a place on this list--maybe I should make a list of most awesome TV moms. We shall see.

In any case, Jo is also brave. She died a hero, saving her friends. That scene still tears me up.

3. Samantha Jones from "Sex and the City"

Here's the thing about Sex and the City.

It's kind of a dumb show.

I know, I'm shocked too. With a name like Sex and the City, you were probably expecting the height of intellectualism.

SATC is my indulgence show. I can pull out excuses for Gilmore Girls--smart dialogue, hilarious references--and Supernatural--amazing plot, great setting, fabulous music, intriguing characters. I don't have excuses for SATC and I don't need them. This is the show where after a hard day of using my brain, I turn it off, order Chinese, and watch.

I could go on a full rant on how this show pretends to be feminist and women friendly when in actuality, not one of the episodes has EVER passed the Bechdel test, but that's another blog for another time.

Samantha Jones is probably the only one of the four female protagonists that does not get on my nerves on an episodic basis. She is smart, she is loads of fun, she's confident, and she has a very firm idea on who she is. Her boldness and charm are refreshing--she doesn't seem fake. I like that about her.

There are also definite flaws to Samantha's character. (I like characters with flaws.) She very rarely lets herself be vulnerable and she hides her insecurities in series of flings. But I also love how defensive she is of her friends. She's loyal to the end--not afraid to tell off one of Carrie's more manipulative exes and perfectly willing to yell at a frenemy who 'stole Charlotte's baby name.' A testament to her character, since Samantha loathes children. All in all, she's a well-rounded character, and while certainly not feminist, still enjoyable to watch.

4. Arya Stark from "Game of Thrones"

I love Game of Thrones. I love its plot, the characters, ESPECIALLY the portrayal of women. We have the women who play by the rules, Danaerys, Cat Stark. And we have the women who do NOT play by the rules. Like Arya here.

Don't be fooled by her adorable-ness. She is slowly learning how to kill. She is a force to be reckoned with. I love how she's challenging the established rules for women. That kicks ass, guys. There's only been ten episodes of GoT, so we're still watching the characters evolve. But I feel there will be good things in Arya's future.

5. Brooke Davis from "One Tree Hill"
I have a lot of issues with One Tree Hill. But one thing has been consistent about this show--I've always loved Brooke Davis. She's savvy, she's stylish, confident, and best of all, evolved. She grows sooo much from her early days. She has such a warm and loving personality, as well as being strong and tough when she needs to be. She has enough grace to forgive Peyton for betraying her--multiple times I might add--and she lives life by her own terms. I think what impressed me the most about Brooke Davis was her reasoning for returning to Tree Hill in season 5. Peyton came back for a boy, Brooke came back to start a new life. That's impressive.
I also love the growth of her relationships with men on the show. They started out from being purely physical, to puppy love, back to physical (to keep her heart from being broken again) to true love, and then to adult love. I wasn't totally sure about how she fell in love with Julian, because in all honesty, I was getting sick and tired of her getting Peyton's castoffs--but their relationship won me over, especially Brooke's line about always being a footnote in someone else's love story. Sigh.

Keep being awesome, Brooke Davis.

Monday, October 10, 2011


This is my one hundredth blog.

I've been thinking for a while about what I should write for this sucker, and in all honesty, I'm still not sure. So I started flipping through my old blogs for ideas. I sure whined a lot. But I guess that's the point of a blog, right? I also rediscovered an appreciation for my life and all I've been given. I have the most amazing friends in the entire world. I'm sure everyone says that, but I seriously mean it.

I think the mark of a friendship is how you fight. In the past week, I have gotten into two little tiffs with some friends of mine. Now, I rarely fight with my girlfriends. The most we really do is snipe at each other. Oh, how we snipe.

I can't go into great detail, but let's take my snipe with Avlbane recently. The night before, I'd been going into deep depressing Phoenix mode, and started going on about how being alone wasn't so bad. I didn't really NEED to have someone in my life. I have a dog. I have a cat. In all honesty, that's all I need. Avlbane cautiously agreed with me but flat out told me not to ignore something right in front of me.

The next night, Avlbane came over for dinner. Like I said, due to personal matters and the idea of humiliating myself online, I can't get into specifics. Basically, I announced my intention to retreat. Hide. A certain something had presented itself, and I wasn't having any of it.

Well, neither was Avlbane.

I have seen Avlbane unleash her wrath on stupid people, and it is most entertaining. It is not so entertaining when I am the brunt of it. She informed me in no uncertain terms that I was being stupid. "I love you, but sometimes you get so focused in on how you think your life is...I don't want you to miss out on what's right in front of you because of it."

I didn't like that. Mostly because she's right. When something's going badly in my life, I hide. I compress into a bubble where I think it's safe and hope nothing gets me. This doesn't sound so bad in writing, but in all honesty, it's what led me into my fight with depression last semester.

We yelled at each other for about twenty minutes. I kept trying to change the subject but she immediately would turn it back to the situation. Naturally, she won the argument. I seethed for the rest of the evening.

Then God smacked me in the face by basically saying He was TOTALLY on Avlbane's side. SIGH. I went to church with Avlbane that weekend and the sermon was about how humans only see part of the picture. God sees the whole story.


I only see what's going on around me right now. God sees what I've done, what I'm doing, and what I will do. He knows how my story turns out. This whole hiding, retreating business? It's just me trying to get a grasping control on my life, when in all honesty, I don't have a handle on it. I never will. I may see my current situation as hopeless, as God taunting me with something I want but can't have. God sees it as something that may define my life, that may teach me something, so He wants me to shut up and learn from it.

My hubris extends more. A few nights ago I had a snipe with Regan about something she's dealing with. Because OBVIOUSLY I know what's best for her. She couldn't possibly decide how she wants to handle her life, so it's MY JOB as her FRIEND to decide for her.


Seriously, how does God put up with me?

I guess what I can gain from this is that God loves me desperately. He loves me enough to give me friends that are smart enough to tell me when I'm being stupid or going into hiding mode. He loves me enough to give me repeat lessons at something until I learn it. He's a good teacher. He's a good father. Most of all, he's a good friend.

"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."--John 15:13

Saturday, September 24, 2011


This is an extremely late 9/11 post. Partly because I've been busy, another part because I plumb didn't want to write it. 9/11 brings up a torrent of emotions that I am simply not ok with dealing with. But this past 9/11 was the tenth anniversary--and frankly, it's not right that I simply ignore it.

I spent the tenth anniversary in DC. Seriously. Oh, don't worry, it gets way better. I actually boarded a plane at 6:29 AM from Dayton, Ohio, to Washington DC. Right after a terrorist threat had been announced by the president. Needless to say, this was not exactly a flight I slept through.

I'd never been to DC, although according to my mother, I was born in Bethesda, so I HAVE been to DC, I just don't remember it. Still, I really enjoyed myself. It was cool visiting the monuments that I'd seen in pictures and it was especially cool doing so on a day as important as 9/11.

One of the first things we (we meaning the special seminar I am a part of this year, rather than taking formal classes) did was go to the Smithsonian museum and check out the 9/11 exhibit. It was...powerful to say the least. It had little booths for each catastrophe--United 93, the twin towers, the Pentagon--each containing wreckage and relics from the disaster. There was a clock that had fallen from a wall within the Pentagon, stopping on the exact time of the attack. There was a squeegie that a window washer had used to carve his way out of one of the towers, rescuing himself and a few others. There were twisted pieces of metal in grotesque shapes, all that remained of heroes and victims.

At the end of the exhibit, there was a portion where you could sit down, and write down your experiences of 9/11 and post it on a wall. This is what I wrote:
I wish I had clearer memories of this day. I was only eleven. Newly eleven, in fact. I remember my father telling me that he knew people in the Pentagon. People who died. I found the names of his friends when we visited the Pentagon memorial.

I think one of the most important things to remember about 9/11 was that it wasn't just an attack on New York. It wasn't just an attack on DC. It was an attack on the USA. It was a declaration of war by zealots who wanted us dead. Wanted? Still want us dead. Just because we got Osama, ten years later, doesn't mean the threat is over. They attacked the Pentagon, the center of our military. The place where we plan how to defend our country. They attacked the World Trade Center towers, symbols of capitalism and basically, what a rich country we were. Thank God and the brave souls of United 93 that we will never know the third target. The White House? The Capitol?

Every year, come 9/11, I sit down and I reread news articles. I watch youtube videos of the planes hitting the towers, the plane hitting the Pentagon. Most horrifyingly, I force myself to listen to the phone calls of those trapped inside. I listen to the fear in the voices of the flight attendants who called for help. I listen to the 911 calls from the towers, people begging to be rescued, terrified for their lives. I listen to the announcement, just recently released, of the Al Quaeda terrorists, saying they had taken over the plane. Why do I do this? Am I a masochist?

I don't ever want to become content with the knowledge that my country, my home was attacked. I don't ever want to become accustomed to this. I don't want to ever forget.

The most powerful thing I saw at the 9/11 exhibit was a father, sitting on a bench with his daughter. The girl couldn't have been more than ten years old. He was explaining to her why he had to go to Afghanistan, and what had happened on 9/11. "You were too young to remember, but..." Tears filled my eyes. I think it was shocking to realize that this wound, still so fresh and festering in my memories, will not be remembered by the children of today. My children will read about 9/11 in textbooks, perhaps ask me about it to fulfill a history report.

After all this time, I'm not ready for 9/11 to be history yet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Once upon a time, I was in AP Lit, and my teacher made me a conspiracy theorist. Well, at least in regards to Shakespeare.

One of my fondest memories of that delightful class (other than one of my classmates microwaving a marshmallow Easter peep) were the discussions on who Shakespeare actually was. Was he really the William Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon, England? Or could he be Edward Devere? Kit Marlowe? Queen Elizabeth?

In any case, Stratford has always been high on my places to visit. This is because I love Shakespeare's plays and I am a nerd. But that works for me, and I can always fall back on my good looks.

My first impression of Stratford? Tourist trap.

I'm sorry, but it is. I still love it, it was still fascinating, but geez, could they exploit the hometown of Shakespeare any more? Don't answer that.

The first place we visited was Shakespeare's birth place.


The museum was fairly interesting, and I REALLY enjoyed seeing one of the old folios.

Old books make me very happy.

No judging.

The house was designed to look like an Elizabethan's home. It included tiny beds, a cradle in the master bedroom, etc. The outside gardens were very pretty as well.

One of the really neat things was the window pane. People scratched their names and initials on it--we were looking at 600 year old graffiti.

When I walked upstairs, I passed Juliet, looking wistfully out the window.

The actresses were really nice. And I love their dresses!

They then performed a scene from "Two Gentlemen of Verona".

And then we came to the church, where Shakespeare--at least the one that lived in Stratford--was buried with his wife, Anne Hathaway. Now that was something truly neat!

Afterwards, we went to the Dirty Duck, which is where the actors of the Royal Shakespeare Company go after each performance. The walls were covered with autographed pictures of various actors.

And of course, in the evening, we saw them perform a rendition of "Merchant of Venice", which was possibly one of the more bizarre experiences in England. Patrick Stewart was the lead, and it was sooo cool to see him perform up close, but the play as a whole? ...I'll post a review of it tomorrow.

And now, I shall leave you with a picture of a boat which contains a rather sick joke if you know anything about the play "Hamlet".

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oxford Part 3

WARNING: This blog will be chock full of sentimentality, emotion, and blatant Christian themes. If any of these things offends or makes your stomach hurt, please disregard this post. If not, enjoy an obnoxious outpouring of my soul. I promise the random silliness and cool Euro pics will continue afterwards.

So...time for some honesty. Me and God? We have not been on the best terms these past six months. Well, past two years, really.

This may not be a surprise to some. My relationship with God has been a tumultuous whirlwind. Picture in your head a screaming toddler who only calms down when the parent gives her a cookie. Something like that.

But for these long six months, it's been the worst it's ever been. I rarely spoke to God, except to occasionally pepper Him with demands I felt I needed. I call this, 'grocery listing.' I stopped calling myself a Christian and even (I'm ashamed to say so) allowed a horrible feeling of condescension and superiority fester inside me. I mocked what I once believed with my whole heart.

It should also not surprise many that these past six months have been the worst in my life. There were times where I could not even manage to get out of bed, I felt so horrible about life. I was miserable. I think some might diagnose it as depression, but all I could see it as were periods of the utmost darkness. I couldn't even see past my own emotion. There didn't seem to be a point in going on anymore.

I was lucky though. Well, I suppose luck had nothing to do with it. I had wonderful friends who loved me, who wouldn't let me succumb to the darkness. There were certain days where my only reason to get out of bed was to go out to lunch with one of them. And then, my trip to England suddenly became a reality, so I had something to look forward to. How could I think life wasn't worth living when I was so close to seeing a place I'd dreamed about? Seeing the homes of C.S Lewis, the cities of Jane Austen, the birthplace of Shakespeare?

So you can understand, maybe a little more precisely why Oxford was so meaningful to me.

After C.S Lewis' grave, I decided I would get dinner at a pizza restaurant that had caught my eye and finish my night off with a drink at the Eagle and the Child. I took the bus from Headington back to Oxford and walked to Fire & Stone, where I enjoyed a delicious dinner. As I left the pizza restaurant, it began to rain.

Once I arrived at the pub, I ordered a beer and sat down. I began to read "The Great Divorce" while enjoying my drink. This was probably not the best idea. After all the emotion that had consumed me after seeing my favorite writer's grave, reading one of his best novels while at one of his favorite places was sure to open the floodgates. And sure enough, it did. I had to set my book down while tears misted my eyes. I believe I worried several of the patrons.

But at that moment, the queerest feeling came over me. It felt almost as though I was having a beer WITH him, with my favorite writer. C.S Lewis himself. As if he was sitting across from me, probably sneering at my light beer and asking me questions I didn't want to answer. And then, it felt as though I was having a real conversation with him.

Immediately, I grabbed my computer and typed out all I heard. As soon as I finished, the floodgates were open, and I was legitimately crying. I wasn't even sure what I was crying for. I downed the rest of my drink, shut my computer down, and hurried out the door.

It was twilight. I opened up my umbrella and the rain kept pouring down on the cobblestone streets. I walked aimlessly, with the vague notion of heading towards my hostel but if you'd asked me then where I was going, I would probably have only stared at you blankly. I could feel it. I could feel God trying to niggle His way back into my life and I was both desirous and petrified. Could I really do this? Could I really put my trust back into something I had scorned and ridiculed for the past year?

I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. I was still crying. I didn't say anything nor did I really have coherent thoughts at this point, but all I can say is that I apologized to God for being such a rotten person and asked quietly for Him to forgive me. I told Him (without saying or thinking, it was a strange sensation, I can't really explain it adequately) that I wanted to come back but I needed His help--I certainly couldn't do it on my own.

And then I felt peaceful.

So there you have it. I'm now a Christian. I hate to call this a conversion story since in all honestly, I've been bouncing back and forth from Christianity to skepticism to agnosticism over and over again for the pat three years. But I can say that has stopped. The time for pretending is over. I know that it's not always going to be all sunshine and roses and I know that it's going to get harder as I go on. But all I can say, is I'm here. And I'm staying.

Oh, if you're wondering about the 'conversation in my head with C.S Lewis' that I wrote down, I'm not really sure where to put that. Another blog post? Let me know if you want to see it. Or let me know if you're sick of this nauseating sentimentality and want to get back to the pretty pictures and hilarity.

Love to all!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oxford Part 2

Funny little story before I recount my Oxford expedition.

Two days before my English Literature presentation was due, my computer crashed. And I mean crashed hard. Wouldn't even start. That night I got very, very drunk. Sigh. Unfortunately because of this debacle, this means my travel blogs and pics would have to be uploaded post-trip. So that's what I'm doing now. Anyway.

Oxford, as you may have guessed, was spectacular. My personal trip there was unbelievably perfect. It was almost as if God was leading me about. I didn't even know days could be that perfect.

The train ride there was eventful. I met a girl, who I'll call Lettie, who helped me figure out how to get my ticked from the self-service machine. She sat next to me and was as intrigued by American culture as I was about English culture. It was a very promising start to Oxford.

When I arrived, I bought a map at the station for a pound. Here's another clue that God was clearly smiling on my journey: I am hopeless with directions. But as I read the map and navigated around Oxford, I never once lost my way. Of course, this could be that Oxford is such an enclosed city that it is nearly impossible to get lost, but I prefer the God reason.

Here are some of the pictures I took of the beautiful buildings in Oxford.

I love the honesty in the latter picture.

I walked to Magdalen college, C.S Lewis' college, but unfortunately they didn't open till one, and it was eleven. I debated waiting, but ultimately decided to walk the footpath to Headington to see the Kilns, C.S Lewis' old house.

Here is the footpath and some of the views on the way to Headington. (Which, by the way, is an outlying village on the outskirts of Oxford)

Headington, however, was a good deal bigger than I anticipated. When I finally arrived, I got promptly lost. Luckily, I found a native, a guy about my age, who very helpfully showed me around and with his iPhone helped me find each C.S Lewis spot.

And so I found...the Kilns. And yes, in case you're curious, I did stick my head through every open window to get pictures of the inside.
The gardens were especially beautiful. I sat in one of the benches, feeling quite awed--this was the precise garden Jack and Joy sat in during the summers.

C.S Lewis owned a little property--a few acres of land, a pond, etc. Rather than turning it into more houses or developments, they kept the property and made it into a nature preserve, aptly titled the C.S Lewis Nature preserve. It was absolutely beautiful.

I want the above picture blown up and framed. Beautiful.

After the walk, was a long, ridiculous search for Holy Trinity Church, the church Lewis attended all his life and was buried at. I'm serious, this church does not want to be found. The only way to get to it is find the quiet, off the beaten path, and come in through the garden gate. But the church was beautiful. It was a Friday, so it was quiet. I wandered all around the church, searching for the grave.

Finally, I saw a little sign. THIS WAY TO C.S LEWIS' GRAVE. My heart began to flutter. I walked over, and there it was.

I laid the flowers. I chose sweet pea flowers. They were simple and unaffected, like Lewis himself but extremely fragrant. They seemed and looked appropriate.

I can't really describe the emotions I was experiencing while being by this grave. Somewhere between joy, somewhere around sorrow. There's no name for it.

Afterwards, something amazing, something wonderful happened to me. To be continued!