April 24, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Faith in Humanity

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
April 24, 2013-TCS # 348

So, Everyone, This Week I feel the need to tell you something that I haven’t told you yet but, Our Family knows about. You See, The Month of April, it is not My Favorite Month at all. I’m Sure in every Family, they have that, “Bad Luck Month” of the year that they dread and for My Family, that is April. The Reason behind it is that it just seems that if something is going to go wrong, it’s going to be in April. It seems like there is almost a pattern because Members in the Smith Family have pasted away  in April, only on different days of different years, it seems 2 Years apart from each other. But, Moving On. This Month in the way of The World, has been one of the those “Bad Luck Months” because of the Boston Bombing, The Fertilizer Plant in West, The Loss of a Childhood Friend who is busy with her own life and left mine, and Another Death in Our Family,  But even in past years, like in Waco, Oklahoma City, Evil was been all around us and not enough kindness. We have lost faith in Humanity. I believe that we are in need of Faith; But, Not just Faith in God, but also Faith in Humanity. So, onto the Lighter Note we go! I’m going to tell you a little story that will hopefully lift your spirit, Quite Literally, I just thought of. So, I’m sure that most of the you in The PTLS Family have heard of Delaware Dave’s Walk and this is a true symbol of Humanity! For those of you who don’t know, We have a friend who is the uncle of a PTLS Child, who, is as I write, is Spending The Nights and Days on the PCT while raising money for The PTLS Foundation. PCT, by the way means Pacific Crest Trail. Anyway, Delaware Dave is wanting to achieve his dream doing something called “The Triple Crown” which means you “Thru-Hike” the 3 Major National Scenic Trails, The Appalachian Trail (which he did two years ago), Continental Divide Trail, and The Pacific Crest Trail (which he is doing now). To Be Honest, I know more about The Appalachian Trail (or The AT) than Pacific Crest Trail. But, The System of Helping People is the same. You See, There are People who are known to Thru-Hikers as “Trail Angels.” These “Trail Angels” are people who take time out of their busy schedules to help Hikers either get to The Trail or help them on The Trail. They volunteer, if you will, their lives to do things such as provide a ride from The Airport to The Trail, sometimes even inviting them to spend the night for the Thru-Hiker to get some Rest, Food, and a Shower. Now, For The Record, to You and I, A shower and food is something that we have everyday. However, when you are Hiking a Scenic Trail, You go days without Shelter (except the small ones they have or your tent); You can bring Food & Water with You, but it adds pounds to your pack on your back; and, finally a Shower, the only “Shower” you have is the rain and that is something that you would rather NOT have while walking outside in the elements. So, These “Trail Angels”, help provide those things to the hiker. As strange as it sounds, these strangers will let you come to their house, eat their food, sleep in their bed, and use their shower; for most people, that would be very daring, but these people do it. However, they go further than that, at least on The Pacific Crest Trail. Because it goes through desert of the first segment of it, I know this from the pictures from Delaware Dave’s Trip, “Trail Angels” leave what Delaware Dave affectionately calls “Trail Cache”, meaning, putting a large jug of Water at different spots along the trail, for those thirsty hikers walking the desert, heading toward Canada (Northbound or “NoBo” on The PCT) or Going toward Mexico (Southbound or “SoBo” on The PCT). Thru-Hikers also call all this help as “Trail Magic”, It goes with the theory that if You, the Trail Hiker, Helps someone else in a Magical Way, then it is said that You will get “Trail Magic” back. Same Thing goes with the “Trail Angels”, the more that they do these Random Acts of Kindness, when they finally get on the trail, they will get a lot of, “Trail Magic” back to them. My Point, though, is that People are kind enough to open their homes to a Another Stranger who is a Thru-Hiker. It proves to us, that there are in fact, Good People in This World. So, it brings me to this, how do you become one of the Good People? Through One Random Act of Kindness at a Time or “ARK” as they say in The Movie, Evan Almighty. All in all, Every Once in a while, Someone comes along to restore your faith in Humanity. Among The Bad People, There are Good People in The World and Good Things can or Will Happen to You. All You have to do is, do it yourself, BE The Miracle!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Lift People’s Spirits by Helping Them, Not Hurting Them!  

April 17, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Texas Round-Up

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
April 17, 2013-TCS # 347

So, Before I begin telling you about an exciting event that happened this weekend, I want to mention something to All PTLS Members. As Everyone knows that I Love Meeting New PTLS Family Members, wether they are near by or far. I want you to know that, Every one of You PTLS Family Members are very important to Me as well as Having PTLS, it is an honor. One of the parts I love the most is that, I feel included in a group of People (in some people’s viewpoint, “Strangers”) that I consider My Family. I Love hearing all the different stories of You and Your Children, as well all the many adventures you have had or going to have in the near future. So, with all that said, I’m going to tell you about this weekend. So, a couple months ago, There was a request from a Mom who wanted to meet another Texas PTLS Families So, My Mom came up with an idea to have a more Intimate Gathering with PTLS Family Members that are close by, as in within The State of Texas. My Mom spent the next couple weeks before, trying to figure out where to have it. I’ll say that I am thankful that we picked the place we did. We had many ideas, A Park, A Play place (like a Chuck’e Cheeses, a Bouncy Castle Place, or maybe A Trampoline Place). However, We settled on a Park. Problem Was, WHAT Park? My Mom came upon a Park at White Rock Lake, which is in the Northeast Side of Dallas. Considering that My Mom hadn’t been down to White Rock Lake in many years and I have never been down there, we had to check it out to make sure it is okay. Because, I for one, wasn’t sure it was a good area or not (it turned out to be a great area). It was more on the Older and Prominent Side of Dallas. So, We decided “We’re having it Here!”. I have to say though, it was a beautiful park, on a hill overlooking White Rock Lake, it had a Playground for The Kids and A hill so people could run down to the lake or Just Run Around. It’s name was T&P Park on the “Bottom West” Side of the Lake, across the lake for the Dallas Arboretum. A Note though, Because I didn’t know the area well enough, I just called the South end of the Lake where the Dam was and The Park was, “Bottom” and North End of The Lake, “Top”. Anyway, so This Saturday Morning came and we got down there at just the right time. It was a Beautiful Day, so we knew it was going to be crowded and We got ourselves the Tables needed for The “Picnic PTLS-Dallas Gathering” and We waited for everyone to show up. After a couple mishaps about how to actually get to the park, Everything was in Order. I do want to mention that This Gathering was more based on the Sharing System; I bring stuff, You bring stuff. We were amazed at the things that people brought with them and it was Great! One PTLS Family Member brought a Grill so we could make Hot Dogs. We, of course brought a large cake and fruit. PTLS Member, Mary brought this really cool Pasta Salad that was really good. PTLS Member, Chris brought some yummy queso that I nibbled on a lot and All the other Families brought everything else that we would ever need. I brought My Video Camera so that I could Video Tape a little bit of the gathering. It was really fun though to see all the PTLS Family Members, ones that we have either not seen in a while or have never met. The farthest one that came was from Houston (which is 5 Hours Away). As for the nearby Family Members, I told them, “It’s funny how You are Family and live nearby, but we never really see each other”. We spent nearly all day out there at the park hanging out with Our PTLS Family (“Our PTLS Peeps”, as My Mom sometimes says). After we had enough of being at the park, A few of us decided to go over the Hotel where some of them were staying at and had a Pizza by The Pool. And, No. This time, There were No Polar Plunges from Me. There was another Child though, but none from Me. So, We had so much fun that we plan to make this a regular event, If you want to be a Texan for the day, Come on Down! All in all, The Weather was Beautiful, The Perfect Spot in The Amazing Park, and Happy People, What more could You ask for?

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Take your Family and Go to the Park.

April 10, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: I AM PTLS

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
April 10, 2013-TCS # 346

So, Last Week, I came up with an Idea about what to write about for This Week’s Newsletter. So, I think we should start out with this question, What does it mean to say that Someone, Wether it is someone in Your Family, Someone that You are close to, or Yourself, “Has PTLS.” I Mean, it’s starting to sound weird to me to say or ask things, “Do They Have PTLS?”; “I have a Friend named Danielle, that HAS PTLS”; “I, Myself HAVE PTLS.” To Me, though, saying those phrases are things I say Everyday, so I’m used to uttering that. But, My train of thought has recently gone to, “But, to say someone HAS something, means that they have a disease like Cancer or Heart Problems.” The Problem is that the word “Has” or “Have” can’t be avoided because You say it like,“I HAVE Brown Hair”, “I HAVE Tan, Hispanic-Puerto Rican Skin”, or Personally, “I HAVE Really Good Friends.” But, What about in discussing Potocki-Lupski Syndrome (PTLS)? Is It an insult to say someone HAS PTLS? Well, Okay it’s not an insult. I can tell you that people can be uncomfortable about Special Needs, depending on who you ask, but not really the point. You See, In all My Years of talking with People about PTLS, The sad part is that many call it a Disease, like there is a cure for it and that I might Die from It. It is NOT A Disease. It’s actually a Chromosome Duplication, A Rare Disorder, and In My Eyes, A Uniqueness. But, One thing we can not have is to say that PTLS is a Disease because then, People believe that they will contract it from standing near you like The Flu (Believe Me, People act weird around those who have diseases). So, then, The Question becomes, “So What is another way of saying that You or Someone You Know HAS PTLS?”. Maybe we should say something like, “We have something that makes us Unique” or something like “We are Unique in a very special way and It’s called Potocki-Lupski Syndrome(PTLS)” then, you would more likely get people more excited to ask about what Potocki-Lupski Syndrome is. Of Course, The easiest way to answer that is to say that it is similar to Autism with Autism-LIKE Behaviors, only we are really friendly and love to hug people, but it does come with some Health Problems. It is everywhere in our body and it makes us, who we are. All in all, PTLS is not something that defines you, but something that is inside of you. I AM PTLS!!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Accept People for who they are, Not what You want them to Be.

April 3, 2013

The Christianville Spirit: Life, Love, Family, and Friends

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Fills Your Heart & Lifts You Up
April 3, 2013- TCS #345

So, Last Week, The Day after Newsletter Day, I took an exciting, although short trip. It was very special because we drove to Atlanta for My Grandma Honey’s 75th Birthday. You See, My Grandma Honey had been planning this party for Months because We usually have big parties for her at big ages. Only this time it was more planned by Her, instead of the Surprise Parties that we’ve had for her 60th & 70th Birthday. Anyway, so we drove to Atlanta on Thursday, It’s a 12 Hour Drive, but who’s counting. I mean, It’s a nice drive, once you get out of Texas and Through Louisiana. So, on Friday, we hung out at Grandma Honey’s House and then, Uncle Brian and I picked up Aunt Lynn, My Cousin Lyall, and His Wife, Dee-Ann and then, went to have dinner at Uncle Bruce’s House. It was really awesome because we had all of our family all in one place, which only happens every couple of years. I can tell you that I know Grandma Honey LOVES it when all of her Children & Grandchildren are all together, but that’s a Grandma for You. It was nice to see everyone and it is nice to meet Dee-Ann, Lyall’s Wife, who had never met us. She was a very nice person and I believe she handled meeting the family very well. Saturday, however, was The Party and It.Was. Awesome! It had a unique twist to it that most birthday parties don’t. You See, Grandma Honey’s very creative goal was to make it about Everyone’s Birthday (including Her Own). A Celebration of Life, Love, Family, and Friends as She called it, I called it, “Life & Love” because it was a mouthful to say that in a couple seconds while greeting everyone. I applaud and award Grandma Honey because this party was unlike most birthday parties, because most birthday parties are centered on one person and it can make the other people feel bad because maybe their birthday was a day before, the day after, or the week of (You know what I mean). A thought that it is occurring in my mind about this party is that it was sort of a “Thank You-Thank You” Party Idea. Meaning that, We thank Grandma Honey or Miss Jan for her Acts of Service that she does for us (Her Birthday) and She thanks us for our Acts of Service (Everyone’s Birthday). I think it’s a good idea for a party like that and I should mention that Everyone loved it, 70 People showed up, in fact. So, What did We do at This Party, You Say? We had a room at Maggiano’s Little Italy, we had an Open Bar,     Party Horns (they were a little loud for me), and Really Good Food. Now, Considering that My Family is part Italian, I’ve had a good appreciation of Good Italian Food. We had Chicken Piccata, Spinach Manicotti, Mostaccoli, and Lots of Appetizers. Between the Main Course & Desert, we had a nice Family Photo while Everyone was there. When Desert came, Grandma Honey wanted to do what she called a “Flash Mob” where a few people started singing “Happy Birthday to Everybody” and then, people would be surprised. The song actually turned into “Happy Birthday to Us” which was easier to say than Everybody. Of Course, We’ll all point out that one of the waiters had a Really Good Voice when he sung it. Now, We did get to have PTLS Member Aunt Joey and Uncle Chris show up as sort of a Surprise to My Mom and it was really great to see her because we haven’t seen each other in a while. It was really nice to see Ava and how much she has developed since the last time I saw her. She was dressed really pretty and talked much more than she did before, I love my Little Ava. Bottom Line, The Party was Really Awesome. That Evening, Me and My Cousins decided to go swimming at the pool at the hotel that they were staying at, little did we know, that someone had gotten sick in it the day before and they had to clean it. So, they sent us to another pool that we (again) didn’t know was an Outdoor Pool (it was 50 Degrees & Raining outside). Yes, Don’t Worry, we made good out of it because there was Hot Tub and a Pool. Well, My Cousin Olivia and I decided to “Live Life” and do a “Polar Bear Plunge” into the cold pool. Now, mind you, it wasn’t a real Polar Bear Plunge because it was March, but that Pool was REALLY Cold. It was a good experiment and something I probably would not do again but, it was fun to do. Olivia will probably use her new motto, “Live Life to The Fullest! Polar Bear Plunge!”. The Next Morning, Which I am clearly not a Morning Person, We had Breakfast at The Hotel and then, My Mom, Michael, and I were back on the road to drive back Home. All in All, though it was a short trip, it was nice to spend Quality Time with My Family and as You know, that is My #1 Love Language! In the words of Grandma Honey(or Miss Jan), “Celebrate Everyday, Life, Love, Family, and Friends”

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. You May Love them, Hate them and They may drive you Crazy but, they are still Family.