Dear Paul and Leslie Spell of Northern Alabama,
In response to your contest and a place to live my dream, I submit this explanation of why turning your home and life work over to me and my family would be a worthy act of kindness to many! As the 12 step recovery page on the website, sallyatari.com, explains, I have had a life long struggle with obesity and more honestly, an eating disorder. Three years ago I learned about a spiritual solution and God has done for me what I could never do for myself.
It’s Dianna’s thirtieth birthday and as you can see,
she’s got personality!
Dianna was born in a snow storm. As her dad and I drove to the hospital, in the middle of the night, the roads were empty and it was beautiful and quiet and this adorable 6.5 ounce little girl came into the world (at the hospital) in a winter wonderland. She shrunk to 5.15 ounces before gaining any weight, as many babies do. There was one other baby born that day and it was a strapping boy, over ten pounds. He looked like a stuffed turkey in the nursery next to my daughter. I have so many wonderful memories of this tiny person now all grown up.
When I was pregnant with Dianna, I had it in my head that she was a boy. I told everyone that I was having a boy. No, there was no sonogram to provide proof. With her brother and sister, I guessed correctly and so, because of my perfect track record, I told every one, I was even confident, “I’m having a boy!” I had an entire wardrobe of boys clothes ready and waiting. When she was born, the doctor said, it’s a girl. I said, “What? Come on, you’re kidding me.” I argued with him until he said, “Look!” I was so shocked and even cried for joy; I was so happy! She was a birthday present to me on her birthday and I was thrilled! Watching her life unfold has been a series of surprises; in retrospect, she was a surprise from the get go!
The trip home from the hospital was also in a snow storm. Leaving rather abruptly because my room-mate wanted to smoke and I didn’t want my baby exposed, it was in the dark that we traveled home.
“Hey, Uncle Bob, I know you used to be an alcoholic, but how ’bout you man the bar?” Holiday expectations are sometimes nonsensical. Upon my arrival to Thanks Giving, my four-year old grand-daughter, with joy and excitement, asked me to make a ginger-bread house with her. I listened with no response thinking, “I don’t think so.”
Ginger bread house
Three days later, with the back drop of Pandora Internet Radio, playing ‘Italian Traditional’ music, as I prepared the icing, I was lost in thought. First, I lied to myself. “This isn’t confectioners sugar, it’s Elmer’s glue!” I wasn’t tempted at all, but it didn’t seem wise to play with sugar. I also remembered a conversation I had with my litigator daughter; Who can win with her? Growing up, I called her the cruise director, always Charles in charge. So when she explained”I’ll vacuum while you help the kids make the ginger bread house!” I, of course, said, “How is that my job? I’m the one with the eating disorder! How about I vacuum, you make the ginger bread house?” She laughed with a guilty look.