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I have lived in Poway my entire life. Went to Pomerado Elementary School, Meadowbrook Middle all the way to Poway High. Some may look at that and say its boring, but i beg to differ. I agree, somtimes staying in one place too long can be dull. In my case, my life has been extremely fun, eventful and sometimes even exhilarating. For it is the people that God has blessed me with that makes Poway such an amazing town. Thinking about the people that make home, well home for me makes me smile, but there is one person imparticular that stands out in my mind. My story starts around 1997. I was 7, and just had gotten a new neighbor, who to me was just some lady moving in down the street. Little did i know how much of a positive difference she would make in my life. Her name was Laurie. Laurie. Such an ordinary name for such an unordinary woman.She wasn't the most attractive woman alive, in her mid-fourties with a thick new jersey accent (that i will admit me and my friends would mock as we played in our yards) she had dark blonde hair with blue eyes and was the loudest woman in the entire world. You could hear her call anyone from a mile away.
Within the first month of living in the neighborhood she was known as the 'crazy cat woman'. Having 10 cats and letting them run freely outside she was always looking for the neighborhood kids to come help clean up her house to get the smell of kitty litter out. She said and did the wierdest things, i remember one day she came over to my house and demanded that me and my sisters go to the zoo with her and her mother, as we were there she told people that we were her daughters. One night she went over to the neighborhood's most elegible bachelor's house in a night gown with a case of beer and sat in his garden until morning hours when he discovered her there on his way to his car. She sang various songs of "The Phantom of the Opera" outloud no matter where she was and took it upon herself to make sure that all the little kids in the neighborhood were dressed properly and that their hair was out of their face. If you werent dressed according to her standards she would scream at you until you went back to your house to change. She was herself, at all times, no matter what. She didn't need to be any one else. She was comfortable in her own skin. As i grew up and as friends moved away i started to stay in my house more and usually wasn't home. I lost touch with Laurie and didn't think much of it. When i turned 18, my family moved across town. To tell you the truth i didnt think about Laurie much after the move, maybe everytime i heard a new jersey accent i would think of her but that was the extent of it. Until a couple of weeks ago when i ran into her at a local grocery store. She was wearing bright pink sweat pants with an elvis t shirt. I wasnt sure if it was her as i looked across the store until i heard her shriek my name for all the world to hear. She was the same. Loud, funny and obnoxious all in one. In all honesty i missed her, even though i never could have imagined me missing her ever. We talked for a while as we walked down the pet aisle of the store stocking up on cat food. After a while we said our goodbyes and went our own ways. I watched her walk away and realized that when the sun hit those pink sweatpants it just made them brighter than i orignally thought that they were and i started to think. I hope that when i get older that i can be comfortable with who i am. I hope that i don't care as much as i care now. In fact why do i care so much? I have friends and family that i know are going to love me no matter what, so why do i freak out if i think that someone doesn't like something about me? Laurie didn't care what other people thought. She liked herself, and thats all she needed. If you want people to like you, you have to start to like yourself first. Laurie loved herself, and i guess thats what made people so amazed with her. Sure she was wierd, but there was something about her that made people keep coming back for more. So when i look back at the people that made my life as amazing as it has been, Laurie stands out for a couple reasons, but the biggest reason is because she taught me how to be comfortable in my own skin. She may or may not know that she has but I could never thank her enough for that.

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I have lived in Poway my entire life. Went to Pomerado Elementary School, Meadowbrook Middle all the way to Poway High. Some may look at that and say its boring, but i beg to differ. I agree, somtimes staying in one place too long can be dull. In my case, my life has been extremely fun, eventful and sometimes even exhilarating. For it is the people that God has blessed me with that makes Poway such an amazing town. Thinking about the people that make home, well home for me makes me smile, but there is one person imparticular that stands out in my mind. My story starts around 1997. I was 7, and just had gotten a new neighbor, who to me was just some lady moving in down the street. Little did i know how much of a positive difference she would make in my life. Her name was Laurie. Laurie. Such an ordinary name for such an unordinary woman.She wasn't the most attractive woman alive, in her mid-fourties with a thick new jersey accent (that i will admit me and my friends would mock as we played in our yards) she had dark blonde hair with blue eyes and was the loudest woman in the entire world. You could hear her call anyone from a mile away.
Within the first month of living in the neighborhood she was known as the 'crazy cat woman'. Having 10 cats and letting them run freely outside she was always looking for the neighborhood kids to come help clean up her house to get the smell of kitty litter out. She said and did the wierdest things, i remember one day she came over to my house and demanded that me and my sisters go to the zoo with her and her mother, as we were there she told people that we were her daughters. One night she went over to the neighborhood's most elegible bachelor's house in a night gown with a case of beer and sat in his garden until morning hours when he discovered her there on his way to his car. She sang various songs of "The Phantom of the Opera" outloud no matter where she was and took it upon herself to make sure that all the little kids in the neighborhood were dressed properly and that their hair was out of their face. If you werent dressed according to her standards she would scream at you until you went back to your house to change. She was herself, at all times, no matter what. She didn't need to be any one else. She was comfortable in her own skin. As i grew up and as friends moved away i started to stay in my house more and usually wasn't home. I lost touch with Laurie and didn't think much of it. When i turned 18, my family moved across town. To tell you the truth i didnt think about Laurie much after the move, maybe everytime i heard a new jersey accent i would think of her but that was the extent of it. Until a couple of weeks ago when i ran into her at a local grocery store. She was wearing bright pink sweat pants with an elvis t shirt. I wasnt sure if it was her as i looked across the store until i heard her shriek my name for all the world to hear. She was the same. Loud, funny and obnoxious all in one. In all honesty i missed her, even though i never could have imagined me missing her ever. We talked for a while as we walked down the pet aisle of the store stocking up on cat food. After a while we said our goodbyes and went our own ways. I watched her walk away and realized that when the sun hit those pink sweatpants it just made them brighter than i orignally thought that they were and i started to think. I hope that when i get older that i can be comfortable with who i am. I hope that i don't care as much as i care now. In fact why do i care so much? I have friends and family that i know are going to love me no matter what, so why do i freak out if i think that someone doesn't like something about me? Laurie didn't care what other people thought. She liked herself, and thats all she needed. If you want people to like you, you have to start to like yourself first. Laurie loved herself, and i guess thats what made people so amazed with her. Sure she was wierd, but there was something about her that made people keep coming back for more. So when i look back at the people that made my life as amazing as it has been, Laurie stands out for a couple reasons, but the biggest reason is because she taught me how to be comfortable in my own skin. She may or may not know that she has but I could never thank her enough for that.

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--------This story is about a resident for whom I am very familiary. Laurie - - - - - - Weird, YES; obnoxious, YES; emotions out of control, YES; not truthful, YES; extremely loud, YES, shouting was her normal speaking voice; hateful, YES; the permanent candidate for "the neighbor from hell," YES; "the cat lady," YES 10 cats that destroyed everything within reach (car covers, flower beds full of urine and feces, etc). I never knew but one neighbor who would actually have anything to do with "the cat lady;" I missed the point of what this young person was writing about. The author has captured her personality somewhat but maybe, because of her youth, she was not able to determine the real character of Laurie. Comfortable with herself? Never! she just did not care about making herself a more likable person, a good neighbor, and a socially acceptable human being.

I would advise this young lady to look for a more suitable role model.

Jan. 1, 2009

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