In my writing group someone asked an old question, about the ten people you would invite to dinner. They can be living or dead. I found it difficult, so just did it off the top of my head rather than thinking hard about it. Here's my answer:
I need two dinners. The first one would be my 10 favorite people in the world, my eight brothers and sisters and my two kids. And I'd sneak in the two grandkids.
The second would be:
1. Thomas Jefferson--I want to find out what the founding fathers really meant in the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Then I'd come back and kick some butt politically.
2. Jesus Christ--to judge for myself. And to find out if he really wanted us to keep making rules that on the surface seem a bit silly to me (not all, but some).
3. Gregory Peck--when I read the article written by Scout (forgot her real name--oh, yeah, Mary Badham) I wished I'd known him. He sounds like a good kind man.
4. My childhood self--I want to see the innocence and hope and recapture some of it. I also want to warn myself about my faults--that they're harder to get rid of when you're a grown-up.
5. My mom as a teenager or when she was engaged--She had such a hard life as a married woman and mother. I'd love to see that spark in her eyes all the time. Through her adult life we saw the spark, but I just know that she had it constantly as a youngster. She was adored by her family, the youngest of 8 kids. And her friends still talk to us kids about how wonderful she was.
6. St. Catherine of Sienna--She apparently was a hoot. I'd love to meet this mystic with a sense of humor. She even joked with God. "If this is the way you treat friends, is it any wonder you have so few?" (I'm sure those words aren't exact, but they're pretty close.)
7. Julian of Norwich--another female mystic who fascinates me. She is the author of one of my favorite mantras, "All will be well, and all will be well, and every manner of thing shall be well." I love the sentiment, and it echoes my own Pollyanna take on life.
8. Mary Chapin Carpenter--I love her music passionately. And her words fascinate me. Would just like to meet her and have dinner with her.
9. Paul (forgot his last name, I'll come and fix this when I remember)--he dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and until the day he died thought it was the right thing to do. He's from my hometown, Quincy Illinois, and I want to talk to him. I'm thinking the only way he could live with himself was to remain firmly convinced it was moral and right. I mean, how could you stand to think of what you'd done if you eventually thought it was wrong?
10. Miss Dorothy Haxel/Sr. Rose Veronica--She was my kindergarten teacher and loved me. I loved her too. She ended up becoming a nun, and we were friends as adults. We lost track during the 90s when I left Quincy, and I imagine she's deceased now. But what a great self-esteem builder she was. (Can I blame her for my cockiness?)
Okay, I'm now ready to start another list of 10. I knew this would be hard. Jer