To Be Young, Gifted and a McDonald
"The Importance of Writing About me"
To most people in the world I'm just another California valley
girl. Even if that's true I have more to me than just that. The
things I've been through in my life are some things that people
fear will happen to them. Yes, my parents are divorced, I'm
adopted, I've broken bones, I have braces and I've lost so many
people that were close to me.
Though many people don't know I even exist I have a lot of
messages that one day the world will thank me for. Like my friend
Alex Paulin says "Everyone has a place in this world, even if
people tell you different." Alex and I have similar believes. I
believe that everyone does have a place in this even if it's
small. Everyone teaches us something new, which makes our very
world go 'round.
I've taught many people the value of friendship and the value of
communication. I've lost so many friends since grade school.
Junior high and high changes every single one of us. We make new
friends and do new things that our old friends might not like.
One of my very close friends Steven Dutcher went into the
military after he got out of high school, and I didn't talk to
him or see him for about 5 years. One day I was walking around
and I saw him. We were so excited and now I talk to him almost
every day since he lives in New York.
The one thing I wish the world or at least the people who I met
in life will take from me is that, even on the worst day of your
life there is always someone else having a day worse than yours.
I know everyone has had one of those days when everything that
could go wrong does go wrong. These are the days when you want to
just curl up with a book and stay home, well you can't! Somewhere
in the world someone else is having a day that makes your day
look like you won the lottery. I want people to take that those
two pieces of advice from me when I die.
It's good to write about myself because it makes me feel good
about the things I have to say and the experiences I've had. The
things I have to say are important and when I write about myself
I get to express my opinion about myself and the other topics
that relate to me as a person.
"Chico California is where I'm at"
The one place that I could always count on for being totally lame
yet the only place in the world I couldn't be without was
probably Chico. As a child Chico was the place to be, even if I
hate it now it was still a great town to grow up in and it still
When I was little I would always move from house to house. I
probably moved 6 or 7 times in 12 years! Every house I moved to
my neighbor was a teacher at one point or another! I was probably
the smartest kid on the block because of that. Through out the
years I learned important life lessons. Such as "Don't go to
downtown Chico when collage kids are here."
I thought the town of Chico never really influenced me. I think
its lame and I wish I was in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, or in
Girdwood, Alaska. Even though I couldn't think of anyways it
influenced me my brother did. He told me all things I've done and
all of the things that might have influenced me and he was right.
Chico influenced my choice in music, my choice in lifestyle, my
choice in friends, the places I went, the things I did, the
sports I played and the risks I took. Chico influenced the way I
live my life today. The poor choices it influenced and the good
ones it was the key factor in carving my life. I learned never to
go to farmers market or downtown Chico at night during the school
year. I learned to enjoy summers here even if it's hot. Not once
could I go on vacation and not want to be back in Chico, but when
I got home I hated it again!
If there was one big thing Chico helped influenced it would
probably be how to enjoy the small things. Chico was never a big
place and most people only know of it because of Chico State, but
that's the beauty of this town. The love and affection everyone
has for each other and being able to go somewhere and knowing
half the people there, or in my dad's case everyone. I love how
you could be in an empty room but still have someone there for
you when you need them. All-in-all the town of Chico really did
influence me, even if I didn't realize it and it'll keep
influencing me until I leave and I bet even then it'll always be
there for me.
"Do we Really Relate Emotionally?"
Growing up in a big loving family was amazing! You always had
someone to hug and someone to count on. The McDonald family is
like a blob of love and affection. There was always a "hello" a
"goodbye" and of course an "I love you" during every
conversation. We rarely had an "I hate you" or an "I don't love
Growing up with all this love made me a loving caring person. I
learned to tolerate and love people even if they get on my
nerves. When there is ever anything wrong with someone in our
family everyone senses it. It's kind of like we have a
6th sense. Never in my life have I ever heard my
grandpa say the words "I hate you." He's probably the most loving
person you'll ever meet. He is down-to-earth and doesn't care
about any of the stupid stuff people care about these days.
Sometimes I wish I was exactly like him! My cousin Maddie and I
are the black sheep of the family. We only relate to each other.
All the drama we go through and all the emotions that run through
us. The confusing life we all live today are all created by the
emotions that we have. All-in-all my family relates to me pretty
well. Plus one of us always has a smiley on our faces.
"From Being the Baby to Becoming a Role Model"
As a child growing up I was the baby of the family. For twelve
long years I was the shrimp. I had an older brother who always
picked on me. I learned to defend myself from my brother DJ at a
young age. Being the youngest out of all my close cousins meant I
was the "human chew toy" as they called it. I'd be picked on
everyday and they made me do things I shouldn't have done.
When I was little I always thought my cousin Maddie and I were
going to be the youngest out of our families and the only girls.
Oh boy was I wrong. Finally after 12 years I got a new sister.
When my dad got married my brother and I went through a massive
change. I was no longer the youngest and I now lived with more
girls. DJ and I officially got a new little sister on June
15th, 2008. I now have someone of my own to pick on.
The huge age gaps between DJ, Gracie and I always make's it hard
for us to get along. DJ and I are 5 years and 364 days apart so
we always had to share a birthday. Gracie and I are 5 years apart
and we are completely different! I like guys but she is obsessed
with them. Now if you add 5 years and 364 days plus 5 years you
get about 11 years between DJ and Gracie. The only thing they
have in common is how much they want to throw me out the window
Since I was the youngest child for 12 years I have a lot of
characteristic that the youngest children are known to have. I'm
charming but manipulative, I'm extremely outgoing, I love
attention and I can be absent-minded. I also have characteristic
of a middle child such as; being flexible, a good mediator, an
independent thinker and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the first
to leave Chico. My sister is different the description of a
little sister. She can annoy me at times, but I still love her.
She can be manipulative, and can't stand when other people have
more attention than her. DJ is nothing like the description of an
older child, he is the complete opposite. He's unorganized,
doesn't care if things are perfect and he's a free-spirited
Being best friends with an only child taught me to love my
siblings. Even though Kaylie and I are like sisters it's not like
the real thing. Kaylie might not ever get to know the great
feelings of having a person to pick on and someone who you get to
love unconditionally. Thanks to her I'm very appreciative of my
siblings even if they are annoying and get on my nerves.
"Midnight hide and Scream, or Mud Fight frenzy"
As a child I played very dangerous games! My cousins and I would
play hide and seek at midnight, and in mountains! Occasionally a
team would get lost in the mountains and we'd have to go find
them. One night Joel and I were "it" we couldn't find anyone
until I spotted Cameron and Maddie. We called "you guys are it"
but they didn't move, so Joel and I went up to tag them and we
too just stood and didn't move. Up in the tree across from us was
a baby bear, uncertain of what kind of bear or where its mom was
we all ran down the mountain screaming. While we ran down my
cousin Maddie tripped over a tree stump and fell flat on her
face! Cameron had to carry her down the mountain! As soon as we
came down the mountain we did a head count, we realized that we
didn't have Christian and Jake! Christian and Jake being newbie's
up here were the worst two to lose! They had no idea where
anything was besides the creek, which was probably miles away!
Nobody was brave enough to go find them. Eventually Joel and I
went up the mountain to find them, trying to stay clear of the
bear. I was terrified to I made Joel hold my hand. After an hour
we found both of them sleeping under a fallen tree. Uncertain if
they were unconscious Joel and I didn't bother to wake them up,
or move them. Joel and I walked down the hill and told the gang
we couldn't find them and everyone went into a panic. Joel and I
headed off to bed and about 2 hours later the rest of the gang
did too. But eight A.M. the adults noticed that Christian and
Jake were gone and we got in so much trouble! Joel, Cameron,
Brett, DJ and I all went up to get them and they were unharmed
and peaceful. When we brought them down Joel and I finally told
everyone that we knew where they were the whole time and oh boy
did we get in trouble! Never again will Joel and I leave someone
in the mountains!
Oh boy its time for the most painful game of all! More people get
bruises, cuts and bloody noses from this game than any other game
that we played! What's the name of the game you ask? Extreme mud
fighting! My cousins and I would go down to this certain swimming
hole after we all got down tubing. Kelly, Brett and I would go
and lure my cousin Maddie down to the swimming hole so we could
ambush her with mud balls filled with rocks! One day her and Lana
were coming down to sun tan and we didn't even know it. As soon
as I called out "Maddie alert", everyone ducked and got a few mud
balls ready. Maddie and Lana walked down to the water unaware of
the ambush about to take place. Out of nowhere DJ and Russell
both threw huge mud balls filled with rocks the size of quarters.
Maddie and Lana ran up the creek screaming, to the nearest
landmass that we didn't inhabit. Of course while running to
another landmass Maddie and Lana both Fell in the water and did
face plants! Maddie crying, because she was bleeding and Lana
complaining that her hair was ruined, we ran for our lives! When
they got back and told everyone what happened DJ and Russell we
toast! All of us kids apart of the ambush had to go out and sit
in the freezing cold water and had to clean all the dishes by
hand…literally. We learned great teamwork that day but we were
cold by nine P.M. that night! After that we never included Maddie
in the mud ball fights and I became the target, but by the time
Christian and Jake came I was protected. They never let another
mud ball hit me as long as they were there.
"Hole in the Ground"
One tradition my family and I have is going camping in Lassen
Nation Park. We've always gone to a place called Hole in the
Ground H.I.T.G for short. H.I.T.G is right out of a small town
named Mineral. The McDonald family has being going to H.I.T.G
since my grandpa was 18! That's about 58 years. For about 6 years
we didn't go to H.I.T.G, because my uncle Mike died on the road
down there. For about 54 years we've gone camping with The Page
family. They are my other half! I adore all of them.
H.I.T.G is probably the prettiest place I've ever been. The trees
are green, the water is clear with white ripples, and the grass
is luscious and tall. My favorite place there is the emerald
meadow with golden flowers that flow in the wind. It has a
sapphire colored creek running through it where we spend our days
playing and running.
While we're at H.I.T.G we go tubing, play games, have mud fights,
have contests and make new friends. Every year we have duck race
and I always win, but my aunt being herself makes sure I don't
get a trophy and she gives it to some other kid.
We've always welcomed new people to our trip our peak was in
2001 but now it's slowly declining. With the death of my great
uncle Angus and the sudden coma of my dear cousin Andrew was the
start of the decline. 2 short years later Reggie Page died. In
her honor we planted a tree last year in her favorite spot.
I hope in years to come that I'll be able to take my family up
there and have as much as I do now. For 12 years of my life I've
known H.I.T.G. Even if this only happens once a year for 1-2
weeks it's still my favorite family tradition.
My grandpa Francis Skip McDonald is probably my great hero. He's
kind, caring, loving, supportive and best of all funny. He's
always been there for me, through thick and thin. When I think
about it I'm blessed to have him in my family let-alone my
He's taught me a lot of things in my life. He's taught my
honesty, trust, compassion, and of course a ton about sports.
Everyday I wish I could be as great as him, but I know nobody can
do that in a million years.
Those who know him see him as a leader and all-time best coach
Chico High school ever had. I see him as the man I spent Friday
nights with, not thinking about how important he was to other
people not in my family.
Even though being the granddaughter of him is difficult, I still
love him to death. I have to watch what I do, what I say and how
I act, but it makes me a better person. I don't ever want to
embarrass my grandpa so I have to try to be the best I can be.
"To be Young, gifted and a McDonald"
To be a McDonald is a great honor. Everyone in Chico knows you
and has the upmost respect for you. There are some down sides of
being a McDonald though. You have to be well-mannered and you
can't do anything that would embarrass anybody in the family.
The responsibility that comes with being a McDonald is huge.
Everything I do as a person is reflected upon my grandpa, my dad
and the rest of the family. I always have pressure on me not to
mess up but that's what it's about when you're a teenager. My
grandpa has always been proud of me, and I never want that to
change. I've tried my hardest to get good grades and I've tried
to be the best person I can be.
The problem with being a McDonald is that everyone knows you and
they watch your every move. People also expect you to act a
certain way and when they don't they penalize your whole family.
The worst part-of-all you know most of the town of Chico and when
you don't know all their names you have to pretend you know who
they are which is usually pretty hard.
Being a McDonald isn't all bad, most of the time it's wonderful.
I have a wonderful family. My grandpa is amazing. My uncle Pat,
or as we like to call him steamboat, has taught me so much. I
have a big loving family who may be weird at times, but people
who die to have a family like mine. Honestly I wouldn't change
any of them. They are perfect in everyway.
Being a McDonald singles me out from everyone in the world. Each
and every one of us is different and special in our own way. Not
all the McDonald's are outgoing and like sports. Although most of
us do we have two people in our family who surprisingly don't.
I've never met a single person like me. I'm unique.