But the positive thoughts would give way to negative thoughts, and the negative thoughts seemed to swoop into her mind the way a big flock of black crows takes over the landscape, sitting thick in the trees and on the fence rails and lawns, staring at you in ominous silence.
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APAJeannette Walls Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=but-positive-thoughts-would-give-way-to-negative-thoughts-negative-thoughts-seemed-to-swoop-into-her-mind-way-big-flock-black-crows-takes-over-jeannette-walls
ChicagoJeannette Walls Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=but-positive-thoughts-would-give-way-to-negative-thoughts-negative-thoughts-seemed-to-swoop-into-her-mind-way-big-flock-black-crows-takes-over-jeannette-walls, accessed .
MLA"Jeannette Walls Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=but-positive-thoughts-would-give-way-to-negative-thoughts-negative-thoughts-seemed-to-swoop-into-her-mind-way-big-flock-black-crows-takes-over-jeannette-walls
One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said. "It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty.
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Some people who've read my story think I had a terrible childhood and that I was neglected or even abused, while others feel that my parents, while certainly flawed, also had truly wonderful qualities. And that's the way it should be, because in real life two people can look at the same president and one will see a hero and the other a villain.
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Mom always said people worried too much about their children. Suffering when you're young is good for you, she said. It immunized your body and your soul, and that was why she ignored us kids when we cried. Fussing over children who cry only encouraged them, she told us. That's positive reinforcement for negative behavior.
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The sound of thunder awake me, and when I got up, my feet sank into muddy water up to my ankles. Mother took Buster and Helen to high ground to pray, but I stayed behind with Apache and Lupe. We barricaded the door with the rug and started bailing water out the window. Mother came back and begged us to go pray with her on the hilltop. "To heck with praying!" I shouted. "Bail, dammit, bail!" Mom look mortified. I could tell she thought I'd probably doomed us all with my blasphemy, and I was a little shocked at it myself, but with the water rising so fast, the situation was dire. We had lit the kerosene lamp, and we could see the walls of the dugout were beginning to sag inward. If Mom had pitched in and helped, there was a chance we might have been able to save the dugout - not a good chance, but a fighting chance. Apache and Lupe and I couldn't do it on our own, though, and when the ceiling started to cave, we grabbed Mom's walnut headboard and pulled it through the door just as the dugout collapsed in on itself, burying everything. Afterward, I was pretty aggravated with Mom. She kept saying that the flood was God's will and we had to submit to it. But I didn't see things that way. Submitting seemed to me a lot like giving up. If God gave us the strength to bail - the gumption to try to save ourselves - isn't that what he wanted us to do?
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Dad was on the porch, pacing back and forth in that uneven stride he had on account of having a gimp leg. When he saw, he let out a yelp of delight and started hobbling down the steps towards us. Mom came running out of the house. She sank down on her knees, clasped her hands in front of her, and started praying up to the heavens, thanking the Lord for delivering her children from the flood. It was she who had saved us, she declared, by staying up all night praying. "You get down on your knees and thank your guardian angel, " she said. "And thank me, too." Helen and Buster got down and started praying with Mom, but I just stood there looking at them. The way I saw it. I was the one who'd saved us all, not Mom and not some guardian angel. No one was up in that cottonwood tree except the three of us. Dad came alongside me and put his arms around my shoulders. "There weren't no guardian angel, Dad, " I said. I started explaining how I'd gotten us to the cottonwood tree in time, figuring out how to switch places when our arms got tired and keeping Buster and Helen awake through the long night by quizzing them. Dad squeezed my shoulder. "Well, darling, " he said, "maybe the angel was you.
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