Impish - adjective     1. Inclined to do slightly naughty things for fun; mischievous. "She had an impish look about her."

I believe that it is this "Impish" quality that has allowed me to persevere through some of the challenges that life has tossed into my path.

I come from a long line of "Imp's" and I was taught that practical jokes and mischief were good things. No, I was actually taught that they were GREAT things. My parents may not have felt the same way but I felt as though I received as much applause for an A on a report card as I did for coming up with a great practical joke. Humor and laughter were always encouraged but it came with a few stipulations. These guidelines were: 1. No one can get hurt and no property can be damaged. 2. No ones pride or ego can be lessened or wounded. 

My parents would go to elaborate length to pull off a prank. On one particular prank, I recall waking up at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning to drive for 3 hours to the home of my Uncle. From the exit of the freeway to the driveway of his home, we placed bogus signs that read "Garage Sale." No..he wasn't having a garage sale. (That's what bogus means.) These signs efficiently lead people directly to his driveway from all around his town. We sat quietly and watched from a distance as my poor Uncle was greeted at 7 a.m. by a mob of strangers on his front lawn. He was mystified as to their cries of, "How much do you want for this lawn mower?" to "Open your garage door so we can see the other stuff you have for sale!"

The list of stories I have gathered as a young girl by being a participant and a witness is endless. Not one of our friends were exempt from being a recipient of a practical joke. Our Minister would enter our home with slight trepidation and sincere excitement as to what might be in-store for him. Everyone loved it....especially "us." I have carried this "Impish" prankster mentality with me through life and I give it credit for helping me to survive the rough episodes. it is when life deals me a difficult challenge that this playful "Imp" pulls me through. I regularly thank God for building this character within me and for strengthening me when the days are long and difficult. I continue to thank God for the character that continue to grow within me. Additionally, I whole heartily support Benjamin Franklin's quote, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." 

The friends who are the closest to me in proximity fall victim to the "Imp" in me more than others. I had the opportunity to go into the home of our friends while they were at work and I took advantage of their absence. They have beautiful rooms for their guests where I slipped some notes between the sheets on the bed's. The notes read, "If you're reading this note, it means that Mary and Joe haven't changed the sheets since we last slept here. I just thought you would want to know."  On the following weekend, their home was full of guests who stayed over the night. It was when one of the guests came down for breakfast and said, "I don't know how to tell you this but....." Then the other house guest said, "We had the same thing but I didn't know how to tell you that I knew the sheets weren't clean." These poor friends of ours have also come home from their vacation to discover lawn chairs set up beside their elaborate and beautiful Koi fish pond. Beside the chairs were ice chests of beer that held up the fishing poles and large fishing lours. It made it look as if someone had a great weekend fishing for their valuable Koi fish. Another time when this couple wasn't able to catch their limit of crab while fishing in the local bay, we quickly went over and took advantage of their empty home. I printed out life size photo's of crab and cut them out to place all over their home. We placed the crab strategically all over their home to greet them unexpectedly. When they opened up their microwave, it was set up so BAMM...a crab pounced down. When they opened up their toilet...BAMM...a crab pounced down. When they opened their spice cabinet; pulled down the visor in their car; opened the dog food got it, a crab pounced down. Written upon all ten of the crab were funny Yo-momma jokes with reference to "crabs." Other friends have come home to find huge birthday banners and what looks to be the remains of a birthday party for someone else. We placed bottles, banners and balloons all over their beautiful deck and made it appear as if a grand gala had taken place while they were on vacation.  I have to tell you that it was really difficult to stand with a straight face as they put the friends of their children through the paces to. They interrogated these children to discover if they had held a party at their home while they were away. Of course I sent them photo's of me and my family celebrating on their deck as we set up the elaborate plot. I had to get the innocent children off the hook. one can be hurt by my prank.

To have been "pranked" by me is also a badge of honor. It's as if to say, "Hey, Annamarie's been here and she loves me too!"  If I have ever made you wonder if I was up to no good...please know that I mean it with great love. If I have yet to "get  you" or if it's been a while since your last touch by Annamarie, please beware

Love often, laugh routinely and use the joys of life to get you through the challenges that life puts before you. Let the crisis of life build you character and remember to love and laugh with yourself. 

Have any good stories you want to share? I can always use another idea. Now....Go Play!


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