Friday, September 28, 2007

Where Is My Brain....

This morning I had stopped at the grocery store to pick up more bread and milk. As I walked out in the parking lot with my two bags of groceries and came close to the car, I hit the unlock button on the key chain remote. I heard the "beep-beep" sound that had become familiar to my ears and went to grab the handle on the back door. It was still locked. "Hmmm....that is odd" I thought. "It must be time to replace the battery."

I hit the buttons again, this time locking first and then unlocking. My reasoning was that at closer range the system would be able to cycle through and perform to the complete function it was designed for. I noticed that the familiar "beep-beep" sound seemed far away. "Strange..."

I grabbed the handle again. It still didn't work. Because my mind tracks ahead 100 miles an hour forward in time to a million hypothetical things, I began thinking about all of the situations that could happen if I could not actually get in the car and drive home.
-the milk would spoil
-my math students would be waiting for me
-"Pippin" would get no lunch today since it was in my hand
-I would be stuck in the rain
-who would pick the kids up from school
-now I can't work at the office this afternoon

*Notice my brain went so far ahead that I never thought about the obvious.

Instead, I tried the button cycle one more time. ( no really I did ) There was the "beep-beep" so far away again. Slowly recognition crept across my mind and then my face. If only someone would have had a camera fixed on me at that moment, we could have tried out for that funny home video show on tv. I slapped my knee and blushed as I hit the button again to follow the sound to MY car.

My excuse? Everyone has an excuse, so here is mine.....
It is my mom's car. We have been hosting Japanesse exchange students this week. My mom and I traded cars to give me the seating capacity I needed ( my parents are the best! ). So, in the suburban area I live in, those big white Ford Expeditions are everywhere.


Last night my "Pippin" and I had our first French class at the college. We aren't taking a college level credit type class, but a continuing educations class. (It is more cost effective to start out that way. Hmmm.... $62 or $300).

Since my father made the military his career for 26 years and my mother grew up in theWestern Pacific Rim and Hawaii, I am pretty familiar with the asian and polynesian cultures. However, I have always been attracted and curious about the french. It is such a beautiful language and an expressively passionate culture.

I am really excited to try and do this class. I know it is alot to bite off with my schedule and season of life, but I think I can accomplish something this term. "Pippin" and I will be able to study together and that should made learning a bit more easy.

For now, I will bid you au re voir.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

See You At The Pole....

Today is: "See You at the Pole" day.

When I first heard of this day, it brought images to my mind of voting and filling out ballots. However, this day is actually about something entirely different. It is not political, but a matter of the heart.

What It Is: This is a time where youth who have a heart for Jesus Christ are encouraged to meet around their school flagpole before morning classes begin.

The Goal: to metaphorically (and physically if they want to) link arms together in encouragement to
1) pray for their school and classmates
2) pray for their teachers
3) pray for their city
4) pray for the nation
5) pray for each other

My daughter, Pippin, asked me to stay this morning and take pictures of the event. It was so encouraging for me to watch these kids, I counted 15 of them, stand up for their belief system. (I never had courage to do such a thing when I was that age.)
They sang songs of praise to God, shared their favorite Bible passages, told inspiring stories, and prayed.

Thank you Lord God.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Your Choice?....

As we were driving in the countryside today, we saw a sign posted by the road that begged to be read. Simply, it said......

Asphalt or Apples?

As my brain was running sluggish, it took me a few minutes to figure out what the motive would be of such a sign. For the longest time, all I could picture was an elderly couple in their Ford Taurus carrying on this conversation.....

him: "Well Mother, what'll it be today? I could sure use a fresh pie after supper tonight to set on my plate with the churned ice cream on the back porch."

her: "Now Daddy, you know that last barrel of apples we bought had soft spots the size of Kansas. Ain't you gonna be needing some of that there asphalt pretty soon for the pothole by the barn?"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Counting Blessings...

Nothing I write here this evening would make anyone say......
"Shazam and Great Scott! What an amazing post! I must share this with all of my friends and keep them in the know."

Instead this is simply for my own purpose. Several sweet and encouraging blessings have happened over the weekend and I don't want them erased from my mind by the ravages of the continued ticking clock of life.

1) I have now made it through the first week and a half of school. I think we might actually be having some fun too. Seriously, all of the students are doing great and trying to comprehend the new concepts I throw their way. There are only minor groans as I hand out assignments of essays to be written and algebra to be learned.

2) Our Saturday youth fun event was a success. I was really starting to worry by Friday night. It was my job to organize the long sought after Capture the Flag event. Even though I heard all summer long from the youth as to how desperate they were to play it, I couldn't get any commitments out of them for who would actually attend. This made planning carpools and food quite a headache for me and I feared the game would be a flop. Ultimately that little voice in my head was saying it would flop because of me. Why do I ever give that little voice the time of day? We had a turn out of 26 youth all decked out in camo gear and recon equipment. It was a huge success and today they showed off their blackberry bush battle wounds proudly as if they were golden medals of pride and honor.

3) The person who encouraged me to get involved with TIP asked me today how things were going. He was such an encouragement and wanted me to tell all the details of my calls so I could feel proud. When he asked me if I had any frustrations at all, I confessed that it is the driving to a destination that turns my nerves into a jumble. Don't get me wrong....maps are easy and I can read them no problem. It is just the idea of figuring out a super quick route from point A to B and arrive to any given place in the WHOLE Portland-metro area within 20 minutes that freaks me out and makes my nerves a wreck. And yes I must obey ALL traffic laws.
He asked if I had thought about an after market navigation system. Yes definately I have been thinking about it but as with most everyone else raising a family, finances are tight right now. so, he blew me away by telling me this....
"You do the research, talk to your husband, and let me know what you come up with and I promise I will pay for at least half of it."

Boy that came out of left field for me. Who does things like that?

4) Destiny's grandma came up to me today with tears of gratitude for making childrens classes happen at church. She said that it is such an encouragement to her to know that when she can only bring Destiny to church sometimes once in a month.......that Destiny is learning about the Real God of Realationships of Heart and Grace. That blessed me so greatly. Sometimes I get tired and my discouragement questions why I put all of the energy into it when I can't see emmediate results before my eyes.

After teaching a room full of energized 10 year old boys.....I needed to hear that today.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New Experiences.....

A couple of months ago, our oldest daughter and her boy friend gave us a gift certificate to The Melting Pot. Last night we made reservations and decided to check it all out. Here is a sample of our third course.....

What a different and fun expereince we had. Definately "out of the box" for us. I will be recommending this to everyone.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tick-Tock Tick-Tock....

Today is THE DAY. It is my first on call shift. I have been up and ready for the past few hours now and for the next 10 hours....I will be ready. Ready to run out the door as soon as my dispatcher says there is a need.

Due to current laws of protection with people privacy (and rightly so) I cannot ever discuss specific details of cases. but I can say this.....
I have mixed emotions about it all. My 60 hours of training tells me that I can handle whatever comes along. But, what if I forget something important?.....ugh... I am after all human. I am excited to complete my "first mission". But then that means that something bad has happened to someone else.
I have been having dreams about it all for the last week. Dreams of the phone ringing, dreams of being in certain situations, dreams that I can't even remember but I wake up feeling the surge of adrenaline and anxiety of the unknown.

Surely I will feel better once I actually DO something.

You'll Find It At Fred Meyers.....

I had stepped into the women's restroom to freshen up after a long day of teaching and school shopping. What I heard in there brought a myriad of different emotions to my mind.

There was a woman in one of the stalls crying. At first I thought she might be on the phone. (I don't understand how people can have phone conversations in a public bathroom but it happens all the time.) I did what most anyone else would do in that situation....I cleared my throat so that she would know she was not alone in the room anymore. My actions though did not achieve a usual reation. Instead, her crying became sobbing. Her sobbing then became humming, mubling, and escalating to singing. She was not on a phone. She was in her own world of pain.

Her statements and song words revolved around a broken heart. "Don't leave me alone," she said. "You love me and I love you." This was repeatedly followed by, "Please don't do this to me." Her words became a chant and rhythm. Though I could not see her behind her closed door, I could easily imagine her swaying back and forth in time to the beat her current world
surrounded her in.

I thought so many things in the few minutes I was in there.
Do I ask her if she is okay? No of course she is not okay. I thought about my current skills as a emergency services volunteer. But then I realized I would be in way over my head. I get dispatch calls only after the police deam a situation safe. Who knows what this poor woman would be driven to do. Would my reaching out to her be her last straw of sanity? Would her hurt and pain be unleashed on me? Whatever the circumstances were that brought her to have no qualms about this current semi display in such a public atmosphere....could they cause her to do something to hurt herself in that stall?

So, I chose to leave the room and notify management.
I don't know what the final outcome was....can there truly be a final outcome in the midst of so much pain?
I just know it has been haunting me.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Can You Eat Just One?.....

I drive by Krispy Kreme so many times during the week and can almost always say no to that big round red light shining it's temptations.

Then there are other days....maybe a half dozen in this last year.....when I take on the challenge that becons my senses and weakens my will. I tell myself, "I'll just go in for the free doughnut. They give them away and don't demand that a person buys more. I can be strong."

But see, that is the ploy. Everytime I tell myself I can be just strong enough, that hot fresh doughnut melts in my mouth. They bank on it and that is why they run business the way they do. They count on people like myself to fall prey....a victim of sensory blissful overload.

"I'll take a dozen please", I say as I wipe the remnants of warm and gooey icing from the edges of my lips.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Household Shiftings....

Today was the day......
I had a 10am appointment at OHS to put our border collie and lab up for adoption.

My husband and I both grew up in our perspective homes with dogs as a part of the inner household workings. So when we got married, it was natural for us to always have 1 to 3 dogs running around our home. I never questioned was simply a fact in our minds that dogs made for a happier and livelier abode.

However, over the past few years, I have felt a rising guilt towards those furry family members as our daily lives have become more and more stretched.....schooling, community centers, meetings, volunteering, and of course the general social lives of the 4-7 people that live here at any given time. That guilt and subsiquent conviction, I have communicate with my family.

Over the past few months, I have seen small falterings in their (the dogs) obedience levels as they have learned the classic adage that acting out and misbehaving brings about attention - and bad attention is better than no attention at all.

So it is done.....they are now in a position to receive better care and love than we had the energy to give.
My family is adjusting. They seem to all understand that this is the right course of action. My "Rosie-girl" has been having the hardest time. Silent crocodille tears ran down her almost 14 year old face as I drove away this morning. It took her a couple of hours after I came home to let me hug her without being rigid. Later in the day I asked her if she'd like to go get that new haircut she had been hoping for before school starts. That perked her up and made a huge difference in her demeanor. No, she is not so shallow that she can be bought and bribed by a haircut. I think it simply helped her to see beyond the moment that was swirling in front of her eyes.

Tonight, my husband took me out to dinner at my favorite place. When our waitress came to take our order, he said, "Hon, get you something you will really like to help you relax." Are you shocked and amazed that I/he/we would do such a thing? If so, I am so sorry.
No, I don't turn to substance crutches to get over my life humps. It was the second strawberry margareta I have had in my entire life. And hey, how can I refuse when he itemizes all that has been swirling around me the past few weeks and what lies ahead?

Oh, it tasted good.
I am purposefully focusing on letting it pierce the rock hard tension that has taken residence in the muscles around my shoulders and neck that ibuprophen makes only a mockery dent in.

Maybe in a few years when the girls have flown the nest, I will find a yearning for a furry companion. For now, I am just grateful.