Sunday, August 21, 2011

Driver's Training

Years ago, I mean years and years and a really long time ago, when I was taking my driver’s training final exam, my instructor asked me a question.

Now. Up until this particular question, I had been proceeding through the training with ease, parallel parking and reverse zig-zagging my parent’s mini-van with ease. Nothing escaped my new driver knowledge. Until.

“What would you aim for if you had to run your vehicle off the road.”

“What would I aim for? How bout an empty field?”

“No, you have to hit something.”

What kind of question is this? My mind raced through the plethora of possible objects that may be found on the side of the road: garbage, flower beds, trees, Optimus Prime, people, lemonade stands, animals (once I even saw a headless horse on the side of the road! Of course, I instantly thought of The Godfather), 100-year old Sequoias, leaf piles, old sofas, mail boxes…

Leaf piles would probably be the obvious choice; I used to love driving through them, watching leaves fly up all around…until my mom reminded me of all the fun my siblings and I used to have playing in the leaves. A headless horse? You can’t do much damage to a headless horse, though your vehicle may suffer. Okay, how about flower beds? But all that work, love and care, destroyed by my uncaring tires…my mind settled on mail boxes, because they’d tend to give (unless they’re those giant brick mailbox monoliths waiting to leap out at unsuspecting passersby) and they’re easily replaceable. Yes, a small, innocent mail box is just what I’d aim for, If I had the choice.

“Well, if I had the choice, I’d rather aim for nothing, but since I have to hit something, I choose a mailbox,” I said triumphantly, proud of my logical, well-thought out answer.

“WRONG! FAIL! The correct answer is BRUSH PILE! You are the WEAKEST LINK!” she gleefully exclaimed.

A brush pile?! Who keeps a brush pile on the side of the road? Far be it from me to argue, though I did shoot her an incredulous look and my mom glared daggers at her from the back seat in solidarity. I fleetingly imagined plowing the car into a mailbox just to prove I was right.

Though now, thinking back, if I had a choice, I think I’d say Optimus Prime. No one can argue with that answer.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Moving Day

So, Moving Day went off without a hitch.

BWAAHAHAHAHAHA! Did you believe me???

I awoke at 7:45. We had plans to get up at 8 to finish some last minute preparation before our help arrived at 10. As it turned out, Steven had been up until 3:45 am being Steven and so he slept in. At 8 something, our main helper, Trey, called to say his wife was in the ER and his buddy would bring the moving truck and Steven could pick it up at 10. Steven ended up sleeping til 9:50 and then (after I hurled some breakfast at him) raced out the door to bring back the truck. At 10, Reese, a faithful member of our church and all around fabulous guy (who’s in his 70s) arrived with his trailer to help begin the move. Reese and I managed to haul several loads down the SEVENTEEN steps and maneuver them into the trailer while we waited for Steven to arrive. We only lost one.*

Steven arrived with the truck.**

So we began loading the truck. Steven’s obscenely huge desk made its merry way down the steps and into the truck without incident.

Benny, yet another awesome church member, arrived with his van.

Couch, loveseat, bed and dressers to truck.

Gallons of water were consumed, rests were taken, pounds were sweated off.

The caravan commenced.

It’s about 40 minutes drive from the apartment to the house.

Caravan arrived at the house, my car was hastily unloaded and I left to procure nourishment in the form of delicious pizza.

When I returned, Troyce, Betty, Richard, Benny’s son Andrew and Andrew’s wife, Faith (all church folks) had arrived to continue the unloading.

It was awesome.

Faith and I may have ridden the lift on the truck like a carnival ride.

Pizza was devoured, water was drunk and huge sighs of relief were heaved.

Everybody but Benny, Andrew and Faith went home. Those of us remaining made one final trip to the apartment for one more tiny load and we were done.

And I broke the key off in the door.

What better way to say, “Poo on you, apartment” than breaking off the stinking key in the lock?

On the way back to the house, Trey called to say he was in our driveway (we have a driveway, guys!!!).

He left his finally stable, sleeping wife at the hospital*** to come and help us finish. These people are amazing!

Everyone left, we took showers, I threw a sheet over our bed and we collapsed (and were awoken at 4:45 am by a mystery noise, which turned out to be an alarm clock that somehow managed to get switched on in all the chaos).

We dragged ourselves out of bed in time for church (and woot! All the helpers were at church too, exhausted though we all surely were.)

I am still in love with this house. It has a lovely huge screened in patio. Like a Michigan room, I think. Also? A whirlpool tub. And so. Much. Space. Pictures will prove this once I find my camera. Two big, round gardens in the front yard and assorted trees (which someone will hopefully help me to identify). An added bonus? It’s on a dead end street. Dead end=no traffic.

As one of the helpers said last night, “Welcome to the country.”

*Reese was carefully guiding a load of boxes down with the dolly when he lost his grip and it went sailing down the steps. I was behind him (he wouldn’t let me walk in front, lest something like this happens, and praise God for it, otherwise I’d have been lying in a heap at the bottom of the steps, too) and reached out grabbing for him, thinking he was falling, too. Thankfully, all is well and it was nothing breakable.

** Trey is an appliance salesman/repair guy and has this fabulous truck with a nifty lift on the back and an awesome stairstepper dolly and all the bells and whistles. Which someone drove into a bridge. Apparently the driver misjudged the height of the bridge and plowed into it, shearing off a nice chunk of the roof. It may have looked funny, but it did the job.

***Prayer request for Trey’s wife, Tamera, who is recovering in the hospital.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A re-post...

I wrote this 45 bajillion years ago and am now re-posting it as an attempt to get back into fiction...maybe someday I'll even finish Marcus' Story...

Let me know what you think...

No, really. Criticism is welcome.


"Why don’t you tell me again how it happened. From the top.”

Opal glanced around worriedly. Her eyes swept past the police, the paramedics. Thoughts of Paul and his inevitable lectures about how a woman her age shouldn’t be driving filled her head. Ever since that little fender bender last year he’d been just unbearable. She hadn’t even been hurt! Just a few little bruises. Paul certainly had a temper.

The flashing blue lights of the police car snapped Opal back to the present. “He came out of nowhere!” She blinked back tears. It was true. Maybe she had been going a little too fast, and of course that curve was the site of many an accident, but the young man on the motorbike must have been invisible until the moment of impact.

Officer James sighed. Miss Opal was going to be in a world of trouble if that boy in the ditch didn’t pull through.

They both looked up as the paramedics loaded the man into the ambulance. One of them caught Officer James’ eye and shook his head slightly. It didn’t look good.

"Come along with me to the station, ma'am, and we'll talk more. And we'll call your son, too."

As he helped her into the patrol car, Quentin James thought back on his eight years in the Highway Patrol. Never had he seen an accident like this one. The motorcycle was actually embedded into the front of Opal's Cadillac. They hadn't been able to identify the boy on the bike yet but he hadn't been wearing a helmet. If he hadn't been thrown to the water-filled ditch, he would have surely died already.

Officer James looked up warily as a black BMW screeched to a stop in front of his patrol car. Must be the old lady's son.

"Mother!" The kid was out of the car and scuttling towards them, engine running and door open, barely stopping to put the car in park. He looked more angry than worried. "Mother! What were you thinking?"

Opal cringed, shrinking into the back of the car. "Paul, please..."

Officer James tried to keep the peace. "Son, your mother's had quite a scare. This isn't the time to be berating her."

"Officer, is my mother under arrest?"

Quentin didn't like the man's tone, but he was used to dealing with all sorts in his line of work. "No, sir, she's not under arrest. I do need to talk to her, though, and get this mess straightened out. How did you even know about the accident?"

"It's a small town, Officer." Paul looked at Quentin disdainfully. "Good news sure travels fast."

"Son, you can either come along to the station with me and help get this taken care of or you'll have to go."

Paul shot his mother an evil glare.

What kind of relationship must they have? Officer James was baffled at the malevolence in Paul's face. He really seems to despise her.

"She just doesn't listen!" Paul spat the words out, giving each one it's own sentence.

"Now just calm down." Officer James tried to diffuse an increasingly explosive situation.

Paul took several deep breaths and appeared to gather himself up.

Officer James' radio squawked to life. After a hushed conversation with the disembodied voice on the other end, Quentin turned back the Opal and Paul. "He died en route. Ma'am, you have the right to remain silent."

"Oh, no you don't!" Paul darted to his car, ruffled around in the glove compartment and turned back, triumphant, with a gun in his hand. "Leave her alone," he said. "I'll deal with her later."

Instantly, Quentin's own gun was in his hand. "Boy, you don't want to do this. Just think about what you're doing."

"I am thinking. You're going to arrest my mother! I can't let you do that." A wild look had come into Paul's eyes. The look of a man on the brink of losing control.

A light rain started, darkening the street around them and whispering through the trees.

"Put the gun down." Quentin spoke firmly, yet calmly.

Paul sighed enormously and rushed him, closing the space between them in five giant bounds, gun in hand.

A deafening roar.

Opal looked at Officer James, his gun still smoking. Paul lay in a heap at her feet, a pool of blood slowly spreading beneath him as the rain began falling in earnest. Silently, she began to cry.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

*Insert Fanfare Here*

We got a house! And not just any house. The most beautiful, gorgeous, perfect house of all time.

God loves us.

We move in on the 30th. I think it needs a name...any suggestions?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Moving again?!

Yes, again. The powers that be have been so gracious as to allow us to remain in student housing though we haven't been students for quite some time now. Alas, we are now being kicked to the curb. And we have to be out by the end of the July.

Also, we have a week's "vacation" scheduled right in the middle of this mess. Actually it's a revival Steven's preaching up north. The dates were picked long ago and it's too late to change anything now.

I don't know how we can be expected to accomplish all that needs to be done in less than 40 days, while working a full-time job and managing various church events.

Here's another dilemma. Where the heck are we going to live? We are hoping to expand our family very soon and (I) don't wish to have a baby in an apartment (ie, I'd like to be settled down, preferably in a house, since I don't ever want to move again. Ever.) However, houses are very permanent. And much more expensive than apartments, at least month to month. If we get a house, I'm pretty much stuck in my job for the next 30 years. And I've always hoped that if we had a child I could stay home with it. While Steven could easily become a stay-at-home dad since he doesn't have a "traditional" job, I am already jealous of him for that.

I'm completely screwed, right?

I don't think there is an easy decision here, I guess I'm just looking for prayer and advice on what we should do next.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So it's official...

Steven and I are attempting to become preggers. I'm stressed and emotional. Which causes me to further stress over the future, since pregnant ladies are (often) emotional wackjobs. So here's what I'm doing:

Blogging, to get my feelings out in the open.

Taking prenatal vitamins in anticipation of a future parasitic attachment.

Reading everything I can get my grubby little paws on regarding pregnancy and delivery.

I've been passively trying to get in shape but am now going to work in earnest. I refuse to change my diet, though. Dieting goes against everything I hold dear. Namely, delicious food in large quantity. If I want to eat cheese for three meals a day, why shouldn't I? Life is too short, right? (Of course, I'll be sure to eat balanced, healthy meals, but I won't deprive myself of delicious, comforting, luxurious food.)

Is there anything else I should be doing to prepare? No sex stuff, sillies, my mom reads this blog!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Meet Layne

My newest nephew, Layney, affectionately christened by me as "Frog Legs." You're just meeting him now...he's already an old man but I make no apologies for my laziness. He's the sweetest, best baby ever. At least until the next one is born.

Love you, Layne.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Enormous Love

This, my dear ones, is Natural Tunnel in Duffield, Virginia. The picture here hardly does it justice. We were looking down upon it from a great height. There is a ski lift that will take you down for a closer look. If you peer in closely, you can see a set of railroad tracks just big enough for a toy train. What I am saying is that this cavern is immense.

My parents and I went to visit it when Steven and I lived in Kentucky. I love going new places with my parents; they always have interesting perspectives.

My dad said (and here I am directly quoting) "If God picked up the earth like a bowling ball, that's where His thumb would go." My mom and I laughed, of course, but I have always remembered that...God's thumb hole.

What a big God we serve. What are our problems in the face of His awesome power? I say this to you, and to remind myself also. God made us, He loves us, and He's in control.

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

Psalm 95:1-5

He loves you, beloved.