Thursday, December 01, 2016

Repost

This was a post from 2008. I wanted to revisit my parents' Christmas letter from 1970, and this contained a portion of it.

Pet Peeve: Cruising along the highway, doing the speed limit, when all of the sudden nothing but brake lights ahead. I slow down to under the speed limit. I wonder what could be causing the slow down. Up ahead, on the side of the road, is a patrol car. No lights, no accident, nothing. The car is just sitting there. Why is everyone braking? If these cars aren't speeding why the need to slow down? Guilt is my guess. They must be regular speeders who watch for police cars. I have never feared or felt guilty seeing a police or patrol car. My dad drove one.

Dad emailed me his 1970 Christmas letter. I wanted to share a portion here. Dad was 31 at the time, mom 30.  My siblings were ages 6, 9, and 11. I was 8.

"Kathleen says the time has come for me to reveal what I've been up to the past year. Life seems to revolve around my work schedule, which can be day shift, night shift, and a combination of the two. I have been working on the road as a patrolman for the past 16 months. I never dreamed that I would ever get to work on the road. I always wanted to be a policeman, but when I didn't grow tall enough to meet the height requirements, I gave up the idea. Now, here I am working along with the six-footers. I may be the smallest patrolman on the highway patrol, but there are a few others not much bigger. We peewees are known as the mini-patrol.

Sometimes, I wonder why I ever left the cool/warm, depending on the season, comfort of the radio room. While sitting overlooking the Salt River Canyon, watching the river below, and inhaling the cool, pine scented air, I am grateful for having been liberated from the four walls. On winter nights, while carrying an injured or dead person out of a canyon, I wonder why I'm not back in that nice comfortable radio room,& sipping a cup of coffee between radio calls. People tend to make my job interesting. You meet the good and the bad. You meet them at their worst and their best. You get to help them when they need help the most. The disabled motorist is glad to see you, but the violator wishes you were in some other county. I could go on about my job as I find it fascinating, but I'm going to leave it here."

For anyone who starts braking the moment they see a police or state trooper, I thought it might be fun to read the thoughts of a patrolman.

I laughed at the next part of dad's letter:

"Being church treasurer keeps me busy a couple evenings per month. I sometimes wonder how I ever managed to acquire the job. Bookkeeping never was high on my list of aptitudes. The congregation certainly must have a lot of faith."

Dad wrote more, but that is enough for one post. His email brought back fond memories. I remember special training he had to do. It was a time of demonstrations turning into riots and complete chaos. I don't recall what the commotion was about, but do remember the extra protective gear he had to wear at that time. Seeing my dad in his uniform, I saw my strong protector. I felt safe, knowing my dad was watching out for not only our community but his family.

Dad is retired now. He no longer wears a uniform, protective gear, or carries a gun. (At least not daily.) But he continues to be a strong protector of our family and others. His weapons are not visible, except when he's on his knees in prayer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day 3 Atlanta

My morning began with giving Aspen a bath in the kitchen sink. Sink baths are kind of my signature thing. I haven't had a grandbaby yet who didn't like a sink bath. It was a success. This girl is so happy.

The two of us then ventured out with my new Iphone 7 and Siri to find the local Kroger Grocery store. I wanted to buy some groceries so I could make dinner. I wanted to buy some snacks that Aspen can eat while she is at daycare. What could go wrong?

The roads around Atlanta are scenic, but winding. As I'm driving it feels like I have gone every single direction and I no longer have any idea which direction I'm going or which direction I should be going. I glance down and the map says I will arrive at my destination in an hour. No I do NOT want to go to South Carolina. I am in Atlanta. Aspen started to cry. I had no idea where the nearest Kroger was, which is where I asked Siri to take me. Siri failed me. I wanted to cry along with Aspen, but couldn't because I was driving. I remembered passing a Publix. I knew they wouldn't have everything I wanted but I was stopping anyway. I think I might have entered the exit.

Aspen was happy in the store. Everyone was very helpful and happy. One of the employees came up to our cart and clipped a balloon on for Aspen. Um, not sure that is a good toy for a baby, but it entertained her for a bit, so I let it go.

Thankfully, the drive home was uneventful and we arrived at the parking garage without getting lost or being directed towards South Carolina. At the third level, I stopped for the gate to open. It did not open. I pushed the FOB button. Nothing. I put the car in park, turned the car off, got out of the car, and attempted to open the gate. Nope. Not working. Frustrated, I back up, and find a parking spot just outside of the gate. Fine. There are signs about getting towed for parking in the wrong spot. What else can I do???

I get the stroller out. I get Aspen and the carseat out and snap it in the stroller. I load the groceries onto the stroller and load the rest on my arms. I go to the nearest door. Once inside, I feel a little dumb. There is a landing and stairs going up or down. I can NOT drag the stroller up the stairs, or down.

I walk back to the car, remove Aspen and the car seat, fold the stroller and put it back in the car along with the groceries, except two bags of freezer stuff and the car seat. I pick up Aspen, (why didn't I just leave the car seat in the car???) and the freezer food and drag us all up the stairs. Once upstairs and inside the building, I realize I went up a flight of stairs when I should have gone down.  I look for the elevator, but suddenly, my arms feel weak and I'm not sure I can carry all of this stuff to the apartment. I set it all down for a minute. Pray another quick prayer. Then I carry everything down a flight of stairs and make my way to the apartment.

I'm exhausted. I put the food away while holding Aspen and realize I left the dogs out. I had no idea that I also left the bath toys where the dogs could chew them up. Oh man, I need to figure out how to replace the cute bath toys. Mr. Bear and Mrs. Duck are in bad shape. They are a set that came with an Eric Carle book.

Since Aspen was asleep at lunch time, her mom had to pump. I tried to feed her but Aspen was having none of the bottle of milk. She did however really enjoy eating dog food out of the dog's bowl. I'm wondering how helpful I am. I feel like I take one step forward and two back. If my rental car gets towed, this is not going to be a fun day.

I go back to the car to retrieve the rest of the food. I watch a lady attempt to open the gate with no luck. She swears and threatens that if her car gets towed, someone else is going to pay. I don't feel so bad now. It's not just me. I pray my car doesn't get towed.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner. Miss Aspen was as cute as ever. She's eating new foods and seems to be enjoying them-dog food not included.

Truthfully,
Joanne

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." (Ps. 56:3)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Day 2 Atlanta

After falling asleep sometime after 1:30 a.m., the morning came bright and early. Aspen was a joy and delight. She didn't cry when her mom left. I chose not to venture out and tried to acclimate to my new surroundings.

The apartment is lovely, but small. So very thankful for the queen air mattress that takes up the entire living room. It deflates quickly and I roll it up to the side of the room. I wish I'd brought a smaller suitcase, it takes up a lot of space.

Our morning was mostly uneventful. Aspen did cry while I took a shower. After her morning nap, I figured we should take the dogs outside. I did not want to lose the door key or the key fob, so I attached both to my rental car key. The building is pretty secure both to park and enter or exit the building. Before attempting to take both dogs out while carrying Aspen, I take her for a little walk to check out my surroundings. I go through several doors and down a couple of flights of stairs, but can't open the gate to outdoors. I pull. I wave the magic fob. I pull again. Nothing. What if i manage to get outside, but then can't get back in? Well, why worry about that when I can't figure out how to actually get outside? I text my daughter hoping she is able to answer soon.  I notice a bright red exit button on the wall near the gate. I wonder if that will open the door. It looks eerily like an emergency exit button and I fear pushing it, will cause alarms and sirens to screech. I carry Aspen back up the two flights of stairs.

SB texts that the gate should be open, but doesn't open automatically, just unlocks. And yes, the red button can be pushed to unlock it-at least if you are on the inside wanting out. I carry Aspen back down the stairs. I push the red button, walk back to the gate and pull. Nothing. I feel pretty silly when I finally realize I just need to push instead of pull. Back up the two flights of stairs to get the dogs.

After struggling with both dogs just to snap their leashes on, (I should have put Aspen down before attempting this,) we were finally out the door. Bailey runs to my right, Camden runs around to my left, their leashes wrap around my legs rather quickly. Over and over they jump and act crazy, dragging me through the hall and down the stairs.

I quickly realize I need to keep both leashes in my right hand and hold Aspen in my left. Their pulling could easily knock me forward, causing me to drop her. Outside, they pull like crazy, jumping and dancing all over the place. Camden did her duty. I dutifully, untied the green bag and scooped the poop. I pulled the dogs to the waste can and drop it in. Camden makes another deposit right next to the can. Thankfully there are plenty of green bags. I snatch another, scoop and dump. This is all done while holding Aspen in my left arm, the leashes of the dogs around my right, my cell phone in my pocket, and keys in my other pocket.


I know there is a dog park close by, just not sure exactly where. It doesn't take me long to decide it is too much and we head back to the gate to enter the building. It is then that I realize the keys are no longer in my pocket. How could I could drop them without hearing them hit the ground?  Honestly, we are quite close to the highway, so there is a lot of noise. I shouldn't be surprised.

I wonder what the rental car company is going to charge when I tell them I lost the key. Someone somewhere  mentioned over $200. I was beginning to panic, tracing my steps. Could I have dropped them in the poop disposal? Oh my goodness, I was not about to dig around in there. I scanned the horizon. Nothing. I open the lid of the poop can and look. I don't see them, but they probably would have slipped down. I was not ready to start digging around. I retrace my steps and search the area some more.

Desperate, I finally get my wits about me and send a quick prayer to God. A few seconds later, I spy the keys sitting on the pavement. Let me tell you how happy I was. I didn't care that I dragged and was dragged back into the building, up the stairs and down the hallways to the apartment. I was exhausted.

We went out to dinner that night and had a wonderful time. I'm so very thankful to be here.

I did learn a few things. One, Michael and I make a great team, and I miss him. This day would have gone much smoother had he been here. He wouldn't have kept pulling on the door instead of pushing. (Palm to the forehead.) Secondly, I wish all of my kids and grandkids lived closer. I was reminded how much I miss seeing them.

Truthfully,
Joanne

"And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!" (Luke 15:9)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Day 1 Atlanta

I landed last night around 11:00 p.m. Navigated the airport, with a LOT of walking, and after stopping to ask for help, I found my way to the car rental counter. It went much better than I thought. I was handed my paperwork and told to find a car.  Just like that, find a car.

Nobody was around. Were the cars that different? Did they want me to take the first car or two in line? Were the better cars further out? Geez, it shouldn't be this difficult. I picked the first one.

I loaded my bags, hopped in, adjust my mirrors, and started the car. I was depending on Siri to get me to my destination, so programmed the address. Off I go. I could not find a single decent radio station. Maybe it was Sunday night....but still. Adult songs? Did that mean the language was bad? Religious music sounded like rap. Oh well, no music for me.

The roads were a bit dark and winding. I missed one exit, but was quickly re-routed without having to make a u-turn. That was nice and I arrived all in one piece. It was after midnight when I found my cozy bed all made up for me in the living room and I got to hug my girls before going to bed.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Atlanta Day 6


Have I mentioned I'm the new owner of an IPhone 7? Since I have the newest Apple phone, I should be able to use a mobile boarding pass instead of the cumbersome printing, folding, and wrinkling of the paper ones. My last day in Atlanta, I check in for my flight and download my mobile boarding pass.

After an uneventful rental car return, I ride the sky train to the Atlanta airport. I'm feeling rather proud of myself for filling the tank in a sketchy neighborhood and navigating back to the route without getting lost. Exiting the train, I have two choices: North or South.  I notice other passengers looking around for any indication of which side to go to. I pull out my new phone. Phone doesn’t recognize my fingerprint and I have to type in the 6 character passcode. Reminder to self: Disable the passcode.

My mobile boarding pass gives no indication of North or South. Surely Southwest is in the South part of the airport, right?  Wrong. I walk and walk.


After walking and walking, I find the Southwest check in counter. I pull out my phone to scan my mobile boarding pass. Phone doesn’t recognize my fingerprint and I have to type in my new 6 character passcode. Reminder to self: Disable the passcode. I scan my pass, check my bag. All is well.

To get through security and not have to put in my passcode again, I keep tapping the screen with my thumb so I will be ready when it's my turn. Next time I fly, I will wear slip on shoes and an outfit that doesn't require a belt. I gather my belongings after the body scan and practically redress. I then realize I don't know which terminal I am leaving out of. I pull out my phone. Phone doesn’t recognize my fingerprint and I have to type in my new 6 character passcode. Reminder to self: Disable the passcode.

I ride the down escalator, board the train, and exit Terminal C. The Atlanta airport is huge. I walk and walk. Unlike Denver International, there are no moving sidewalks here. I reach the end of the terminal. On one side are gates 52 and 54. The other side 53, 55, and 57. WTH? I'm leaving out of C-56. There is no 56 gate. I know many jokes circulate about men never wanting to stop to ask for directions. This is not true of my husband; he will stop to ask directions the first moment he needs help. Not me. I'm the one who hates to ask for directions. I circle around the end of the terminal several times. There truly isn't a number 56. I begin to actually look for someone to ask for help. I then realize all of these gates are Delta Gates and I'm flying Southwest. Ugh! I pull out my phone. Phone doesn’t recognize my fingerprint and I have to type in my new 6 character passcode. Reminder to self: Disable the passcode.

I glance at my pass and in bold is A-56. How did I get it wrong? I walk and walk. I ride the down escalator, board the train, and exit Terminal A. At the top of the escalator are signs pointing left for A gates 1-25 and right for gates 26-50.  I walk around and around. There is no signage pointing to gate A-56. In desperation, I find 2 airport employees standing in front of an airport map. I ask them where I can find A-56. One doesn't think there is such a gate, the other claims it must be the other direction. I point to the map, showing the gates end at A-50, then show them my mobile boarding pass that says A-56. They shrug their shoulders saying there is no such thing. I thank them and begin walking away.  As I do, I look down at my phone. The screen has darkened and I resort to the routine. You know, the passcode. Grrr.... I stare at my boarding pass. I realize my error. A-56 is NOT my gate, it is my Southwest boarding number. In tiny print I see my Gate: C1.

I ride the down escalator, board the train, and exit Terminal C. I walk and walk to the end (or is it the beginning?) of Terminal C. An hour has passed since trying to find my gate. I shouldn’t be allowed to use mobile boarding passes. I also need to disable my passcode.

Truthfully,
Joanne

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;" (Phil. 4:6)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Abstract Saturday

What's in Today's Tile?


Pretend you don't see the Indian Chief or Batman or ??? I'll get to those later. Do you see this guy?

He's kind of a chubby pope figure.

Something like this.

Truthfully,
Joanne

 "What is hidden he brings forth to light." (Job 28:11)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Let's Get It Right





“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts." (Is. 55:8-9)