Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Storm

Yesterday we had a storm. It’s not unusual to have a summer thunderstorm blow through, but this was not a usual summer thunderstorm. At 5:00pm, I stepped out the front doors of my office building and directly above me was clear, blue sky. But as I looked to my left, I saw an ominous black cloud. No, it was more than a cloud; it was a whole jet black sky.

I turned left out of the driveway and headed toward downtown. The road is long and straight and lined with tall pine trees. The first thing I noticed was that not far down the road dust was blowing so thick you couldn't see the car in front of you. The second thing I noticed was that the song I was jamming to on the radio was interrupted by the national weather service advising everyone to get inside and take cover because of severe lightning storms and wind. The third thing I noticed was a large chunk of a pine tree branch landing on my windshield. OK, so the radio guy wasn't kidding.

I was supposed to meet my husband and some friends in town for dinner. I picked up my cell and called to see if he was on the way and if the storm was raging at our house like it was where I was in town. He answered his phone, but it was a short conversation, “…trying to get there…trees in the road…sawing out…”

That was it and then the cell phones went dead. As I drove through town toward the restaurant, I tried to choose the streets with the fewest trees. Branches, limbs and debris were everywhere and traffic was like something you’d see in a sci-fi movie where everyone is panicking to get out of town before the aliens get them. I could hear sirens going in different directions. I suddenly felt very prayerful.

The wind was incredible. I don’t know how fast it was blowing, but it was snapping trees like they were made of straw. I had never seen anything like this before. The only word I could think of was powerful. Really powerful. While I watched the trees coming down around me, I suddenly felt very small.

In I Kings 19:11, the Bible says that a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord. Judging by what I was seeing, that must have been some wind. The current wind was turning Ponderosa Pines into toothpicks. I can’t even image a wind that could tear mountains apart and shatter rocks. It made me think of God’s awesome power and what it would really be like if He chose to unleash that power. I suddenly felt very thankful.

I made it to the restaurant parking lot, opted for a space as far away from trees as I could get, ran for the front doors, and waited. Shortly after, my husband, son, and our friends arrived. We sat together and each recounted the tales of our respective trips to the restaurant. I suddenly felt very hungry!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Rumor Mill

When you live in a small town, even the most insignificant things can excite you. Wow, a new stoplight!! Yippee, they repainted the lines on the highway!! Hooray, the lawnmower drill team will be performing in the 4th of July parade!! You get the idea. However, every so often something truly spectacular really does happen. The addition of Starbucks and Walmart to our little town is a prime example. Well, the rumor mill has been really been churning the past week. It started when my husband and I were having lunch in the diner. I was sitting near the cash register and as someone came up to pay their bill, I over heard the word Costco. I gave my husband the "Shut up, NOW!" hand signal so I could listen in. Unfortunately, he does not know what the "Shut up, NOW!" hand signal is, so he continued to talk. But I did my best to tune him out (comes pretty naturally) and I was certain I heard "Costco...edge of town..." Oooh, this could be huge, I thought. Now you must know that our town is infamous for thinking certain business establishments are coming and then never having them show up. Because of this, I put the Costco thing out of my mind.

Two days later, my husband came home and said the Costco rep has been in town frequenting our larger businesses attempting to get people signed up for memberships. Ah-ha! Confirmation! I'm still skeptical, but I'm holding on tight to my wallet, because if Costco does show up here, I could end up very broke. All I need is a Target and an Olive Garden and I would never have to leave town again.

If you read this and live in my area (You know who you are), you are under obligation to divulge any information you have regarding this issue!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Laundry Laments

Sometimes my husband does laundry. Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes, not so good. (I know, you're thinking that's so sweet of him...and yes, it is) However, there are a few issues that need to be brought to light. First of all, he is under the misconception that EVERYTHING we own is color fast. That's his favorite laundry term. "Don't worry, Honey", he tells me. "It's colorfast. Washing it with your white jeans won't hurt anything." He also believes that dryer sheets are of the devil. At least that's what I think he believes due to the fact that no matter how much I beg, he will not put one in the dryer. "We don't need dryer sheets." He informs me, "They don't even do anything and they make the clothes stink." (By "stink" he means, "smell clean and fresh") Meanwhile, I'm at work pulling wayward socks out of my shirt sleeves...very embarrassing, especially if I discover the sock during an important meeting.

On the other hand, sometimes I have no one to blame but myself for the laundry problems in our house. Darn...I hate it when that happens. Like earlier this week, for example. We returned from a weekend out of town and I had several loads to wash. I decided to maximize my efforts and do one load that had all, or at least most, of my husbands shirts that he wears for work. My reason for doing this was completely selfish...if all the shirts are in one load, then if I can get that load out of the dryer in a timely fashion, I save myself from having to iron. Thus went my reasoning. I will mention, however, that all the shirts are in the same color range, so I wasn't violating my earlier statements on whether or not things are colorfast. So, I checked pockets, as is my habit, threw everything in and went on my merry way.

Note to self: in this new era of cargo shorts and pants, make sure you check every pocket.

My son had put a tube of cherry chapstick in the cargo pocket (I think) of his camo, cargo shorts. I didn't know it was there. I missed that pocket. But I sure knew it was there when I pulled the clothes from the dryer. In one fell swoop, I ruined almost every shirt in my husbands wardrobe, not to mention my favorite capri pants and the camo cargo shorts. I tried to blame my son...hard to do since he's five. I tried to blame my husband...couldn't really find a way to pin it on him, so I'm left holding the bag or should I say holding the laundry basket of red spotted clothes. Maybe it's not so bad to let him do the laundry after least I have someone to blame when things that aren't supposed to be, turn out red.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Virtuous Woman

"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips." Proverbs 27:2

Sometimes I do good things. Less often, I do great things. Either way, I'm smart enough to know that it's not really a great practice to brag on yourself, so usually, when I do something that I consider to be noteworthy, I will find a way to casually work it into the conversation. Come on now, you know you do the same thing... When talking to one of your girlfriends you say, "Oh, I forgot to tell you, when I was volunteering at the nursing home last week, I ran into so-and-so." You make it seem like the point was that you ran into a mutual friend, but in actuality, you want to make sure that she knows that you volunteered at the nursing home.

This morning when I was on my treadmill at 5:30am (did you notice how I slipped that in there?), I turned on the TV and put on my wireless headphones. (my addiction to electronic gadgets will have to be the topic of another post, but they really are cool.) In my old age, I can’t hear the TV over the treadmill unless I turn it up REALLY loud, so I can use the headphones in order to not wake up the whole house. After all, it is only 5:30am (see there it is again?) I was looking for something to distract me as I “did my time”.

Here’s Cari’s tip of the day… There is NOTHING on at 5:30am. So I did what anyone in my position would do…turn to Nickelodeon and watch Full House reruns. Yes, it was awful, but on the upside, the awfulness of it made me forget about watching the clock. Besides, that Uncle Jessie was pretty darn cute. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks that 5:30am is considered early. When the commercial break came on, the announcer said, “You’re Watching Nick at Nite.”

You’re tellin’ me, buddy.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

English Please?

On a recent trip to visit my parents, my Son, my Mom, Dad and I were chatting in the kitchen shortly after we arrived. The dialog went like this:

Son: So, Grandpa, was it hot here today?

Dad: Yes, it was hot, also humid.

Son: What's huma mean?

Dad: Well, humid means that it was muggy and it felt like it was going to rain.

Son: Huh?

Mom: It means it was damp out, even though it was warm.

Son: Huh?

Me: Honey, humid means that it feels sticky outside.

Son: (long pause) So, uh, Grandpa....was it hot here today?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Run That By Me One More Time...

Sometimes I forget things. I know, you wonder, "How could someone with such a wonderfully keen mind also be forgetful?" Truth be known, my mind is anything but keen and almost always forgetful. Because of this, I tend to write stuff down. I'm sure whoever invented the Post-It note is getting very rich off me.

Since I've started blogging and doing more writing, I have taught myself to write down ideas immediately when they come to me. I've mentioned in a previous post that many times I will have some great epiphany and convince myself that there's no way I could ever forget such a brilliant thought, only to realize 5 minutes later it has completely vanished. So, back to my original point...I write ideas down.

Tonight as I sat down to blog, I looked at my list of ideas, scanning for something interesting and blogworthy. I found exactly what I was looking for. My note said, "my son's name - Jesus and a double barrel shotgun". Sounds like the makings of a fantastic post. One problem....I have no recollection whatsoever of what that note means. Sorry, I'll have to wait and see if Jesus and a double barrel shotgun come up in conversation again. This time I think I'll take better notes.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Servanthood on the Streets

In my last post, I talked about carpooling with God. I explained how I have come to cherish my commute as time spent with God. Time where I can pour out my soul to the Lord. However, sometimes praying and driving can be a bad mix. Take yesterday as an example.

Lord, please teach me patience and true humility. Please give me a servant's heart and fill me with your Holy Spirit to live out the fruit of the Spirit that I am incapable of on my own. And please...

"Beeeep! beeeep! Hey, Lady! Have you ever heard of a turn signal?? Why don't you watch where you're going?! You can clearly see that lane is ending, quit pushing your way around!!"

Some drivers. Yeesh. So, as I was saying, Lord...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Carpooling With God

"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone..." Those are lyrics from one of my favorite songs. I used to drive 4 minutes to work...6 if traffic was heavy. I used to stroll in 10 minutes late every day and nobody cared. I used to actually cook breakfast before I left in morning. I had the good life. Things have changed. Now, it takes me 35 minutes to get to work. Now, I'm lucky if I remember to throw a banana in my laptop bag before I rush out the door. Now, I better be on time or the security cameras will catch my continual tardiness on the video system.

"How could things turn so bad?" you might ask. Ah, but they haven't. I've often heard people talk about praying in the car and, of course, have taken the opportunity to fire off short prayers as I thought of them. But this is entirely different. My drive to work has turned into a wonderful time for me to start my day with God. No radio. No laptop. No Palm Pilot (OK, well I just got one of those cool smartphones that has my email on it, but I've only read my mail once while driving to work...well, OK twice, oh and one time I watched the end of a movie on my laptop that I had to return to the video store that day, but that doesn't really count because God wouldn't want me to have late fees, right?) Anyway, generally, no email and no movies. Just me and God. I drive, I talk. He listens. Sometimes, I listen. It has become my favorite part of the day. I think everyday when I slide into the driver seat of my old car, God is jumping into the seat next to me saying, "I've got shotgun."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie...

...he'll probably store it with the dog food he's been stashing away for safe keeping.

A week and a half into my parents two week visit, and the day after our missionary friend from Africa showed up, I awoke early to make breakfast for everyone. I opened the drawer under my stove where I keep my skillets to find that they were FULL of dog food. I felt sick to my stomach, as I knew immediately what the problem was. Two parents, one international guest, twelve loads washed in the dishwasher, eight traps, two days elapsed time, and one mouse. You do the math.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Blog Worthiness

I hate it when I neglect my blog. Time gets away from me and before I know it, it's been a few weeks since I've posted anything. As this happens and events occur in daily life, I will think to myself, Hmm, that would be a good thing to blog about. But as I give more thought to it, my topics seem unworthy of a great post that is required to redeem myself for my lax behavior.

However, over the past two weeks, my parents have been visiting and we have also had a Missionary from Africa staying with us. There have definitely been some blog worthy moments. I won't mention any specifics in this post, but let's just say that some of the future posts you read will have their roots in the past few weeks. And even if I embellish a little, they will still be based on true stories!


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