Friday, October 30, 2009

My Daughter's Dream

My granddaughter was talking to me the other day about listening to God when He tells us the right thing to do. She said, "Some people call it your conscience, but when I hear it, I know it's God." I agreed. And I was reminded of a dream her momma had when she was a little girl, even much younger than my granddaughter, at 12 yo, is now.

I told my granddaughter about the dream, and thought I should write about it in my blog, yet another memory not to be forgotten.

When my daughter was somewhere between the ages of 6 and 8 yo, she came to me one day, and she told me she'd had a dream about Jesus.

I asked her to tell me more. She said, "Well, I dreamed I went into my closet and then I went up."

 I marvel even now at this first part, because what I know about my youngest daughter is that she has always had a prayer-life. I remember when we both worked at the Red Cross at the same time, when break-time came, she was never to be found outside smoking cigarettes with the rest of the staff. No, she closeted herself in one of those small little rooms with a cot where one could go lie down for a bit if not feeling well....and she prayed.

So as she told me about her dream, she said, "I went up, and I met Jesus. He sat me in His lap, Mommy, and He told me right from wrong. And, He had blue eyes."

As it turned out, I remember reading a letter that was supposed to have been written by one of the very Roman soldiers who were present at the crucifixion. He described Jesus and.....he said.....his eyes were blue. I imagine that was of some note, since most of the eyes of people born in Israel at that time would certainly not likely have been blue.

My granddaughter said "How come Mommy never told ME about that dream." I said, "Well, honey, why don't you ask her about it?"

Me? I never forgot her dream.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thing That Goes Bump In The Night !

Although most of the stories I write for my blog tend to point up the humorous side of life, there are times when I just feel it's time to write about an important something or other that passed our way in order to memorialize the moment and the characters. This story is about Bump, formally known as "Thing That Goes Bump In The Night." It's also about my beautiful and wonderful daughter. Reader, read on.

Bump was our dog back in the day, that day being during the mid-70's. I know. That was along time ago. Yes, it was. But I'm much older now, and if I don't put this down in words, it may not be all.

We lived in at the coast in Oregon at the time. My husband, my daughter's dad, was a woodsman. He loved the woods. His prized possession was his great big ol' Stihl chainsaw....and his pickup truck. At that time he was driving a 1952 yellow Dodge pickup. That man loved old trucks and was one fine "shady-tree mechanic". He could always keep 'em runnin'. I do remember (as an aside here I must note this) however, that when those darn trucks broke down, and Joseph had to work on them for hours on end, he would walk into the house, plop down, exhausted, frustrated, and say to us all....."It happened again. I've got those "One Bolt Blues." This was code for a supremely stubborn bolt stuck in one of those ol' rigs that just WOULD NOT come out! And there Joseph would be, him too, stuck, worn out, and he would just have to quit til a better day came along.

Now, Bump always went with my husband when they went to the woods to cut firewood. He rode in the back of the truck, of course. My #1 son, always went with him to the woods, too. They were a team, a mutual admiration society.

Bump was a blond German Shepherd mix....good-sized fellow he was. Not quite as big as a full blood German Shepherd, but almost. He really was quite beautiful, faithful, and loyal. He was definitely bonded with our family. We'd had an incident that had occurred a year or so before we moved to Newport with Bump. That was the night he truly lived up to his name, "Thing That Goes Bump In The Night." I'll tell you about that before I tell you about the 'other thing.'

This part of the story takes place in Depoe Bay, Oregon, where we lived just before we moved to Newport.

One night we all went out for hamburgers at our favorite haunt in Lincoln City (about 13 miles to the north of Depoe Bay), My wonder man hippy husband, my #1 son, 12 yo, my older daughter. 11 yo, my little girl, and myself. My little daughter was about 3 years old. When we got back to our apartment in Depoe Bay, Bump was waiting for us at the top of the stairs on the landing (the stairs being outside the building and the landing being our porch) and was, as always, so happy to see us he was just wiggly all over. My little 3 yo went up the stairs first, with her brother and sister following close behind. The railing along the landing was made of 2x4's, uh, spaced apparently a little tooooo far apart. Bump wiggled, right against my little girl, just as she got to the top of the stairs and onto the landing, and not only knocked her down, but knocked her THROUGH the opening between the bottom slats and the landing / porch flooring. Yes, THROUGH. From two stories up....down this little bit of a little girl went....falling to the asphalt pavement two stories below. My husband was still coming out of the garage, so he was the first to reach her. I was on the stairs and of course, I freaked, running back down and over to her. It was late, very dark out, I remember. I froze. She lay on the ground, her dad was hovering over her, and she wasn't moving. Joseph scooped her up in his arms and carried her upstairs. We called the hospital and asked them what to do. There were no broken bones, and Joseph said her arm was positioned such underneath her that it apparently broke her fall. She had a nasty bump on her forehead, though. The hospital said to absolutely not let her go to sleep, to keep her awake, and bring her to the hospital. We did. They checked her out at Emergency. Well, thank the Lord, my baby girl was released and we were told to watch her closely. The doctor said to keep her awake as much as possible.

We drove home, back to Depoe Bay, and went up the now infamous stairs to our apartment overlooking the bay. When we were back inside the apartment, My husband asked her, "Honey, what do you want?" To which, she immediately answered, "Hamburger and French fries!"

We all laughed. That was our girl.

I think you can probably use your imagination and figure out the rest of the story. Or do I need to do a "Paul Harvey?" Of course, we all piled back in the rig and drove back to Lincoln City (about 13 miles) to the all-night hamburger joint (just north of Taft - wonder if it's still there!) and fixed her right up!  She had a Coke, too. :o)

First of all, I have to attest to the miracle that happened that night. And thank You, Father, for the plans that You had for my daughter, and how the enemy's plans were thwarted that night. I have always also wondered if that fall had something to do with what made my daughter so incredibly smart! As she grew, I really thought she was going to be a lawyer and introduced her at one point to a rather well-known attorney who advocated for kids in our fair city and conducted a TAG class / proxy court for young teens to learn about the law. She's such a wise, extremely intelligent, negotiator! I'm glad she's in my corner against the world! I love you Daughter!

So,,, here we are,,,,and back to Bump's own story.

My husband, as I mentioned, was a woodsman. He always had a job, but he loved to cut firewood on the side. Many's the time we rolled together in one of those old fine rigs into the mountains on some permitted BLM land to cut down trees, chop them up into cordwood, and load that truck to perfectly stacked capacity. Only then would we offload that wood into a giant pile and reload it again with what we called a "throw-on" load. We usually would get three "throw-on" loads out of one trip to the mountains. He sold each one for $85 at the time. It was good work and the whole family participated in one way or another.

As I also mentioned at the beginning of this tale, Bump always rode with my husband and my son to the woods and back.

And as I mentioned too, we were living on the coast in Oregon at the time of this part of the story. We lived in a big ol' two story house, bedrooms upstairs, a boiler turned into a wood-burning stove downstairs in the living room to heat the place. Brother, did I know how to make a good fire.My husband taught me, using the firewood he cut, of course. First start with some fir - burns hot and fast, makes a bed of fiery coals. Then top it with a cross-hatched stack of green alder. I could stack that stove up to it's very tip top with green alder and that sucker would burn allllll night long! Kept our house toasty even in the coldest winter months, and left me a nice bed of hot coals with which to start the morning fire all over again.

And Bump,,,,well, Bump would climb up on the couch in that toasty living room every night after we'd all gone to bed and sleep there. That big' old yellow dog! And every morning when I woke up, I was the first one down the stairs to go put on the coffee for breakfast. The first thing I would do as I was coming down the stairs, seeing ol' Bump on the couch again....was to yell, "BUMP, get off the couch!" Of course, I knew he had been there all night, but still,,,,it was my God-given duty to get that big ol' yellow dog off our sittin' couch, please!

My husband came home from the woods this one day, this one really unhappy day. There was no load of wood in the back of the truck. No. It hurts still, to this day, to say this....No...Bump was in the back of the truck. And Bump was gone. I didn't have to ask my husband what happened. He told us. He said, "I was felling a tree, an alder, and Bump....well, Bump zigged when he should have zagged." He said, "I held him and I watched the life-light go out of his eyes."

Bump was a good dog. We buried him there by the sea in Oregon that afternoon. We cried our tears....funny, there are some even now as I revisit this memory....and the "Paul Harvey" of this story you can also probably figure out.

The next morning, as I came down the stairs, I yelled out loud, "BUMP, get off the...." and with a catch in my throat, I swallowed back the rest of those words, and realized Bump really wasn't there anymore to yell at.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Don't Look - Just Listen!

Just watched a commercial - or rather heard, more than watched - for Ambien CR.

In fact, probably, had I watched it, I would not have heard as clearly as I did....about all the "possible side effects." (Don't you wonder about all those side effects sometimes, anyway? The ones they print in that really tiny print you can't read without a magnifying glass. Or say so fast on the TV you can't possibly catch it all. Uh-huh. I do.)

Well, this time they really got into it...I heard: "You might have abnormal behaviors such as being more outgoing or more aggressive than normal, also confusion, agitation and hallucinations may occur." (Do you suppose that's why they put the rooster in the commercial...just to let you know if you keep seeing a rooster in your office, or in your bedroom, or in the driveway, not to worry; it's just a harmless hallucination, compliments from Ambien CR !)

"If you drink alcohol," the commercial continues, "these behaviors may increase. Oh, and "allergic reactions such as shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue, or throat may occur".....and by the way......"in rare cases.......this may be fatal."

Not to mention, if you take this stuff, the commercial further warns,,,,"you might have dizziness, drowsiness and headache."

(I'm hooked....what? I'm asking....what did they just say? Now I've rewound the tape / DVR.)

There she is....while the voice over is talking about the rotten day you are about to'll probably be dizzy and have a splitting headache, honey.....there she is....the little Ambien gal, waking up to her little sunshiney room, in her cute little pink nightie, and her sassy, wavy bright red hair, smiling and stretching her arms, and oh so pleased with herself for having that great night's sleep. The commercial goes on to warn that if she was depressed, when she takes Ambien CR, she might "become suicidal".....well, that's a small price to pay for that 'good night's sleep', isn't it?

Last, but not in the least bit least, the commercial finally warns, "If you experience any of these behaviors or reactions, contact your doctor immediately."

Wasn't one of the possible behaviors or reactions.........death?

Be sure and contact your doctor immediately, if you have that one!!!

Like Bill Engvall says, "Here's your sign."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cow Chip Boogie Motorcycle Fest

Recently I had one really great time / experience. Some motorcycle riding friends in the CMA invited me and some of the "boys", our musicians at church (two guitarists, a bassman and our drummer, all of whom have some fine licks to offer) to head up to Castle Rock, Washington to sing for the Sunday morning Christian service at this THANG called the Cow Chip Boogie. We heard it's one of the biggest motorcycle rally/parties in the Northwest. Well there was every kind of motorcycle rider there you can imagine...and they'd all been up the night before until 3 am & more, partying!

The place had a HUGE, covered, fantastic stage, concrete floor covered with a buncha oriental carpets, MEGA amps - way taller than twice or thrice of me - and they said we could use their sound system ! There had been a rock n' roll/metal group playing the night before; in fact, one of them was still on the stage in a sleeping bag, uhhh sleeping it off. ;o) Oh my word! The amps were so powerful they kept setting my car alarm (which car I had parked about 20 ft or so from the stage) off ! I finally figured out what was causing my car alarm to go off repeatedly, and moved the car up the hill!!

Well I have some gospel blues singin' to offer and we had some fine tunes to dress up a Sunday morning service at a motorcycle fest, believe you me! I have one the Lord gave me called "Look For Me, Jesus -- I believe I'll make it home!" We tore it up and had a great time....even if I did have to get up at 4 a.m. to make it up there in time for a 9 a.m. service. I'd do it again in a hot minute.

When we were all the way done, the sound man came up to me and told me more than once I had a beautiful voice. Wow! Hard to stay humble when you receive praise you just didn't expect. I just PRAY that someone heard the message that God DELIVERS!!!!!"

Have you ever heard of Jeff Fenholt? He was on broadway in Jesus Christ Superstar, and sang for a time with Black Sabbath, went thru some hellish times, and then got "born again." He is an awesome, very very down to earth man with some stories that make your hair stand on end. Well, I was on the praise team last Sunday and he was at our church last Sunday as a guest speaker,,,,and after the song service, when he was speaking to the congregation, he lifted his arm and pointed at me, and said...."Great worship service this a.m.....and you, you have a great voice!" Then in the evening service he was in the foyer and asked me if I was going to be on the platform again. When I told him 'no, not tonite',,,,he said he was disappointed, and that he wished I was, and said that I had a great voice...again.

Ok....I gotta tell you, I'll enjoy those two compliments for the rest of my life. Made me smile real big! I love to sing. And I love to bring the dynamic the music calls for to the song!  I love to give the gift He gave to me,,,,back to Him.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Oh brother! ...they coulda taken me away.....

Finally! I have a story to post on my blog.

First of all, my friend, Carol, says it seems like everyone is on edge these days,,,,just plain like...ready to be mad about something and don't even know what.

I think she's right.

And as it turns out, I'm no bloody exception.

Sooooooo.....yesterday, I took Carol and her little dachshund out to Gresham as she was flying out today to go visit her family in southern Cal and little Cooper was staying with friends. I needed to get some gas, and asked Carol where there was a gas station on the way back down Powell. She knew of only one and we pulled in.

I got out of the car to give the attendant, a (ok I KNOW I am going to get in trouble here,,,,but I HAVE to describe the situation IN DETAIL so you can picture it....ok?) thin, Asian fellow with a tan ball-cap on, my locking gas-cap key. When I did, he asked me "Card, or cash?" I don't really care for these stations where you have to go inside to pay, so I usually avoid them. I answered, "uhhhh," as I took a second or two to register that this, indeed, was one of those stations. And while I took that second or two, maybe three, this fellow...just grabs the hose, puts it in my car, turns on the gas, and simply walks away, without waiting for my answer. I was bewildered and questioning..."What just happened?"

I thought, "hmmmmm, maybe I'm just supposed to put the card in myself, like at Costco." I started to put my card in the card reader, and he walked back over towards me, and said, "You have to go inside and pay." I looked at the guy, and said, "You didn't wait for my answer." He said, "What do you want me to do now?" Then he walked away again. How rude, I thought. This guy is really rude.

Well, I went inside and approached the counter. Ok. Again, I have to say this just to give a complete description of what happened. At the counter was an Asian woman. I said, "I'm really really irritated at your man out there. He asked me whether I wanted to pay by card or cash, then he just walks away and doesn't wait for my answer. He was also very rude." She just looked at me, took my card and ran the sale. Everyone was acting like nothing I had to say about anything was even being heard. I got even MORE irritated. Then, I looked down at the counter, and there were these caramels sitting in a little box. You know the kind. Those little "home made" caramels with the twisty wax paper wrapping? Those are the ones. Well.....oh Lord, forgive me.....I reached into the box, took out a caramel, and said, "You know what? I'm taking this caramel for how irritated I am!" And I walked out. I got in my car, turned to see the thin Asian man with the ball-cap walking very briskly across the area towards my car, yelling at me all the while. "You can't do that! You can't do that!" Oh I was really fired up by now! I opened my window and THREW the caramel at him, hit him right in the chest with it,,,,,and said, "You're a PUNK!" To which the thin Asian man with the ball cap retorted, "And you're a thief!"

When I told this story to my daughter later, she said, "Oh my god, Mom, what did you do then?" I said, "I peeled on out of there."