Friday, September 28, 2012

On Being Humble


Trips that end with sitting in a crowded, hot, and noisy airport terminal make me cranky.  The trip had begun with carefully packed suitcases, full with enthusiasm.  The end of the trip is always the opposite.
No one was happy at the departure gate.  Delays in boarding, children crying—we all know the temperaments flying around in such a place.  But the atmosphere on the day I flew home from seeing my baby grandson in Europe switched abruptly.  

Silence, yes, silence lay over us all as we watched the airline officials escort a group of twenty foreigners onto the plane, ahead of those first class passengers. 

Foreigners.  Heck we were all ‘foreigners’ in Europe, tourists to the bone.  But these people were truly from another country.

They walked with quiet dignity through the gangway.  Tall, elegant, regal.  We could only guess that they were from some African nation from their clothing and black skin.  We watched them disappear into the plane.

That was when people woke up, started questioning what they had seen.  The mixture of their voices and tones was like gravel pouring onto a metal plate.

Someone in the movie industry once related how crowds of extras were directed to sound and say in any scene that involved an angry mob.  They were supposed to say “Rhubarb” in different tones and speeds.  That would produce the mob sound without involving any dialogue.

“Rhubarb” sounds erupted all over the gate 34, until the general boarding began. 

I discovered that my seat was next to one of these foreigners, and quite honestly I didn’t know what to say to him.  He and I were stiffly still in our narrow seats, avoiding eye contact, touching on the armrest.  Who are you?’

Nine-plus hours of non-stop flights are torturous when sitting in the cheap seats.  Sleep became impossible when the four toddlers a few rows up began tag-team wailing.  Screaming. 

Just as I started to nod off, a woman’s voice jarred me awake.  I looked over to the foreign woman as she explained to her group what the custom cards were.  That was when I truly looked at the man sitting next to me.

Not a man, but a boy, about fourteen.  He was tall, with long elegant fingers, arms and legs.  He was strikingly handsome and strikingly gaunt.  He made eye contact with me, and we both smiled.  His eyes were yellow tinged and blood shot.

As the plane began its descent, he tried to ask me where I was going, in barely understandable English.  He proudly announced that he was going to Caleefornee to live with his father.
The foreigners remained on the plane until the rest had exited.  As I waited in line to pass through customs, I observed this boy and his group being escorted to a private room to be processed.  They were refugees being relocated with family in America. 
Later, I saw his suitcase and boxes at the baggage claims.  Barely held together with rope and duct tape, they had his name and destination:  Oakland, California. 

A lesson in being humble rolled over me, and I could only look down at my feet. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

....and then...and then...


Life is a chain of events, I know that is true.  These happenings link up to form the past.  That is how it works, and wonderfully so.

What I desire for a while is a period of time in which the weeks are filled with simple day-to-day activities:  laundry, going to a movie, reading, and such. 

This past few years have been labeled “…And Then…” years.

When my mother started to decline, “…And Then…” started.  Each phone call and each visit always led to something more.  When Mom died in April 2011, I thought life would resume the laundry and movie routine.  But, it didn’t.

All those “…and then…” events occurred:  A broken ankle.  A fall/sprawl (broken ankle betrayed me).  Trips to far-off places.  Christmas and birthdays.  Serious illness and surgery (for my husband’s mother).  Subsequent care following. daughter fell, broke bones in her foot, had surgery, was ‘laid up’ for two months.  Then…my other daughter had a baby boy!

More trips to far-off places.  And then…

Maybe I am whining about life in general.  Maybe I am like my wee grandson who cries when he needs something, and it is up to his parents to figure out what that is. 

If I could push a “pause” button, I would. Should I?  Would you? 


Monday, September 24, 2012

Bad Moon Rising

From Wikipedia

Must make a confession:
I know the first lines of a thousand songs, maybe. 
Singing that first line, over and over,
Grows old fast.

Music from the 70s
Comes on, and I smile.
I know the first line,
I will hum the rest.

Years and years ago,
Hearing “Bad Moon Rising” (Creedence Clearwater),
I never understood the chorus.
WHAT? you ask.

What I heard was
“There’s a bathroom on the right…”
Which didn’t make any sense to me then.
Now, I would really appreciate knowing that.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


All photos from this Source

Throughout my life, I have heard about events when one person’s random decision changed his/her life or even saved their life. 

I was going to turn left and head to the store, but I forgot my list. Went back home, and then heard that the store was hit by a tornado.  I could have been killed…
We were walking on the trail when I slipped.  Bob helped me up, and then the trail just ahead collapsed.  We would have been on it!

Random coincidences?  I believe more and more that there are no coincidences, or that things just happen.  Events are ordained, and the choices we make determine the outcome.

This is hard to explain.  In Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it…’

Throughout my life, this has happened.  Once when I was coming out from a store, I decided to take the street to the right where one shop sold pecans instead of going left where I wanted to buy fabric.  I would eventually go to both stores.  But, by going right, I ran into a friend who was desperate to get home to her dying husband.  I drove her to her home.

Another time while I was traveling, I needed to find my daughter who would meet me somewhere, after I called her.  My cell phone was almost dead, I was in a foreign country where English was not universally spoken, and I was lost.  Deciding to turn left and go to a bus-hub corner, I made my last possible phone call.  She answered; she was across the street in a cafĂ© with red umbrellas.  They had decided to have a coffee there spur of the moment.

This seems to happen more often to me, as I have learned to be aware of that ‘voice behind me’.

What about you?  Have you ever had an experience like that?  What happened?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PhotoPrompt: Tracks in the snow

Delores @thefeatherednest

I would be first out the door.  The first to land on the fresh fallen snow.  Me, this time the first foot prints would be MINE!

Morning sun was barely showing.  I did my best tip-toe to the mud-porch where the boots were piled in a heap, where the warm coats hung ready.  Pull on the boots.  Slip on the coat.  Slowly open the squeaky back door.  Squeeze through the narrow opening.  Then, then I could…

But there they were:  Footprints.  Dang.  I had not counted on Dad heading out to milk the cows.  Dang.

The best I could do was to align my foot prints next to his, as if we both went out together.

So that’s what I did.

Monday, September 17, 2012

PhotoPrompt: The Clock


What time is it?  Where is it?  What the heck are those sea gulls doing?  Should we be running away?  Alfred Hitch...who? 

Okay, just being silly.  But this is my choice for PhotoPrompt this week.  There are so many possibilities here, nothing binding or hard.  In six minutes, the clock will chime the half-hour...

Write a poem, flash fiction, prose, gut reaction, quick memory and post it at your site.  Copy and paste this photo onto your post, and refer to Monday PhotoPrompt gang, who are listed on the right sidebar, beneath the bunny.  Refer to this site, so other people will come and read about this writing prompt. 

Looking forward to some writing from y'all!