Friday, April 27, 2007

work and the church search

It seems like I've been gone for a long time. Well, maybe because I have been gone for awhile just doing the normal things in my life, like work work work. I worked 10 hours with no breaks or lunch yesterday, but that beats the 13 and 14 hours of the past couple of weeks. Our convention is coming closer and the work is piling on. It always happens like that and I'm thinking, can't I quick get another job and escape all of this? But there's no time to look for a different job. Oh well, in another month the whole thing will be done and over.

Last weekend I truly had a score in my church search. Went to a new church that had an early service. I was planning to go to the new one and then stop by my regular church (where my HS best friend attends) for the later service. But I was greeted warmly by several people as I came in to the new church and a younger woman sat down beside me. We talked quite a bit before and after the service and she told me of a church I'd never heard about, right downtown in the city where I work. I was intrigued, because I'd searched online and in the Yellow Pages for possible churches. The fact that it has a free coffee bar a half hour before the service was a huge point in it's favor!

So I drove downtown and found parking nearby and went in to the new church. It's in an old Shriner's building and the large room has a disco ball on the ceiling! I had some coffe-shop-worthy coffee and found my new friend. She was sitting with several other women and I was introduced to them all. As the service started up, she leaned over and said to me, "Bet you didn't realize I was inviting you to a rock concert!" And the music was really rocking, the band was awesome. I was not expecting that, even though the church I normally attend has a "contemporary" service too. But not like this one, this folks really got into it!

The pastor was young, full of energy and an excellent speaker. They had a guest speaker, the very interesting . Shane Claiborne.
I'd not heard of him before but ending up buying his book and CD and listening and reading all this past week! Now this is the type of church I was looking for, and didn't even know it. It's very diverse, all ages and types of people. They had a dinner after the service where I sat and ate and met even more people. Very fun. I'm going back there this Sunday! Hope you had a good week and are headed for an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

An unsolved mystery

On Monday night we worked until 9 p.m. last night--and I started at 7:20 a.m.! This was with no breaks or stopping for lunch (I ate though, but just kept working). It was hard to go to bed even though I was really tired, so I also stayed up too late!

In coming home over the interstate bridge, I saw a small, dark (dark jacket and pants) figure walking slowly UP THE ENTRANCE RAMP on to the bridge! I didn't have a cell phone but called 911 immediently as soon as I reached home. The police were aware of it because someone else had called it in, but they were asking me which side of the bridge because they couldn't find the person. So I am wondering, who was it and why were they there? Also, where did they go to, did they hide when they saw the police looking for them? It was a small figure, like a woman or a teenager. The bridge is in an industrial area with no houses, bars or shops anywhere near, so what were they doing down there?

I listened on my police radio to both cities' police departments looking for this person. They didn't find him/her after an extensive search on both sides of the bridge. I think he/she may have been going to jump off the bridge. People have done that. In fact, when I was working with low-income, troubled women, one of the women in my job-finding group drove up on the bridge, parked her car, climbed over the railing and jumped off the bridge. She had a lot of very serious problems and difficulties, like most of the women I was working with, but I would have never thought she would do that. It was right about this time of the year, too, when spring is promised but not quite here yet.

There were rumors whispered around the agency for a day or two before anyone told me what had happened. And here I was calling her phone and leaving messages asking if she was OK (because she hadn't shown up for class). Yikes! Hope I didn't cause any of her friends or relatives addtional pain by hearing those messages. But I seriously cannot think of much that could add on to or be worse than having a loved one jump off the bridge.

So since then, every once in a while, I wonder. What happened to that small, dark figure walking up on the bridge? Have you had any mysteries lately in YOUR life?

Monday, April 16, 2007

The start of a good week

Well, it was a really fantastic week last week, and I'm hoping this week will be the same. Some of the highlights:
  • My son called
  • Payday
  • Went out to eat with our (former) temp and had a really fun time, then
  • Went to the Home Show with Amanda and Anton. Actually this deserves a couple of sentences. We looked at every booth there, I think, and then rested by sitting in the bleachers and listened to a band playing old Beatles songs, and then a band called, "Almost Abba" guess what they played? I liked the Beatles band better.
  • Saturday with Mom
  • Wonderful Sunday of church, walking, grocery shopping and relaxing

I also got sick last week and thus last half of my overtime. Overtime only counts for regular time, not sick or vacation, so I toughed it out as long as possible (three hours) and then went home and slept for the rest of the day. At 5:30 I got up and had tea and toast, stayed up until around 7 or so, went back to bed and slept until morning. But the sleeping threw it off, as I've been find ever since then.

I just realized that I need to find a ferret-sitter for the week I'm going to be gone for work. Yikes! Wonder how I do that? Have a good Monday and start to your week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I got that call!

Well, son finally called. Actually, he called while I was still at working. I worked some minor overtime last night. Minor compared to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with no lunch or breaks on Monday!

The phone message was garbled and barely understandable but he called back later. So now I have an actual address and assurance that all is going well. He's put in three days of FT work already and loves the job.

Our little dog had a rough couple of days getting used to all of the other animals (they have 3 other dogs and a ginnea pig--plus son had brought Ricky the chinchilla there a couple of weeks before he moved). But now she is happy as one of the pack, has her own special doggy friend and loves the piggy, they sleep side by side. Contrast that with being alone all day long until 9 p.m. and having only the two ferrets (who she doesn't like) as companions. It was the right thing to do to let son take her with him when he moved. So I am pleased at how it's all turned out.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

How to break a mother's heart--don't call

Hope you had a great Easter weekend, I did. On Saturday my younger brother came up to my Mom's apartment and I did my usual noon meeting with her there. What a nice surprise it was to find my older brother and wife there also! My older brother has brought flowers for Mom and I (he didn't know younger brother and wife were going to be there, also). I really love messing about with flowers, both in the garden and cut ones. The bouquet he gave me was so large that once I got home, I made four vases from it! Younger brother and wife brought steaks and cooked them and an entire meal. Those were some really tender, delicious steaks! For dinner they made a ham with mashed potatoes and all the trimmings. I washed dishes each time but barely helped with the cooking. I think I peeled potatoes and set the table, and that was pretty much all the help I did.

My younger brother and family brought the books that I had left in Mom's old house (which they now own) and even brought them to my house and helped unload them into the basement. They liked my house too, which was certainly a point in their favor! They had never seen it before.

On Sunday I went to a sunrise service, and it was really hard to get up that early. I'd gotten up at 4 a.m. on Saturday and had gone to bed late. The service was followed by a breakfast, followed by another service. I went home to get the Easter card and gift for my Mom and got to her house around noon. Then we went out to eat an Easter dinner, even though we'd both done plenty of eating the day before!

The only sadness was that I didn't hear a thing from my son. I've not heard from him since he called to let me know that he had arrived safely, over a week ago. He doesn't have his own phone and I don't know his address, so his Easter card has been sitting on my kitchen table. He was going to get me that address right away and I was going to send the card on Monday or Tuesday. I suppose I could have called his girlfriend's family, but I was already upset about it and not willing to cheerfully go through the channels to get to him. By that time I would have been scolding him for not calling me, and I don't want to call him up to scold him!

I hope he is OK. I wonder if he's working now and how Natty, our little dog is doing. Someone,
Maria, I think said something about how your children can break your heart--and that's so true. They don't do it on purpose, just thoughtlessly. We had parted on good terms, with tears so I know it's not that he's deliberately ignoring me, just distracted. He was so thrilled at getting to be "part of a family" complete with a father and younger sister, that he's forgotten his original family. I'm a bit jealous! Have a good day, even though it's a Monday!

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Even little things can be an adventure

Well, it's a bright new day. Figuratively speaking, of course, since it's still dark outside. I had my son's old high-speed internet for half a day until Monday morning when it stopped working. Good thing the old dial-up was still connected so I had to switch back to that. It posed some problems until I deleted all the old connections and started from scratch. Lucky it worked as I'm not knowledgeable about stuff like that and my son has moved away. I suspect the high-speed internet was shut off, but I don't know for sure. It still looks lively enough with flashing lights and all!

The church where I've been going the past couple of weeks is having a 30-days of prayer thing. Every night is a gathering at a home or the church and last night was at the church, so after I went to the library I decided to go there and check it out.

Like many things I do, this one also turned out to be pretty funny in how it all worked out. Let's revisit last night's church going:

1) When I drove to the church, the parking lot looked empty. "Did I pick the right place for the right night?" I thought and drove into the lot to dig out the schedule and turn around. In the parking lots I saw a glimpse of a car parked behind the church. Aha! They were parked in a different, hidden spot that couldn't be seen from the road.

2) I parked and went inside the church. Despite the many cars tucked in the parking space hidden behind the church, there seemed to be nobody there even though I looked around in the classroom, meeting areas and dining room. I was leaving in defeat as a couple was coming in. "Is this the right night?" I asked them, and it was the right night. So we all three went in.

3) The couple showed me a tucked away, hidden room. Through the window in the closed door we could see a group of people sitting in a circle. It was already a minute or two past the scheduled starting time. "Is this the right place?" I asked the couple, "Have they already started, should I just go in?" They nodded at me, so,

4) I went into the room and sat in a cushy chair, the only vacant chair in the circle of people. It creaked and made a horrible noise. It was embarrassing! The group of people told me, "Better not sit in that one, it's broken!" (so why don't they take it away then or at least put a warning note on it?) So a guy got me a new chair and I sat down.

5) I still was settling in when I realized the group was having a meeting all right--and it wasn't the prayer meeting--and I was sitting in the middle of it! They were finishing up some other meeting and here I had barged right into the middle of their meeting.

Yikes! What an experience. It could only get better after all of that, and it did. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Triumph and Tragedy, in history

The History Day competition this past Saturday was really interesting and fun. I judged individual exhibits, Junior Division. The theme this year was "Triumph and Tragedy" and some of the exhibits I saw were:

  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (Civil Rights Movement-related)
  • King Tutankhamun-the Triumh Over Grave Robbers
  • Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs: A triumph in women's feminism
  • The Manhattan Project
  • Do You Believe in Miracles: Miracle on Ice US hockey team beats the Russians
  • Freedom's Wheels are Rolling: the triumph and tragedy of the Freedom Riders in Anniston, Alabama
  • The Edmund Fitzgerald
  • Lou Gehrig and the disease
  • The Triumph and Tragedy of the Titanic
  • CC Camps

And many other exhibits, there were a total of 91! Don't those topics just make you want to look up more about them? We judged in teams of two and my fellow judge was a professor from a local college. He was a good interviewer of the kids but a bit harsh in his written comments and gave low scores. They fed us well, too, always one of the reasons I like to judge, ha ha! And lots of good coffee. After it was done, I got my 6th History Day T-shirt and actually found a new design this year. Like all the others, I gave it to my son because I don't look that great in T-shirts.

I didn't attend the awards ceremony, which is usually one of my favorite things about History Day. I spent time with my Mom because Saturday would have been my Dad's 90th birthday. He wasn't an April Fool, he often said! Did you try any April Fool's jokes this year?