Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thinking about Cows

I pass a lot of cows on my commute every morning. Let me rephrase that-- I pass a lot of cow pastures. The cows are not on the road. At least not very often. Anyway... I noticed something the other day as I drove past a large herd: The majority of this herd was facing the same direction. Of over at least one hundred cows, only about 10 individuals were not facing east. I've seen seagulls do the same thing in parking lots and on the beach. It has to do with which way the wind is blowing and not getting their feathers ruffled. I wonder why the cows do it. Cowhide is not nearly as susceptible to ruffling as feathers are.
This morning there was a considerable amount of frost on the ground. The cows were grazing anyway. I wonder if cows prefer grass slushies to warm grass. (the majority were facing northeast this time.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

KJV or Something Else?

Working at a church, we see mail that doesn't come to a lot of households. We received an announcement today about an upcoming revival at a neighboring church. After the visiting evangelist's name was this sentence: "The King James Version will be used." I noticed in the announcement that Wednesday night will be youth night. Will they be checking bibles at the door to make sure all those kids bring the right one?

I think it's hilarious how some people get so hung up about the KJV being the ONLY REAL bible. The KJV was first published in 1611. Those men weren't first hand witness to the events from Genesis to Revelation. That group of scholars took existing manuscripts and translated them into the speech of the time (with certain instructions: I got this note from in the Authorized King James Version article)

(King) James and the Bishop of London wrote the brief that guided the translation, such as prohibiting the marginal notes found in the Geneva Bible and ensuring the position of the Church of England was recognised on various points.

I don't believe there is anything magical about any version of the bible. If the manuscripts used and the linguists employed are authentic and knowledgable, we have as close as we're going to get to the original without having to learn Hebrew and Greek for ourselves.

I'm keeping my NIV and NCV.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Which IS Better?

L, the youngest of my daughters, is wired vastly differently than her 2 older sisters. She thinks this is a bad thing. She thinks they are smarter than she is because they ALWAYS make good grades, while she makes B's and C's. I've been looking for a way to convince her that one kind of kid isn't better than another, just different. My neighbors' dogs have given me an illustration.

Their 3 dogs converse with my dog every time I drive into my driveway. (They run up and down the fence barking fiercely at each other for about 30 seconds, then they all just give up and walk away.) One of their dogs is a little white mutt. She's got wiry, medium long hair, and little stand-up ears. Another is a black standard poodle, much larger than the little white one. This dog reminds me of Tigger: she's made on springs instead of legs. The other is half Great Dane and half Saint Bernard. She is enormous. Her legs are as long as mine. Yet all three are dogs. One is not better at being a dog than the others, they are just different kinds of dogs. The little one is better at being lap dog than the big one. The big one is better at scaring off intruders than the little one. The poodle is better at jumping than any dog I've ever seen! They were all made for different things.

The Creator obviously doesn't have the same plans for L as He has for my eldest or for M, the middle one. It's tough to help a kid realize that school grades are not the only way to measure up. That's where they spend most of their time and those progress reports and report cards come like clockwork. She sings beautifully, isn't afraid to perform in front of a crowd, and is much more outgoing than the other 2. But there is no concrete measure, no report card, for those things. This afternoon, I'm hoping that the dogs can help me teach her the distinction between better and different.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Tonight, I was watching a movie with my girls: "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit." Quite often, you can see the makers' fingerprints on the characters they have made.
It made me start thinking: Are my Creator's fingerprints ever visible on me? What would that look like? Can other people see them on me?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best Valentine

Of all the Valentine cards or gifts I ever gotten, one year's surprise stands out. Mr. H bought a multi-colored stack of post-it notes, and, before I got up that morning, had them everywhere. The one on the bathroom mirror said something like "You are the image of love." There was one inside the washing machine, in the bread machine, on the vacuum cleaner, on the steering wheel of my car, inside my favorite coffee cup. They all had some little message associated with the location. I don't think I found all of them that day, so the joy of discovering hidden treasures lasted for several days.

I don't believe I've ever received a dozen roses or a heart shaped box of candy from him, but I'll remember the post-its forever.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today, my mom is 70 years old. Her birthday is the same day as Abraham Lincoln's birthday. We used to joke that she was as old as Lincoln. She's actually older now than Lincoln lived to be (he was 56 when assassinated.)

Back when I was in elementary school, we knew that February 12th was Lincoln's birthday and February 22nd was George Washington's birthday. I remember getting a coloring sheet every year and telling the stories about returning pennies and chopping down cherry trees. Do children know that today is Lincoln's birthday?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

1 Year Ago - part 3

We pulled up to the house about midnight. I got as close to the front door as possible, which was about 3 feet fromit. It took Mr. H several minutes to get his legs out of the car door, then several more to get himself up to a standing position. He stood there, holding on to the oen car door... and that's as far as he could go. He could put absolutely no weight on his injured hip. He's a bit over 6 feet tall and at the time weighed about pounds. I'm 5 feet tall. There wasn't much I could do by myself.

So there we stood, in the dark, with him holding onto the car door. I suppose we had several options: call a neighbor, call a friend, use tools. Mr. H and I are both stubbornly independent, so the "call someone" option, especially after midnight, was not one we wanted to go with. We decided to use tools.

I work at our church. I have keys and know where things are. There are at least 2 wheelchairs in our worship center. So I brought up the idea of going to get the wheelchair. That's what he wanted to do, so I helped him (very carefully) get back into the car. Then we drove the 15 minutes to the church. I unlocked the door, found the lights, then found the wheelchair in the closet. Having never had to use a wheelchair, it took me a few seconds to figure out how the thing folded and unfolded (baby stroller training comes in handy in cases like this.) I got it out to the car, folded it up and managed to lift it into the backseat. All this time, I kept an eye on the pastor's house. I didn't want him to think someone was breaking in. (However, now in retrospect, I could probably have gotten the sherrif's deputies and the pastor to help me get Mr. H into the house.)

Back to the house, and by that time, it was after 1 a.m. Mr. H got himself into a standing position by holding onto the car door again, and pivoting on one foot, turned so that I could get the wheelchair behind him. I got him as far as the porch, but I couldn't get the chair up onto the porch. It was only a 2 or 3 inch step, but I couldn't do it. I figured that with the help of our oldest daughter, a senior in high school at the time, we could get it done. I woke her up from a deep sleep, and it took a few minutes for her to get the idea that her dad was in the front yard in a wheelchair and was not going anywhere without her assistance. A few inches up onto the porch, a few yards along the porch and then a few inches up into the house. I think we were all exhausted.

We made one more decision that night that we shouldn't have done. Mr. H wanted to get into his own bed to sleep. People with broken ribs don't sleep in beds for a reason. Once he got in, he couldn't get out. It was after noon the next day before, with the help of his mom and dad, we got him up and back into the wheelchair. He spent the next several weeks sleeping in the recliner.

Last year on Valentine's Day, he had surgery to repair his crushed wrist. The X-ray of the finished product looks wicked. I don't know exactly how many pins are holding it all together. He had a hot pink cast for a few weeks and then just a brace. After 2 weeks in the wheelchair, he only used his walking stick for a few days before he didn't need it any longer. It took several months for him to get mobility back into his wrist and that was important. I hadn't quite figured it out, but one day, everything clicked.

He had been looking at bikes, trying to decide how to replace his totaled Suzuki SV650. Mr. H does nothing without research. One day in May, he walked into the house and his step was different. I hadn't seen that man since the morning of February 8th. He had been to test drive a new bike. I never appreciated how much riding meant to him until that moment. He had a missing part of himself back again. Later that week, we went to the Honda dealership in Mobile and he came home with a Honda ST1300.

People have asked me how I could let him get another bike. How could I deny him the ability to be who he is? He is a careful guy. He wears ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time). He wears a full face helmet, a jacket that is neon yellow (you can see it literally from a mile away), riding pants, and boots. He did that before the accident, too. That's why, until the surgery on his wrist, he didn't even have a scratch on his skin. His face looked as good on the 9th as it did on the 7th. He is who he is, and that's the guy I love.

1 Year Ago - part 2

Sometimes things seem funny in retrospect that hold no humor whatsoever at the time they happen. Our trip home from the hospital was that way. Mr. H was released about 10 p.m. The doctor had given us a Rx for pain medication, but what pharmacy is open that late? I knew the answer for George County: none. I was told at the hospital that the Walgreen’s on Schillenger Road in Mobile had a 24 hour pharmacy. I had to pass it on the way home. When I got there they were locking the door! They did tell me how to get to another Walgreen’s that was definitely open 24 hours. It was several miles in the opposite direction in a part of town that I didn’t like in the daytime. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

I left Mr. H in the car while I took the prescriptions in: he wasn’t going anywhere! The pharmacist told me it would take about an hour. I came very close to loosing my cool for the first time since this ordeal started. There was no one in the store! What could take so long? I took a deep breath and went back out to the car to wait with my injured husband. He took the long view, too. Where else were we going at now 10:40 p.m. and him immobile?

We were parked right in the front door of this store. Remember that I said it was in a less than desirable part of town? We had been sitting there waiting for about 10 or 15 minutes when we saw several police cars, coming from different directions, pull into the parking lot. They jumped out with their hands on their guns and headed for the door, which was about 4 feet from our front bumper. I looked at my sweetie and realized that if shooting started, he was a sitting duck. With broken ribs and whatever had happened to his hip, he couldn’t even lean down in the seat.

As we were watching, we saw the manager walk toward the policemen. We could see that he was smiling. He spoke a few words to the officers, who relaxed and headed back out the door. They got back in their cars and left. I sighed for both of us (no sighing allowed with broken ribs.)

I waited a bit then went back inside to check on the progress of the Rx. The guy behind the counter said he was surprised I came back in after the excitement. I told him I had no choice and he told me that the silent alarm was set off accidentally by the manager slamming the door to the safe too hard. I finally made it back to the car with Mr. H’s drugs and ice packs for shoulder and wrist.

The trip from Mobile to our house can usually be made in about 45 minutes. That night Mr. H told me to drive gingerly. So I did. We pulled up to our front door about midnight.

This sounds like the end to a long day, doesn't it. I wish our day had ended there, but we had one more adventure to go. Wait for part 3.

Friday, February 8, 2008

1 Year Ago

February 8th is a new red letter day at our house. Last year it was on a Thursday. Mr. H had scheduled Friday for a vacation day and we were going to have a date day. We did spend Friday together, but it wasn’t at all like we planned.

When I picked the girls up from school on Thursday afternoon, we came home like we always do. It was one of those gorgeous days that usually happen sometime in February: warm and sunny. The girls went out to play with their friend from down the road. My mom called and I was standing in the middle of the living room talking on the phone. Our cell phones don’t generally get a signal in the house, but through divine intervention, I was standing right by my purse and heard mine ringing. I told my mom to hang on and dug it out of the purse. I saw that it was Mr. H calling, probably to tell me he was on his way home.

The voice on the other end of the phone was NOT Mr. H. It was a lady whose name I didn’t catch. It was one of those phone calls that you never want to get. She was calling on his phone because he couldn’t. He had been rear-ended on his motorcycle and the EMTs were working on getting him into the ambulance. I don’t think I was capable of more than one syllable responses at the time. She told me he was able to talk but not really to hear much (he ALWAYS wears a helmet and usually earplugs, too, because that helmet was a bit noisy.) She told me which hospital they were headed to and then she put the phone close to Mr. H’s helmet so I could hear his voice. He said that I should meet them at the hospital and everything would be okay. I don’t know if that was her idea or his to let him talk to me, but it his voice was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.

When I hung up the cell phone, I realized I was still holding the house phone in my other hand. Mom knew something was up from hearing my end of the conversation. I gave her the short version and asked her not to call Mr. H’s mom. I didn’t know any details and there was no reason to get her and Sr.Mr.H upset yet. I called our neighbor to make sure the girls could come down there for a while, then I called our eldest. She happened to be in Wal-Mart (where our cell phones, again, don’t get a signal) with her best friend. When she didn’t answer, I called her friend’s phone. When he saw it was our house calling, he just handed the phone to her. I told her what I knew, where her sisters were, and where I was headed.

My drive to the hospital was a surreal experience. I remember talking to God like He was sitting in the car with me, which He was. He always is: we just don’t pay attention. I remember debating calling our pastor. His sister, whose husband had just passed away, was on her way down to spend a few days with his family. I didn’t know what to tell him, but I knew he would be upset if I didn’t let him know what was going on. I left a message with his wife.

I had no idea what to expect when I saw my husband. I was shocked to see his head, still in his helmet, duct taped to the board he was lying on. The reality was not as bad as my imagination had conjured, though. Everything looked intact, except the sleeve of his leather jacket, which had been cut up to the elbow. The EMT, who was still in the room, told me that taping his head was a precaution, not a sign of trouble. His wrist was obviously broken and x-rays showed that his collar bone and several ribs were broken, as well. His hip was bruised so badly that he couldn’t walk for 2 weeks, but that was it. He was alive and, after spending 6 hours in the emergency room, I could take him home.

The trip home was another adventure, which I’ll write about later.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Girly Stuff

I was cleaning my daughters' bathroom today and was amazed at all the different shampoos and body washes. Someone once asked me how having girls in the house was different than having boys. This has got to be the main difference ... and the fact that all the clutter and toys are PINK!
blog post photo

blog post photo