Archive for September, 2012

Choosing Grace

It’s been a a couple of weeks since I have had a chance to sit down and think and write, and I’ve missed being here.  I enjoy writing about the absurd things that happen in my life and sharing a laugh, but there’s also those moments that can be poignant, thought-provoking, infuriating, or beautiful.  Sometimes a memory or thought persists while I’m running an errand or decompressing, and this is one of those times.

Have you ever come across people that have “it” or seem lucky, like everything always happens in their favor?  Likewise, there’s people that always have bad stuff happen to them, even when they are just going about living a normal, decent life.  Those people that you say, “Why does it always happen to them?”

Someone that I have known for many, many years has always wound up with the short end of the stick.  He’s a great guy, kind, and likeable.  To know him is to pull for him, but tragedy and misfortune have often entered his life.  One of the worst things that we could ever imagine happening, happened to him.  His father died in a horrible accident, and he was the person that found him.

He has experienced several things in his life that could easily push someone over the edge.  I’ve always worried that he was fragile from the things that had already happened in his life.  I worry whenever something else happens, will it be too much, the last straw.

None of us are perfect angels, we all have our moments and our vices and weaknesses.  When I see him, it’s a combination of wanting to protect him because I know he has to have internal struggles every single day, but I’m so happy that he’s here and never stops trying to be a good man.  I am so proud of him, but my heart hurts, too.  I wish things were easier for him.

For some reason, he’s been on my mind, and I keep thinking of something that happened to him around a year ago.  I don’t know why, but it’s on my mind and isn’t going away, so I’m going to write about it.

He loves animals and is a gentle, kind person.  He had a small dog that was the world to him.  He travels a lot for his job, so he moved back home with his mother after his father’s death, which is beneficial for both of them.

One morning, he was leaving town and didn’t have much time, so he took his dog out to play a little.  While he was out in front of his house, his dog was running around off of the leash, but it was very early and little traffic came down their street.  A high school neighbor came out, so the dog ran over to play with her.  She ignored the dog, got in her car, and in a hurry, backed out of her driveway without looking.  He yelled to her to stop, but she didn’t listen, running over his dog.

She stopped when he screamed again and finally looked in her rear view mirror.  He could see her looking at him holding his dog, crying, but she took off without saying one word, and didn’t even roll down her window.

Even though time was short, he buried his dog and wrote a note to his sleeping mother, asking her to go to the neighbor when she got home from school and tell her that he saw what happened, that he doesn’t blame her and isn’t mad at her.  He wanted his mother to tell her that he knows she panicked and didn’t know what to do, and that he doesn’t want her to feel badly about it.  If she apologized, he asked his mother to tell her that he forgives her.  Lastly, he wanted his mom to tell her how sorry he was that it happened.

Maybe you have to know this young man to understand all that he’s been through to know just how heartbreaking it is to picture him losing his precious dog like that, yet he was so worried about his neighbor.  He didn’t blame her, he hurt for her, whether she felt badly or not.

He didn’t think he’d ever want another dog, but one day, he was traveling to work with a co-worker and they spotted a tiny fur ball moving in some weeds.  They were curious, so they stopped, and it was a tiny mixed breed puppy that was either wild or had been abandoned.  No momma dog or siblings were anywhere to be found, so he bundled it up and brought it home that night.


Simplicity and Joy

This evening, I got around to running a few errands, saving the grocery store until the end, like most people do because of refrigerated and frozen foods.  I picked up some of my favorite frozen yogurt–Caramel Praline Crunch–Yum!  I love pralines, even faux pralines that some would call an abomination.  That’s a story for another day, though.

We didn’t buy much, and we could have gone through the express lane, but we chose the closest lane instead.  I’ve been in this cashier’s line before and she’s very pleasant.  She gets amused by my buying several boxes of Fruit By The Foot at one time.  It’s something one of my kids eats by the truck-full.   I’ll walk in and find the strips piled 2 feet deep, like someone unwrapped a mummy or something.

She never gets rattled or angry, even if customers are sharp or rude.  She isn’t the fastest checkout person around, but you also won’t get home and find a cantaloupe smashing your flaky croissants.  She does her job well and with a smile.

This evening, we bought several items in glass jars.  When she got to the glass, she looked at us and said, “I’m not being sarcastic, but I love when people buy a bunch of glass stuff.”  She was actually really happy, because I looked at her thinking she had to be joking.

It was so sweet that even doing something monotonous for hours, she was having a blast wrapping everything like it was Christmas Eve.  Do you ever feel your heart smile?  It was one of those moments seeing how happy she was when I never expected anything other than to buy some groceries and head home.

We chuckled with her a little bit and thanked her.  I love those serendipitous moments that just pop up in everyday life.  It’s fun to connect with a fellow human being for a moment in time.

I didn’t have the heart to say, “you can stop now,” after she wrapped everything four times, so we waited.  When she finished wrapping everything, she told us that she’s not OCD, out of the blue.  I didn’t say anything about OCD, I only thanked her for doing a great job.  It made me think, though, that people have probably called her OCD on a regular basis.  Sometimes denial can be endearing and kind of cute, though.

Life is fun and full of all sorts of people.


Hurricane Memories, Part 1

Hurricane Isaac brought back a broad range of memories–even moments that made me laugh and smile.

Hurricane Isaac reminded me of Hurricane Gustav because my electricity was out for four or five DAYS after that storm, too.  During Gustav, the extended power outage was due to a neighbor’s tree rubbing on the power line.  I’m sure there’s a technical term, but the tree was the problem.  My family had stepped away to get something to eat while I waited at home, hoping the power company would show up at any moment, and I wanted to make sure they didn’t leave until it was fixed.

After the third or fourth day, I was so wiped out from the heat and dehydration.  I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I decided to take a nap on a chaise lounge on the second floor porch.  Well, I didn’t plan to take a nap, it just happened as I started drifting in and out of sleep.  I had kicked off my shoes to get comfortable, and my feet happened to be facing the street.

I don’t know how long I had been asleep, but I started hearing some slight noises.  I couldn’t tell if I was hallucinating or dreaming or if I was hearing something.  I started to panic a little bit, but decided to be still and listen closely.  Then, I heard a little movement and knew someone was outside.

Slowly, I started grabbing my phone and getting ready to dial the police, but otherwise, I stayed perfectly still, listening closely.  Then, I started hearing whimpering and sniffling.  I was wondering what in the hell was going on.  Was someone out there CRYING?  As my mind was trying to function from the heat and dehydration, the crying got louder.

Who is lurking outside of my house, sneaking up and crying?  It became a sort of wailing.  I mean, what in the hell is going on outside?  I decided that the time had come to just sit up and face whatever and whoever was out there.  So, I did it.  I quickly and boldly sat up, facing the direction of the crying.  It probably didn’t hurt that I had a wild, deranged expression from the heat.

It’s a woman, and she SCREAMS!  I mean, screaming!  She’s got a dog with her and she’s jerking it around on the leash, she’s really freaking out.  I stare at her in disbelief for a minute, and she eventually calms down enough for me to ask her if she’s all right.  I started worrying that someone hurt her or something.

She calmed down after a couple of minutes and then started telling me that I’m alive.  Yes, I am, in fact, alive.  Then she starts telling me that she thought that I was dead and she had found a fatality of the storm.  She had only been able to see my feet, my perfectly still feet, and was afraid she had landed in Katrina all over again.  The poor lady just about had a heart attack when I sprang up and looked right at her.  Plus, I had been lying there perfectly still for several minutes while I was trying to figure out what was going on.

The lady stayed for several minutes, hugging her dog and then crying happy tears that she hadn’t found a corpse.  I was pretty happy about that, too.  We had a good laugh after she calmed down.  I felt kind of badly about springing up on her so quickly like that, though.



Happy Labor Day

I wish you a very Happy Labor Day filled with smiles and laughter, good company, and yummy food

Things are returning to normal in my area, but there are still people dealing with Hurricane Isaac.  It was a long, long storm.  People are tired and anxious for electricity to be restored, and also to repair damages and clean up.

I plan to write soon, but I am still recuperating from the heat and dehydration.  Thank you to the very sweet people that tweeted and posted messages.  You know who you are, and I’m hoping you know how special and dear you are to me.

It wasn’t hard to laugh every now and then during the storm.  I’ll be back in a day or two.

BelowSeaLevel, xoxo

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