Tuesday, September 29, 2009

time together

Last weekend I went out to the middle of nowhere to cover a story about a church sponsored dirt bike ride called Desert Storm. As the event got closer I began trying to think of reasons, besides not liking dirt and motorcycles, why I should stay home. Then a pleasant surprise happened. Our nine year old, Jack, said he would go with me. With six kids ranging in ages from 23 to 9 , one-on-one time is a rare occurance.

"Go ahead," I told Jack when we stopped for dinner. "Order anything off the menu!"
The girl behind the counter smiled at his happy little face and said, "Welcome to Wendy's. May I take your order?"
He was livin the dream.
We pulled up to where our friends said they would be and set up our pup tent under the fading light of the dusky sky.
After enjoying the concert by Australian singer/songwriter, Steve Grace, we made our way back to our "camp" and visited with Dean and Shelby before calling it a night. We played a hand of crazy eights then turned off the flashlight. Jack forgot to bring his pillow so we shared mine as we looked at the stars through the tent screen.
"Tell me a story," he said.
"O.K. There once was a family of three bears..."
"No! A real story about you. When you were my age."
"Well," I began. "When I was your age I had my tonsils taken out...."
This led to a whole series of stories about being lost in the woods, pet lizards and the time I got in big trouble for dropping a rock on my sisters foot and jumping on the bed.

He kissed my cheek and said he hoped to ride a dirt bike in the morning. Then cuddled close. Now we were both livin the dream.

Sometimes life's sweetest moments are in unexpected places.

Monday, September 21, 2009

fresh air

John's birthday was last Thursday. My mom and dad took all three kiddos to the Reno airshow so we had the whole day to ourselves. What a rare moment!
We borrowed an older red Mercedes convertable from some friends and spent the day driving around beautiful Lake Tahoe with a picnic lunch and the wind in our hair. Besides the fact that it was a super relaxing day we realized something else as well...after 24 plus years of marriage it is easy to take each other for granted. Sometimes life gets busy, stuffy and cramped. Maybe you just need a little fresh air and a different perspective to realize that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't an oncoming train, but a fresh view of what is ahead.
Take time to slow down and enjoy the drive.

Monday, September 14, 2009

never judge a book by it's cover

I decided to write about something for the local paper I knew nothing about. Tattoos. For someone who threw up on a nurse drawing blood, the thought of going near needles was way out of my comfort zone.
I walked into Old School Tattoo Parlor, pen and paper in hand along with a digital recorder and camera. The owner introduced himself as Crazy Alexander the ink pimp. His arms were covered in tattoos, his long grey hair hung in a braid down his leather vest. He showed me his latest addition, Captain Jack Sparrow that had just been tattooed on his side a few weeks earlier. I looked down at my orange Land’s End dress and matching sandals. I didn't have any ink marks on my arms or legs. I must have looked like some homogenized freak!
I found out that Crazy and his young wife, Ashley, help out with the needs of local receiving homes, host a community Thanksgiving dinner, and sponsor several of the athletic teams. They have a two year old named Harley who was born premature and weighed only 1 ½ pounds. Life is precious to someone who has watched a baby hang on by a thread. Crazy calls him a miracle and adds, “Parents need to spend time with their kids.”
The next day I had coffee with a few older ladies from church. One of them asked what stories I was working on. When I mentioned tattoos, one lady quickly remarked. "Well, I hope you are doing an unfavorable story!”
I acknowledge that there are mixed feelings on tattoos in the church. One thing we should all agree on is that judging one's character based on outward appearances isn't exactly living out the golden rule.
Take time to get to know those who are different than you, you may find that you have a lot more in common than you think. Respect is something that looks good on everyone.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

tough stuff

It was in the middle of the night when I sensed a presence standing near the head of my bed. I awoke to Jack, our nine year old, sobbing. His wrist had taken the brunt of his fall off a skateboard. Now it throbbed in pain. I pushed back the covers and let him slide in next to me.

As soon as Sierra Doctor’s opened the next morning we drove to Auburn.
When we got to the office we filled out the paper work and soon we were called into the room where casting was done. Jack immediately decided on green, because a black sharpie pen would show up. He has signed a lot of casts, so he knew the importance of planning ahead.

The x ray tech came in and took picture, then the doctor came in to give us the news. It was a bad fall, but the bones were fine. He recommended a wrist splint and told us that they could be purchased at the local Long's.

When we got in the car to come home I thought about how thankful I was our little boy was fine.
Jack loves playing outside. It is a part of who he is. The only way to avoid mishaps is to wrap our kids up in bubble wrap, put a helmet on them and prop them in a corner out of harmful U.V rays.

Sometimes the worst wounds are not the ones that leave physical scars, but the ones that are felt.

Life comes with a few bruises and even some tough breaks, isn’t it great to know that when we are sobbing in the middle of the night someone hears us as well.

Monday, September 7, 2009

One Man's Trash

This last Saturday , my two girls, Amy and Emma, and I went to the Dutch Flat White Elephant Sale. Every year I manage to find some treasure that I don't know how I ever lived without. One year I purchased an old wooden trunk for $35.00. Last year I found a set of old china dessert plates and a cup. This year I purchased a set of 14 silverware forks. As we carted home a few old books, a set of china dishes for Emma, and my forks I thought of how fun it is to go through the treasures cast off by others and the quote "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
Once home,I made myself a piece of toast with homemade plum jam, poured a cup of coffee and enjoyed a little snack with my eclectic collection.
Forget fine dining and elegant tea rooms! Sometimes the best things in life are in finding pleasure in simple treasures.