Monthly Archives: September 2007

Crucial Information

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’re all kicking off the weekend in a fun and relaxing way if possible. David and I are painting the town red. …Wellll, part of our living room is painted red. Does that count? We turned down multiple social engagement offers in our metropolis to be present for the season premiere of Stargate Atlantis.

Whilst awaiting the big moment (I said that with a British accent), I’m taking inspiration from a great blog, Altered Ambitions. Christi was challenged to share seven random things about herself. So I thought to myself, “Why not mooch off of this idea?” (also said with a British accent)

So for your weekend reading pleasure (or pain), here are seven random things about me…

1. My left thumb is double jointed.
2. I think Worcestershire sauce on mashed potatoes is quite tasty.
3, When I was born I had black hair and blue eyes. (very different now – no comments!)
4. Despite a fear of heights, I’d love to try parasailing and the trapeze.
5. I’ve been on Texas’ death row. Don’t ask me how I escaped.
6. I think it’s fascinating how owls can turn their heads so far around.
7. I have never understood the appeal of the Three Stooges.

…There you have it. Now, what about you?

The Narcoleptic Aviator

It can be really interesting at times to live in this world of ours. Don’t you love it when something a little odd or amazing captures your attention?

“Like what?” you ask. Thought you’d never ask. Like when I was leaving the post office yesterday and noticed a well-written flyer by the door. It explained the help this certain group offers and listed how a person with this need can get in touch with them. Great–except that the well-written information was intended for illiterate people; it was a literacy group. …I knew you’d catch the irony.

And each day brings new promise of the unusual! Just this morning before the sun made its daily debut, I was reading about something from World War II. A unique group called the British Air Transport Auxiliary had the mission of ferrying aircraft to and from military installations around Britain and “the continent.” The Auxiliary members’ service freed up combat pilots for just that. It was a pretty remarkable group; for example, it was the first instance of women (many of them American) piloting military aircraft.

But that’s not what caught my eye and imagination this morning. Here’s the quote from the web site:

As the ferrying demands grew, the ATA actively recruited pilots to handle the workload, and limitations that might bar a pilot from service in peacetime were no barrier when every capable aviator was sorely needed. Most of the men who flew were in their thirties, forties and fifties. Many physically challenged pilots also found employment with the ATA. There were a few men who were color-blind, and one who suffered from narcolepsy, who but for the unfortunate tendency to nod off at the most inappropriate times was quite a good pilot. (On his ferrying trips he would take along an “assistant” to shake him awake if he happened to fall asleep at the controls.) There were several one-armed pilots, and a one-armed, one-eyed pilot, Stuart Keith-Jopp, who was one of the first 30 men to join the ATA at its inception. He was also over 50 years old, a veteran of World War I, and an extraordinarily skilled and capable pilot who flew with the ATA until the war’s end. Click here if you want to read more about the ATA.

Wow. I can’t help but chuckle and be amazed. What brave people! (Especially the “assistant.”) I’m so grateful for their service. In this case the British knew how to put people to good use. …And aren’t you glad that God’s the same way? He uses all of us, despite our flaws and foibles–seen or invisible. There are no excuses for laziness because He can use us all for extraordinary purposes, despite ourselves.

Now, on my next flight somewhere, if I hear on the intercom, “This is Captain Turner, and we’ll be depart– ZZzzzz…” then I just might volunteer to be the “assistant.”

Falling for Fall

Ahhhh, this is a great time of year.

Some people plan months in advance for Christmas decorating; I practically salivate over fall. Come September as other people are squeezing out the last remnants of summer at Labor Day cookouts, I’m giddily pulling down my plastic bin stuffed with autumn leaf garlands and pumpkin-laden decorations. I’m oblivious to the fact that it’s still 95 degrees outside. In our house, it’s already autumn. I love the vibrant colored leaves, the chilly evenings, the sunlight that is a little softer, and the energy and excitement that the season brings.

It wasn’t always this way with me. In fact, until about the last ten years or so I reveled in summer’s heat and dreaded “sweater weather.” Do you see changes in your life–big or small–and wonder when the tide turned? In this case, I have no idea what changed me. …Perhaps it was a mission trip years ago to crisp, fragrant, appropriately-named Pine, Arizona. Perhaps it was marrying a man who adores fall. Perhaps it was discovering the joys of flavored cappuccinos. Or maybe it was realizing that 105-degree summer days really aren’t fun. Oh, well–it doesn’t matter if I figure it out. I’ll just concentrate on enjoying these wonderful, fleeting days of fall.

So…what is your favorite season?

The Mob

Every morning I take a deep breath and prepare to be mobbed by a throng of admirers. These enthusiastic followers await my appearance and greet me loudly, crowding me as soon as I come into view. I can’t escape the adoring attention.

Now, before you envy my celebrity status, I’ll share a little more about my fan club. I even know their names: Dan, Ann, Daisy, Abby, Smokey, and little G. Gordon Kitty. Yep, in addition to our three animals, we’re temporarily taking care of three more fuzzy ones. No matter how much time David and I spend with them they would love more attention. And we’re not complaining much–they’re pretty cute.

I got to wondering once as they hounded me (I can hear the groans)…in some tiny way was this what Jesus felt like each time the crowds pressed in on Him? Almost everywhere He went, “large crowds followed him.” (Matt. 8:1) He ministered to them and loved them, no matter how tired or busy He was.

And as I stood pondering that thought (and excited puppy legs pummeled and almost felled me), I felt kinda smart for contemplating such a deep, spiritual analogy. But no sooner had that snarky thought snaked its way across my mind did this one hit me like a cat paw landing a strike on a dog’s nose: How often do I seek Jesus in that persistent way? How eager and anxious am I to pursue Him each morning and throughout the day? Is it sometimes more of a ritual? I sadly imagined these pups nonchalantly giving me nod, then taking a pencil in their paws and checking me off of their to-do list for the day, right after “roll in the dirt” and “chew on something.” That wouldn’t seem very genuine. (Okay, please tell me that I’m not the only one with a weird imagination–I know some of you!)

Hmmm… I’ll have to think about this, especially when I feel little puppy mouths nipping at my heels.

No Recovery

Sigh. Well, I guess Spielberg got impatient and went off this week and named his own movie: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Had waited for you, the voters, it would’ve been “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Fridge.” Now you tell me– which one sounds more swashbuckling? Let me tell you, at times those daring to go into my fridge find (unpleasant) adventures. Oh, well, we can all hum with contentment over the newest poll.

Back to that matter about the “no recovery” moment I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Do you ever get braver when you’re around your friends?

Twenty-four hour donut shops and college students are often a perfect match. Like I mentioned already, it was late one weeknight years ago when a few friends and I decided to make our way to Jack and Jill Donuts at North First and Willis in Abilene, Texas. Well, actually some of us had kidnapped a few others and we needed a place to take them and feel triumphant, but that’s another story.

We bought our superbrain goodies and settled onto stools looking out of the big plate glass windows, very much like the donut shop pictured in my September 9th post. Another great feature to donut shops is when they have a drive-through window, like this one did. As we laughed and had a good time, the line of several cars for the drive-through never died down–not surprising in a town with three universities.

I should mention that by this time David and I had been dating for almost a year. I should also mention that David thinks donuts are the fifth food group. So for a guy who’s a night owl, this donut shop was heaven. It was no surprise when, through the glare of the parking lot lights, I saw him pull up to the end of the drive-through line in his white ’87 Mercury Lynx. He had yet to spot me, though. So my friends and I kept on having a good time while I waited patiently, plot already hatched in my head.

When the time was right – David’s car was only one away from the drive-through window – I used the famous last words of many redneck guys while horsing around with friends: “Hey, y’all, watch this!” My friends put down their donuts and looked as I slipped out the front door and around the side to the cars in line. I prepared to impress my buddies and have fun in the process; they had the perfect vantage point from inside the shop. As I moved I could see out of the corner of my eye that David’s car window was rolled down– also perfect, I thought to myself. I went to the end of the line of cars and dropped down with military-like stealth. Still crouching, I quickly made my way up the line until I was right below David’s driver-side window. I grinned while glancing back into the shop; my friends watched expectantly. ….Then I made my move, springing into David’s view, inches away from his face.

You probably guessed it. I don’t know whose surprised eyes were bigger, mine or the stranger’s staring back at me from inside what had to be the only other white ’87 Mercury Lynx in Abilene. In my shock I managed to utter something brilliant like, “Oops, sorry–wrong person.” Apparently he was too shocked himself to offer much reply. Tail tucked between my legs, I retreated back into the shop. Even before I opened the front door I could feel the sonic wave of my friends’ laughter as they rolled on the floor, gasping for air. I could feel a smile come across my face, too.

Now, after I’ve opened up, doesn’t that make you want to share one of your “no recovery” moments?