Monday, April 21, 2008

Am I Accident Prone or Just Careless

Wish I knew the answer. It seems I am either accident prone or careless but probably it is a combination of the two. My latest episode happened Saturday afternoon about 3:00 p.m. Robert was going to ride his bicycle and I said wait I want to go. I got my bike but did not put on my gloves, or even tennis shoes. This proved to be a very foolish decision. About half way through the bike ride I got too close to a retaining wall around a flower bed and nearly ripped the little toe on my left foot off. It required 7 stitches in the emergency room to repair what happened due to my haste. The toe is broken and is now taped to the toe next to it for the next 6 or 8 weeks. Actually I am grateful I was not injured more seriously. I am still mad at myself because I don't have time for this. Do we ever?

Actually I have had an accident of some sort for the past three years. Last year I stubbed my big toe (of course I was in sandals) and ripped the nail nearly off. A friend of mine, Dr. Craig Barker rescued me and took the rest of it off. He said it was the ugliest toe he had seen in awhile.

Then in October of 2006, I took Brianna, Meyson, Isaac and his friend Andy to The Corn Maize". It is a real neat place here near Lubbock. They actually plant a one mile square field into a different maize each year. Then in the fall when the corn has gotten really tall, they allow groups to go through the maize. They are making more money off the maize than they ever did when they just farmed this land. Anyway, Brianna and I got through the first half with no problem. When we were going through the second half, it was really dark by that time. The boys ran off with the flashlight and so I could not see too good. We came to a spot where it look kind of like the path but actually was not. As I stepped that way I was caught and flipped over a substance that keeps the corn from falling down and landed on my left shoulder and broke it in three places. It was really the arm in the shoulder area. It was so high up that it could not be set so that was quite an ordeal.

I need to explain that my husband Robert goes to Mexico quite often and usually whenever, I have an accident, when we have a disaster at our home, if the car breaks down, he is in Mexico. Luckily when I nearly tore my toe off, he was here to not only advise me how to avoid such incidents in the future he was able to take me to the emergency room.

When I broke my arm he was in Mexico so he was unavailable to help. The Maize people helped round up my group and I took Isaac's friend home, then took Meyson, Brianna and Isaac to our house. Brad (Brianna and Meyson's dad) was out of town so I could not call him. Isaac's family live in Mexico so that was out. I drove myself to the emergency room and was there until about 4:00 a.m. when I drove to an all night pharmacy for pain meds and then went home. I had to sleep in my recliner for about 6 weeks as they could not cast the arm so trying to lay down was very painful.

Sooo you can see where this is coming from. I hope I am through with careless accidents for all time. My whole left side is a mess. We can start at the shoulder - broken in three places 2 years ago, wrist broken about 7 years ago, big toe nail - ripped off last year and now this. I am healthy in every other way so I am grateful to God and Usana for that. But I am a very visable person ..... I teach adult Sunday School, sing in our church choir, and sang at a funeral today so I am always having to explain what happened to me. It is pretty embarrassing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Brianna goes to Denver

The last week of March 2008 was a special week for my granddaughter, Brianna. Last fall Brianna auditioned to be one of 140 singers at a national conference of OAKE in Denver. There were 900 audition CD's submitted and she was lucky or good enough to make it. Brianna sings beautifully but she does not have the confidence she needs yet so she does not think she is that good but hey, her parents and I and her teacher, Mrs. Flemming all know she is good. Anyway she did make it and I was lucky enough to get to take her to Denver for the conference. I would have given anything to have been a part of such an event when I was her age (10). I started singing as soon as I could talk but really never got into an organized choir until I was in the 8th or 9th grade.

The week was packed full of fun but it was also packed with a lot of hard work. We arrived on Wednesday and she had her first rehearsal that evening. They rehearsed all day on Thursday, half a day on Friday and until about 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Then they had their big concert on Saturday evening at the opera house in Denver.

Brianna kept a journal each day and it is cute as can be. She put it on the computer and I believe we are going to start a blog for her so she can journal online. This event was full of first things for Brianna. She got to fly for the first time, stay in a a 5 star hotel for the first time, go to a large acquarium for the first time, ride the free shuttle for the 16th Street Mall in Denver, ride on an escalator, eat at a food court for the first time and she received her first bouquet presented to her by her school Principal, Mrs. Rollo.

Each day had its own set of thrills. The Denver Acquarium not only has all kinds of fish but they also have some snakes and two tigers, some giant eels and even some sharks. I had never been that close to Sharks before but I can see why they do so much damage when they attack people. Their teeth are vicious and they have several rows of them. The tigers must have been hungry because when Brianna stood by the glass so I could take her picture with a tiger in the photo one of them lunged at the glass and scared Brianna to death. She was so scared she screamed and started crying and I could understand why. I was glad they were very secure because it was a very frightening experience. We finished up with the acquarium in a hurry and made out way back to the hotel to meet with her friends and their families to go to a place called Las Casa Bonita to eat. The place is huge and can accomodate 1000 people. You stand in line just like 6 flags so you don't realize how long you have been in line. The girls loved it because they have a pool with cliff divers, an old West shoot out, and all sorts of activities to keep the kids entertained. It was quite an experience for Brianna.

On Saturday, they had their rehearsal, their dress rehearsal and finally their performance. Let me tell you, I was astonished at the quality of their performance. I could not believe they were only 9 and 10 years old. It was wonderful and I am so proud Brianna got to take part in such an event. Next year the group goes to Washington D.C. and I hope Brianna will make it and can go. She will be auditioning for the middle school choir.

I saw a friend in Denver as his daughter's choir was performing in a workshop for the teachers. He said it best when he said music is a life skill. It can go with them through their whole life and I can attest to that. I am getting pretty old but I still sing in the church choir but more than that, it can give you a love for good music and perhaps a desire for teaching others to sing or play. Music can be forever. You may not enjoy sports all your life but you will enjoy music.

Each one of the grandchildren are special and after I go see Rose dance and Drew receive his Eagle award I will write about them

Monday, April 7, 2008

Great Cathedrals

Maybe all this preoccupation with thoughts of my mother are normal when you lose someone as recently as I have, March 5th to be exact. All those closest to her have spent much time in reflection on her life and her struggles, which were many. We have discussed or written about when grief suddenly hits us and how we are coping. It is different for each of us. I am not a gifted writer like my niece Kristen or my son Brad but have been compelled to write down my thoughts of my mom on my blog. I suppose this is to preserve these thoughts so that as time dulls the ache left by her absence, I will not forget my heritage or my legacy from a truly great woman.

I recently read a short essay about great cathedrals in Europe. No one can say who built the great cathedrals as there seems to be no record. But it took years and years to build them and many times the workmen never saw the work even completed. The story is told of a rich man who came to visit a cathedral during construction. He saw a workman carving a tiny bird into one of the great supporting beams. He asked the workman why he was spending so much time on something that would never be seen. The workman replied “Because God Sees”. It is said that no great cathedrals will be built in our lifetime because there are no workman who would be devoted enough to spend their lives building something they might never see to completion.

I saw my mother’s life reflected in the words of the essay. She never saw the completed greatness of her life’s greatest work, which was the investment of love and beauty to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the generations that follow. She loved us all for our differences and appreciated us for the God given gifts she saw manifested in our lives. She often spoke of the challenge of having a large family. It seemed we were cooking and washing clothes all the time, when I was growing up. We all had to help with the work of our large family, but we all can cook and clean and wash because she was teaching us in the process of living life. Some of her friends commented about her not being able to do some of the things they did because of her large family. Many times in her later years she commented on the blessing of her family and especially during the last weeks of her life when we all contributed to her well-being during her passing.

I think of the sacrifices she made so that we always had a good Christmas. Sometimes the gifts were very simple but she made the presentation special. She always started planning early so we could have gifts on a crowded budget. She did get up at 4 or 5 in the morning to bake chocolate, lemon or coconut cream pies and put the turkey on to cook. Or she would bake homemade cinnamon rolls while we were at school on a cold winter day so that when we got home from school we were met with their sweet aroma welcoming us home. This might be on a day when we were running low on food so she hoped this would distract us from the fact that supper was going to be very sparse.

As a mother she was building a great cathedral for the world. Of course it is invisible so the world will never marvel at what she built or at the beauty that has been added to the world by her sacrifices but we as her children know and we marvel.