Another Kind of Bird

While I was in California visiting my son, I tried to continue walking daily. As I walked the neighborhood, I felt as though I was being watched. I was, but these eyes didn’t blink or turn its head when I walked by. This caused me to create another phoem (photo + poem).

A new bird has sprouted,

The flock stands guard.

Each has been assigned a position.

Some are shy,

They lurk between the leaves, unsure of their job.

Vigilant day and night,

Turn around, you must keep a watchful eye!

Stretch your neck, be the first to spot danger.

Colors fade, but they continue to stand tall,

Until someone cuts and tosses them aside.

Read more slice of life stories at Two Writing Teacher’s blog.

Stoplights

Sometimes things happen that make you sit back, pause, and assess. I had such a moment Saturday at approximately 5:06.

“Do you want to go to Sybil’s for dinner Saturday?” my husband asked me on Thursday. Sybil’s is a restaurant about 130 miles from our home. We had only been there once, but my meal was so delicious the taste lingered in my mind. There were several things on the menu I was itching to try. Our anniversary was on Monday and I had mentioned I’d like to go there, but they are closed on Monday. “Then we could drive on over to dad’s and spend  Sunday in St. Louis,” he continued to explain as I turned these thoughts over in my mind.

It didn’t take me long to agree to this trip. We’ve been home for about two weeks, so we were ready for a quick overnight trip. We made reservations for 5:30 at Sybil’s. We left home at 3:30. I read, my husband drove, Pandora played. It was a pleasant trip. We exited the highway at about 5:05. “I guess it only takes us an hour and a half instead of two,” I say to my husband. “I hope they don’t mind we are a bit early.” I don’t mind, since my stomach is rumbling as I anticipate the meal to come.

There is a stoplight at the end of the exit. It is red. We sit and wait for the green light because we need to turn left. The light turns. We sit. I open my mouth  to say something to my husband, when a minivan drives through the intersection. I see a man and a small boy in the front seat as they zoom past us. I can’t believe this man ran the red light! If my husband hadn’t paused for that instant we would have been in a serious accident. I am having a hard time catching my breath as I realize how close we came to being crushed by a bigger vehicle (we were in the convertible). Even now as I write about it and visualize the scene, my stomach drops.

I won’t be in such a hurry when I am the first person at a stoplight. I will take the extra second to check oncoming traffic and verify that they did indeed stop. Life can change in an instant.

Other Slice of Life stories can be found at http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/ Check them out!

Good Idea?

“You want to ride the trail tonight?” my friend Tina says on Monday morning.

“I suppose we could,” I respond slowly, desperately searching my brain for any possible excuse. Unable to present a valid excuse we make tentative plans for meeting up on the bike trail later.

When I tell my husband of the plans, he is delighted. He rides regularly. Me, not so much. In fact I haven’t ridden for about two years (really, it’s been that long?)

As I am preparing our dinner, he is out in the garage attaching the bike carrier to the car, airing up tires, and gathering helmets and such. My back tire won’t air up. It appears that the valve stem is bent. We can’t locate the spare tubes, so I will have to ride his road bike (he has two bikes). Not a big deal (I think) because his bike is similar to mine. That is not the case I later realize.

Finally, we are off and ready to meet up with Tina. Some adjustments must be made to the seat height before setting off. My husband’s bike has cages on the pedals, I do not like them. They are difficult for me to get my feet into them. His seat is not comfortable. This does not bode well for a fun time for me. I am a little wobbly at first, but I push and pull on the gear levers trying to find a good gear. My husband and Tina ride ahead of me as I try to get comfortable with the bike.

Pedal, pedal, pedal. Sweat begins to drip down my face as the temperature rises. The trail is stifling hot. My butt hurts and I want this misery to end. Pedal, pedal, pedal. We continue on and on. Finally, we stop for a moment.

“How much farther to the end? I ask.

“Probably about another mile,” is the response. My heart drops. I can’t go another mile. Tina and I turn around to begin the journey back. My husband will ride on and catch up with us.

Pedal, pedal, pedal, ring! Tina’s phone rings, “Where are you?” her husband, Matt asks. “Are you getting wet? It’s pouring here.”

Uh-oh! This is not the news I want to hear, because the top of the convertible is down! There were no clouds in the sky or prediction of rain when we left an hour before.

We are not getting rained on at this moment. Five minutes later, there are a few sprinkles hitting us. They feel good on my sizzling hot skin. Ring! It’s Matt again, he’s coming to pick us up. Yes, this is great news to me! My husband has caught up with us and when we told him of the rain he shot off like a rocket.

Matt is my savior! He appears not on a white horse, but in a white truck to pick us up. We head to Tina’s house to collect towels to dry out the car. My husband has made it to the car by the time we arrive with the towels. Fortunately, there wasn’t  anything in the car to get wet (other than the seats and floor mats. We wipe down the insides of the car with the towels.

1/4 inch of water in my door handle

Once we are home, the top of the car is suspended in air to allow not only the top to dry, but also the insides. The next day the car sits in the sun to dry out the interior.

So, was this a good idea? I’ll let you be the judge.

The sky on our return to home. Can you see the isolated rain?

PS: We rode again on Friday evening and Sunday morning. I have my bike back and that makes all the difference in the world! Slowly I am beginning the journey of biking again. I know there will be biking stories in the future.

. . . And Then It Happened

I have just returned home from spending three restful weeks in southern California. This has been a very busy year for me with little down-time. I needed to get away and relax. We cashed in an airline voucher, so we did not have to spend two days driving. That was nice.

The weekend before we left, my son warned me that he might be out of town for two of the weeks we were there. I crossed my fingers and prayed that the project would be delayed. Thankfully it was.

We arrived two days before my brother-in-law was set to take off on vacation. At the time we planned this, he thought we would be maintaining his house that was for sale. However, the house sold, he moved, and we still planned to come.

Life was able to move at a slower pace. We did nothing extraordinary. No sight-seeing. We simply enjoyed the company of our son and his family. It was a special treat to be with my son for Mother’s Day. He brought me a bouquet of flowers and took me out to lunch, followed by an afternoon of conversation. I savored that day as I am not usually there. Another highlight of this trip was meeting Kim, but you read all about that last week. It was quiet and peaceful.

My peace was destroyed when I turned on my phone in Dallas during our layover. There were multiple text messages and voice messages all carrying the same information. Your email has been hacked. A serious sense of dread washed over me, my stomach dropped. There were many concerned friends out there because the email they got said I was robbed in Madrid, Spain and needed some money to get home. Fortunately, no one thought this was true.

Unfortunately, the hackers erased all my contacts and every email file I had. Once I got home, I called the email provider and spent the next hour and a half on the phone resetting passwords. There was no way to retrieve any of the lost information. I must apologize to anyone who may have received this malicious email from me (because there are several of you who were in my address book). I am so sorry.

Besides the email issue, there was a message on the phone from the credit card company to call them immediately. The woman informed me that ten days before someone tried to use my card number to book a flight on Moroccan Air. The charges were denied (thank goodness!). That card was now cancelled.

What a homecoming!