Archive for July, 2016

Vehicular if then

IF you are in your home when it begins a frog-strangling downpour,

And IF the rain is so heavy you that can barely see your mailbox from your porch,

And IF you later learn that cars on the highway were parking on the shoulder because they couldn’t drive in that kind of rain,

And IF, as you peer through the deluge, you have the distinct impression that the driver’s window of your Durango is open,

And IF you then race out to said Durango, getting soaked to the skin before you even fling open the driver’s door,

And IF you realize with sickening dread that the driver’s window is not the only window that is open; all four windows are,

And IF, as you scramble to get the key in the ignition to raise the windows, you notice that there’s an inch of standing water in the console between the front seats,

And IF you are puzzled and can’t figure out how such an incredible volume of water got from the windows to the middle of the vehicle,

And IF in your consternation you to look up and see that the sun roof is wide open,

And IF you manage to get the sun roof closed and all four windows up and there is still water streaming down the dashboard over the stereo controls,

And IF you trudge slowly back to the house (because once thoroughly drenched you know you’re not going to get any wetter),

And IF you wait till the rain stops and you go out with beach towels to begin sopping up the water in the Durango,

And IF, while you are sopping, it starts raining again so you give up in disgust,

And IF, an hour later the rain really does stop, enabling you to at least remove the standing water,

And IF, when you drive the car later that day, you are thrilled and amazed that things like the ignition, the lights, the stereo, and the AC all actually work just fine,

And IF you also try out the cruise control find that it does Absolutely. Nothing. At All,

And IF that knowledge depresses and discourages you because you use the cruise every single time you drive to town (meaning that you have become lazy and don’t want to have to bother trying to maintain a steady speed, and you realize, sadly, that you will now have to closely watch the speedometer every time you drive the car for all the remaining years you own it),

THEN, when five days later, the cruise suddenly starts working perfectly again,

You will be exceedingly grateful.

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Concerning customer service

Here is a word to the wise.

If your errands ‘o day will involve shopping at Staples, do not make my mistake of wearing blue jeans and a red polo shirt. During our ten minutes in the store, I was approached not once but twice by people trying to find specific items.

The first lady wanted to know where we had put the 17-cent spiral notebooks. I, of course, had no idea where they were, but I wandered about for a few moments and found a large stack of boxes with three 17-cent spiral notebooks on top. She was distressed that we only had three, but I opened the top box, saw colorful notebooks within, and assured her that there were many more where those three came from.

The second lady wondered where she could find “that hand-held white-out.” She was obviously seeking the Staples brand OOPS! correction tape that I use all the time, and which I thought I usually found on the same aisle as the pens and pencils. I walked her over there and looked carefully, but sadly found no OOPS! I suggested that she ask someone who worked there (insert sarcastic smiley face), and then resumed my own shopping. I subsequently overheard her asking an employee about the hand-held white-out, and since I later saw her check out and leave the store looking satisfied, I’m pretty sure she found her OOPS!

Actually, this kind of thing happens all the time. I don’t know why I am so frequently stopped in stores and questioned by people who think I work there, but I am pretty sure that yesterday it was my red polo shirt that gave me away.

I saw a raft

Our pastor was talking last night about Jesus’ habits and how the Bible says, “as was his custom.” I have habits, too. Nearly every morning, I walk along the shoulder of the highway from our house, three-tenths of a mile and back. I do four such laps to make 2.4 miles total. The highway bridge over the creek is in the middle of my jaunt, so I end up crossing the creek eight times every morning. That is a delightful thing because the creek is beautiful and it makes me smile. As I head back to the house on my final pass, I always stop in the middle of the bridge on the upstream side and spend a few moments stretching my calves and praying for a certain friend while I examine the creek; well, as closely as one can examine it from twenty feet up. I note the depth (which I compare to my Sharpie marker-lined rock and mentally describe as “superb floating,” “tolerable floating,” or “absolutely not at all floatable, Scott”), look for turtles (I’m always thrilled to see one; we have at least three different kinds), listen for interesting birds (especially my favorite belted kingfisher) and frogs (there’s a bullfrog that likes to hang out near the Walker’s dock), observe whatever fish are around (and wish I knew how to identify them), and rejoice when I see any of our less common wildlife specimens (like a great blue heron, snake, or beaver).

A couple mornings ago, when I stopped on the bridge during my final lap, I saw something long and dark swimming out from under the middle of the bridge, headed upstream. At first I thought it might be a beaver. I am for good reason partial to those guys, but no, this was too sleek to be a beaver, and its tail was tapering, not broad and flat. Could it be. . . ? Why, it WAS!!! It was an otter!!! And glory to God, right behind it were three more otters!!! I was so excited I was squealing! They swam upstream in a rectangle group, with pairs of them diving underwater and re-surfacing about every twenty feet. You know, they kind of roll through the water like whales do: head goes down while tail comes up, tail goes down and the whole otter is underwater, head comes up somewhere else and looks around a bit. . . rinse and repeat endlessly. They were stunning to watch.

Google has informed me that a group of river otters can be called a lodge or a bevy, but that when they are out in the water swimming together, they’re called a raft.

So I saw a raft.  = )

Saw a rainbow this evening!

It was cloudy and sunny and sprinkling – excellent rainbow conditions – and it was one of those rare situations where we could see the entire arch of the rainbow, with a faint portion of a second one beside the brightest leg of the first one. Very, very pleasing, indeed! Andrew took a panoramic photo of it and another one of Scott and me in front of it. Hopefully I will be able to add those to this post sometime soon.

In other news, Jessica is coming home Thursday night!!!

Pastor Barb preached a humdinger of a message about church attendance this morning. WOW.

We spent several hours dealing with a homeless couple today. It was an experience.

Scott, Andrew, and I played Scrabble this evening (with a two-minute timer on Scott’s turns). On one turn, he played all seven of his tiles to form UNLOVING, and got 79 points! Final scores: Patty 161, Andrew 178, Scott 254.

But we saw a rainbow this evening, and it was glorious!