Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One Buck and a Daisy...Can Make One Rich

Sunday as I pulled out of the driveway heading to Bardstown, I looked over at the tree line that runs perpendicular to the fence line on the neighbor’s property. As we passed, I spotted a good size coyote standing facing the road. I tried to point it out to Emily, but she missed it, so I turned around in the neighbor’s driveway and went back. Still standing in the same place, looking strong and confident she was able to see it well, until I slowed down causing alarm and it ran toward the tree line. I moved on and directly on the opposite side of the tree line there was a buck. He looked so poised with his head up and antlers so perfect facing the road. He saw us and darted toward the tree line. The same tree line that the coyote was running into from the opposite side. The buck must have seen it as he ran toward the tree line and adjusted his gallop to follow the tree line instead of entering. I wish I could draw. It was all so eye and mind catching. The contrast of the coyote on one side of the tree line and the buck on the other.

I tried to remember the other awesome buck we saw on the parkway coming back from Bardstown, but I am struggling with the memory of where I saw it and the surroundings at the time because of yesterday's experience on the Hundred Acre wood. Yes, the very next day, Monday, we were schooling, and Daisy lay on the back step soaking up the sun. Daisy jumped up and started barking. I ran to the back door to make sure it wasn't a coyote because she will run to greet the beasts as if they are in her own personal dog park. Looking toward the work trailers it takes me a minute to focus, but there it is, the same buck from Sunday that was across the road. And as Daisy runs toward it, I step out on the patio. I always yell for Daisy to stop. I don't know why. She never does. I guess it's just my fear of the coyote luring and attacking her or the deer kicking her that spawns the instinct.

She stayed within ten feet of the buck, prancing, barking and wagging her tail. Some greeting or maybe just a friendly warning, I'm not sure. The stout monstrous antlered buck just moseying along, flitting its white tail as Daisy prances close barking. Daisy weighs almost 90 lbs. She takes up half the couch. She looked so small near the buck.

I had just taken my good camera back to the bedroom to put away. I had no clue where my phone was to instruct Emily to bring it with her as I called her to witness the treasured moments. She came out slowly as I instructed and stopped moving. I even kept my arm up where I had been holding the door as so not to make any movements that would cause alarm. We watched it walk along the field with Daisy. Daisy stopped barking and even took a moment to squat and pee in the presence of the statuesque visitor. They walked side by side at times as they came toward the back yard...yes, walked the line of the field and the back yard. Daisy was more alert as it got closer to the yard and began barking again. It walked effortlessly. I felt as if I were in a dream. I caught myself not focusing on the moment at times wishing I had my camera. So, I openly offered thanks to God with Emily standing still in the presence of this blessed event. I thanked him for the opportunity to live here, to be a witness to the buck's passing through, to experience it all with Emily standing beside me. He moved to the apple tree in front of the back patio where we stood. A total of three points on each side of the antlers. Two at the top and one coming from the side and only 30 feet from Emily and myself. Flitting its white tail, moving its head toward Daisy's barking and prancing. I asked Emily to move slowly back into the door where she had taken my spot holding the door open. She didn't question but complied. This whole scene was so unpredictable. As she backed slowly, the buck seemed to finally notice us and jerked, then ran toward the part of the fence that is not so covered with trees and foliage, where the groundhog lives, and effortlessly jumped over toward the road.

Please, Lord, don't let him get hit. We watch as he ran across the road to the other side as cars passed. He ran north up the road to my mailbox area and then jumped the fence running toward the same area I first saw him Sunday with the coyote. Just as quickly as it began it was over.

I know as years pass, even the etched dear moments will pass through my memory banks. Maybe, when I'm older and lonely for past times Emily will find this and read it to me and make it come alive once again.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Elephant Tales

Emily made an elephant coffee cup when she went with a friend to a local pottery painting place late this summer. She had a blast and could make anything for herself, but she chose to make a coffee cup. For me. At almost ten she already knows the joy of giving is better than receiving, even though it’s difficult for her to practice she did it. I valued the surprise and all it encompassed. I cherished it. I was afraid to use it. I wanted to protect it. I would use it on occasion and cringe as I poured coffee into it. I would fill it with milk and let Emily enjoy drinking from it.

This morning with what I am fighting inside of me, I reached into the cabinet and thought it would be the best cup to use. While Emily readied for school I prepared my coffee. When we were at the front door and Daisy’s leash had been placed, I unlocked the door and heard the bus pulling up. I sent Emily out the door in a rush. I followed carrying an elephant and holding Daisy’s leash.  I tried not to run as I have been instructed not to. But I wanted to make sure she looked both ways and that I got to wave goodbye per our morning departure routine. “Look both ways,” I yell as she sprinted off. “Be kind!”

Sunday night after work I parked my cruiser at the end of the driveway where I rarely park it. As I passed it I thought to set the elephant down on the trunk of the cruiser. It was dark. It was wet. It slid off the truck and shattered into pieces. I knew beyond a shadow of doubt to never be repaired. But I didn’t have time. She was already across the road. I went into a brisk walk to the opening at the end of the driveway. She was on. The bus driver had illuminated the inside of the bus.  She had grabbed her seat on the side of the bus that faces me. She smiles and waves, eager to get to talking with her friends, but per usual takes the time to wave goodbye to Mimi. I wave and smile and in my heart, I want to cry. But I wave and smile to see her off to school and pray she is kind to those around her. As she rides off turning to the other children I can see they are chatting already.

Walking back up the driveway, the shattered elephant cup screams at me. “Look what you did, Donna! Look what you allowed to happen!”

Suddenly the elephant in the room is not the elephant that is shattered at my cruiser trunk.

There are times in my life that I have held myself responsible for the ill that took place. I have struggled with the idea that bad things just happen. I have struggled with the concept that no matter how well I’ve tried to handle a situation I cannot control the outcome. No matter how strong I present.

I have had one of those chapters in my life resurface lately as it does periodically. I’ve tried to encourage myself to remember bad things happen. To encourage myself that it is not a sign of weakness. Showing up and doing what needs to be done to get to the other side is a sign of strength. You cannot stop bad things from happening.

And then Sunday came. And with all it brought I tried to hide again. As much as I could to hide the fact that I was weak again. That I allowed a bad thing to happen, again. That I should have done better. It’s been four days since Sunday and with the elephant cup this morning the “glass was shattered.”

My eyes were open, despite not having my first cup of morning coffee.

Sunday, just before I was supposed to get off early I was dispatched to a disorder call. I won’t go into the details but will tell you in the process of working that call before backup had arrived my head was bounced off the concrete twice. I honestly thought for a split second I was going to die at the hands of a meth user. Split second. Things worked out. Back up arrived and I carried on as if bouncing my head off the concrete was my fault and I had to just fight through it, so I wouldn’t be perceived as weak. I didn’t go to the hospital because in my mine my injuries were not as bad as other officers had experienced. I could hear myself talking, it was like I was outside of myself listening. I knew I was loopy but would not allow myself to succumb to what my mind said was being weak. I worked another 4.5 hours on the case and went home parking my cruiser at the end of the driveway where I rarely park it.

I planned the next day to go straight back to work. I struggled with walking. My head pounded. My right eye was seeing blurry. My wrist hurt. My knee hurt. BUT I was going back to work. Until… I talked to an officer who knows me well. He texted with me about being hard headed and advised I was to go be seen… I even argued with the doctor…and then fought through what another officer who had experienced a concussion was telling me. I was so tired.

Tuesday night, I began to connect with healthier thoughts: “not being able to control the bad things that happened to me as not being a sign of weakness--- that taking care of myself is not a sign of weakness.” I started looking for positive signs from the overwhelming past to give me courage to stand up for myself. I was reminded of a hawk that swooped in and went after a squirrel during a huge battle I was experiencing. What it represented at the time. I received strength from that memory. Just as I now have received strength from the shattered elephant experience this morning as I ponder it.

We are human.

We are not in control of everything.

We do feel pain.

We do have needs.

We can only suit up, show up and do what we can in this out of control world.

We can fight the best we can and know deep in our being that God is our strength.

God is our peace and yes, He can take shattered elephants and use them.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Butterfly Thoughts

 I see this scene often in the back yard...and many times over want to mention it to friends and family...

The beautiful butterfly...needs nutrients and will get it from whatever is available...be it a flower or dog doo. 

"When children get little or no affection and physical comfort, they are vulnerable to anyone who will give them attention." 


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Joy to be Free

This week I have found myself smiling as I worked...or lay in bed...or moved about.

I realized today...my thinking, my thoughts are causing me to grin, to laugh out loud, to pause and be pleased. I pass by a mirror and I don't avoid looking. Sometimes, I look and say, "Hey, there!" to myself.

I know I have lots of prayer cover...I am reminded by those who love and care for me.I'm thankful for God's hand on me and on my mind.

I also think my thoughts are not haunting thoughts as they have been in the past. I am not rehashing the what ifs or why didn't's.

That is so freeing...

That is so me.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Jr CPA 2017/1

Today was Emily's first day of Jr CPA 2017/1. 

I can't begin to tell you how excited she was once she got into the truck. I asked her to tell me about her day, she said, "Well, Where do I start, it was such a big day!"

She got to learn about the Mounted Unit and meet the seven horses, eat Little Caesars pizza, see the new  training facility/the newest academy class at work/talk about taser and pepper spray, challenged to use "Yes, Ma'am, Yes, Sir" through the week, and ..."I got to meet the Chief Mimi!! And I took my picture with him!"

"Have you ever taken a picture with the Chief before, Mimi?"

"Well, I may have but I've not done a selfie with him." 

"I'd say not!! Mimi, that's just wrong!" 🙈

She talked about the friends she made. She even talked about a boy that attended that never said anything to anyone. And how she's gonna try to help him feel more comfortable tomorrow. 💙

She found out from me that I had a video of my Academy class when we were talking about pepper spray. When we walked in the door she just had to watch it. When it first came on she paused it, ran and got a pen and paper and wrote down 12/2007. She said it was homework to find out what class I was in. 

And I can go on and on with the talk. 

So grateful to Ofc. Towery and Sgt. Berry
and the Lex Police Explorers for the awesome job
of working with Emily. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How Hazel Got a Teddy

Hazel came to us at the 100  Acre Wood in a strange way. I was an inexperienced Bun Lover at the time. Although I'm so pleased to have Hazel in my family, I have regrets for my ignorance when she came to us.

August 2015...
My granddaughter came to live with me. I had just adopted two kittens from the humane society, Xena and Amy. I was working full time. I was taking care of my ailing elderly great Aunt. During my 10 hour shift that night on the way to a call, I attempted to take a bathroom break at my house. As I pulled out of the driveway... from the light of my headlamps I spotted a bunny with circles around it's eyes, with an ear and a half. I knew I saw what I saw. But I questioned myself if I really did. Yes, a domesticated bunny with a half ear. I ran and got a box. Remember, I'm an ignorant bunny lover at this point. I caught it, rather quickly and with no time did it escape out of the box as I tried to keep it in. I had to get to my call, so I left.

As soon as the call was complete I came straight back to the house and got out on the radio. I texted a fellow coworker and low and behold she was an experienced bunny lover. I told her about the half eared bunny.  She came over and together we caught the bunny. A bunny with circles around it's eyes and two full ears. I caught it with a children's butterfly net and we got it in the box. It had taken some time so I stationed it in the house with some direction from my friend and we went back to work.

Thus the awakening to a bunny love I never knew I had.

Xena was smittened by her and initially I refused to name her because I thought...someone is missing her. The next day I borrowed a habitat from another person my friend knew who raised bunnies. I went and got a habitat that was bigger. And set the borrowed aside. Until, looking out my kitchen window a few days later, I spy with my little eye, a bunny with circles around it's eyes and an ear and a half.

I will tell you right now, it pains my heart to even write about this. My granddaughter named the first bunny, Hazel. The second bunny, I took to the humane society where a pregnant worker took him from me and fell in love with him. I only assume for my heart pain that she kept him. Hazel mourned her love being taken yet again.

They were both dropped off at my driveway. They were mates. As time went by, I found Hazel to be pregnant. She was probably too young. But she struggled for 20 minutes trying to get the first kit out. They were all eight dead when they were born. We tried everything to revive them. Hazel mourned her babies and our hearts broke.

Xena pretty much adopted Hazel. We didn't know at the time but Xena was either born with or caught feline leukemia at the shelter. She passed this February 2017. She took a piece of us with her. Only a year and a half old, she was adored and admired. I had never had a cat like her. And Hazel mourned her friend.

It's difficult to watch a dependent baby mourn so much. I don't do well with observing suffering. I want to make it better. I found the Bun Bun Brigade that was an hour away. My granddaughter and I took Hazel to see if she would accept Teddy. Yes, we chose Teddy for Hazel through the website. Just like we had done Xena. Amy came with Xena because they seemed to be sisters...and they lived like it, too.

After only one night of sleeping separate, tHazel and Teddy were able to share the habitat.

Now, Hazel has a Teddy. And you get to enjoy the "bun-i-ful" joys of their companionship.

The half eared bunny
He was hungry. She was anxious.

I missed you!!
Xena supervising nest making

Amy loves Hazel, too.

Xena and Hazel

Xena and Hazel

Xena and Hazel

Xena and Hazel


And now you know, the rest of the story.

Follow us on Instagram @ Hazel_has_a_Teddy

Monday, March 20, 2017

One Year Later...This First Day of Spring

One of my favorite reminders this past week when I have complained to Ariel about how I feel after gall bladder surgery…

“Well, Mom, you just had an organ removed this week!”

And so I have and so I have.

I remember having my appendix taken out when I was six and a half months pregnant with Ariel.

I think it’s amazing how we are equipped with all these spare parts. Appendix? Gall Bladder? Who needs them…Why even yesterday; Emily worked on a loose tooth until it was lying in her hand instead of the socket in which it was born.

It’s difficult for me to sit still. But I must as I’ve lost an organ this week.

Today marks the day Aunt Juanita went to her heavenly home. My heart aches and so I take pictures and videos of my sweet babies today trying to hide from the pain.

It’s difficult for me to sit still and think. But again I must as I’ve lost a piece of my heart this year. My anxiety level is high. I am irritable in so many ways that I try to hide it because Emily shouldn’t have to carry the burden nor should my fur-feathered babies. I know Aunt Juanita is in a better place. I finally went by her house the other day. Her neighbor called and said there was a hole in the roof over the front door and she knew Aunt Juanita would not have wanted her home to have such neglect. Aunt Juanita’s executor of estate is truly the same even a year later. I had told the neighbor to call him as he was the one in charge of the Aunt Juanita’s property now. He told her he had nothing to do with it. That it belongs to the bank. I told her to call Code Enforcement. I told her to drop my name. I know that isn’t true as the bank contacts me monthly since Aunt Juanita left us to ask when the executor will be sending a death certificate. I went by her home and took a picture. I couldn’t keep it on my phone. It breaks my heart to see it. But the kind neighbor is right. Just above the front porch is a hole and green moss trails down.  As it rains today…I am keenly aware of the damage that slowly grows on 1616 Strader Drive. I want to stop it from continuing. Probate court says get a lawyer…the bank says get a lawyer. I’m a single Mimi. I don’t have money for a lawyer. I have had dreams this past week of Granny dying and leaving a bird that the executor failed to look after…that I sneak in her house to help it. I’ve had dreams of Aunt Juanita in her home.

Maybe, I can do something. It’s been year. I know in my heart that Aunt Juanita worries nothing about anything here on earth now. But I want to do right by her. Maybe, a door will open.

Maybe, it’s just a simple way to try and heal my heart by trying to save her house just like taking pictures of my babies.

No matter the holes your try to fix the damage is done.

Unlike a surgery recovery or a tooth growing back…some broken hearts never mend.
"Some memories never end.
Some tears will never dry.
My love for you will never die."

Friday, March 17, 2017

A weed in a child's hand becomes a flower or a weed in your mouth can better your health...or everything I learned about dandelions makes me want to roar.

Emily and I left the store with our rabbit greens in tow. Once settled in the truck, the bag of dandelions beside me, I couldn’t resist the urge to pluck one out of the bag and start taking it in my mouth as I had observed Hazel and Teddy do numerous times.

Maybe it was the connection I had with the sweet lady in the store that watched me sort through the dandelion greens, asking me in her broken English how I cooked them. I had lowered my voice as if it were a secret and said, “I don’t. I feed them to my rabbits.” Maybe she didn’t understand what I said or maybe she just wasn’t swayed by my ignorance because she went on to tell me that they are good for me and I could boil them and make tea. Yes, I thought to myself, I had bought dandelion tea before. And yes, I had watched Silas pluck a dandelion once when he wasn’t feeling top notch and tell me it would aid him in feeling better as he just popped it in his mouth and started chewing.

I suddenly thought…I am learning something here that I just didn’t pay attention to before…

So there in the truck, the dandelions looked quite appealing to me and I munched one up. Just like Hazel would. “You ate it, for real?”  Emily gasped from the back seat as she watched it disappear into my mouth. “I did!” I explained in surprise at myself, too. “Well, let me try,” Emily replied. I went on to tell her it was a little bitter but not too terrible. She pinched off a very tiny piece and chewed it.

So curious I began looking up the nutritional value on my iphone. Totally surprised by what I found.

Since then I have had dandelion greens in my shakes that contain spinach, too.

Did you know?

Dandelion herb contains notable nutrients and is a great source of nutrition during winter
This humble backyard herb provides (%of RDA/100g)-
9% of dietary fiber,
19% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine),
20% of Riboflavin,
58% of vitamin C,
338% of vitamin A,
649% of vitamin K,
39% of iron and
19% of calcium.
(Note: RDA-Recommended daily allowance)

So my question is…WHHHHHHHYYYYY are we using pesticides on them?

What if we as keepers of God’s garden are actually “weeding out” the good stuff?

What if we as the recipients of God’s goodness are actually turning our nose up at a simple food?

It’s not like we haven’t done this before when He gives us what we need to succeed.

And the bees…what about the bees…can’t you just find it in yourself to tolerate the dandelions.
I think they are so dandy all the way around.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kids Say The Darnest Things

At bedtime on the evening of the first set of Olympics Sports that Emily watched this year, she said as I put her to bed, “Mimi I want to be in the Olympics when I get bigger. What sport can I do where I won’t get hurt?”

A few days ago, we were talking about how she missed her mommy and daddy. We talked about how Mommy and Daddy have Mimi’s phone number and they can call to visit. I told her, “Remember, there are talking doctors that can help you sort your thoughts while you wait for Mommy and Daddy to visit.” She said, “NO WAY! YOU are all the doctor I need!” I asked her, “What would she do if she was a mommy and her children lived with their Mimi.” Her matter of fact reply? “Well, you see, that would never happen, because I would be raising my children.”

Last night after ballet practice, George treated us to Taco Tico for dinner. EVERY single time Emily enters there she asked the same question to the employee at the register while pointing to the “Now Hiring” sign. “So, what about this? Can I be hired here?” The lady this time told her, “Awe, honey, you have to be sixteen to work here.” She dropped from her tippy toes, a position she had to be in to see over the counter and started counting on her fingers. “Eight more years. I have eight more years.”

When we got our food, as she scarfed hers, she very proudly said, “I want to run for president!” Oh, my, I would surely vote for you, Emily!!! I told her, you know why? Because you have a good heart, you care about people, you are smart and you try hard.

A few minutes later she said in a voice that seemed to be talking to herself… “I want to make a movie and be a star.” Of course I don’t know how much of her thoughts were provoked by the television playing in the corner. But then the news came on.

And there in front of my Emily was the devastated Syrian child shown again sitting  beside himself, in the ambulance, discovering blood on his face and wiping it on the seat as if to separate himself from the trauma. I can’t began to tell you the pain I feel when I see it. I simply detest the sensationalism. The thought that even as a grown man, his inner child will relive this moment because some sorry tail, selfish photo journalist wanted a “prize shot.” A prize shot...of no one giving to the comfort of the hurting devastated child...set the blasted camera down and do something important like give to the child who just had an unbelievable trauma occur. I was in disbelief as it was revealed to my granddaughter as she ate her dinner, despite my having been able to keep her from the exposure for so long now…I said, “This is why I do not let her watch the news. I don’t want her to see the bad in the world.” Emily then said in her self-preservation way…as if she can control the future…because doing so makes her feel safe… “That’s okay. I’m just gonna make sure it never happens to me.”

Kids…do say the darnest things…some funny…some touching…some so very heart breaking.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Slow Learner...But I Get There.

This morning, to face the stress monster, I decided a walk was in order. Holding my phone in my hand refreshing Facebook and Instagram was not healthy and I knew it. It's not that I don't have plenty on my to do list, it's just I said I wouldn't start it until I did some kind of exercise.

I got Hazel in the house and Amy ran in too. Oliver and Ricky were watching out the back window intently discussing loudly the reasons they should be on my shoulder. 

Daisy and I took off… passed the flower garden...Passed the area of tree line the deer bed down with Xena following all the way. She was running top speed. She was whining the whole way…my cat interpreter was recognizing small phrases, like, “wait up!”  “My legs are so short!” “I can’t cry and run, slow down!” 

I took a picture and knew as I did I would have to turn around and take her back. I went a bit further and called for Daisy to come back with me. Confused but obedient, she came. 

Getting Xena into the house, we turned to leave again. Daisy shoots to the work barn and Baby jumps out of the honeysuckle bush and runs to me in the field. It didn’t take me as far as it did with Xena to turn back with Baby. I rationalized it…she’s a bigger cat. She won’t go as far as we will…and I called for Daisy. Calling "Daisy" sounds uncannily like "Baby" so every step I took Baby came as quickly as possible. No Daisy, though. I head back.

I put Baby in the house, grab a leash and walk to the work barn. Getting Daisy by the collar as I converse with my landlord about the deer on the property, I detained ole Daisy Mae. 

This time…we are going to walk the perimeter of the property; NOTHING is going to stop us.

Part way around the property we stopped at the creek for Daisy to cool her heels then we headed onto the west side where the new alfalfa field grows. As we get into that area, I remember the coyotes coming back to this area after they checked on the deer a few days ago in broad daylight. I got myself a bit spooked as I remember I don’t have my weapon. I remember I don’t want to watch two coyotes attack my Daisy without something to assist my fur baby in the fight. But I keep walking. Why? Because I said, NOTHING is going to stop us. I start trying to think about what I have to fight with…a retractable leash and an iPhone. Not my choice of weapons. I think if something were to happen I could call the landlord for assistance…IF he could hear his phone over the noise of the cement mixer. I decided I could keep from the very edge of the tree line and maybe the coyotes wouldn’t be interested. I remembered the family of fox that were interested in Silas, Daisy and I a few plus years ago in the same vicinity. I thought about how Daisy was no match for a male and female coyote…that I was leading her into possible danger. 

So I stopped.

I turned around, took a picture of Daisy in a field of Alfalfa and headed back the way I came…I felt as if I had grown by leaps and bounds. 

I recognized the dangers and acted smart about our safety.

 I didn’t allow myself to keep going in the direction my inner being was telling me not to go. 

I faced the reality that I was not locked into a situation, having to “just deal with it and hope for the best.” 

I can set boundaries. 

I can allow myself an out, it doesn’t make me weak.  

And so I grew. 

And my physical exercise was not the only exercise I experienced…this morning, the morning Emily is off on her first day of third grade adventures.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Which way do we go, George?

We went from living together for a year, then married and living together for 26 years, then divorced, but together living apart now for five years. I can’t explain it and don’t really feel the need to even try. Sometimes though when certain paperwork has to be filled out, or when I introduced George to someone, there is a strong need to be truthful. If I say this is my husband, George then my conscience says, you’re divorced. When I say this is my ex-husband ,George, then my conscience says, he’s not your ex, he’s your partner. When I say, this is my friend, George, my conscience, who presents itself as Donald Duck, starts throwing files around, exclaiming proof of how George is much more than a friend.
Status papers take no place over history.

So Happy 32nd Anniversary to George, you know, the guy I love and with whom I share my life.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Struggle to Select the "RIGHT" Coke Zero is Real Folks

I was struggling again last night. Three reports down, I needed to shake it off. 2300 hours is too late to have a cup of coffee so I decided to drank a Coke Zero…(much influence from George’s daily intake). I stopped by a Speedway in the area where I had an extra patrol. When I located the group. I opened the cooler door to find, “Alum, Team, Coach,” etc. and Naomi. I’m not personally connected to a “Naomi.” It would be silly to get Naomi. Get Naomi. Team would be more suitable since there was a ballgame today and as officers we need to work together as a team. Get Naomi. So, I did.

I cruised back to the area of extra patrol, got dispatched to a call that required an over the phone report. And I continued to work. As I lifted “Naomi” to try and combat the tired, weary feeling.

Biblically in the past readings, I mostly focused on Ruth. But I knew Ruth and Naomi went together like peanut butter and jelly. So I ran a search on Naomi and selected the writing and had Siri read it to me on the way back to ending.

Naomi was a pleasant woman. Very sweet. This changed over ten years.

I was reminded of how they moved to an idolatrous place to escape famine despite God's promise to them that He would never let them be without. How they went to a city, her sons marrying forbidden women, her husband dying, her two sons dying all in the span of ten years.

Naomi returned to her old community bitter, sour and desolate. Some may say she suffered because of their disobedience and not trusting in God’s promise. She blamed God for what she suffered. You have to consider; would her struggles have happened had she been obedient? Noami returned to her land whether to be obedient or not she returned and doing so brought her back to the mindset of relying on God. Her dear daughter-in-law stuck with her and eventually birthed Obed….and his line brought forth the Messiah himself.

I was reminded how no matter the change we make in plans, God controls the outcome. He can bring good out of our bad. He can use sorrow and troubles to bring us closer to him. I was reminded how as humans we tend to look at our circumstances as if we are victims and see no connection to the role we played to bring it into our lives. And I was reminded of a Bible study I did years ago, when I read the Bible more, when I thirsted for it’s truths…The study guide by Fran Sciacca is titled To Yield With All Your Soul. And chapter eight is: Naomi and Ruth—the unexpected sorrow of life. I returned to it this morning…and found the author had written “We are not random people revolving aimlessly in a circumstantial world. We are children of a heavenly Father who is able to use the effects of sin to serve His eternal purpose. And His desire is always to glorify Himself by conforming us to Christ. To misunderstand this vital truth will inevitably lead us onto the low road of resentment rather than the high road of sanctification.”

The author asks "To encourage a struggling believer I would..." hum...share a Coke zero...or at least the story of it.

And so Naomi…dear visit from the past…thanks for keeping me awake and alert…thanks for quenching my thirst…thanks for your life story.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Watching For Suspicious Behaviors

On a bank detail today...It gave me time to work on a report left over from beat staffing last night. So except for being apart from my furry feathered babies it's been okay. I watched a little boy enter with his mother (?) this morning. He was having to run to keep up with her as she towed him by his little hand. She grabbed two suckers as they left and he cried wanting to pick his own. She pulled them out of her wallet as they ran out the door and told him to "stop acting like this in public it's embarrassing." I wanted to stop and talk to her about "embarrassing behaviors" but of course not my place. But his little blonde-ness was upset...and the process of getting a bank sucker had a lot to do with it. That was early this morning...And I forgot about it.

Until after 2PM a grey headed elderly man (in his 60's) walked in, conducted his bank business and left pulling the plastic off a bank sucker, looking for the trash receptacle. I directed him to it. He stuck the sucker in the side of his jaw and exited cheerfully. Not a care in the world showing on his face.
And well. I was suddenly aware of the stark difference in what I had witnessed.

Then there was the elderly couple (70-80 yo) that were in the bank to sign papers on a closing. The agent seated them in the office and left to retrieve something. The little old man crossed his arms across his belly as he sank in the chair and let out the biggest longest belch that has probably ever attempted to enter a public realm. The elderly lady swatted him in a stern motherly manner and fussed low enough I couldn't make out what she said. But he "acted" the part of reprimanded. And they sat quietly waiting for the agent to return.
And then the little ole lady probably 70's who walked into the bank when no other customers were present. Only one teller was present as the others were in back doing something and she said,"it's so quiet in here, it would be a good time to rob a bank." -- she scanned the room to the right to see me sitting there in full uniform...and she looked like she saw a ghost. I said to her, "Ah ha....Uh oh!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Filtering the Moments

Yesterday I woke around 4am. I had thinking that wouldn’t stop. I had a personal battle that returned and amazingly chose to wake me out of my sleep.

But the day was turned around as I made pancakes to take to the park with my daughter and granddaughters. It was a positive challenge, getting up making pancakes, preparing for the adventure and arriving. The highlight of my day. Or so I thought. I posted photos to facebook of the sweetest faces after arriving home even before taking a 20 minute nap. The upcoming 10 hour shift probably needed more but that’s all I got.

So, the shift begins. At Roll Call during the briefing we watch a training video. It is a traffic stop made by an officer who gets shot seven times. The suspect gets away but has a collision during chase by other officers and dies. May seem like a depressing way to start your work night. For us, it keeps us on our toes. We discuss things. We try to rid the element of surprise and face the facts that anything can happen, be prepared and keep moving.

The calls went from there…

*A white teen female seen being pulled by a black teen male with a group of black males who had been previously involved in a disorder. The caller a teacher felt the female was in danger. After hearing my description of the female my fellow officer knew where this female lived. We go to do a welfare check. The grandfather answers the door. He says she’s in the basement. There is a child just under two standing on the kitchen table. Grandpa (late 60’s) is unaware as he shows us to the basement. We get him to attend to the little girl first and he sighs, “She’s so busy.”  We head downstairs. There are three teen females and four teen males. The smell of incense and narcotics in the air. A fifth teen male knocks and is let in the door…

*Another call is a stolen dog. The caller just knows the neighbor has it. I ask the neighbor if I can walk through her house to eliminate the accusation. She willingly escorts me in and immediately starts ranting and raving about how her rights are infringed upon. Her mother lies in a hospital bed with oxygen tube, never moving, seemingly in a comatose state. I gently ask how her mother is, one because I feel she may not be getting the care she needs, two, because I want to connect with the ranting woman and let her see I’m a caring individual. She literally blows up. I am thankful I have enough forewithall to have turned on my recorder at the beginning of the call.

*It was how hot yesterday? Well, take that heat and stand on burning hot asphalt for an hour directing traffic in a very busy intersection. My fellow officer and I made executive decisions to toss our required hats to avoid heat stroke. It was not the call to be on after sucking down a tall coffee 30 minutes before.

*And the elderly man, who lives by himself, a retired military man, who lost his arm and had just been diagnosed with cancer…the radiation treatments so very new to him. He kept trying to call his son-in-law and he the wrong person answering, he felt like “someone was playing a cruel joke” on him. Even his house number was wrong. So he called 911. After calls to his daughter and son-in-law his clarity returned and he poured himself a glass of wine…his daughter stating they are allowing him to drink now that he has cancer. I fail to see the logic.

*While fueling up, I watch what appears to be a drug transaction meet. I copy down both registration plates. The three go into the station, all to the beer cooler, the one comes back and pays for a Foster, and the other two travel passed all points of sale into the parking lot with 40 ounce beers tucked in each cargo pocket. I move from pumping and towards the truck. I’m certain my instincts are right as it’s narcotics and shoplifting. I walk up to the window, speak and the driver throws it in reverse, I step back and he speeds off. By the time I remove the gas nozzle and get in my cruiser and take off they are long gone. And I want to find them. And I set my jaw and began the calls to the registered owner and start toward the address of the registered owner and I call a fellow officer. He listens and asks “How would you like to help me make a difference in a baby’s life instead.” And there’s no hesitation.

*So I end up at the hotel where an eleven month old baby has been left with a heroin user while his heroin using mother is out…Stripping? Prostituting? The drug using male would not let us know but the indicators were there on both accounts. He had warrants. The mother could not be contacted. The grandmother wouldn’t answer the phone. But the cabinet did. And I waited with this trusting soul for 4+ hours. Cleaning the poop off his little raw behind, dressing his little shivering body, feeding him, singing to him, bouncing  and cuddling with him and just 40 minutes before the cabinet came to transport him to the Foster Home…I got him to sleep. I loaded him in the car seat and he woke and looked at me. Unlike a normal baby’s response as they wake to see a stranger, he instead looked at me for a few seconds, sighed and went back to sleep. He turns one next month. He doesn’t crawl, the back of his head lacks the roundness it should…but he can love still…and trust.
One night's shift...so much to process.  So much responsibility.

So this morning…after getting to bed at 3:50am, almost 24 hours later from waking up to face my own battles, I get the mail. There is an article someone wants to share with me. It’s titled “The best thing that ever happened to us.” Taken from TheOptimist.com. And it talks of other experiences how they “allowed the traumas in their lives to improve self-perception to newfound intimacy with others, an enriched philosophy toward life and a drive to find meaning  and impact through professional pursuits…how this is called PTG…post- traumatic growth.” (written by Andrew Tolve).

I read it and then I write…and I share what I write. To educate. To encourage. To praise a God who allows something beautiful to come from brokenness and strife.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Visit

This evening as George was saying his farewell for the day...
we stood outside on the porch and this little flutterby claimed my left hand.
Much like the one on Moma's last day.
It stayed on my hand for probably 20 minutes, much past the time for George to lose interest...and so I had to sit it down. I did so on a black-eyed susan...and it accepted the spot for a few minutes than flew onto the siding of the house. And I don't know what it means. I just know this little butterfly claimed my hand in a sort of friendship. And I'm thankful. Ever so thankful.