Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Dance

The song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams that was featured in Despicable Me 2, and nominated for an Oscar, is one of my new favorite songs.  It literally makes me want to dance like a Peanuts character when I hear it.  Given this week is the ultimate in March Madness as the in-state rivalry between Louisville and Kentucky will occur once again this Friday night, everyone is dancing in the streets.  This video is a "Happy" version made at the University of Louisville.  I'm really pushing for an NAOBC "Happy" dance video.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Veteran Mistake

Last night was the Louisville Cardinals first game, and first victory, of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.  The game got started late due to the previous game's overtime and pitted "Mentor against Student" with a face-off between Coach Rick Pitino and Coach Steve Masiello.  Steve was a former player and assistant for Rick and now coaches the Manhattan Jaspers.  It was some kind of cruel irony for that to happen.  

At the half, Rick was interviewed on the performance of the team that kept them way too close at the break.  Russ Smith, Senior leader on the team, had made some misses the first half that didn't help matters.  When asked about Russ, Rick said, "You can't be a veteran and do that."  I love that.  Boom.  You nailed it.  That is going to be my new motivational quote at work.  Success happens when you take your experience and make the right moves.

I've been a follower of Christ since I was 8, which means I've been a believer longer than some have been alive.  That makes me a veteran.  But I still make mistakes.  I still sin.  I still doubt God's faithfulness.  On the basketball court of life, I'll shoot and miss much more than I'll sink a three pointer.  But when I sit down with my Coach, my Savior, at the end of each day, He doesn't say "You can't be a veteran and do that."  Oh, I'm remorseful of sin; I grieve over it.  But my human nature will commit it even when I long to do otherwise.  

No, you see, my Savior says to me, "You are a veteran, but without Me, you will do that."  He says to me, "I forgive you.  Now go out there and defend my Name."  The best position to play in the game we call life is a child of the King.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Refrigerator Saga

When I give thanks on a daily basis, I usually point out specific events or issues that occurred in the previous 24 hours.  I also, quite frequently, include the essentials of life - like a roof over my head, transportation, etc.  But, today, I am very thankful for an operational refrigerator.  Because a few weeks ago, that wasn't something working for me and definitely part of my life I took for granted.

I woke up one morning and realized the water in my bottle that I drink every morning, didn't seem as cold.  When I investigated both the fridge and freezer, it appeared things weren't operating properly.  I immediately called the appliance repair man.  I can't say enough about AAA Appliance Repair.  They have saved my washing machine from demise more than once and they are quick and trustworthy.  Good ole David, the owner, came out and took a look.  David is quite the talker.  About everything.  From his bargain basement big screen television to how everyone should buy American-made cars because it's a plot to overthrow the US government.  But, he gets the job done, so I humor him.  After a board was replaced, the compressor kicked on and I was back in business. 

A few days later (Saturday to be exact), I went to the grocery and was loading up my fridge and freezer when I got a bad feeling.  It sure didn't seem like it was working.  Oh the fridge side was cool, but the freezer side wasn't frozen.  Lovely.  Since I'm not Princess Elsa and can't whip up frost by a wave of my hand, I called the repairman again.  Of course, it's the weekend, and he's not working, but I might as well be head of the class come Monday morning.  I kept my fridge doors closed as much as possible all weekend and hoped for the best.  After an evening snowstorm, I suppose I could have put all my food outside, but given my string of events, the animals from the woods nearby would probably have ripped into it for breakfast.  I called Dave first thing Monday (we're on a first name basis) and he explained he couldn't make it until Tuesday, but he had an idea of what the problem was.  After his 30-minute explanation of boat repair from the weekend, I hung up the phone and then I called around to find dry ice.  Kroger's down the street had it, and off I went.  

As I loaded up my blocks of dry ice and headed to the self scan, I scanned and weighed my ice and the nice talking scanner told me to show my ID to the attendant.  Ok, two points of note here...1.  When did dry ice become card-able merchandise? and 2.  I'm way over the 21 age mark and, although I look fabulous, I suspect most would guess me over 21.  After pulling out my ID, the attendant explained that dry ice is considered a controlled substance. Some folks use it to make bombs.  Aside: Some people need more to do or further education if they are spending their time making bombs from dry ice.  I hauled my precious substance blocks home and got my food cooled down.  Dry ice is amazing.  I had never been this intimate with it before, but I truly found it rescuing!

Tuesday came, Dave was early (yes!) and began his work.  The perplexed and concerned look on his face didn't make me comfortable.  He began to disassemble the fridge and discovered the board was merely a life support system.  The fridge was now pronounced dead.  I have to admit, after so much loss in my life in the last 10 months, I'd about had all I could handle of loss...even a soul-less refrigerator.  Plus, I just had replaced this one six years ago so you would think it would have lasted longer.  Dave offered to take the new board he replaced out, replace it with my old one and give me a refund on the part.  You gotta love an honest repairman.  He said, "You know what I'm going to do with this new part?"  "No, Dave, but I bet you are going to tell me."  He plans to keep it and sell it at a discount rate to some senior adult on a fixed income that needs their fridge fixed.  Bravo, Dave, bravo.  My dry ice was melted, I needed a fridge, and off to buy more dry ice I went.  

After I procured more dry ice, I started searching for a fridge.  The recent snowstorm had delayed anything being delivered before Thursday, so I opted to go with the cheapest I could find (that wasn't a GE).  Delivery was set, dry ice chilling, and life was somewhat back in order.  Until Thursday.

The delivery men came that morning and I was thrilled!  I had bought Kroger out of the one last block of dry ice left Wednesday night to keep me cool until delivery.  As they prepped the space for the new appliance, it was determined that the space wasn't big enough.  WHAT?  My new 25 cubic foot fridge would have to be jammed in the space made for a 22 cubic foot fridge.  The delivery guys were precious.  Upon my questioning their recommendation, they advised against that action.  And I agreed.  So they called the store to see how fast they could get me a replacement.  You see, small fridges aren't kept in stock, just big ones.  Who knew?  They even lobbied to have the store let them hook up a loaner in my garage just to get me through the next 24 hours.  (No dice) New fridge was set for delivery on Friday and now I was off to find more dry ice.  Really, it's no wonder the Feds didn't come to investigate me since I'd bought enough dry ice to blow up the White House in those last two weeks.  

Friday morning the delivery was smooth and the fridge fit perfectly.  I reloaded the fridge and freezer yet again (for about the fifth time) and stood in awe of its beauty.  Never did 22 cubic feet look so beautiful. It's now been over a week and things are humming smoothly and everything is frozen and cold.  I decided to name the fridge "Olaf" in honor of the snowman from Frozen.  Maybe having a name will make it feel more loved and needed at the Red Rose Inn.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five Minutes: Crowd

Each week Gypsy Mama chooses a word to write about for five minutes. No editing, stream of consciousness. Today's word is: Crowd.

Ready. Set. Write.

I don't like crowds.  I attribute this to being an only child.  But the older I get, the less I like them.  Oh I love people, but crowds make me nervous.  I remember my first trip to Disney World as a child.  I was awestruck.  I had waited to go for a long time and when I did, it was all I had dreamed of and more.  Being at the happiest place on earth was still daunting as I feared losing my Mom or Dad in the crowd and getting separated.  I'll never forget my Dad holding my hand almost every time we got into a thick crowd of people.  And my poor Mom sacrificed riding rides alone so I wouldn't be on a ride solo.  If I got scared, my Dad would hold my hand or lean over and kiss my cheek.  It was the best kind of protection in a crowd.

Crowd reminds me of the women who was pressing through a crowd to touch Jesus.  Just to touch the hem of His garment.  She was an outcast.  She had suffered from an issue of blood for twelve years and amidst the scary onslaught of people, she persevered to get to Jesus.  And she did.  And He healed her.  And her life was never the same.

That crowd didn't keep her from her Creator, her Savior and her Redeemer.  May I never allow the chaos of a crowd keep me from reaching to Him when I'm in need.