Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Banana Belt

Just a short note on living in the banana belt of Colorado. Yesterday morning when we were leaving for our trip to Louisiana, the temperature at our home was 56° at a couple minutes to seven in the morning. When we wound our way out of the foothills to the plains below, the temperature had dropped to 37°.

It's not always that dramatic, but people are always looking up Loveland and telling me how hot or how cold it is at my house, and getting it wrong. We're actually a thousand feet above Loveland, and nestled in the foothills, so we're protected from lots of the weather most of the time. It's called the banana belt, and runs through the foothills in a band. We're cooler in the Summer and warmer in the Winter, at least most of the time, by anywhere from five to twelve degrees, but it can be more.

We got lucky, picking our home. We could have done a lot of research and chosen scientifically and not found a smarter spot. We chose because we loved it up there. We've never been disappointed.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm Now Decorated for Christmas

If you know me, this post won't surprise you. John called Ben this morning and had him help bully me into going to the emergency room, which he had bee unable to do since last night when I flew from the edge of a suitcase to the closet door, nose first. I insisted on going to church first, since we were lighting the advent candle this week.

It's a good thing I wasn't supposed to sing, like John thought I was, since I couldn't breathe, let along play the guitar. My right hand got mashed as well, along with my back and neck. I hit hard. I couldn't see any sense in going to the emergency room. I had gotten the bleeding to stop, after all. Wow, there was a lot of it, too. I put ice on it. What more could anybody else do?

Here's what they could do. They could do a cat scan of my head as well as ex-rays, and tell me that although I didn't have a skull fracture, I did have a broken nose and a concussion. Then they gave me some medication for the nausea which was getting progressively worse because blood was still dripping into my stomach. That's what the doctor explained. So I can't take aspirin for the headache, but I can take my good headache tablets that I keep on hand for migraines. The other pains will go away eventually.

He also approved our going on the trip, and gave us seven pages of instructions for care and warning signs—when to pull off the highway and look for another emergency room, in other words. I was also told that within two days both eyes would most probably be several shades of black, yellow and purple.

"I know why this happened," I told him. Of course, he was interested in that. "From the time I was very small, I was extremely proud of having the smallest nose in my family. I don't think God takes kindly to people being very proud of things they didn't do anything to deserve."

The doctor, of course, disagreed. "I don't think He's that petty. Was there an ancillary reason?" (Yes, he actually used that word. Maybe he was trying to see if my vocabulary had been scrambled.)

"Well, there was a suitcase on the floor that I didn't see in the dark," I admitted. He laughed and told me that he was willing to bet that was the reason, and not my first guess. He then told me I wasn't to walk in the dark anymore. Ever. For any reason. He was actually a lot of fun.

John put the suitcase back on the bed this morning, and I filled it tonight. Now we can leave for Louisiana in the morning. By Tuesday night (weather cooperating, of course) we'll pull up with the trailer in front of Jeremy and Elisha's home. Ready or not, here we come. And I won't walk in the dark...

Friday, December 17, 2010

For Jeremiah, in Memory

The Christmas season is a time when families gather together, and those who are no longer with us are painfully missed. As most of you know, we have just returned from welcoming our first Grandson into the world.

Jeremiah True Harrell was born November 17th with a bright spirit, but too little blood to sustain life. Heroic measures failed, and he passed from his earthly father's arms into his Heavenly Father's arms after just ninety minutes of life.

His parents, Jeremy and Elisha, have asked me to thank you for all your prayers, and I hope you will continue with that. They also request that anyone so inclined will donate blood in Jeremiah's memory. You may save another little one's life.

I sing this song in his honor, and in memory of all those whom we miss during this holiday season and beyond.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On The Road Again

We've been at my mom's in California, gone from home for nearly two weeks. We went to help her celebrate her 90th birthday, and it was really great to be with her. We also got to see some dear friends, although we were very rushed, since we were only there a week, plus three days on the road each way.

My sister Ellen is always the best hostess. She put together a marvelous dinner party for Mom and us on the 11th, with home made manicotti, too many great appetizers to count, and a beautiful cake she created out of a cheesecake and cream puffs. It was drizzled with chocolate syrup, and topped with candles—not only beautiful, but perfectly delicious. As always, I left wanting more of my sister.

We'll stay home long enough to unpack, wash clothes, repack, go to church, and bake cookies for our good neighbor Doug, who watches over our home when we're traveling (and when we're home, he's just a great guy to have around.) Then on Monday we'll take off again. We'll go to Louisiana. What? We were just there. We just don't want the kids to be alone on Christmas. Why should we do Christmas alone at our home, and have them be alone at theirs? It's better to be together.

We'll pull the trailer and continue to pray for decent weather and safety on the road, since we don't usually travel during the Winter months. This time the trailer will have their new bed in it, and they'll have John to help them turn the nursery into a guest room. I'm so glad they wanted us back. It seems unfair that some strange mess up has postponed their trip, but there's nothing any of us can do about that. We do only what we can. The rest is out of our hands.

Someone at Bingo, referring to the tragedy of Jeremiah's death, asked me why this would happen. "How can things like this happen? It's so unfair!" I've heard that so frequently lately, and I know what they mean. I told her what I've heard myself saying lately. Unless we're going to question every blessing we receive, it's not really fair to question the trials.

I've had too many blessings to count. We're going to Shreveport to visit a couple of them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We Give Up — Temporarily

John recorded me singing at church yesterday. It was a memorial for Jeremiah True, and we can see it in the video camera. There's a little problem, though. We can't get it to transfer to the computer. He pushed a wrong button which switched the camera to a different mode. All the video clips which were currently in the camera became invisible on the camera's monitor screen, but are visible when you try to download on the camera. (I'll admit, though, that when you push the download button, all you get is a beep.)

The recording of me singing for Jeremiah is clearly visible and playable on the camera's monitor. However, when you attach it to the computer to download, it disappears. No amount of fussing and button pushing will make it appear for download. We've read the manual. We've tried the Mac and the PC. John sat up trying "just one more thing" until two a.m., even though we're leaving for California this morning and he's pulling a trailer. He's that kind of man. He was the one making the recording, so he blames himself.

I know it's my fault. I thought the camera was so easy I didn't think he needed to practice. Push one button, point and shoot. But there are a lot of buttons, and he doesn't hold the camera the same way I do, so "the one by your right thumb" isn't a very clear instruction. We should have practiced. What he did was turn on the long playing feature, which apparently stores the clip somewhere else or some way else. It also, unfortunately, makes the clip a very low resolution.

My feeling is that we should just wait until we're in California and have the beautiful little church we used to attend available and go down there to St. Matthews and set the camera up and let me play it again. He can record it again. It will be the same song, with the same feelings—how could I ever sing it and not feel what I do for Jeremiah?

Still, I think we'll end up at one of those photo transfer places where they might be able to help us. John thinks that's the way to go, and he's so very often right. Meanwhile, if you're waiting for this... sorry. I haven't been thinking too clearly lately.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Food Court Flash Mob: Hallelujah Chorus

It happened at the Welland Seaway Mall in Ontario, Canada, on November 13, 2010. It's gone viral on YouTube. Over one hundred members of Chorus Niagra, a group of singers from local churches, colleges and homes, infiltrated the mall food court. The video that was taken that day has been watched well over 5 million times.

Because they allow people to embed it, I'm sharing this treasure with you. I hope it brings you the joy I just received when my high school friend Anita sent the link to me. (Thank you, Anita.)