Archive | July, 2010

That’s How It Goes

24 Jul

A heads up. This post might just be a deluge of random feelings and events that have occurred recently. Be prepared for major rambling. It’s ok to get bored and read something else. I won’t be offended. I would probably do the same.

Today, I left work to drive to a friend’s house to drop off our lease for next year’s housing. She lives all the way in Kettering, so I left the base on the McClerron Memorial Skyway, took off down I-675, and exited at Dorothy Lane. Dorothy Lane is a pretty busy thoroughfare, but I lucked out and passed through it without difficulty. I got to her house, found she was not home, and turned around to repeat the process in reverse. I’m going into detail because, in reflection, this is exactly how my mind analyzed the events of this evening. I thought about each step in detail, because I need the focus. I find that a great tragedy of life is my tendency to just gloss over the small moments and focus on the big. That’s life. That’s how it goes.

I turned off of her street, back onto Dorothy Lane, and headed west back to 675. I passed California Dr. An ambulance drove by and I pulled over. I passed Purdue Rd. A fire truck drove by and I pulled over. I passed the BMX park. Another ambulance drove by and I pulled over.

As I drove up the massive hill towards the intersection at County Line DR, I noticed something different from when I first drove down Dorothy Lane. There were three fire trucks, three police cars, and two ambulances lined up at the tope of the hill, blocking the over 5 lanes of traffic, all except for mine. Traffic slowed to a crawl as I inched up the hill, and at the summit, a red light caught me at the stop bar.

I saw something that has since turned into one of those moments that won’t be glossed over for me. A black SUV was pulled into an adjacent parking lot. The front end of it was crunched all the way back, but the driver appeared fine. He was talking to a paramedic. I looked to my left anxiously. A beige Oldsmobile was sitting diagonally in the turn lane on the other side of County Line DR. Paramedics were swarming the vehicle. And inside was a feeble old man. His handicapped tag was still hanging from the rearview. His eyes were closed and his head was rolled back against his seat. The left front wheel was lying on the ground, the entire left half of the car punched in and marred with black paint. It looked like the car just started to crumple into the ground and was awkwardly listing to one side.

It was a pretty horrific accident. I was an involuntary witness to the aftermath. The paramedics pulled a white sheet out of the back of the ambulance and draped it over the driver’s side window. Maybe they were just covering him so he wouldn’t get hit with the glass and sparks when they cut his door off. But all I could think is that he was dead. In just a second, an un-glossed over second, that man’s whole existence changed. He didn’t ask for that SUV to maul the side of his Oldsmobile. He was probably going to turn right onto Dorothy Lane – maybe he was going to the grocery, or maybe he was going to drive all the way down to Ackerman DR and go home. Wherever he was going, he never made his destination. In an instant, the plans for the rest of his life, as long or as short as it turned out to be, changed. And it was all in an instant. That’s life. That’s how it goes.

I won’t lie, I teared up a little. I won’t lie. It was actually a lot. I won’t lie. It was actually more like sobbing. This morning, I was speaking with my counselor about my Uncle Dave. He died nine years ago as a result of a car accident. He had muscular dystrophy just like my little bro, and he had a breathing tube because he had respiratory failure. In an instant, in that car accident, his breathing tube was severed. He lost oxygen to his brain, and as a result, he lost all cerebral function. He never woke up. My mom had to turn off his life support. In an instant, on July 4, 2001, everything changed for my family. But that’s life. That’s how it goes.

When I saw that man, all I could think of was my uncle. Did either of these guys ask for that instant that didn’t go according to plan? They didn’t know what was going to happen when they woke up in the morning? Did their families know they might never see them again. My family had no idea. I was ten years old, living in Oakwood, Georgia. I probably went swimming the day Uncle Dave was in that car accident. I probably played cars with Alan, I probably drew some puppies, I probably chased a few butterflies. My mom probably was reading, or painting a picture, or working out with Denise Austin. My grandma, the driver of the car, probably woke up that day to pleasant sunshine. She probably remarked that it would be a nice day to go out to lunch, or sit outside and enjoy their garden. None of us knew.

What I’m trying to say, in a very roundabout way, is that, in all honesty, every moment is incredibly precious. God has larger plans than any person around. His plans for us might not always go in accordance with what we are expecting, and in an instant, everything can change.

So live with passion. Tell your loved ones that you love them. Make sure they know it. I have plenty of baggage, but perhaps one of my largest sources of turmoil is the fact that I never told Uncle Dave how much he meant to me, how much he inspired me to change this planet, how much I absolutely loved him. I was ten; I never considered that such tumultuous things could happen in my pleasant, peaceful life. In reality, these things can and do happen. Before they do, never let the people you love slip too far away.

I’m thinking about the effects of rapid, instantaneous change a lot recently. Because, here goes – I’m going to be baptized on July 30. (Annette, does this count if my parents read our blog? haha). I know it’s going to be great. I know it’s going to be the best decision ever. I know all the things I have read over the past few months are certainly legitimate. I know I will stop making all of those horrible life decisions that keep me awake every night with sick feelings of guilt and shame. And I know my life will be BETTER.

But I know what instantaneous change does. It throws you face to face with uncertainty, whether you like it or not. I don’t want to lose my family over this. I don’t want them to resent me or think I’m crazy. And I want to be able to communicate all of this freely and easily. Easy seems to be a rare and elusive creature these days. That’s life. That’s how it goes.

So, in summation, please wish me luck. That is me being a little selfish – I want all of your luck, ALL of it! (I think I need it that badly).

But on another more important note, take a few chances to look at all of the details. Refuse to gloss things over. When the big moments come, the ones that will shake you and leave you wondering what exactly happened, you will regret forgetting all of the minor events subtly shaping your life. Count every single second, and every single person, and every single breath, as the most important one yet. Life is honestly too fragile and too turbulent to do otherwise. That’s how it goes.

Joy

22 Jul

*This post is full of links to click on…keep your eyes peeled for them….and click on them so you know what the hootle I am talking about.

My heart is full. I sit here in my big room by myself and just bask in the happiness and pleasantness that is my life  right now. It is that kind of happiness that seems to change my laugh to an even happier-than-normal one.  I have an all new giggle.

So, I sit here in my pajamas after having slept in, and waking up not because of my alarm or a text, but by a combination of a little ray of sun from the bottom of my closed blinds and the fact that I was done dreaming.  I rolled out of bed. Stumbled around a little, brushed my teeth, said a little prayer of thankfulness as I swished around my listerine, and then knelt down and prayed that Elisabeth may be comforted in her trials.  Then I laid in bed, cranked up my electric blanket and read Eat, Pray, Love (soon to be a movie) for hours.  But not all of that time was spent reading.  Between the light, witty, beautiful paragraphs of that book I would think about all the things that are making me so incandescently happy. (Incandescetly: of outstanding and exciting quality; brilliant) This list is a combination of recent happenings and random things I have always been fond of.

1. First and foremost is of course my job. My coworkers to be more exact. There is something about them. A greater, more amazing group of people I have never encountered. We recently had a Thanksgiving feast…in July.  Before we ate, we went around the table and said what we were grateful for and it was an amazing moment.  I might blog about that night one day: talk about all the laughter and how it really felt like we were a family that got together for Thanksgiving, but right now it is just a fond memory that I want to just remember for a while before I share it with the internet.

2. I love beautiful music. Like this, and this, and this, and this.

3. I love laying under trees–wether to read, sleep, or just relax.

4. I love reading this blog.

5. I love how there are people in my life who I can have fun with doing anything, and who are nice to just talk to.

6. I love the mindblowing realizaition I have come to. It goes like this.  I bet I walked by some of my coworkers, or stood in line at the bookstore behind them, or scooched by them at concerts in the HFAC or devotionals in the Mariott trying to get to my seat ALL THE TIME last year and didn’t even know they would become my best friends in the future.  I sat in the audience of almost ever choir concert (you see, singing is a talent I wish I had which I most definitely don’t, but I have always had a deep appreciation for it which I credit to my Dad who once turned to me on a road trip after a choir selection was played on NPR and said “Did you hear how beautiful that was, Net? That is art.”) and listened to the University Singers in complete awe every time, not knowing that a certain blonde first tenor who stood behind the piano would become the soundtrack of my summer.

7. I love little known T.V. shows that I think are brilliantly hilarious, and the cute boy that introduces them to me.

8. I love swings, big trees, fireworks, and libraries.

9. I love my “brother” Skyler and our out of the ordinary relationship that takes us on hikes at high noon and allows me to voice concerns about my future I hadn’t even figured out in my own head yet.  And I love how Skyler is calm about things when I am not and says beautifully comforting things like “Don’t worry Annette, my life is not going any direction I had planned either–I am sure you will be successful.”

10. I love the gospel I have been so very blessed with in my life that tells me I can be with my family forever no matter what happens. I love watching this gospel begin to change and bless the lives of others who felt lost before.

11. I love this song for reasons I can’t really explain because I never really did like the Dixie Chicks all that much.

12. I love this place, and fantasizing about just going back so I can watch the sunset behind the Organ mountains just one more time.

13. I love that even though I left my phone in the grass and it got absolutely soaked through, it still works this morning and I could still get texts like “That’s ok. Have fun!” from Megan Nield.  “For serious, I will be ready to take on the world tomorrow!” from Elisabeth and “Annette+me+reading in the shade+dinner+movie+freaks and geeks+my ridiculous words=best night EVER! Thanks for everything :)” from the before mentioned tenor.

14. I love my name.

15. I really REALLY love that Blake knows the Safety Kids songs as well as I do.

My Little Tally

20 Jul

“Hey Annette, I have a good joke for you:  Where does Darth Vader go shopping?”

“I don’t know Tally. Tell me.”

“At the Darth Maul!:”

Reason #37281087465 why I miss my little Tally.

She is real hardcore.

Sometime in the past year or so she went from being adorable to beautiful.

I have a major life update

18 Jul

I’ll let you just draw your own conclusions about what that update might be.

Sensitive

13 Jul

In 5th grade, I wrote a report about Napoleon Bonaparte. I dressed up like him, and read the report to the class while pacing around and pretending to be a courageous, ambitious, and oftentimes cruel French general and eventual emperor. I made a hat and medal out of construction paper. I wore my mother’s huge trench coat. I was one intimidating 5th grader! I portrayed a man that has historically been portrayed as scary, brilliant, and bloodthirsty.

I forgot about his sensitive side.

C.A. Life

9 Jul

Here is a glimpse into the life of a C.A.

Me, and an unsuspecting Timothy.

Like Crushing Ice in the Blender

8 Jul

Sometimes you haven’t the slightest idea what the heck is going on, let alone what is going to happen next.

It makes things more fun in my opinion. Terrifying, but fun. Like roller coasters, or crushing ice in the blender (does anyone else think that is pretty terrifying?).

Now sit back, relax, and listen to my favorite song of week.

I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.  ~Jack Handey

My life has a superb cast but I can’t figure out the plot.  ~Ashleigh Brilliant

Living involves tearing up one rough draft after another.  ~Author Unknown

Human life is purely a matter of deciding what’s important to you.  ~Anonymous

My quest for cosmic understanding is a book I have picked up and put down many times, always forgetting to insert a bookmark.  ~Robert Brault

Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.  ~Author Unknown


The sound of Home.

4 Jul

Off we go, into the wild blue yonder

Climbing high into the sun.

Here they come, zooming to meet our thunder, At ’em Boys (and girls)! Give ’em the gun!

Down we dive, spouting our flame from under

Off with one helluva roar!

We live in fame, or go down in flame

Chuck Yeagar-the first supersonic pilot.

Hey! Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

My Dad.

I worked Stadium of Fire last night. Carrie Underwood was performing. The fireworks were spectacular. However, I really didn’t care about famous country singers or brightly colored explosions. All I cared about was the fly-over from Hill Air Force Base.

I realize my excitement for the 10 second event may seem a little pathetic. But let me explain. To all you people with Hometowns. Imagine if instead of your hometown being Pleasantville, Somestate–it was a sound.  My home is the sound of Jet Noise. That fly-over felt for me like going home to the house you grew up in for all of you.  It was a big deal for me. I admit it…I cried.

I love the Air Force. Love Love Love.