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Monday, August 27, 2012

IT IS WHAT IT IS


It is what it is...

Or…It is the perfect chocolate cake…


I will come right out and admit it.  I have said ‘it is what it is’ on more than one occasion lately.  I have also sang--at the top of my lungs in true Doris Day fashion and to the dismay and protest of many co-workers, “Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be."   ~redneck pronunciation: Kay- so- rah- so- rah~ (not to be confused with the cheer…rah rah ree kick ‘em in the knee) I love that song and the saying... but it doesn't make either one right.

We have a hundred little sayings (just sayin’) that we rattle off because they sound a little bit witty and because we assume most folks know what we are talking about and appreciate the humor. But the last time I said, “It is what it is.” I had an uncomfortable feeling right smack dab in the pit of my stomach. Some people would call that your conscience, some say it is a little devil and a little angel having a big old throw down on your shoulder and some say you are insane 'cause you are talking to yourself and you need to be committed asap (can't even imagine who they would be talkin' about). But experience through the years has taught me that when I get that twisty, crazy, ‘bout to throw up any second feeling in my gut, it usually means I need to “check myself before I wreck myself.” 

“It is what it is”.  What does that mean exactly? Does it mean that we just memorized a portion of the Serenity Prayer -- “Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…Amen...The End?  Does it mean we have finally reached that point where we think no matter what we do nothing is going to change and we've stopped asking for courage to change the things we can or even pray for the wisdom to know the difference?  Does it mean we have simply give up? After all…’it is what it is’ right? Trying to change it is just way yonder too much trouble and will require more energy than we can really muster.

I understand that, I really do. Hey, I love nothing better than to have my scorching conscience and convictions soothed by a nice, cool, double helping of excuses to explain how I am just accepting God’s will or that this is  just a lesson I needed to learn and eventually karma will come around and sting somebody in the beehind and I will see justice done and feel so much better in the sweet by and by.  It is what it is, right?  Because I am lazy and don’t want to work that hard or have to admit I might have some responsibility for the problem. It is so much easier just to throw up my hands and say, “whatever will be will be”, but deep down I know better.

Of course it is what it is if you stand on the sideline and just let nature take its course, if you are willing to just let life happen to you instead of living life, then you are guaranteed it will be whatever someone else decides it will be. The tide ebbs and flows, the storms bring rain and wind, the sun shines and the darkness falls. And YOU have no control. That will certainly make things a lot simpler when you don’t have to do anything.  It is what it is— and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. How uncomplicated and convenient is that?

Is this really how we were meant to live or how we want to live? A place where every decision good or bad is made for us by some phantom “it”? I certainly know the God I worship would not be pleased with “it”. He gave us free will and a brain to think for ourselves and decide our own destiny and he gave us a heart to warn us with that ‘twisty, crazy, ‘bout to throw up feeling right smack dab in the pit of our stomach' to tell us when something is just not right.

Stop!!! Right here!!! ~Man..I wish I was technically savvy enough to cut and paste a stop sign right here…how cool would that be???~    (Okay…focus Squirrely Girl…focus…)

BUT SERIOUSLY...STOP!!…and think about that for a second or two..maybe three.

 God created us and loves us and cares about each of us so much He would say, “Make up your own mind. I gave you all you need. I gave you not only the intelligence but the free will to be the captain of your own ship. What you do today and tomorrow is completely up to you, I trust my creation because.—well--I am God. I created man in my own image and I said, IT IS GOOD….not…"IT IS WHAT IT IS”.

And what do we do? We say, “Oh well..that is fine for everybody but me...for me..well..it is what it is.”  Like we were all just thrown in the mixing bowl with the eggs, flour, milk and…(forgive me…when I start talking about eggs and flour it immediately makes me think of Chocolate Cake) anyway…WE are NOT just thrown together, it is not a mishap or an accident that you are here or that I am here. We are part of a perfect recipe.

You have a purpose and a meaning. You are important and what you can give to this world is unique and indispensable. You are needed, you are wanted, you are the intricate color that makes the canvass come to life. It might be just a smile or a kind word. It might even be a strong word to the right person when they need it. But you are not a coincidence or here by chance. You are everything that surrounds you every single day. You are your mother’s smile or your daddy’s strength, your sister’s shoulder or brother’s strong arm, your grandparent’s history and future, your soul mate's soft place to fall, your child's safe harbor, your aunt and uncles’ pride and joy, your cousin’s confidant or the rock for your best friend.  You are an inspiration to each life you touch, in good times and in bad. You are super duper schmancy fancy smarty pants incredible!   You are the perfect chocolate cake because you have all the ingredients you need inside of you right now. You get to decide what ‘IT IS’…every morning, noon and night.  So make what it is …AWESOME!

Love and safety through the storm…

~Squirrely Girl

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

THERE"S NO PLACE LIKE HOME


There’s No Place Like Home…

....Except maybe a Bass Pro Shop

Yesterday I was asked to do an interview with a local T.V. station about the issue of homelessness in our local area. Since that’s what I do for a living, it seemed like the right thing to do. Although…there was no notice and I did not have time to put on my camouflage make-up to hide the wrinkles, my blackest outfit to hide the bulges or my:
handy dandy all purpose curling/flat/straight/fluffy/smooth/shiny/no frizz hair styling products and tools. But the lady was real nice. She said all you have to do is talk. Talk? Oh…I can talk..bring it on.. I got this. I  don’t have a clue what I said. Apparently I compared my agency to a Bass Pro Shop and you just know somebody somewhere out there in T.V. Land..said ...“Honey, did she just say Bass Pro Shop? Rewind that…let’s send them some money.” I speak fluent redneck.

Now--I told you all that to tell you this--I did not say all that I really wanted to say because my hair was frizzy and I looked bloated and there is no way to concentrate under that sort of pressure. But I had a lot of good stuff rattling around in my brain so I will just say it here.

I work with the homeless or those who are at risk of being homeless. Depending on where you live, that can conjure up a lot of pictures in your mind. I grew up thinking homeless meant that for whatever reason ( you are probably a drunk)… you end up on the street panhandling and sleeping in a cardboard box. That does happen, even in our rural area. But now that I have grown up (debatable) I understand that there are many reasons why someone might be drunk panhandling on the street and sleeping in a cardboard box. Homelessness has a very new face today... a very young face, sometimes as young as one day old. Most of my clients are families. These are families who have worked most of their lives. Parents who have never asked for assistance of any kind and they don't know even know where to begin. Normal folks just like me (questionable) and you. Going along with their lives, making ends meet, doing the best they know how and then—something happens.

Sometimes the car breaks down on the way to work and they don’t have the money to fix the car so now they can’t go to work to make the money to fix the car…Catch 22. Or someone gets sick and with or without insurance the income is gone or cut in half and the medical expenses add up. Medical expenses are more than just paying the doctor or hospital. You need gas to go to a doctor. In a rural area with gas pushing $4 a gallon, driving 200 miles round trip to see a specialist adds up fast. Co-pays add up fast, two weeks of no work and extra expenses add up fast and any one of those things can be the domino that forces all the others to fall on their face. Before you know it you are one month behind on rent plus late charges, late on the electric and just putting food on the table is a struggle. This is how many cases of family homelessness begin. And yes, sometimes there are just bad decisions or issues of drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, and mental health. But you know what? The children in those families can’t help that. The reasons have to be addressed if we are to truly help them succeed, but discriminating between how someone became homeless doesn’t help a thing.

The nice lady from the news station told me that people have said to her, “The more programs you have for the homeless, the more homeless people you will have.”  And I had someone recently say to me, “Well, if you are going to be too lazy to work and want a free ride, what better place to be homeless than down here on the beach.”  Remarkably, that person walked away with no bones broken and face still intact. It makes me madder than a wet settin’ hen when people sit in their ivory towers and judge someone they don’t even know. I have been called a liberal and a socialist and a few other things I can’t say on a public blog well.... sticks and stones may break my bones but stupid people don’t bother me.  I believe we are our brother’s keeper and we should help everyone whether they deserve it or not. What they do with that help is between them and God. I am not held accountable for what they do, but I will be held accountable for what I do not do. I am commanded to love my neighbor as myself and “myself” does not want my children sleeping in a car or in a tent or in a house with no running water or electricity. Do you know two words you should never hear together? Homeless and children. The bible has a lot to say about that if we can read past all the popular sins people seem obsessed with discussing.

But I digress…again. I promise you I did not just burst out into a Bass Pro Shop commercial during the interview (of course that is never entirely out of the question). I use the Bass Pro Shop analogy because:

1. I am bored with the ‘give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish’ saying.

2. It really is my philosophy. I know that you can feed, clothe and shelter anyone for a little while. It will comfort but it will not heal. 

I believe we do people an injustice if we let them take something for nothing. It is out of respect for our clients as fellow human beings that we hold them accountable not because we are punishing them for being unlucky or even irresponsible but because they deserve the opportunity to be self-sufficient.

Daddy Frank would always make me keep some money in my shoe and later in my purse or somewhere. He said you always need a little bit ‘cash on you just in case of an emergency. He would always make sure I had that ‘little bit ‘o cash. When I moved away from home and had a family of my own he said, “I hope you still have that emergency money, but just remember if you ever have to use it for an emergency, Daddy Frank may not be around to replace it for you, you need to depend on yourself now." He called it “breaking our plates”.  It was an expression of how much he loved us. He didn’t want us to be dependent on him because he knew that was not the best thing for us. We don’t help the homeless be more comfortable at being homeless but we do welcome them into the store and help them pick out the best rods and reels and lures and some good sturdy fishing line and maybe even a fishing lesson or two so they will be prepared to go out and catch the proverbial fish.

And that..was what I really wanted to say. And just let me add…the hair looks MUCH better today than yesterday…the bloating…eh..not so much.

This is a link to one person's story of hope and overcoming barriers.

http://www.wmbb.com/story/19335222/the-changing-face-of-homelessness-part-2


For more information about homelessness visit our website. You will find links there to other agencies throughout the country. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dear God....I HATE CANCER


Dear God..

Several friends ask me to repost this here in the Dear Squirrely Girl blog.

On April 17th 1995, my son Adam relapsed with ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia)..we were in for a very long road… I found this entry from my journal at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital..

May 14th 1995

GOD, I hate cancer…I hate the sound, the look, the pain, the tears, the worry, the waiting, the fear, the drugs, the paperwork, the bills, the needles, the IV pumps, the beep of the IV pumps when the nurses don’t come, the sound of the buzzer for the nurses, the chemo, the radiation, fluorescent lights, hospital rooms, waiting rooms ,Dr.’s offices, Dr’s sad faces, the cleaning lady, the coke and candy machines that always seems to need $1.00 when I only have 75 cents… GOD …I hate cancer…

But…

GOD, I love You …I love the sound of Adams’ voice, the look of hope on his face even through the pain and tears, I love my family and friends and their prayers, the patience we gain each day, and the fear we are slowly learning to overcome. God, I love the drugs that you gave someone the knowledge and determination to discover, and the needles and IV’s that carry them through his body, I love the IV pump that goes off when he needs attention, I love this buzzer I can hold in my hand so the nurses can know when we need them, and the electricity that keeps them beeping and buzzing… I love whoever created radiation, I love the lady in admitting who sweetly and gently hands me the pen to sign all the paperwork, knowing I probably cannot make good on the promise to pay anytime soon, I love Dr. Jenkins and how gentle he is while giving even the most horrific news, (I can almost see his heart breaking when he talks to us. God be with him each day) .. I love the cleaning lady who always has a smile even when I am crabby because I haven’t had any sleep all night and she needed to turn on the light... but then she fluffs my pillow on the back of my chair and says “try to get some sleep yourself, little mama” because she understands that a kind word…and a clean floor can do as much good as any drug sometimes…God, help me to remember to say “thank you” to her….And, you know what God?? I even love that old coke and candy machine that says I still need a quarter to make my dreams of a Payday bar and a Dr. Pepper come true…..God, I hate cancer….but I love You more.

If you or someone you love is battling cancer right now, my prayers are with you!

~Squirrely Girl

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sin, Sin and More Sin


Sin Is As Sin Does... Or...

Squirrely Girl....Are you crazy or what???

 (I copied and pasted this letter exactly as it came to me because it was from the heart of a younger person and I truly appreciate the question and the sincerity.)

Dear Squirrely Girl,
I think your squirrels are funny and I like you o.k but I don’t know sometimes about your facebook stuff. Sometimes I think you are a good and Christian person and then you post thinks about liking gays or supporting sinners and I just don’t know. Caan you be really good and really bad at the same time? And why do you think sin is allright? If you say sin is allright  that is just like sinning to ain't it?  Have a good day and thank you, you make me laugh some time. 

Signed ~ Just wandering

Dear Just Wandering and Wondering (sometimes they really are the same thing)


I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your letter and your honesty. First I would like to say that your sweet disposition in asking the question touched my heart immediately. I know you are sincere because you started out with a compliment to keep me from going into a “Squirrely Girl Fit” (and we know those are never pretty) and then you were just completely honest about how I might have confused you with my rants and raves.

That is rare, very rare actually (not my rants and raves….your honesty) and for your age (I never give those details out, I promise) it is also very refreshing and authentic. You are coming from a pure place of seeking knowledge with an open mind to listen and make up your own mind. You might not believe how unique that really is but trust me on this one. Most of us make up our mind about everything and then close it up, never to be opened again. That is where learning stops and bigotry and hatred can set in for anyone who disagrees with us and that is a very bad place to be. Now, I will try to actually answer your questions.

 Sin is a strange thing. Not strange like “uncommon”, but strange like “everyone has an opinion about it”. The bible says there is no degree of sin. Sin is sin. I actually found one website that list 667 sins in the bible (http://www.scribd.com/doc/14087682/667-Sins-in-the-Holy-Bible )  Yep, I thought the same thing “One sin more than 666?”  I am not sure if that number is exact but they do list verses to support each one, so we can check them all out.

 Let’s start with sin number 667, “Younger not submitting to the elder”- I Peter 5:5. According to that, you are sinning by even writing this letter at your young age and questioning my opinion because I am definitely your elder. lol  But you have good common sense, you know that questioning someone older than you is not the same thing as being disrespectful. Actually... that whole verse says this, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” I am sort of partial to the King James Version, not that I don’t use different translations to study the bible, but we need to be careful about “translating” to fit our need or our agenda.

No matter how you read this passage, if you read the ENTIRE verse, the true meaning should come through quite clearly.  It is very simple. ~Listen to people who are wise, through age or experience, listen to each other and respect each other, be humble enough to admit you do not know it all because God can’t work with you or through if you are full of pride and think you can do no wrong. He gives grace to those who are willing to give grace to others. ~ (That is Squirrely Girl’s interpretation only…subject to correction as needed.)

When you hear people just pick out one sin, like homosexuality, out of all the sins in the bible and act like that sin is above all others, do you think they are being humble? When we think one sin is different from another sin, just because it is not “our sin” and take one portion of scripture and leave out the rest-- isn’t that like trying to speak for God or play God? I think He does a good job of speaking for Himself if we just listen.

I do support sinners! There I said it. And I am not going to give you the worn out and overused, “I love the sinner but hate the sin”…if you hear that saying… you have this elder’s permission to tell them it is bull crap! You either love the sinner or you do not. You are not agreeing with the sin-- you are-- loving the person, without giving them your opinion about the degree of their sin. If we truly hate all SIN..well…let’s face it…we have at least 666 to study up on to make sure we are “hating” them all enough. Most of them we commit on a daily basis.  So how would we feel if everyday someone walked up to us and said publicly, “Hey I love you but I hate the way you do all the following things and I gotta tell you how bad I hate them..but I love you man, I really do"  (to name just a few between 650-666)---

CONFORMING TO THIS WORLD
FORSAKING GOD’S CALLING FOR THIS WORLD
FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD
GETTING ENTANGLED WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE
LIVING FOR YOURSELF
LOVING THIS WORLD LOVING YOUR LIFE
MIND OR THOUGHTS ON THIS WORLD
SERVING EARTHLY THINGS
SPEAKING OF THE WORLD
SORROW OF THE WORLD

WORLDLY AMBITION
WORLDLY MINDED
BEING WORRIED
LETTING THE SUN GO DOWN ON YOUR WRATH.
 (Yep..those are all sins..and the link has bible to back it up.)

Wow....I know I have committed at least a couple of those already today, so if people want to protest against all of my sins publicly they will have to do more than go eat a chicken sandwich at Chick- fil- a --they will need to go to one of those big ‘ol “all you can eat buffets”!!  I do support sinners because I too am a sinner and I need love and prayer and I need to be reminded who forgives sin and how very much He loves me and that there is hope. I do not need people reminding me that I am not measuring up to the few verses of the bible they have selected. When I feel the need to point out others people’s sin and correct them, I think about how long it will take for me to get the log out of my own eye so I can see their sins more clearly.

Now…“Can you be really good and be really bad at the same time?”  What a great question-- wish I had the perfect answer for you on that one but I do not. I think as humans we are a little bit good and a little bit bad at the same time …all the time. Where we get confused is what is good and what is bad. When we set up standards by man’s judgment we will never win because we will be depending on our own perfection and I don’t know about you but I haven’t met a perfect person yet. So I try not to worry about what sin someone else is committing or how bad that sin is and just concentrate on trying to do the one thing I know will never be wrong or bad and what is always good…ALWAYS…and that is to love others. If that makes me supportive of sinners, if it makes me bad and good at the same time…then I guess I am guilty as charged and hope I continue to be.

But let me tell you what I learned from you today. I learned that everyone does not see things the same way that I do and sometimes I assume that they do. I think that is wrong and I am glad you pointed that out to me. What one calls a tater, another calls a french fry-- but sometimes they are talking about the same thing. I need reminding of that quite often. So you keep wondering and wandering until you get all the answers you want and need. It will serve you and others well. Thank you for writing!

Most Sincerely,
~Squirrely Girl



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Living In The Country


Living In The Country…..Or..


The proper way to give directions….


I grew up in the country, you know where you have to “go to town” to buy groceries. Where there is no such thing as pizza delivery or running to the store for a gallon of milk. You stock up when you go to the grocery store; there is no ‘quick run’ to anywhere, unless it is to Uncle Junior’s to borrow a cup of sugar or a pint of buttermilk. I love it out here. It is quiet, most of the time. If someone drives up in your yard and the dog don’t kill them first, they are probably a relative or close neighbor or lost. But more than likely they do not mean you any harm. However, if they are lost and ask me for directions…they are in pretty big trouble. One of the disadvantages of growing up on dirt roads without signs is that we do not give directions like everyone else. If you throw in my handicap of being directionally challenged, that equals instructions like this:

“Well, you go up right up here pass Padgett Farms (well it used to be Padgett Farms, but they sold it and now they are going to plant some grapes there that I hear will be used to make wine, some people think you should not drink wine, but I think it is okay because Jesus did turn the water into wine as His first miracle and if it is good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me) until you come to the fork in the road. It looks like a 3 way stop where one road veers off to the left and one veers off to the right (don’t none of us ever actually “stop”) but we call it a fork in the road. Come to think of it, I don’t know why we call it that because most “forks” have four tines except for those fancy schmancy shrimp forks that only have three so maybe we should call it ‘the shrimp fork in the road”….hey…you know where you can get some really good fresh shrimp? Down at Nick’s on Hwy. 20. But that is the other direction from where you are going so…you go up thata way pass what was once Padgett Farm….let me tell you…they used to grow the best maters you ever tasted and watermelons…. good Lawd them was some good watermelons and maters. Do you like watermelons and maters? Oh well, as I was saying, once you get to the fork, or shrimp fork in the road…you know…we really should call it the Y, because it really is more like a Y…one road veers to the left and the other veers to the right and what you wanna do is veer to the right…(hold on…let me look at which hand my wedding ring is on, that is how I know left from right for sure..oh heck…I took my wedding ring off to wash the dishes…hold on…let me go get it before I forget about it..be right back) …I don’t normally wash dishes by hand much anymore since I got one of those new fancy schmancy dishwashers, but I catch myself washing the dishes before I put them in there, which really makes no sense at all don’t you agree?  Okay, as I was saying you will veer off to the right and go ..oh bout ½ a mile or so. You will pass by where the old dump used to be…. man I wish they had not done away with that dump, now we have to take our garbage off four or five miles away…do you know how inconvenient that is? Anyway you go over that hill just past where the old dump used to be and then a stop sign will just sneak up on you so be very careful. That will bring you to the highway that takes you to Geneva if you turn…hold on…right..and to Defuniak if you go left. Well, it will not take you directly to Geneva or DeFuniak but it will take you close by there and you can stop and ask directions at any of those houses, they are all just the nicest people you will ever want to meet.  What you should really do is turn around the way you came and go back to Hwy 20 and eat some shrimp at Nick’s. Did I tell you they have the best dadgum seafood around? It is right on the bay and they have shrimp and crab and scallops and hush puppies and all kinds of stuff...Hey…where you going…wait…I wasn’t finished giving you directions….”

The moral of this story is this: If you are traveling up my way and think you may get lost. You better get you one of those fancy schmancy GPS/talkin’ smarty pants phones and just go right on past my house.

Signed,
~~Squirrely Girl

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Idiots On The Plane


Idiots On A Plane...Or....

Continued Adventures of Flying Squirrely Girl 

Update: You should really read "All My Bags Are Packed, I 'm Ready To Go" before this to get the full impact of this little story. Only then will you understand the enormous amount of 'crazy' in my little life.

First off let me say this, I shouldn’t “drive” anywhere by myself much less “fly” anywhere by myself. I think I provided enough examples of that in Part I of this series. I should actually never be left alone with sharp objects or anything with movable parts at any time. I have the propensity to attract dangerous and abnormal events no matter where I am, even my own backyard where I once got bit by something the Hub said was an itsy bitsy bloodsucking black bug, the ER said was a ground hornet and a doctor later confirmed was a snake bite.(Yes, you may read that sentence again to make sure you really read what you think you read.) 

I also tripped over a puppy on some wood steps once and got a cut on my leg that ended up with gangrene/streptococcus/flu-like symptoms with overtones of a broke shin and second degree burns AND once broke my foot sitting at my desk.  So I am no stranger to the “freaky and unusual”. But to intentionally take a flight alone with more than one stop is inviting disaster of some sort and this trip was no exception.

Somehow I overcame my embarrassment of not having a valid ID, sitting in the wrong seat and stealing someone’s seat belt and finally made it to Atlanta. Then after nearly missing the flight because I took the Tram/Train thingy the wrong direction the first time, I made it on the “big” plane from Atlanta to Minneapolis, MN with one second to spare.  Before I barely had time to pat myself on the back, I hear the most God awful noise I have ever heard in my life. It was a cross between grinding metal and a motorcycle race. I have never heard a noise quite like it  much less on a big ‘ol airplane.  I waited for a few seconds and then I turned to the lady beside me and said, “Do you hear that?  You do hear that, right?”  She just sort of shrugged and kept reading her book that looked like an encyclopedia. (I was hoping it was the 'A' edition for AIRPLANE CRASH RESCUES)

At first I thought maybe the engines were just getting warmed up or were too warm from waiting on me, but the noise just got louder and shriller and the grinding sound was just overwhelming. So I looked behind me and said, “Have you guys ever heard anything like that on an airplane before?”  They sort of shook their heads and I could see a glimpse of concern, but still not the reaction I expected and was about to demand.  The plane started backing out and the noise just got louder. I rose up in my seat and looked around and NOBODY was doing anything, nothing, zilch, notta, not a thing.  Final Destination 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 was running through my head and a little Snakes on a Plane combined with every Airport movie made.  This was more like “Idiots on a Plane”.  So of course I could not contain myself and said rather loudly. “Am I the only person who hears this? What is wrong with you people?”  (What I really wanted to say was, “Everybody get off this plane! It is about to blow up!)  But I am not crazy you know.

The plane just kept taxiing down the runway, whirling and twirling and grinding and moaning. Everybody started fidgeting a bit but nobody said a word….except…me.  I couldn’t help myself and said, “Miss…oh Miss…yes, you Miss Flight Attendant, doesn’t something sound a tad bit amiss to you?”  Before she could answer the pilot came over the loud speaker and announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are experiencing a “small” mechanical problem and we will update you as soon as possible.”   ~Huge sigh of relief~ 

Hey, I can hear a spark plug ping before it goes out, just ask my Hub. I don’t even know where a spark plug goes or really what one looks like, but I will hear a funny noise and sure enough that is what it will be. Some people play music by ear, that can’t read a single note but they know when it is right or when it is wrong. I am a mechanic by ear. I may not know ‘what’ is wrong, but I sure know when I hear something that is not right. I usually just say it is the ‘universal joint’ because that seems to cover just about everything. But, I digress.

I looked around at all the people who had been staring at me and gave them a smug little smile, then the pilot came back over the air and said this:  “Ladies and Gentlemen, we had a small problem with one of the engines but we are just going to not use that one so we will now be on our way.”

 WHAAAAAATTTTT???   Was it a spare engine? How many engines do you have? Do you have so many you can just ignore one? And if that one sounded that bad and you didn’t know it, what about the remaining engine or engines?  (I had a LOT of questions.) No one but me seemed concerned. “Ahhh, it was just an engine, blondie…now sit down and shut up.”   Whaaaaaattttt???  They do realize that we just heard the engine about to explode but apparently the PILOT did not hear it because he continued to taxi down the runway, right??? Are we gonna trust him from Atlanta to Minneapolis?  Apparently we are, because off we go into the wild blue yonder. Spitting, spurting, whirling, twirling, grinding, moaning, groaning, no good engine and all! I just bowed my head and said a little prayer. “Dear Lord, I know I am not the brightest bulb on the tree, but I know a spitting, spurting, whirling, twirling, grinding, moaning, groaning, no good engine when I hear one and I just pray that however many other engines (if any) are left on this airplane will hold out to get this Meme to her grand babies. Amen”

The poor flight attendant, feeling a little sorry for me, said, “Ma’am could I get you something to drink?” I said, “Well...if you have some liquid valium and a horse tranquilizer, that would be perfect, thank you.”

I am pretty sure they flagged me as either a potential terrorist, a crazy loon, or at the very least… an “unaccompanied person”.  

Signed, Still Hanging In There
~Squirrely Girl

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

All My Bags Are Packed, I'm Ready To Go


“All My Bags Are Packed I’m Ready To Go….”

Or…. NEVER leave me on my own…NEVER…




Millions of people get on airplanes every single day and fly all over the world, so obviously it is not a hard or impossible thing to do. Some people put their kids or other loved ones that need assistance on planes all by themselves without any worries and they call it “Unaccompanied Persons” without adult supervision.  Just for future reference, I should now and forever be considered an “Unaccompanied Person.”

I hate airplanes. The only thing that gets me on an airplane is when what I desire is greater than my hate and fear of airplanes. Like a sick family member, my grandkids, or a fun trip to Paris with my BFF’s.  So I find myself on airplanes and there is nothing I can do about that but gripe. So now I will gripe and that is your cue to leave this blog or stay around for the fun.  The following are a few “notes” from my flight from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida to Minot, North Dakota to see my Grands and join the Hub for a little music on the road.

July 25, 2012:

Thanks to my good friend, I got to the airport in plenty of time to have a smooth check in and boarding.  She accomplished this by doing what all my friends and family do…telling me I have to be there one hour before I actually have to be there. It normally works, depending on how many times they do it in a row,  then I catch on and they have to change it in increments of 15 minutes to keep me on my toes. (Hey, I never said it was easy being my friend or relative.)  So my dear friend drives off secure in the knowledge that not even “I” could mess this up. ( ~heavy sigh~  that’s what they always think.) But I bounce up to the counter all chipper and confident, check my bag, take my time slowly to the security line and then….the following conversation begins.

Security Person: (hereafter known as SP) Good afternoon Ma’am, I need your ID and boarding pass.
Me: Here you go right here. I am 30 minutes early you know.
SP: Yes, I see, but ..uh... Ma’am…we have a problem.
Me: Really? ( feeling a little like Houston)
SP: You just handed me your luggage receipt, not your boarding pass.
Me: Oh, no problem, here is everything they handed me…you go through it and find what you need.
(And there it was as I breathed a sigh of relief)
SP: “Ma’am we still have a problem, your license is expired.”
Me: (nervous laughter) It’s okay, I renewed my license online, there is a sticky thingy on the back.
 SP: Ma’am there is nothing on the back, I can see where something might have been there, but there is nothing there and you cannot board the plane without a valid ID.
Me: (Triple Long Heavy Nervous Sigh) Well, look at the picture, see that really bad hair day? Just like the one I am having today? You can see it is me, can’t you? Who would pretend to be this woman with the horrible hair in this picture? Who? Who? Who , I ask you WHO? 
SP: Well, Ma’am you must have a valid ID or you cannot get on the plane but you are right the hair does look the same.
Me: (~thinking~ Well, you can kiss my bad hair day butt~ ) …Well, I have my passport, will that work?
SP: Yes Ma’am that will be fine. I was worried you were not going to make your flight. You really should get that thing with your license straightened out though.
Me:( ~thinking~ and you need to learn how to keep your mouth shut about my bad hair days) Thank you so much I will check on that first thing, I promise.

And so the story should end there…but….noooooooo

I get on the plane and in my little seat and start praying as normal when I hear this:

Passenger 1:  But my seat is 5A.
Passenger 2: Well, that is seat 5A right there. (pointing at me)
Me:  I am in seat 6A ‘cause that is what my ticket says …see right here… 6A.
Passenger 3: “Ma’am you are in seat 5A ..that is seat 6A behind you.
Me:  Well, excuuuussse me. I never ask to get on this flight as an “Unaccompanied Person” to begin with.”  (Quietly and meekly getting up and switching seats)
Passenger 4: (the really nice gentlemen now sitting beside me): Ma’am, I think you have my seatbelt.
Me: “Well FINE then…just be that way. I’ll just crash and die.” 
Passenger 4: (laughing) It’s okay honey, we all have those days.”
Me:  ~sniffling~  “Thank you Sir, you are so kind. Hey, would you be my adult supervision?”

All that before I even got off the ground. And people wonder why I don’t like to fly.

Stay tuned for Part 2....."Am I The ONLY person that hears that?" .....or..."PEOPLE!!!! There Is Something Seriously Wrong With This PLANE!"

Signed A little scared,

~Squirrely Girl