Owning a car has many advantages. If you are able to drive, the car expands your opportunity to travel. If you have a dependable vehicle, your options increase. We have a dependable car — it is just older with many miles. Getting a newer car was in my husbands plans. My knees have become a problem. He wanted a car that was easier for me to get in and out of. We decided not to get rid of the older car. That meant we now had two cars. Living in the city adds another expense. We need to help with the cost of the roads, therefore having a sticker on the windshield.
Since my husband is a senior, we get a break on the cost of the sticker. We wouldn’t get a reduced cost on the second car. But I’m a senior also. Taking advantage of my age, we got a reduced cost.
We DID NOT know that the city allows 30 days to purchase a sticker. Sadly we were over the 30 days. BUT since we are SENIORS, we received a reduced cost for that.
I normally go down to city hall to purchase the stickers. I knew I needed my husband to go with me. I thought he might get a reduce fee since he is a veteran. I learned that there was a satellite office near our house. We could drive rather than take the train.
Driving turned out to be an advantage. The lines to purchase stickers were as long as downtown. My husband stood in line while I sat in the car. No parking signs were all over the neighborhood. The office is close to a large terminal for the train. Parking for residents would be a premium if it wasn’t for the restrictions. A bicycled policeman rode through while I sat in the car waiting.
In order to purchase a sticker for the Escape, we needed to have the bill of sale. Thankfully we had the car. Thankfully the paperwork was in the car. The lady who waited on us told us not to wait in line again. If we had the needed paperwork, to come right to her. One more task checked off the list.
I think I mentioned that our daughter bought a new car for us. I know that I was shown were the lights and windshield wipers were. I know I was shown how to access the automatic pilot. I FORGOT!
My husband and I took both cars to the camper. He drove our old car, trunk loaded, Robin helping with the trip. I drove the new Escape, trunk loaded. It was a cool, cloudy day but DRY. When I first started out, I realized I had forgotten how to access the automatic pilot. Evidently I was too tired when the various parts of the car where shown to me. I have driven the car, but in the city I don’t use the automatic pilot. I finally figured out where it was but every time I turned it on, slower traffic made me hit the brake.
We met at the oasis, half way to the camper. I checked to make sure both cars had a pass to get in the gate. We had removed the pass from the old car. My husband found the missing pass in the Escape. I wasn’t ready when my husband was ready to continue. So he wouldn’t worry, I mentioned that I would stop at the store before going to the camper.
I was only a couple of miles down the road when it started to rain. I didn’t know where the windshield wipers were. I didn’t know where the lights were. The car image on the screen showed green lights at the bottom. Red where the taillights were. I thought I had turned on the emergency flashers by mistake. I managed to turn on the windshield wipers. The windows were fogging, I didn’t know where the defrost was. I was in trouble. Then the sky opened and the rain poured down. I stuck behind a truck whose tail light I could see. Reaching a rest stop, I pulled over and phoned my husband. He explained where the lights were. Not driving, I found the defroster.
As soon as I found the missing items, the rain slowed to a drizzle. I’m still not sure how to work the radio and the rest of the gadgets. I planned to read the manual and acquaint myself with the car. It hasn’t happened yet.
I have to admit that I LOVE and DEPEND ON the help I get from the other side. Often I don’t even realize that they are helping me.
I had two or three paragraphs written describing the events of yesterday. Right now I’m sitting here laughing — better than crying. Have I mentioned that they help with my writing. Evidently the events of yesterday are not to be shared. The paragraphs disappeared. I was left with the beginning first two sentences of the thought ramble.
I had just written that I am stubborn. I’m not sure what thought followed that but it is very hard when those that “help” are not visible. Yesterday was challenging, the events seemed to be hazardous to my health. I thought about going back to bed but didn’t give in. This morning, I was aware that “help” was happening. My son commented that I Pads were not supposed to fly through the air. Now I will admit that I didn’t throw it, in fact I had no intention of doing so. Turning it off and walking away entered my mind.
I’m not writing on the I Pad. All of my thought rambles are written on the laptop. The keyboard is easier to use. My “friends” are very comfortable interacting with either one.
I had a feeling that I needed to write — have a thought ramble ready to publish. No subject in mind. I asked for “help”, but the title I thought of was already used.
So why am I going on and on? Because I have to acknowledge that there are times when my plans are blocked. For whatever reason, I am not supposed to go somewhere, or do something. Maybe it isn’t the right time for the phone call that I’m trying to make.
“My friends on the other side” have my best interest at heart. Even when my plans are challenged or interrupted or blocked it is in my best interest. Thank You!
I wrote this as an exercise for Creative Writing. We were supposed to write in a different style. My life had already changed considerably. I received more “help” than I ever dreamed possible. My “friends in high places” as I was beginning to call them, often woke me up at 4:00 AM. When my father was alive, he thought he could think better at that time of day. He even set his alarm so he would wake up. His sister Connie often got up that early. She had become another of “my friends in high places.” I thought getting up at seven was early enough. To make matters worse, an itch developed on both of my ankles. Scratching it felt better than eating chocolate or ice cream. Imagine if you will, three or four angels sitting around, conniving. The events are true. The dialogue is fiction. Or is it?
“She is awake. She should be up.”
“How are we going to get her out of bed? Nothing is working. She looks at the clock, rolls over, buries her head in the pillow and lays there.”
“It is after 6:00. Time is flying. She is wasting the day.”
“She ignores all the ideas we give her. Tells her brain to shut up, go back to sleep. Rolls over. Lays there.”
“I made her pillow lumpy. It didn’t work. She rolled over.”
“The dogs want to sleep too. I tried to get them to tell her they wanted to go out. They ignored me. They don’t want to get up this morning. ”
“It wouldn’t do any good anyway. He closed their bedroom door when he left.”
“If they barked or whined she would get up.”
“But they didn’t get up. They can sleep; she is the one who has to get up. How are we going to get her up.”
“I know! I know! I know how we can do it.”
“You’re so smart. How?”
“We can make her itch.”
“So we make her itch. She scratched, then she lies there.”
“That’s because you’re not doing it right.”
“What do you mean I’m not doing it right? There is not a right way and a wrong way to make someone itch.”
“Oh yes there is. I can make her itch so she gets up.” Oh yeah!”
“So smarty. How are you going to do it?”
“I’m going to start with just a little itch. She will scratch it, just a little bit, then roll over. I’ll wait a couple of minutes; let her think the itch is gone. Then I’ll make it itch just a little more. After she scratches, I’ll take the itch back for a couple of minutes. Give her a false sense of security.Then I’ll make her itch again. This time I’ll make a bigger spot itch, and maybe add another place. Spread it around a little bit. She won’t notice that the itch is growing. She still wants to sleep. This time I won’t wait as long after she scratches to make the itch come back. She will only be scratching her ankle. Now I’ll add her calf, just one spot, along with her ankle. I’ll make it feel really good to scratch, so she scratches longer, really gets into it. Now I’ll wait only a second before adding her foot to her ankle, along with her calf. Itch, Itch, Itch. She won’t be able to lie there. She will have to get up.”
“Go ahead and try it. What have we got to lose? She is just lying there. She will lie there all day. She doesn’t have a job, she doesn’t think she has to get up.”
“She never lays there all day. We have seen to that.”
“All right, so she won’t lay there all day. Just until 7:00.”
“She is awake. We woke her up. We gave those people something to say right outside her window at 5:00.”
“We made those tires stick to the road so all they did was spin and squeal. We made her listen to the traffic on the street. Made her think there was a lot of snow on the ground.”
“She didn’t get out of bed to look.”
“But we woke her up.”
“Now we have to get her on her feet. Out of bed. In motion.”
“The itch will do it.”
“You think so.”
“I know so!”
“Try it. What have we got to lose?”
“Told you so. Told you so. The itch did it. Not even 15 minutes. She is up. She is dressed. She is in motion.”
“Did you watch carefully? Take notes. So we can do it again tomorrow.”
This morning I had to laugh when I opened the bible to Job 40:25 “Can you lead about Leviathan with a hook.” I DON’T like opening the bible to Job. It usually is not good. This chapter Job had been arguing with God and God was responding with questions for Job to answer. I was reminded that I had been questioning the need for me to continue to write. Yesterday I opened a cookbook that I put together. It not only contain recipes that I make often, but verses of songs and poems that are meaningful to me. First I opened to a poem that was given to me when I sent To Pap, With Love to a publisher. “Never forget — Your presence is a gift to the world.” Next I opened to the Song THE SUMMONS. “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name.”
Okay, I understand. I’m being reminded to write. BUT I NEED SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT! It is not like I’m ignored by spirit — on the contrary — my life IS ALWAYS interesting. But I’ve grown accustomed to receiving help. I don’t get into the car without asking for “help” with my driving. As a matter of fact I’m usually asking for “help” many times during the day. It’s not that it is commonplace, except for me it probably is and I don’t note all the occasions.
Since the concept of my rambles is interaction with spirit I try to keep that the theme of my rambles.Since we spent the summer and part of the Fall in the country, I’m still trying to get caught up. No writing ideas, and I need three ramblers for the next three weeks. So I argue and receive “directions.”
I was reminded that many years ago I wrote The Voice. I was still learning the ways that spirit interacts with my life. Taking a writing class, our instructor asked us to write something different. I did, I LOVED IT and he wasn’t impressed. This mornings events reminded me.
Next week — for your enjoyment I will republish THE VOICES. It is in my book Journey With Me.
I thought it would be EASY to fix a pulled seam on my husband’s shorts. It should have been. It should have taken me one half hour tops, including taking out the sewing machine and setting it up. The reality was that it took more than three hours. During that time I had to call on my husband two times for HELP!
Okay, first I’ll admit that I haven’t used the sewing machine in years. To tell the truth, I don’t remember how many years it has been since I last used it. I made Christmas presents — not sure which present it was. I used to use the machine often — square dance clothes, Halloween costumes, tote bags. It was my friend. Together we accomplished many things. The memories of those times kept me trying to get the machine to work right.
First the pressure foot didn’t seem to hold the material. I thought the machine might need to be oiled — first call to my husband. He knows how to oil machines. Thankfully we had oil that would work. I still had the instruction book that showed which parts needed to be oiled. A little bit of oil and the pressure foot held the fabric and moved it through. SUCCESS!
For a minute. Then a needle broke. I FOUND a new needle! The instruction book showed the steps for threading the machine. The newly threaded machine broke the thread. MANY TIMES! I could NOT figure out what I was doing wrong. Time passed. It had been a rainy day, then the sun came out. Opportunity’s to go out — Rib Fest — Blues Fest — beckoned.
EXCEPT — Have I mentioned that I’m stubborn. I did not want to put the machine away in pieces or not working right. I DID NOT WANT TO GIVE UP. Time passed. The thread traveled through the machine the way it was supposed to. Then the bobbin thread started to bunch up and tangle. I didn’t do anything to the bobbin thread! WHY? Taking the bobbin assembly out of the machine has NEVER been easy for me! SOME THINGS DON’T CHANGE.
Finally — machine back together, I adjusted the stitch length and it WORKED! Fixed my husbands shorts, fixed a pair of my own, and a blouse and a rain coat. SUCCESS! Of course it was too late to go out and play. Truth be told — my legs were sore from the day before. I had such an enjoyable time at the Blues Fest — there was no way I could repeat it.
I was able to put my friend — the machine — away in good condition. I always acknowledge that “I have friends in high places.” Evidently it was best for me to stay home and they “helped!”
I suppose it is no secret that I LOVE MUSIC . Even though Chicago has hosted the Blues Festival for 35 years — most of the early years was held without me. My husband DOES NOT LIKE CROWDS. He does not LIKE to go downtown so for the many years when we were raising our family, I didn’t go to any of the festivals in Chicago. One year I came to the realization that I could go by MYSELF. And so I did. And I continue to go by myself when we are in town. Sometimes he will go with me but not often.
We were scheduled to be in town for the 35th Blues Fest. Recently it moved from Grant Park to Millenium Park. Exact reasoning is yet to be determined but the city is able to provide more security for the event. In this day and age that is not a bad thing. In town — I planned to go. Rain was predicted for the Festival but I thought that if I wore a raincoat and limited the stuff I was carrying, I would be alright.
I noticed that the Festival was honoring Bob Koester for the 65 years that his record company, Delmark records, played an important part in the blues and jazz of the city. The Koester family lived down the street and around the corner from us. My middle daughter babysat for his children, my youngest daughter was good friends with their daughter. I stopped at the Delmark both to inquire. I learned that the entire family was present. BUT WHERE? Millenium Park was a smaller place, but thousands of people attended the Blues Fest.
I stopped at Southwest airlines to spin the prize wheel and won a canvas tote. I stopped by the stairs to reorganize stuff. The gentleman that I just talked to at Delmark records walked by. He asked if he had just talked to me. When I said he had, he told me where Sue, Katie and children where. I didn’t waste any time — they were sitting by a table at the restaurant. I had no idea who I was looking for so I looked for children. I asked a young mother if she was Katie AND SHE WAS! Happy — understatement! I phoned both of my younger daughters and they ANSWERED their phones. They both got a chance to talk with Katie. Made all of our days!
I enjoyed the music but I was HUNGRY. I hadn’t brought enough stuff to eat. I decided to find McDonald’s since I knew I could control the sodium level. If I turned right after leaving the park, McDonald’s would have been right there. Instead I turned left and walked FOREVER. After getting something to eat, I decided to keep walking over to State street. I knew there was an elevator by the Library stop. An elderly couple looked confused, I asked if I could help. Easy, they wanted the Red Line — subway train that was on the block we were on. At the Library, I made it up to the mezzanine — connecting platform between North bound and Southbound trains when I encountered a man who also needed help. No one there to help him find the Blue Line. Taking a couple of minutes to think, I was able to give him directions.
Frosting on the cake!