Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where's My KEYS!?!?!?!?!

Now that deer season is in full swing, I don't get to see John much but I have constant quality time with my children of whom I love and treasure each moment that I have. But, sometimes I feel the need for a little "me" time. I've been feeling a little stressed lately; not really anything that I can put my finger on as a cause but it is there nonetheless.

I awoke Sunday morning feeling particularly good. I got up and assisted the kids in getting dressed for church. One acquired a little more assistance as he usually fights it every step of the way; not that he doesn't like going to church....he just doesn't care for putting clothes on for ANYTHING!!! John got dressed and announced as he was heading out the door that he had to be at church early for choir practice . I said, "Wait! Take the kids with you."

He said, "Are you not going to Sunday School?" I told him that I thought I would just stay home. He inquired as to why I was not going to Sunday School. I told him, "I'm just staying home today." He asked, "Are you coming for church?"

"Nope." I said, "Just consider it my 'deer hunting' day." He kissed me called me a 'sinner' and headed out the door. I went back to bed and just lay there. It was so peaceful. The birds were chirping right outside my window. No noise. No children playing well together only to suddenly turn into a WWF match. Total and complete blissful peace. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Two hours later, everybody returned. It was a good afternoon. John went hunting...of course. The kids and I had a relatively good afternoon just relaxing. Moriah and I studied her AWANA scriptures so that she could finish her 2nd book. Luke pestered as much as he possibly could just like normal. All was well.

John came home, changed, and headed off for choir practice....again! About 5 o'clock, I got up and started getting things together for evening services which is AWANA. We all were dressed and ready to go.

"Where are my keys?" I couldn't find them anywhere. The only thing that I could think of was that John had carried them off with him. I tried to call him; but like a decent person he didn't have his cell phone turned on in the church. Darn him! The first message I left near as I remember was something like..."I need my keys do you know where they are?" The second, a little more intense. By the third, "KEYS! Need 'em! NOW!" I was steamed!!! I had looked everywhere I could think of that made sense (my first mistake, thinking that anything would make sense).

We couldn't miss AWANA and everybody that we know was at the church. I found myself getting ever close to the edge (tick tick tick tick). I said, "Come on ya'll. We're walking to church." SURPRISE!!!! No complaining (right now). We walked out the front door. The air was crisp and cool but the sun was shining. It was beautiful. We only live like a 1/2 mile from the church. If the neighbors can walk to the smoke shop and get their cigarettes; we can walk to church. It was good for us, er, it was good for ME to work off the irritation and no children were harmed in the process.

We cut through the Sonic parking lot. There were several people enjoying their evening meal. We rounded the corner to the main "drag" through town. I saw a couple walking toward us on the opposite side of the road. I could tell little more about these people from this distance other than there were 2 of them. I turned to make sure my daughter was behind me; she smiled that gentle smile she has and giggled a little. I looked down at the curly headed little boy that had me by the hand. I got this overwhelming feeling of poverty. I almost cried. We have 3 vehicles, a house, warm clothes, and plenty of food; yet we were walking to town. Not walking around the track; not walking at the park; WE were walking to town. We are SO uneleivably blessed beyond words and yet, I felt poor. And, redneck!!! I felt extremely redneck! We are so blessed and yet, uh well, actually we are redneck. I just felt it a little more right then. So, there I am walking down the highway with 2 children in tow. All I needed were a couple of bags, a cigarette hanging out of the corner of my mouth, and a fly on the end of Luke's snot infested nose and an episode of Feed the Children was in the making.

As the approaching couple neared, I realized that it was the retired band director (the one before John) and his wife. I at this point no longer perceived walking as appearing impoverished but rather as a sign of how little the salary of a band director must be in this town. He said, "Are you out getting your exercise?" I responded, "Well actually, I think John made off with our keys and we are walking to church." They acted like they wanted to help in some way. I told them, "We are fine. The walk is doing us good."

We crossed the highway, cut through another parking lot, and what do you know. There is the church just one block away. I said, "See that wasn't that bad." Luke said, "My leds hut." I won't translate because I know that you understood that too.

Thankfully, John was there and he gave us a ride home after AWANA. He did NOT however have any knowledge as to the whereabouts of the keys. We got home and searched for a few hours. I got up the next morning and searched some more but to no avail. Where were they? I knew they hadn't got up and walked off....or at least I didn't think they did.

I asked Luke several times where they were and I got his standard answer. "I don't know. They must be somewhere." That's cute. But, when the taunting and harassment started it was about to get the best of me. It was obvious that he was the culprit. He knew where they were the whole time; I just know that he did. He crawled into the cabinet on the Lazy Susan and opened up the toaster oven and excitedly said, "Mom!!!! (pause) No keys in here!" This was followed by evil laughter. Keep it up Lil' Man, it's gonna be more than your leds hutting.

I decided to take a break and call the dealership to ask about a new key for the Toyota. Oh! Did I mention that the lost keys contained the only key we have to our main vehicle?! I explained my dilemma to the nice parts man. He was very helpful and encouraging. He began to spout out all kinds of information that I did NOT want to hear. I began to feel like I was making a Master Card commercial. "Computer Chip key $85, Computer to replace the old one because it can't be reprogrammed for a new key without the old one $282, Towing charge to get the keyless vehicle 30 miles to the nearest dealer probably around $100...." Ok! Where's the priceless part? That's the part I can afford!!!! I guess that would be where I piped in and told him, "You've been so helpful. Thank you very much. I think I will go look for my keys some more now." He wished me luck with a chuckle and we hung up.

I called John and asked what his plans for the evening were. He said, "I don't know. I thought I might come home and look for some keys. Is that what you had in mind?" We are so on the same page sometimes it's just scary!!!

I thoroughly cleaned several rooms during my search. Still no keys but at least half the house is in order. John arrived home. I assigned Moriah the task of taking care of Luke (which consisted of watching TV with him) because I knew that if she helped us look for keys we would just have to look there again. When I am looking for something, I trust no one until I've seen for myself (actually that applies to other things as well, like, uh, gossip!!!). I asked John to get his flashlight and search in all of the air vents because the covers are often removed and redistributed through the house so I'm sure that there are things lurking in the depths. There, everyone has their purpose set before them.

I began the nastiest part of my day...digging through the trash. Thankfully, it was only one bag. But, when I reached the bottom of the bag and no keys, I had that feeling like the 2nd place finisher on Fear Factor. "You mean, I went through all of THAT and didn't win. ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!" I returned to the inside of the house and continued my room by room search. I searched the bathrooms all the while praying that the bodacious bundle that I call 'my keys' would have been too large to be flushed. I searched the hallway closets. I searched our bedroom. I found things under the bed that I had forgotten that we owned. I found things under the bed that were no longer identifiable. Until, wouldn't you know it. There in the corner of the room behind the dresser lay....MY KEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Funny, isn't it...How they are always the last place you look? I realize that even if it was the first place I looked, if I found them, it would STILL be the last place that I looked because I wouldn't need to look anymore. Duh! Technically, that was my only motivation for continuing the search. If I didn't find them, I knew they "must be somewhere!" I'm pretty sure that God was giving me a lesson in patience otherwise the "last place I looked" would NOT have been TWEN-TEE FOUR HOURS LATER!!!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Did I See That Right?

I had an experience the other day that was UNBELIEVABLE. You know those annoying people that no matter what subject you are discussing, it has happened to them or someone they know. I'm in deep fear that I may either be one of those people or I am quickly becoming one. If you've read even just one of my stories you know that I am well on my way to levels of insanity that would test the skills of the most talented psychological examiner. But, THIS (the event of which I speak)was just too much....sad thing...it happens way too often.

Monday, my kids and I set off on a journey over the river and through the woods to Grandma's (and Grandpa's)house A.K.A. Nana and Papa. Moriah had a dentist appointment on Tuesday. We went the night before so that the kids could visit and then we wouldn't have to get up so early in the morning to go to the appointment. But, that is really irrelevant to this story. So......

We were traveling through Danville on Highway 10. For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, Highway 10 while no interstate is the main highway going through the town and is no stranger to speeders, tired or late-to-work shift workers, 18 wheelers, log trucks, and other potentially dangerous traffic.

Normally, if not stopping for gas, we would just bebop on through and not give it a second thought. The kids are in the backseat watching a movie. I'm listening to Tamara's Favorites. We all seem to be content. I see something on the sidewalk that caught my attention. I tapped my brakes but went on because I thought I was seeing things. I looked in my side mirror and saw a couple pulling out of Dollar General parking lot. They stopped and looked and then pulled out behind me. I turned around and went back.

NO ONE WAS STOPPING!!!! What is the deal? Did I see that right or was I dreaming?

Now that I have you all wondering....IT was a baby girl about 15 or 18 months old toddling down this relatively busy highway and NO ADULT anywhere around. When I got back to where the child was, she was standing in front of Dollar General playing in some flower pot dirt. Still, no one around. There was a little girl in the store trying to open the door for the child and I questioned her "Is this your little sister?" The little girl shook her head 'no.' "Is she with you?" I asked to which she also answered by shaking her head 'no.'

By this time, I had the little girl by the hand and she was trying to pull away from me. Bless her little heart, she didn't realize that I had the 'Great Escape Artist' in my SUV. It really wasn't a big challenge to keep hold of this little hand. Which is odd? Since she was BY her-SELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I asked the people in Dollar General to make sure that she did not belong to someone in the store. No one claimed any knowledge of who this child was. I was in an out-of-body experience mode at this point. I couldn't believe this. I told the people there that I noticed a family at the car wash (2 blocks down) when I was turning around. I would take her there.

The little girl was still a little reluctant to go with me. I knelt down, tickled her a little bit, smiled at her, and said, "Where did you come from Baby Girl?" Scary thing. She let me pick her right up at that point.

I left my kids. Yeah! I know. I wasn't thinking straight. Moriah was freaking out a bit like me and Luke was asleep. I told Moriah I'd be right back. I walked down to the laundromat. I learned in that trek that I DO NOT spend enough time on my Wii Fit.

I got there and the lady looked over at me and said something to the man with her. There were several little children running around as they were loading their car. He came over to me, not slowly, but on the other hand, not running to me in a panic and falling down on the ground in sheer terror either. I asked "Is this your child?" He said "Yes." I'm not sure he spoke English. I don't know a lot of Spanish but Dora has helped me some. I looked at him and with a confused tone said, "La Nina?" He said, "Ci." I immediately went back into my comfort zone and said, "This is your daughter?" He said, "Yes." The little girl reached out for him and it appeared that she knew who he was. I then got my old out of shape second wind and let loose with a rant that probably sounded a lot like you would think someone speaking a different language would sound like to you when they are VERY upset!!!

I said to him, "She was walking down the highway BY HER SELF!!!!!" She was in DOLLAR GENERAL parking lot, TWO blocks away, BY HER SELF!!!!" Rinse and repeat. Several times!!!!! He just looked at me very bewildered and said, "Thank you." The little girl gave me a sweet little smile and waved 'bye' to me. I said to her "Bye Bye Baby Girl." The mother continued loading her car and just looked at the little girl and smiled and patted her on the head.

I turned and walked away. As I walked back to Dollar General, TWO blocks away, where I had left my own two children, the very unfit tired old lady in me took over again. I thought to myself, 'Thank you?' Thank you for what? For yelling at me that I let my baby walk away and I was loading my clean clothes in my car and not even noticing that one of my children was walking down a highway by themselves...OR...thank you for bringing her back....or, maybe....thank you for not calling the cops.

A lady leaving Dollar General stopped and asked me if her family was at the laundromat. I said I guess so. They took her. She told me that the cashier in Dollar General said that she thought she had noticed the little girl out playing in the laundromat parking lot with some other children when she came to work just a few minutes before. I told this lady that I know that your kids can get away from you (Lord knows how well I know that) but that it was just really scary to see that.

I stuck my head in Dollar General and told the cashier that she was with the family at the laundromat. She asked if they were looking for her. I said, "NO. They weren't. They were loading their car. I guess they would have noticed at some point that they were missing something."

I got back in with my kids and started down the road. I noticed as we were driving by that the "Parents of the Year" had left said laundromat. I guess so. Hurry, before anyone else comes up carrying one of our kids and we end up in jail.

Am I being too hard on them? I would normally, because of my experience(s) with Luke, say yes. But each (and EVERY)time that my child got out of my sight, I was running around like a madman cut loose from the chain trying to find my baby. And, furthermore, I'm not sure that when Luke was THAT age that I ever let him walk. Some of you, know that to be a fact!

So, anyway, short story long....because that's what I do! I called almost everybody I know freaking out about it. Then, I called the Sheriff's office. I tried to explain to them what had happened and that I was pretty confident because of the way the baby responded to the man that he was indeed her father but I thought they should be aware of the situation in case that anyone else reported it. The lady I was reporting this to asked if I spoke with the family. I said, "I spoke with the father and I wasn't really nice to him but I'm not sure that he spoke English." She asked for my name and thanked me for calling. She probably thought I was some raving lunatic for not reporting it first.

I see now that I should have, especially since I noticed on the trip home that the Fire Station and EMS was right next to Dollar General and it would have been a shorter trek for me. But, I was not exactly thinking really straight at the moment. I drive a lot and the sight of baby toddling down the side of the highway just through me for a loop. I know I did the right things but not in the right order. Someone told me, "next time..." NEXT TIME! Really! I hope there isn't a next time for this!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Important!

WOW! It has been so long since I posted anything on here but here is a very cute Lukeism. Not that he hasn't done 10x this everyday but this one was a little special to me.

Last night, Moriah and I were working on some of her homework for Language. She had to write sentences and identify the common and proper nouns. Since she had missed class that day, we had a mini-refresher course on the subject. I was trying to explain to her that proper nouns were specific names of people, places, or things. I feel no "such as" is necessary; we all know what proper nouns are, right?

Luke chose to be ever-present during our mini-refresher course. This is good. I may not have to have this mini-course again! Yeah, right, whatever!!!

When I explained that people's names were proper nouns I used the example of girl=common noun, Moriah=proper noun. I reminded her that proper nouns needed to be capitalized because they are important.

Luke piped up and said, "Like my name, LUKE FULTZ!"

I said, "You are SO right Luke. Your name is very important."

He looks over at me with the sweetest look on his face and says, "Yeah, my name's important 'cause it's in the bible."