Friday, June 13, 2008

Peace Walk

No, I'm not out protesting or joining a demonstration, although there is plenty going on in the world right now that I'd like to protest. Krister's interview is happening right now, and I decided the best way I could pray him through the interview was to go on a walk. Usually I take my IPod with me, but today I ditched the devices and set out to take in the morning. I've recently discovered my favorite street in my favorite neighborhood - with towering trees and houses that are old and charming without being ostentatious. I turned on that street and began to pray. As I walked, the stillness of the morning, with the exception of the persistent breeze, wrapped itself around me. We are facing a big transition right now with decisions and timelines that are out of our control. On this walk, for the first time in weeks, the noise of my fears about the future was silenced by the singing of the birds in the trees. I looked up into the branches, reaching their arms to the sky, and I let myself hope. I didn't hope for a certain outcome, or for anything in particular, I just hoped. The hope welled up inside of me like a cool mountain stream and made me excited about what God has in store for us wherever we go and whatever we do.

On my way home, I passed an elementary school down a side street. The playground beckoned to me and I headed out in search of a swing set. To my delight, I turned the corner and there they were! I headed across the field and selected the perfect swing in the shade. As a child, I would spend hours swinging and singing outside our kitchen window. Hours. Maybe because it gives me the feeling that I can fly, with the wind rushing past my ears. I began to swing, higher and higher. At once I was six years old again, with the whole world open to me. I took my hair down from its ponytail and let it fly in the wind as I breezed through the air. I leaned back and closed my eyes, then opened them to watch the clouds sailing overhead. The gentle creak of the swing. The breeze. The sky. The childlike wonder. Peace.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dumb Brunette

I can't say that I buy into the whole "dumb blonde" thing, although I had a sweet friend in junior high that seemed determined to live into that stereotype. Not being blonde myself, I haven't had to deal with the blonde jokes and everything else that seems to go along with this hair color; however, I must say that I sometimes have some very blonde moments. I have noticed a pattern: every time I go in to get work of any kind done on my car, all of my intellect (including my common sense) seems to fly out the window. I can't figure out what the problem is. Perhaps it's because I'm a global learner - I need the big picture before I can understand the individual parts - and I have no frame of reference for what these mechanics are telling me since I know very little about the workings of a car. But it's got to be something more than that. Maybe it's the fact that I feel intimidated in a situation in which I could easily be taken advantage of due to my ignorance about cars. For whatever reason, my dumbest moments in life seem to take place at these repair shops.

Here are some snippets from my trip to Jiffy Lube yesterday to get my state inspection:

- I turn in to the parking lot and pull alongside the garage. I roll down my window and ask the man who comes over if he has time to do a state inspection. Yes, he can get to me in about ten minutes, I just need to pull around behind the car he's currently working on. Now, I don't know what part of "pull around behind" escaped me, but for some reason I backed up and realigned my car in front of the car he was working on. I was waiting in line, but I was on the wrong side of the line! Worse yet, I didn't even realize this until the guy came back over and said, "Maam, pull around the back, please." Pretty smart, huh?

- Another mechanic comes in after doing the inspection and tells me that one of my lug nuts is missing off my front right tire. I ask him, "Could it be in my glove box?" Not likely. Apparently there is a key to some of the lug nuts that is kept in my glove box, which must have been where I got the idea. Or maybe I thought there were extras?

- While I'm paying for the inspection, the two mechanics are talking with me about where to get lug nuts and what they would do about it if they were me. They also tried to brainstorm with me about when my lug nut could have come off. When was the last time I had work done on the car? I thought back to the various times I've had my car serviced over the past year or so. "I got my oil changed at Wal-Mart a few months ago. Could that be it?" I'm not joking. That's what I came up with. In no other situation am I even remotely this flaky.

I'm sure the mechanics like to laugh at me once I leave, and I would too if I were them. For all they know, I'm just a dumb brunette.