Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Little did I know I would be doing this mission on the coldest night of the year thus far. It was so cold that I wanted to keep the car running and warm while I was jockeying the bike around. I happened to be listening to a Christian radio program that I landed on and I had it blaring throughout this whole scene. It was about real community and how much it sucks, even though it rocks, and I thought AMEN. Anyway... I didn't have my bike rack, so I was jamming and shoving and cursing the bike into the trunk. A bike is awkward anyway, let alone when your fingers are freezing and there are other bulky things in your car to jockey around. In the middle of the jockey, I decided to close the door to conserve warmth. I could still hear the radio through the trunk, it was pretty loud so I was semi-distracted. I jammed my bike in the trunk in one piece, with the trunk open, since I couldn't get the wheel off. (I have never taken the wheel off before, cold, weak fingers, blah blah blah). I backed gingerly out of the driveway and started to pull down the street as the guy on the radio was talking about Republicans loving Democrats or something.
Whoops. I forgot to pay Dan. Back up down the street...(African tribes claiming to be Christians killing each other?)... I hit something, I think it's curb. I see a neighbor man salting his drive eye me curiously. I decide to stop where I was instead of backing up any further with my trunk blocking my view for it had now swung wide open). I hop out of the car, leave it running and warm, and I close the door. I walk farther than I want to Dan's mailbox and drop the check in. I shivered thinking of the last time I was in Dan's neighborhood. There was a suspected homicide at the Rug World some 100 yards down the street at the exact same time I was poking around his yard in the dark dropping off my bike. I was glad for the glowy twinkle of the Christmas lights and the seeming non-homicidal atmosphere.
I arrive thankfully back at my running car... LOCKED?! What? I HATE this car. I just did this SAME routine not two minutes earlier and my door was not locked when I came back to it. Maybe because I shifted gears? Doesn't matter now. I have almost no gas and my phone, of course, is safely in my purse locked inside. Perfect. Ok so my trunk is still open. Maybe I can kick the back seat down and get in that way. I yank the bike back out of the trunk and stand it up in the street behind the car and I climb in the trunk. I think I was saying things out loud like "NO NO NO" and I may have been trying to kick my seat alternately beating it with the extra long ice scraper squeegee combo that I had back there. I then had a vision of me being slammed into the trunk, by some sick Rug-World-Murderer passer-by, who would leave me to die of some sort of confined-trunk-space-poisoning and ride off to freedom with my newly adjusted (two-wheeled) bike. I promptly climbed out and thought about my next move.
I didn't have much gas or many options. I went to the house where I had seen the salty neighbor man. I knocked on his door planning to call my brother first to see if he could find my spare, all the while praying my spare was not in my purse. A woman tentatively answered the door and I stepped into their cluttered home (here was someone who had a more cluttered place than ME). I dialed my brother who I realize now has a long distance number. Upon attempt number three i get through and ask him to find my key and come get me. He tells me he's frying a chicken breast and that I should call him back in ten minutes. I explain that I cannot "call him back" anymore and he cannot call me either and I tell him to just come and get me. Hopefully he can get back with the key and i can get to a gas station before I have another problem to solve in the freezing cold night. I hang up, not sure how to ask this woman if I can wait for him inside the house as she clearly seems put out that I am standing in her entryway, when MERCIFULLY, Dan comes home. I run out the door as he is walking toward the bike, as he explained later, he was on his way "bust someone up who was stealing Lindsey's bike". HA. I yell at him from across the street. "HEY I locked my keys in the car...it's running." and the first words he uttered were "I love you Lindsey Merrill". Perfect response to not make me cry. I laughed instead and gave him a hug.
Dan then climbs in the trunk, explaining that there usually is some sort of release mechanism inside the trunk in the case that someone would get closed in one. I explained my previous position in that trunk and say I already tried opening the back seat up. Before I could even have a random thought to insert here, he found the switch and was into the back seat!
I dove inside the car to call my brother so that his chicken frying would not have to cease. Then, by the time I got off the phone with my bro, Dan had the front wheel off and the bike into the trunk for me. It still wouldn't close completely, but definitely better than last time.
OH So grateful was I.
God and Dan are GOOD.
Crisis, again, averted.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Bright winter sun streams in thru the dirty office window that I sit behind. It feels warm and hopeful. It feels like its aging my skin. But I don’t mind. With age comes wisdom, and at least then I am not a pasty white engineer type. Thanksgiving was WONDERFUL. I have a great family, full of talented and resilient people. I have their DNA.
Little neon sticky notes pepper my desk and computer screen and I know I should stop typing and get to the equipment list that I need to finish (start?). But somehow this serene Friday after Thanksgiving is begging me to breathe and reflect and be all sappy. And to maybe go find a bagel in the kitchen.
Hope. I hope there is a blueberry one left. I hope I am productive today. I hope people realize that relationships are never over. Their roots linger long after we have tried to remove them. I used to think compartmentalization was necessary and just the way things were…but I am reminded that God only wiped the slate clean once. After that, he said no matter how grave it gets, I will chase you. I will woo you back to me. No matter where you go, what you do, if you are mine and intended for me, I will find you and keep you and redeem you. No matter how broken your bones are, my breath is sufficient to make them dance again.
When I was a kid I had really bad handwriting. I was ashamed of it because it was the only thing I couldn’t seem to get good grades in. It was the source of a dreaded reprimand from my teacher. My aunts and parents worked with me to correct it. I would start a paper or an essay or math homework and halfway through I would look at how messy it was and rip it out crumple it up and start over. My handwriting improved but my method did not. In math, I did so much of it in my head or in my very unorthodox code, which consisted of maybe writing down every third figure and surely not in neat straight lines. It made showing my work to teachers feel very much like lifting my dress over my head. I didn’t understand why they wanted to know how I got there? If the final answer was right…why did it matter how I got there? I never got there like they did anyway.
Into college and after the advent of word processing I would do much the same thing. I never wanted record of changes, or mistakes, so I would rarely track them. I would not keep first drafts. I couldn’t even seem to follow proper procedure in my chemistry lab books, no erasing, white-out or scratching through was allowed. You had to draw one single line through your error so that everyone could still see it. Then you had to initial it. As if to say, “I am LEM and this is the color of my underwear on 11/12/08.” Even as I saw the tracking of these errors as neon signs pointing to the chinks in my armor of perfection, the wise profs saw the value of this process. They (whoever they were) realized that the process of recording what was done, right down to the mistake, was important to the final product and for looking back over decision making processes. They also knew that if you go into battle with chink-y armor, that isn’t a good thing.
Now (that I am old, wise and sun-damaged) I keep everything. It’s taken me seven years of hard learning, but I keep all of my chicken scratches that I write on my engineering drawings in three large bank boxes under my desk. This means I have had to stop doodling and recording unhelpful meeting commentary..i.e. “Wow, Joe Schmuckatelli has excessive ear hair”. This also means I have to keep the boxes away from the space heater. I keep a ratty book of my process flow diagrams for work for the duration of the project now. It becomes so cool. With all of the different colors of pen, all the notes and data, the layers of thought and dog-eared pages. I refer back to it constantly, I teach others with it and it saves me so much time.
All this nerdy-ness is my way of illustrating that the process is important. With stuff, but even more with people. I used to be so much more endpoint oriented, final-polished-product oriented. I left out the value and the beauty of the process.
Perfect example would be my basketball career. Not many people can say that they have four national championship rings, I very much can. But I also know about my shortcomings and things I did during that time that more resembled sausage-making than living a dream-like journey. That process was overlooked and unimportant to me compared to getting the ring at the end of the year. The endpoint was praised, but it was so fleeting and empty, I wish I had done the journey part better, especially with respect to relationships with people and with respect to taking care of myself physically, and spiritually.
There were no blueberry bagels, but there is still Hope.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I sit by a window now…so the goings on outside now permeate my bubble… yesterday there were a gaggle of Canada Geese tromping by... from the neck up they bobbed along, cheering me on. GO BACK TO WORK.
Today a woman glided by pushing a cart of sandwiches…like unwrapped ones...where is she going? What is the lunch occasion? Why wouldn’t you cover them knowing there are geese around?? GET BACK TO WORK.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
A few things I'm so thankful for on this election day, regardless of the outcome:
*We live in a democracy where we have the right to a vote and a voice. We have the God-given responsibility to use both wisely and in the way that best reflects what God conveys through Scripture.
*God "works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will" and "according to the plan." Ephesians 1:11
*Not only does God work out everything in conformity with His will, He has promised to work out everything for the GOOD of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
*God sets up kings and deposes them and gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:21
*We, the beautifully diverse family of God, are never - not at any time - powerless. Nor are we ever victims of a system. Believing prayer takes us through doors we'll never be invited to enter and into judges chambers we'll never grace. Take a look back at Genesis 18 once again with astonishment over the dialogue between God and His servant and friend, Abraham. Rejoice that God is ever mindful of a faithful remnant. The Judge of the Earth will always do right.
*Even if persecution should await believers in Christ or harrowing circumstances hound us, God will use hardship to bring unity and purity to a people who need it desperately. The best of circumstances do not always produce the best in the Bride of Christ.
*The living God is firmly established upon His Throne and there at His holy feet we can always find grace and mercy in our time of need.
*No matter what happens today, we are GOD'S elect. He has elected us to show His heart and to walk in His ways in the culture that surrounds us. We are called to walk in the challenging balance of grace and truth.
May we be filled with Christ's Spirit today and our mouths given to praise and to believing, receiving prayer. God IS faithful and He has us firmly in His hand. We will not fear. We will not doubt. We will not hate.
"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I was reminded by Singram, that not ONLY is the Daylight savings day approaching, but ALSO during this period of time there is another fall event to be given due consideration. In our office, and I would dare to assume in other offices across this fine land of ours and across the world, the internal clocks of men, much like the migration pattern of birds, make the switch from polo’s or long sleeve button-up shirts to the full-on diamond pattern turquoise blue Cosby sweaters.
That’s right folks.. the “Fall Cosbinox” is quickly approaching.
It’s not on a calendar…it’s written only on the hearts of men.
(Credit for the term ‘Cosbinox’ goes solely to S. Ingram, THE funniest person ever).
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
My brother fixed my toilet leak! That is happy.
Gas prices are down.
I finally found dried strawberries after years of searching. (NOT the freeze dried kind)
Brian, my Physical Therapist is killing me in a good way.
Had a meeting where the fearless leader of our company stated “Ain’t that as weird as a bag of chips?”
I just work here.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
A few nights ago I read the manual to the new washing machine. In English AND Spanish.
This morning I turned the lights on in my Office building for the first time in my now SEVEN count 'am SEVEN year stint at "whatever it is that I do". (Reading between the lines it means I was the first person at the office... that has never happened before...I have many times been the last...but never the first....).
I sat in a Walgreens parking lot between PT and Volleyball tonight reading a magazing and listening to random magic sermon CD's that were given to me by God because we could not determine from whence they came.. only I'm sure they missed their intended recipient because these CD's were on husbands and wives submitting and stuff. Return to sender.
The shoulder and knee do not feel better. Elbow and back feel worse. Is this worth a 25 dollar copay every time?? I do not know yet.
I don't have cable...good.
I am stealing wireless...bad.
It's going away. It has to.
It's a good life. I think there is purpose, even here.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Recall back when I never wrote down the story about Lucerne? Well after the second person told me about this story… I felt I should tell it after all.
We had one hour to experience the joy that was Lucerne, Switzerland. My parents were visiting and this was their last stop on their tour of the country I was calling home before they went back to the states. That made this event much more painful. In our hour we were going to walk down to the "lion" and just wander the city a little bit so we decided to stow our winter wear in a locker in the train station so we didn't have to lug it around with us. My mom was to be central keeper of bulky things so we stuffed anything we wanted to keep in her back pack. It was a small backpack, almost purse-like and I stowed my wallet in it. You see where this is going? Not 200 yards from said locker I got to the bus stop and needed to buy a ticket. I turned to get said wallet and the backpack was flapping open, wallet gone.
We all calmly flipped. Well except for Mom who was calmly hysterical. We retraced. Checked trashcans. Glared at all smarmy locals, (why were there so many more smarmy locals that day? ) We retraced again. And again. Nothing. Maybe someone turned it in??
Why would they, it had my EVERTYHING in there. We are talking Passport, Swiss Work Permit, Train half fare card, Train Ticket, tram pass for Basel, Credit Cards, Bank Card, Insurance Cards, 300 dollars in cash, Drivers License ID, Hosiery club cards at JCPenney, and I had NOTHING left. If my folks hadn't been there I would not have been able to get home. I had no phone numbers, no phone with me that was charged. I was somehow fine will ALL of this stuff and was keeping it together and breathing normally, even though my blood pressure was elevated, but I broke down and LOST it on the bridge when I realized the one thing that could not be replaced, restored or re-ordered was the key to the lock on my 'new' old bike that I had just gotten to ride to work. It would now just sit there and rust in front of my apartment until doomsday. And there was little to no chance of getting another one at such a deal. So yes that is what finally made me cry. I hated Lucerne, with its charming covered wooden bridges and it's flower boxes and it's gorgeous lake, litered with swans and yachts.
We went to the tourist information booth. They sent us to Lost and Found, who had nothing. Lost and Found sent us to the police station. Police station was the last straw and our last hope before leaving the trail behind and heading home. Police man went in the back and came out with my wallet, shiny and sound. I lost my mind and dove across the counter and hugged the stiff Swiss Officer around his immaculately kempt neck, as he looked, well… assaulted.
My mom started crying tears of relief and Dad struggled not to get misty, I apologized to the officer for being an American. He seemed to understand my handicap and nodded knowingly.
Walked directly out of the Station, went back up to the nice ladies at the Tourist Info booth to let them know I found it and then as we walked out of that door, our train was magically parked in the very first platform (the first of like 15 or so). We walked directly onto the train and ordered a round of beers. Crisis averted. Fervent prayers answered.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Some one asked "Are you who you are on your blog or are you who you are right now sitting in front of me sad and low?" The answer is Yes. I also told her that I was due for a big laundry-airing blog soon and that I was unsure of how to unravel all of the tangled kite strings in order to be coherent, encouraging and real. I was a bit "blogstipated".
I am not always idealist pie in the sky, or head in the cynical gutter of real-ism. I am sometimes potato on the couch... or yuppie in the park. A Dork on the dance floor or a Lonely girl under heavy blanket. I am always a Work In Progress. I don't want to be. I want to be done progressing so I can just chill out. So that the angry little anxiety monkeys that seem to take up residence on my trapezius muscles will get vertigo from being up there so high that they will jump over to some shorter person.
Cheesy spiritual analogy of the month: I am this garden hose. All my life I have been dreaming about and prepping for watering this one very specific type of plant. This plant is quite rare and no where to be found. Afraid that my well of water will dry up if I water anything else in the meantime has made me choke off the flow to the other thirsty plants. I look at their brown and dry leaves and say "What? Don't look at me! I don't' have any water...God is going to water you. What? Oh this? This kinked hose? You see this water, MY water, is waiting for something else. I can't spare a drop. As I wait for this plant, search for this plant, attempt to plant this plant myself... the water stagnates and grows moldy things.
Grrr... brownness, dryness, crackly-ness, is all I see...maybe I should just water the stuff around me. If the vegetation that grows up chokes out space for this plant I'm waiting to water.. then so be it. I'll still have a really awesome garden and the water that once bred mosquitoes will flow and be used. Because maybe that one plant doesn't exist anyway. Maybe I'd rather have a garden of randomness.
Maybe, just maybe, that water wont dry up.
I noticed that on another blog she consistently ends it with things she loves. I think that is grand. The cynic in me wonders if it's so she doesn't jump off a roof everyday. I can relate to the need to list my "happies" so that the monkeys don't choke me, mash my heart down to an unrecognizable pulp and then tap dance on my head. I have decided I shall do that more often to bust up the parties they have.
So here a bit randomly, is another sort of list.
Deb...I still think about you and Noah... a lot.
Steve.. I still think about you getting shot. It wigs me out.
D.. I still think about your mom.
Beth.. I still think about your brother.
A&M…I still pray for you.
A…I am praying like MAD for you.
Marc…I am happily jealous of you and live vicariously through you. Although that word isn't going to fit on the board.
G-ma Murl… You are gonna bounce.
Blazer...I think about your past few months.
Liz.. You just rock my socks off like always and I'm so proud of you like always.
Jodie...How you do what you do and make what you make in the time that you make it... is anyone's guess. I'm inspired and terrified that my kids, if they ever shall exist, will know nothing other than chicken nuggets until they are off to college and have only the photo they came home from the hospital with to show for their upbringing.
Babies of St. Louis. I don't know all of your names, but I somehow want you all to know that I am your Crazy Aunt Lindsey even if you have never seen me or if I wasn't around to give you an appropriate shower gift or hand knit you booties.
In my post-speech analysis. I did not mention Barack Obama's name in the previous paragraphs. I must want to run for president in 2012. I DID however use the pronoun "I" several times. So… that must mean that I think somewhere deep in my heart of hearts... that I just didn't want to type my name out again.
Cruz it's really not about "me". ;)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and the waves will not overcome you. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name you are mine. For I am the Lord your God. I am the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I am the Lord. Do not fear.
When you walk through the fire, you'll not be burned. And the flames will not consume you. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name you are mine. For I am the Lord your God. I am the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I am the Lord. Do not fear.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I don't care how awkward I might feel talking to You, or about You.
I don't care how much trouble I have accepting some of the teachings.
I don't care that my entire former self-image was wrapped up in the "party girl" persona.
I don't care if some Christian music is treacle and the lyrics contrived.
I don't care what havoc may have been wrought in Your name in the past, or what may be in the future.
I don't care if some of Your flock seem hypocritical or self-righteous or sanctimonious.
I don't care if there are times when I can't feel Your presence.
I don't care if loving You means I have to at least attempt to love myself.
I don't care if friends roll their eyes and laugh at my conversion.
I don't care if I feel like a faker sometimes, and I don't care if it's harder to do Your will than it would be to follow my own desires, and I don't care if I'm less than perfect at it.
None of that matters. I give up. I want You. And I'm Yours, if You want me.
Monday, July 28, 2008
What have I been up to since I've been home. NOT BLOGGING.
DOOING. Which is nice. And maybe a little more normal. My camera lens is cloudy I think so these are a little blurry...but here is a snippet of Baby Tour 2008.
Meet Isaac ChouMeet Isaac Chou's rear end. (Dad is so proud).
Meet Amelia Wilson. Meet Ruby, and Sadie Coalier, and Riley Hogan.
Meet Taylor and Sophie.
Taylor's "ant" face.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wisdom is hidden from the learned and given to the children.
Several people (more than I care to admit really) have been trying to tell me that I am too uptight. Too self-depreciating and I am trying really hard to listen to the advice. God has forgiven my transgressions as far as the east is from the west.
I am tired of trying so damn hard.
Taking the advice to breathe, to live, to let my wall down.
Thankyou J, L, M, D, S, D, M, A. (That is a lot of people).
Im trying to tell you something about my lifeMaybe give me insight between black and whiteAnd the best thing youve ever done for meIs to help me take my life less seriouslyIts only life after allWell darkness has a hunger thats insatiableAnd lightness has a call thats hard to hearI wrap my fear around me like a blanketI sailed my ship of safety till I sank itIm crawling on your shores
Thursday, June 26, 2008
It's been a minute since you have heard from me and a lot has happened in the last two weeks. I have "finished" up with my job in Switzerland, did some canyoning, some Euro Cup (Holland vs. Russia) madness, and am offically done and back home.
Almost. I stopped off in Fort Walton Beach Florida with my dear friends Ashley Deana, Deb and Anne et. atl. It's been awesome being back home and I only have a little bit of culture shock. (America... please eat better....seriously.) But I am very happy to be home. I was a little sad to leave all of my new friends on the one side, but they have their own gigs there and life will go on as before. I am in a strange place at this time. I feel elated to be back in the states but I have no clue what is next. My house group is in turmoil and likely is dissolved. Several babies have been born in my absence, making me wonder if I need to do a "baby tour 2008" I mean seriously (Bethels, Murphys, Murphys, Wackers, Fabbianos, McKinleys, two of my cousins on my dad's side, one on my mom's and I could keep going but I wont...). Engagements, new relationships, etc. In my gaining a lot, I have missed a lot as well. I feel like a foreign exchange student. I haven't seen an American commercial on Amerian TV in a looong time. Or eaten Peanut butter in a looooong time.
Plenty of time for catching up with all of that.
Life should return to normal. I have decided that I want normal to be the "non-bitter" version of normal. I left my "bitter bags" in Europe. I am done being angry. Maybe because I am done being in Europe, so that would seem easy, but maybe it is just that easy.
I am home. I am happy. I have no idea what my future holds and it's ok. Job, Church, Life? No clue. No clue except that I need to cling to God more. I need to get into scripture more and I needed to balance my work life and home life and fitness life better.
A few pictures for you. Liz came and visited for Canyoning and EuroCup craziness. Thanks Liz for a great time in helping me overcome my fear of falling off a sheer rock cliff backwards... er... I mean rappelling. Note one of the sand sculptures we did in Florida! Woo hoo. I'm only a little bit sunburned...in my eyeballs. Thanks D, Ash, Deb and Annie for meeting me at the airport with no expectations.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Segovia is a day trip outside of Mardrid. It was also Disney-esque and painfully blue-skied. We toured a cathedral, a castle, 2000 year old roman aqueduct and ate the best suckling pig in Spain.
That IS a curly tail that you are seeing.A dance festival in Segovia. Girls with castanets in red and black dresses, boys with wooden sticks.
Flamenco dancing. Passionate, Firey, Sweaty and Stomp-y. I thought they would put holes in the stage, and I was a little frightened at times, but they were gorgeous. Smoldery, Dark and sombre, haunting and just completely into character. This culture is not messin' around. They dance like they mean it and they sing and play the Spanish guitars like they mean it...and they fight Bulls to relax:
My high school Spanish culture lessons paid off here... above the Banderillo (member of the Matador's "cuadrilla") and El Matador, below. "Matador" means "Insane" and "Not a member of PETA"
Also to relax...they drink wine and have Tapas. So when in Spain...
We went on a walking tapas tour with a crazy English/Irish genlteman as our guide who called himself 'The Chairman' as in the Chaiman of the Wellington society, which he created after he decided not to be a college prof anymore. I'm not sure what it is. But I am a member now. He was really not all about history, but more about showing the six of us a good time and telling funny and memorable stories, so it was a nice insiders look into Madrid.
I tried to order and get around in Spainish, I found myself understanding a lot of words, but not being able to arrange mine in any sensible order. Some mis-"que's" if you will...
2. I called another waiter fat.
3. I basically ordered a game of orange juice. (In Mexico this would have been correct usage of the word, para no en Espana!)
Must hunker down and get work done now. Time is running out.
I am not special. A good friend tells me. It is good to hear.
I am just me.
Bueno. and Muchas Gracias mi amigo de Allemania. Gracias for piles of rubbish as the backdrop for life-giving conversations!
Two weeks more.