Sunday, March 29, 2009

Power of Prayer

I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. There have been too many example throughout my life.

The latest is the reports that North Dakota's Red River crested below 40 feet, well below the expected, devastating 43 feet.

Now the focus is praying the levees hold while the river subsides.

Let us pray...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What Matters Most

This week has been most unique, and is surely testing the gray-covering power of Miss Clairol.

The week began by not being able to fix my freshly cut hair. I had been growing it out for over a year. It had made it's way past my shoulders and close to mid-way down my back. I had wanted it long for versitility but after months of catching it up in a ponytail, I finally decided to get a hair cut. A cute, shoulder length, modified bob, with side swept bangs. When all was done, there was as much hair on the floor as was left on my head. The stylist was able to tame my thick, wavy hair with an expert blow-out. It looked fabulous and healthy when I walked out of the salon. The next day, however, I was reminded why I kept my hair long. I look like Rosanna Rosanna-Danna's Irish cousin.

My baby, Kat, has turned 14. Not that she hasn't already been acting 14 for some time, but she is now actually 14. Where has the time gone? It will not be long before she leaves the nest, like her sister did 2 years ago this August. My son, Ty, 15, upon sensing my meloncoly, assured me he will never leave home. Great.

Work has been extra stressful, as one of my team members moved on to a job closer to home. Because of the ecomony, we won't be able ro replace her any time soon.

The loss of a classmate to a heart attack has me pondering my own mortality. Granted, Daryl had one up on me by having a heart/lung transplant, but he was my age all the same.

My best friend, winning the war on her waistline, gleefully informed me she was just 3 lbs from loosing 50lbs since October. In the meantime, I am having trouble breathing in all the spandex support garments I'm wearing to hold back my belly bulge.

But all this pales in comparison to what my friend Angela and her family are going through right now. They have fled their home in Fargo, as flood waters inch ever closer to their house. Uncertain what may happen to their home, they are thankfully safe, secure, and together.

You can read it in her own words and see the pics here

She began telling me earlier this week, about the long hours spent aiding the sand bagging efforts, all the while telling me that things near her home were fine and that others were far worse off. Where she would manage to find the time to text me and other concerned friends is beyond me. I did not realize until I saw a news report that night, that not only was it raining, it was also snowing.

Being raised in the South, and living all my life in the South, I tend to take a few things for granted. One is that we have 4 very distinct seasons. I forget that the rest of the country is not that lucky. Winter is over by March and we begin to prepare for Spring. That very day it was 75 degrees in Alabama.We were running around in shorts and tee-shirts and at the same time, it was snowing in Fargo, North Dakota to beat the band. Now it had snowed in April my Freshman year of college and we had the blizzard of 93 in March, but those were freak occurances.

My brother had been stationed in Minot ND during his time in the Air Force. Someone had joked before he got there that the unofficial motto was "Why not Minot, Freezin's the Reason" and he soon learned why. It had snowed there for 8 months out of that year. He saw more snow that one year, than he had his entire life in Alabama. But I digress...

Wednesday, Angela relayed that CBS had interviewed her and her daughter after spotting the 11 year old sandbagging. In every message she added, "we're okay."

It was only after seeing the photos of her home, the wall of sandbags less than 20 feet from her house, holding back water from what was normally a dry field, I realized all was not okay.

It's a helpless feeling knowing that you can't do anything to help from so far away. So I did the only thing I knew I could do. I sent the largest case of coffee we produce for Ang to carry to the volunteers. I couldn't do much else, but I could warm a few folks up after spending the day wet and cold. I express-shipped it Thursday afternoon to arrive Friday, but the water would prove to be faster than UPS.

Thursday, after several days spent working on the sand bag line, Ang and Jared focused their attention on their own home again. They spent the remainder of the day carting valuable possesions to the second floor of their home, even stacking some things on cinderblocks for added protection. The need for evacuation was emminent. At 11pm. they packed up their four children and left for Moorehead, MN, only to be sent on due to a sewage problem.

When I spoke to her at 8:30 Friday morning, her usually bubbly , cheerful voice was a mixture of fatigue and fear.

I hung up the telephone and cried.

She had told me where to call and let those coordinating the volunteer efforts know about the case of coffee. The woman who answered the phone thanked me over and over. She also commented on my "darling accent."

Later in the afternoon, I heard that they made it to Minneapolis safely. A post this morning reads that they are enjoying the indoor pool and the will be touring the zoo.

An eternal optimist, Angela decided that, while she is worried what they will find when they are able to return home, she had come to terms with what might be lost. "It is just stuff and can be replaced" she blogs.

Lucky girl....she was able to save what matters most.

Want to know how YOU can help?
Follow the following links to find out how.

Donations (monetary, food, etc..) are greatly needed.

Please visit: and donate - these monetary donations will be doubled and kept local. These funds will assist with shelters and volunteer efforts.

Also, donate to the Salvation Army -
and Red Cross -
both organizations will be instrumental in recovery efforts.

Local radio coverage in Fargo and

..but above all PRAY

Pray that the water stops rising and the levees hold
Pray for those left behind with no where to go to ride out the flood
Pray for those who stayed behind to help
Pray for those who had to leave behind everything they owned

“ The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayers of the righteous.” Proverbs 15:29

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Making the most of second chances

My hometown has one less citizen today.
My classmate, Daryl Barkley passed away.
He was one lucky son of a gun. Not because he is the younger brother of basketball legend, Charles, but because God had given him a second chance at life.
Six years ago, despite putting his body through hell, he got a new start with a heart and lung transplant.
After the transplant, Daryl was a much different person from the one I grew up with. Anti-rejection drups took the place of recreational ones. He ate the right things, he excercised, he won a medal in the Transplant Olympics. He was caring and sincere and funny.
He made the most of his second chance.
We will miss you Daryl.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Somethings just need to be sacred...

Last night I had this weird, uneasy feeling.."a disturbance in The Force..." as Obiwan would say.

I had retreated to our bedroom to watch t.v., while the rest of my family watched American Idol in the living room. I don't really get into that show anymore and since it seems to come on every night, I've taken to the sanctity of the bedroom to watch something of my own choosing.

It struck me all at once and I had heard my youngest squeal something about "loving Carrie Underwood's new song, " but paid it very little attention....until....

my husband snatched open the bedroom door...

"That's just WRONG!" he exclaimed..."just wrong!"

"What?!" I responded, startled, but certain an explaination was soon to follow

"Carrie Underwood singing Home Sweet Home!"

I gasped! "You are joking!"

As a heavy-metal, head-banger from way back, I couldn't quite put my head around that one. Home Sweet Home is my undisputed favorite power ballad. Everyone knows how I dislike remakes (with only a handful of notable exceptions) and how they never compare to the original.

On the drive into work today, my favorite radio duo, Rick and Bubba, fellow children of the 80's, were musing the exact same conundrum.

Then they played her version. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't The Crue.
It reminded me of listening to my favorite song redone by Muzak or Conway Twitty.
They played Motley Crue's version in the same segment, but the damage was already done.

I feel kinda like I'm walking around in only one high-heeled shoe....not quite right. I want to like it, but those hair-band roots run deep. Was Carrie Underwood even born then?
Is nothing sacred? Can't 80's music be off limits?

I will let you decide for yourself which might be better

The original

Carrie's version

I remember first seeing Motley Crue at a record store where they were signing copies of their single "Too Young to Fall in Love." Me and a well-endowed friend got free tickets to that night's concert because she flashed Vince Neil.

The Crue wasn't the only hair band I followed: I first saw KISS when I was about 10 and then rocked with them again later on their sold-out reunion tour. I had fought my way to the front row to see Ratt, Cinderella,Warrant and even praised the Lord to the heavy-metal stylings of Stryper. I was lucky enough to see Bon Jovi for the first time on the front row thanks to the father of a wealthy college chum who bought out the right side for her birthday and saw Def Leppard everytime their feet touched Alabama soil. I even possess a Rikki Rockett drum stick, handed to me by a guy in sunglasses and a dirty t-shirt. I learned, 20 years too late, that that was a "special" backstage pass, handed out to ladies that caught the Poision drummer's eye. (Well, I WAS having a good big-hair day at that concert).

Though I hung up my leather and lace a long time ago, every now and again I relive those glory the safety of my enclosed car.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Only in Alabama

Only in Alabama can it be 75 one weekend, then snow the next!

Thankfully the ground was warm enough that we didn't have ice, but just enough snow for fun.