FALL FLING 2012

I have spent the last few days with my friends, Shirley and Tina, on our annual fall trip.  This year we returned to Atlanta, one of our favorite places to visit and shop.  I had learned about the Country Living Fair that is sponsored by Country Living magazine, and it sounded like just the sort of event the three of us like the best.  So, plans were made and off we went for 4 days of fun, frivolity and friendship.  Since the event was held at Stone Mountain, we stayed in a new place for us, Tucker, which is nearby.

We arrived in Atlanta and managed to do some shopping in the area of our motel before bedtime.  We intended to get up early, so as to be in line for tickets to the Fair, before the majority of people arrived.  When I checked in, one of the ladies at the motel handed me a ticket and said that another lady had checked in and one of the people in her group could not come.  She had given the ticket to her and told her to give it to someone when they checked in.  And she gave it to me!  Wow!  That was like an extra $20 in my pocket!

We did get in line early and were able to walk right in when the gates were opened.  It was an excellent fair.  There were lots of good vendors there with amazing wares!  We had the most fun looking and seeing all the new things and the old things and the new-to-us old things!  The fair is at Stone Mountain Park and the vendors were set up along a paved path winding through the woods.  It still was a help to have my cane, though.  The foliage was beautiful and the weather could not have been nicer.  Cool, a little breeze…just perfect!  We shopped until about an hour before they closed…but our feet had walked all they wanted to for that day!  Really didn’t buy very much…just a few little treasures we couldn’t leave behind!

Aren’t these the most gorgeous pumpkins?  They were everywhere!  So festive!

 

 

Though we had no problem getting there, getting out of there was a different story!  It could have been the driver…it could have been the navigator…it even could have been the passenger with opinions in the back seat…WHATEVER…we could not find our way out.  When we finally did, after asking a policeman and a park worker, trouble continued to follow.  We found the road out, but one of us wanted to go see what was in Stone Mountain Village.  So, we went that way.  Wrong decision.  In case you care…there is nothing there…nothing.  And even though there was nothing there, and seemingly only 2 roads…we still managed to get turned around.  Really, I do not even remember how we got back on the right highway, but we finally made it back to the motel and ordered in Chinese food.  Looooooong day.  Good day.

Saturday, we had tickets to return to the Country Living Fair…but, we decided we’d seen enough and besides, we wanted to visit some of our favorite places.  (There is NEVER enough time for us to get in all we want to when we travel…we just always run out of time.)  I will admit to being a little OCD about some things…and one of them is knowing where I am going and how to get there.  And, even though I was never a boy scout, I do believe in the motto, BE PREPARED.  So, I had printed out explicit directions to and from anywhere we could possibly have thought of going.  And, since Shirley had told me of a great place in Alpharetta she had heard of on several blogs, I had directions there as well.  Our plans were to go to Roswell and Alpharetta and visit our favorite shops and then visit the new place.  We dressed and got into the car and I handed the directions to the friend seated to my right.  All I asked her and her friend in the backseat to do is read and watch the road signs.  While I, as the driver, was dealing with all those crazy drivers going 90 miles an hour on 8 lane highways, and trying to merge from this road to that road and switch lanes because the lane I’m in suddenly and unexpectedly turns into an exit lane and trying to keep my wits about me when someone blows the horn at me for no good reason that I could tell!  I thought it was more than a fair plan of action.  And, that’s all I’ll say about that.  However…we ended up on a toll road going in the wrong direction when I was told to take the wrong exit.  I was cool…I didn’t mind wasting 50 cents to go the wrong way.  Heck!  I didn’t even mind wasting 50 cents again to try and get back to where I was when I was led down the wrong path.  And, that, dear friends, is how I ended up in Buckhead.  At a traffic light.  Staring right at a TJMaxx, one of our favorite places to go hunting.  So, to prevent myself from screaming unkind words, or from tearing my hair out by the roots, I instead suggested we take a little sanity break at TJM.  And that suited everyone!  We managed to stay in the store for 3 hours.  We also filled up 3 carts.  Sanity comes at a price!  We had fun.  But, we had to get it in gear if we were going to hit all the places on our list.  I used the navigation on my phone and found the way to the new store and it was a fairly easy trip there.

It turned out this place, Queen of Hearts Antiques and Interiors, was huge!  And we could tell it was just the sort of place we loved to spend time and money.  We went in and turned to the right down a narrow aisle through the vendor’s booths.  Shirley and Tina were ahead of me.  I had to step back to let 2 ladies into the booth we were walking past.  I didn’t, however, catch up with S and T, because one of the women who passed in front of me looked vaguely familiar.  I asked her what her name was and she told me it was Cherilyn.  I just stared.  Then she said that I looked familiar to her.  I told her my name was Tonja.  She then knew who I was, as well.  I had run into my first cousin whom I had not seen in 27 years!

We hugged and talked and hugged again.  Our dads were brothers.  Her mom was the one who always got the family together for reunions, and the last one she had was when Ian was about 2…he is 29 now.  That was actually the last time I have seen any of my cousins or aunts and uncles on my Pop’s side. I just recently made contact with another cousin, Margie, online.  Cherilyn and I exchanged contact information and caught up on the family that we knew about.  She works at this store 3 days a week and has a wonderful booth there, too.  What a serendipitous meeting!

This is what I know for sure.  We can make plans and leave home with all intentions to go to a certain place at a certain time…but if it is not in God’s plans…it will never happen. No matter how carefully we have planned our itinerary.  No matter how many directions we have printed out.  I totally believe that God orchestrated our whole morning…the going off at the wrong exit, the time spent in TJM, the finding the correct roads…just so that I would walk down that narrow aisle at exactly the same time as my cousin.  He is just that way.  Those of us who trust Him as our Lord and Savior are His children.  And, He delights in treating us to unexpected ‘good things’.  There’s no other way to explain it.  We even discovered we had been at the same place at the same time twice in the past few years!  But, we didn’t meet.  This was the appointed time.  How wonderful to touch base with some of my Pop’s family again.  What a blessed day this truly was!

We finished our shopping there (and we found some wonderful treasures) and reluctantly left to try to make time for our other stops.  (Next time we come here, we will allow a whole day!) (This is one of Cherilyn’s booths…great ‘stuff’!)

We made our way to Roswell and the delightful little Canton Street.  Finishing there, we attempted to find one more shop.  We got to the right exit, and we found the right road, and we decided they must have moved the store.  We did see a Cheesecake Factory, though, and decided this was a good place for dinner.  And, it was.  AND…we did not even get any cheesecake!!!  Hard to believe, I know!  As we made our way back to the interstate and on to our motel, we drove right past the shop we had been looking for all along….closed now, of course!

Up early on Sunday morning and on to the puzzle of trying to fit 3 ladies and all the treasures they could find into the Pilot.  That job was delegated to Tina and Shirl…my job was to stand guard and make sure I knew the way to get out of Tucker and back to Dothan.  The puzzle fit together and the navigation was correct and we pulled back into Dothan early evening.

Shirley still had a two hour drive ahead of her to get back to Moultrie.  And she made it safely.  (Pic below on Canton Street, Roswell)

What a trip!  Wonderful time spent with the friends who know me best and love me anyway!  Oh, how important it is to have people like this in your life.  I hope you do.  I know I have been blessed in this regard.  So, that’s it…until we gather together again in the spring for our next getaway!

“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; …”  Psalm 126:2a

SHOW ME THE HOUSE

Last Friday afternoon, I picked up my good friend, Bonnie, and we set off on an adventure.  It has been a while since we had been able to get together.  We wanted get away this summer, but life just didn’t cooperate.  So, she suggested that we go to Rosemary Beach, Florida and tour the Coastal Living Magazine’s Ultimate Beach House.  Well, I thought this was a great idea and so we put it on our calendars.  It so happened that the planets aligned and good luck was with us, because nothing came up to spoil our plans, we went, we saw it and it was beautiful!

Of course, that’s not all we did.  I mean, why waste a perfectly good trip to the beach and not do but one thing!  Silliness!  We went out to eat when we got there on Friday night and then we discovered we had just enough time to shop one store before closing time.  What did we choose?  A shop jam packed with wonderful clothes for babies and children!  Oh, such fun.  We both managed to leave there minus some cash!  Then, we sat up talking till the wee hours.  Bonnie is the director of the school I taught at for 20 years.  She is still there…they will NEVER let her retire!  So, I had to catch up on each and every one of the teachers. (Girls, were your ears burning?)  Then I had to find out the goings on at the school.  And she had to find out about the people and things in my life.  Then we got onto our families and there was much to discuss there.  She has a yummy grandson named Cal who is 2 weeks older than Levi.  We had to talk about all the wonderful things they each were doing!   And, we wore ourselves out and headed to bed.

Up early the next morning, we headed to THE most delightful old highway that runs along the coast…30-A.  Along this highway are the beach towns of Seaside, Watersound, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, along with others all the way to Destin!  We made Seaside our first stop and had breakfast at an open air cafe.  It was divine!  And, then we felt that it was only right to explore some of their shops as well.  And, once again, we helped out the economy of this small village!  There are such wonderful little walkways and gardens and galleries to explore there.  We posed for a few pics and then made our way back to the car.

 

 

 

On to Rosemary Beach where the ‘house’ was located.  I had never driven back into this area before and it was wonderful.  We finally found the show house and eagerly went inside.  It was unbelievable!  Already sold for 2.7 million dollars before it was even built, it was indeed the ULTIMATE beach house!  It was impeccably furnished with flooring and furniture and art…most of which has been bought by the new owners as well.  We went from room to room exploring the upstairs and downstairs and the most wonderful courtyard.

 

Yes, we really enjoyed that courtyard and pool area!  Here are a few more pics of that area.  Notice the unusual open window cut into the side wall.

 

And some inside the house…den/dining…lovely linens…..beautiful bedrooms….and a cute little web footed mirror that I can not get to turn right side up for the life of me…

 

 

 

 

I just tried again and it will not budge.  Just ignore the sideways lady in the mirror and look at the cute feet!

Anyway, if you would like to see more of the house go to the October issue of Coastal Living magazine, and prepare to be wowed!   But, the pictures do not do the house justice.  It is much better in person!   (We know the twin sister of the decorator.  She lives in Dothan, and her children went to our school…the sister, not the decorator).  Or, if you are near the area, hurry down and see it.  I think it is only open a few more weeks!

We stopped at an interesting place or two on the way out of the area and then set our sights toward Dothan.  Ran into ugly rain off and on, but made it safely.  It was such a lovely trip with a dear, sweet friend.  And, I, for one, will not let it take as long for us to set off again!

 

MORNING OUTING

DH and I were away from home and not on any schedule.  So when I woke up earlier than he, I eased out of bed…very quietly…and moved to the den.  I opened the computer and read.  I did nothing to wake him up and nothing to make any noise.  I opened the refrigerator very quietly and eased out a DDP and opened it inside the refrigerator…so even the “WHOOSH” sound wouldn’t disturb him.  Cause, y’all don’t even know…just  normal breathing disturbs him.  I didn’t dare get dressed.

After about 40 minutes, I heard him up and then he came into the den.

ME:  “Good morning”

DH:  “Good morning.  I’m hungry.  Let’s go and get a biscuit.”

ME:  “But, I’m not dressed.  Just go on and get us something and I’ll get the table ready.”

DH:  “No, come on and ride with me.”

ME:  “But, my hair isn’t even combed.”

DH:  “You’re fine.  Come on, you’ll just be in the truck.”  Yes, I was tooling around town looking like a sad, sad excuse for womankind everywhere…and I’m doing it in a truck!  One of my least favorite forms of transportation!  But, DH loves it…and it does beat walking! 🙂

ME:  “O.K.  But, I’m NOT getting out of the truck.”  So, out of the house I go…just as I looked when I got out of bed.  And, it’s not pretty.  I had on my pajama bottoms…short, bright green with white polka dots.  I had on the top to another pair of pajamas.  Heaven only knows why…but I packed the top of one set and the bottom of another. You know, some pajamas can almost pass for regular clothes…and the bottoms of my ensemble could have passed…perhaps if I had had on a matching top.  The top I did have on was bright orange…very baggy (so as to sleep more comfortably).  It is not a top I would ever wear out because the neck…she is a little too low for my comfort.  Thankfully, I did have on an upper body undergarment.  I left with no shoes…not even flip-flops.  I was not cute.  Comfortable, but not cute.

We traveled the 2 minute trip it takes to get to the doughnut shop/biscuit place.  I told him what I wanted  to eat and drink.

He ordered and came back to the truck while he was waiting, to tell me the following:

DH:  “Look at all those tables they have out here to sit and eat at.  I bet you would enjoy eating out here in the cool breeze.  It sure is nice.”

I just bet he thinks I bet I would enjoy sitting outside in the cool breeze.  In my green pajama bottoms, and my bright orange, too low for daytime top, and no shoes, makeup or hair combing.

ME:  “We can sit here in the truck if you want to, but I’m not going to get out looking like this and go sit at those picnic tables.”

But, something told me this was one of those battles that was going to be senseless to fight.  It was early.  I was hungry.  No one there looked any better than I…and they were ready for the day, and some were heading to the beach.  So, I went searching through his truck to see if I could, at least,  find a comb.  My DH is one of the neatest, most groomed persons I know.  He’s right on par with my Pop.  I can get a shower, wash and dry my hair, put on makeup, pick out and iron my clothes and get dressed…fully…and he will still be in the shower!  So, I would expect him to have several combs stashed around the truck.  Because, the man…he does LOVE to comb his hair.  LOVES!  But, no comb.  All I found were his deacon ministry cards from church, a dozen or so straws from McD’s, several plastic wrapped spoons and forks, a few coins, some chapstick, and a random key.  I thought to myself, “What would Mrs. McGyver do?”

Well, let me tell you, friends.  I discovered that you can take a plastic fork and hold it backwards (upside down)  and it makes a fairly decent comb.  It only has 4 teeth, of course.  But, in a pinch…it’ll do!

And, when DH came back to the truck, I hopped out, and tiptoed through the sand spurs to the picnic tables.

It was, indeed, delightful sitting there in the cool breeze eating our biscuit next to the ocean.  And, after I finished my biscuit, I was REALLY glad I had agreed to expose my self and my night clothes to the morning sun.  Cause in the bottom of the bag was the freshest, gooiest, Long John!  (Rectangle of glazed doughnut dough, filled with yummy white cream, and topped with chocolate icing.)  It was divine!  It was scrumptious!  It was the best!  We enjoyed our breakfast…and the dessert and then, I waited till no one was looking, that I could see, and tiptoed back through the sand spurs (little pods about the size of a pea that are covered in strong, mean, mean stickers) and hopped up into the truck.  SAFE!

Sometimes, you just have to let go of the way you feel and just live the moment as it presents itself.    I did and the reward was well worth it!  Sweet memories made on a weathered old picnic table, by the ocean, just me and DH.

I probably shouldn’t mention that I was also silently beseeching the Lord to “please don’t let anybody who knows me show up while I’m here!”

 

SHOW AND TELL

You are all familiar with ‘show and tell’ day, from kindergarten, I feel sure.  At my former school, this meant to bring something to show and then tell something about it.  But, here…the lesson comes first…then the picture.

When I first went to Hawaii, I think I was 15, I bought a big piece of ‘tapa cloth’.  And it hung on my wall both at home and at college.  But, somewhere between getting married and moving and moving and moving and moving…it got lost.  Or someone threw it away…not knowing how special it was.  I have always searched for more each time I have been back, but all I could ever find was in galleries and it cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars, or it was made into some silly trinket instead of just the plain cloth.  But, when I went last year, I ran across some small pieces that were more reasonably priced and snapped up 3 pieces as quick as I could.  I kept those pieces rolled up in tissue paper while we travelled and I made it home with out any creases in them.  I then stretched then on canvas.  And, they are now very prized possessions.

The Lesson:  Tapa cloth (or simply tapa) is a bark cloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, primarily in Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji.  It is made from the inner bark of paper mulberry trees or breadfruit trees, and can also be called kapa.  It was once of great importance to the islanders, being used for clothing,rugs, blankets, etc.  It was even traded with other islands, or given as gifts.  It is produced by strip long area of bark, then boiling and separating the fibers.

Then the softened fibers were pounded to make one large piece of cloth.

Several layers of these fibers would be glued together, then allowed to dry.   Traditional dyes of black and a rust-brown were used to decorate the cloth…primarily by use of stamps or stencils…with geometrical patterns of the native culture.  Each island group had its own special symbols.  These are still used today on decorative items, and often are the ‘tribal markings’ you see tattoed around the bicep or calf muscle of brave islanders!

Though strong when dry, tapa cloth would lose its strength when wet and fall apart.  Nowadays tapa is still often worn on formal occasions such as weddings and funerals. Another use is as blanket at night, or for room dividers. It is also highly prized for its decorative value and is often found used to hang on the walls as a decoration.  It is still used in ceremonial masks, and to wrap sacred objects.

Here are the small pieces that I bought…stretched and hung on the wall leading into our library.

I have had them leaning against the wall in the library, but now that they are hung…I love them even more!
And, if you can recall the story I told you about the ‘picture hanging and paint fiasco’, you will remember it centered around 3 pictures Adam gave us for Christmas.  Here are the pics, and their position on our wall.  It’s hard to get a good picture of a picture, but I did my best.

The areas around the birds are actually a little lighter than the rest of the picture.  I am so happy with these pictures, they truly add to the beauty of the home. (I hope that doesn’t sound boastful.  I don’t mean it to be, I just love it here so much.)  I am so, so proud of the artistic eye that Adam has, and his ability to put the things he ‘sees in his mind’ onto actual paper.  This grouping delights me every time I pass it!  Thanks, Adam!

My husband told me one time that he didn’t think I’d ever rest easy until I had knocked holes in all the walls in our house and hung pictures in every blank space available. Well, of course I won’t.  What are walls for, after all?

WHERE WERE YOU?………part 2

Here we go…more memories.  This first one is a step back, then a jump forward.

JULY 1980

This was a day of fairy tales.  This was a day of magic.  This was a day when girls the world over could say, “It’s true, it’s true!  You really can meet a prince and fall in love and get married.  You can wear a real tiara and live in a castle.  You really can.”  And even though I was 27 years old, I watched and was mesmerized.  As the stories were told of the courtship and the engagement and days leading up to the wedding…I felt like the whole of it was a fairy tale.  And, I was getting to watch it play out!  [I watched it all night long while my family slept.  I had one son and my second child was due in 4 months.]

Honestly, when she arrived and got out  of the carriage and we got our first look at that dress….it was breathtaking.  It was magnificent!  It was perfection.

And, then…all the little children that were attending her in their sweet outfits…just divine!  That was the first time I had seen anyone have all children as attendants, and I understand that is the custom.  As she began walking down the aisle and that train flowed out like a white capped river behind her, I thought it was the most beautiful wedding I had ever seen.

 

The only thing I didn’t like were her flowers.  Looked like they took every white flower in the garden for the bouquet.  It must have weighed a ton!

 

And, as the festivities were over many thought that ‘she had it all.  She’d made it!  A commoner (even though she did have a royal bloodline) met a prince (can’t make myself call him handsome).  She married him and went to live in the castle.  And, they lived happily ever after.’    That is the way fairy tales are supposed to end, isn’t it?

AUGUST 1997

I finally got all my boys in bed (now I had 3).  And, I sat down to flip through a new magazine…the television had been left on and I do not even know what was on.  But, the sound bite that plays when a network breaks into a program came on and I looked up to see what was happening.  Princess Diana…car crash….several dead…. taken to hospital….paparazzi.  And, I couldn’t leave the TV.  Again, I watched through the night…waiting to hear if she was dead or alive.  How many others were doing the same thing the world over?  Soon we learned the awful truth.  She was gone.

I’ve often wondered why this affected me.  Not in a big way, but just a sadness at the whole situation.  And, I think it was because the fairy tale was really over now.  Charles and Diana had divorced, but she had remained a public figure and continued her charitable work.  But, now…it all had ended.  And, it is so much the same for so many of us, isn’t it?  We may not be a real true Princess, but our hope and dreams and wishes are just as real…and they, too, may be crushed.  It’s how we react to this that tells our life story.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

And, now to the tragedy that is known simply by 2 numbers 9/11.  Everyone knows what it means.  Everyone remembers.  Everyone has stories to tell.  Everyone changed after that day.   I don’t think any of us knew what terrorism really meant and how close it was to our home land.  But, that day taught us many, many lessons.

Do you remember where you were?  Most of us do, if we are old enough.  And, I do, as well.  I had gotten up early that morning because I had a trip planned to Birmingham.  Alex had an appointment with one of his doctors in Birmingham that afternoon.  Joy was going with me this time.  Before I left to go and pick her up, I called my friend, Tina, to tell her something.  She asked me if I had heard the news?  I quickly got off the phone and turned on the TV.  This was after the first plane had hit.  The newscasters were trying their best to report what had happened without panic…but you could see it all over their faces.

I was watching when the second plane hit.  I was dumbfounded.  Newscasters were still saying that the first plane could have been an accident, but after the second plane hit, they reported we were under attack.  UNDER ATTACK?  What did that even mean?  Did you know?  We were not like other nations who had lived with attacks and threats for many years…they knew what it meant.  I didn’t.  I could remember, vaguely, when there were ‘fallout shelters’ located around town.  But, I had no idea what to do if we were ‘under attack’.

I got in the car with Alex and went to get Joy.  And, then we went over to Mom and Pop’s house to decide what to do.  I called Don, and he said he thought I should go on…”Life goes on”, he said.    We turned on the TV and all sat watching…and then there was a third plane crash into the Pentagon.

I felt very uneasy about traveling anywhere.  I just wanted to stay home and watch the news.  Soon the news went back to New York where the towers were collapsing.  People were jumping.  Jumping to certain death.  When I see these people huddled next to the windows, it tears my heart in two.

I think they probably thought they were going to be rescued.  The tower surely wouldn’t collapse.  It was too strong for that.  Safeguards were in place.  When the first tower fell, what did those in the second tower feel?  Did they know then?  Did they know there was little hope? How unthinkable.

We heard then that all flights had been cancelled throughout the country.  WOW…that was big!  And, then the news told us that towns and cities were imposing curfews.  Stores and shops were closing, schools were closing and kids were coming home to parents…the world seemed to be ‘closing down’.

And, next came the news about Flight 93…

We heard of the telephone calls and we heard the actual voices of those who knew where they were headed.  We heard the voices of those who decided they would not go down without a fight.  They would fight for right as long as they had breath.  Heroes all!

Would this be the end?  Four tragedies, one after another.  Was this it?  Or were there more attacks to come?  What were we supposed to do?

And, I called Don again and he said, Go”.  I asked Pop, and he said, ” Go on with what you need to do.”  I asked Joy what she wanted to do.  She said we needed to go on.  I called the Clinic in Birmingham and asked if they were still seeing patients.  The receptionist said,”Of course we are.”  So off we went.

And even though there was no danger here in South AL., we didn’t know that.  And what we did know was that there had already been 4 attacks, and the President said we were “Under attack.”  So, it took a great deal of courage for us to drive 200 miles north to the largest city in AL.  But, we did.

Joy and I always liked to stay at a certain hotel in Birmingham.  It was the one that was connected to the  big Galleria mall.  Usually, Don would say ‘no’ because it was too expensive.  It was very convenient for us because Alex could stay in the room and we could easily check on him.  Plus, we could take our heavy packages to the room while shopping.  The last time I made reservations, Don had said we could stay there.  And, that time was this time.

We went on to our appointment, and noticed that quite a few of the individual doctors offices were closed. The parking deck for the clinic was as empty as I have ever seen it.   There was very little traffic on the road, and according to the radio…there were no rooms available in the city.  Travelers on planes were forced to find a room and stay in the city.    Those who travelled by car throughout the state on business had to get off the roads.    Thankfully we had a reservation.  We made it to the room…got Alex settled…and went into the Galleria.  We really didn’t feel like shopping, and we wanted to get to the television and see what was happening.   Every single store and food vendor was either closed or closing by 6:00, due to the early curfew.   We did manage to find some food available.  We got it to go…and we spent our evening in the room…watching the TV…and thinking that we really wished we were home.

We got up early the next morning, and headed to Dothan.  Things were moving a little more and we were able to find some food at Mc D. and gas for the car.  We turned toward Dothan and didn’t stop till we got here.  For several days, every one was glued to the TV…and no one went anywhere they didn’t have to go.

But, 3 days later…Don had a meeting to attend in California.  He had already made his flight reservation before 9/11.  He went to the airport and got on the plane and flew to California.  I tried to talk him out of it, but he said, “Life is happening all the time.  If God is ready for me…I’m ready for Him.  If not, then He will protect me.”  And off he flew.  And, home he came.

And, we all changed that day.  We learned things we never knew before.  It brought a new and different fear into our lives.  We now knew what ‘UNDER ATTACK’ meant.  And, we were taught to always be cautious and to look at others with a suspicious eye.  And forever we were different.  And, that is NOT a good thing.

God Bless America

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I tried to write the preceding without too much opinion…but, I feel compelled to add the following observations:  Personally, I was very thankful there was a man the caliber of George Bush leading us at this time.  I trusted him and I knew he trusted God.  There was always such talk that he did too much of this or not enough of that, he did this well, but really messed up in that.  My feeling is this…he was the first president in modern times to deal with war coming right into our streets from such vile terrorists.  No one had given him a handbook to study.  He and his advisers figured it out…put safeguards in place…and kept us safe.  He did a masterful job, if you ask me.

I also thought Rudy Giuliani was a leader who showed a heart of compassion and a leadership skill that rallied the whole of NYC…and impressed the whole country.

I am flabbergasted by airline travelers who are raising such a ruckus over screening procedures these days.  What part of ‘this is for your own benefit’ can they not understand?  They get better screening procedures and the women yell, ‘they can see my boobs on that machine!’  Well big WOO!.  I don’t care if they can see my boobs…I certainly wouldn’t be flashing them in public…but, if the woman before me had some sort of weapon taped under her boobage…I would sure hope they could see that, too.  Frankly, I feel the x-ray machine operator who is reading the scan cares very little about any body part…he’s too busy looking for explosives and the like.  It’s a job, people.   I imagine after you see thousands in a day, they kind of lose their appeal…(at least while on the job.)  While I’ve flown enough to get a mite aggravated at the shoes off and the opening of my suitcases and looking through everything…touching my stuff and getting it out of order…even getting patted down—I would not dare open my mouth to complain!  In fact, I go out of my way to say ‘thank-you’ to those officers I come in contact with.  Once when Alex had to go through with his wheelchair, they practically took the whole thing apart, and then didn’t know how to get it back together.  They kept wanting him to stand for the pat down and he kept falling, which didn’t please them.  We finally got them to understand that he had to hold on to something to stand still.  Then, his shoes had to come off…and sox…which took about 15 minutes to get all back on.  BUT…all that was to be sure that all the other people traveling that day were safe.  I must not complain about our inconvenience, when others are being inconvenienced as well.  So, travelers..whatever they throw at us, as far as safety precautions…JUST DO IT!  Don’t make snide remarks and bang around making the rest of us uncomfortable…JUST DO WHAT THEY ASK…..OR TAKE A BUS!  I actually think they should just kindly escort those who complain and act the fool, out the door to a waiting bus and drop them off at the Greyhound Bus Station!