Archive for the ‘Ponderings’ Category


Twenty Years Ago…

September 11, 2009

Twenty years ago this past May, I graduated from Milligan College.

Twenty years ago this past week, I packed my brand new Celica to the gills with all my belongings and headed for uncharted territory in Kentucky.

Twenty years ago, I had no idea what was ahead for me.

Twenty years ago, I thought I’d NEVER fall out of touch with any of my college friends.

Twenty years ago this past summer, I raised a nest full of blue jays who had been abandoned at our lake cottage.

Twenty years ago today, I had no job… and no idea what job I might ever find. And it didn’t really bother me.

Twenty years ago, I could fill up the gas tank in my car for about $16. And drive forever on it.

Twenty years ago this fall, I remember that it felt wrong not to be driving back to Tennessee for another year of school. My first time coming to grips with the concept of growing up and moving on.

Twenty years ago, I still tended to keep all my possessions in one room. (“Dorm Syndrome” I call it.)

Twenty years ago this month, I met the man I would eventually marry. At church in a small town in Kentucky.

What were YOU doing 20 years ago?


You Are So Proud of Me!

August 31, 2008

I rode thirty miles on my bike yesterday. Let me clarify: I pedaled thirty miles on my bicycle yesterday. I do not want any one to be confused and think that I took a ride on Glenn’s motorcyle!

Things I learned on yesterday’s training ride:

  1. Thirty miles is a long way.
  2. Hills make it a longer way.
  3. I like Gatorade.
  4. Gatorade is too precious to squirt at rogue bike-chasing dogs.
  5. Barking at the dogs works pretty well.
  6. Those “granny gears” on the bike serve a purpose.
  7. I am officially a “granny” when it comes to hills.
  8. If you look up the hill, it always looks steep.
  9. If you look at the road right in front of your tire, the hill isn’t as steep anymore.
  10. The holes in your helmet are not big enough to get your fingers in if you have an itch.

So, I’m feeling slightly more prepared for the trek… but I’m still iffy on whether to do the long ride on Saturday. After yesterday, I would almost say that 30 miles is my limit – so the shorter ride would be the one for me. But then again, if I can do 30 miles in less than 3 hours, with only a limited amount of training… surely I can force myself to tough it out for 60 or so, with some good rest stops and no particular time limit to complete the distance. Right?

Here’s your chance everyone… tell me I can do it!


Friday Morning Rain Haiku

April 11, 2008

The rain fell softly,
and I got to stay in bed
and listen to it.

I think that must be
the best way to greet the day
ever invented.


Happy Birthday Abby.

February 25, 2008

Hi everyone.


Last week I put this new little widget in my sidebar. Some of you may have realized what it signified and others may not have. I thought I’d take a moment to explain it.

Ever since Easter of 2005, and probably indefinitely from here on out, when I see a butterfly I remember Abigail Van Campen. Abby is the third child and the first daughter of my good friends Todd and Guinever. Feb. 26 is Abby’s birthday. This week would have been her 5th.

Those who live in or around Lexington may recall the story from March of 2005, when Abby went to be with Jesus. If you aren’t familiar with it, I’m not going to recount it here. It still brings tears and it’s really not my story to tell. But it was right before Easter, and the butterflies and daffodils that we tend to associate with that time of year have become things that remind me of little Abby.

Maybe because I have a February birthday, too… or maybe just because… I remembered that Abby’s birthday was coming up. So, Abby and her parents and siblings have been on my mind lately. And in honor of Abby’s birthday this week, and the upcoming anniversary of her leaving us, I created the little butterfly widget to remain in my sidebar through Easter.

If anyone has ever lost a child, or known someone who has lost a child, I highly recommend that you visit the website that Guinever created in honor of her daughter. If nothing else, I urge you to read the memorial that Guinever wrote, which was read at Abby’s funeral. If there could ever be anything like a “reason” for such a tragic thing to happen, this memorial could be it. What an incredible, powerful witness Abby’s parents have been able to share, even in the wake of her passing.



Biker chick.

February 18, 2008

Forgive the graininess of this photo… the original wasn’t too crisp to begin with:


I am not sure of the year on this photo, but it’s definitely early 70s. This was taken on the street where we lived from 1971 to 1979, on Glenwood Road in Bethesda, MD. A fine portrait of me and my fancy bike with the swell plastic basket in front, complete with colorful plastic daisies.

You will see that I am sporting another remarkable “Early Laura” ensemble: purple and gold striped shirt (with lace up neckline!) and matching purple shorts. Polyester? Probably. I’m sure the stripes on those little tube socks matched everything else, too. Oh let’s face it people… I was all that and a bag of chips. You know you wish you were me. 🙂

I am smiling proudly here, and why not? The bike looks pretty new –probably the occasion for the photo. This was obviously taken at a time when riding bikes was all fun and freedom… the broken noses and concussions would come a little later.

It has occurred to me now and then, especially since I have two boys who are of bike riding age, how “the times, they are a changin’.” Back in the 70s, I rode my bike everywhere. I lived in a neighborhood where I could ride to the places that interested me without having to cross any major roads full of traffic. I could ride to school, visit all my friends, go to the library, even go to Brown’s store on Old Georgetown Road in relative safety. And, if I wanted to go anywhere that was a little further out (that might involve crossing a busier road), I pretty much just had to yell my intentions to my Mom as I headed out the door.

All this is not to say that I had no boundaries… I had them, and I knew exactly what they were. Also, truly, the boundaries were quite large. I wonder sometimes if my parents ever worried about me riding all over the place pretty much unsupervised. They never let on if they did.

Now, contrast all that with last summer, when my boys (then ages 8 and 10 – older than I am in the above photo) wanted to ride less than two miles to our neighborhood park…

First, Glenn and I had to call an Emergency Parent Conference about the matter. This was followed by a mandatory Here Is How You Have To Do It Meeting with the boys, which included a special presentation on what they had to wear (helmets!). At that point, a Reasonable Time Frame was declared for the trip, which they had to abide by lest we contact the appropriate authorities and send out a search party. If they managed to complete their little venture without incident, they would avoid Grounding From All Recreational Activity Until Further Notice.

Believe it or not, they managed to take their trip to the park and back again. Funny, I don’t think they have asked to do it since…


Things that make you go AARRRGGGH!

February 5, 2008

I had the thrilling experience of having my purse stolen from me last week.

While I was at church.

It was returned three days later. And now I have compiled a list of things I have learned from the ordeal, that I would like to share with you:

1. If you have gone to a church for 17 years, you treat it like it is your home. And 99 out of 100 people that you know at the church really are like family. But the one person who you don’t really know, who is not like family, is the one who will snatch your personal property when you aren’t looking. And will manage to do it when all your 99 friends are not looking, either.

2. When something is stolen from you, you just know. You have a certain feeling inside that tells you that you didn’t misplace it or lose it. Trust those instincts and act quickly. However, be prepared to answer lots and lots of questions from well-meaning people who want to help you. Questions like: “Are you sure?” “Where did you have it last?” “Have you checked such-and-such a place?” These are all perfectly valid questions that you have already asked yourself… but the other people are just catching up with you. Bite your tongue and be gracious. Your friends are really trying to help.

3. If your children’s minister happens to be married to a police officer, and he is at church that evening, then he might be a good source of help in a situation like this. I’m just saying.

4. If you call Equifax/Experian/Trans Union and have a fraud alert put on your credit report, it will protect you from someone who may try to open a new line of credit using the information they stole from you. However, it will NOT protect you from your own bank, who, when you call to put a stop payment on some checks because your purse was stolen, will proceed to give you the hard sell on refinancing your home equity line of credit. Because now is a great time to refinance! Your purse was stolen, but by golly, the rates have been cut and you need to refinance now now NOW!

5. Credit cards can be suspended, cell phones can be deactivated, and doors can be re-keyed. But if your iPod is stolen and you are suddenly without access to your music? That is the worst.

6. Keep a good mental inventory of what is in your purse at all times. Because when the suspect thief shows up a few days later claiming that they “found” a purse and thought they would bring it back to the church, you will still be missing all the “good stuff.” But if you know exactly what is still missing, then you can let your children’s minister’s husband know, and he will help facilitate the recovery of the remaining items.

7. Once you get everything back, you will discover that your iPod radio transmitter won’t work anymore. Make note of it, and send a bill when you replace it.

8. Press charges.


Can’t sleep… clown’ll eat me…

January 29, 2008


Here’s a photo from 2003. Back in that magical era when my boys got along most of the time instead of only some of the time. This was taken in Storybook Forest at Idlewild Park in Ligonier, PA.

That is one scary clown.

Well I guess technically it’s a huge jack-in-the-box. But scary nonetheless. Who in their right mind creates a giant statue of a bug-eyed man with a bulbous nose that you can look right up into, not to mention some big grey teeth? And then expect children to play near it?

Life is a lark at Idlewild Park!