What the FREAK

Last week I had one of those days that had me saying, “What the FREAK?” It started at 6:00 AM, sharp. Leaving for work I headed into the garage from the house, and pushed the garage door opener. It went up, but stopped after about two or three inches and came back down. I tried again and the same thing happened. After trying a few more times I checked the sensors to make sure nothing was causing the issue. I saw nothing, and even went as far as clearing all accumulated cob webs in the area…..eewww. By now I am starting to sweat from the heat and humidity, as the door continues to raise up and down without stopping. I remembered my son telling me to pull the rope to detach from the system so it could manually be raised.

I attempted to lift the door but it wouldn’t budge. I thought tackling it from outside might be easier, it was not. I could only get it to raise two inches. I tired again and again, but came up with the same results. I had so much to do that day, including two doctor appointments, a meeting, and a picnic….not to mention the normal workday in between.

In a panic I called my son, who was already at work several miles away. He tried walking me through everything I had already done and then suggested that I hook the door back up…….ummm….”I have no idea what I did, other than pull a rope.” Suddenly, I realized my daughter’s car was in the driveway……”YAY, gotta run, Andrew.” I jumped in the car, turned the key….and nothing…..”What the FREAK?” Fortunately, after cranking several times, and pumping the gas, it finally started. Alleluia! OMG….the brake light is on, and after checking, was not the emergency brake. I called my son again as he tried to walk me through what to do next. I carefully drove around the neighborhood to determine I wouldn’t crash, and away I went. “Dear Lord, let me make it to work.”

Within a few hours I left for doctor appointment number one, as I approached the car I noticed the licsense plates were expired…..”WHAT THE?” Seriously? With my daughter being away on an internship, I had forgotten to renew.  I had about a twenty minute drive to avoid and dodge any police…..”Dear Lord, let me get to my appointment.”

imageAfter the appointment, as I was driving back to work, I notice a new yellow light…..now what? Again, I called my son and asked what O/O means. “O/O, are you sure it isn’t O/D?” “Ummm….it could be.” He tells me he’ll call me right back….he does and tells me I must of hit the overdrive button…..I did….argh! “Dear Lord, let me get back to work, without being stopped.”

After being back to work for about an hour, it was time to leave for doctor appointment number two. “Dear Lord, let me get to my appointment.”  I wait, and wait, and wait, and have now missed the picnic, but still need to run home, then renew the plates. “Dear Lord, let me get home and to the licsense renewal building.”

I pulled into the driveway and attempted to get the registration out of the glovebox and it’s jammed! I called my daughter in Canada and she let’s me know it’s broken but if I jiggle it just right it will open….”FOR THE LOVE OF!” No such luck…..I called the licsense renewal business and they broke the good news…..I just needed the VIN number which can be found on the insurance card……”Thank you, Lord Jesus!”

What a day! If you ever find yourself saying, “What the FREAK?”, ask yourself about lessons learned, then pray, and just go with the flow…..because nothing’s gonna stop it.



Bleacher seats

Living near two big cities provides ample opportunity to attend major sporting events throughout the year. I usually make it to at least one or two, but for some reason this year was different…..nothing was on the calendar. As luck would have it, I was invited to a baseball game; the Cubs vs the Cardinals. The group of people going were split on who they were rooting for. One thing I knew for certain, half the people driving home would be elated, and the other half would be irritated…..HA!

Since traffic is always a concern, it was decided to head downtown early to locate parking and grab a pre-game beverage. One of the gentleman’s, neighbor’s uncle…(did you get that)… has a business near the ball field, that offered us parking in his lot, which was only a couple blocks from the stadium……SOLD! What a find! If you’re familiar with Chicago parking, you know it’s at a premium.

Once parked, we started towards the stadium, block after block after block……ummm…..we passed “a couple” blocks, eight blocks ago….ha. I think it took about 30 minutes to arrive at our destination……a bar right across the street from the game. I had never seen this side of the stadium before and with good reason, it was near the entrance of the bleacher seats. I’ve never had tickets for the bleachers, so this was a first. I’ve heard stories, but now I get to experience it first-hand.

As soon as the gates open people started piling in. Most had been standing in the lines for a long time, to get the best seats. We, however, weren’t them. The bleachers were probably two-thirds full but the time we got in, and finding seats for a larger group was sparse. By the start of the game people were still jockeying for seats, a definite disadvantage in the bleacher section.


Anytime people would go for food, beverages, and such, there were plenty of people ready to take their seats, unless someone stopped them. It was comical, because if you weren’t paying attention, your friend’s seat could be occupied with another person by the time your friend returned. That almost happened twice to the two gentlemen next to me. By the third inning we all knew who our neighbors were, and basically helped each other out from the unlucky scavengers looking for a seat.

The game was exciting and went from one team being ahead to the other. People in the stands were all kinds of crazy, and I quickly realized ANYTHING goes in the bleacher seats. People were either the worst of enemies, or the best of friends. At one point an opposing team fan was shirtless and waving his Cardinal jersey over his head, in the other hand was a life-size plastic baseball cap full of nachos, dripping with cheese and peppers. A Cubs fan shouted from several rows above “I’ll give you fifty bucks to put that hat on!” For a few seconds I thought the Cardinal fan would take the bet, since he had more than his share of beer. His wife quickly told him to sit down. By the end of the game he announced to the crowd,  “The Cubs and Cardinals should join forces and beat the sh** out of the Giants!”…..LOL.

imageWhat a fun day it turned out to be; enjoying a night game in the middle of summer, with good friends in the bleacher seats. I can’t say I’d ever pick bleacher seats over the numbered seats, but I would definitely go again. Until then…..PLAY BALL!


Charge it

I have been looking forward to an upcoming weekend getaway, and the closer I get to the date, the more planning I do in regard to packing. I have to be one of the worst suitcase packers…..EVER! I routinely throw in more clothes than I would ever need, and in desperation, usually chuck in a bunch of random “last minute, I might need it” items, that rarely go with anything…..ARGH!

With my recent closet clean-up, I was feeling I didn’t have the right combination of clothing to pack. Because of the location of my adventure, I needed to pack for cool as well as warm weather, and realizing I didn’t have enough, or better put, I just wanted a few new things…….the shopping began.

I am not a big shopper by nature, so what does a girl do?………..She shops on-line. In the beginning I took my time, ordered a few things, decided whether or not they were keepers, and put the remaining items back in the package to be returned. This happened several times, until I had so many items to return, I couldn’t stand it any longer.

imageWith the ongoing process, in steps one of my Besties. She regularly shops for one thing or another, and seems to always get the deal. She has patience to pick through racks and racks, I on the other hand, am the exact opposite. Since I hadn’t found what I was looking for, she decided she would become my personal shopper. She brought over bags and bags of things for my review and try on. This happened on more than a few occasions. Bless her heart……that girl can shop!

Even though I have most of the items I need, I still have yet to find my perfect piece, and my friend confessed yesterday to searching through more racks. She found things for me and her. I adore her tenacious spirit, and the willingness to help me find that one of a kind item. On one of her recent visits my son commented about my review, “You’re picky!” I must admit….perhaps he is right….UGH!

So for now I’ll keep an eye open for that one last piece. If I am lucky, I’ll add it to my cart, click check-out, charge it, and WA-LA….finish my order.image If not, I am assured my girlfriend will be relentless until she finds the perfect garment. What I am not assured of, if that item will be for me or her….haha! Shop on my friend, shop on! I adore that girl!




Nature’s Therapy

Have you ever noticed how much better you feel when spending time outdoors, and into nature’s playground? The summer air and the warm sun, coupled with a cool breeze, is the magic potion for an evening walk. It helps connect your body with your soul. This week I took a long walk with my Sweet Sixteeners, and thought it would be the perfect solution to end my day. With everyone’s busy summer schedule, our weekly get-togethers have been sparse, at best. Most meetings take place via phone.

I have had a lot of things going on in recent weeks that have added stressful moments in my life, and I sent out an S.O.S. I mentioned I needed an in-person meeting and within minutes, it was arranged. To accommodate schedules, we planned meeting later than normal. Even though one girl was out of town, if possible, wanted to join by phone.

As three of us arrived we gave a quick hello, as we headed for the trail, it was getting late, and we were chasing daylight. Since I had raised the S.O.S. flag, I began telling my stories, frustrations, worries, and stress. Each of the girls offered advice, validation, but mostly support. They didn’t try to solve the issues, instead they offered a safe space for me to reside. A place without judgement or fear, because they have at one time or another, walked in my shoes. Maybe not the same story, but the same emotions.


As I went on, one of my legs seized up, and instant pain almost dropped me to my knees. My leg cramps were so severe nothing would help, so I pushed ahead. The pain would subside then would rear it’s ugly head, again and again. It was a pattern, and it seemed my emotions controlled the severity of the pain. At my greatest frustration the pain matched it’s intensity. My girlfriend thought it was as if the recent events produced toxins that were trying to exit through my body.

The on-and-off again leg cramps lasted the entire walk, at one point I had to laugh to fight through the pain. My friends were right beside me, offering an arm along with the ongoing support. At one point they tried to massage the pain, but to no avail….failed. Since we were on a trail we had to keep moving forward.

imageThe walk took much longer than anticipated, but what they gave me that night was precious. They gave me the gift of unconditional love, without limits or boundaries. The walk was nature’s therapy, the friendship was love, and the S.O.S. was the answer to my prayer. I have never been good at sharing my pain, or asking for help; I tend to isolate, and try to figure things out on my own. I realize this is not the ideal solution, and I’m trying to improve. Having friends that provide the save space to speak my truth is a God-send. As it turns out the S.O.S. was the perfect end to my day.