Tag Archives: Louisiana

I reconnected with a special friend recently

Greetings, readers. For a couple of years now, on and off, I have been trying to reconnect with someone I met in junior college. Her name is Tess (last name withheld for privacy reasons). I last saw her in 2003 when she and her husband Chris came to my mother’s viewing; I don’t remember whether their two young children came with them or not. It is amazing that 14 years had passed since I had heard her bubbly cheerful voice. She is such an upbeat person and it is quite easy to make her laugh.

Over the past few years I had left messages on their answering machine with no reply. I figured either they have moved, switched numbers, or she had forgotten about me. The other day I called the number that I had in my cell phone and it was going to be for the final time. I was planning to erase the number if she didn’t call back within a couple of days.

My heart sank when the answering machine activated and I began to leave my message. To my happy surprise, Tess picked up and we couldn’t believe that we were speaking to one another once again. She had a couple of errands to run but definitely wanted me to call back later that evening. I, of course, cleared my evening calendar. I made sure my cell phone was charged, for Tess and I had a lot of catching up to do.

About 9:00 I called and she was there. Tess explained that she had to be in bed by 10:00 and I was thrilled that we would have a whole hour together. We reminisced, told jokes and stories, and did all the things that people do in the let’s-get-caught-up process. She told me that she never got my other messages, that her machine sometimes eats them. I told her that I wanted to see her and the family before winter time. She agreed, but no firm plans have been set yet. They live about 3 hours away from me and I will suggest that we meet about half-way. I am already eagerly anticipating that day.

To show you haw time flies, I asked her how old her children were. She said 21 and 24. I immediately went into my old man voice, and asked her if she had seen my dentures. She laughed hysterically. I will admit back in junior college I had a crush on Tess but she was taken and I respected that. I consider her one of my closest friends. She knows secrets about me that not many people know.

There are a few other people in my life that I would like to reconnect with and I hope to fulfill that dream one day. I’ll take those dreams one day at a time and finding Tess is one dream fulfilled.

That’s my big news and I will leave you with this. Major prayers go out to the flood victims and their families in the states of Texas and Louisiana. The pictures from the news are horrific and I plan to donate what I can to the appropriate Salvation Army. I am also inspired by the pictures of people who have helped other people, whether it be by using their boats to help rescue or by going out into the water to rescue people and animals themselves. I am glad to see that there is so much goodness and charity left in the world.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

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Please get both hands on the wheel

Greetings, readers. With the Penn State students coming back this week, the downtown traffic has increased. Today as Rebecca, Traci, and I were crossing the street in the cross walk, a car turned left, getting a little too close to Traci for my liking. I glared at the driver and saw that she was on her cell phone, not hands-free, and had only one hand on the steering. Folks, that is illegal.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard horror stories in the news about car accidents where the driver is on the phone either talking or texting. If you do not have your concentration fully on your driving, pull off the road. It is not very often that I yell at someone in a car but this vehicle did not yield for Traci. The driver’s mind was elsewhere.

Have I talked on a cell phone while driving? I must confess yes, but usually just long enough to say, “I’m driving, I’ll call you back when I pull off the road.” Unless it is an absolute emergency, whatever someone has to tell me can wait until I get to a rest area.

What are some other things I wish drivers wouldn’t do? Well, lets see. I saw a man shaving once while driving. A young woman trying to put on mascara. And the scariest of all, on an interstate no less, a young child steering the car, sitting in daddy’s lap, while daddy controlled the gas and brake. I would have suspended that man’s license indefinitely. But I guess junior just had to drive that day.

Readers, please, if you are a driver, heed the laws of your state. Here in Pennsylvania the law is no talking on a phone at your ear, no texting, but you can talk on a hands free device. It is just too dangerous, and if you injure or kill someone you will have to live with the consequences the rest of your life.

My next blog entry will deal with my wonderful vacation, where almost nothing went wrong. Suffice it to say for now, I had a marvelous time. Details to follow.

Until Friday, take care, many thoughts and prayers to the folks down south and in Louisiana who are dealing with the flooding, and happy reading.

Top ten list of the worst tragedies

Greetings, readers. First of all, my heart goes out to the families of the victims from the attack on September 11, 2001. Never, ever, forget. Keep them close to your hearts and hopefully a tragedy such as that one will never happen again.

Here is a top ten list of tragedies that I remember; that have either happened in my lifetime or that I have read about.

#10. The Oklahoma City bombing. [Ruthlessly planned and executed, it destroyed a building, killed human beings, including little children in the first floor daycare center.]

#9. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill. [For 87 days, oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig owned by British Petroleum, completely destroying the eco-system in that area.]

#8. The Johnstown flood of the 1977. [A terrible line of thunderstorms passed over Pennsylvania and stalled over Johnstown. Almost a foot of rain fell on the city. Dams broke and roads and bridges were washed away. This was Johnstown’s third flood. Some of this information came from the flood museum site.]

#7. Hurricane Hugo. [A massive storm which killed many, injured more, and did billions of dollars in damage, in South Carolina.]

#6. Branch Davidian disaster in Waco, Texas. [After a 51 day stand-off, the authorities moved in on a cult and an inferno began. It is not clear how the fire started but almost everyone inside burned alive.]

#5. Titanic. [In April of 1912, one of the worst maritime disasters occurred. The so-called unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg and went down. There weren’t enough life boats for everybody and a real pity, which I found out many years later, was that they were only approximately one day away from their destination of New York City.]

#4. The Hindenburg. [On approach to Lakehurst, New Jersey, the massive airship was either struck by lightning or a massive static charge ignited the hydrogen. It quickly became a fireball and its metal frame fell to the ground. Very few survived and most burned alive.]

#3. Hurricane Katrina. [In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina went over Southern Florida, gained steam again in the Gulf of Mexico, then slammed into Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. The beautiful city of New Orleans was effectively drowned. Not only from massive storm water amounts, but also by a break in the levees. In my opinion, relief from the federal government was slow and grossly ineffective. There are many families still trying to recover.]

#2. Pearl Harbor. [The Japanese thrust us into World War II with this attack. On that fateful December day, numerous seamen lost their lives, and the destruction to ships and the military base was great. This would have made number one on my list, but my next choice occurred when I was alive.]

#1. The attack on September 11, 2001. [Just the phrase 9/11 still conjures up visions of death and destruction. I can vividly remember sitting in front of my television watching reply after reply on CNN or Fox News. The twin towers, a symbol of our financial strength, was destroyed. The Pentagon, a symbol of American’s military might, was damaged and then repaired. United flight 93, some experts concluded, was on the way to the capital building; we will never know. The first heroes of this war brought down that aircraft, denying the terrorists their prize. In the months following the attack, I must admit President Bush had his shining moments, but the war on Al Qaeda, because there are so many of them, I fear will go on indefinitely.]

#1 and #2 were attacks on both ends of the country. We can never allow this to happen again.

There is my top ten list. I hope it stirs emotions in you, and I invite you to leave comments on Facebook, Twitter, or here on the blog.

Until next week, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.