Thursday, April 16, 2015

It Took Five Miles and a U-Turn

I hate my commute to and from work.
I'm tired when I leave in the morning and I'm tired when I come home at night.
And traffic is ALWAYS horrific.  But, I love my job, I love my boss and I love the pay.
Today was no different than any other day on the way home - bumper to bumper traffic and each of us trying to get the edge over the next driver by squeezing into impossibly tight spots without getting honked at and/or flipped off.
I was in the fast lane, just taking a slow and steady pace, when I see in my rear view mirror, a car in the slow lane coming up fast behind traffic. Instead of moving to the middle lane to try and pass a slower car in the right lane, this speed devil decided to try and pass the slow car on the right, ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. This, of course, started a barrage of horns honking and yelling and screaming going on while the car attempted to join in the flow of the slow lane of traffic and speed on his way.  He then moved to the middle lane, passed a few cars and slid his way over to the fast lane, right behind me.  I could see it was a female driver who was very distracted from her driving by having an animated conversation with her young daughter in the passenger seat. - And I could see this clearly because she was riding my tail close enough that I could almost see the color of her eyes!!  I tapped my breaks a few times to caution her to make some distance between our cars but she was clueless and remained attached to my bumper.
Now I was getting mad.  I hate tailgaters...hate them.  I braked again - and again - and again - each time getting madder and madder as she continued to drive so dangerously close to my bumper.  I was actually hoping that at some point, she would rear end me so I could get out of my car and rip her head off.  But instead, I switched lanes to the middle lane and allowed her to begin to pass me.  As she began to speed past me, I blasted my horn at her, was screaming and yelling at her and was trying to get her attention to tell her to slow down...all the while her daughter was looking at me with ear phones in her ears listening to music.
I followed her off the freeway - I was taking that exit anyway, but when I followed her off and then saw her drive into a local neighborhood, I followed her car down a neighborhood street to a home, where she parked in the driveway and jumped out.  I pulled over to the side where she came up to my passenger window yelling at me.  I rolled it down, just in time to hear a few priceless swear words of how I was trying to run her off the road - all while I was screaming back at her that she was a crazy driver and almost hit me from behind etc etc.  She claims I was trying to run her off the road and petrified her two daughters - all in Italian - She didn't hear a word I said as she went from yelling at me, to explaining the situation to all her family that started peeling from the front door.  Her brother was accusing me of frightening his nieces, another young man was checking out the front of her truck, trying to see where I had 'tried to run her off the road'.  Of course, he found nothing as I had never even touched her OR threatened her.  I was on my phone, pretending to be calling the police, just so I could listen to what they were screaming about without having to be involved in the conversation.  They were mostly angry that I had upset the girls.  I was upset that the mom was clueless as to her dangerous driving and that I wasn't the only one that had been affected at her carelessness.  She didn't hear a word of it.
I didn't swear - I didn't cry - but what I did say and what I did do, was ugly and mean.  Certainly not a very good representation of a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  My yelling and screaming were seen by them all as I finally got back into my car and drove off, leaving the impression that the police were on their way and that I wasn't the only one who had called the police to complain.  I was quite smug, thinking how clever I had been to pretend I had called the police, made a complaint, was giving the police their address and describing the whole incident as a police report over the phone.  I drove off with a very stiff neck.
In my mind, I was rehashing everything - every word, every attempt to brake and distance myself from her; every justified action I had taken to handle the dangerous situation and remembering every look on the faces of every family member that had emerged from the home.  Children, uncles, aunts,, brother etc..All of them saw my enraged face and heard my hurtful words. Tears began to sting my eyes and I found myself checking my drive home to see where I might have an opportunity to pull over and/or turn around.
To do what???!!  Well, to fix this.  Fix what??!!  It wasn't my fault...but it was...I had acted, what I thought, was appropriately to a situation I had been wronged in...I was justified in my anger and reaction.  But I wasn't.
I had passed at least 6 opportunities for a U-turn and had gone about 5 miles and resigned myself that this was going to be a lesson learned, but I wasn't going to do anything about it.  Until the final stoplight, or chance to turn around, turned red on me and I had to stop.  The minute it turned green, I found myself turning the steering wheel of the car back to the home of the family, and the steering wheel in my head to what I was going to say when I arrived there.
It was a simple and heartfelt apology - AFTER the initial shock had worn off that I had indeed returned to the home, her brother went into their home to tell her I had come to apologize. On the five mile drive back to the house, I had figured there could only be 4 outcomes to me returning to the house to apologize.  One, she would have left and I wouldn't have the chance to express my remorse.  Two, The yelling and screaming would start again and she would chase me off the property.  Three, I could get shot.  I mean, they were Italian and very hot blooded.  Or four, she would hear me out and accept my apology.  After expressing quietly and sincerely my apologies, she too said she was sorry, hadn't realized she was so close to the back of my car - I was sorry I had frightened her girls but I was glad everyone was safe and a few other apologetic phrases - and then extended her hand.  I shook it and drove off very carefully and calmly.
The tears welled all the way home and I was pleased that I had followed the promptings of the spirit - in softening my heart and feeling remorseful.  They live only a few streets away from Kylie and I had visions of going to their ward some Sunday and seeing this family come as investigators or something, and seeing me and running for the back door.
Who was I representing anyways?? I had certainly NOT acted like a Christian - or a member of the church, by any stretch of the imagination.  I was so disappointed in myself...realizing how quick my temper and revenge had surfaced in the need to 'teach her a lesson' and be right.  I hadn't been kind, at all.
This morning, at work, I had found it necessary to discipline and have a conference with one of our employees, As the office manager, I am in charge of the 'making sure everyone follows the rules' and that things are being done at the right time, in the right way and that all of us are representing Dr Henao and Bliss Orthodontics in the best way possible.  This certain employee had been falling short in ALL areas for at least 6 months of the year she has been with us.  I had finally come to my limits and more than once this week, had had to call her on the carpet about several issues.  It was not pleasant - but in representing Dr Henao, who I find classy, elegant and very professional, I made sure to keep my calm, use professional words and make sure everything was said with much accuracy and factually correct, while being firm and intolerant of any similar behavior in the future.

Now, I look back on both incidents and realize, I gave more caution and concern to how I represented Dr Henao, than I considered giving in representing my Savior.  Enlightening, to say the least.  The Lord had given me this 'Ah-Ha' moment to help me be aware, that in only 5 miles and 6 passed U-Turns, I was able to finally realize the need for the apology; to be able to show who I truly represent in my actions and words...and one final U-Turn to make it right.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A 'Papa' Crush

She's literally obsessed with him.  Madi talks about him all the time...first thing in the morning, all during the day, and last thing at night.  She wants to face time him 10 times a day - every phone call her mama gets, Madi thinks it's Papa.  She wants to come to the house always to see him.  When she gets here, she finds him wherever he is, even if that's in the shower.  Whenever there are pictures taken, she wants Papa to hold her or she places herself on his knee.  At the dinner table, her chair can be found right at his side, even though, more often than not, she still ends up in his lap.
She adores him.  As it should be.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Faces of the First Snow

Looking at Things Through My 'Different Perspective' Glasses

My mother-in-law is here,visiting for three weeks. That normally, would send me into a state of frustration, accompanied by heavy sighs and rolling eyes.
But I have asked for, and received, divine intervention.
I did not want this visit to be 'the same as it has always been'.  I wanted it to be...enjoyable. I knew nothing would change on her part, because Shirley is who Shirley has always been.  I would need to be the one to change; to see and do things differently.
So before she arrived last week, I made it a point of prayer and lots of thought and consideration.  I wanted my heart to be softened - to be more understanding and patient, so that I could know how to handle each situation as it would arise and see a perfect way to address any conflicts or acts of impatience on my part.  I wanted to know how to make her happy, comfortable and to meet her needs of being validated and feeling needed - wanted and important.
So far - things are going beautifully...even better than I could have hoped for.  It's been a week tomorrow, with two more weeks to go.  We have enjoyed Easter and General Conference with the grandchildren, she has helped with putting the last of our garden in and she has, for the most part, not needed to have Del's undivided attention.  There has truly been a sweet spirit of family in the home as she has gone about her family history work, involving Del with questions about the computer program he has established to help her with her genealogy work.  I've been enjoying her company in watching the NCAA basketball tournament and playing games last night after the last session of conference.  It's turning out to be a very different kind of visit this time.  And I am grateful.
I'm glad, after all these years, that I finally figured out who the problem was...and softened my heart.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

This Is Him

This is only the second time I have ever seen a picture of Christ that I felt in my soul, was a true depiction of what I felt He looked like.  This is the second one.  The first one hangs in my living room over my piano.  In my eyes, it is the same face - A Simon Dewey face.  I am almost sure this is a Simon Dewey painting, but the guy who posted it on facebook says he doesn't think so.  But it's the same face - I'm sure of it.  It's the only face that has stopped me dead in my tracks - made me breathless with the assurity that this is the face of my Savior.
And on the Easter Sunday, I give thanks to this face for His atoning sacrifice.  We have had a beautiful General Conference weekend with talks that have been profound and uplifting.  There have been words of testimony from the talks given and the spirit has born witness of the truthfulness of the gospel.
On this Easter Sunday, I truly give thanks for the atonement and His resurrection.

It's All In and We're Exhausted

These are the raspberries, blueberries, onions and potatoes.
Tomatoes, 3 kinds of peppers, squash, zuchinni, herbs and 10 rows of green beans in the back.

The side of the house we planted 4 apple trees and 5 rows of corn.

The beautiful blossoms on our first apple trees.

Sure love this hard working man.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Helping Hands Make For Lighter Work

Over the past 3 months, we have spent many a weekend gradually planting and finishing the preparation of planting our garden for this year.  We have the onions, garlic, potatoes, blueberries, raspberries, grapes and a few other things put in.  This weekend, we planted the green beans, red, green and yellow peppers, tomatoes and herbs.  And we had help.  Thursday afternoon, Kylie brought her children over to swim and play, and while here, Preston was so willing and ready to help Papa make and plant the rows of green beans.  This was only one of the many pictures Kylie took.
Today, before the first session of General Conference started, Del and I went out and planted the peppers, tomatoes and herbs.  We have just the squash, zucchini, and a few more herbs and peppers to plant until we are done.  We placed things a little differently this year, only because I requested a few more green beans and peppers this time.  But it will be a very pretty garden this year.

Grateful For My Talents

It's been over a week now that our MCO choir had it's Easter Concert.  And it was all I had been told and hoped it would be.  What an exhilarating experience - lots of excitement and lots of planning and preparation....But it turned out beautifully.  My family attended, of which I was very pleased; and they loved it too.  Everyone who attended was filled with the spirit of the Lord and the spirit of the concert.  Music is such a beautiful way of the sharing of testimonies and I was grateful for that opportunity.
I especially enjoyed being with my sweet sister, Elaine, and sharing this experience with her.  Fun seeing her every week, hearing her bravery in trying out for a solo part for one of the numbers and knowing of our common love for sweet music.
And I'm glad I made the commitment for another semester that will start in September.
I'm grateful for my voice and the ability to sing.  I'm glad that I still love to sing.  It fills my heart to sing - especially in expressing my love for my Savior.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Finally: The Secret is Out

We were told over a month ago that she was pregnant, but asked to keep it quiet until they knew if they were having a boy or a girl.  They went to the doctor on Tuesday and...
Mike and Kylie are having a GIRL!!!
I could not be any happier!!  Kylie is due in September and she is already showing.  She looks adorable!
A name??  Several are being thrown around - the middle name is a for sure - Ellen, which is Mike's mother's middle name.  But the first name, Mike and Kylie like a certain name, but once again, don't want to advertise it yet, as they may want to change it.  I like it too.
So, we're going to have the 'even stevens' numbers - two boys and two girls.
I'm a happy Nana.