Full of Complex Carbohydrates and MicroNutrients

I am a novelty to many (and I'm fine with that).
I have a very silly sense of humor usually riddled with malapropisms (and I'm fine with that, too).
I ask too many questions of Life and I expect all the answers.
I trust people too easily when I shouldn't; however, I respect everyone regardless…unless they do something to make me think twice.
I don't cheat. I am tactful yet will give the truth up front (and never mean to hurt anyone's feelings with it).
I like to help the people who have helped me, and even those who have not.
I never forget... but sometimes I misplace things.
I never lose hope.
I am awesomely blessed for the people who have come into my life, and I am blessed for the people who have left because I realize I didn't need them anyway.
I honestly feel that laughter is the best medicine you can have.
I believe in being strong when everything else seems to be going wrong.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles. In other words, I'm human, and definitely not perfect.
But tomorrow is another day, and there's so much cheese to be had...
(thank you to Ranae S. for this bit of inspiration!)

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Everyone, get up and dance now!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Where have I been?

Working a part-time job that has turned into more of a full-time one has kept me from my regularly scheduled blogging sprees! This will soon change, however, as I'll be returning to a shorter work week in the days to come.

The recent flood suffered here in Nashville has affected us all very deeply in so many ways. I cannot begin to express the sadness I've felt at the overall devastation throughout the state. Highway 70 in Bellevue was finally reopened after being closed off due to not only the high waters, but for several large sections of hillside that collapsed onto the road and into the Harpeth River. 

Spooky thing is that I had been talking to Mark about this concern maybe a week or so before it happened. I'd noticed that there was a section of the highway that had a jagged strip down the center which had been patched and repaired with asphalt that paralleled a huge overhang of rocky cliffs, and it gave me a really  bad feeling each time I drove over it. I said to him that all it would need was a good, heavy rain to soak the road and hill... and that is exactly what happened.

Driving down the reopened stretch of highway was heartbreaking. There is about a mile or so of homes near the Harpeth that were completely destroyed. As I drove home from work on Saturday, May 15th - me and Mark's 5th wedding anniversary - I burst into tears as I saw huge piles of mud-soaked furniture, tangled belongings, torn out walls and appliances, children's toys, shrapnel of all sorts.... just for as far as the eye could see. Homeowners with face masks and gloves were outside, piling up what was left of their homes... of their lives... onto the edge of their ruined properties near the highway, waiting for the city to come pick up the discards. 

I had wanted to blog about this, too, but the grief was too great. Each day I've cried at the tragedy, but as the town is slowly rebuilding and getting stronger, I too am gaining back my sense of strength. The human spirit continues to grow as Nashville citizens step up to help out and contribute. It does my heart a world of good! No wonder they call this "The Volunteer State!" 

But I'll never forget the nice, white-haired old man who came into our shop a few days after the rains stopped, whistling a happy tune and smiling broadly at me. I asked if I could help him find something, to which he replied he was looking for a special toy for a special puppy. Having chosen one, I brought him to the cash register and started general conversation with him: "Were you affected by the flood?" to which he responded, very point-blank, "Yes. I lost everything, but was able to save my dog."

His almost casual response took me by complete surprise, and I instantly looked into his bright, sparkly blue eyes, which only lost their happy sheen for but a split second. I felt like I was going to burst into tears, but struggled to keep composed as I apologized profusely to him and walked him to his car, wishing him well and offering blanket words of comfort like "It will get better from here" and "one door shuts, another opens" and the like, all feeling hollow in my own ears. This poor man lost it all in the flood, but still retained his sense of humor and had an optimistic heart for the future... and all he wanted to do was to buy a new toy for his beloved doggie. I was overwhelmed with emotions.

I walked back into the store, quietly made my way to the rear restroom where I shut the door and sat for ten minutes, bawling my eyes out.


lifeshighway said...

Wow, great story and an amazing outlook on life. That man knows what is important and maybe he is here to teach us all.

Mark said...

Where have you been?