Monday, November 30, 2015

New York City

Monte and I went to New York a few weeks ago for my birthday.

View from our 33rd floor hotel room in Midtown.

Actually, we went because we were put on a wait list for tickets to 
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

It was quite the ordeal 
and Monte had been trying for months.

So he booked flights.

We were supposed to find out if we got into the show anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 days before the show. They wait list 500 people and grant tickets to 250.

We did not get in.

Monte’s convinced it was because of our age 
due to the amount of times he was asked online.

But New York was fantastic without The Tonight Show--from beginning to end.

From the airport, our driver ran right into the Veteran’s Day parade that was happening in front of our hotel.

There was a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the airport back in Ohio too.

We walked 10,000 steps most days before lunch.

We saw the park from a pedi-cab pedaled by a native New Yorker who was gracious to all our questions even if he clearly seemed to be struggling and out of breath getting us around the park.

We saw the most incredible dinosaur fossils I’ve ever seen.

Been there, done that, got the scarf.
Incidentally, you can not buy a bottle of water in the New York Museum of Natural History.

Most of the water fountains did not work and I’d never been more thirsty in my life.

Some of the fountains looked like this:

They didn’t work either.

Then we got lost in the Ancient Asian Peoples exhibit.

It turned into a maze even though we took different turns every time.

We were always led back to a life size mannequin of Attila the Hun.

I had to use the bathroom desperately, 
I was still super thirsty, 
I was so tired I was slap happy 
and I never wanted to say a bad word more 
than when we ran into Attila the Hun for the 487th time!

But I didn’t.

Mainly because I knew I’d pee my pants if I did.

We ate Ray’s pizza and Lindy’s cheesecake and lobster and some fancy meal that Monte wasn’t allowed to make any substitutions too lest he offend the chef.

Wearing a bib on my birthday is a good thing.

We saw Wicked!

It was so amazing that I don’t think I moved from the edge of my seat the entire length of the musical.

We closed our eyes during cab rides that we didn’t think we’d survive.

Monte argued about transportation prices.

I bought a purse from a guy’s cart on the street.

We looked up.

Freedom Tower.

We looked around.

One of the fountains on the site of the World Trade Center.
Look at the rays of sunlight!

Grand Central Terminal (not Station like everyone says).

A library.

We just happened upon this. 

We looked over and Hoda and Kathy Lee waved at us like they were waiting on us to show up.

Then a cop told us to “keep it moving.”

We noticed things:

•New York is not a city that I could well navigate easily on crutches or in a wheelchair.

We could barely keep up on two feet.

•Pedestrian signs are merely suggestions. 

People crossed streets RIGHT IN FRONT OF TRAFFIC.

We saw one guy touch the hood of a cab almost in a dare 
when the light was clearly glaring the red stoppy-stop hand.

•Driving lanes are only suggestions too. 

Drivers weave in and out and sometimes 
remain right in-between lanes. 

•Everyone honks their horn all the time. 

I don’t think I’ve ever honked a horn in all of my vehicles PUT TOGETHER 
as much as a driver in New York City.

I wonder if they ever wear out…?

•No one wore jeans. 

Except for me.

Our first night we saw a guy pushing a shopping cart full of aluminum cans. 

He was wearing khakis.

The guy I bought a purse from 
was wearing black pants.

•Only a few people wore tennis shoes. 

Even though everyone was walking everywhere.

Monte and I so wished we’d brought tennis shoes. 
Our feet hurt every night.

We once had a cab driver say they wouldn’t take us to our restaurant because it was only 4 blocks away.

He told us to walk. 

I had on heels and had been walking all day.

It was very clear I wasn’t in New York shape. 

We live walking distance to LOTS of shopping. 

I need to stop getting into my car and walk, already!

•Everyone wore predominantly black.

Except for the bald guy with two huge loop earrings that came up behind Monte on the sidewalk and told him it looked like he was wearing a flesh yarmulke.

He was wearing bright red, head to toe.

And he was bald.

So who was he to point fingers?

•NO ONE was wearing a football jersey or t-shirt or sweatshirt or even a ball cap on Saturday.

We live in a HUGE college football town so this was a nice little break.

Not that I dislike sports, I just like that there is a city that MANY things 
can happen in it on a Saturday that don’t all revolve around a ball.

•Everyone we talked to (cab, pedi-cab, Uber drivers, waiters, etc.) loved Donald Trump. 

They were all from very different backgrounds.
They all had very specific reasons why.

In conclusion, I love New York!

It energized me in the same way the beach relaxes me.

It caused us to spend WAY more time outdoors in November
than we would’ve spent if we’d been back in Ohio.

I liked that.

I wouldn’t want to live there because I’d miss space and my own yard and getting around easily without massive amounts of traffic.

But I certainly want to go back every few years.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Paris and David

I was in New York last week for my birthday.

I’ll post more on that later.

It was in New York that we heard about the terrorist attacks on Paris.


Back home, I woke up in the middle of the night Sunday with David and Goliath on my mind.

It was still on my mind the next morning so I decided to read the story again.

Young David didn’t stand before fully-grown Goliath 
stronger than him. 

He most certainly didn’t stand before Goliath bigger than him. 
(He was over 9 feet tall!)

He didn’t stand before Goliath richer or smarter than him. 

And he didn’t even stand before Goliath more protected than him.
(His armor weighed over 126 pounds!)

When David put on King Saul’s armor, 
he could barely move, it was so heavy.

So he took it off.

What David did,

and the entire Philistine army, 

was tell him exactly how it was going to play out:

“This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
--1 Samuel 17:46-47

David expressed his faith to Goliath in the most ultimate smack talk.

But he spoke it with confidence in his God, 
not his own strength.

He spoke it with complete faith in his God,
not his own sword or spear.

You see, the ENTIRE Philistine army put their faith in one giant man.

David put his faith in the creator of the universe.

The maker of not only himself 
but the stone that brought Goliath down.

It puts what is happening in the world in perspective for me.

We can’t look to one man to save us, defend us, protect us.

But we can’t stand in the shadows afraid.

We have a God who has ALREADY won this battle.

Whether you believe in God or not, EVIL exists.

But it does. not. win. 

I’ve read the end of the story, 
it’s good--
check it out.

I want to be a David in response to ISIS.

They want to kill those who believe what I believe.

I’m not going to cower in fear when the giant comes out to intimidate.

I’m certainly not going to try to be stronger, 
or more protected.

I’m simply going to rest in the peace of 
how it’s going to play out:

“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog and Magog--to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
--Revelation 20:7-10

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