Wednesday, April 13, 2016

5 Random Things

I can not believe it’s April already!

Mainly because it’s been cold and snowing.

We had the most amazing Easter weather and then BOOM!

Arctic blast.

Monte sent me a text that pretty much said something like April Snow = Relocation.

That man cannot wait to migrate South.

Now that I’ve complained about the weather, here are a few random things that have happened lately:

1)  Our Keurig coffee maker died. 

It didn’t go out quietly. There was lots of coughing and hacking and spewing. It would stop and I thought it was over and then it would trick me and make a few more cups. 

We had the very first model Keurig ever made. 

Ellie asked for it for Christmas 6 or 7 years ago.

She was still in elementary school.

We had been out West the summer before and one of the national park lodges we stayed in didn’t have televisions in the room but they had Keurigs. 

Ellie was fascinated with it. She’d take our orders the night before on a notepad and asked Monte to set the alarm so she could wake up early and make all our requests. 

She even put a hand towel over her arm as she delivered the cups of tea and coffee and hot chocolate like we were at the Ritz.

We’d had a good run with this Keurig. 

Armed with some research and a 20% off coupon, I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I was confused by the models they had and sought out help.

I explained the situation to Bonnie and she asked me if we’d bought our original Keurig there. 

I couldn’t remember.
That’s back when I still had an elementary school kid!

She told me to go home, look at the serial number and to call her with it and she’d look it up. If they had carried that model, they’d let me “return it” and I’d pay the difference for the new one.


I did what Bonnie said and she told me to bring my old model in.

I picked Ellie up from track practice and we carried in the old machine (it was fitting Ellie was there since it was her Christmas present after all.)

I placed the old machine on the counter and went to get the new model I wanted to purchase.

The saleslady scanned it and told me I owed nothing.

Excuse me?


Not a penny.

She said it was an even trade-in.

That old machine had a smoker’s cough 
and only produced a half-cup of anything when it felt like it…
which wasn’t very often.

Ellie and I looked at each other pretty surprised.

It felt like we were stealing to walk out of the store having not paid a dime for something brand new.

There’s an entire sermon in that…

2)  Our girls are crazy brave. Or just crazy.

It’s track season. Both girls are running. McDaniel has had a fascination with pole vaulting for awhile now. Luckily, her coach last year took one look at her over 6 foot frame and said,


This year she decided to give it a try again and began to work out with the pole vaulters.

The coach asked them to do a series of cartwheels and to walk on their hands. McDaniel heard all that and said,


Thank. Goodness.

I’ve seen those girls pole vault.

Sometimes they fall back onto the pavement 
or bounce off the mat onto the grass 
or land on the bar on the mat in some pretty painful ways.

I would’ve watched her with a pit in my stomach
 and my fingers ready to call 9-1-1.

Then Ellie comes home with news that she wanted to start running hurdles.

I used to be a sprinter.

It’s great because it’s easy.

You see that line there? 
Stand behind it. 
When you hear GO run as fast as you can to that other line 
and stay in your lane while you do it.

Easy peasy.

But hurdles?

Hurdles complicate the whole easy nature of sprinting.

 The word hurdle means an obstacle. Something that is IN YOUR WAY.

You see that line there? 
Stand behind it. 
When you hear GO run as fast as you can, counting your steps 
and jump over that hurdle that’s in your way. 
If you mess up your steps 
or don’t jump high enough, 
you will knock over the hurdle and FALL DOWN. 
Try to fall down in your own lane so you don’t knock down another runner and disqualify yourself 
by being out of your lane.
Run to that other line.
If you make it.

It’s complicated!

And diabolical.

Luckily, Ellie hadn’t practiced hurdles enough to compete in that event at her first track meet.

I could barely watch and she wasn’t even running.

One girl fell on her face. 
Her face!

She got back up though and finished.

Another fell so hard that her shoe came off.

Her shoe!

All of us in the bleachers groaned for her.

There’s just no finishing a race 
when you have to retrieve your shoe from another lane.

I had a knot in my throat every stinking heat of the boys and girls hurdles event.

The boys jump an even HIGHER hurdle 
and most of those middle school boys are still 
MUCH SMALLER than the girls.

I’m not sure HOW I’m going to stomach watching Ellie.

Oh yeah, with a pit in my stomach and my fingers ready to call 9-1-1.

And lots and lots of prayer.

3) Monte isn’t always a great volunteer. 

As we were making our way across the field to watch Ellie throw the discus, an official grabbed Monte and another guy to hold flags to indicate that each leg of the upcoming relay race was ready.

Monte grabbed the two-flagged pole (one end had a red flag and the other a white flag) and walked off.

I offered to do it for him since I knew the event and how it worked.

I’m not sure he heard me because he walked to his post.

I stood by the official to watch the event. I was looking for Ellie when I heard the official say something under his breath.

I followed the official’s gaze to Monte who was twirling the flags like he was the half-time show.

I couldn’t help but laugh. Hard.

The official did not join me.

4)  McDaniel went to New York City.

The journalism and broadcasting students in her high school got to go on a class trip to the city. McDaniel had never been before.

They did some really cool things like movie tours, a behind the scenes tour of Saturday Night Live, film museums, a meeting at Sports Illustrated and Tumblr, being in the audience of The Today Show and in the studio audience of The View.

McDaniel’s the one in the floral jacket.

It was a great experience for her. I’m so glad she got to go. She learned so much.

She loved it but decided it would be tough to live there. Especially since she came back with shin splints from all the cement walking.

Check out this text exchange between her and I while she was there:

5) Monte is a 1 percenter.

It would take an entire book, which I WILL write one day, of all the legitimate reasons Monte deserves such a distinction or nickname.

I’ll sum it up by saying rare, unlikely things happen to him. Medical things that show up in the fine print that nobody reads, happen to him.

Things with a likelihood of 1%.

So on that note, it should come as no great surprise that Easter weekend, when Monte was mowing the lawn for the first time of the season, a large piece of bark mulch shot out of the mower and flew straight up his right nostril. Hard.

His natural instinct was to get the large piece of mulch OUT OF HIS NOSE. Yet, he still continued to mow.

I was preparing the food for Easter dinner inside as Monte tried to dig, blow and cough the large piece of mulch out of his right nostril ALL THE WHILE continuing to mow the lawn.

I did not know Monte had that kind of multi-tasking skills.

It was hours later, and with no little amount of blood, that Monte finally dislodged the mulch.

 A few days after that he woke up with a broken blood vessel in his right eye ball.

Monte Googled possible causes and found it could be from stress or sneezing too hard.

I didn’t ask, but my guess is the chances that his eye blew up from trying to blow out a piece of mulch that shot up his right nostril from the lawn mower are about…1%.

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