Thursday, February 24, 2011

T is for Travel

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.
I thought I would follow up last week's post on the sloth with some information on how Hubby and Dad get to where they can see those interesting critters.

1. Get on a nice plane in a nice city (Nashville) early, early in the morning.  Make sure Lisa is the one taking you to the airport.  She looks so lovely when she wakes up.  Not!

2. Get on a fairly nice plane in a very large warm city (Miami) after an 3 hour layover and fly to a small island nation (usually Trinidad).

3. Get on a pretty old plane after a couple hour layover and land in Georgetown, Guyana. 

4. Find a place to sleep 'cause you've just spent the last 14 hours in airports or on planes.

5. Take a mini bus (passenger van) from the hotel to the Essiquibo river.  Notice the comfortable seating available to distinguished American travelers as they travel over the best road in Guyana.  There are a few potholes along the way, but only a few are the width of the road.

6.  There is no bridge at the Essiquibo river.  After haggling with the speedboat driver over the fare, hop in and hang on.  They don't call these speedboats for nothing.

7.  Time to find another mini bus, load up, and ride on the second best road in Guyana.

8.  Arrive in Charity.  You are now at the literal end of the road. 

9.  Look to see if the boat from the village is waiting for you.  There's the Bro. Cookie ready to load up.

10.  Take the boat up the Pomeroon river to the Akawini creek.  Watch your head in the narrow spots.  Some of the tree branches are a little low for tall Americans.

and don't forget to say 'hi' to those you see along the way.

11.  Arrive at the village dock and enjoy walking toward the dry land.  Not too long ago, visitors had to walk on long partially submerged planks that were quite slippery and hard to see in the murky water.

12.  Ahhh!  Dry land.  Walk to the village and find your cot.  You've spend a second complete day traveling.  In spite of the on/off rain all day, this has been one of the easiest trips to the village.

Lisa H.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

S is for Sloth

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

How many of you have seen a sloth at the zoo?  Hold those hands up high so I can see them.  Looks like there are quite a few of you  

Now, how many of you have seen a sloth in the wild?  Somebody? Anybody?  Me neither.

Hubby and Dad got the pleasure of seeing a wild sloth up close and personal over the Thanksgiving holiday.  They have been working with a small church in the Amerindian village of Ykinipa (y-kin-IP-a) in Guyana, South America.  This village is 2 hours by motor boat up the Pomeroon River from Charity.  Charity is literally where the road ends and the last place you can find running water or electricity in homes.

Hubby and Dad have been working with the village for around 14 years and have seen several critters during their visits.  Dogs are everywhere. 

It is common to see beautiful birds and monkeys as pets.

Bats can be found hanging from the bottom of cots, along the rafters, and in the outhouse hole...makes you wonder if you can 'hold it' until you are back in civilization again.  Constipation never looked so good.

This one is hanging under the cot.

WARNING: Close your eyes and scroll down really fast if you don’t like 8-legged creatures.

These are also quite common.

This one is right next to the cot.  You can see the pillow in the picture. 

Eeeeeek!  And Dad wonders why I'm not eager to go down there this summer.

OK. You can open your eyes now.

One afternoon, a villager came carrying a large branch with this little guy (or gal?) hanging on it.

This sloth does not look like anything I have seen in a zoo.  The fur is so colorful.  Yes, that is a bald spot on its back.  The sloth was wounded some time in the past, but it was completely healed. 

Notice the different colors in the fur.

Sloths are so strange looking.  The face looks like a seal’s face.  The arms remind me of a gorilla.  And the claws are humongous!

Hubby had a hard time trying to describe how the sloth moved, so he had to demonstrate.  I don’t think a turtle would have trouble getting away from one.

I looked up the etymology (fancy way to say origin of a word or phrase which makes me sound smart when I use it) of the word sloth.  I wanted to know if the animal was named from an existing word or visa versa.  The English word has been around since the 1200s, but the animal was given the name in the 1600’s when Europeans came to Central and South America.  The original definition of the word is indolence or sluggishness.  Today the word connotes laziness. 

This poor little creature is definitely not lazy by choice; he/she just has the world’s lowest metabolism.  Too bad I can’t use that as my excuse and I often relate to the second half of the proverb below.  Who wouldn’t rather stay home than go to the office in the morning?

“The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.” Proverbs 12:24 [ESV]

Lisa H.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

R is for “Rememberer”

This post is part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday meme.  Click the Alphabe-Thursday button on the right to read more and to join the party.

Typical conversation in my house:

Hubby:  “Honey, don’t make plans for Friday evening because I need to make a bunch of sample boards for next week.”

Me:  “That’s nice, dear, but we have already signed up to go to the adult holiday party at the church building.”

Hubby:  “When did we do that?”

Me:  “Two weeks ago.”

Hubby:  “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Me:  “You were standing right next to me while I signed the list.  You even told me to bring a dessert.”

If this is a typical and frequent occurrence between you and your spouse as well as you and your children, then you are the designated “rememberer” in your household.  I don’t know how it happens.  Hubby seems to be getting worse at remembering as the years go by.  Maybe he gets so used to me doing the remembering for him, that his remember brain cells are beginning to atrophy.

People need something to help them remember things.  Since I’m getting ready to hit one of those milestone birthdays that are celebrated with a multitude of black balloons, it takes several calendars, Outlook reminders, lists on the refrigerator, and assorted sticky notes here and there to keep me on track. 

Another typical conversation in my house:

Hubby (yelling): “Honey, we need to add mayo to the grocery list.”

Me (loudly because ladies don't yell): “Check the list on the frig.  I think it’s already there.”

Hubby (yelling):  “Where are my glasses?  I can’t read anything without my glasses.”

Me (from the stairwell): “I don’t know.  You must be able to find at least one of the 5 pairs floating around.”

Hubby (yelling):  “I don’t see any downstairs.”

Me (at the bottom of the stairs and saying with a sigh):  “Sweetheart, you have a pair hanging on the front of your shirt.”

Hubby:  “Oh. Yeah.  OK.” 

Hubby (reading the list):  “Looks like mayo is already on the list…twice.”

Me (looking over his shoulder): “Mmmmhuh.  And in your handwriting, too.”

I wish there was a way to make the “remembering-challenged” read the calendars, lists, and assorted sticky notes.

Now it is time to get a little more serious.
We have several memorials to help us remember significant events in our country’s history.  While driving through Oklahoma in the summer of 2005, I stopped at one of The United States of America’s more moving memorials.

I walked through a massive, shiny grey gate with 9:01 engraved on it.  In front of me was a long, rectangular reflecting pool that reached to another massive, shiny grey gate with 9:03 engraved on it. 

To the left of me were nine rows of empty bronze and stone chairs sitting on glass bases.  To the right of me was a terraced lawn that went up to a 90-year old American elm appropriately named The Survivor Tree.   

Standing there my mind flashed back to April 19, 1995 and the horror and deep sorrow I felt watching the TV coverage of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building and the image of a firefighter carrying the body of a small child pulled from the rubble.  I had tears in my eyes even though the event occurred almost 10 years previously.

God also gives us things to help us remember what He has done for us.  We all know of the rainbow to remind us that He will never again destroy the earth by flood, but the most important reminder God gives us is a memorial.  It is a remembrance set up by Christ during his last few hours here on earth.  The early Christians met on the first day of every week to partake of this memorial.  We call it the Lord’s Supper (or Communion) and it is a time for us to remember the sacrifice He made for us.

Even though I’m the family “rememberer”, I still sometimes have a short attention span when it comes to the important things.  I’m glad Jesus gave me this memorial to partake of every Sunday.  It helps me remember the horror of His suffering, my gratefulness for His grace, my sorrow over the sins I have committed, the joy of His forgiveness and the determination to walk worthy of His calling.

Sometimes (but not often enough) there are tears in my eyes when I observe this memorial… even though the event occurred over 2000 years ago.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”  1 Corinthians 11:26 [NKJV]

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hello Baby

If you read my last post, you will know that I was away for a few days.  I had to go and see this beautiful face.

Isn't she beautiful?  Look at those inquisitive eyes.

Her name is Rya Michelle and she was 1 month old on Saturday.  She is my first grandchild and she lives too far away from me.  Because it is 1622.8 miles from my driveway to her driveway, I flew out for a long weekend to hold her, sing to her, and kiss her head.  Don't you just love the way the top of a baby's head smells?

Rya is the best present Son and DIL (daughter-in-law) have ever given me. 

Now to figure out when I can go back.

"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged..." - Psalm 17:6a

Lisa H.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It Just Quit

Brought to you by the letter Q.

I went away for a few days and gave Hubby and Princess (my daughter) the task of cleaning the house before I got home.  I came home to an 'almost' clean house.  The house was only partially vacuumed.  Princess gave me the blow-by-blow (along with cell phone pics) of what happened.

Background:  We've had this vacuum since Princess rode in a car seat.  Princess is 17 now.  We just replaced the belt because the vacuum quit at Christmas.  The vacuum is so old we (actually Hubby) had to scour the internet for a replacement. 

Princess (yelling upstairs): "Dad!  The vacuum quit working!"

Hubby (yelling downstairs): "What happened?"

Princess (still yelling): "Some random plastic thing fell off!"

Hubby (while walking downstairs): "What?"

Princess (still yelling because she didn't see Hubby come downstairs): "Some random plastic thing fell off!"

Hubby: "Stop yelling!  Where is it?"

Princess (with a huff): "Under the vacuum."

Hubby: "Why is it under the vacuum."

Princess (meekly): "Because I wanted to hide it."

Hubby: "Why are you hiding it."

Princess: "I was hoping the vacuum would keep working and I didn't want you to notice the random plastic thing."

Hubby: "Didn't you think the random plastic thing would get sucked into the vacuum?"

Princess (with a sly smile): "I was kinda sorta hoping it would."

Hubby: "Put the vacuum up on the cabinet."

Princess (whining): "But, it's too heavy."

Hubby (lifting the vacuum): "OK.  I'll do it."

Hubby: "Hmmm.  Wonder where that little plastic thing came from?  Get the screwdriver!"

Princess: "From where?"

Hubby: "Your Mom's tool kit.  Oh! Wait! I forgot we've taken all of Mom's tools and no one can find them to put them back.  Try the junk drawer."

Princess: "Found one."

Hubby: "Hold down the vacuum."

Princess: "What?"

Hubby: "Hold down the vacuum."

Princess: "Why?"

Hubby (with a raised voice): "Just stop asking questions and help me here."

Princess: "Alright. Alright. You don't have to get so touchy."

Hubby (after using the screwdriver): "I know what the random plastic thing was for."

Princess: "What?"

Hubby: "It held the beater bar to the rest of the vacuum.  I can't fix it."

Princess: "Does that mean it's dead?"

Hubby: "Yep."

Princess: "Mom may like that.  She wants a new vacuum anyway.  You know, it looks peaceful in death.  I think you should give it the last rites like they do on TV."

Hubby mumbles some random latin sounding words and lays the vacuum to rest in the garage.

Looks like I may finally get one of these. 

I think it might last longer before it just quits.

Lisa H.