Monday, July 25, 2011

The Griswolds Got NOTHING On Us

So 10 years ago (exactly 10 years ago, to be precise), my family took a vacation. 

Or to be more detailed.  They took THE VACATION TO END ALL VACATIONS.  Atleast, that's how it's been described to me over the ensuing years. 

My mother, father, and sister drove the 10 hours from central Kentucky and met up with my cousins Barb, Robert, and their son Tyler in that play pit most of you refer to as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  I stayed home to attend a wedding.  (And do some entertaining at the reception, but to the best of my knowledge only three pictures of that exist and I own one and know the owners of the other two, so life is good...)

So last summer Barb'n'Robert (as they are most commonly referred to by my people) wanted to do Best Vacation Ever: Part II, but Daddy had to up and get sick on us, and in general make life difficult.  Hence, the title of this post. 

While many of you will try to arm, leg, or thumb wrestle me for the title of the South's version of the Griswolds (see below), I will humbly submit why my family has flat out earned the title after not even one full day.

  • The Power of Positive Thinking Parent.  While one parent really wanted us to set out for the airport by 4:00, my mother had us loaded up and pulling out of the driveway at 3:11 a.m.  I know this because I was the fool behind the wheel.
  • The What'd He Say? Parent  In my entire 30 years of traveling with my mother and father, we had never taken an airplane trip together.  You have to know my father-he's known for saying pretty much anything.  And this was before the stroke.  I was on pins and needles about him getting through security because it'd be just like him to try and be funny and have it taken completely out of context.  Case in point:  I was trying to prep him for security.  "Daddy," I said, "they're going to ask you if you've been asked to transport any strange luggage or anything you don't know.  Now what'd you say?"  Without missing a beat, "Only by my family."
  • False Alarm So we made it 70 miles to the airport.  We're about to go through security and my sister's phone starts ringing.  Slightly odd, since it's 4:45 a.m. and we hear her trying to explain everything away.  As we start through the line, she announces, "I'm turning my phone OFF!! That was my boss.  She thought I'd been abducted."  (Now tell me what had gone on while I was parking the car to make that woman think that?)
  • We finally arrive.  Our first day is marred by headaches, vomiting, and other unmentionables.  Some people just don't know how to pace themselves. 
And the best part-that was just day 1.  Watch out Clark-we're gaining on ya.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Walk In The Park

So today I went to King's Island. You know, the amusement park that was what I lived for during the summers as a kid.  Only a few things had changed:

  • The tram that ever so kindly and briskly escorted you from your vehicle to the front gates?  Nada!  (And let me tell you, I mourned that loss.)
  • Hanna-Barbera Land has been renamed Planet Snoopy.  Now I love me some Snoopy, Smurf ride, no Fred Flintstone greeting you, and no Hanna Barbera character themed carousel.  Oh..My..Goodness...can I even tell you what this generation is missing out on by not being able to take a spin on Scooby?
  • I was no longer interested in making friends with the people in line. (Then again, it may have had a little something to do with the sun poisoning I received.)  I had to restrain myself from informing a UConn fan wearing a 2011 NCAA Basketball Championship shirt he had no business wearing it.  I attended that game, and believe you me, there were a whopping 50 UConn people in attendance (and weren't 13 of 'em wearing jerseys?). 
  •  The end of the day was accompanied by sunset and a suntan.  Today, it ended at 2:30. With sun poisoning.  That required steroids.  
Just a couple of differences.  Both days were very different ways.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why I Heart Brenda Leigh Johnson

Tonight marks the opening of season 7 (and the FINAL *sad sigh*) of The Closer.  If you're not acquainted with it, the main character is a woman named Brenda Leigh Johnson and here are several reasons why she is one of the few shows I make a point to watch.

  1. She is deeply, irrepressibly, southern.  (Okay, so her accent is not exactly true to Georgia, but she's the only modern character I can recall that has an accent that thick and she's not the brunt of a joke.)
  2. Her sweet tooth.  I love how she tries to hide her candy from everyone-her husband, her squad, and Chief Delk.  (This is coming from a woman who kept a well stocked snack cabinet at work and if you are on my good side, you know where it is.)
  3. Her ability to get to the bottom of something.  Us southern girls like to know what's going on.  Brenda Leigh knows how to wrangle a confession out of a suspect by using sugar coated words or a little bit of heat.
  4. Introducing herself as, "I'm Brenda Leigh Johnson, L.A.P.D."  Who else makes introductions by their full name?
  5. When quoted in the paper, she was not miffed by the unflattering quote.  Rather, she was miffed, "Because they misspelled my middle name."
  6. While she can solve the trickiest of murders, she cannot tell if her pet Kitty is male or female.
  7. She is unfailingly polite.  Whether asking for overtime or simply in line at the Atlanta detention center, she never forgets to add a, "Thank yew...thank yew so very much."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy B-day America!

A repost, but it's all I got...

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you....You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today."  Deuteronomy 8:10, 17-18

We all know how blessed we are to live in the United States. While the U.S. has its problems, and we are all aware of them, I still cannot help but feel gratitude that I am an American citizen.

And much like the Scripture says, whcn I look at my possessions, at our great nation, sometimes I am tempted to pat myself (or collectively ourselves) on the back and take credit for a job well done.

Then, conviction creeps in. And I realize that all I have has nothing to do with me. It has to do with the sacrifices of others, from the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives and their occupations so that we can live, work and play with freedom and security. It's about family members who sacrificed self so they could help form character and help make sure their families had all they needed. It's about the founders of our who valued worship so much they were ready to venture to an unknown.

Above all else, the reason why America is great is because God has put His favor on it. We have done nothing to deserve it, which is why it's called favor. We don't need to delude ourselves into thinking that we earned it, it's simply His grace.

So I humbly ask you this long weekend, as we celebrate America's birthday and contemplate how very fortunate we are to live in this blessed nation, to do exactly as Moses instructed the Israelites a long time ago. Eat, be satisified, be thankful! Just be sure and remember to whom those thanks must be given.