Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Drop, Stop, and Roll

I was in elementary school during part of the cold war. Because of the ever increasing tension at the time we had a lot of drills. One was the drill for air raid sirens. When the sirens went off we were to put away our papers, pencils, and books and take cover underneath our desk. While I practiced this religiously, looking back on it, I seriously doubt if that desk would have offered much protection against a bomb. I also question why we had to put everything away. The other drill I remember is, ‘stop, drop, and roll’. If you ever found yourself on fire you were to stop running, drop to the floor, and roll to extinguish the fire.

The stop, drop, and roll drill can be used in other circumstances as well. By changing the order of the steps I truly believe what I learned so many years ago, saved me from serious harm. It was about this time last year when I was thrown from a moving vehicle at a high rate of speed.

It was a leisurely, joyous trip, Char and I went out to Illinois to celebrate three birthdays. The trip out there went well as did the birthday celebrations.

But things quickly changed when we got to Hazy Hills golf course. Desiree and Char were in one golf cart, Nathan and I in another. Now let me say I do not blame Nathan, nor do I think it was his fault, but the way he drives a golf cart does leave a little to be desired. He starts fast, he stops fast and its pedal to the medal in between. The first few holes went well but then I sliced my ball to the right. Nathan’s went straight down the fairway. Not only did I slice it but I also lost sight of it, most likely while beating the ground repeatedly with the golf club. Nathan and I got back in the cart and went to look for my golf ball. Nathan was driving and I was scanning the course with the hopes of finding that little white ball. A group of trees was ahead of us and I fully expected Nathan to take the obvious route to the right. So, I leaned to the right and got ready for the turn. That’s when Nathan said, “There it is.” He then made a fast and abrupt turn to the left. That turn, as simple as it sounds, helped me to create the drop, stop, and roll theory.

DROP: When Nathan made that abrupt turn to the left, I flew out of the golf cart and dropped to the ground. I was leaning to the right, he was turning to the left, and the law of gravity took over.

STOP: Nathan slammed on the brakes and gave out a loud yell, “DAD !!”

ROLL: By the time Nathan stopped and let out that yell I was already rolling. After about twenty yards I came to a full and complete stop. I sat up, put my glasses back on and while wiping grass clippings off my face noticed Char and Desiree. They too were rolling. Only they were rolling with laughter. They didn’t see me get thrown from the golf cart but they heard Nathan yell and turned in time to watch me roll through the grass. It took two more holes to settle them down.

They can laugh all they want. But, I believe what I learned in elementary school saved me from serious harm.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Little Bobby was spending the weekend with his grandmother after a particularly trying week in kindergarten. His grandmother decided to take him to the park on Saturday morning. It had been snowing all night and everything was beautiful.

His grandmother remarked, “Doesn’t it look like an artist painted this scenery? Did you know God painted this just for you?"

Bobby said, "Yes, God did it and he did it left handed."

This confused his grandmother a bit, and she asked him "What makes you say God did this with his left hand?"

"Well," said Bobby, "we learned at Sunday School last week that Jesus sits on God's right hand!"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lost Lake

Beautiful. Tranquil. Serene. While looking at this picture you might think that but then, you’re not the one who almost died there.

Awhile back, my friend, Bobby, and I hiked into this lake. We were told it was an eight-mile hike through some major snowdrifts but worth it because the lake had some large fish. Armed with our fishing poles, tackle boxes, and one beer each we started the trek.

Without a compass or map, we hiked through the snowdrifts and found the lake. We were thrilled to discover no one was there. We had the entire lake to ourselves.

We spent the day fishing, talking, and taking pictures. But, like all good things, it came to an end and we started the hike out.

Somewhere on the way out we took a wrong turn and found ourselves at a lake we hadn’t passed earlier in the day. Not wanting to miss an opportunity we stayed and fished a little longer. All the while, the sun was starting to set.

We left the lake and after awhile found ourselves sitting on a rock pile neither of us recognized. That’s when Bobby made the declaration, “Well, it’s official – we’re lost.” Then handing me a beer he said, “We might as well really cloud our judgment.” Sitting on the rock pile, we both freely admitted we had no idea where we were.

I looked at my cell phone - no service. When I started to chuckle, Bobby asked what so funny. “Nobody knows where we are, we can’t call for help, and to make matters worse we just wasted the twenty-five cent search and rescue surcharge on our fishing license,” I replied.

By the time we left the rock pile the sun had set and it was getting dark. But, we kept telling each other that things were looking familiar. Then rounding a bend in the trail, there sat the truck.

Resting on the tailgate of the truck eating the best pepperoni and cheese I have ever tasted, I recalled the events of the day. We had hiked over eight miles through some high snowdrifts, caught no fish, got lost in the Colorado wilderness without food or water, and then somehow managed to find our way out.

I started to chuckle realizing it could be worse. The lead news story could have been, ‘Well Known Forester Found Dead in the Forest’. That would have been embarrassing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It Won't Let Go

Winter just won't let go this year. No golf today.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Terri asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. She was puzzled by Kyle’s picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent.

“The Flight to Egypt,” was his reply.

Pointing at each figure, Terri said, “That must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. But who’s the fourth person?”

“Oh, that’s Pontius – the pilot.”

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Taking On The Cowboy

When I do the cooking class at the assisted living center there is a lady employed there who is assigned to help me. Her main role is to watch over the residents and to inform me of any food allergies and let me know who can eat what we made and who can’t. The way she interacts with the residents is amazing, she really has a gift.

I was getting things ready, residents were starting to arrive, and the lady walk in and said, “Well, Ralph, you are becoming quite popular. You beat out Cowboy Bob.”

The look on my face must have said it all because she laughed and went on to explain that Cowboy Bob shows up once a month with his guitar and sings country western songs. He is really quite popular. But the residents who had a choice wanted to attend cooking class.

I think it was the fact they knew we were going to have ice cream.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Hope and Change

Three major network television channels showed the President saying the ‘F’ word in public. I'm sure a lot of Presidents have said it a few times. But it seems to be getting a lot of air time with the current President.

The President of the United States using the 'F' word in a public setting as part of a joke. I wonder how that is being viewed around the world?

I don't know about hope but it certainly is a change.