Feeling the Burn

Have you ever had something just sneak up on you and shock the daylights out of you?  I had one of those ‘oh, that will never happen to me’  humbling moments this week.  Oh my!

Due to Cliff’s recent knee surgery, a borrowed exercise bike has been added to my dining room decor.  He goes in and whirrs away on it a couple of times a day.  The other day, I started to wonder when was the last time I did anything to ‘feel the burn’.  I have never been a consistent exerciser.  I like to get out and move if I am working  hauling off tree limbs or something that the kids rope me into doing with them, but to say I seek it out, forget it.  Thoughts of enrolling at the Wellness Center are great dreams, but I know I would never be able to talk myself into going early on cold mornings nor would I in the evenings when I am beat.  I would feel guilty and whine, so it isn’t worth it to try.  In nice weather, I had dreams of going running with our new puppy a couple of summers ago.  Jiggerbean was great at first, but the german short hair turned into a tornado on a leash.  Even Cliff has a hard time handling the beast and has to run him five miles before they hunt.  When Casey was living with us, we would pitch in the Leslie Sansone DVD and power walk those three miles.  She got bored with it, but did it to humor me.  She began to add kick boxing moves that would make Leslie pale at the thought.  I just smiled with Leslie and her studio girls and soaked up the time with my daughter.  When she left, my discipline packed up and moved to Wichita with her.   Last summer Mom kept me fit with running the stairs to her apartment when she hit her Lifeline or lifting her in and out of her wheelchair to the car.  Calling it the ‘Myrlee Moore Work Out System” I turned into Muscles Linguine overnight.  Once she went into the nursing home, I was shocked at how depleted I was in every area.  I gave myself permission to just heal from 6 months of a nightmare.

So on Monday morning I hatched a great plan.  Starting my day I would set up my laptop to listen to one of my favorite radio shows and ride like the wind.  It usually runs 25-30 minutes, which would be perfect to get the heart rate going.  I would be multi-tasking my way to fitness.

The regular host was on vacation, but her regular fill-in was taking the microphone.  He usually opens the show with a good chunk of time to catch you up on world events, etc.  Sometimes he will go for as much as half the show.  On the website is a time counter, so I could glance over at any moment to see who much longer I had when I started to break into glistening or feel a little flushed.

So I hit play on the laptop and hop on the stationery velocipede.  I take off at a good clip and decide I need to kick it up a notch.  As I half-listened to Brannon went on about some government issues I wasn’t too interested in, I pictured myself racing Lance Armstrong in the Tour De Dining Room.  I rode like the wind, I tell you and was about to catch him when—

—I started feeling my muscles go to jelly and my lungs began to convince me that I was equivalent to a 2 pack a day smoker.  They were the ones ‘feeling the burn’.

So maybe a 30 minute goal was a little lofty I think to myself.  10 minutes would be just dandy and my, Brannon is windy today with this intro.  Will the man not move on?  He has had to been yapping non-stop for ages.

Suddenly my heart sent a memo to me that it was on the verge of exploding.  I took a gander over at the time counter.

2 minutes and 50 seconds!  What!  Then it went in to spasms, not from exercise but from humility and shock!

How can this be?  I have never been an athlete, but I was the one all the ribbon ropers fought over to get me to run for them.  I could slice through the fresh plowed ground of an arena to pull the ribbon off the calf’s tail and run to the finish line like a knife through butter.  Being deceivingly stronger than my size and quite ‘wiry’ as the Scottish kicker on the  football movie The Replacements would say, I have can hold my own with the best of them.  I have helped Cliff load washing machines, wrangle furniture upstairs for college move-in days, and have taught many a kid at the church how to do all the actions at the same time Making Melodies in My Heart without breaking a sweatMy build has been one I have had pride in when others have tried to give me a few pounds of theirs.  “Oh I have good genes to thank for that” I have said with a chuckle and blush when people have commented on my muscle definition.  (I know I don’t have much wrapped around these bones, but what I have is defined, ok?)  I have never ever had to work at it, and I don’t like the thought of having to start one bit!

Now the shock is over.  I have accepted that I have to kick it up a notch and add another thing in my daily schedule.   I am noticing my breathing getting smoother and my heart is rather enjoying the ride since I set my pace a little more realistically.  It’s turning into just God and I having some great prayer time that consists of more than me thinking I am physically going to meet my maker at any moment.  It is beginning to become a rich time where  God is molding me and shaping me once again.

“Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.”  Romans 12:1.   (Suppose He might mean more than in a just physical sense as well?  Hmm…….more to blog about some day, huh?)

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Today a giant blue wheeled cart beckoned me with Walmart Clearance bargains.  Unless the cart has just come out, the chances of finding treasures are slim.  By now pizza flavored lip-gloss and such are all that is left.  Still I looked.  A little spray bottle caught my eye.  “Spray Applesauce-For People on the Go!”  I giggled out loud!  Who thought this brain child up?  How does it not clog up?  Does one say while running a marathon, ‘man, hit me with some applesauce’?  The person with the golden delicious vision had to have others agree and say “hey, we have a winner!” in order to get it packaged, marketed and on the shelf.   If you don’t have time to put a spoon in your mouth and swallow, you may just be a little too busy in my book. As usual my mind could not let something like this lie dormant.

It also led me to remember some of my classic ‘seemed like a good idea’ times.

In first grade I stepped on the rustiest nail I could find on my grandparents’ farm.  I purposely stepped on it, because a couple of gals in my class had accidentally stepped on nails or glass that week.  I quickly learned this great plan to fit in was much more painful than I had envisioned.   The blood gushing turned my mom and Grandma Moore into panicked crazy women as they knew lock-jaw was going to set in any moment. I was hauled in a 75+ mile radius to Ashland, Coldwater and Greensburg hospitals due to a tetanus serum shortage.  What was I thinking?

Stealing a 39 cent bottle of Oyster Pearl fingernail polish from Mr. Jones Drug Store in about 3rd grade was my one major heist.   It was so shimmery and shiny that the temptation was too much. No one ever knew but me.  Once in a while I would get brave and wear it,  but it bugged me the whole time. Since God has a sense of humor, he arranged for Mom to work for Mr. Jones for several years when I was in Jr. High.  Still that was not enough to break me even if the guilt plagued me everyday afterschool.  I would check in with Mom and Mr. Jones always made it a point to visit with me.  Did I mention that guilt was partnered with a check that was enclosed in my graduation card from the Jones?  (Let the record show that God reminded me a few years ago and I made it right with Mrs. Jones.)

A few years ago my mom about scobbed my knob when I confessed that in sixth grade I lied on my eye test because I knew I would look great in glasses.  What we lengths we go for beauty!  Right now I have 4 pairs of readers scattered to Timbuktu and back that I never can find.  Most of the time they are on my head or clipped on my shirt.  Little did I know that I would eventually I ooze beauty as I rock  the  ‘grandma’ glasses.

I thought I was pretty smart when I learned to play divorced parents against each other.  Manipulation was my game. Oh, the power was intoxicating during a situation in which I had no control.  They were dancing my dance.  Revenge was sweet.  That is until at any given time they would form a peace treaty and swap stories.  Big trouble for Kelly!

With my Farrah hair blowing in the wind, I attempted to impress the jr. high love of my life, whose identity I now have forgotten.  My Charlie’s Angels skateboard skills landed me with bruised pride and a fractured tail bone on the sidewalk in front of the bank building to quite an audience.  Since I am hard-headed, my other attempt to impress a guy (my dad) consisted of climbing on the back for a steer at an all girls rodeo.  Ironically, that ended with my tail bone fractured again.  Beside these lessons literally kicking my rear, I learned the one guy didn’t matter and the other I was already in his heart.

Rawlings, WY will always hold a special place in my memory.  My dad had warned me plenty of times, but I didn’t want to go put my hot boots on to unload the horses from the horse trailer.  My snazzy Dr. Scholl’s and I would be careful, geez.  My beloved Vernal Sox not only stepped on my Oyster Pearl painted toes, but twisted.  I lost a couple of toenails, but gained a limp for the entire National High School Rodeo Finals in Yakima, WA, where the rule was we all had to wear boots the entire time or get sent home.  Rebelling and laziness made their point on that trip.

A pact was formed in Sophomore Biology to cheat on our 9 weeks test.  Someone had the test key and distributed copies freely.  Long story short-we all got caught, except Mike Sanders who was lucky enough to get a hanger run in his eye the hour before in PE.  The principal and the parents were not proud.  We flunked that 9 weeks-except for Mr. A+ Mike. The kicker was I always like a back up plan, so I had studied and knew it by heart.  Cheaters never prosper, but they do have to scramble to make the semester grade average come out to a C at best.

My last one was always breaking curfew because ‘well, my car wouldn’t start’.  This perfect story I had no doubt I could get away with.  My discerning and smarter-than-me parents picked up that my car only acted up on Saturday nights.  For Christmas instead of the chic knee boots I was slobbering over, I received jumper cables and no more excuses.  Busted!

We could go on and on, couldn’t we?  While these are pretty harmless and silly, the tales get more sordid and serious.  So do the consequences.  “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11.   Thank goodness for that discipline.  If we are left to our own devices, we would continue and create gargantuan messes, let alone continue to break God’s heart.   Instead he catches us and gives us righteousness and peace, if we take heed.

Still something will fly in from left field and catch us in a parking lot drinking blackberry moonshine from a guy named Bronc that we have never seen in our lives. (I plead the fifth on the time frame of this incident. I am still recovering from mortification.)

I am so thankful for the God of second chances who molds and shapes us through discipline, divine guidance, and love.  My new favorite verse is “Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take my refuge in you.  May integrity and uprightness protect me because my hope is in you.”  Psalm 25: 20-21.  Ahhhh… hope in him.  Always the best idea at anytime.

A “Do Nothing” Day

This blog post won’t be long, because in order to have a do-nothing day, you really can’t do any thing.

Yesterday morning, I got up and plopped in the recliner.  Before long two hours had gone by of me half listening to the news repeat over and over.   Any gumption I ever had evidently had gone on vacation.  I made an executive decision. I was officially taking the day off from life.  I thought back and figured since the last one I had hit about 1983, I was due.   I told my compadre Couch Potato Cliff that I was going back to bed for a while.   He was sprawled out and I know he was jealous that I had so much energy.

About 11:45 am, I straggled out with bedhead and my pj top on wrong side out.  A shower would surely revive me and rearrange my hair.  It did not.  Since Cliff was as inspired about living life to the not-so fullest as I was, he proclaimed whatever any one scavenged to eat it would be fair game.  I agreed.   Since Cole was home for Spring Break if we could have gotten him to chew our food for us, we would have.

In honor of it being our 28th anniversary, Cliff asked me on a date to Alco Discount Store to pick up Coca-cola and chips.  Proof that the romance is still not dead.  This was the highlight of the day and our energy peaked at this time.

Watching the first game of the NCAA basketball tournament that afternoon smooth wore me out.   A nap sounded like a wonderful idea and out I went.  When I awoke, Cliff was in a coma in his chair as well.  The rest of the afternoon resulted the extreme energy-zapping task of circling wins and slashing through losses on our brackets.

I got real crazy and read a little.  Running the remote exhausted Cliff, so he refrained from anything so strenuous. Once the Kansas State game was over, I hung in there a bit longer, but decided to turn in.  With all the rest I had racked up, I figured I would never get to sleep.  I was wrong. I crashed the minute I turned out the light.

Do I have guilt of a wasted a day?  Yesterday it would eat at me a little bit.  Here was a whole day and I had tons of stuff that needed done.  On the other hand, I’ve learned not to go like my hair is on fire all the time.  God has reasons for commanding a time of Sabbath rest, and it is my best intention to follow that as much as possible.  Any extra rest is to be cherished as well.  As my mama would say when I had slept way longer than I had intended, ‘you must have needed it.’  Today is proof.  I feel physically the best I have in ages.  It’s not what we do, but it’s ‘who’s’ we are that counts.  I tend to forget that at times.

To add some icing to the cake, we had a great day yesterday.  God surprised us with this do-nothing day as an unexpected gift.  With a couple of years being the exception, Cliff and I have a tradition of making sure we do something on our anniversary.  Yesterday there was freedom in the fact that we didn’t have to follow that tradition on this particular year.  We both needed to chill out and enjoy just being us with each other.   Our tradition does not define the security of the relationship.

Funny how when we look at the big picture, this do-nothing day actually accomplished a lot.

The Coveted Secrets of My Bracketology System

March of 1988: an 8 month very pregnant me was introduced to the joys of University of Kansas Basketball.  As the NCAA national championship game was full of exciting thrills and chills, I realized I had somehow downed a whole pound Hershey bar during the action.   That’s how hooked I was.  Kicking up the fun a notch I entered the bracket craze.  I hate to brag, but I have had my fair share of success in the picking game.  Make room at the table Dickie V, Bobby Knight, and Digger.  I am sliding in.  Be ready to be amazed and astounded.

I have weighed the pros and cons of sharing my system, but realize I can not keep this to myself.  This unique system baffles the mega-minds of any one truly serious about the tournament-ie Cliff and Cole.  So grab your bracket as I share my secret bracketology methodology.

March Madness begins with Gonzaga.  Every year if they make the tournament, they always win at least one round because I just love to say “Gon-za-ga!”  Try it.  You will see the no brainer here.

Duke is pretty good this year, but I don’t have them winning it all, because I do not like their mascot-The Blue Devils.  Right up there with the Dodge City Demons.  That sinister painted mascot was so creepy as it peered down from the water tower  that overlooked the town.  Gork me out!  Mix in Coach K’s getting to too old to rock that jet black dye job on his follicles.  Too scary to be the National Champs.

One year I picked Ocean Pacific, who I had going a little ways no matter what their sede.  What a great sounding place for a vacation!  San Diego State is definitely at least an Elite Eight pick because that’s where Cliff’s cousins live and one of my life long friends, Romy.  Florida has the vacation vote as well.  Mix that in with my daughter Casey’s great stories about watching the Space Shuttle go off there this last month.  That combo could be an beatable recipe for any of their opponents.

Everyone loves Ohio State, but me.  Don’t see it happening for them.  If the ex-fiance that done-my-baby-wrong was a huge fan and had my dad had not had an Ohio-ian girlfriend drop the news about Santa to my little brother, I could have considered them.  Fatal blows to their Final Four future.  They are not just toast-they are burnt beyond recognition toast.   Let it be written-Ohio messed with my family.  No Championship for you! On the other hand is the University of North Carolina-yes, I still like them because I like Roy Williams.  I know many from this great state still want to cut down his net, but he left KU for his family.  If he would sacrifice his fame for his fam, his team is one I have a soft spot.   They will be at least Sweet Sixteeners.

Pittsburg will do ok.  My friend, Michaela, is helping out the area with her presence, so it’s a go for them.  Bucknell I will have going at least one round.  Anyone who would beat KU like a rug way back when deserves the respect of at least one round.  Texas is a given since  one of the best summers of my life I worked at  a church camp in Happy, TX .

Let’s talk Kansas State University.  The rivals of all time for KU.  Believe it or not, I like them.  I am proud of them.  I enjoy watching them.  They have shown moxy this year and fought their way through great challenges.  I will push them along for a while, but I am sorry, they aren’t taking the trophy home. ‘ Why?’ you ask.  Check out those uniforms.  Gray??? Blah, blah, blah.  Who’s idea was that?  Where is the energy?  They need crispness and colors that ‘pop’ to be national champs.  Kind of like American Idol; one has to look at the whole package.  I’m thinking of having a bake sale to help them out with new threads by next season.

I could go on, but I think you are feeling it and can take it from here.  Good luck!  It really is a gift that is not to be taken lightly.

Charles Barkley would laugh me out of the gym with my seemingly ‘ridiculous’ theories and success.  I am definitely an example of “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ 1 Cor. 1:19.  On the other hand, I can’t get too big for my basketball britches.  I have found that when I proclaim that I am the smartest person alive in no time I am greatly humbled.   “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8   Thank goodness!  If the world is depending on me we are all in trouble.

Enjoy these next few weeks as the Jayhawks work their way to victory, because -great uniforms, cool town, my daughter taught Tyrel Reed, the funnest mascot, and a whole host of other critical ‘kelology’ reasons. Rock Chalk!

BJ and the Bride

Last weekend Cliff and I had the privilege of going to a beautiful wedding in Kansas City.  Seated as ‘friends of the bride’, we were serenaded by a stringed trio and soaked in the traditional cathedral-like surroundings.  No one sat in silence, due to the fact of the wedding program.  Everyone was buzzing over the little original book, that oozed with the personalities of the couple about to be wed.  It told how they met, who they were, what their ‘fav’s were and bios on who was in the wedding.  What a treat!  We knew Amy through her parents, but had only met BJ once at their bridal shower.  Very rapidly, we learned that he was a unique character that would fit in quite nicely with this family.

My favorite part of the wedding came when the groom walked his mother down the aisle and took his place at the front of the church.  The music swelled as the big moment approached when BJ would see his bride for the first time.  I watched him with great interest.  He would look at the floor, then slowly peer up-almost like he didn’t trust that he was really here at this moment.  These were not only expressions of extreme anticipation, but also his posture gave his impatience away.  He was totally unaware that his left leg was twitching at a high rate of speed and his right hand was about to wear the edge of his pants pocket out.   A grin was fighting a smile that was just waiting to burst forth.  Ever so often he would look up a the ceiling and take a ragged deep breath then glance back at the closed stained glass doors that separated him from his beloved.   His heart had to be on the verge of beating out of his chest.  Time seemed to stand still for him.  If he would have had to wait much longer, I bet he would have bounded up the aisle and ripped those doors off the hinges.

As with tradition, we all stood as my attention swung to those closed doors. When they opened Amy’s smile beamed everywhere and there was no way it was going to be contained!  She probably would have run down that aisle had it not been for the Father of the Bride.  As with most daddys giving their little girls away, he was rather stiff and reverent.  He was not going to be rushed in handing his precious one over.  The time had to be perfect.

That time came just moments later.  Two became one to never be separate again.  Nothing was more right.  This was one union we would never forget.  The glorious celebration that followed was the icing on the proverbial wedding cake.

“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5b.  This made me think about how Jesus just itches with anticipation for a relationship with us.  Not only that but someday, he will be coming, when the time is perfect.  Not a millisecond before.

So what are we waiting for?  We must get ready!  May we welcome him with smiles that can not be contained.  The Bridegroom and the epic celebration of all time are their way!

Unforgetable Creations

I love to experience all the aspects of God’s creation. Today I am celebrating some of the people he created.  Our paths crossed some of his unique ones this weekend when we left Barber County for a wedding in Kansas City.

Let me introduce you to Creation #1.  While meeting friends in the hotel lobby to catch the shuttle to the church, we heard a voice that we will never forget.  In the bar/lobby was a petite little gal in a bright blue dress.   Her voice was very high, nasally, and had the ‘little girl’ trait to it.   Quite deceivingly, this little body could produce sound that  screamed off the brick walls.  Gathered in the lobby was not only our gang, but another group headed to another wedding.  When Little Girl Blue would laugh, eyes would squint and shoulders hunch up much like a reaction from nails on a chalkboard.  A fountain of non-stop commentary, she shared with a bar buddy that she was headed to a wedding.  Not a soul there can honestly say they didn’t pray right there that she would not be going to the nuptials they were attending.   Sighs of relief released from us when we saw her load into the very crowded hotel shuttle van.

Sadly, it reminded me of a flight when a friend and I were rum-dumb from lack of sleep and were just giggly-gooney.  We were oblivious to those around us as we sat in the front row of the plane because we were consumed with us being so hilarious.  Before take off they asked if anyone would move to the back to even out the weight.  We volunteered.  As we headed to the very back of the plane, a middle-aged guy groaned loudly and said, “Oh no!  I sat back here to get away from you two!”  Later in the flight, he and I visited a bit, which I think we both enjoyed.  Just like Little Girl Blue, we all have our moments.  That convinced me that I needed extend some grace as was extended to me.

Creation #2 was Marcus, in which our mortality was entrusted.  He was our shuttle driver for the evening.  Our lives flashed before our eyes on many occasions as he whirled us through intersections.  Entertaining us with his stand-up comedy routine was his unofficial job.  When he found out that we were wedding bound, he began to tell us of his love gone wrong.  His girlfriend was ‘mean, I tell you!  She even said ‘you are so stupid!’ right in front of my mama!  Can you believe that?  Uh-huh! A man can not put up with that.”  One of the gals with us asked what his mama thought about this.  “Wal, she didn’t like it.  I can tells you that!  So, I just yanked that gal’s application.  I shore did.”   During the course of 4 shuttle rides with our new bff  we learned much about him.  He was from “Loos-y-anna and when I get married I’m having a southern weddin’.  My grandma is going to fry up 200 lbs of chicken and bake pies.  Yes, there will be apple, peach and pea-can, if Grandma can still get around by then.  And (his hands went off the wheel to display his dream through gestures) there will be a blue Kool-aid fountain.  Oh yes!  It would be hard blue Kool-aid. (ran a red light at this point) Gots ta keep in a budget ya know.”   As we unloaded an invitation to said wedding was extended to us.   He had the buffet and just needed a bride.

Later, yes, we called Markus to pick us up from the reception.  He had other passengers who thought we were crazy when we greeted him, excitedly.  The newcomers’ eyes were much like they had ridden the Orient Express at Worlds of Fun for the first time with no seat belts.  They weren’t real happy that he had made a detour for us.  Their posture said they solely wanted to get to the hotel safely.  I assured my new seat buddy that we had a relationship with Markus, just as he missed clipping a suburban by a fraction of an inch.  She could not help commenting on his driving skills.  “I tell you what” Markus shared. “I could drive that Space Shuttle.  I’d be dodgin’ them asteroids.  It’d be all good.”  As we pulled up to the hotel, I think one of the passengers knelt and kissed the ground on her dismount.  I guess they didn’t recognize hospitality when they encountered it.  Marcus is the king.  Not only did he take care of our needs, he entertained us in an unforgetable way.

Creation #3. Rita the omelet lady at the hotel.   She was a finely tuned machine who should be the headline article of next month’s AARP magazine.  Only having about a foot and one-half area to move in, she could work a waffle iron, saute veggies, flip an omelet, call out the order and wash the pans in the time it took me to place my order.   She was having a blast as she visited with her guests.  Never did she slip up or get an order wrong.  The line was long, but everyone was so patient as they were mesmerized by her skill and personality.  Someone asked her how many she made in a day.  “I have no idea,” she humbly shrugged. “I never thought to count.”  The verse ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  (Colossians 3:17) seemed to be printed all over her attitude.  (The thought crossed our minds that this may well be Marcus’s grandma.  If she is, Marcus had best be thanking the good Lord above!)

Creation #4 and #5.  #4 was a really nice cashier in which Misty and I visited with as we checked out at Walgreens.  We were juggling our bags as #5 came in.  She was a middle-aged woman on a mission.  She was carrying a brown paper lunch bag with the top crinkled shut in her fist.  She rushed in the door and made a bee-line to our new friend.  As Mist and I went out the door, we saw her start to hand the bag to him.  “I think someone left this in the parking lot……..I think inside is a hamster.”   Misty exploded in laughter as I shoved her out the door.  In the car we created a myriad of scenarios of how this scene came about.   How #4 was going to handle this event would have been priceless to witness.   What was so funny is the way our lives go we both could see ourselves in this situation.  It made our day!    They reminded me to ‘give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:16.  In fact we are jealous we weren’t involved.  You know both #4 and #5 will go home and tell someone “I had the strangest thing happen today.”

The Knee Bone’s Connected To The….

Twenty some years ago, I got one of those unexpected calls that makes one’s heart clench up.  Cliff was pretty shook up when he called to let me know that he had been in an accident and was in the ER at Greensburg.  Due to the sun setting, he did not see a truck coming from the west and pulled out in front of it.  No one was seriously injured, thank you God.  Other than a few stitches, his big injury was his knee.  Seatbelts were an almost forgotten accessory in vehicles then and was more apt to get in the way in the ranch pick-up than be an asset.  This lack of action resulted in Cliff’s knee getting wedged between the regular gear shift and the 4 wheel drive one.  Cliff learned that if a body is catapulted out on to the hood at the same time, it tends to tear the dickens out of one’s knee.  Such began an amazing adventure in his body and our marriage.

Care giving has not been one of my strong suits.  I have been the mom, who will kiss a boo-boo, but then figures if bones aren’t sticking out and blood isn’t gushing, we are good.  We ‘suck it up’, ‘shake things off’ and talk about ‘spitting on it and rub some dirt in it.”  We were assured the surgery to repair it would be no big deal.  Since Cliff’s knee is a long way from his heart, I had no doubt he would be fine.

Everything went like clock-work until the doctor came in to give his post-op update.  Cliff freaked out everyone during surgery when he suddenly woke up.  He sat up and grabbed his leg they had strapped in a cage.  The quick acting anesthesiologist zapped him with something to lay him out cold.

When the nurses brought him to his room, he had such a hard time coming around.  They were insistent that he was to wake up NOW and I was to force a cracker down him.   I finally got him to bite the corner of it, but then he went back to la-la land with mouth slack.  That cracker corner floated around in there for longer than I could believe it could without dissolving.  Finally 3 nurses came in and he was leaving, no matter how gone he was.  I tried to explain, but no one would listen to me. ( Now I would have thrown a hissy fit of epic proportions.)  They poured him in our pick-up and waved ‘bye-bye’.

On the road he got sicker than a corner of a cracker warranted by far-twice.  Thank goodness he slept for most of the hour trip.

We got to the little burg of Ford, KS.  A road block had been set up due to a prisoner escaping from the jail in Dodge.  I pulled up and stopped in front of a mean-looking deputy with a rifle, who had that spread legged cop stance across the road.  This was when Clifford decided to jolt awake from his coma.  His automatic response was to panic.  He knew I had done something of such proportions that the National Guard was being called out.  It did not help that officers were swarming the bed of the pickup and were looking in at the floorboards.  I finally got through to him that I was innocent.  It would be hard to be Bonnie when Clyde was unconscious.  Cliff calmed down.  As they processed other cars, we sat there a spell , which opened a new can of worms.

“Where are we?” Cliff wanted to know.

“Well, we are at Ford.”

“This is NOT Ford, Kansas!”  (Oh great he was not in his right mind and up for an argument!)

I pointed towards the water tower.  “See, it says “Ford” right there.”

“I don’t care what it says.  This is NOT Ford, Kansas!”

“Then where are we?”

He had an accusing tone like I was part of a some kind of conspiracy. “I don’t know where you have taken me, but this is NOT Ford, Kansas!”

I finally conceded and said “Ok, it’s not Ford, KS.  Just go to sleep.”

The rest of the trip he sacked out until we got home.  Once he was settle and back out of it, I learned that we had cattle out all up and down the highway that ran by our house.  I remember chasing those cows as fast as I could in my shorts and flip-flops through the ditch.   As I ran  I screamed as loud as I could “Any rattlesnakes out here, get out of the way because I don’t have time for you to bite me and in the mood I am in, one bite and I would poison you!”  They must have known I was serious and took out for their holes, because I survived the snake gauntlet our place was famous for.

Cliff was to be immobile for 10 pre-remote control days.  He was miserable and bored to no end.  I had my hands full with 3 little girls and all that went with keeping things going on the ranch.  At one point, I was frying chicken with a screaming Misty on my hip.  The phone was ringing.  Cliff was hollering for me to change the channel.  I finally lost it and said the fateful words, “I will never go through this with you again!”

Fast forward to today.  My words have come back to haunt me as we are ‘never going through this again” for the 5th time.  All the others have been rather anti-climatic compared to the first.  Cliff is a much calmer patient, but loves to watch the eyes of the new anesthesiologist as he tells his dramatic horror story.   He told us that he hates two things: needists and dentists.  “Needists” I figure out are ‘needles’ whose root comes from the Demoral language.  It also loosens the tongue.  He apologizes for putting me through this so many times.  Me?  What is he talking about?   But, that is how he is.  He’s always more concerned about his family than what is going on with him.  I just wanted it over for him,so he can do what he wants without pain.

In a mere two hours after he left to go into surgery, he was done and a nurse called him “Daddy Long Legs” as she wheeled him out to the car.   A stop at Walgreens for pain pills inspired me to do an impulse buy for him of a new KU t-shirt, a case of Diet Dr. Pepper and a Suduko book.  In no time we get home to the quiet and his recliner.  I would never wish Cliff to be confined to his chair, but for the moment I am going to enjoy the blessing of being able to spoil him.

It’s not so bad for God to humble one.  It makes me realize once again the blessing I have.  Afterall I still ‘needist’ Cliff a lot.