Sunday, August 26, 2007

AND ONE MORE WORD...about my visit in Dallas. (I had numerous interruptions when I was writing my last blog that resulted in my blog being deleted and my having to start over again!) One thought train that got derailed in that process that I want to be sure to get back on track has to do with a special group of new friends I have made during this visit. They include a number of 30ish singles who include my hostess, they are mostly from the Veritas Sunday School class of Park Cities Presbyterian Church. They are a special group of mostly professional young men and women who love Christ. If your view of singles in this age group is a bunch of misfits, you have a very dated caricature in your mind. That does not describe this group at all! The women are lovely, the men are delightful. They are working with the children in their church on Sundays, helping during the week in a downtown mission, going on mission trips and generally ministering along with many others in their church for Christ and His kingdom. I have been very privileged to get to know some of them a little better on Sunday noons at lunch. My hat is off to these delightful men and women that I have met. I hope some of them can get together...if that would provide a good match! Meanwhile, I'm glad they have each other for some great friendships. Thank you again group for your friendliness and hospitality:)

TWO WEEKS DOWN, ONE TO GO...before I head for home. I'm so ready to get home. It's not because this has been unpleasant, but because I'm far away from home and too far from friends to be able to drop in after work! I know a few people in the Dallas area, but they either live far from where I'm staying or I don't know them well enough to just "drop in". Here is what I've been doing.
WEEK ONE--This week I spent in classes from 9 AM to 3 PM in Plano, TX (about 20 miles north of here). The review was very helpful and the notebook was a great resource. It also gave a lot of information that is available on the internet for which I am very glad.
WEEK TWO--This week was my first clinical week. One of the hardest things about it is the hours! I am a night owl and getting up at 4:30 AM is not easy for me. The early rising is really not as difficult as the early going to bed. That is about the time my brain is starting to revive from the day:) Anyway, my schedule is 5:45-2:15 PM for work. That will continue this coming week. I have enjoyed the people I have worked with. They do a hard job under difficult conditions and they genuinely care for their patients. When you are dealing with patients with memory problems, multiple health issues and in some cases, non-compliance, it is quite difficult to help them AND keep their families happy. Not every nurse who is competent and cares about her patients stays calm when attacked by the family by phone, that she isn't doing her job. As I said, it is a difficult job....often impossible.

My plans are to pack the car on Thursday nite and head for work on Friday with a full car, ready to leave after work so I can get on the road (and beat the worst of the Dallas rush) and out of TX. I hope to get about 4 hrs. down the road (McAlester, OK?) b/f stopping for the night. Then I plan to get at least to the IL side of St. Louis on Saturday so I will be able to get to church at least, on Sunday. It will be nice to be home! I have enjoyed the hospitality I have had here. About that I have not one complaint! I just want to be home. I am weary.

My extracurricular activities here have been the following: a weekend trip to Tyler last weekend to visit a few old friends and catch up with them. Of course there wasn't enough time to do all I wanted to do, but that is normal. I had three people I needed to see and I got to see them plus visit a good friend whose husband passed away that week. They had been married 63 yrs. I can't even imagine being married that long. They adored each other and it showed. It was a privilege to be able to visit with her. I also was able to worship at Fifth St. Presbyterian Church. It was our home church for 16 years and it was so nice to see many old friends even if it was for such a short time. I also ate dinner with some friends from our Old Cutler years during my week in Plano. Yesterday, I trotted (by car) down to Waco to meet Dawn's beau Steve. We met for lunch and talked and talked...mostly about her of course, but also about him and his family. It was nice to get to meet him in person. I guess I know why I'm weary. This three weeks has been very busy. It is time for me to sign off and take my Sunday Afternoon Nap!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I thought you might enjoy the following link...especially if you are feeling either run-down or run-over. I'm sorry I can't give credit to the blog I got it from but I have forgotten. My guess is
Palm Tree Pundit (that's it!).

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Reverend Countess Martha the Encompassing of Bumpstead under Carpet
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Here is my other title:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Exalted Highness Duchess Martha the Amicable of Colquhoun St Cahoon
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Very Lord Ron the Kind of Withering by the Wold
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Saturday, August 11, 2007

ON THE ROAD-DAY TWO…After my “long” 2 hour doze, I woke up and got moving and on with my day. I was focused and headed for Texas! On the way to breakfast, I put some of my things in the car. At breakfast, one family was from Carrollton, a suburb of Dallas. They were on their way to visit family in Indiana. When I told them that I had lived in Tyler, they knew of it because of Pine Cove, where they had gone for family camp (and where two of our daughters worked).
Today seemed to go much faster than yesterday. One reason is because I stopped less often. Yesterday, I felt I had to stop at rest stops because they were there and I didn’t know when the next one would come along. Today, I spent most of the time on 69 which goes through towns so you can stop when you need to. You also need to slow down for each town, so once I got going, I didn’t want to stop! I tended to go in 2 hour segments today and that worked much better. It also worked better to leave before 8 AM. One larger town I went through, I think it was McAlester, OK, was before a lot of very small ones and I wanted to see if I could make it to TX before stopping for lunch. I got a milkshake at about 10 AM to hold me and I did fine until about 1 PM when I stopped in Sherman, TX for lunch. I had one disc to go when I hit Dallas traffic and was needing to follow specific directions to get to where I am staying. It is now night and I still don’t know how my book ends. They are in court and a whole bunch of things are resting on this case. When I find where I put my earphones, I’ll listen to it. I arrived here safely at about 4 PM after one minor wrong turn in Dallas and about an hour lunch break and stroll in Sherman.
This evening I have spent my time settling in, putting things away, showering, washing hair, eating supper and just generally R-E-L-A-X-I-N-G! I have been wound pretty tight getting ready for this few weeks and it feels pretty good to be here…in one piece…with no responsibilities…for a few minutes. What has been forgotten, is forgotten. (So far, that is all my jewelry that I don’t wear all the time.) Aside from the boredom of it, I could do worse. I seem to have the really important things like medications, forms for work and uniforms. So now I am ready to go to bed and sleep. Good night to all.

ON THE ROAD-DAY ONE…I have completed the first 450+ miles of my 800 mile trip to Dallas, TX from IL. It is an adventure of sorts. I have never driven this far alone. I’m not the one in the family who likes to drive. Since Ron loves to drive, the most I’ve ever done is an hour or two here or there when he got tired. The day went much better than I expected today (Friday). Of course, I have been planning for it for weeks! I had the car stocked with audio books and miscellaneous CD’s. For starters, I listened to Romans…yes, the whole book of Romans! Something hit me on chapter 4:15. Hearing it made it more powerful. “…but where there is no law there is no transgression.” I realized that the reason people want “no laws” is not because they just want to “be free”, it is because God has put inside each of us a realization that our hearts aren’t right (see Romans 1-2) and He has revealed enough about Himself that no one is without excuse before Him if they have rejected Him. The problem isn’t laws, it is our hearts. The laws show us that we are sinners in need of a Savior. Our hearts tell us there is a God but we want to run the opposite direction. How wonderful that God intervened (5:8) by showing His love for us “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And that was where one of my rambly thoughts went for the first hour!

After that I listened to an audiobook called I Wish You Well (dont have the author handy right now). I didn’t finish it today, but enjoyed it a lot. It was set in the mountains of Virginia, not far from where my mother grew up, in the 1940’s. The characters are interesting with a lot of “real life”action. Actually, it is harder than real life. A lot of sad things happen, but there is also plenty of humor and beauty as well. It is the kind of fiction I like…about real people. It could easily be a biography of someone growing up in that area in that time period. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hearing “the rest of the story”.

My plan was to travel more than half way the first day and Joplin, MO was more than half way. On top of that, there weren’t many large towns after that over the border in OK, so Joplin looked like the best place to stop. Ron made the reservation for me at the Super 8 there. I wouldn’t recommend it. It wasn’t so awful that I felt my health would suffer for staying there or I feared for my life during the night, but it was borderline. I think the bedspread was the oldest, shabbiest bedspread I’ve seen in a motel in a long, long time! I kept my valuables with me. My problem is I have certain areas where I am sort of tight. When I am just spending the night and not using any amenities, I hate to pay for them at a nice motel even though I do enjoy them. I took a sleeping pill so I would sleep really well during the night. I woke up at 2:30 AM and didn’t get back to sleep until about 5 AM! That is the story of Friday (great!) and Friday night (Ugh!).