Monday, February 2, 2009

Rhythm of Life

Been a while, hello all! (I know, I know, I'm not supposed to start a blog this way, or to say "I'm going away for a bit" or anything like that. Bad blog etiquette. Oh, well, get over it.)

I spent last week in Wichita Falls, TX (on business). We were iced into the hotel one day and had to work from there. I also had dinner one night with some great friends who moved out that way a bit over a year ago.

Oh, wait, first: our luggage didn't make the connection in Dallas. Four of us flew from the Mobile airport through Dallas into Wichita Falls. Four of us didn't have any luggage when we arrived. We stopped back around 2 after the next flight, but again our luggage wasn't to be found (and half the new flightload of people also didn't have luggage). We stopped back again around 9 after the next/last flight of the day, and 1/2 of us got our luggage (no, I wasn't in that half, and again about half the people waiting at the baggage claim area were disappointed). The third guy had his suitcase delivered to the hotel around 11 or 12 that night (why it wasn't on the luggage carousel I don't know); mine arrived the next afternoon.

On Tuesday, when we were iced in, one of the guys and I walked over to the nearby Denny's for dinner. On the way we heard a noise, looked back, and saw an 18-wheeler sliding backwards (no, it was quite a ways from - and posed no danger to - us) - it was turned nearly 180 degrees. I guess the noise was his trailer taking out a street sign or something because there certainly wasn't enough room for him to have made it around cleanly and keep the entire truck on the paved area. There was a car trying to stop next to him - fortunately, I think, somehow, the two didn't collide. After dinner we amusingly watched a Corvette try in vain to climb the slight incline to the hotel parking lot; after a couple minutes' trying, he spent a few more minutes trying to get turned back around, eventually was successful, and headed back out the way he came. We also amusingly walked over some other tire tracks that went up the curb, across the sidewalk, and into the grass.

On the day to head home, two of the guys went to return the rental cars and two of us went to check in for our flight. Apparently the lady behind me was the last one they let on the flight - they had already canceled one flight that day and had now canceled our flight, and they had ordered a replacement flight - with a smaller plane. The two guys that didn't make the cut ended up being driven in a van to the Dallas airport. And they arrived around the same time as those of us who flew.

At least the remainder of the trip - Dallas to Mobile - went off without a hitch. My bag was the third one on the baggage claim carousel, and we all got our luggage this time around. Well, the four of us did, I didn't wait around to see about the rest of the folks whom I didn't know.

Warning: extreme parenthetical comments ahead may make understanding a challenge; read the following paragraph at your own risk!!!

Saturday night my wife and I went to a movie (Taken) and then to a Japanese steakhouse (we had a coupon for $25 off - that was fortunate as this particular place definitely wasn't the best hibachi dinner I've ever had). Met some interesting guys (a Caucasian, and Asian, and a Mexican - I'd say that sounds like the intro to a bad, off-color racial joke, but I don't want to offend anyone - I really don't tell those kind of jokes!) there (who were just "out driving around" and planned to end up in Mississippi, according to their story) - I figured they would probably stalk us home to rob us (no, I'm not really profiling - continue reading to find out the likely cause of this thought), figuring what an interesting ploy: follow a couple into an expensive restaurant to find the "rich" people (I'm not anywhere near rich - as I mentioned, we had a coupon for nearly half off the meal we had), talk to them to find out as much as you can, then follow them home to steal all their valuable stuff. I guess that was paranoia after watching Taken. Anyway, afterward, as my wife and I were heading to the car (and I'm carefully watching to see if the guys are stealthily trying to follow us to our car), there were a couple of girls in the parking lot who were talking and (as my wife put it) "squealing" and wouldn't get nearer than 15 feet from their vehicle. The one with the keys turned to us (as we watched somewhat quizzically) and said, "There's a rat under our car!" They didn't want to get near it. The one with the keys mentioned that her remote had quit working so she couldn't try to scare it away (which is probably a good thing - I could picture her hitting the panic for 20 minutes straight as this deaf rat laughed at them and everyone else was highly annoyed). I offered to and eventually backed the Yukon out of its parking space and pulled it forward several places before they would venture near the car.

I noticed that, after I took the keys, my wife also did not approach the vehicle, instead hanging back with the one who had had the keys.

Sunday was church, after which we went to my dad's house for "the game" (good game, it was! I think I was pulling for Kurt, but it was still a very good game). On the way home, I was thinking about how nice it was just to relax (I've not lived near family since I graduated high school; now I'm 45 minutes from my dad & my brother, which is kind of nice). How the "Rhythm of Life" is all too often a frenzied, accelerated-pace thing, and how it's very nice just to settle down. Last week was a long one, not nearly enough sleep, and not anywhere near my family. This weekend I took my daughter to breakfast (a new thing I'm going to start trying: taking one kid to breakfast on Saturday, and then perhaps to just hang out a bit, trying to impart some fatherly advice, if I can think of any; suggestions welcome! :), then we shopped for a while (ever see a dad & daughter shopping at Charlotte Russe? No? Me either... in fact, during the time that we were there, there were only two other males in the store, and then only for a couple of minutes; but she likes to shop there, so we went). Saturday night I hung out with my "main squeeze" (my only squeeze!), doing the movie & dinner thing. Sunday was church, then just hanging out with family, helping my dad with his computer issues, eating way too much... just slowing the "Rhythm of Life" and enjoying family and friends (ok, in this instance, the "friends" were all "family"... but you get the idea).

If you're in that frenzied, 384 bpm (beats per minute) "Rhythm of Life," take some time. Slow down. Enjoy what God's graciously placed in front of you. You just might find it's not so bad after all.


Ninfa said...

good post. I like it when you are funny but I like it when you show you can get deep too. ;o)

Tony M said...

Thanks. Of course, it seems to me that I tend to get deep into stuff all the time, sometimes much deeper than I'd ever intended... :)