A few years ago, I posted a blog post on my memories of Plush Pippin pies, and the response has been overwhelming. It appears "everyone's flipping for Plush Pip-pin pies." Therefore, if anyone knows of any Plush Pippin pie recipes could you please either post them here or send me a message (Contact Me) so I can share. I would really love to find the marionberry pie recipe. I have tried other marionberry pies and they just aren't the same. Mmmm, the sweet berries and the crust so light and flakey. . .
Not sure how close this recipe is to Plush Pippin, but I did find a Sour Cream Lemon Pie recipe on "Taste of Home" website.
Life is like a journey on a train. . .
"At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believed they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. As time goes by, other people will board the train, and they will be significant; i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of your life. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don't realize they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.
The mystery to everyone is:
We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty, we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, thank God for the journey. Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train."
. . . I saw this posted on a friend's wall on Facebook and asked if I could borrow; however, she does not know who the original author is, but I thought it was too good not to share.
Again, thanks for being passengers with me on the train of life.
In the name of progress somethings change, but not always for the best.
There's something nostalgic about "mom and pop" hamburger joints; maybe memories from our youth or how life seemed less rushed, almost standing still. Growing up in West Linn, Oregon, there wasn't a lot of places to eat or shop (all that has changed as the town is no longer the little "sleeper" suburb south of Portland). However, on Friday nights after football games it was hanging out at Round Table Pizza, but any other night, it was all about Boni Lynn.
Oh, how I miss their delirious burgers. My personal favorite was the Deluxe burger with everything on it. I also loved their deep fried mushrooms and deep fried cheese cubes. Or who could forget the real old fashion milkshakes and malts. I remember them having every flavor one could possibly imagine, including boysenberry, peanut butter, and licorice. And although I've never been a big fan of ice cream, I did like their swirled half chocolate and half vanilla soft-serve ice cream cones. It was always a special treat to go out to lunch or dinner at Boni Lynn's Restaurant. Although, I use the word restaurant loosely, as there were only two or three tables inside the building. However, it was the atmosphere, the food, and nostalgia I miss from those bygone days.
Sadly, West Linn has become like every other cookie-cutter suburb, and has lost the uniqueness that once was West Linn. And Boni Lynn's was torn down and replaced with a Burgerville, all in the name of progress.
However, nothing will ever come close to the old Boni Lynn.
I remember a particular visit I had with my cardiologist several years ago. It was one of the many times he suggested an implantable defibrillator and I was stubborn and didn't want to listen. Too many bad experiences with the first device I had implanted and I just didn't want to go through it again. He said he understood but also told me he didn't want to see some catastrophic event happen to me and be the subject of the local news. Well, thanks, Dr. Kundenchuk for that self-fulling proficiency.
Even though I was not interviewed in Seattle, I was in San Francisco. Nerves of steel, I was not, as a news reporter asked me questions about the events surrounding my cardiac arrest and how important I thought it was for by-standers to be first responders. He then asked, "How has this changed you?" Goodness. I don't know. I still sweat the small stuff. I still have a short fuse. I still am me.
Did he mean - do I believe in second chances? Or third chances as the case may be? Sure. I know Heavenly Father is not ready for me yet, but what my divine purpose in life is. . . I just don't know. I do know, I need to go out and discover it for myself. Maybe, it making people aware of sudden cardiac arrest or getting automatic external defibrillators out there. . . everywhere. And not only do I want to see AED's everyone, I want to make sure there are people properly trained how to use them and they are just not wall decorations. Maybe getting more people to think about being CPR certified. I would like to see a higher success then 8 to 12% survival rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. There is a plan. There is a purpose. There is a time for everything. . . A time to be born and a time to die. . .
Or to borrow a scene from the movie Footloose, Ren said; "Ecclesiastes assures us that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh. . . a time to weep. A time to mourn. . . and there is a time to dance. . . It's the way it was in the beginning. It's the way it's always been. It's the way it should be now."
In the hustle and bustle of our busy life, it's easy to lose sight of the true meaning and the spirit of the holidays. Therefore, I really appreciated those who posted daily on their Facebook walls things they were thankful or grateful for. My mother added a slightly different twist to hers, as she posted what she was grateful for using the alphabet. I thought I would follow her example.
A = Amazon. I am thankful to Amazon for giving me a job this Holiday season. I am grateful they gave me a chance to come back to work after such a long hiatus and I hope to come back next Holiday season. Thank you for the additional income. I almost have Steffen's braces paid off. I am also thankful for autumn, my favorite season. I love the changing colors and the cool, crisp mornings.
B = Books. I am thankful for the ability to read. I struggled with reading and had a reading tutor in grade school, but my disability never kept me from the love of a good story. In addition, I am grateful for my fourth grade teacher who started me on Walt Morey's books. I am also thankful for bacon. Yum.
C = Cars. I am thankful for living in a time where we can travel to one place to another in relative ease. I love the freedom of the open road before me. I am also thankful for camping. I loved going camping when I was a child, and continue to enjoy the great outdoors, as we try and take one big camping trip a year with our boys.
D = Dogs. I am thankful for the companionship a dog offers and how they love unconditionally. I am also grateful for Disney.
E = Ed. I am grateful for my eternal companion, Ed. I am thankful for his friendship and how he brings balance to my life. I am also thankful for Elder Missionaries; our son, Michael, who is serving a mission in Salt Lake City and Elder Blackmore, who introduced the gospel to Ed. I am also grateful for Eagle Scouts, which I am a mother of two.
F = Family. I am grateful for Family (Mother, Father, Grandparents) including those in my extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. I enjoy visiting family and wish we did it more often. I am also grateful to distant cousins whom I have never met in person, but has been immense help in researching family history. I am also thankful for fan fiction.
G = Grammie. I am grateful for my grandmother, whom we called "Grammie." I miss her so much. I am grateful we had the opportunity to grow up only a few blocks from her, but was sad when we moved to Oregon and only visited a couple times a year. She often went on camping trips with us and was always a trooper. I also miss her cooking, especially her fried chicken and angel pie. I am also thankful for gymnastics. My favorite sport to watch.
H = Humor. I am grateful for humor. I love to laugh and smile. I am also grateful for heat, whether from curling up by the wood stove in my pajamas, reading a good book or feeling the sun's warmth. I also love horses and horseback riding.
I = Internet. I am thankful for social network sites like Facebook, where I have had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and find new friends. I also love the internet for the ability to research information for storytelling and family history and blogging.
J = Jesus. I am eternally grateful for Jesus. I know I don't say it, but I am thankful for all Jesus has done for me. I am grateful for the atonement and of His ultimate sacrifice. I am also grateful for life's journey.
K = Kids. I am grateful for my three boys; Michael, Steffen, and Joey. They are my world. I am also thankful for kisses, both the sweet moonlight kisses and the chocolate variety.
L = Lakes. I am grateful for lakes. The beauty of them and the enjoyment we get from boating on ours. I love living on one of the most beautiful lakes in the county: Mason Lake. I am also grateful for Lookouts. Ed has been a forest fire lookout a few times in his career and I love the peace and solitude of being on the mountaintop, protecting the forest lands and trees.
M = Musicals. I am grateful for musicals and love to watch them. I am also thankful for the musicals I have had the opportunity to be a part of, whether directing, stage managing, or acting. The Sound of Music is probably my favorite, but the one I probably go around singing the most is Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I am also grateful for Mountains and so glad I am surrounded by some of the most astonishing sights of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains.
N = Naps. I am grateful for naps. I am also thankful for the Navy. I appreciate the brave service men and women keeping us safe. In addition, thanks for keeping Ed employed.
O = Oceans. From sea to shining sea, I am thankful for oceans. I am grateful I have had the opportunity to see much of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans (and a small bit of the Gulf of Mexico) although I had to admit my favorite coastline is on the Oregon beaches.
P = Parents. I am thankful for my Mother and Father and everything they have done for me. I am also thankful for pie.
Q = Quiet. I enjoy the quietness of the house, where I can weave out stories and also love the quietness of soft snow falling or the babbling of brooks. Also Quiddtich, because it is a fun word and I had to get a "Harry Potter" reference in here somewhere.
R = Rieners. I am grateful to be apart of the Riener family and appreciate how they welcomed me into the family. I am also thankful for the mighty rivers of the Willamette and Columbia, near Portland, Oregon, where I grew up.
S = Sisters. I am grateful for my sisters, Elizabeth and Cathy. Yes, we fought like cats and dogs growing up; however, I could not have asked for two better sisters. And I appreciate my sister, Cathy, who is my biggest cheerleader. I am also thankful for "Scarecrows".
T = Theatre. I am grateful for being involved in theater and the first time someone reached out to me (Brad) asking me to become involved with the group, I felt like I had come home. I am also thankful for travel and the opportunity I have had to see much of the United States, Canada, and a tiny bit of Europe.
U = USA. I am thankful to be an American and enjoy the freedoms we have and hold dear. I am also grateful to the University of Washington Medical Center, where two of my boys were born and for them saving my life almost 20 years ago. (I also have to give a shout out to Harborview and Seattle EMS).
V = Veterans. I am grateful for veterans. Those currently serving, those who have serviced, and those who laid down their life for our Country. Thanks for all you do. I love to attend the Armed Forces Parade in Bremerton and witness the pride of our community. I am also grateful for vacations.
W = Writing. I am grateful for the gift of writing. I am also thankful for waterfalls and Western (both Western Oregon University and Western Washington University). Thanks for the quality education I received from these schools.
X = The only "X" words I could think of were X-Flies and x-rays and I guess xylophone, which is similar to a glockenspiel. I loved seeing the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Munich, Germany a few years ago. I also played the xylophone in fifth grade band.
Y = Yosemite. One of my all-time favorite National Parks to visit. I love your magnificent monoliths and your beautiful waterfalls. I also love Yellowstone, with all your geysers (and other thermal activity), waterfalls, and lumbering bison. (But don't call them buffalo).
Z = Zucchini. I am grateful for vegetables, especially green beans, corns, artichokes, but my favorite is probably zucchini. I like it streamed and fried. As well as in zucchini bread. My grandmother used it in soup, which she called Slumgullion. I am also grateful for Zula - because I had to get a Scarecrow and Mrs. King reference in here too, of course.
I always wake up with a heavy heart on this day. Even twelve years later, the feelings from that day never dies. It was a beautiful sunny September morning in the Pacific Northwest. I was just starting to wake up and had reached for the television remote. I usually had the television on for background noise while getting the boys ready for the day. Joey had just turned a year old, Steffen 3 ½ and Michael was 7. Also living with us at the time was Shinsuke, a cultural exchange student from Japan.
However, instead of my usual morning program of Little House on the Prairie playing in the background, breaking news reports about terrorist attacks on New York City was on the screen. I remember the horrifying images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center towers, the black billowing smoke filling the skyline, terrified people jumping the their death, and rescue personal rushing inside the burning buildings. I heard the reports of a plane hitting the Pentagon and one crashing in a Pennsylvania field. I said a silent prayer for those planes reporting missing during all this chaos and I was grateful for cities and towns in Canada that were allowing planes to be rerouted there. I knew right then life had changed forever.
I was glued to the television, while tears continuously rolled down my cheeks. However, I also knew we were America, and we were not going to let these terrorists win. I got the boys ready and loaded them up in the van. I dropped Michael off first at the private Christian school he was attending at the time and then Shinsuke to a local church who was partnered with the exchange program. I remember gazing on people’s faces – we were all numb and in shock, many openly weeping. They too realized life had changed forever. A few days later, Shinsuke flew back home, but before he left, we attended a party for the exchange students and their host families. I remember the director of the exchange program talking about the importance of being host families and opening our hearts and minds to exchange students. More then ever we needed to share history, culture, and traditions.
Our country changed forever that day, and so did I.
Life's been pretty hectic the last few weeks, but filled with lots of family time and lots of mileage on my truck. It all started just after school was out for the summer, we took our two younger boys and my niece, who has been staying with us, camping at Cape Disappointment. The following week, both Steffen and Sarah, along with their grandfather, attended a staff training week at a Boys Scouts of America camp - Camp Habobas. Sarah is the camp photographer and teaches photography. Steffen teaches Environmental Science, Reptiles and Amphibians, and Chess. This was also the week we received Michael's mission call. The following week was pure chaos, as we tried to squeeze in summer doctor, dentist, and orthodontic appointments. Steffen finally received his bottom braces, which he is happy about and the orthodontist informed us that Joey's adult teeth are all in and he can start orthodontia as soon as possible. Of course, a week before furloughs start and have no clue where we are going to come up with the down payment. Sigh. Ed and I also celebrated our 21st Anniversary. We went out to dinner and a movie.
Both Steffen and Joey's dental checkups did not go very well. Steffen had two cavities and Joey had one. Of course, Steffen's cavities had to be on opposite sides of the mouth and would require two appointments. I was able to squeeze one appointment in before camp, but the second appointment will have to wait until after camp. Also, when teeth are being cleaned the wire for the braces is removed, so this required a trip to the orthodontist to remove the wire, a trip to the dentist for cleaning, and then a trip back to the orthodontist to put the wires back on. In addition, the orthodontist and the dentist are on opposite sides of the peninsula. Run, run, run.
I also took Joey to see the optometrist for a yearly eye exam. Steffen has already had his earlier in the school year, after his glasses had broke and we had to replace them. As far back as Kindergarten, I have been saying that I thought Joey was color blind, but was dismissed. What does it take for school districts to listen to mother's when it comes to their children? Mother's are always right! He failed the color test at his last appointment. The doctor believes he has a blue-green deficiency. Not sure yet, if anything, we can do about his color blindness, but good to finally have a diagnosis.
My sister, Elizabeth and her family arrived Friday evening and stayed with us until Monday, when they boarded a plane, heading to Alaska for a few days in Anchorage and Denali, followed by an Alaskan cruise.
The following week, I picked up Michael from his mini-mission in Tacoma. The week was filled with shopping, shopping, and more shopping, but first he had to be released as a missionary for the Washington - Tacoma mission, then he had an interview with the Bishop, followed by an interview with the Stake President and was found to be worthy to go to the temple and receive his endowments. My sister, Cathy had arrived a few days prior with her youngest son, Spencer, and because my mother has night blindness and can not drive at night, I went to the airport to pick her up. It was a very long evening, as her flight had been delayed and did not arrive until 2:00 am. I had also squeezed in an appointment with my cardiologist. I have been very, very fatigued and not just because of all the running around. I just don't seem to have any energy at all and several friends and family members have made the comment how tired I look. He's not very happy with how fast my heart rate is and upped the dosage of my medication, but one of the side effects is tiredness. I think it's more than that. With being in consent a-fib, my heart and lungs are working harder and it's just hard to find stamina to do housework or enjoy a quick hike. He's scheduled a echocardiogram for me in late October.
I have to give a huge shout-out to Bartels and CTR Clothing in Chehalis, Washington. Joe again delivered for us. He was able to find Michael another suit in a very timely matter, was able to squeeze us in for a fitting and hemmed the pants while we ate lunch. We also purchased more white shirts and blacks socks. I highly recommend CTR Clothing for those seeking missionary attire. Then it was a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a couple new suitcases and a stop at Famous Footwear for a new pair of dress shoes. My sister could not believe how long it took us to go shopping, but when we live in the boonies - anywhere is a drive.
On Saturday, Michael went to the temple with Grandma and Grandpa and his aunt Cathy. Ed and I went for a nice drive and ended up visiting the Seattle Japanese Garden. We had a wonderful stroll through the gardens on a beautiful Seattle summer day. Then we took Michael out to a celebration dinner. On Sunday, he gave a wonderful talk in Sacrament meeting and several friends remarked how mature he had become in just three short months. It was also a day of miracles, as some church members gave both him and us money to help him on his mission. Praise Him! On Tuesday evening, we met with President Fields, so Michael could be set apart as a full-time missionary for the Utah - Salt Lake City mission. It was a very moving prayer and the Spirit was very strong in that room. We were all moved. Our time with Michael was too short, and after driving him to the airport early Wednesday morning, we tearfully said good-bye to him. Boy, do I miss that kid!
Unfortunately, this was the same weekend as Ed's mother's 80th birthday celebration (even through her birthday is July 30th). All his brothers and sisters and their families attended, but we were unable to make the trip to Idaho. However, this past weekend, because Ed had a four-day weekend because of his furlough, and we made the 7 1/2 hour drive to Grangeville, Idaho to spend a few days with his mother and to work on some family history research. We had a great visit and then even was able to stop and visit his sister, Carleen before heading home. The drive home was pretty uneventful, say for a funny story about a large bug that flew through an open window and being in ugly stop and go traffic between Cle Elem and Easton, Washington. Now I remember why I avoid Snoqualmie Pass - traffic is just ugly on the weekends coming over the mountains. Yet another example why this state NEEDS more lanes!! We also saw thick billowing clouds from a huge wildfire burning near Wenatchee. Fire danger is extreme as it has been a very dry summer.
We arrived home late evening and then I turned right back around to drive my sister Cathy, her husband, Tristen, and son, Spencer to the airport for a late red-eye flight and their flight had been delayed an hour before we even arrived.
The previous week, all the families made a long day trip to Mt. Rainier. Again the weather did not disappoint. It was gorgeous at Paradise and we enjoyed hiking a couple short waterfall trails. Elizabeth and family had to dash off in the early afternoon, so Ted could start his new job and they could close on their new house. The rest of the family continued puttering around the mountain and we even visited a few sights we had not seen before, then a drive to the Ohanapecosh visitor center (which was closed because of sequester) and Cathy and family headed towards Wenatchee for week of family camping and Ed and I with Grandma and Joey headed home.
This week, Joey is attending Boy Scout camp at Camp Habobas. This will be his first year, although he wasn't exactly thrilled about going, I hope he has a great time. Ed went with him yesterday, to help him get registered, set-up his tent, and get him signed up for classes. He will be taking a pathway to Tenderfoot class, Environmental Science, Chess, and Fishing. I know, he's always begging us to take him fishing, but neither Ed nor I fish, so I am sure he's going to have fun.
I was looking forward to some time alone this week. To catch up on writing and housework; however, last night my dad got really sick and we had to pick him up from camp. Unfortunately, we could not find an after hours clinic open late last night on the peninsula and he didn't want to go to the emergency room, so I drove him home. Him and my mom went to see his primary doctor this morning. I don't know anything else, yet. Makes me mad, that several years ago, before congress shoved the Unaffordable Healthcare Act down our throats, we were assured we could keep the same doctors, could keep the same coverage and insurance providers. Well, here in Mason county, where we live, all insurers have left and are not offering coverage, except Group Health, and there isn't a Group Health clinic in the county!! My parents did not have a choice, but to switch to Group Health. Ugh!
Steffen and Sarah have another week of working at scout camp and then Sarah flies home to Florida. Steffen will be attending band camp the following week. Joey has asked for swimming lessons, so I need to look into who offers them in August - I think the Navy base does. Tomorrow, Michael leaves the MTC and heads off to Utah-Salt Lake City Mission. On top of everything else going on, my laptop stopped holding a charge. Now waiting for a new battery. Hoping it arrives soon. I am going through withdrawals!
A shy, introvert, wallflower was I, until a high school drama teacher opened up a whole new world for me. I hero-worshipped her. Energetic, engaging, knowledgeable—her love of theater came across in the way she taught and directed. And from the time I was a freshman in high school, I knew what I wanted to be. . . I wanted to be a drama teacher.
My senior year, I applied and was accepted to Western Oregon State College, which at one time had been the Oregon College of Education. I had heard fantastic things about their education department and looked forward to becoming a teacher after I earned my degree. I also loved and appreciated the drama department, and although WOSC was a small school, I valued the more one-on-one time attention I received in the smaller classrooms. I feel if I had gone to a larger school, I would have struggled and eventually failed.
I became heavily involved in the drama department and enjoyed working both onstage, as well as, off stage. I also took just about every drama course that was available and worked towards a double major in Language Arts and Theater Arts with a minor in Communications. My English classes were more hit and miss, not that I did poorly in the classes, it just wasn’t my passion, but in order to get the degree I wanted, I had to have the double major. (Side note: At the time you could not get an endorsement in Theater without the English endorsement, too).
It’s been a mixed-bag sort of month. The family drove to northern Idaho to visit Ed’s mother. We had a good visit and a wonderful, appetizing, home cooked Thanksgiving dinner. The following evening, we had dinner with Ed’s older sister and her family, and on Saturday, we spent the night with his younger sister and her youngest daughter. We don’t get to visit with his family very often, so it was a good trip all around. I was able to work on some genealogy, too. The weather cooperated for us, which was good, even though we spent a little extra money to rent an SUV—just in case we ran into some bad weather heading over the mountain passes. Thank goodness we safely made it to our destination and back home again.
I was never a cake or ice cream person. Oh, no—for me it was pie, I wanted for my birthday. Growing up near Portland, Oregon, there was a Plush Pippin Restaurant not too far from our house and on my birthday we ate there. I remember the large bakery ovens and displays of delicious pies that greeted us as we entered the doors. The heavenly aroma of mouth-watering, scrumptious fresh baked fruit, cinnamon, and sugar and other spices wafted through the store. I thought no one could make a lighter and flakier, melt-in-the mouth crust then Plush Pippin. I also loved the varieties of pies available; apple, dutch apple, blueberry, peach, pumpkin, blackberry or marionberry, lemon meringue, chocolate, and then more unique flavors of peanutbutter-chocolate and sourcream lemon. My all time favorite was the marrionberry pie. I always requested it warmed, sometimes with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but most of the time just by itself –slightly tart, earthy, and sweet.
Sadly, they are all but gone. The restaurants closed years ago and they cater only a few flavors to grocery store chains; including their apple and pumpkin pies. Just south of Seattle is a small bakery outlet, where consumers can purchase factory seconds for only a few dollars a pie. Come with cash, as they do not except checks or credit cards. I stopped by the outlet, on my way back from Seattle, yesterday, and they had frozen lattice apple, cherry, blueberry, and pineapple pies available. Unfortunately, they stopped creating the amazing marrionberry pies years ago.
Oh, how I miss Plush Pippin Pies.
Lying on the exam table, I overheard my cardiologist apologize for the large scar across my upper chest. I shrugged my shoulders. Both emotional and physical trauma can leave scars. These blemishes are a part of life, and even though the scars remain, we carry on. They are a passage of time, a road map of where we have been, and who we are.
I received my first scar when I was five-years old. I had been lying under the coffee table and tired to stand up, but instead, I hit the corner of the table, resulting in a small gash on my forehead. My parents rushed me to the emergency room where I was stitched up. My grandmother fussed over me, complaining about the scar I would have above my right eye. In my young mind I heard star and I thought it was neat I had a ‘star’ on my forehead. I have other childhood scars, lumps, bumps and bruises from falls off bicycles, skateboards, and rollerskates, smallpox pockmark, acne, and chickenpox. Scars from multiple surgeries, scars from being a klutz; including unfortunate accidents with a glue gun and a pocketknife. (I received the Boo-Boo award at Girl’s Camp for the pocketknife incident). A scar from a staph infection where surgeons had to cut into my throat, below my jawbone, to remove the dead skin tissue because of a staph infection, and a scar on my lower belly where surgeons had to perform an emergency Cesarean section to save my youngest son’s life.
These marks can be seen as disfigurements, stains, or imperfections, but they are my badge of honor and I am not ashamed of my scars.
Yes, it’s been one of those weeks – a rollercoaster of emotions, with lots of ups and downs and twists and turns, stops and starts, and it seems even the littlest of things are getting to me. I feel the turns, I feel the pull, I feel the wind on my face, I feel the lump in my throat, I feel the pit in my stomach, but I throw up my hands high in the air, hang on, and enjoy the ride.
Driving down a dark, deserted, narrow roadway on a cool, crisp early November morning, on my way to Seminary with my younger sister in the passenger seat, I hit a patch of black ice. The vehicle I was driving quickly spun out of control and the car rolled end over end. I remember how everything seemed to be in slow motion, the feeling of helplessness, the sound of glass shattering, the reverberation of tortured and twisted metal, and my sister yelling my name. Seconds later, I sat in the mangled car, hanging upside down, pinned against the window and my seatbelt holding me firmly against the drivers seat, frantically calling out to my sister. I believe guardian angels were watching over both of us that day, because I walked away without a scratch and my sister who had not been buckled, although tussled around the inside of the car, was miraculously not thrown from the vehicle. I learned some important lessons that day, first, you can’t beat the laws of physics, and second, sometimes our world needs to be turned upside-down for us to realize we are right side-up.
This was a letter I wrote to a friend of mine after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer back in 2008. By God's grace, she kicked cancer to the curb, and has been cancer-free for close to three years now.
Snuggled next to my husband in bed late one evening, I heard him mumble, “How much overtime do you have?”
“Huh?” I asked, jolting him awake in the process.
“Sorry, I was talking in my sleep. I do that.”
“Yes, I know,” I answered back, trying to settle back to sleep. However, he got me thinking about how much ‘overtime’ we really do have?
Exactly sixteen years ago today, I l was lying in a hospital bed at Harborview Medical Center, on a respirator, with machines monitoring my vitals. I was literary knocking at death’s door. A nurse held my hand, and spoke to me. “Hello, Anne, you’re in the hospital. Your family is worried about you.” Or so I had been told, I have no memory of my stay at the hospital. The night before, I had stopped breathing and went into sudden cardiac arrest. The doctor’s never determined what caused my heart to stop beating, all I know is God was not ready for me, and gave me some ‘overtime.’ How much, I can’t say? It’s God’s timepiece, not mine.
Jan, I want you to know you are continually in my thoughts and prayers, and hoping our Heavenly Father continues to give you lots and lots of overtime.
It was beautiful late summer morning on September 11, 2001. I had just woken up and had turned on the television set, which was usually on in the background while getting my oldest son, Michael, ready for school. He was 7 years old and in the 2nd grade at this time. I remember the breaking news headline and images of the first World Trade Center tower burning. Heavy smoke filled the New York skyline. Then in utter disbelief, as I witnessed the second airplane hitting the other twin tower. I will never forgot those images; the billowing gray-white smoke, people leaping to the deaths, rescue personal risking their lives to save people trapped in the buildings, then the south tower collapses in a sea of dust and debris, and a few moments later the north tower falls. The images forever etched in my memory.
I was glued to the television set. I couldn’t stop watching and crying. I was not angry. I was stunned, I was scared, I felt vulnerable, and could not believe this was happening to my country. I remember the images of the damage to the Pentagon and Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field. I was worried about reports of missing planes (which were all accounted for later). I finished getting Michael and myself ready and took him, and Shinsuke, a Japanese exchange student who had been staying with us, to their prospective schools. I listened to the new reports on the radio and hoped this was another Orson Wells prank, but deep in my heart, I know it wasn’t.
I can still remember how eerie the skies sounded when the FAA shut down all air traffic, yet I also remember the pride that erupted, and the determination not to let this enemy beat us. I was proud to be an American.
Back in the summer of 1985, I visited New York City and stood on the observation deck on the World Trade Center Tower Two. How small I felt and how big the world seemed. It both terrified and amazed me.
In May of this year, I pumped my fist in the air after I learned the United States had captured and killed the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden. Only just a few weeks before, Ed and I had visited Washington, D.C. and quietly reflected on the events of 9-11 while we somberly walked through the Pentagon 9-11 Memorial.
May he rot in Hell and may we never forget.
"Hey. . . it's me."
I live in the shadows of the Olympic Mountains, in the State of Washington and I love camping, boating, hiking, and hanging out with my husband, our three boys, and two Bernese Mountain dogs.