Thursday, April 28, 2011

“Looking for a Signal”

I have spent a lot of time over my life praying for a sign… Oh God please, give me a sign. But I’ve never seen so many people waste so much time looking for a signal…   

A month ago I had an opportunity to go away with a Christian friend of mine to an Alpha Fellowship Retreat for the weekend. I had no idea it was going to be so cold or that there would be snow on the ground but that’s another story altogether… for another day.

My god the way we all acted you’d a thought we had spent the 4 hours driving up a winding mountain road to the top of Big Bear… then through the slushy snow and mud… back into the woods far away from civilization… to a YMCA camp… just to spend all our free time searching for a telecommunications signal in order to send a text.    

I mean really… I’m asking you “Have we all gotten so dependent on technology that we can’t go away for a weekend retreat and leave our smart phone at home?

It might just be me but I can remember a time when getting away meant actually getting away… away from the phone, the TV, and the children.

A time when if you needed to check-in with the mother-in-law about the kids you had to wait until you got back to the lodge to use a pay phone.  

Don’t get me wrong I took my phone along with me too… but… I guess… I must have miss-understood I thought that this was supposed to be a RETREAT.

I mean, I thought…we were to withdraw to a quiet and secluded place in which we could rest, relax and recuperate. I also thought “fellowship” meant: friendly association with people who share a common interest i.e. fresh air, conviviality and in this case Christ… not Blackberry, Android and IPhone.  

In all fairness… the smokers in the group did seem to bond as they commiserated their fate at having to trek ¾ of a mile up a gravel road to the nearest smoking area outside the camp.

I didn’t know every ones name and alas we didn’t wear name tags so I have no idea who it was but at one point on the first day I heard someone call out… over her everybody.

If you stand right here she said standing stiff in the corner between the brochure table and the door… you can’t make a call or send a text but you can check your facebook. Are you kidding me?

I couldn’t help but think she looked like one of those stuffed grizzly bears you use to see in mountain lodges. To tell you the truth I had to cover my mouth and turn away to keep from laughing out loud at the thought of it. 

Then another time at lunch on Saturday my friend’s son Kyle stood up pointed toward the camp entrance and proudly announced like a mighty hunter bragging about his recent kill… I got 3 bars this morning out there by that big yellow sign. Kemosabe!

Then another intrepid member of our little tribe said thumping on his chest and not letting Kyle out do him  … I was able to make a call last night. If you stand on the third step of stairs leading up to the dining hall…

You can align with the second star on the right, then it’s straight on till morning … He didn’t really say that I just through it in. LOL

It was comical though to watch everyone frantically scampering around the camp with their cellular phones raised high in the air… searching for just the right spot where they might find a strong enough signal… to make a call, send a text or check their e mail.

Sorry, I haven’t written lately

My Grandson Jason has come back to live with us while he gets his life back on track. He’s 22 and right now MY computer is his lifeline to the outside world.

Jason’s been a big help with all the chores around the house that I have been putting off… like finally clearing out the garage, sorting through my clothes in the master closet and taking all the giveaway’s to the goodwill.

This time I’m really enjoying his company. I say this time because when he lived with us before he was going to high school and I thought it was my job to MAKE him want to get an education and to listen to all my sage advice. (If you’ve ever had a teenager you might be able to relate.)

I thought if I bullied, yelled, and tried to control him he’d listen. I’d shout, cry and get angry when he didn’t then say “someday you’ll look back on this time and be sorry.”

It took my oldest daughter Karen almost seventeen years after she left home to realize she’d missed out on all the possible adventures she might have had if she had gone to college as I wanted her too.

Over the years it’s been self-affirming to listen as she gripped about how she tried to tell her step-children the importance of an education and how frustrated she was that they wouldn’t listen.

Life’s ruff out there now for someone without a high school diploma so it didn’t take Jason quit so long to have some regrets.  

After filling out about a million applications on line for jobs Jason didn’t want he finally landed an interview with a national retailers automotive department.

Jason almost couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the words… Your application has been accepted would you like to schedule an appointment?
You’re damn right I would Jason said grinning from ear to ear. Grandma what time should I pick? What time will work for you? Will you drive me there he asked?  You’re damn right I will I enthusiastically said answering him back.

It took him 3 interviews, a drug test and a back ground check but he got the job… you understand this is not just any job to Jason it’s a career opportunity.

He has always loved anything having to do with cars. That’s all Jason ever talks about. He’s an encyclopedia about make, model, engine type and performance of almost every car on the road.

It’s all a foreign language to me but I listen because I enjoy hearing how passionately Jason speaks about the subject.

Here all along I thought Jason didn’t get an education because I expected him to conform and learn the things our society wanted him to learn. I was wrong. I of above all people should have known… one size never fits all.

I love Jason with all my heart. I am so proud of him. Thank God he has grown into a fine young man… and truthfully that’s all I have ever prayed for.

I don’t what to sound like a gripe but … What’s the deal with Cupcake Wars?

Every time I turn around my husband is watching Cupcake Wars.  In case you haven't seen it... it’s a pastry competition on The Food Network. It comes on at a time when we both should be fast asleep.

Jim says he hates the show but almost every night turns it on the TV in the bedroom. He says I’m not sleepy... then falls asleep while we're watching... but by that time I’m hooked on the darm thing and have to stay awake until midnight to see who wins the $10,000 prize.  Yawn!!!

To be continued

Thanks for listening…