Say, What?!

Today, my mom and I went around to help out in various places nearby.  We still haven’t hit the highest bit of water for our area as a result of the storm (although the rain has stopped completely), but we have another day or two before then, and the roads were really quite passable in many places already today.  So, we decided to get out and be active, since we’ve been so sedentary throughout the storm, and we’re likely to be stuck in our neighborhood another handful of days if the upcoming flooding goes as predicted (Fortunately, it keeps lowering its levels in the forecast every 12-ish hours or so, but we prefer to err on the safe side and be prepared for more days of being home.).

All of this is not the main point for this writing, however, so I move onward to my purpose.

As we were driving from our third helping location to our fourth, my mom was responding to a text message using voice recognition.  I pointed out the direction we needed to go, accepted my mom’s correction of our very first turn, and then continued in reminding her of the safe way to get out of the flooded neighborhood.  As I pointed out a stop sign that was hidden behind a whole line of cars, we herd a beep emit from her phone.  We both instantly knew that the voice recognition had just ended.

And that, naturally, it had been doing its best to write up whatever it had been hearing of our conversation.  I instantly told my mom to send it as-is to our friend.  Why?  Because he does that sort of thing to us all of the time.  He regularly sends a message using voice recognition without even checking what ended up in the text of the message.  He claimed that it is always close enough, so we can always figure it out.  So, he knows that he sends nonsense messages a good amount of the time, and he doesn’t mind it.

Therefore, as I read it aloud to my mother, and could barely speak for the intensity of my laughter, I knew we had to send it to him as it was.  I gave it to my mom, and told her just to try to read it, go on… She could barely do it herself, she began crying with laughter along with me.  It wasn’t just that we were ‘getting back at’ our friend that we were laughing, but the fact that what had been put into the text of the message was hardly even close to what we had actually said.  In the whole double sentence that seemed to have developed in the message, we had only actually said the words “No, left,” and “…turn right.”  None of the others were words that we had even said.

Having thoroughly read the message, then, my mom sent it on to our friend.  Actually, she had me read it a second time aloud, after the first time had been such a total struggle, and decided then to send it.  So, I sent the message then, and then I gave it to her to read herself while at a stoplight.  It was a wonderful and welcome comic and laughter-filled relief for the craziness of the day.  Try it some time, and you’ll see what I mean by the joy we found in the text of the message.  Turn on your voice recognition for a message to someone, and then begin conversation with a nearby person.  You’re likely in for a real treat of words.  🙂

IMG_0415

 

Post-a-day 2017

Advertisements

A compliment to remember

About a year or two ago (though, I think it was two years ago), I received one of the most memorable compliments I have ever been given.  I was reminded of it today, as my mom and I drove around in the sunny daylight that was following our storm so nicely.  With all of the rain and flooding, many people have pulled out their trucks and boats, and gone to the rescue of those in need of water transportation in areas that formerly were roads (and which, I suppose, likely still are, just beneath all that water now).  For this reason, I was reminded of a particular friend of mine who has a boat.  (Or, at least, he did have a boat when we last were in touch.  Currently, I’m not so sure, because we simply haven’t been much in touch since I moved to Japan.)

This particular friend was a childhood friend.  In fact, he was one of the neighborhood kids. I secretly – or so I thought – had crushes on him and his brothers when we were all little, and we all would play together all along the street, the whole lot of kids.  Anyway, as everyone moved off to college and parents moved off the street, a lot of us rather lost touch.  Here in there, though, we each would see others briefly in life.  About two years ago, this happened for me with this particular friend and his brothers.

We were at a country-western bar/dance club in Houston, and I recognized them.  Sure, they were all massive men compared to the last time I had seen them, when they were all possibly in college.  Big and strong, burly men was an easy way to describe the guys who stood before me in this bar.  I was amazed, though delighted – I guess scrawny little boys can grow up to be big, strong men, after all. 😛

It was as I was talking with one of them that the memorable compliment came.  He said to me simply, “You’re gorgeous.”  And he said it multiple times.  I’m not sure how many times exactly, but I know that it was more than once.  What really stood out about it was not so much the words (though they were amazing), as how he said them.  I can still hear it, even, it was so impactful.  He did not say them in any condescending way – ‘How unexpected that you would be gorgeous,’ – or as though he were hitting on me – ‘Hey, let’s go to my place, gorgeous.’  He was simply stating something he believed, and earnestly, with feeling.  It reminded me of how girlfriends (true ones, not the fake kind) might talk to the girlfriend who has just found the perfect dress for something, and is thrilled, or who is all dressed up for a big date or presentation or her wedding – there is no jealousy or dishonesty, but pure love and honesty in the declaration of her being gorgeous in that dress.  He wasn’t being sleazy, but truly gentleman-like, and it was amazing. It really was.

And that was it.

Because of this brief interaction I had with this friend, he has remained in my regular thoughts these past couple-ish years.  Every so often, I am reminded of him, and I am grateful for him, and I wonder how he is doing (and I usually get distracted by something or other before I am able to send him any kind of message to check in, but I occasionally manage it).  This weekend especially, I have wondered how he is doing, over and over again, and I finally managed, after however many days this storm has been, to check in with him.  It was brief, but I made contact and found out that he and his family are doing okay.  They all hold special places in my heart, because of their various roles in my childhood, but he has an especially dear one, thanks to his beautiful compliment, whenever that was.

Post-a-day 2017

Water on my mind

I am unnerved, and I don’t know what else to share.  I feel false even considering any other topic, as this is at the forefront of my mind.  This storm is scary.  Period.  The winds were so weak, it hardly felt like a hurricane as it flew above us, spinning along at its loping pace.  And the rain has reached such an amount that I might just forever be afraid of rain from here on out.  Water is powerful.  It is truly powerful.  Oh, how I would love to be the kid with the water ring from Captain Planet right now… or that guy from Twilight…

Post-a-day 2017

The flood waters rise

Perhaps this is a temporary theme in my life right now.  Every year, right at this time, there is a sort of uncomfortable and somewhat scary experience with water.  Last year’s event had to do with the ocean and life, and this year’s is rain and houses.  Last year, I began a journey of self-discovery in the sense of never apologizing for who I am.  This is not to say that I shove things into people’s faces – by no means.  I must still be responsible for who and how I am, however, I need not change myself or my ways for fear of offense or even not fitting in.  In other words, I need not apologize via actual words (e.g. “I’m sorry.”) nor by altering my intended actions (e.g. Suddenly shaving my legs, because it is a cultural standard).  I have spent this past year truly learning how to live that in my daily life.  And the lesson is certainly not finished, as I continue in it every day.  I even fail sometimes, but it happens less and less often, and every instance empowers me, no matter the outcome.

This year, we have a hurricane-turned-tropical storm that has decided to cleanse the Greater Houston Area, and then some.  Hurricanes are typical around here at this time of year.  However, the amount of rain caused in five days by a particularly bad hurricane many years ago, has been dropped to the Earth in only two days this weekend.  And the rain clouds still have another three to five somewhat sedentary days of pouring before they are expected to move along.  We have breaks – there’s one right now – in the rain, so that helps with spirits considerably.  However, not all of the city is above the 100-year flood plane, as we are here.  My sister and her family live in a particularly terrible flooding area, and somehow hitched a ride on a canoe this afternoon, and ended up at a nearby church for safe shelter – her house had what looked like a foot of water inside it, despite its being several feet above the level of the road.  Supposedly, as they were all leaving (two other families were in their house, since they had still had power [the floor was still dry at the time], making it around, I’d guess, 13 people, five of them children aged five years and under), the water had reached the base of the stop sign at the corner by her house.

While my sister has done a good job of keeping spirits throughout the day, and even sent out an adorable photo of two of the kids in a super inflatable boat/raft that one might use for tubing, I have wondered what her thoughts are on all of her things in their house.  It is quite likely that they will lose a huge chunk of their possessions.  In the aforementioned photo, I saw family paintings on the walls, and wondered at them.  They have such a huge history with family arguments and disagreements and, I think, even some police involvement.  Not those particular paintings in her house necessarily, but paintings by that particular family member.  It just had me wonder about the point of it all.  Why did they all argue and share so much anger over things that now could disappear so easily from our lives?  And then I wonder, “Why do we do that with any material objects?”  Anything could be lost at any given moment for this or that reason.  Why do we care so much about these objects in the first place?

And so, I wonder if that is this year’s work.  It has already been on my mind off and one the past few weeks and couple or few months, and this past year’s topic was the same last year, being on my mind here and there already months before my water incident.  And, also like last year, I am granted the option to pursue the idea, to learn by will instead of by requirement or force of any kind.  My house and things are safe right now, and are likely to continue to be safe from this entire storm.  The question is simply one of how much I am willing to let go of the things that I own.  I am scared, but in a very good way.

Post-a-day 2017

The weather continues

Electricity was restored only a few handfuls of minutes after it was lost here in our house last night.  However, the rain has off-and-on taken up temporary residence around us throughout last night, today, and this evening, giving us more water than anyone might ever want in such a short amount of time.  And tornadoes decided to show up with the rain in certain areas throughout the past 22-ish hours.

If we were just talking about rain and wind and thunder and lightning, I’d be quite all right.  But that last little addition to the standing hurricane (now tropical storm) has me nervous about going upstairs to shower or sleep.

It is never a good feeling when this is how your town’s winds look.


Again and still, I pray that we all be happy, healthy, holy.

Post-a-day 2017

Hurricane’s a turnin’

A hurricane has landed in Texas.  Yet again, that is.  It is really quite far south and west of us, and it only landed a handful of hours ago, at most, and yet our power has already gone out.  It isn’t even scheduled to be in our area until it has calmed down significantly, and dropped to a level one, possibly only down to a two.  And that’s on Monday or so.  It’s Friday night right now.

What a weekend this will be, huh?  I pray that we be happy, healthy, holy throughout it all, and onward to the next step after the storm.  For now, I shall sleep while it is still cool enough in here to do so with decent ease.

Post-a-day 2017

Shower Surprise

I’m staying at my mom’s house tonight, and so am using my old bathroom and bedroom.  In the shower, she still has two of the bottles (for there were many) of shampoo and conditioner that I had used in high school.  They are from two different sets of shampoo and conditioner, and so they have different scents, but they both take me back.

As I use the shampoo, I remember those 5:20am showers, being barely able to move or see, yet chugging along anyway, so I could get to band on time…, never fully waking up until band practice had been going for at least a little while.  I remember my boyfriend from my senior year… the time we went to see the bats on Waugh Street bridge, and he guessed correctly the brand of my shampoo and conditioner (Herbal Essences)… how he was terrified that I might fall, and grabbed me when I leaned over the edge of the bridge to see the cars below (as if)… how we always did things together with my mom (that occasion included)…

And then I move to the conditioner, which seems to have lost most of its conditioning power in these many years of sitting there.  The same sorts of memories stay in my mind, but then one striking memory produces, and adds itself to the mental exercise.  I recall the morning of my hair surprise.  As I was rubbing the shampoo into my hair, I discovered what felt to be part of a pine needle, or else one of those brown cocoon-looking things that fall from trees and remind me of cattails crossed with pine cones and a thick worm.  “Really?!” I thought.

I had been lying down in and rolling around in the yard the night before, and apparently hadn’t even noticed that I had gottten some of these guys in my hair.  I slept with that in my hair.  How bad is that?

So, I grabbed the twig thing to toss it out the window (which was closed at the time).  As I was starting to pull it from my hair, being careful not to have it fall apart into my hair, I noticed a sort of burning sensation in the joint of my first finger.  As I brought my hand down from my head, twig thing in-hand, I began to panic.  I flung it to the ground in the shower, and began shaking my poor hand that had been holding it.  I might even have shouted, or even begun to cry loudly.  I vaguely remember my mom coming in to check what was wrong as I was crying in the shower… 

“What is it??”

“I just…[sob] got stung…[sob] by a wasp.”

“What???”

“It was in my hair… and I grabbed it… and it stung me.”  The sobbing continued, I believe.

It wasn’t that I was in extreme pain, so much as that I was extremely surprised.  First, I had been surprised at my having left tree stuff in my hair from the night before, rolling in the grass.  And then, I found out that a wasp had somehow gotten in through the closed window, landed on me as I rubbed in my shampoo, and then stung me as I removed what I thought was a stick or pine needle or pod thing.

Perhaps that’s why I left this conditioner here so many years ago.

Post-a-day 2017