Monday, February 28, 2011

one foot on the gas and the other on the brake

My car's been making this noise since just after Christmas. It's an intermittent noise that only starts up after driving for approximately 20 minutes. It starts quietly, and then grows into a horrible alien howl. It only does it when my foot is on the gas or when I'm coasting. It will stop if I touch the brake. It will stop if I turn left or bear left around a curve. Sometimes it will stop (or start up again) when I hit a pothole in the road.

We took the car in for repair a couple weeks ago and they charged us $28 to tell us that they couldn't replicate the problem. But the problem is getting worse and it's pretty embarrassing to drive around in the car and I've started to wonder if the wheel is going to fall off or the bottom drop out or if I my hearing may be permanently damaged in the upper ranges.

So yesterday I was in the car with Mo and the howl commenced and with that my nerves began jangling and with that I kind of jerked the car left and right while doing some quick brake tapping - which she found ridiculous and so did I. I said maybe I should just drive with one foot on the brake and one on the gas. So we laughed a little which helped the nerves some and it reminded me of a story.

I have some funny driving stories that involve my mom and her driving, but I'm only going to tell one now because I've limited this whole 'chuck' thing to 30 minutes and we're almost there, believe it or not.

My mom drove with one foot on the gas and one on the brakes. That's how she learned and that's what she did the rest of her life. Now, I didn't notice until I became a driving expert after one day of driver's ed class at school. (I have lots of driver's ed stories too, but I suppose that they will have to wait now too. Hey this 'chuck' thing is working! (For me anyway. Ha ha, doupble parentheses and I left in a typo! Yay! Exclamations everywhere!)) I told her she wasn't supposed to do that - one foot on the brake and one on the gas, remember? I got a bit off track and needed to remind us where we're going. She wasn't supposed to drive like that. It's unsafe.

She told me too bad. Too bad, she wasn't gonna change. And she didn't.

Yesterday I realized that I do that. I do a lot of things with one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas. Old habits, even dangerous ones are hard to break. Or brake. Tee hee.

37 minutes of 'chuck'.


My sister-in-law worked a brief stint in the local elementary school cafeteria. I don't think she liked that job much. My immediate family got something lasting from her time there though. It's the word 'chuck'. As in,

"There was chuck today."

That means someone threw up in the cafeteria.


I can't seem to settle down to write anything lately. I'm distracted by the details of my life and when I sit down to write, I edit and restate and reword until I'm weary and walk away. And I've said nothing.

I've decided that in order to try to get past this, I'm going to spend some time 'chucking' on this blog. I'm not going to stew about the right word or the right grammar, or punctuation, or dangling prepositions or too many commas or run on sentences with typos.

Nope. I'm gonna 'chuck'. Maybe I'll go back and edit later. Get outta the way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gratefuls for today

392. Dog dreaming in sunshine patch.
393. The Heavens are Telling (automobile version) - One girl sings oboe and the other girl sings soprano and when they are not in the car with me I still hear them.
394. Found time.
395. These hard things.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

blotched but scoured

I spent time in a house of mourning today.

It's hard. Every time, it's hard.

Another friend is a widow. Too young to be a widow, and yet, when is one old enough to be a widow? Another fatherless child. A child who had a sick dad for half his few years. A child whose sweet baby face belies his questions and experience.

I was reminded of a passage the pastor mentioned at my mom's funeral. I cannot number the times I've read this. Though I know it's true, it's still hard to understand. And that's okay. Today I've switched back and forth between these versions, comparing them. Interesting, the differences between the two essentially say the same thing.

Blotched. Scoured. Invested. Rebuked.

Let me stick to it. For the better.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-8 (New International Version)

1 A good name is better than fine perfume,

and the day of death better than the day of birth.

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning

than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.

3 Frustration is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.

4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools.

6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless.

7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool,

and a bribe corrupts the heart.

8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning,

and patience is better than pride.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-8 (The Message)

1 A good reputation is better than a fat bank account.

Your death date tells more than your birth date.

2 You learn more at a funeral than at a feast—

After all, that's where we'll end up. We might discover

something from it.

3 Crying is better than laughing.

It blotches the face but it scours the heart.

4 Sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving.

Fools waste their lives in fun and games.

5 You'll get more from the rebuke of a sage

Than from the song and dance of fools.

6 The giggles of fools are like the crackling of twigs

Under the cooking pot. And like smoke.

7 Brutality stupefies even the wise

And destroys the strongest heart.

8 Endings are better than beginnings.

Sticking to it is better than standing out.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Grateful Sentences

391. Sentences. They seem to have flown away. Someday they will return and speak for me.