Unexpected Encounter


Falling from the hood of the Clyde’s car, Sandra lay face down and motionless in the snow packed alley. The wind blew underneath the back of her thin jacket causing it to billow, the cold piercing the bare skin of her back. In and out of consciousness Sandra heard a man’s voice. In waves of coherency, she tried to understand what he was saying, tried to move her mouth to respond. No words would come. She felt as though her head was the only thing left of her body, as if she had become detached from the rest of it. She could not feel anything besides the pain in her head. Behind the shadow of the man, she saw a blinking red light coming from a car that sat very close to her feet. The shadow hung over her, talking but making no sense. A large gust of winter wind blew her long red hair in a frenzy. Opening her eyes from the abrupt chill, she stared for an instant into the dark eyes of the talking shadow. Then he was gone.



It came out of nowhere, like a crouching animal, hiding, waiting to pounce. Moments earlier I had locked up the store, gotten into my cold car, turned the ignition and the lights on. The wipers scraped across the frozen windshield trying to remove a layer of heavy snow. As I pulled away from the store looking through a small clearing in the windshield, like a bullet something had slammed onto my hood so quick and so hard, my foot slammed the brake sending the shape flying to the ground in front of the car.

“What the…” I yelled. Peering through the window between the thumps of the wipers, I squinted hoping to see the animal run away. All I could see was more falling snow. Debating whether to go investigate the damage to my car and whether I wanted to involve myself with a possible injured or angry animal, I slowly backed the car up. If there was nothing there, I would drive away and assess my car in my warm garage. But there was something there. And it was not an animal. Lying a few feet from the car was a person. I grabbed the steering wheel with both hands and sank my head into it trying to think what to do next. Clearly I didn’t see this person who came out of nowhere. Certainly it’s not all my fault that I hit them. But what if the person is dead. Maybe I should just drive away. No one is around. No one would know. Could they prove it was me? I had just gotten my license back after 3 years of traveling by bike. AA was keeping me sober and I bought this car just a few months ago. “Christ,” I said out loud slamming my fists on the wheel. “God damn it.” I slammed the wheel again.

I shut the car off and slowly opened the door. The temperature was dropping and the wind blew tiny shards of ice into my face. I looked around me, besides my car and this person, there appeared to be no one around. Pulling my collar up, I approached the figure on the ground who was lying face down. “Hey” I called, “are you all right?” I got closer and yelled again, “Hey, you, are you okay?” I looked around me again before I knelt down. Gently grabbing the hood of the jacket on the body I lifted it up revealing a mess of red hair. The sight was like a fist in the gut because I knew then who I had just hit with my car. “Holy shit. Holy shit.”  Trying to assess her injuries, I gently rolled her body over onto her back. I pulled the hood in around her neck to keep the snow from filling in the gaps. “Sandra? Can you hear me? Are you hurt? Talk to me. Sandra!” I checked her neck and could feel a faint pulse. There was a small amount of blood at her mouth but I didn’t see any coming from anywhere else or seeping through her clothes. The police had said they couldn’t find her, yet here she is, unconscious, in the snow. I already knew I would not call the police or take her to an emergency room. I did not need any police attention. I did not know anything about this girl except that she may have lost a necklace in my store and could be the one who was asking for help.

I ran back to unlock the back door to my store, pushing the alarm code quickly before it went off. I used a door stop to keep the door open while I ran back to Sandra. Getting both my arms under her small body was easy but carrying her limp body to the store was harder as I slipped around on the fresh snow and ice. Reaching the doorway I took Sarah to the back of the store, away from the windows, and carefully laid her down on a rug on the dark floor. Her body lay limp and she still made no responses to my questions.   Running back outside, I looked over the area where Sandra had been lying on the ground, making sure I had not missed anything that belonged to her.  I drove my car back and forth over the spot where I found her then backed my car up and parked close to the back door. The snow was coming down heavy and quickly covering my tire tracks.

picture hand on window 


The Story of a Baptism Dress

For 38 years I had kept my wedding dress handing in an ugly plastic hospital discharge clothing bag. It survived more addresses than I care to admit and many times when I almost chucked it. Nostalgia won even as the laced yellowed from age. Over the years it has been taken out of its bag a few times, hung outside to air out, and even worn as a Halloween costume (bride of something), and then put away again. I kept wondering why I kept it until I started having grandchildren. That is when the dress became a possible “bucket list” project. “Someday I am going to make a baptism dress out of my wedding dress,” I would tell my friends. “Sure you are” I would then tell myself. Six years and 4 grandsons later we were blessed with a granddaughter, Etta Sue. It’s not that a little boy’s suit couldn’t have been made from my dress, but up to that point none of the grandsons were baptized, or likely to be as babies, and a little girl’s gown would be so much more fun and frilly to make, right? Once I knew there was a date for her baptism I had two  months to get going. In my head I didn’t think I even needed a pattern but I did buy one anyway. For whatever reason, I put off and put off making that first cut into my wedding dress. I took a lot of pictures of it, spent a lot of sleepless nights thinking how it would go together and kept thinking it would be pretty simple. Finally, one night I started removing all of the lace from the entire bodice of the dress. It took a week of nights!! My eyes were cross-eyed trying to find the “right” white on white thread to pull. It was nerve wracking. Once the lace was all removed I was really disappointed that it all looked so yellow and dirty…so I spent another 1/1-2 weeks mulling over the idea of bleaching the entire dress or just the lace. I ended up bleaching the collar first since I was not going to use it on the baptism dress. Bleaching made it even MORE yellow! My mom suggested I try vinegar. After many days of “should I or shouldn’t I” and “what if the dress disintegrates?” I threw it all in the washer and soaked it in vinegar – and I prayed A LOT. Thankfully it did actually make the material look a little brighter. Whew! Thank Goodness. I took that as a good sign and began cutting out the pattern of Etta’s dress from similar areas on my dress. I wanted the back of her dress to have all of the silk covered buttons my dress did. I had intended the dress to be longer than her so that it would flow when her parents held her over the baptism font but the dress had a mind of its own. As I tried pinning the ruffle from the bottom of my dress onto her dress bodice, it was like a light bulb went off. What a cute SHORT dress this would be. And the biggest plus was NO HEMMING! She is was 9 months old after all, a wiggly little monkey who likes to “go” though she wasn’t quite walking yet. A short dress probably made more sense instead of a long dress getting caught up in her legs. So the short dress was born by using the ruffle of my dress. If I had wanted to make it more girly I could have used a lot more lace, Lord knows there was plenty, but I believe less is best. I also wanted to appeal to Etta’s mom who wasn’t a fan of frilly. After two quick try-ons with her wiggling to get out, I was pretty sure it was going to fit. Then I spent the next couple of days sewing on the 12 silk covered buttons onto the back and making a lace belt/bow as the finishing touch. I finished the baptism dress the Friday night before the Sunday morning baptism. She was so cute with her tights and bow in her hair that day. Seeing her baptized in “a part” of the dress I was married in was really special to me. I am so glad that I saved it. Now the rest of the dress will be saved, in another bag, for a time when I can make wedding ring bearer pillows that I will keep in a hope chest for my grandkids to use when they get married some day. The circle never ends.

Song Parodies – Day 2


Sing the parody to the tune of the title song.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Healthcare, Healthcare, where are you?

One that covers me and you,

Not the kind that costs an arm,

Or only covers major harm,

Healthcare, Healthcare, where are you?

Universal – that will do


My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean    

Their laundry lies over the footstool,

Their bedspreads lie onto the floor,

Their closet doors can’t even shut now,

So help me I’ve said it before.

Pick up, hang up, oh why is it never their job, their job,

Fold this, wash that, oh,

Help me before I implode.


The Itsy-Bitsy Spider  

The itsy-bitsy back pain climbed down the il-i-ac

Wham came the strain and wrenched the muscle back

Out came my feet and laid me outright flat

Now the mega-duty back pain 

Said, “How do you like that?”