Monday, January 30, 2017

Things that go bump...

I heard an odd crunch as I backed my car out of the parking space at UVU.
Since there was a lot of snow on the road and more piled up behind the lot plus construction fencing spread out along the way, I figured I had run over a lump of ice. I was headed for an important interview, focused on my mission, so I drove away.
Fortunately, there was no one else involved. Just me and my car.
I had hoped to be able to park at the space reserved for electric vehicles and not only power up my little Nissan Leaf while I was doing the interview but also save me from having to pay to park.
It was not be be.
The charge space was not free as it once was. I had to have a Charge Point card or one of several other options. I didn't have any of them with me.
So I gave up the quest and decided to go on around to the north side of campus to the parking garage.
But again, as I backed up, I heard this funny sound. I looked all around, seeing nothing, no one.
It wasn't until much later that I looked at the back of my car.
It looked a little funny.
I turned on the garage lights and opened the door.
There was the little concave area that didn't use to be there. I noticed a couple of scratches and scrapes.
I obviously had collided with something solid, maybe solid ice?
I sighed.
Now I once again had to tell Marc I'd dented our little car. That's twice now in two years.
I had to call State Farm again, go back to the body shop again, pay out several hundred dollars again.
I've been without my car for several days. I'm having to learn to ask friends for favors.
I am sure I'll be paying more for my insurance for the next couple of years.
This is not a habit I wish to develop.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Hopping along with Frog and Toad

Just one cookie more!

If you're looking for something to do that'll break up the winter doldrums, consider buying a ticket to see "Frog and Toad" at the SCERA Center for the Arts.
It's playing now until January 21 and is perfect for kids and families, especially fans of the Arnold Lobel books.
I took three grandchildren, ages 8-11, and they loved it.
So did I.
Shawn Mortensen plays a great Frog, trying to break out of hibernation and bring Toad along with him to swim, picnic and try new things.
Eric Smith is Toad with wide eyes and a chin that juts out when he's making a point.
Toad is certain that nothing will go quite right.
He's worried about it all. He, for instance, assumes he's dead when he falls out of the sled at the bottom of the hill. He's quite amazed when his kite actually flies. (It's a neat special effect.)
He is waiting patiently for a letter for the whole year and the whole show.
Frog and Toad go throughout that year, sharing adventures that are simple but challenging: sledding, raking leaves, celebrating Christmas, eating cookies! (Thank goodness, the SCERA offers five cookies for $2 at intermission.)
The show is a delight.
It's clever, funny and when the snail finally delivers the mail at the end of the story, it's so rewarding.
(Actually, every time the snail (played by Andrew Walsh) comes on stage, it's sweet.)
The great and terrible meany toad is just menacing enough to be a little scary but obviously just a giant balloon so children don't have to worry.
The thunder and lightning storm is actually kind of fun to watch.
The birds and squirrels who wreak a little havoc with Frog and Toad's yards are harmless.
Mortensen and Smith clearly have fun playing their parts and bringing these two friends to life.
The colors are bright. The set is cute; a couple of little houses with comfortable beds, a broken clock, chairs, presents and an oven for baking cookies.
The songs are easy to enjoy, easy to remember. My grandchildren are still singing the snail's mail song!
I recommend this.

My flight got cancelled

Once we figured out that Marc's son was in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood airport at the time of the shooting, we started to become concerned.
Was he all right?
Was he in the baggage claim area when the guy who hauled off and started randomly shooting people opened fire?
Was he traumatized?
Did he fear for his life?
We were expecting him and his girlfriend at our house for a family party Saturday. They were late so Marc tried to call him.
He didn't pick up but he texted.
"I'm in Ft. Lauderdale for work and my flight got cancelled," he wrote.
No more than that.
Later on, he said he thought he would have to try and get to Jacksonville to catch a flight out. He ended up driving more than five hours to get there and flew all night to reach Salt Lake.
He was so very understated.
After he finally got to our house, the story came out in bits.
He HAD been in the airport at the very time when bullets started flying.
He HAD been checking his luggage when he heard noise, commotion and shots.
He HAD taken cover with fellow travelers who hid out in the bathrooms, behind counters and under desks.
He HAD been delayed for seven hours until he and all the other passengers in the airport could be interviewed and cleared to leave.
"It was no big deal," he said. "What could I do about it? Why talk about it?"
Oh, I don't know.
Just because he's safe and sound and alive to tell the tale?

Friday, January 6, 2017

That ties it...

So Marc and I are standing in line for my chance to get a picture of me busting through the wall at 9 3/4 station in London.
A flying...
It wasn't hard to find the line. We came into King's Cross station and almost immediately found the crowd bunched around the wall on the side.
There apparently was no charge for standing by the wall even though someone had gone to a bit of trouble to put half of a trolley right into the bricks.
It was great!
We could snap a picture and take home a photograph that had real opposed to the ones of natural landmarks like Stonehenge and Lincoln Castle.
We would just have to wait a little and the line was similar to a line in Disneyland. It looked much shorter than it actually was.
We stepped into place and watched while Harry Potter fan after Harry Potter fan walked up to the wall and the trolley, flipped his or her scarf and became digital history.
It was interesting, especially since everybody involved was really into character.
But it wasn't long before I noticed a couple of things.
I was the only grandma in line.
Mostly there were punk kids and young people with tattoos and nose rings and really short skirts.
The next thing I noticed were the scarves involved.
The kid in charge had four scarves on the iron fence holding in the line of people: you could pick your colors, HufflePuff, Gryffindor, Slytherin, and RavenClaw.
The teenage boy at the station gate picked out the one you indicated and tossed it over your shoulders and neck. Then on the count of 3, he'd flip it up — out of the line of sight — and the camera man took the shot.
It made for an effective look. The scarf seemed to be floating behind you as you hit the wall.,
I gulped as I watched stranger after stranger ask for the Gryffindor scarf and this kid laid the same scarf on the hair of dozens.
I looked at Marc who picked right up on my dismay.
"I'll go get you your own!" he offered, indicating the gift shop so conveniently located right next to the picture-taking area.
So 18 pounds or the equivalent of $22 later, I approached the magic spot near the wall.
I jumped when the camera man said to jump.
I tried not to look as odd as I felt, pretending to leap into a solid wall of bricks with abandon.
It made for a good picture.
And now I have my own Harry Potter scarf.
Mine. All mine.