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Monday, June 23, 2008

Humor in Life -- Bugs on the Windshield

All right, so I know it's been weeks...perhaps even months...since I've posted a Monday morning update on my life. But there have been so many fantastic books out there, I've been preoccupied with spotlighting them and interviewing the authors. But Aunt Paula reminded me it's been a while, so I got convicted. :) I know a lot of my family read this -- if you don't comment -- so here's the latest.

Today, I'm faced with no spotlight and space to fill. So, I'll do a quick recap of what's been happening in life, then get into the headline story.

We've had our condo on the market since February, but the market is so bad now, that with only 4 showings in 6 months, we had to take it off the market. We're still looking to sell it, but it seems we'll be living here for a smidgeon longer. I only pray that when God blesses us with the start of our family (and yes, we're trying for that now), I won't have to spend the latter days of my pregnancy walking up 2 flights of stairs. Otherwise, Stu might have to carry me. *winks*

In May, I attended the Colorado Christian Writer's Conference and received amazing feedback on my first book and my writing. Armed with requests from 3 editors and 2 agents, plus seeing all of the flyers for my web design business taken, I came away from that conference in Estes Park on a high that galvanized me into action. A couple of weeks later, that high deflated a bit when one of the agents told me the manuscript had to be completely edited and polished before she would look at it. With a deadline looming on July 15th, I don't have time to finish editing the rest of the manuscript, so it'll have to wait until afterward.

Colorado Christian Writer's Conference Photos (mostly scenic)

Then, in June, I took a road trip with a good friend, Jeanne (pronounced Gee-nee), to South Dakota's Black Hills to attend a CFO (Camps Farthest Out) family camp for a week. We caravanned with others she knew and what might have taken 7-1/2 hours ended up with me on the road for nearly 13 hours! But that's all right, because Jeanne and I had quite an adventure on the drive up north.

Of course, you put two women who are prone to laughter and insane antics in a car together for 8 hours and something is bound to happen!

In our case, we were driving along at a good speed, following behind the SUV with a trailer and trying hard not to lose our leader when he didn't seem to remember we were following him. He'd switch lanes, signal a little late, or decide at the last minute which direction he wanted to turn. We were left trying to figure out just where he was headed. All the while, we're chatting up a storm and listening to music on my iPod my husband bought me for our 9-month anniversary. :)

All of a sudden, we both heard a loud splat on the windshield. Keep in mind that since we're driving across eastern Colorado and western Nebraska, there isn't much to see except flat land and a few hills. The road and land stretched out for miles. This means, there's nothing to stop the bugs in the air from smacking against the windshield. It's a normal sound that you get used to hearing, even though you cringe when one makes a bit more of a mess than you might prefer, or flipping the switch for windshield wiper fluid and the wipers only makes the matter worse.

When this loud splat occurred, Jeanne squirmed in her seat. She kept making "eww, eww" sounds and pointing at the windshield. So, I did what any normal driver would do. I flipped the switch for the wipers to go. That only made Jeanne's reaction worse! And because I had to keep my eyes on the road -- even if I'd only drive off into a bunch of ranchland if I left the road -- I couldn't see what she was seeing. I also have a dreamcatcher hanging from my rearview mirror, so a small area of my windshield is blocked.

And guessed it. That spot was exactly where this "bug" had chosen for his splatted resting place.

So, amidst me attempting to keep my eye on the lead car in front of us, I was distracted by Jeanne's squirming and pointing, and when I had flipped the switch, I finally caught sight of the "bug" that had hit the windshield. This thing wasn't really a bug.

It was a flying grasshopper! And a BIG one at that!

Needless to say, at the speed we were going, it made quite a mess. And if that wasn't enough, it managed to lodge its wing underneath the right wiper so when I tried to swish it off my windshield, it would just go with the wiper and smear a rounded path across that side of the windshield. No wonder why Jeanne was squirming in her seat!

Well, being the adventurous gal that she is, Jeanne offered to roll down the window and grab hold of the wiper to lift it and see if the grasshopper would dislodge itself and fly back over the top of the car. Keep in mind, this is a woman who hates bugs of any kind. So, to see her willing to do this was quite a feat. I told her to go ahead with a raised eyebrow as I warily alternated between watching her movements and keeping another eye on the road ahead.

With painstaking slowness, she reached out the window and grabbed the wiper with her forefinger and thumb to raise it from the windshield. The grasshopper clung to it. So, she snapped it down. After a moment or two, she tried again, only this time, something happened...

The grasshopper moved---toward HER!

It started to slide toward her side of the car, which made her squeal and snap the wiper down again as she snatched her arm back inside the car and rolled up the window. I was praying all this time that the movement would dislodge the thing, but it didn't. When I saw it move thanks to Jeanne's assistance, I thought we might finally have some success. Turning toward her with a hesitant but amused look on my face, I asked if she thought I should hit the switch for the wipers and fluid again.

We both waited a moment or two before deciding. After all, we didn't want to get the thing stuck worse...again. Keep in mind, that this escapade also had us almost doubled over in laughter. As it had been almost 8 hours since I had left that morning, added to getting up at 5:30am, let's say I was a little punchy and a lot road-weary. But back to the story. I decided it was worth the risk, so I reached for the signal arm and pulled it toward me to squirt the fluid as the automatic wipers went into motion.

Jeanne and I sat there and prayed as we watch the grasshopper stay put on the windshield, dislodged from the wipers, and with a final swish, it went whoosh over the top of the car and gone somewhere behind us. With the "crisis" averted and the open road once again ahead of us, we dissolved in a fit of laughter. Let's just say it's a good thing no one was relying on US to lead the caravan or was driving next to us during this entire ordeal. We might have been reported to the county sheriff for drunk or disorderly driving. :)

I wish I had some pictures to share, but somehow I doubt Jeanne would have taken one. *g*

The fun doesn't stop there, though. With that behind us, we came upon what I now know as a Wind Farm. The tall structures that looked like technologically-advanced windmills loomed into the sky to our left. I just had to stop and take a few pictures. And since the road went on for miles in front of us, I figured a few moments wouldn't hurt us. We'd catch up to the car in front of us in no time. As I was snapping pictures, Jeanne remarked about whether or not the lead car even knew we weren't behind them anymore. We had exchanged cell phone #'s at the rest stop, but nothing but silence came from our end. I wasn't concerned, but it did confirm the lack of notice the lead car had regarding our status.

When we were on the road again and cresting a small hill, we saw the SUV and trailer up ahead. And that's when the phone rang. I laughed, picked it up to answer and assured them we were still behind them. They said they were driving along and all of a sudden noticed we weren't there. Then, they wondered how long we'd been gone, and I couldn't help but laugh. When I relayed this to Jeanne, she shook her head. It seems we needed to be on our guard and plot out our own route in case we got separated, because it might be awhile before that car ahead noticed us. :)

Well, we had many more adventures over the course of the next week, but there are far too many to name. Our time at the camp included a symphony of snoring from everyone in the cabin (except me, of course, who wonders how folks can snore and not wake themselves up), amusing drama experiences, fantastic worship, great speakers, delicious food, and amazing scenery. It also included a visit to Mt. Rushmore (my first!) and the tourist trap of Keystone. I even managed to get 2 chapters written on my deadline novel coming up in July. On the return drive, we headed west into Wyoming so I could mark one more state off my list as being visited, and Jeanne slept from north of Cheyenne into Colorado. By the time I arrived home, it was 8pm and we'd left around 9am that morning. But it also included taking Jeanne all the way home and winding the back way across the Continental Divide and Front Range to re-enter Colorado Springs.

South Dakota Road Trip Photos

Hubby was glad to have me home, and I was glad to be home. The week following was fairly uneventful, and last week, I joined my sister-in-law, niece and nephew, cousin and her 2 children for a visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. What a great way to spend the afternoon. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy:

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Photos

That's about all for now. I'll be back next week with whatever other funny escapades happen to me this week. Who knows what kind of trouble I can find! :)

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