Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Good Car Cry

by Shelley Lee

Good car cry is not to be confused with good car, or a cry that is good. Let me explain.

Our family of six possesses a fleet of six vehicles, each with...character. LOTS of character.

Trevor's 9-year old Alero is the starship, we all love a chance to drive it. It excellerates like a race car, I'm sure of it. It also isn't all dented up. A real plus.

We have gone an incredible stretch of time, the entire summer I think, without needing any major repairs at all.
So I should have seen this coming.

It started last week with Wes' Teal Topaz, he loves this 6 cylinder manual. It had overheating issues, and needed a new thermostat. Dave decided to get him a new exhaust while he had it at the mechanic. When it came back, not only could I not hear Wes coming up the drive (a real downer), but the car had a new noise (not a good noise said the mechanic listening on the phone).

Too bad that when we picked it up we had dropped off Mitch's White Topaz with a fried clutch that apparently is my fault because I had to drive it when Teal Topaz and the now-not-starting Green Machine Astro were putting a squeeze on our 'normal' routine. Someone else had my Crunched Cavelier. So, if you're counting, three cars are down. Keep counting.

This morning Trevor hitched a ride with a friend, "my window fell inside my door...I heard glass crunch." he said. It was raining.

The Red Astro is off with the Lee Lawncare crew (see photo, she's a beauty), and Crunched Cavelier is off assisting the teenagers with their social lives.

Stuck at home this evening with only dirt bike and bicycle options, I was writing a story submission to a publisher. The point of the story was not being afraid to ask God for things, because He actually cares about us and wants to give good things to us.

Well, I have to admit, as I looked outside at our stellar fleet lined up for the mechanic (who apparently can only work on one at a time) I got extremely grouchy and sad, and well, I regret that everybody around me felt the ugliness of this.

So, God, would you help me with what I need most. Unfortunately, it is probably my attitude about 'stuff'. But a couple decent cars gently dropped from the sky would be OK too.

Photo by Trevor Lee

Sunday, October 18, 2009

$150 experiement and no regrets

When I saw him shopping for a pocket camera in the electronics department at StuffMart, our conversation from the day before came back to me.

He had walked excitedly in my office holding a hand crafted contraption made of styrofoam, duct tape and fish line. The likes of a five point harness - but for a camera. His girlfriend's camera.

"I'll buy her a new one if something happens to it." he said.

Trevor is a photographer by trade and endlessly creative. He and his friend Marky teamed up on this idea that would fly a camera through the sky via several helium balloons, while recording video. They would post on facebook a time for all who could gather on campus to look up at the camera upon take-off. It would be "sweet".

I am first a skeptic, but I really love a spirit of adventure, and quite honestly, I'm jealous that they have the time and energy to do this kind of stuff.

I was looking forward to the gathered video footage with great frames full of bright young faces looking to the sky. Their expressions would grow unrecognizable as each faded to a dot on the landscape. And then a jerky aerial view of Bowling Green as the flying contraption would bobble about the city taking it's challenges from the wind and impending rain. The journey would end victoriously with a few scratches and elevation drop balloon pops for good story fodder (which I would scoop up for the blog file if he'd let me).

As it turned out, the first flight went pretty much as planned, but the 30 balloons tethered by 10 pound fishing line went up about 100 yards. It really needed to be better, a higher, beefier flight. So, a second run was in order.

It got high alright. Real high, and this is about when the wind did the same. It went up about 300 yards. As they pulled it back in the wind pushed it down below 45 degrees. The colorful, now 40-balloon zepplin, was no longer flying free. Sitting atop a 60 foot tree in someone's backyard, it was entangled in high branches aloft rustling fall leaves. No one at the tree owner's home answered the door.

It rained all night.

They went back the next day. Still no one answering the door and the camera had apparently been taken away by balloons again flying free anyway.

This is where we end up at StuffMart, in the electronics department.

"Hundred fifty dollar experiment?" I said over his shoulder as he compared the available options.

"Yep." he said without a hint of regret in his voice.

One of his friends asked if he regreted trying this.

"I don't regret it at all." he said with a smile.

What the video actually looks like we may never know. What we do know is that taking risk is worth the trade-off of the regret of never having tried.

I want to make some spritual application here, but I believe it's already there.

I love learning from my kids.
Photo by Trevor Lee, also posted on:

Friday, October 2, 2009

What I'm Looking For Eludes Me

Like a lot of you, I love music. It's not that I'm musical really. I mean, most of the time I have to search for the lyrics to understand half of what's being sung. I just spent 10 minutes trying to think of a funny mis-heard-music example, but my memory fails me at the moment. I do recall of one of my brother Ray's mis-hearings.

When we were little kids he insisted John Denver's song was "Country Rose". I told him it was Country Roads, but he insisted to the point of singing the song to a saleswoman at Topps Department Store who had told him they had no record entitled "Country Rose". He sang nice and loud. It was great! (I get this funny feeling that my brother is going to remember some things for me now).

Recently in a John Eldredge book and then from my husband Dave, it was brought to my attention that U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" tells the Redemption story. Interesting. I had listened to that song many times in college in less-than-holy scenes (which I now understand is most of life's scenes but that's for another day). All I remembered was "still haven't found what I'm looking for". No surprise.

I googled the lyrics and printed them (not for redistribution or sale in case you're worried). Two pages.

The other day I was reading them again, as I pondered how the relentless search for full satisfaction in life eludes me.

As I turned to the second page of lyrics the only line there on the blank sheet was "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". Emptiness.

I laughed at the irony of that. But it really got me thinking on how even though I have eternal hope and a living faith in a living God, that I still don't have what I'm looking for.

Oh I get lots of glimpses of what that fullness will be someday, but only peeks through the cracks of life. Lots of things give me hope that things are going to be OK. There's the love of my family and friends, my next accomplishment, a completed project, a significant milestone, or point of growth.

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

In the meantime, I'll take more of my brother singing at the top of his lungs in the store and making me laugh.