Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

An Unexpected Guest

2016-07-08 13.15.53If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen my post two weeks ago about the gentleman who came to my home that Sunday afternoon, telling me it was his childhood home. The visit was quite interesting and surreal. Here’s what happened, if you didn’t see the original FB post:

As Sam and I pulled up to the house after church, a car stopped out front, and a man approached us. He told us that he had grown up in this house and hadn’t been back to see it since he was a teenager. I offered to let him inside to see it, and the excitement on his face at seeing his childhood home was contagious. The man turned out to be Mitch Daniels, former governor of Indiana and current president of Purdue University. He was with Brian and Donna Noland. (Brian is the president of ETSU.) They were all very kind, and I’m glad we had the opportunity to meet them.

While he was in our home, Mr. Daniels asked for my name and address so that he could send me a card upon his arrival back home. This past Friday, I received a package from him in which was a beautiful blanket from Purdue University. There was also a copy of a photo taken by Donna Noland of Mr. Daniels, Sam and myself standing on the front porch (see upper left corner). Included in the package was also a handwritten note from Mr. Daniels thanking us for allowing him to see inside his old home.

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The note says: “Dear Suzanne, Thank you for your kindness in allowing a stranger to accost you last week, and then to permit him a look at the first home he remembers living in, six decades ago. My trip to Bristol was a truly joyful experience from end to end, but the highlight by far was 100 Neal Drive, and meeting you and Sam. Thans again for your hospitality; I guess I should have expected it from a Hoosier! Best wishes, Mitch Daniels”

Here is a photo of the gorgeous blanket:

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I Hate Needles!

2016-03-08 16.15.08The picture on the left is the IV that was put in my arm yesterday afternoon. Since then, I’ve been poked so many times I’m starting to feel like a pin cushion.

On my way to work yesterday afternoon, I had what I’m calling an “episode”. I started having chest pains, my heart felt like it was racing, and I had a wave of nausea and haziness sweep over me. Somehow, I managed to get to work, and as I sat in my car, I started feeling some better. I went on in, clocked in, and started working. I soon realized that I wasn’t able to keep working. My heart started racing again, and I felt the nausea and haziness coming back. I was able to sit for a while and rest and sip some water, and an EMS crew came to check me out. Although my symptoms had subsided by the time they got there, they said it would probably be a good idea for me to let them take me to the ER to get checked out more thoroughly.2016-03-08 16.17.43

Once I got to the ER, there were lots of tests done, and the doctor decided I needed to be observed overnight and have a stress test this morning. I just now got back the last of the results, and everything came back normal. That’s a relief, although it means I still don’t know what caused me to have that episode. I’ll get to go home sometime today, after the doctor makes a final visit to give me the official results and further instructions. They have mentioned sending me for a sleep study, so I’m sure that will be one of the topics the doctor will talk about, especially since everything else has come back normal.

To the right is my obligatory hospital selfie. Looking pretty rough, but beyond ready to go home.

Why I Won’t Be Voting for Trump

I don’t speak out about politics much, for two reasons. First, I’m slow to choose a candidate to support. I like keeping an open mind so I can absorb all I see, hear, and read and then weigh all the pros and cons as I perceive them. Second, many of the people I encounter are of the mindset, “Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is already made up.” Until I have my mind firmly made up, it is a total waste of my time to say anything. I do have my mind made up now, in time for the primary elections here tomorrow; but I have long since had my mind made up regarding Donald Trump. I have known almost from the beginning that I would not, under any circumstances, vote for him. This post is to explain my reasoning, not to pick on or start a fight with anyone who supports Trump for President. In that light, there is no need for anyone reading this to feel offended, become defensive, or begin attacking me for my views.

I have recently begun re-reading the book “In His Steps” by Charles Sheldon. (This book was the catalyst for the “What Would Jesus Do?” movement.) Now, I preface all I do with the question, “What would Jesus do?”, and I try to faithfully do what I believe He would do. Of course, I’m not perfect, so I often fail; but my failure doesn’t keep me from continuing to strive to do what Jesus would do.

The area of politics is no different than any other area of my life. I’ve been reflecting on what I believe Jesus would do in light of this year’s presidential race. I cannot believe that Jesus would vote for Trump. Donald Trump is an evil man who gloats in his wickedness and brags that he has never asked God for forgiveness. Sure, we aren’t voting for a pastor; but according to Hebrews 13:17, rulers over us “watch for your souls, as they that must give account…” Do you think for one minute that Trump cares about our souls? He doesn’t appear to care about his own soul. Another verse which has helped shape my views in this presidential race is Proverbs 29:2, which says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Trump says what many of us are feeling, and a lot of what he says is right. But, he is not a righteous man; and I, for one, believe God when He says that we will mourn if we elect a wicked ruler.

For the primary, I have several options beside Trump; and I have made my choice. But, what if Trump wins the nomination as the Republican candidate for the general election? Surely, I’ll vote for him against either Hillary or Bernie, right? Wrong! Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, and I cannot in good conscience do that. Thank goodness, our country has more than two political parties. I will vote Libertarian in the general election if my only choices are Trump or either Hillary or Bernie. I believe that’s what Jesus would do.

Bad, Bad February

2016-02-14 18.02.13This month can’t get over soon enough! Thankfully, it is the shortest month, although this year it is longer than usual, being Leap Year. Traditionally, February is the worst month of the year for me and Sam, but this year, it has been brutal.

It started out with Sam wrecking (and totaling) yet another vehicle (third in less than eleven months), and yesterday I had a wreck. I am very thankful to God that my wreck was minor, with no injuries to myself (other than shaken nerves that were already on edge) and with only minimal damage to my car. In the photo in the top right corner, you can see the damage to my front bumper and license plate.

It turns out that my car is not good in the snow…at all. Being a front-wheel drive, it is better at getting me through the snow and up snowy inclines than my Mustang was, but being 26 years old, it doesn’t have anti-lock brakes. More than once yesterday, the brakes completely failed on me as I was trying to drive through a small amount of snow. One of those times, I was going down a hill with an intersection at the foot of the hill. Another vehicle was stopped at the stop sign at the intersection, directly in my path. When I realized that my brakes weren’t going to stop me in time, I turned my wheel sharply to the right and plowed into the hill that was along the side of the road. That stopped me in my tracks and prevented an otherwise inevitible collision.

2016-02-15 08.28.58Although I was shaking inside, I managed to get my car turned back around, and I made it safely to my destination and back home. Well, I made it back home, but my car didn’t quite make it. It is still stuck at the bottom of my driveway. In a few minutes, I’ll be going out there to see if I can get it out so I can get to work tonight. Since it has been in the mid- to upper-30’s most of the day, I’m hoping enough of the snow has melted so that I will be able to get out.

From my window, I can see that my road is clear, even though my driveway is not. I took the picture on the left around 8:30 this morning, before the snow plow came through. You can see that the road was completely covered at that time. About an hour later, I heard the plow, and the road has stayed clear the rest of the day. If I’m not able to get out, or if I do get out and get into another wreck, I’m sure you’ll be hearing about it here. So, stay tuned!

 

Third Time

2016-01-31 17.57.30So, what’s that they say when something happens three times? “Third time’s a charm” or “Three strikes, and you’re out”? In this latest incident in the Mulkey household, I believe the latter adage may be the more appropriate one. Sam had a wreck last night. Yes, that makes THREE totaled cars in less than eleven months.

As I was not with him, I don’t know the exact details. I know that he had picked up a friend who needed a ride. They were turning left off the Volunteer Parkway onto Windsor Avenue when Sam hit an oncoming vehicle. Both Sam and his passenger thought he had a turn arrow, which would mean the other driver ran a red light. Of course, the other driver told the police that he had a green light, which meant that Sam made an improper left turn. Sam was given a citation. He is going to fight it, though, so we will see what happens when he goes to court next month.

Unlike his previous two wrecks, this time, Sam went to the ER to get checked out. They did a CT scan of his spine and chest X-rays. The test results came back normal, praise God, but he is still in great pain. He has visible bruises on his chest and neck from the seat belt and air bag. I’m just glad he was wearing his seat belt. He told the nurse practitioner that the seat belt likely saved his life.

Sam’s passenger was a girl about his age who happens to be pregnant. The ultrasound indicated that the baby was fine. The girl is bruised and has a black eye from the air bag. She was kept in the hospital overnight for monitoring, just as a precaution. None of her family stayed with her overnight, and Sam felt so bad about the wreck that he ended up staying with her and sleeping on the couch in her room. I’m sure he wouldn’t have been in as much pain this morning if he had slept at home in his own bed, but it wouldn’t be like Sam to let a friend suffer alone. I’m proud of him for being the loyal friend that he is.

So, we are once again down to just one vehicle, and Sam just can’t understand why I won’t let him drive my car. Kids! In the photo in the upper left corner, you can see the damage done to Sam’s car.

“It Ain’t Nothin’ But A Thang”

2016-01-20 14.56.10I’ve mentioned my next-door neighbor, Walt, many times in my blog. (The first time was here.) As a recap, he used to be a horrible neighbor who was mean and hurtful for no reason. After a health scare (and near-death experience), he did a complete 180° and has become the best neighbor I could ask for. He’s an older man who has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. Since that diagnosis, he has tried to be even more helpful, if that’s even possible.

You can see in the photo to the left that it has snowed here today. It started snowing sometime this morning, and it hasn’t stopped yet. Fortunately, I don’t have to go anywhere today, so I’ve just stayed snuggled up and warm in my apartment.

About an hour ago, Walt knocked on my door to let me know that he had cleared the snow off my car. I told him thanks over and over and expressed how badly I felt about it since I don’t have to go anywhere. His response was cute and sad at the same time: “Don’t you worry about it. It ain’t nothin’ but a thang.” The saddest part is that, as you can see in the photo, my car is snowed over again already.

Edited 22 Jan 2016:

The next day, my wonderful friend Maureen came and took me to the grocery store since my driveway was still too snow-covered for my car to make it safely down the hill or back up. Later that evening, after the snow had melted some, I was able to go out and get us pizza for supper. Since I felt so badly about Walt’s wasted efforts, I gave him half of a large pepperoni pizza. I know he loves pizza, and I was happy to show my gratitude for his kindness.

What I’ve Learned – Take Two

LearnAbout a week ago, I published a post titled, “What I’ve Learned.” It contained a lot of wisdom, but it was from someone else. So, I decided to write out what I, myself, have learned. It may not be as long or profound as the previous post, but it will be more honest.

I’ve learned that no matter how badly I mess up, the people who love me will still love me; and no matter what kind, loving, or grand thing I do, those who hate me will never love me. I’ve learned that long-distance relationships are practically impossible to maintain. I’ve learned who I am; and more importantly, I’ve learned to love who I am. I’ve learned that I’m happier and make more friends when I’m just me and not some version of me that others want or expect me to be. I’ve learned that people can and will change, some for the better, some for the worse. I’ve learned that even when I change for the better, some people will keep treating me as if I’m still the old me. I’ve learned that actions really do speak louder than words. I’ve learned that music often speaks louder than speech. I’ve learned that there are things worse than losing a loved one in death. I’ve learned that plans change. I’ve learned that sometimes new friends become closer and dearer than old friends. I’ve learned not to speak about deep things to shallow people. I’ve learned that it’s important to have traditions. I’ve learned that sometimes I talk too much. I’ve learned that people can (and often do) surprise me in positive ways. I’ve learned to forgive others. I’ve learned that the hardest person to forgive is myself. I’ve learned that God will always provide for me. I’ve learned that God’s plan is infinitely better than any plans I can come up with on my own. I’ve learned that some things I’ve learned are hard to put into words, and a blog post like this could never hold all the things I’ve learned.