Sunday, November 20, 2011

Don't snatch a poor woman's purse...

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. I look forward to the food and fellowship with friends and family. This time of year also reminds me of another incident that rates high on the memorable Thanksgivings. If you haven't heard about this, please read it as a warning as well as entertainment.

Excitement finds us. We can run, but we can't hide...

Last Saturday, my Aunt Judy (my Mom's twin sister) called to see if I wanted to go to Ardmore with her. She needed to go to Wal-Mart & pick up pecans at Oklahoma Pecan Co.(a GREAT place to visit if you haven't been, I got some awesome Pumpkin Butter & Cherry Butter). I didn't really need anything, but the boys and I like to eat at Ardmore. It was about time for, we went.

Wal-Mart was the last stop on our list. We had already received a call from Becky (Judy's daughter-in-law). She said Wal-Mart was a nightmare, completely packed, every register open with 6 customers deep at each. Of course, we had to go anyway. I wasn't bothered, because I didn't have a list. I was just browsing, in no hurry. I ended up getting stuff to make wassail & almond bark-covered pretzels. Aunt Jude had a big list. She ended up calling me & saying she had already checked out & headed to the Suburban. I had the keys. So, she asked me to send the boys out with the keys. I sent them out. I, of course, picked the line with the slowest checker of all time.

When I finally got out to the suburban, Aunt Jude, Colt, and Rye were all inside. I opened the back of the suburban. It was full of sacks of pecans. I had to make room for my stuff. As I was complaining about this, Colt was getting out of the car to help me with my bags. As he did, he had to let a guy pass by before he could go ahead & get out. Colt noticed the guy had a pink, sparkley wallet/clutch. This was the first click. Second click, Colt looked at Mom's basket where she usually puts her pink, sparkley wallet/clutch. It wasn't there. Third click, he turns around to look at the guy walking away with the pink, sparkley wallet/clutch. The guys turns back to look & they make eye contact. Colt says, "Mom, that guy just took your purse." The guy then takes off running.

Now, if you might be wondering what went through my head at this point, I can't tell you. I just reacted. I said to Colt, "Come on, go after him." I wasn't scared & I wasn't angry. I was just going after my purse. I knew that I needed to attract attention. I was yelling "Police!" and "He took my purse!" and "Someone help me!" I kept yelling, "Help! He's got my purse!" This poor guy doesn't realize that I'm just as poor & desperate as he is.

We had to cross through 3 double-rows of parked cars to get to the get-away car. As I have noticed, most crime plans are not well thought out. This was not an exception, the person in the get-away car was in the passenger seat. Hello?

I remember thinking as we were running, "My legs aren't moving fast enough". I felt like I was moving in slow motion. Colt corrected me later when I told him about this. He said, "Mom, you were running FAST! You were running faster than me!" I guess so, I caught the guy. Maybe that poor thief was just slow. My favorite part of this whole story...I had on high heels...3-inch spikes actually. This picture's getting funnier all the time.

I do remember thinking, "I need to get his tag number. Just remember his tag number." This was all I expected to accomplish. I really didn't think that we would catch him. But, we did. The runner jumped in the driver's seat. He was in a farm truck...such a disgrace. It was white with a black flat-bed. They had a metal plate intentionally covering up their tag.

I followed him right up to the window. Now, get this...HE ROLLED HIS WINDOW DOWN! Are you kidding me?

I remember my Aunt Judy screaming "Somebody help her! He stole her purse!"

I said "Give me my purse." He was very flustered & stuttered, "I-I-I left it back there (pointing back). It's...It's...back there (pointing again)...under that car." I don't think I looked back where he was pointing. I just said a little louder, "Give me my purse back. NOW!"

Now, there was a slight pause, with our eyes locked. It seemed to be a moment of recognition. I don't know if he saw fire in my eyes or just no fear or if there was something deeper. Whatever it was, he reached down (this made Colt nervous, he was getting ready to defend his Mama.) He pulled my wallet up from between his seat & his door & handed it to me!

I backed away with Colten & the robbers started to back out & pull away. I looked around to see a few people nearby watching. My dear Aunt Judy was trying to pull the metal cover off the tag. She had to move, so he wouldn't hit her. She was screaming many explicitives after him. "You sorry, no-good, thievin' so & so" (That's the cleaned up version).

I, of course, called 911 & had to wait to give statements & answer questions. There was another man that was nearby & was able to give a statement & description. He was an onlooker, a witness. Colt said he was walking up, lighting a cigarette, while the excitement was going on. I was quite honestly surprised at the lack of help that we received. There were people all around, but they were just watching. Of course, who knows what they were thinking.

I found out, after the fact, that Aunt Jude had arrived at the farm truck shortly after us. She was at the passenger's side. The passenger had on a hoodie & was bent over with the hoodie pulled over him the entire time. Aunt Jude was beating on the window, yelling her alarming explicitives at the passenger. When the police went inside Wal-Mart to view the surveillance tape, I told Aunt Jude, "I hope that the video doesn't have audio on it."

Was chasing the guy a smart thing? Yes, to get a tag number & description. Was confronting him a smart move? Probably not, but I am very thankful it turned out like it did. No one was hurt & I got my wallet back. I can say honestly that I wasn't scared or angry at the time. I had a huge adrenaline rush, but that was just for the racing.

I have been reminded that there are many things more important that what was in my purse. I agree. I am thankful.

I told my family that those robbers could have gotten away with all our library cards. My mom said, "Can you imagine what they could have checked out from the library in your name?!" I can't...that scenario is just too disturbing to think about.

My family were all in agreement...they were thankful this poor guy got the new Julinda instead of the old one. They thought the old one might have dragged him out of the truck & beat him with her high heels.

I am thankful they recognize there is a "new" Julinda.


P.S. Ladies...DO NOT leave your purses in your shopping baskets!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

If you don't have anything nice to say...

I'm always amazed at the lack of tact or outright rudeness of people. People that don't walk in restraint or bridle their tongue are in abundance. You don't have to go far to hear random gossip, criticism, or persons minding others' business.

I have been pondering this for awhile. I was inspired by a few posts to go ahead & share my thoughts. These ladies have beautiful, vintage styles & have been subject to small-minded people.

This Old Life
Rueby Retro

I happily live in a small, rural area. Small town rural has it's share of small-minded people, but they can truly be found anywhere. Your station in life does not exclude you from them, nor does it dictate whether you could be one of them.

I have my own, unique sense of style. I choose to wear what pleases me. My intention is to dress in a manner that is modest. I don't want to be defined by what I wear, but I also prefer not to be a trend junkie or wear cookie-cutter "Mom" outfits.

My style definitely steers toward retro or vintage. Although my total look wouldn't be considered vintage, I'm definitely drawn to older pieces. I adore vintage jewelry, shoes and skirts. My favorite decade style-wise would be the 50s.

Now, dressing outside the box is always a set-up for criticism. I think I must always examine the motive of my heart. Am I dressing to please others? (Now, it's a good thing to dress to please your spouse, but I'm single.) Am I dressing to rebel by shocking others? Am I dressing to attract attention, good or bad? Am I dressing to convey a certain emotion? Or are my clothes an extension of my creativity? Am I well groomed and presentable?

If I choose to wear something frothy or girly, I like to balance it with edgier stuff. Maybe style my hair or accessories with a little more bite. I'm not about being matchy-matchy. Likewise, if my apparel veers to the masculine, I like to soften it with feminine accents.

I do most of the clothes shopping for my family. My boys don't balk at my choices. I have acquired vintage pieces for Colt & he has enjoyed wearing them.

Now, our biggest critics are people with the least amount of style, those who have a uniform of jeans or cargos & a t-shirt. They believe if their t-shirt is a certain brand, it constitutes flair. Now, if that is your style & what you enjoy wearing, embrace it, but don't scoff at others. These people tend to be the most vocal & harshest of faultfinders.

Some comments said directly to me, not overheard:

"Are those bowling shoes?"
"Are you finished with your hair?"
"Are you gonna wear that?"
"Don't those earrings bug you?"
"Is that supposed to match?"

Another thing I've been told repeatedly regarding trends..."If you wore it the 1st time, you shouldn't wear it the 2nd time." Now, I choose not to agree. You can dress your age & not succumb to trend overload. You can choose silhouettes, colors, and cuts that look good on you regardless of "fashion rules." There is balance here, you shouldn't just put stuff together willy nilly, but don't let fear of what others might say dictate your choices. I will forever wear my Chuck Taylors, you can like it or not.

You don't have to like or appreciate everyone else's sense of style or clothing choices. You should keep your negative comments to yourself. I'll retain my thoughts on your Mom jeans & you contain your thoughts on my Converse footwear. Anything that tears someone down should be off limits. The amazing thing to me is that people feel the need to voice their negative opinions without regard to other's feelings. Remember what your Grandma used to say? If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say ANYTHING.

Tact is an absolutely, beautiful thing. If you don't have it, I suggest you get some.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

See Ya Next August, Same Time, Same Place

Rye was insistent that we not miss this years' Perseid meteor shower. It was supposed to peak last night with predawn hours being the best viewing times. Experts said the annual Perseid meteor shower, which occurs each August, would be one of the most spectacular in recent years. So, I set my alarm for 5:00 AM.

As soon as the alarm sounded, Rye was promptly at the foot of my bed urging me up to witness the dazzling show. We eagerly went outside to find that it was raining. We were not able to see anything, but dark skies. Are you kidding me?!

Since we have been experiencing drought conditions in Oklahoma for a very long time, I'm very thankful that we were getting much needed precipitation. I just find the timing a bit funny. It reminded me of something. Remember this? If it weren't for bad luck...

Friday, August 12, 2011

For the love of libraries...

I was thinking of the love of books that I have instilled in my sons. Each of us could spend hours in a library or book store. They enjoy it just as much as I do.

There is something quite comforting about books...being surrounded by books, the words in books filling your imagination with endless pictures, the feel of a book in your hands, even the smell, the older the better. If the Beast had given me a library like he gave to his Beauty, he would've won my heart too.

I had a realization that perhaps it wasn't me that provided Colt & Rye with a literary affection. I did read to my children before they could read themselves. I honestly enjoyed it. So, maybe I did encourage them towards it, but my parents never read to me. I never visited a public library until I was out on my own. I don't remember either of my parents ever being wrapped up in a book. My Mom even recently told me that I have too many books. (Is that possible?)

There was a time when money was tight enough for me that I had very little cash to spend on entertainment for the boys. We did have "Library Day". It was a big deal. Every other Saturday, we would go to a public library. During this time, choosing which library to go to was part of the fun. The Ardmore library had "Cinema Saturday". They would show family movies. Since, we didn't have funds to go to the movies, I was very thankful for it. They even served free popcorn and lemonade. After the library, we would choose a park to drop by for the rest of the afternoon to evening. I even mapped out all the parks in Ardmore so we could choose a different one each time. The boys would play & I would dive into my newly, checked-out books. Man, I miss those "Library Days"! They were the epitome of quality, family time.

There are two library systems in Ardmore, the public system and the Chickasaw system. The Ardmore Public Library is bigger & newer with more of the latest...always a good choice. Through the Chickasaw Regional Library you can visit any of seven branches. The headquarters is in Ardmore. It is smaller than the public library, but overall the librarians are more pleasant & helpful. If you want more quiet & time to yourself, this is the better choice.

We started out at the Healdton branch of the Chickasaw system. We outgrew them and moved to Ardmore, frequenting both libraries. Sometimes even visiting both on "Library Day".

When I started working in Duncan, it was logical to get cards for their public library. It is not as updated as either of the Ardmore systems. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed in it. It's still a decent library, just needs some updating. I was thankful for their movie rentals! Great for the family on a tight budget.

When I stopped working in Duncan, we began visiting Ardmore again. After awhile, Colt informed me that he had read all of Ardmore's books. Ha! Well, I had to agree, I think he was rechecking a lot. So, we invested in a membership at the Norman public library which operates as the Pioneer Library System. They have nine branches. We have used the library in Purcell as well as our usual in Norman.

So, seven or eights years later, we still have "Library Day". It's still fun, but not the all-encompassing joy it was when the boys were both little. As a college sophomore, Colt has mostly outgrown the monkey bars. He would rather sit with me & read at the park. He does indulge his little brother from time to time. Riley has graduated to chapter books & just received his medal & other awards for completing his summer reading. We don't go every other Saturday either, but we do still go together.

If you don't have a card to your local library, I would recommend it. They are an abundant resource of all things entertaining...books, movies, music. Each library has their own programs. They run the gamut from babies to seniors. You can find computer classes, book clubs, cinema, arts & crafts time. All kinds of offerings from magicians to scholars, cupcake decorating to wine tasting, writers' groups to gardening. I think you would be surprised if you took a look at your local library's events calendar. Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to just one library. Look at the events from different libraries. You'll find something to suit your tastes.

Anyways, maybe my children love literature and would whether I nurtured that seed or not. I look forward to having "Library Day" with my grandbabies. Maybe it will be three generations of avid readers!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Current Quandary

How can I lounge in the pool AND read a book?

Esther Williams could probably do it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dinner at Eight

Remember the Andy Griffith episode where Andy has to endure 3 spaghetti dinners in one night? Classic.

Friday night, I cooked spaghetti squash for my Mom and my boys. We love it with meat sauce, just like regular spaghetti. Well, that is, except for Rye. His Nanny made him regular spaghetti to go with the sauce. So, we had plenty leftover for lunch on Saturday.

That evening, some friends confirmed lunch plans for after church on Sunday. I asked what I needed to bring. She told me that everything was covered. We just needed to bring our appetites for spaghetti. We actually received a second invitation to Sunday lunch. Spaghetti was on the menu there too. Hmmm.

Monday at work, someone decided to cook lunch. I was not surprised to find spaghetti as the dish of choice. Of course, there are always leftovers. So, guess what we had for lunch today?

I think I'll go see if the boys want spaghetti for supper...