Sixteen Years Today...

I had just finished taking my charges to their respective schools and was sitting at the dining room table enjoying a cup of coffee when my mom called and told me to turn on the TV. I asked why and she said that there had been a gas line explosion in downtown Oklahoma City. I immediately flipped on the TV and saw the carnage and told her "Mom, I've got to go." she asked where? "Out to the American Red Cross, they're going to need help", and hung up. I knew this was not a gas explosion but something more sinister. I jumped into my van and rushed out to North Base at Max Westheimer Field to the American Red Cross headquarters, went in and said "I'm here to help, just tell me what to do!" I was one of the first there.

They put me to work setting up the reclining chairs for blood donations. Then I started setting up chairs and tables for the other workers who were on their way. People started pouring in almost immediately to give blood. The decision was made to take only those people that had O positive or O negative blood since it was a universal blood and asked those who had come to give, with A or B, blood types, to come back the next day. The parking lot was full and overflowing, the line of people wrapped itself around the building and stretched down the street.

Food vendors from all over the city sent huge chests of hot food, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot chicken sandwiches, doughnuts and it kept coming all day. One young man had filled his pickup with bottled water and brought it and said to me "Here, you may need this for all the folks standing out in the sun. Other vendors brought ice chests full of just ice. Grocery stores sent orange juice, coffee, sodas and cookies. People would randomly drop by and put money into our hands and would say "Put it to good use" we would try to give them a receipt and they would just shake their heads "No" and drive off.

In the afternoon I moved to the refreshment recovery area and made coffee, passed out cookies and sodas. Kept track of the timer for those who had given blood, all the while watching what was going on, on the TV. Such horror, we were shell shocked to say the least. We learned it was a bombing and that many lives were lost including many children, the most innocent of all. We were all traumatized by it. And to think we would relive it again in 2001 on September 11th.

I had to leave to go pick up the kids from school as I operated a before and after school program in my home. After picking up the children, I fixed their snacks, sat the older ones down in the dinning room and had them do their homework to keep their minds occupied. I put on cartoons for the little ones and took my daughters aside and said "Don't mention this to the little ones as they may not know about it, I want their parents to explain this to them." My own girls were distraught as they had friends who lost their parents in the bombing or had a parent who was suppose to have been at the Federal building that day but had been running late. They looked at me and asked "Why?" I could only say "I don't know why, but now we must be ever vigilant against evil people who would want to hurt us."

Later that evening our family watch stories of the rescues and the thunderstorm that moved in on Oklahoma City. We saw firemen, police, rescue squads, nurses, doctors, dog handlers with search and rescue dogs all trying to rescue those still trapped. Blocks upon blocks of the city had been destroyed. Yet there was no looting. It became known as the "Oklahoma City Standard" to the major network broadcasters. The community pulled together and stayed together. People and companies donated their time, energy and anything that would help.

The next day I took the children to school and went out and spent another day at the American Red Cross Headquarters helping in any way I could. That day I gave blood. The line was just as long as the day before, but people and business gave of themselves, the donations did not slack off.

I was proud of my community and the giving spirit. I saw that spirit again several years later on May 3rd, 1999 when an F5 tornado ripped through Bridge Creek and Moore, OK killing 44 people and destroying over 300 homes.

We Oklahomans have a spirit, a spirit of "When things get tough the tough get going."

God Bless Oklahoma, God Bless America...


Quick Road Trip...

We took a quick road trip last Saturday to Tulsa to see out grandson. The kids had gone to Tulsa to visit my brother and his family and to see a concert put on by "The Kings of Leon" Friday night. We went up to spend the day and have a belated celebration of my birthday. As usual the dinner was wonderful and the cake yummy. My brother and his family gave me a beautiful cup with bumble bees decorating it, you have to know I love bumble bees and collect them. The kids gave me a beautiful picture frame filled with pictures of Noah. The little fellow is growing so fast. He us pulling up and trying to get his balance to walk. He's such a good baby and a delight to be with.

While on the trip up, a milk tanker passed us and on the back of it was an American Flag with the words "Let's Roll", I immediately teared up and thought of all those souls lost on 9-11 and Todd Beamer who said those famous words and with the help of others kept the terrorist from flying into Washington D.C. and killing even more people. God Bless them all.

We took Noah to Woodward Park during "magic hour" where the Azalea's are in bloom and took his Easter pictures. He was so much fun to watch. I had the job of holding the flash to the camera and "Come on G-ma try to get him to smile." That was the easy part. The hard part was climbing over the rock that were very uneven at times. With new knees it was not easy, but for the most part I managed.

Afterwards we went to our favorite place to eat, Goldie's. It was as good as ever. We now have to go to Tulsa to enjoy their burgers since the franchise store in Norman has closed. Boo Hoo!

We started back home at about 9:45 p.m., got gas and hit the front door of our house at 12:30 a.m. after a stop at Wally World to get some cream for the coffee the next morning. The big dogs were happy to see us as they had been outside all day long. We took the little squirt with us as the neighbors would have killed us as he is a non-stop barker if he sees anything move. He did real well with all the other animals that were there at the house, 4 dogs and a cat.

So all in all it was a great day filled with great memories.

We have a new follower, wecome to Donna aka Froggi from 2 taking a 5th. Welcome Donna and Stu. We follow you too!

Happy trails...


Posting Problems...

This problem has just started. If someone out there in in blogger land can help me it would be much appreciated. In my last two posts, I've written my blog with paragraphs, but when I go to post it's coming out as one huge paragraph. HELP!!!!!! I have gone in and cleared my cache. Also I would like for the comments from others to show up at the end of the posts instead of having to click on the comment tab to see them. A good example is Laurie and Odel's Semi True Tales... Thanks in advance for any help...


Next Appointment....

I really dislike going to the doctor but today was a different matter. The doctor was going to let me know about the progress of my knee surgery. After waiting for about an hour for him to arrive he popped through the door as I was taking a picture of a recipe with my cell phone camera. He thought that was a novel idea. We talked about what I should be feeling 4 1/2 months out from surgery. There should still be heat in the knee, swelling at the end of the day, soreness in the area, little shocks in the tissue around the incision due to nerves reconnecting. I might need Tylenol occasionally. I will feel weather changes. Some stiffness if I sit too long, so need to get up and move about ever so often. One of the things we talked about was getting down on the floor to do exercises and play with the grandson. He said NOT to get on my knees since it has a plastic piece attached to the back side so it will glide over the joint, he said I didn't want to damage it. He suggested that I get a small or low stool and move to that from a chair or ottoman to get to the floor. So I guess I won't be installing carpet anytime soon. However I will build up my arms moving from piece to piece. He said to walk, water-walk, ride a bicycle, or swim to keep the action going in my knee. He measured the range of motion in both knees and said I have 126 degrees in my left knee and 124 degrees in my right. That will improve as the swelling goes down. He said most patients only obtain 90 to 108 degrees of motion so he was very, very happy that I had done so well. However he did say that I needed to continue my exercises because if I stop it could reduce my range of motion. That would make me a very unhappy camper for sure. When did he want to see me again???? TWO YEARS!!!! Woohoo!! Is it worth it? Yes...but you really have to want to do it. You have to mentally prepare yourself to do what the physical therapist tells you to do, you have to push yourself through the pain to achieve the results that you want, thank goodness there are great drugs out there for this. This is a tough, tough surgery and a long recovery. It takes a full year for a total knee replacement recovery. You have to commit yourself to doing the exercises and to keep on doing them long after the physical therapist leaves. This surgery is not for the weak of heart. But is it worth it? Again I say yes. I plan to keep on truckin' past 100. Happy trails...