Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Do I Look Suspicious

I walked to the gym one day last week to do my morning workout.  Usually Friend-husband and I go together, but Friend-husband was camping with the scouts.  Usually we drive, but he had my car and I don’t love driving his pickup, so I decided to walk.  I took my car keys because my gym pass is on them.

After my workout I grabbed my keys from the little cubby where I had placed them and walked home.  The keys looked different, and I realized that they were not my car keys after all.  Crazy, huh?  It seems I had brought Friend-husband’s pickup keys.  Is that what his keys look like?  I had never noticed.
Once home, I tossed the keys in my purse without giving it another thought.  Soon I was teaching piano lessons.  I don’t answer the phone while I am teaching piano.  That’s what caller ID is for.
Friend-husband and I share a cell phone which we use mainly for travel and emergencies.  On that particular morning, our cell phone was in Friend-husband’s pocket on a scout inhabited non-signal receiving mountain.    
I don’t know how many times the phone rang, but eventually a well-mannered grandchild answered the phone and dutifully brought it to me.  I tried to hide my irritation as I answered the phone.  It was the gym.  It seems that someone was stuck at the gym with no car keys and my car keys had been found unattended in a neighboring cubby. 
It had been hours.  The police had been called in.  Surveillance tape had been consulted.  Though the guilty person had not been discovered, a suspicious-looking teenager had been spotted on the tape.  They were thinking of questioning him.
Suspicious-looking?  Seriously?
What gave him away?  Shifty eyes? Stocking cap?  A guilty expression? Was he lurking? 
Now remember, the car was still there.  Only the keys were missing.  My keys were the only clue, yet since they weren’t able to reach me, they were considering questioning a suspicious-looking youth.   
What’s wrong with this picture?
Thankfully, I arrived in time to save him.  Mercifully, he’ll never know. 
Do I look suspicious?
Linda Garner

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Ever do anything that is out of your comfort zone? 

I like to stretch myself, and so when I had the chance to ride a zip line last week, I said yes.  The setting was a family reunion at Heber Valley Girls Camp. As a warm-up we had done a couple of  cooperation activities.  Collaboration, trust, problem solving.  I love those kind of activities.  Good skills to learn.

Most of our family was excited about the zip line and I was too.  I wasn't at all scared at the idea, but I knew that it might be more scary when I was on top.  I was right about that.

First up was climbing a 30 foot pole.  Even though I have been working out at the gym for about ten months, it was incredibly hard.  The foot holds were far apart and I have short legs.  I watched my five year old granddaughter climb the pole with ease, but it was a challenge for me.  How did she do it?  It was taxing for me, and scary.  I arrived at the top huffing and puffing.

Next I had to cross a tight rope, sideways.  I had another rope to hang on to, thankfully.  Both ropes were shaking...or was it me.  I was too out of breath to analyze.  I told myself I wasn't scared, but I tried not look down.

Moving from the rope to the platform was another scary moment, but I didn't have much choice.  I was committed.

The helper asked me if I wanted to go down the zip line frontwards or backwards.  "Frontwards," I said bravely.  And then she asked me to stand on the edge of the platform with me toes hanging off. 

My throat constricted as I inched my toes toward the edge of the platform.  A tiny alarm went off in my brain.  My bravery vanished.  "Backward," screamed my brain.

"Backward," I said calmly to the attendant.  "I think I meant to say backward." 

"Good idea," she said as she turned me around and helped me to the edge.  Now my heels hung over the edge instead of my toes, and I felt the tiniest bit safer, mostly because I couldn't see.  She asked me to sit down and then came that moment when she pushed me off the platform.  If she hadn't pushed me, I might still be sitting there.

I had planned to fly like a bird.  I had planned to shout "Towanda," but I only whispered it, and my arms were not outstretched and free but clutching the ropes protectively. 

Nevertheless, I felt triumphant.  It was harder than I imagined, but I can do hard things.

Would I do it again?  I think I would.  I like to stretch myself.


Linda Garner