Initially, ‘Glasses of Grace’ started because my niece, Grace, had to get glasses for reading. Since grace is such a spiritual topic and the fact that my niece is such a doll, I started thinking about the ways God shows us His grace on a daily basis. From His servings, His glasses, of grace to us - to seeing the world through the eyes of grace (or Grace, since she had new glasses and better sight), it made sense in more ways than one, so a title was born. Blessings and all, this is my life…

Friday, January 25, 2008

My cool 'ride'

I haven't posted about this because I didn't know how it was going to turn out, but I have had a cool vehicle to drive this week and thought, since I haven't had anything fun to say because of working all the time this month, I'd post about this.

I took my car to Big 10 back in November, the week before Thanksgiving, to have my oil changed. When I went back to pick it up, I paid, got in my car and left. I thought the driver's door sounded like it didn't close right, but the weather was getting colder and figured it was just because of that. That was the Thursday afternoon before Thanksgiving. I didn't put a lot of thought into it, but I just knew it didn't sound right.

As I was leaving work on Friday, I decided to look and see if I could see anything that would make it sound the way it did. To my HUGE surprise, there was a hole poked in the side of my door at the bottom and the metal down there was all buckled! Well good grief! I am not a confrontational person by any stretch of the imagination, so I had no idea what I was going to do. I drove to my sister's house to pick up some PTO money I had to count that weekend and showed the door to her and told her about it. I asked her if she thought I should go back up to Big 10 and ask about it. Her answer was a VERY HARDY "YES!!!," but I cannot actually type her answer here! :-) They didn't close until 6:00, so I had enough time to get back up there before they closed. As luck would have it, the manager had gone home early and he was the one that was there when I dropped my car off and picked it up and he's the one with whom I always deal. The assistant manager had no idea what was going on about my car, but I showed him the door. He was a bit dumbstruck. He said he used to work in a body shop and he could see that it was buckled. He said he would mention it to the manager when he talked to him that night and for me to call back up there the next morning. Well, I was SICK having to go confront them about it anyway because I could just see them telling me, "No idea what happened, Lady.....Tough luck!" I decided that I wouldn't just call the next morning, that I would go back up there and show the manager what had happened. I got there about 8:20 and he came straight to me and wanted to see the door. I told him what I had thought about it closing different because of cold weather, but he just shook his head like that would never happen. (I'm a girl....I KNOW he knows more about cars than I do, I just had to put my theory out there!) He looked at the door and as I was explaining to him, he acted like he knew what was going on. I said, "Do you KNOW what happened?" He said he did, then he said that when the assistant manager had called him the night before and told him I'd been up there, he knew exactly who had worked on my car and so he hung up and called THAT guy. The guy finally told him that when he had my car up on the rack to change the oil, the driver's door was open and when he brought it down, it hit a table and buckled the bottom of the driver's door! He didn't tell the manager at the time because he'd already had two other instances and had been told that if anything else happened, he was going to be fired. With that being the case, he cut a hole in the side of my door and tried to fix it himself and not tell anyone! I was just glad he admitted it and they could see I was telling the truth....this day and time, you just never know.

SO, I had to go get three estimates....one was $1,283.05, one was $1,343.42 and the other was $1,741.04. I took those back to Big 10, they were sent in to the corporate office, someone there called and talked to the manager at the Big 10 where it happened and talked to the mechanic that did it, then they finally, FINALLY, contacted me about getting it fixed. Of course, they sent me to the place with the lowest estimate, but that is really fine by me because it was the only one whose estimate gave me a NEW door. The other two were used doors, so a new one is great to me! Evidently there's a lot to matching paint colors and stuff to consider too, so it's evidently really quite a job.

Anyway, I dropped it off this past Monday then, at Big 10's expense, have had a rental car this week. As luck would again have it, the Enterprise guy that came and picked me up is the son of a guy I used to work with. I don't know if it's because he knew me or if they try to give you a car montarily comparable to the car being fixed, but he offered me a PT Cruiser or a Jeep Grand Cherokee! I chose the Jeep Grand Cherokee because I want the next vehicle I get to sit higher off the road, so I wanted to see what that would be like. I must say, it's pretty cool. I could never afford a Jeep, but it's nice to drive!

The first car I bought was a Ford EXP, a two seater, that I drove for 12 years! I loved that car. I was just fun. I traded that in and got a blue Honda Civic that I also loved. It had front and back seats AND 4 doors, so after driving a two door two seater for 12 years, that was a great change! I also had that car for 12 years. Then, when my mom and her husband moved to Florida, she had a van and they decided they were going to buy a Toyota Prius, so Doc gave me his Infiniti I30t. This was also the year that I bought my house, so, not being willing to look a gift horse in the mouth, I sold my Civic for $3,000 and paid much of that money toward furniture. That whole thing really was a Godsend. I've enjoyed the Infiniti and will definitely drive it until it won't go anymore, but whatever I get next, I do want to get something that sits higher off the road. I can't stand to get behind SUV's and not be able to see around them. I've posted before about what an impatient driver I am and that doesn't help the situation! I love being in this Jeep and being able to see two cars in front of me! Anyway, here are pictures....as if you haven't seen a Jeep Grand Cherokee before! :-)



I can't post all this good though without posting about God's way of humbling me even in the best of circumstances. There was bit of a hassle between the time I turned in my estimates and when they finally called last week and told me what I needed to do to get this handled. Other than that, it's been smooth but in all honesty, I've thought that I've been pretty cool this week driving this vehicle....(this is where the humbling comes into play).

SO, I am driving to work Thursday morning....on this street that that my subdivision is off of....and I get about two miles up the road....about 3 houses from the main road I'm going to turn on. I see something to the right out of the corner of my eye. I think...."Once I get out of this curve, I need to look and see what that is!" Well, HELLO....it was a DEER that came running right out in front of me! It was running across the yard and passed within feet of the front of me. No kidding, if there had been two of them together, I would have hit one of them. I was like, "Oh my gosh! I need to slow myself down! That would have been BAD in this rental!" So I get on up to the main road to turn...no traffic. I turn, still thinking about how fortunate it was that I didn't hit that deer, how close it was, all that stuff.....I get maybe 500 feet up the road and ANOTHER deer passes just as close in front of me from the other side! Scared me to death! Literally, again, if there had been two, I would have hit one of them! Let me just say that I calmed my big ol' self down and thought all the way to work about how it doesn't matter how big your vehicle is, I was just lucky that nothing happened! Because we both want something higher off the road next time, I had been talking with my friend that I work under all week about how much I LOVE driving this vehicle, how high it sits off the road, how much I LOVE being able to see everything....but I told her when I got to work on Thursday, "Well, I think God was trying to get my attention this morning!"

And I have one thing to say, "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

After all, it's only a vehicle....but it is fun to drive! :-)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Two weeks later....(well, almost)

I really have NOTHING to post about. I have done very little these last two weeks besides work, church and a few other things as needed. Tax season is definitely here....in a big way.

Work has been 90-nothing in aiming for the January 31 deadline to have W-2's and 1099's done for about 40 companies....oh the joys of public accounting, huh? :-) I've got my momentum though and things are smooth so far, I am just praying it stays that way. Once I am done with January, the rest is downhill for me! YEA!

I've talked to my mom a few times and Doc is about the same. Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post and for your kind words.

We've had some weird weather here this week....both Wednesday afternoon/evening and today. Believe it or not, I even set my alarm for 5:10 this morning so I could get on up and get in to work to get my time in before the bad weather started. It's not really bad weather yet, but I left work shortly after the snow flurries started. If I were going to get stuck anywhere, I didn't want it to be there! We've had snow flurries and even some accumulation....and that's a weird thing for Georgia! :-)

My brother-in-law, John, came over today to look at my laptop. For some reason, since we got back from my mom's, my laptop couldn't find my router here at home and I couldn't send e-mail from my laptop. Weird stuff, and for a girl who likes to know how things work and why they don't at times, that has been VERY frustrating! John works for Bellsouth and looks at these problems all the time, so he came over and showed me what to do if it happens again. I am GLAD. Anyway, Grace came over with him and had to build me a snowman before she left. Of course, being the proud aunt, I had to take some pictures. She's just SO sweet and so good for my heart!


Monday, January 07, 2008

Life lessons

I am glad to be home tonight. I went with my sister and her family to see my mom over the weekend. She lives in Florida, Amelia Island, and while it's nice down there, it was nice to return home as well. There really is no place like home, no matter where that might be!

We left Thursday after work and got to my mom's a little after midnight. Her husband is in a nursing home there and isn't doing well, so we knew we needed to go. He was diagnosed a couple of years ago with semantic dementia, which means that he knew most everything, he just couldn't find the words to convey what he wanted to say. They have been seeing someone and working to help him stave the progression off as long as they could, but since Thanksgiving, he's done some really strange things, totally out of character for him. Things have taken a real turn and now he doesn't know who anyone is, where he is, etc. My mom was determined to keep him at home as long as she could, but after a couple of stays in the hospital, their doctor told my mom that he needed more care than she could provide alone. The ironic thing is that he, her husband, was a doctor and knew this was happening and knew what my mom was eventually going to have to deal with, so he helped to prepare her for it as much as he could. It's just a sad situation.

I know that people all over the world have had to deal with this, with Alzheimer's or an array of other mind-stealing disorders, but this is the first time that I've really seen it first hand. When we were got to the nursing home on Friday, he was sitting there in his wheelchair with his food in front of him, but holding a little food in his hand, barely able to eat. My mom fed him, talked to him, asked him if he remembered anyone or if anyone looked familiar, but of course, he didn't know any of us. It was so odd to stand there looking into the eyes of someone who has been married to my mom for about 6 or 7 years and have him not recognize her or any of us. I can only imagine what it would be like to have it be one of my parents, a spouse, or anyone I have really been close to.

What makes all this even sadder is that his children have not done anything to help my mom handle this situation. He has a son that lives in Ohio and a daughter that lives in Seattle. The daughter came to see him the week before Christmas, but he didn't recognize her either, so she left and went shopping! She went to see him the next day, went shopping again, then she was supposed to leave early Friday evening, but changed her flight to leave first thing Friday morning and hasn't called but a couple of time since then! I just can't imagine! The son has called and, while he doesn't care much for my mom at all, he talked to the doctors and told them he was coming 'after Christmas'.....then it turned into 'after New Year's'.....and now it's turned into, "Well, I'll call again in a few weeks for an update." Can you even believe that? My mom's husband was a doctor, afforded for his family to travel the world, send his children to the best colleges, bought them vehicles, townhouses and condos when they graduated, etc, then to have them not have any more regard for him than that....I am amazed. I realize though that you don't really know a situation unless you live it, but still, they've had a good life and this is their dad! 'Doc,' as we call him, has been good to my mom, good to my sister, brother-in-law, my nieces and me, so I can't imagine that he would have been any less with his own children. I'm just amazed.

As history, we call him 'Doc' first of all because he was a doctor, but he was my mom and dad's internist the whole time my sister and I were growing up, so we've heard his name virtually all of our lives. My parents divorced in 1997 and mom and 'Doc' started dating in probably 2001. His first wife had died of leukemia in 2000, my mom got sick that Christmas and called him to call in a prescription for her. Since my parents had been patients of his for so long, he shared that his wife had passed away and next thing you know, he and my mom were dating! So here we are being step-kids to someone we've heard mention of our whole lives. Although my brother-in-law started the nickname, 'Doc' just seemed to fit, so that's what we've affectionately called him.

While this is a sad situation, my sister had some good words the other night, and really it was a good lesson for life. I said, "You know, isn't it sad that you live the life he has lived, traveled and seen the world like he has, helped people, then come to this point and not remember any of it?" Her response: "Yeah, but you know, he knew what he was doing when he did it and he enjoyed it, and you can't really ask for any more than that."

I had to agree.