Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What I Learned in April

Linking up today with Emily at Chatting at the Sky and sharing what I learned in April.

Among the things I learned in April ...

Our grocery store's Double Your Money Back freshness guarantee only applies to perishable goods or store brand items. It apparently doesn't apply to the ground flaxseed that I saw the stocking clerk take out of the packing box when I asked where it was. Fresh out of the box and expired a week earlier. Unfortunately, I didn't notice until I got home. Fortunately, the grocery store is less than a mile away and I'm a frequent visitor.

A jube is a screen that separates the church choir from the nave of a church. This one is stunning.

Jube Chapelle Saint-Fiacre,

Jube, amigo and ciao are all acceptable Words With Friends words. Si, however, is unacceptable. I will never understand the WWF lexicon.

There is such a thing as sinkhole insurance. As an insurance broker's daughter, I'm ashamed not to have known this fact before. It's important to know such things when you live in an area built on limestone. And possibly more important when a sinkhole occurs in your neighborhood.

Benjamin Moore's Normandy Blue is THE color I wanted to paint the great room. Too bad it's 14 years and a house too late.

Benjamin Moore 2129-40

Traveling on a Thursday versus a Wednesday means a $100 bump in airfare. However, renting a car Thursday-Sunday is $100 less than renting it Wednesday-Sunday. Perhaps this is a conspiracy designed to keep things fair between Wednesday and Thursday travelers.

Contact lenses are considered cosmetic by most insurance companies. I know they're an alternative to glasses, but I don't think they belong in the same category as liposuction and Botox. 

This is the second month I've done a "What I've Learned" post and I'm enjoying tracking what I've learned throughout the month .. big or small, serious or fun. What did you learn in the cool, rainy (at least here) month of April?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NeVer ForgeT

Please tell my dad I'm OK.

I was sitting at the desk at my volunteer shift when the text came through that morning. It's the kind of text that makes your heart stop, especially when it comes from one of your children. I had no idea why N would text me this message. He was four hours away, but we had no reason to think he was anything but OK.
Seven years ago, texting wasn't as prevalent as it is now. Brian didn't have texting on his work-issued phone, so the kids would text me if they needed to. I wasn't surprised to receive the text, but I was surprised and a bit baffled at the message. My supervisor and I checked the Internet. I don't remember what we found, but there wasn't much beyond the mention of an incident on his college campus.
I called Brian, who was in the middle of a conference call but took my call because it was odd for me to call during a volunteer shift unless there was an emergency. I told him about the text and he agreed it was strange. He checked online and still couldn't find much information. He called Nate and was able to talk to him briefly and so we knew he was safe. For now.
Havoc was still unfolding as a gunman wreaked panic and despair on the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007.
We watched and listened as the news coverage continued. We prayed and remained surprisingly calm. We knew there was nothing we could do besides pray and wait. Brian tried calling N periodically but was unable to get through. Not surprisingly, the phone lines were jammed as students, family and friends attempted thousands of calls to reach loved ones. I called and emailed our family and friends to let them know that we had talked to N and that as far as we knew he was still safe.

We, along with the rest of the world, learned more of the story through the continuous news coverage. We finally connected with N again much later that day to learn that he had been in class in the building next to where most of the shootings took place. So close. One of the victims was a friend who lived in his dorm.
Seven years later, it's still hard to comprehend what happened that day. That's the closest our family has been to such tragedy. N was wrapping up his first year of college that April. When we sent the kids off to college, we could not have imagined something like this happening. Unfortunately, more parents probably think about such things now as these types of tragedies continue to occur.
We are so very thankful N was able to text me that day when the phone lines were down, that he was safe and that Brian was able to talk to him, even just briefly. We are proud of how he handled such an incredible experience. Life has moved on, with its highs and lows and significant events. N is married and about to become a father in a few months. While April 16, 2007, isn't something we talk about often, I believe it's one of the pivotal experiences that have equipped him to become the awesome father I know he will be.
We will neVer forgeT.