Don’t Go Messing with Trudy’s Sunshine

After lunch with Jenny and Robyn  Tuesday, I impulsively decided I would go have my driver’s license replaced. Seems when I cashed a check a couple of weeks ago I accidentally threw it away inside the bank envelope.

Genius.

I’ve been putting off getting a new one because I was afraid they would have to take my picture and it is rare for me to have fixed hair, make-up and decent clothes all on one occasion. Since it was unlikely those planets were going to align again anytime soon, the solar system dictated the Tuesday window not be missed.

Returning home from City In Between, I had to pass through the town where the court house is located. I hadn’t planned on making the stop but did anyway hoping I would  have enough identification to simply print a duplicate. As is usually the case, my imaginations on how things should work and the reality of how they in fact actually do are worlds apart.

I knew when Luke and I first had our licenses issued in Alabama that we had to bring everything but the doctor who delivered us to the office to prove our identity. I accept that.  But call me naive, I’m thinking if I’ve already provided all that info once and my picture is on file in the computer system then all one should have to do is look at said photo, my social security card, my utilities bill and surmise that yes, I am indeed Lisa McKay.

Notsomuch.

Turns out getting the replacement was the same process as having one issued.   So, because Tuesday had to be the day (remember the planets were aligned!) I went all the way home, retrieved the documents and rushed back before the office closed.

A precious girl by the name of Trudy waited on me. If precious court house employee isn’t an oxymoron I don’t know what is but I’ve never met a government worker so happy to be doing her job in all my life. Apparently I was her ‘baby girl’ and ‘sunshine’ because she referred to me as one or the other no less than 20 times.. Then, and this is the best part, she posed me (Chin a little higher up, Sunshine! Oh yes, baby girl..that’s a keeper!) to make absolute sure my picture was cute. Have you ever? It may possibly be the first time I have a driver’s license photo in which I don’t look like Nick Nolte’s latest mug shot.

So, I’m done with the photo shoot and am expecting my laminated card to pop out of a machine somewhere when Trudy tells me I should receive it in about 30 days. 30 days? Does anything take 30 days in this day and time? Oh, but wait. I live in Alabama. Here we are still using a printing process akin to Fred Flintstone’s time clock in which he puts a slab of granite in a dinosaur’s mouth so he can chomp down the info with his teeth.

Trudy explains that she will be giving me a paper copy of my license.  She hit ‘Print’ and then I see a concerned look cross her face. Not good. Trudy Concerned is also an oxymoron.  “Sweet darlin’ baby girl, I need you to look here on my screen.” In giant red letters, an alert said:  MUST SEE EXAMINER. UNRESOLVED VIOLATION.

What? I don’t have unresolved violations!? There are many things as yet unresolved in my life (Should I cut my hair short?  What color do I paint my fingernails?  What is God’s will for my life?)   but as far as I know they all fall within the realm of legal. Come to find out, the State of Georgia had not cleared a Click It Or Ticket that I got almost two years ago so I had to leave the courthouse and go to the Examiner’s office so she could inquire on her computer (which is different than the courthouse computer – must be different breed of dinosaurs inside the machine) as to whether or not I am indeed a fugitive.  Trudy was so devastated and called ahead for me so that I could “go straight to the front of the line, sweet thang”.  I did (thank you, Trudy) and after all of stinkin’ that, Examiner Lady tells me it was fine all along.

Thank you. Thank you for making me drive all the way over here to tell me that when you could have just LOOKED IT UP AND TOLD TRUDY SO THAT SHE WOULDN’T BE CONCERNED about her Sunshine.

I have no witty ending except to say I finally go my driver’s license (with an acceptable picture – Thanks, Trudy!). Kicker is, they expire in December so I get to start all over again.

Here’s hoping I find a day in the next three months when I have fixed my hair, worn makeup and decent clothes all at one time. Maybe I can ride to the Examiner’s Office on the same Hale-Bopp Comet that will most certainly be crossing the sky in front of the total eclipse during a meteor shower.

Love,
Lisa

Retreat Part Deux

Y’all.

I had this whole stinkin‘ post typed out and blogger ate it. I’m so upset right now but I’m going to soldier through it again. You can be thankful because I’ll most likely leave out at least half the words in my aggravation of having to do a repeat.

You’re welcome.

I think I began the other post by explaining how, after a weekend of teaching, I am so sick of my own voice that I try my best not to speak much for a couple of days. With that said, other than suggesting to the children they may want to keep the noise level to a healthy roar on teacher in service Monday, I’ve been relishing the quiet and enjoying all the not talking.

A few of you have asked questions about the logistics of our retreat. I’ll try to give you some info and finish a recap in a handy, dandy list format:

1. We began our retreats in our current church four years ago with less than twenty women attending. We rented a cabin at, where else, Eagles Ridge and conducted our Bible study in the great room. We cooked one common meal in the kitchen but mostly ate in restaurants together for the others.

This year we took close to 90 women which is huge for my teeny tiny town. I hear the size of our Exodus was a hot topic of conversation at the grocery store and gas station. Since our group has grown so, we are now renting 6 large cabins and have moved our Bible study to the facility club house. Because we obviously can’t eat out together, we decided to offer meals as part of the program. My wonderful mom-in-law Frankie, my precious friend Kaye, and my bff forever Kelly provided the catering. They not only agreed to do our event, but actually enjoy cooking. Can you even imagine? Thanks again to all three of you. Your joyful act of service took our fellowship to an entirely new level.

Don’t y’all love their matching aprons?

2. We have four study sessions beginning Friday night. We then meet Saturday morning, Saturday night, and Sunday morning. {Don’t start raggin‘ on me about the Sunday thing. I’m very conflicted about it but as it is, there is a two day weekend minimum stay and if we don’t use it we lose it. It being one day a year, the stewardship issue, and our own Sunday morning worship teamed with the blessing of the pastor dictate we stay until Sunday – at least for now.} We have our meal first, then worship in song, followed by the teaching segment.

Saturday is a free day between morning and night sessions in which most girls go shopping. I normally head towards Five Oaks Outlet Mall. However, this year the wonderful, darlin‘ girls in our group took up a love collection and gave Jenny (worship leader) and me a trip to Gatlinburg Day Spa. I’ve never been in my life until Valentine’s Day and now twice in two months! What?! It’s hard to say which spa I enjoyed more but let me tell you, the heated massage table at GDS is an extravagance I never dreamed existed. I didn’t think I would be able to drag myself off it.

I have to tell you I was incredibly overwhelmed while sitting in the quiet room overlooking the beautiful mountains. All I could think was, “Who am I that God would allow such a flaky, unqualified girl to first presume to teach His Word and then orchestrate a back rub afterward?” It was more than I could take in. We are some spoiled rotten women in the west and I never want to take such pampering for granted. I am humbled, I do not deserve this outlandish grace, but I gratefully receive it in the love it was given. Girls, thank you, thank you, thank you!

3. Saturday night’s session was followed by an after party in which we were entertained by the lyrical stylings of Brooke and Kim aka The Queens of Karaoke. I can’t even do it justice so you should really go here and check out the performance on your own.

4. I was so pumped that my sister, Christi, was able to come along with me. Her hubby just took his first pastorate so we are officially sister PW’s!

You have to know mine and Christi’s relationship to understand that we love each other through sarcasm, i.e., if she makes fun of me then I know that’s a compliment – I think. She told me something I said Sunday morning that is probably the most theologically thought-provoking thing I’ve ever uttered. She tells it better than I ever could here. By the way, y’all really have to read her blog, Just Curious. She is funnier on accident than I’ve ever hoped to be on purpose.

5. The Gang’s all here! Or most of it anyway. This picture makes me smile really, really big. There were women on the retreat ranging from ages 12 through 79. There is no other name but Jesus by which such a diverse group can have such commonality! I love each and every one of you and can not wait til next year!

P.S. I lied about the words.

P.S.S. Spectacular Sins will resume next Monday. Mine and Missy’s brains are fried.

Gettin’ Down In A Small Town

I think I’ve told y’all a time or three how very much I love my community. When we aren’t busy painting things John Deere green on hot summer nights, or pulling awesome pranks on another, we are hosting a slew of events – all of which are named after a vegetable or farm animal. The 4th of July Potato Festival kicks off the festivities and is soon followed by the Quarterback Club Community Cookout and Cow Plop. Just when we are starting to get bored again, we end the summer with a bang (or a buck) with Mule Day.

What is Mule Day you ask? Well, I’d love to show you some personal photos but it was so crowded this year I couldn’t get anywhere near the arena. I’ve included a stock photo instead. My town has 800 citizens give or take; however, on Mule Day weekend there are anywhere from 12-15,000 people here – as in almost 20x our population.

(Photo courtesy of elcascabel.com)

The draw of Mule Day is a Mule Pull competition where teams from several states bring mule teams to see which ones can pull the most weight. They are hitched to slides stacked with cement blocks and weight is added until they can no longer pull. It’s really a painful thing to watch but don’t worry, I’m assured the screaming, snot-slingin‘ mules are having the time of their lives.

Here’s my Girl. She insisted on theme dressing. I don’t mind so much when the theme is Cowgirl versus Bratz Doll. She actually asked me this morning if I would pick out “some very tiny clothes” for her to wear to school. Umm, that would be a negative.

Riding the ponies in her non-Daisy Dukes.

Boy Number One. Oh my. He bought these glasses at one of the junk vendors and is convinced he’s Eric Estrada from CHiPs. I’m pretty sure the lenses in these things are recycled mirrors that hang in the corner of old gas stations and supermarkets.

Here’s Boy Two packin‘ the $5 heat he bought from the Asian arms dealer. You think I’m kidding. There was a guy there with two booths (I use the term booths loosely…he was actually selling them out of the back of his SUV) filled with bb guns, air soft rifles, and TASERS. Yes, you heard me right. For the low, low price of $15 you could purchase a personal electrocution device. I can’t think of a better thing to sell hundreds of young boys bent on a day of mischief.

Speaking of a day of mischief, I don’t have a picture of Number Three boy. He also bought one of the bb guns. Trouble is, he bought it from the Arms Dealer’s satellite location and it didn’t come with bb’s – even though it was the exact model Boy Two bought that included a package of ammo. Boy 3 asked the man to give him some bb’s and he was told to go away.

Mom to the rescue.

I went to the booth and showed the man both of the gun cases to prove that yes, one had bb’s and so should the other. He told me that his booth didn’t include the bb’s so I asked him to return our money. Who needs a gun with no bullets, right? In a very nice gesture, he not only gave us the small pack of bb’s that should have been included, but he gave us a very large container full. Nothing like a gun vendor who specializes in customer service.

We thanked the man for his generosity and I walked away pleased the kids had plenty of bb’s for their little toy guns.

And the fact I just typed that last sentence still baffles me.

I took the ammo from the boys because 8 year old boy + gun + unlimited bullets + large crowd = TROUBLE. What I didn’t know is that Boy Three snuck the ammo and got into a gun war with another boy. What I also didn’t know is that he shot a lady in the crowd WHO WAS NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT IN THE LEAST. Dear, sweet woman. I wasn’t there but please accept my humble apologies. The boy is grounded for life it if makes it sting any less.


In the meantime, The Girl and I found Luke’s cousins who show horses at Mule Day every year. In a strange twist, they were coming to this festival for years before Luke and I ever moved here. Anyway, The Girl looks forward to seeing her cousins Raven and Ramsey compete and to boot, gets a ride in their miniature horse wagon.

We were blissfully unaware of the gunfire taking place elsewhere in the park.

So now, summer is winding down and the season of rolling yards and Friday night football is upon us.

Have I mentioned I love it here?

P.S. Deedra just got her Mule Day pictures posted. Girlfriend captured the true flava of the day.

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