Thursday, November 29, 2007

What's at the Water Cooler Besides Gossip?

GERMS, THAT'S WHAT! You all know how it is said that people gather at the water cooler to chat or gossip? We have a water cooler in the building where I work. It is located in the hallway just outside of my office. Many times I see co-workers go to the cooler with their own personal water bottles they have already drank from, put it right on the spout where the water comes out and refill their bottles then walk down the hall drinking from the same bottle. It amazes me that they don’t even realize they are passing germs. I think I’m the only one in our office who notices this as I do not hear anyone else complain about it. Day after day people continue to leave their germs at the water cooler by filling their own personal containers. Are people really that ignorant? Do they not think or do they not care?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Going Back in Time/Reliving the Past

Today I had the privilege of making a dream come true. Over the past 65 years of my life the city in which I live and grew up in has changed tremendously and of course this is no surprise. I can almost close my eyes and see the way old things were when I was a child growing up and attending elementary school here. Back in those days we called it “grade school.” Many buildings in that old neighborhood have been torn down and streets have been added. It just doesn’t look the same at all except in my mind.

The elementary school I attended as a child is still standing in the same place and has never been torn down. It is sort of a dirty dark pink color and resembles a castle like in the Cinderella fairy stories and there is an old fire escape just outside of the old first grade classroom. For a long time I have wanted to go back and visit the school just to see if it had changed inside. I wanted to climb those old steps and open the front door and just go inside as I did back in the old school days. However, there has been an addition built onto it which is a church/daycare so I had to enter into the new portion.

A couple nights ago, I dreamed that I finally made the step and visited the old castle looking school building and toured it. I recalled the rooms and the teachers who were in those rooms. The dream was so real that I did not feel it was a dream until I woke up, and then I was disappointed that I had not yet taken the step to go tour the old school building. For the entire day after I had the dream, I continued to think about the dream and what it meant to me. “I must make this dream come true,” “after all I have waited for this time to come for a long time. I don’t know why I have not done it before now”. Well, this dream was a couple nights ago and I still longed to go tour the school as the dream was deeply on my mind along with the fond memories that go with the past and when I was a student there. Today on my way home from work, around 4:00pm, I finally decided to do it, “just do it,” I thought. I turned my car in the direction of the school and while on my way; my mind went back in time. There is a park directly across from the school building where we went to play, swim, swing, play baseball and so many other things. I stared at the park and realized it hadn’t changed much either. I envisioned myself and friends playing as we did years ago. As I got closer to the school building, I began to be afraid, thinking “what if the people there will be rude and wonder who I am and why I’m there and if I am someone who has come to cause some kind of trouble?” “What if they don’t let me come in?” I had made it this far, so I will just park my car and go in. I first went to the old stairs so as to enter the front door as we used to and just as I had always dreamed I would, but the sign on the door said to go to the church entrance. I went there and tried the door but to my disappointment, it was locked. I looked up and saw a doorbell and rang it. A lady came to the door, and when I told her what I wanted, she was very friendly and receptive to my wishes. She shared with me that every now and then someone will come who has gone to the school and want to tour the building as well. In fact, just a few weeks ago, a man was there for the same purpose. I was so excited as she so willingly took me through the building for my tour. It was just as I thought. The classrooms were in the same spots and as we went through I reminisced to her what classes and teachers were in each room and a couple of experiences I’d had back then. She was almost as excited as I and seemed to enjoy going around with me and listening to my tales of “way back when.” I think one of the high points was when I went into the girl’s bathroom and it was exactly the same – it was all so amazing! It was so enlightening and at one point, I found myself pinching my arm just to make sure this was not “just another dream”. After I finished the tour, I came home and decided to sit down and blog this one. What an enlightening experience it was, just like visiting a museum. This was a time when things were a lot less stressful and we were allowed to be kids and school was as it should be when the teachers were allowed to use their authority and we were made to respect them. I thank the Lord for allowing me the pleasure of visiting the old school building and finally allowing a long time dream come true. I could go on and on with this post but I think I’ve put in too much already. Perhaps I will continue to add more information onto this later and perhaps it will become a story.

Monday, November 19, 2007


This morning when I got up, I went to the front door and opened it. It was foggy outside and kind of damp as though it had rained. All of a sudden I spied the electric power lines and they appeared to be down lower than usual. I kept staring at them and then I began to wonder what had gone on last night for this to happen. I looked next door and the lines were low. I called Mid-American Energy's 1-800 number to report it. They took my name, address, etc. over the phone and said they would send someone out to check it. I then decided to go around the neighborhood and see if they were down all over. After a trip around the block, in my car, I decided that the power lines were low all over and again called Mid-America to report it. Approximately 20 minutes later, there was a knock on the door and when I answered it, a man from the power company said he had come out and checked everything and that it was normal. I looked surprised and then asked if he had gone around the neighborhood. I was a adamant that what I had seen were lowered power lines, lines that appeared to be so low that they almost touched trees and houses. I even warned a couple of neighbors to be careful. I was almost devasted that the man from Mid-America had told me that they were supposed to be that way. I then began to wonder what made me think that things were different, after all, I have lived in this same house for over 30 years and have never thought the lines were low before. I then kind of panicked, wondering what was wrong with me. Why had this happened? I was embarrassed and stunned. Finally, I called Mid-American Energy and apologized about reporting this and how "stupid" I felt. The lady was very nice and told me not to feel that way; she was glad I had called. It was better to be safe than to be sorry. I then called one of my neighbors to straighten out the confusion. I am still wondering why I thought the lines were down and the only thing I can think of is it was probably because of the heavy fog. I was not disappointed that the power lines were normal, I was upset because it appeared that I was losing it.