Sunday, September 2, 2012

Beth's Big Adventure

Last week my hubby and I spent time at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina participating in an orientation for new District Superintendents (DS) and Directors of Connectional Ministries (DCM). As the men and women, new in their positions attended their sessions, the spouses in attendance also had sessions. I made some wonderful new friends and got to spend time with one of my favorite people and an old friend...Vicki...who is a ‘newbie’ like me! (And no, she isn’t old...I could have been her babysitter back in the day. We’ve been friends a long time.) Vicki’s husband is the new DS for the Knoxville District in our United Methodist Conference. My Joe is the new DS for Cleveland District, so she and I are embarking on an adventure as ‘Cabinet Wives’ and I’m thankful we’re learning this together. One evening, waiting for our husbands’ return from a meeting, we parked ourselves on a sofa across the hall from the main elevators...and had WAY too much fun, laughing, talking and laughing some more! In fact, we had so much fun that we totally missed our husbands and they were back in the rooms wondering where we were! Nathan texted Vicki, asking where she was and she replied that she was safe...with me. She may have been safe, but I’m not sure I’m the ‘safest’ person to be with. After all, I attract danger.

Yes. Danger.
Not like “Castle” or “NCIS” danger.
Not “James Bond” danger.
Think more like Alfred Hitchcock danger. Yep. That’s it. in “The Birds” with Tippi Hedron.

Here’s the story:
It was a dark and stormy night....
Just kidding.

It all began on a sunny Sunday afternoon as Beth joined her handsome husband on a mission to buy an ice pack and a heating pad. His silver hair caught the glint of the sun as they walked across the Walmart parking lot. She felt warm and comfortable as she strode beside Joe...admiring his handsome, strong profile and sure step next to her pitiful limp because her knee had a catch in it and she was unable to straighten her leg.

Okay, that’s enough of my ‘creative writing.’ We both know it wasn’t very good. Although I liked the description of Joe’s profile. He has a nice profile.

Actually, Joe dropped me off at the entrance because of my hurting knee...something that has plagued me off and on for more than 45 years because of an injury in school. I chose and paid for the needed items to relieve my pain. As I walked out to the parking area, Joe met me, saying there was a falcon sitting on a car near where he’d parked. As we walked in that direction, there were two police cars nearby and the officers, along with several people watching a falcon that was sitting on the roof of a van. The van’s owner had called 9-1-1 because she was afraid to attempt entering her vehicle.

Several bystanders...including me...began taking pictures of the falcon with our cell phones, being careful not to get too close. I made a little clicking sound with my tongue in an attempt to get the raptor to look my way. It did. I took another picture, then it flew down from the van roof to the blacktop of the parking lot. Still keeping a good distance, I took two more pictures. All of a sudden that falcon came after me...flapping it’s huge wings and digging it’s sharp talons into my pant leg!!!

I screamed! And I stood there screaming and shaking my leg (the one with the bum knee) trying to get this creature to let go of my pants! I was too stunned to run until some woman in a car yelled, “Run, lady, run!” (No, Forrest Gump did NOT come to mind.) So I ran, shaking my leg and it let go. Thinking back on it now, I probably looked like I was running with a loaded diaper!

Thankfully, the falcon’s talons did not get my leg...only my slacks. I stood there once it let go, trying to gather my senses, and as I turned to walk away, I heard my husband calling, “Beth! Look out!”

That blasted falcon had me again!
Same pant leg...and this time it had a more ‘fixed’ hold, flapping it’s wings and holding on. I was running, screaming, shaking my leg and crying all at the same time! It seemed like an eternity that I was running and screaming, but it was probably only about ten or fifteen seconds. I was terrified! Running in circles! Screaming again! Once the falcon let go, I never stopped running and then I began screaming, “Unlock the car! Unlock the car!”

Joe yelled, “What?!?”

“U N L O C K T H E C A R ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !”

I jumped inside the safety of our CRV, shaking and crying. Joe quickly followed me. He kept asking if I was okay. I kept telling him to if that falcon would peck it’s way through the vehicle and come after me again (because Alfred Hitchcock would have wanted it that way).

Five miles’ drive and we were back at our hotel. I will still shaken. My whole body was shaking. I could barely step out of the car. Once inside the safety of our room, I took time to check myself. My leg was unscathed. Then and now I will say, “Thanks be to God!”

My slacks, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well. There were several little holes where the falcon’s talons had been clinging. Brand new slacks! I’d only worn them twice! And they were from my favorite store, C.J. Banks...they had been on sale...and most important of all, they fit my bum really well. And now they have puncture marks.

I guess I should go ahead and wear them, just so I can make interesting conversation.

Or I could just be really cheesy and say they’re my ‘church pants’ because they are ‘holey.’

Alfred Hitchcock never would have closed with a line like that.

Remember...if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!