Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I bought my favorite candies for the little Trick or Treaters (+1) and I am doing OK.

I do not believe in ghosts or poltergeists or things that go bump in the night. Nope, not me.  I am sensible and believe there is a reason for everything. Practical Arleen, that is who I am.

There are those moments though.

  -  On a Sunday morning 11 years ago,  I received an IM from a dear friend who had passed away the day before.  Her name popped up on my computer and the message was just 10 numbers. I could not believe my eyes and stared in shock at the screen  I called for my husband to see it and we tried to figure out what we were looking at and what did it mean.  My friend lived alone and there was no one who could get on her account.  There had to be an explanation, but we never came up with one. And the numbers, well, we have never figured a meaning to those either. 

  -  Then there was that incident 12 years ago, shortly after my parents passed away (within 7 months of each other).   My sister  lived in their house and one night, as she lay sleeping, she heard my mother's voice call her name over and over.  It was so loud in her head that it woke her up.  She then heard a noise in the kitchen and quickly ran to it.  A fire had just started in the old heater.  She was able to get it out quickly but had it been a few moments later, it would have been too late. 

  -  My mother would often say that if there was such a thing as reincarnation, she would want to come back as a large bird and fly over all who annoyed her in life and poop on their heads.  After her funeral, the family gathered at her home.  As we all sat out in her garden speaking of memories and times gone by, Hubby came walking from the backyard and yelled that some big dirty bird let it all go on his head.  Funny, I always thought Mom liked him.

I will leave you with this one last tale.

  - A story was told on radio news last week about a British lady who had passed away.  This woman was known to be a phonoholic and so when she was being laid to rest, loved ones put her cellphone in her casket. Her granddaughter, seeking comfort, would, on occasion, send her texts.  One day, she was shocked when she received a reply.  It said, "I am watching over you".  Before you strike up the theme of The Twilight Zone in your head, I will tell you it was not the deceased who came a'calling.  Her batteries were definitely out. What it was is that relatives had closed her account  after her demise and the phone number was put back into circulation. The new owner had received these messages from the distraught survivor and decided to answer, thinking someone was pranking him.  The family was upset, but I do hope they all had a good laugh afterwards.  It certainly gave a lot of people a chuckle, including me.

Voices from beyond?  Nah, they were just computer glitches and coincidences. I do not believe in ghosts or poltergeists or things that go bump in the night.  Nope, not me.  I am sensible and believe there is a reason for everything.  Practical Arleen, that is who I am.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Please Look At The Dot

I should be out raking up leaves, but I am hoping they will eventually blow onto my neighbor's lawn and that will be OK (for me).

Last week, I accompanied hubby to get his once every four years driver's license renewal.  The lines are usually long and one could possibly spend hours sitting in the hard chairs getting hemorrhoids while waiting for their number to come up.  I walked in and was pleasantly surprised at the size of the crowd.  Rather than what I expected, I saw only about 50 or so souls who were totally engrossed in their smart phones. Nobody spoke to each other, because communication is now done by text, not talk.   Everything went along quickly and we were out of there in record time. 

A few years ago, when I first started this blog, I wrote about my experience at the Driving License Center.  It did not involve taking any test, it was just to have my picture taken.   Here is a rerun of that post.

Is this photo OK ma'am?
Every four years you have to renew your driver's license.   This is never a pleasant experience because as much as you hated your last picture, this one will be even worse.  Aging does not usually improve a person's appearance unless, of course, you are under 30. That expression  "you are not getting older, you are getting better" does not include the chin area.  Anyhow, around your birthday you get that letter to report for your latest mug shot which you will be identified by for the next  few years . You try to get there early before the bags under your eyes set in.  However, everybody else has the same plan, so you end up standing up against a wall for an hour or two because seating is limited, and then that look of fatigue takes over your face.  Finally you get called and you are told to sit in this very low chair, look straight ahead at the circle, and snap, the deed is done.  Five minutes later you receive your new, not improved, license to drive.

This was my year to do the deed. I prepared by getting a hair cut, but that didn't turn out well.  I kept up with my moisturizing and used some facial tanning lotion to hide my maturity spots.  I brushed my teeth with super-whitening toothpaste and practiced smiling in front of the mirror.  None of this helped.  My new license picture showed what I looked like, rather than how I saw myself,  but I figure that in four years, I will be more objective and think it was quite flattering.  There are some blessings to failing eyesight.

On another note, while I stood waiting at the DMV to be called for my photo,  I made some observations.  I noticed that most of the younger people were busy on their smart phones texting,  They were probably typing in, "I am getting my driver's license, so it's time to part-tee"  to their 300 friends on Facebook.  Other people waiting included  a man with one leg, a man in a wheelchair, a man on oxygen, quite a few older folks with walkers or canes and people complaining.  My conclusion was that there are probably many cars out there on the bad roads of Pennsylvania being driven by texting teenagers, senior citizens with handicaps and those ticked off and suffering from road rage with their hand outstretched and their finger pointed upward, all following me.

Be careful out there, better yet, take a train.