Snow Days in Tennessee Mood:
chillin' Topic: General
Recently, due to the wonderful technology of Facebook, I have been getting back in contact with some of my high school friends. This post is dedicated to them, but I think all of you will enjoy it. The above picture was taken from our senior year book. I hope there is no copywrite!
I had to laugh today when President Obama made his comments about his girl's school closing because of snow. I had a similar experience when I first moved to TN. First let me tell you about snow in Pennsylvania. I lived in the small town of Clearfield, PA from 2nd grade until I graduated (really I grew up outside of Clearfield in the "Village of Glen Richey", but I'll save that for another post). Winters in PA began in November and lasted until around Easter and sometimes longer. I can remember when it would snow a foot or so, then have a few clear days but not above freezing, then we'd get another layer of snow, then have a few more clear days etc. etc. The snow drifts would sometimes be over my head! Of course that wasn't necessarily very high when you are nine years old, but you get the point. Do you think they ever canceled school? Never! One day I went out to go to school, stepped off of our front porch, and promptly fell down. There was a layer of ice on the sidewalk and no matter what, I couldn't get up. Mom thought I was joking until Grandpa came around the house. We lived on a small farm, and he had been down feeding the pigs. It seems he had fallen and slid all the way down the hill to the pig pen - slop buckets in hand. He promptly said "Get back in the house Tim. You're not going to school today!" Did they cancel school? Nope! Another time our bus had to go down a steep hill on a back country road. We started slipping down the hill until the bus was actually sliding sideways. Thankfully the road was not as wide as the length of the bus and the two ends of the bus got stuck in the opposite snow banks. The bus driver told us to get out and walk home, there was nothing she could do. We found out later that a local farmer came and pulled the bus out with his tractor. That is no joke! That really happened. It would never happen today!
Fast forward, twenty years, to when we first moved to Tennessee. One night it snowed and I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground - what we would have called a "skiff" of snow in PA. After a while I heard the neighbor kids out playing so I went out to ask what was going on. They informed me that school had been called off. After I picked my jaw up off of the ground, I asked one of the parents about it. It seems that it doesn't snow enough in TN to warrant counties buying all of the snow plows, salt trucks and coal trucks that cities up north have. But, that's not all! School was called off for the rest of the week, even after it seemed the snow had all melted. I was told that on some of the back roads it was so shady that there may still be "black ice" and so they couldn't take the risk of allowing busses to drive on them. If PA would have had that same rule, we would have had to go to school all year long, and we'd still be in middle school! Ah, the good old days! I'd love to hear about some of your snow experiences when you were a kid. Write and tell me about them.
Update on "Wamper" ("Taddy's " new name) Topic: General
Wamper's (Joshua renamed him - or is it a her?) new home arrived yesterday and we set it up today. He is now happily swimming, head down and tail up (which means he's healthy), in his new habitat. Joshua is thrilled, John Allen and Jacob are enthralled, and I'm relieved that all is well. He really is see-through! Fascinating! Maybe someday we will get a working digital camera and I'll post a picture. Now Joshua wants more ants for our ant farm (all the others died). Soon we'll have to charge admission to the zoo. Of course you all will get in free!
Old Fashioned Service Mood:
incredulous Topic: General
In this day and age it is hard to find a store or company that will give you old fashioned service. You know, the kind of service where the customer is always right and we will do anything to please the costumer. It seems that businesses these days don't realize that if you treat someone kindly and go the extra mile, then the customer will come back and recommend you to their friends. Recently, I have had to deal with one of those rare companies that treat people with respect and wanted to tell you about them.
I had a gift certificate from Vision Forum, so I ordered a "Grow A Frog" kit for the kids. You order the tadpole "habitat" and within the box is a postcard to send in for your free "see-though" tadpole from the Grow A Frog company. They warn you that it may take a couple of weeks for the tadpole to get here, especially if ordered close to a holiday. They also warn you to tell your postman to deliver it to your door and not leave it in a mailbox. I sent in the postcard right before Thanksgiving. I figured it would take a couple of days to get there, more than a couple of days to process because of the holiday and then a couple of days to get back to us. I mailed it on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and we got back from grandma's house the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. I never dreamed the tadpole would arrive so quickly but low and behold what should be waiting in our mailbox? A poor, frozen, dead tadpole. Thankfully, the kids never saw it and we never told them. I was pleasantly shocked that the company was so prompt and knew that when I reordered that I would have to take that into consideration. They had a guarantee that if the frog arrived dead, they would replace it but I figured this was my fault because we weren't home to receive it and we had never warned the postman.
Well, with the busy holidays right upon us I forgot to call the company to reorder until last week. Joshua asked "Daddy, when is the tadpole going to get here?" and I thought "Oops". So I secretly got on the phone to the Grow a Frog Company. I knew that with the frog's demise being my fault and since it had been nearly two months, I needed to have my check card in hand. Another surprise! Not only were they kind and understanding, but they said they would send another tadpole as soon as the weather permitted.
It arrived alive today! We were so excited. We got the Grow A Frog habitat box out - only to find that Jacob had gotten a hold of it and broken it. Now we had a living "Taddy" and no habitat. Back to the phone with my check card. I explained the situation and asked if we could put our new pet in a canning jar until his new home arrived. They said not to do that and quickly explained what to do and said that they would send out a new habitat tomorrow - FREE OF CHARGE! Talk about being shocked! Those habitats aren't terribly expensive, but they aren't cheap either. I hadn't even ordered the original kit from them! This is definitely a company that cares about it's customers and knows what to do to earn more business. I had to tell you all about it. I know that most of you aren't in the market for a see-through tadpole, but if you ever are, I would recommend this company! You can order this kit through Vision Forum, or through the Grow A Frog website.
I am really trying to not focus on politics on my blog, and this is not meant to be political. However, one of my pet peeves is how our nation's history is being rewritten by liberal revisionists and this article on the first inauguration fits in with that theme. I received it in an email from Wallbuilders. Wallbuilders is an organization who's goal is to remember "America's Religious Heritage". Again, it is rather lengthy, so I will start it off and then leave the link if you are interested and want to finish it.
America's Religious Heritage
As Demonstrated in Presidential Inaugurations
Religious activities at presidential inaugurations have become the target of criticism in recent years, 1 with legal challenges being filed to halt activities as simple as inaugural prayers and the use of "so help me God" in the presidential oath. 2 These critics - evidently based on a deficient education - wrongly believe that the official governmental arena is to be aggressively secular and religion-free. The history of inaugurations provides some of the most authoritative proof of the fallacy of these modern arguments.
In fact, since America's first inauguration in 1789 included seven distinct religious activities, that original inauguration is worthy of review. Every inauguration since 1789 has included numerous of those activities.
The First Inauguration
Constitutional experts abounded at America's first inauguration. Not only was the first inauguree (George Washington) a signer of the Constitution but numerous drafters of the Constitution were serving in the Congress that organized and directed that first inauguration. In fact, just under one fourth of the members of the first Congress had been delegates to the Convention that wrote the Constitution. 3 Furthermore, the identical Congress that directed and oversaw these inaugural activities also penned the First Amendment. Having therefore produced both the Constitution and all of its clauses on religion, they clearly knew what types of religious activities were and were not constitutional. Clearly, then, the religious activities that occurred at the first inauguration may well be said to have the approval and imprimatur of the greatest collection of constitutional experts America has ever known. Therefore, a review of the religious activities acceptable in that first inauguration will provide guidance for citizens in general and critics in particular
Recently I emailed our soon to be outgoing president to thank him for his years of service to our country. As a tribute to him, I would like to share that email with you.
Dear Mr. President,
I realize that with all of the correspondence that you receive, you will probably not read this e-mail, but I had to express my thanks to you for these past eight years.
I watched with tears in my eyes as you gave your farewell address to the nation last Thursday, and have thought much, recently, of your presidency. There has been a lot said of the change that President-electObama will bring to our country, but there are three changes that I pray will not come.
1. I pray that the safety of my family will not change. You and the policies that your administration has brought forth have protected us from another terrorist attack. I hope that does not change with the new administration.
2. I pray that the selflessness of the presidency will not change. You have always done what you have felt was best for our country whether it was popular or not. I pray that our new president will be just as selfless.
3. I pray that the spirituality of the White House will not change. I know that you have sought God daily in your decision making for our country. I pray that the president elect will do the same.
Our soon to be 44th president has been treated almost like a Hollywood celebrity, but one of my heroes will always be our 43rd president. Thank you for always caring for our country first and doing what was best for our country even when it wasn't popular. As you have said, it will be left up to historians to judge your two terms in office, but I feel they will judge it favorably. At least it will be favorable in my book.