Photos of Brady

Monday, January 29, 2007


Today was the retirement reception for one of our staff Lieutenants. It was both a happy and sad occasion, as those things usually are. Even those who had retired long past and had worked with this man, struggled to maintain composure. For those of us who have many years to work yet it was sad, as his absence, sense of humor, and wise counsel will be missed. Long after everyone else had gone I sat at my desk and thought about the changes yet another retirement would bring.

When I got home I saw on the news that Barbaro had lost his valiant battle to heal after his tragic accident. A little boy was recovered, though he hadn't survived a fall into a septic tank. The war in Iraq wages on. Though change and loss happen every day it is harder to bear as we age. Things seem to affect us in deeper ways, and our mortality looms more closely.

I suppose each of us present today thought the same thing....Will anyone even come when it is time for my retirement? What will they remember of my contribution? Did my life matter?

Change is the one thing we all fear I suppose, mainly because we seem to have so little control over them. However, in these times we see what we are made of. Rise up like a phoenix from the ashes and stride bravely forward, for the vacuum that is left needs to be filled. Change changes people. Some for the worse, some for the better. I don't know about you, but I am going to opt for the better.

I am leaving for Jefferson City for a couple of days. I will be teaching a course at the Academy and will return Wednesday afternoon. God bless you in my absence, and I will see you when I return....home to my country road.

Until then,



Mom captured this picture of Napoleon this weekend. We can't believe how quickly his tail is growing! Even from just a few weeks ago it is longer and more full. It is amazing to all of us that a peacock just magically appeared one day and has made a life here for two years. It is a wonderful lesson in adaptation and resilience.

We will keep you posted on Napoleon and his adventures.....here on our country road.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, January 26, 2007


My son Jonathan called me yesterday morning after I got to work. He was shouting orders at the same time he was telling me they were packing up to come home. They had accomplished the mission they were given in half the time expected to complete it. I promised to go out for a visit when I got home from work.

Jonathan greeted me at the door when I arrived, and I had a good two hours with them. Brady was in rare form, showing off for me and walking around like a champ. He has almost all of his teeth now, which I almost got full benefit of when I put my finger too close to look at them. We shared potato chips and had a really good conversation about something or other. It seemed important to him. Baby jabber is a little hard to understand, but he was happy.

Jonathan had taken video of the damage and ice where he was sent. It looked unreal to see the fog hanging in trees so laden down with three inches of ice. I can't imagine how long it will take the landscape to recover from this.

Most importantly, I am grateful for your prayers for my son and the hundreds of men who responded in a time of need. His crew was injury free, and the only damage his equipment suffered was a broken glass in the pickup where a limp fell into it.

Enjoy your day and the weekend. I will see you soon....here on my country road.
Until then,


Thursday, January 25, 2007


Good morning from my country road. It is great to be home again! There is simply no place better than your own bed. When we go up for meetings or training, accomodations are made at the academy. While it is wonderful not to have to worry about finding a place to stay, the beds and pillows aren't like home.

My son called yesterday while I was eating lunch to tell me he still has two more weeks away from home. They are making progress trying to get all of the power restored, but he sounds very tired. Sixteen hour days get old quickly.

Everything seemed to operate in the normal mode while I was away. Mom and Rocky took good care of the cats, but who knows if they are happy I am home? Dogs wag their tail but a cat merely gives you a sidelong glance and watches from afar.

Today it is back to work. Things pile up when I am gone, so I have a full IN box I'm sure. Have a good day wherever you are, and I'll see you right back here in the morning.

Until then,


Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Today I am off to Jefferson City. I have a couple of days to help put together the course I will be teaching for the next couple of months. It should be interesting and challenging, but three hours from my little home. I will miss it and all of the critters here, as well as running over to mom and Rocky's house.

Mom is going to take care of Chicky and Chucky while I am gone, and look in on Paddy. I won't have to worry about any of them. I hope you have a good couple of days, and I will write when I get back.

God Bless,


Sunday, January 21, 2007


The weekend came in like a lamb. I enjoyed Friday night pizza and beer at mom and Rocky's house just like we do each Friday we are able. Our power and creature comforts haven't been interrupted like so many other people in the aftermath of the ice storm last week, but while we were eating dinner the weather report came on, placing us in a winter storm advisory.

The weather wasn't supposed to deteriorate until Saturday evening, but in the early afternoon it began to sleet and snow. Things went down hill quickly, so we locked up outside kitties and made sure Napoleon was fed and up to roost. I went home from moms where I had shared a nice lunch with Rocky's son, wife, and newborn baby. They left as soon as it began to sleet, as they had a three hour drive home.

This morning I woke to a frozen wonderland. While beautiful, I held my breath until mid-morning when it began to melt. Fortunately no damage was done. Napoleon couldn't fly down until late morning either. His tail had to be heavy with ice. He never complains, but his top knot feathers were heavy and droopy with ice. Mom made biscuits, gravy, and lots of hot coffee, so I spent the morning with her after Rocky went back to bed.

This afternoon I watched the Saints/Bears game with her, hoping to cheer the Saints on to victory. We sure wanted to give New Orleans something to celebrate. However it wasn't to be. I am home now, snuggled in where it is warm. Paddy is sleeping by my computer, and when I post this and head back in to the couch to watch TV she will follow me there.

We are so blessed that we have power and heat, and hope that soon our other Ozarks residents will also. It has been a long week for them. Jonathan and so many other crews are still out there working to get them the help they need.

And so it goes.....another winter weekend. I hope you are also safe and warm. In the morning I am off to Springfield to the endodontist for my six month checkup from the surgery I had. Time sure flies! I hope you have a great Monday.

Until next time,


Thursday, January 18, 2007


Last night I was happy to get a phone call from my son Jonathan. He wanted me to know where he was working in the efforts to restore power in the aftermath of the ice storms last weekend, and I was able to talk to him for ten minutes.

He told me how devastating the storm had been, describing the conditions and the situation. Words often failed him, but the tone of his voice spoke volumes of the job ahead of all the workers who are helping. Of course he was tired, but he is proud of what they are doing. He told me of how many different states had sent help, and he is working along side of men from as far away as Mississippi and Minnesota. The days are long, sixteen hour shifts worked in bitter cold conditions. As he was telling me how all of the utility poles had buckled under the stress of heavy ice more than three inches thick and that none of the trees had any limbs left I was trying to picture it in my mind. Jonathan has been called out to help in a lot of different storm ravaged areas since he began working for Arkansas Electric, but he said there is nothing to compare to the devastation of this storm.

I told him how proud I am of him and all of the men who are working so hard to help restore power to whole towns who have been without it for almost a week. I know that many times he feels like he hasn't accomplished much with his life, but the skills he has are helping to make a difference now.

Please pray for the thousands of men like Jonathan who are working long hours in brutal conditions. When I asked him if he had any idea when he would be coming home, the answer came quickly. "Not till everyone has power and it is safe for them to go home again, mom." I told him I had been watching for him on the news coverage, to which he laughed. "Believe me, there are no news crews out here where we are."

I pray that God will watch over the workers, keep them in the palm of His hand, help them accomplish their mission, and bring them safely home again to their families.

Until next time,


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Our area has been in a winter storm warning and on the edge of an ice storm disaster since Friday. While we only got enough heavy rain to cause flash flood warnings over the weekend, beginning twenty miles to our north and west the story is quite different. Whole communities and towns are out of power and have been since Friday evening. In the first of three waves of ice, over an inch of ice and sleet fell.

As the temperatures fell steadily through the weekend, conditions deteriorated quickly. We were able to stay abreast of what was going on through the reports on the news, but the pictures resembled a war zone. As the temperatures fell below freezing Sunday afternoon, rain began to fall again. I woke up several times through the night to look out the window, but we still had power and no ice. Sometime during the wee hours of the morning though I began to hear ice hitting the side of the house. I got up before dawn to a thin layer of ice covering everything, but we had escaped the terrible ice storm. According to the news our country was on the edge of it. Thank goodness.

I had a call from my son Jonathan Sunday night. He works for Arkansas Electric and was headed down to pick up his equipment and crew. They had been called out to either Oklahoma or Springfield, Missouri to help with the cleanup in the aftermath of the ice damage. The situation is dire in some areas, having no electricity or water and the temperatures fell below zero last night. I will call this evening to find out where he is working. I will stay busy praying for the hundreds of crews just like his who are helping to restore order and power in the punishing cold. They have a long hard job ahead of them.

I hope that you and your loved ones escaped this winter storm and are safe and warm. I will see you in the morning.....here on my country road.



Friday, January 12, 2007


Patience is a virtue. Since writing about the quiet kindness of my coworker, I decided to just let go of the situation and see what happened. Although my plan may have worked, it would have been me that did it. I wanted guidance, and patience is essential. God doesn't work on our timetable, unfortunately. Taking a page from grandma's book, I quietly went about my business, heaping kindness on the head of the person who created the problem and waited for something to happen.

After having the conversation with the kind man at the office, I came home and shared my burden with mom. She is removed from the situation but knows the personalities involved, so is a valuable sounding board. She also knows my personality and tendencies, and what I am trying to accomplish. Not long after arriving at her house I had a call from one of my supervisors alerting me that my kind man from work had been so troubled by my situation that he had shared it with his boss. His boss just happened to be the husband of the coworker who was the instigator of the whole situation. I am sure that he knew who the problem coworker was, and told his wife upon arriving home. Knowing she had been found out, that I knew about her outburst and what she called me in front of the other workers, the phone lines lit up. She called the supervisor who had alerted me to begin with who told her she had better think about her position and what she had done. It was then I got the phone call from the supervisor, letting me know that the fat was in the fire. Thanking her for the heads up, I sat back and waited.

Yesterday I was approached by the offender, who had spent a terrible week since the initial incident. It always makes me curious what motivates a person to apologize- knowing you are wrong, or knowing you are caught. In any case, I have been shown mercy numerous times in my life, so I accepted the apology with forgiveness.

One man acting out of compassion and kindness brought the situation full circle. I was reminded yet again that God is always watching, taking care of things we are yet to know about. The truth always comes out, and left to Him, every situation resolves perfectly.

What a wonderful way to end the workweek. I hope that you are also surrounded by people who watch your life and find you kind and caring. It is both humbling and a blessing. I feel like my heart has grown tenfold.

Thank you for your wonderful comments and emails.....they touched my heart.....here on my country road.

God bless,


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Sometimes in the middle of a bad day, a stressful situation and disappointment in people can take our eyes off the ball. Though I know who is in charge and trust Him to work out the details I don't always have totally unbiased perspective. Yesterday presented such a challenge.

One of my coworkers gave me a bit of knowledge about a personnel problem I am dealing with. While helpful to know, I was bothered about it. Even with our best intentions, out efforts are mistaken and used against us. In the tenth telling of what happened, even I didn't recognize the tale when it eventually got back to me. Since I often err in judgement myself I decided to just push through the rest of the afternoon and finish the tasks at hand. Often I have more success dealing with something after I have pondered it for a while.

I was sitting at my desk in the late afternoon when a man whose office is across from mine prepared to leave for the day. He had already stepped into the hall when he turned around and approached my desk. Quietly he told me that he couldn't help overhearing the conversation I had with my coworker, and was sad to hear someone had issues with me or my leadership. He told me that I do a good job, am efficient and caring, and that sometimes people transfer frustration they feel in their personal lives to the job. I was momentarily stunned, as he is a quiet man, overlooked and passed by most of the time as he goes about his job. I always speak to him and inquire about his life, knowing he feels left out of the office commaraderie at times. His comments untied the knot in my chest and I thanked him for being kind. I was able to gain a better perspective after he left and my office was quiet.

God often places those in our path who can most effectively help us regain our confidence and remind us that He is always there. I always admire those people who can say more with just a few quiet words or a smile than I can with a whole bucketful. My grandmother Andersen was such a quiet gentle spirit. I always wanted to be more like her, but my personality always gets in the way. I guess I am who I am, but I will keep striving to be more insightful with others.

Today I hope to be that gentle spirit of quiet kindness for someone else.
Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Our little country road has gone through many transitions in the almost thirty-five years I have lived here, not to mention the many years before that we visited grandma and grandpa Andersen here on summer vacations. I have written about this before, and for those of you who are new to my blog am including the post that describes it.....

When I was a child no great thought was given to the country road I now call home except that Grandma and Grandpa lived there. Most summers our family made the six hour drive to Smalltown for a vacation, and many happy days were spent playing and exploring with the neighbor kids that lived across the way.

The road was called Poplar Drive at that time, aptly named for the many poplar trees that lined it. Constructed with the old fashioned crown method, it was covered with black top mixed with small river gravel extracted from the dry creek bed just over the hill where the black top ends and becomes gravel road.Several years later the road was renamed Holloway Drive in honor of a prominent local family that owned much of the land on either side of it.

One Christmas a rare winter tornado traveled down Holloway Drive destroying trees and damaging homes. My Grandparents' home was one of them but luckily they had just arrived in Shawnee to celebrate Christmas with our family and escaped harm. They left the next morning for Smalltown, and when their new mobile home was delivered it was set up on a new piece of land just around a bend in the road. This location offered a dead end , which resulted in less traffic and more peace and quiet.When Grandpa became seriously ill my Mom and Step dad retired and bought a lot just down the road from my Grandparents. Upon my arrival in Smalltown I settled in with my folks which surrounded my daughter and me with the support of family. That country road became our country road as well, and although it's name has been forsaken for several different rural route addresses and ultimately for a county road address assigned by 911, it remains relatively unchanged.

Twenty Nine years ago we lost my Grandfather, and my Grandmother several years after that. Eventually I moved into their little home with my daughter and still make my home there, surrounded by the pine trees that Grandpa planted for Grandma when they moved here forty years ago. Mom and Step dad still live down the road but my daughter is now married and lives on the east coast with her husband. When she comes home for visits we talk and laugh, and we often take a walk together like we used to ....down our country road.
August 13, 2003

Friday on my way from work I ran yet another stop sign. Our neighbor Bob, who lives at the bend in the road, complained to the city council that cars were zipping by his house since our country road was cut through to the business route through town. That resulted in two more stop signs. Now we have a three way stop. This is about as welcome as more taxes. The people who have to stop at the new signs are now angry and if they didn't speed before, they really pour on the coal as they zip by our houses. Chicky is used to laying in the road while she waits for me to come home in the evening. Napoleon strolls down the middle of the road whenever he takes the notion. Someone is going to kill them both because they had to stop at a 3 way stop sign that has no purpose.

They call it progress in most places, but here on my country road we think a quote from Forrest Gump may sum it up best. "Stupid is as stupid does." Sometimes when you try to clean up a problem you just muddy the waters and make it worse. Well folks, that's the latest.....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, January 08, 2007


The saying is, "A funny thing happened on my way to...." (fill in the blank). This weekend those words crossed my mind a dozen times. As usual I had put something up so I wouldn't lose it and lost it. My daughter-in-law Aimee had given me two pictures of Brady taken on his first birthday at the photographer, and since they were also taken a few days before the surgery on his head they were even more special. I wanted to take them and make copies to send to relatives and give to mom and Rocky, and had taken them to work to show off to my friends there. That being said, I had tucked them into a notebook I use for work so they wouldn't get bent. After showing them to all who wanted to see, I put them back into the notebook.

Enter Christmas, the two weeks spent battling the stomach flu and all of the aftermath the holidays create. I moved a ton of boxes, junk mail, and hauled it all down to the road for the trash guys to take. While I was working out of that notebook last week I had a moment of panic. I flipped through the whole thing, not seeing Brady's pictures. So. I didn't get too excited, thinking that I had just taken them home and put them in a safe place until I could get them copied.

Not so. This weekend I looked where I thought I had put them. No surprise that I didn't find them. All day Saturday I tried to retrace my steps and pull the hiding place from the recesses of my brain. Through the night I woke up thinking I had remembered only to be wrong. Since none of the usual places yielded the pictures I decided to go through the mountain of neglected paperwork in my office.

Sunday I spent the whole day going through every scrap of paperwork, and in the process I began to organize it all for the tax accountant. While I didn't find Brady's pictures, my office is now clean and my taxes are ready. Since the weekend was lost anyway, I just spent the evening watching TV. In the middle of the night, I woke out of a sound sleep and remembered that I had taken the pictures out of the notebook and put them into a book I had been reading. I had since removed the book from my briefcase and put it back into the bookcase in my office.

This morning when I got up and came into my office to turn on the computer I went to the bookcase and pulled the book from the shelf. Sure enough, at the back of the book were Brady's two pictures. Safe. And right where I put them. The name of the book? "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff, And It's All Small Stuff."

Life is just too funny.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, January 05, 2007


Last week we had a retirement coffee for our radio chief who had 33 years of service. The picture below is of my friend Pennie and me. I am the one on the right.

This is the first Friday of the New Year! Something more to celebrate as we come into TGIF. Although the week has been a short one, it is good to have a weekend pending. People have been difficult, I suppose the after effects of the holidays. It could also have been the full moon on Wednesday, as that has a direct pull on the natures of folks.

I am going with the other crew today, so I will have a different day. I haven't worked the town I am going to for almost 10 years. Many of the friends I had at the court house will have retired by now, but I am hoping that there is someone I will be able to reconnect with. My mom also worked this station when she was working with us, and there are a couple of gals we always liked to visit with, swap recipes with, and share burdens and joys with. Mom has been retired almost ten years now. I was once the new person, now I am the one with the longest tenure and am now the Chief. Time has a way of changing things. While my thoughts will be of the old days and the guys we worked with, I will also be giving ''air time'' to the new people I lead.
Hopefully your day will be a good one, and you are looking forward to this first Friday and weekend of the new 2007.
Until next time,


Thursday, January 04, 2007


For the past several days I have watched the coverage of President Ford's funeral. What impressed me more than anything else were the many people who commented on his faith, his life as a family man, his life of dedicated public service, and his friendship. His life left a deep and abiding impression on all who knew him.

As is always the case when someone dies, I contemplate my own life. Like many people I wonder if anyone would even attend my funeral. Gerald Ford made his mark by being a good and loyal friend to all people. He stepped into the void left in a dark time of our country's history and led us through. While his actions and decisions didn't please everyone and may have been controversial to many, his reasons were sound. His love of God and country, his friends and family, defined him as a person and will live on into eternity.

It is a good lesson once again what a positive, loving, giving life means to others. As is always the case in the New Year I will endeavor to be a better person, a better listener, and make my life count for something. Only the things that matter will remain.

What are your resolutions, or did anyone make any this year?
Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I spent the first day of the new year trying to make some headway with household chores. After two weeks of sickness and holidays my house looked more like a war zone than the peaceful haven I love. It is a labor of love, and the most selfish thing I do for myself. I like order and being surrounded with the many things I have collected from antique shops and flea markets that make my home unique. It makes me smile, and fills me with a wonderful sense of well being.

Today as I go back to work I feel more settled. I can eat and drink without complications or feeling sick. No more aches and pains from the flu. Life is good. I am sleeping all night again. Mom and Rocky are also on the mend, and my brother George says he is also feeling normal. It is the little things that make life a joy.

As I go into a new year I have no big resolution or agenda. I want to focus on the present and enjoy each day. I am blessed with family and friends who enrich my life. I hope that you do as well, and that you are beginning this new year with similar purpose and joy.

Today our nation mourns a President. My prayers for the Ford family and their loved ones.

Until tomorrow,