Thursday, November 26, 2009

If You Get an Outfit, You Can Be a "Sistah" Too

In many of my blogs I refer to my "sistahs". I am often asked, "How many sisters do you have?" My answer, "It depends on the day." You can be a sistah, too, there are just a few qualifications:

If you wanna be a sistah, you gotta laugh. Your laugh must be loud, long and distinctive. Someone could record all my sistahs' laughs and I can tell one from the other. For example, my laugh, due to my respiratory problems when I laugh I suck in air like a donkey. It sounds like this: heh, heh, heh, heh, heeee-haw, heh, heh, heh, heeee-haw. You must be able to laugh until you cry, pee, spit, or fart. When laughing you must leak something from somewhere.

If you wanna be a sistah, you gotta appreciate sarcasm and wit. When you come to a gathering of the sistahs sharpen your tongue before appearing. The sistahs can be vicious. Above all else, do not take what has been said as personal, even if it is. There shall be no crying at a sistah gathering, unless it is at a sad movie or you are laughing.

If you wanna be a sistah, you gotta like to shop. You don't have to buy. There are many poor sistahs. You must be able to shop long and hard. As my sistah Peggy would say, "Let's go window shopping 'til the windows get heavy!" When the little sistahs (when I say little I mean skinny) want to go clothes shopping everybody has to go, and everybody must go into the dressing room. If you are a big sistah (when I say big I mean large), when one of the little sistahs asks, "Does this make me look fat?" you must respond, "Oh, no, not at all." Even though you want to wrap your chubby little fingers around her scrawny neck and squeeze until her skinny, well-proportioned legs shake.

If you wanna be a sistah, you gotta be competitive. There is a difference between athletic and competitive. You must want to win at everything: golf, Yahtzee, Scrabble, 10,000, shopping. (Yes, shopping is a competitive activity!) You must want to win whatever is set before you. You may not cheat and you may not be a poor sport, but you may jeer and make fun of others.

If you wanna be a sistah, you gotta get crazy. You must be ready for anything at any time. I am not very good at this part, but I am an original sistah, so they have to keep. I am usually the one that is saying, "Shhh, we don't have to sing, 'If you Like Pina Coladas', so loudly." or "You get down from that table and YOU get out of that tree!" or "No, really, we don't need to jump in the lake naked." or "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye." The sistahs have participated in some wild activities.

If you wanna be a sistah, you gotta find the finer points in men. Anyone can man bash, it takes extraordinary skills to point out the finer points. And I don't mean, "Ooooo, did you see those Wranglers that just walked by?" You must state the good wholesome qualities that we know all men possess, but some people can't see.

The sistah hood is not an exclusive group. We don't have a secret handdshake, but if you want to make one up . . . . We don't have an "our song", but if you want to write one . . . . . We don't have special shirts, but if you want to design one . . . . . Join us. Anyone can come to a gathering even a brothah can be a sistah. My sistah hood moments have been some of the best experiences of my life.

Paco's Perspective

You make me wear many crazy outfits. Oh, brother, I think I AM a sistah.

The Flip Side

I love to play dress up! Brother Paco's outfits are cool. Hey, I think I am a sistah. I am going to start thinking up a handshake and a little ditty, today

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


  • the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another
  • the effect or influence of one person, thing, or action on another
This word has had a major effect on my life. Both definitions have been a part of my life. I have felt the impact of a crash. My foremost goal throughout my teaching career has been to make an impact.

  • the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another

I was in a horrific car accident in 1998. Thank God it only involved me and a pole. I was very ill at the time and I was on my way to have blood drawn. I passed out while driving and hit a curb. The impact from hitting the curb flung my body forward and I apparently pushed the gas pedal to the metal. I went flying through an intersection at 50 mph where I was stopped by a light pole.
At impact I slid out of my wheelchair, under the seat belt and came to a stop under the dash. I broke both hips, both tibiae, both fibulae, and my left ankle.

Surgery could not be performed immediately because I was so dehydrated. When surgery was eventually performed I had a near death experience, and almost passed. The thing that kept me on this earth was I heard the doctor shout, "Cathy, you have to stay with me!" I am a rule follower and I do what I am told, so I stayed, even though my father and brother were standing in a bright light at the end of a long hallway waiting for me. My brother and I fought like cats and dogs when he was alive, so that could have been another deterrent.

After surgery I was left with screws in both hips, four screws in each knee, rods in both tibiae, and an ankle that was never repaired. A day has not gone by that I am not in pain, fortunately for me, at this time the pain is not so intense as those first years after the accident. I spent two weeks in the hospital, six weeks in rehab, and another eight weeks at home before going back to teaching. I got bedsores in the hospital. I was on the "there-isn't-much-we-can-do-for-these-people" wing in rehab.

My life is now divided by pre-accident and post accident. Pre-accident I was a daredevil. Even though, I was in a wheelchair I would try anything. I had been river rafting, motorcycle riding, hot air ballooning, riding in a glider plane, and if someone would have asked me to go bungee jumping or hang gliding I would have without a thought. Pre-accident I drove everywhere and anywhere. Pre-accident I worked out at the gym three days a week at least an hour a day, and I was game for anything.

  • the effect or influence of one person, thing, or action on another
Post accident I became a wimp! I am afraid to do anything for fear that it might hurt. I no longer drive. I tried to get back behind the wheel and I couldn't do it; I cried the entire time I was driving the van. To this day, I don't even like being a passenger in a van. I don't work out. I don't seek adventure. I am a bonafide scaredy cat!

  • the effect or influence of one person, thing, or action on another
As a teacher and as a human being my goal is to have an impact on others. I believe that we are on this planet to teach and learn lessons, not math lessons, but life lessons. I have always wanted my students to leave my classroom with an abundance of knowledge. But, most important, I have wanted them to leave with a respect for themselves and others, a kind caring attitude, and with an understanding that believing is achieving.

I have taught for thirty years and I can't calculate the number of students I have come in contact with and, sadly, I only know a few that I have had an impact on. Those few have sent me a letter, or contacted me through Facebook. The letters written are my most cherished possessions. I hang them on the wall in my office and one I carry with me in my purse. I hope I have made a greater impact on more than just a few.

I would like to give a shout out to all those who have made and impact on my life: My parents who always believed in me. My "sistahs" who have taken turns being my caretaker and never viewed me as a burden even though I view myself as one. My friends who have been there when my family couldn't be there for me. My students, who over the years have taught me more than I could possibly have taught them. You have all made an impact on my life and there are no words that can express my appreciation and love for you.

Take time to let people know what an impact they have had on you. Give some a shout out. Write a letter to a teacher, mentor, minister, loved one, or friend. Give someone an extra long hug or handshake. Say thank you.

  • the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another
  • the effect or influence of one person, thing, or action on another

Paco's Perspective

This is way too serious of a subject for me. I don't like mushy gushy stuff.

The Flip Side

I don't like big words. Also, I don't like that dog you call Reflection. He stares at me and mocks me all day long.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It Was A "Bear" Necessity

My sister's place in Montana is near the town of Bigfork and near Flathead Lake. The yard is a shortcut to the lake for the animals in the area. They come down off the mountain across the road, walk through the yard and walk down a steep hill at the back of the property to the lake. This migration to and from the lake takes place in the early morning and evening.

Caren and I are those horrible "out of towners" that put out seeds for the wild turkeys and grain for the deer. We also put out hummingbird feeders that the hummingbirds empty once a day. We know we are not suppose to feed the animals, but it makes for great wildlife watching for me since I can't hike through the woods to find them in their natural state.

One summer a friend and her family visited. Her youngest son, Seth, loved Monatana and especially loved waiting for the animals to come and feed. Seth has tendency to become obsessed with things. When he was a toddler he loved basketballs and carried one with him wherever he went. he learned to dribble at the same time he learned to walk. He dribbled that basketball everywhere he went. He slept with the ball. We were sure that he was going to grow up and be a famous basketball player, and then he just stopped. Seth stopped carrying a basketball, and he stopped dribbling. He was done with that obsession. Throughout his life, Seth started and stopped new obsessions frequently. That particular summer Seth's obsession was bears. His room was decorated in bears. His bathroom was decorated in bears. He was sure that when he grew up he was going to become a forest ranger, and spend his days observing bears.

One warm evening Seth and I were in the backyard. I was reading a book and he was sitting on the grass waiting for the wildlife to take their shortcut home from the lake and stop for a snack. Seth looked up at me as said, "You know, Favorite Aunt Cathy, I really want to see a bear."

"Oh, hate to burst your bubble, Buddy, but we are too close to town to see any bears. I have only seen bears in Glacier Park and that was a rare sight," I replied.

"I have wanted to see a bear all my life!" He was eight.

"Your entire life?" I questioned. "All eight years, you have wanted to see a bear?"

"Well, not all eight years, but, FAC, it is necessary that I see a bear!" he whined.

"So, what you are saying is that you have a bear necessity. A simple bear necessity." I chortled. He was eight. He was unfamiliar with The Jungle Book. Therefore, there was no one to laugh uproariously at my great joke.

As Seth looked at me with bewilderment, at that a moment a BEAR walked into the yard. A-real-live-we-live-too-close-to-town-so-it-will-never-happen-BEAR. It was a baby black bear. The three of us frozen in place just stared at each other slack jawed. The bear was just as surprised to see humans as we were to see a bear, so he turned tail and ran.

Seth ran into the house to tell Caren, Darrell and his sister that he just saw a bear. They treated him like the boy who cried wolf, and told him had to stop saying that he saw a bear. As he was emphatically tried to convince Caren, Darrell, and Larissa of his bear sighting, his mom and dad came into the house and said, "Hey, as we were driving up the drive we saw a baby bear!"

Seth looked at Caren, Darrell and Larissa nonchalantly and said, "I told you so."

Caren sprinted to the door flung open the screen and shouted, "Cathy, BEAR! Get in here!"

"Aw, it was just a baby bear," I said

"Where there is a baby bear there is a mama bear!"

"OH!" I replied with my mouth hanging open. I left skid marks on the porch as I made my way inside.

Paco's Perspective

The only bear I have seen in Montana is Caren's dog, Osa. I like her, if you know what I mean?

The Flip Side

What is a Montana? Who is Osa? The only bear I have seen is the one Paco and I fight over. That bossy dog with the accent thinks all the toys are his.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

In 1996 I was a runner up for Arizona Teacher of the Year. (In 1989 I was a runner up for Miss Wheelchair Arizona - always a bridesmaid) As a runner up I spent a lot of time traveling throughout the state giving motivational speeches to teachers. One such occasion was at the Littleton School District, and right before it was time for me to go on the assistant superintendent walked up to me and said, "I can't wait to hear your wise words of wisdom."

"Wise words of wisdom? Wisdom?" I thought. "Mmmmmmm, what would be my wisest words of wisdom?" At that moment, I quickly reformulated my speech in my mind and decided to start with my wisest words of wisdom, if I could only think of what they were!

In order to kill some time, I told the group the conversation I had with the assistant superintendent and how befuddled I was to think of my wisest words of wisdom. "After spending some frantic moments over there thinking about it, I know what those words are. Get ready, here they come, my wisest words of wisdom: 'How tight your pants are affects your mood for the rest of the day!'" They laughed hysterically and I proceeded to tell them why. It turned out to be a great opener for all my future speeches.

Thinking of this reminded me of another tight pants adventure. This was a pre-accident adventure. I measure my life pre and post accident. In 1998 I was in a severe car versus pole accident where I broke all my bones from the waist down except my right ankle. Prior to that accident I had not really experienced pain, so even though I was in a wheelchair I was quite a daredevil and would try anything. I was not acquainted with pain. Post accident, I met Pain and as Junie B. Jones would say, "I not liking that guy!" There has never been a day that has gone by that I am not in pain. But, I digress.

I was at a conference and I met someone that owned a river rafting company that rafted the Salt River. I was talking to her about her company and she invited me to participate in a rafting adventure. I organized a group of friends and colleagues to raft the Salt River. This was going to be an all day adventure which meant that I was going to have to go at least fourteen hours without going to the bathroom because there are no Cathy handicapped accessible bathrooms in the world, except those at home. Going fourteen hours without going to the bathroom around all that water was an adventure in itself, just one of many that day.

When going on a rafting trip one needs to stay dry. That dryness is accomplished with a wet suit. If you have tried to put pantyhose on a crippled kid, you would say absolutely not to a wet suit. It would be like putting stockings on a noodle. My friends that were attending the trip insisted that I had to stay dry someway. The P.E. teacher at my school had a rubber jogging suit that she used for racing in the rain, and she loaned it to me.

I am a big girl. I have always been a big girl. Even post accident when I lost a tremendous amount of weight and I was at my skinniest, in my mind, I was still a big girl. The person I borrowed the rubber jogging suit was NOT. What was I thinking? Let me tell you what I was thinking . . . . jogging suit, probably over sized, rubber stretches, it will be okay if it is two sizes too small. Let me repeat myself, what was I thinking?!

With the help of my caretaker, we stuffed this noodle in that itty, bitty, teeny, tiny, nonstretching, rubber suit. My friend, Don, who happens to be a huge bodybuilder came by to pick me up, literally, I asked him to come so he could tote me everywhere. He looked at the pained expression on my face and said, "You don't look well. Are you okay?"

"I am okay," I snapped, "let's just go."

It is a long drive to the bottom of the Salt River Canyon. As I sat quietly in the truck with a look of constipation on my face with a fake smile, these words were going through my head, "What was I thinking?" Unlike other people who could admit their stupidity and say, "Don, pull into this Wal-Mart. I gotta get something more comfortable to wear." I couldn't do that. Well, I could admit my stupidity, I do that quite often, but I couldn't change my clothes on my own. I was stuck or a better yet, STUFFED.

So I continued to put on a fictitious happy face as I greeted my friends. I tried not to be grumpy, but it is hard when your pants are so tight. Prior to getting in the raft there is a meeting where a river rat lists the Don'ts, Watch outs, And Whatever You Do Don'ts! At that time I started to have some second thoughts, "What was I thinking?"

I looked my dear friend, Don, directly in the eye and I confessed, "Okay, listen up, Big Guy! I am going to fall out of the raft, and you are going to jump in and save me. You WILL jump in and save me. You will pull my body ashore, and it will appear that I have stopped breathing, and you will think I have drown. Before you pull the blanket over my head and pronounce me dead, cut these damn pants off of me. They are way too tight and they will be the reason I am unable to breathe!"

Don reared his head back like a stallion and laughed, "I knew there was a reason you were grumpy." He kissed me on the cheek and continued to say, " I am NOT going to let you fall out of the raft." I didn't fall out of the raft, but a couple of my friends fell out of their raft. Don and I made it to the end of the trip without much incident. Much to my surprise, the true adventure was just about to begin.

When one is done with a rafting trip, one has to get back to their vehicle. This company used old school buses. The bus that carried people was overstuffed and there wasn't enough room for Don and me. I was already stuffed in those pants I didn't really want to be stuffed in the bus. We "got to" ride in the bus that was converted to carry all the rafts back to the beginning of the trip.

The bus driver was the river rat, Wiley (Coyote), the bus was built by the Acme Corporation. There were only two seats, and that was counting the bus driver's seat. The rest of the seats were removed to make room for the rafts as was the roof of the bus. The road traveled was a bumpy, winding, narrow, dirt road flanked by a mountain on one side and a deep canyon on the other. When two cars met on this road, the car on the mountain side had to drive up on the mountain a bit in order for the other car to pass. As Wiley was driving down the bumpy, winding, narrow dirt road he howled, "Man, I hope we don't meet any cars on the way back cuz the brakes on this bus aren't very good."

I was bouncing around the seat of an old converted school bus with poor brakes driving a narrow dirt road on the canyon side with a bus driver named Wiley Coyote. What was I thinking? And then I heard Wiley say, "Ah, shit."

My eyes had been closed the entire time, Don was holding on to me keeping me from bouncing off the seat and out the bus. I squealed, "What is wrong?"

Don replied with some hesitancy in his voice, "Uhhh, there is a car coming."

My eyes shot open and were as wide as an owl searching for its prey. I saw Wiley with his foot on the brake all the way to the floor, and he was pulling back on the steering wheel like he was "whoa"ing a horse. I looked Don straight in the eye while Wiley was frantically blowing the bus horn and said, "Listen up, Big Guy. When we crash and I am thrown from this bus into that canyon. You will come and rescue me. Come Hell or high water you WILL come and rescue me. When you drag my body out of that canyon and pull it up onto this road, before you pull the blanket over my head cut these damn pants off of me. I don't want to die in a pair of pants that are two sizes too small."

The driver of the on coming car drove up the side of the mountain as far as was possible. We squeaked by the car without scraping metal. The Coyote with an adrenalin flushed face looked back at us, sneered and said, "Wow, that was close!" What was I thinking?

Fourteen hours after we left my home we returned. As Don was putting me in my wheelchair, I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Listen up, Big Guy!"

He interrupted, "I know, I know, cut the damn pants off."

"No, I wanted to say thanks. Now, that it is all over and we are alive, I wanted you to know that was the best adventure ever! And I gotta go! I mean that literally!"

Don always believed that I could do anything. He was always willing to be the muscle I needed to participate in amazing adventures. Post accident, Don decided he didn't want to spend time with me anymore, and stubborn me decided NOT to try to find out why he felt that way. As I replay the many adventures I had with Don only one thought comes to mind, "What was I thinking?"

Paco's Perspective

What was I tinking? Letting you bring another mutt into the mix. The leetle one is always asking me questions, and I have to share my bed, toys, food and snacks. I refuse to let the leetle one share my ice cream! What were you tinking?

The Flip Side

I am knew at this. Adventure? You want adventure? Try being lost, scared, hungry and dodging those big machines on wheels! That older dog with the accent is very bossy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

I have looked the word friend up in the dictionary to find all the forms of the word. There is: friend, friendly, friendlier, friendliest, and unfriendly. Friend is a noun and an adjective but unlike love it is not a verb. You cannot friend someone, therefore, you cannot defriend someone.

There is a reason that friend is not a verb because once one becomes a friend there is no turning back. A spouse can be divorced, but a friend cannot be unfriended. Remember that friend in high school? The one that stole your only true love? That you were sure you hated? Some years later you run into them at the mall, you have a "friendly" conversation, and later the person with you asks, "Who was that?" You reply, "Just an old friend."

You DON'T reply, "Her? Oh, we were once best friends, but she stole my one true love, and I have hated her ever since. I defriended her back in high school!"

I have a friend, Colleen, that I team taught with for many years. I have always said that one needs to choose a team teacher as carefully as they choose a husband or even more carefully, as carefully as they choose a friend. Colleen and I worked well together because we were and still are such good friends. Don't get me wrong we had some doozies of fights. We fought over students, philosophies, and much more. The arguments were usually resolved, and the ones that weren't we overlooked and went on. A few years ago, Colleen moved to Arkansas. When someone would ask if I was planning on team teaching with someone else, I would look at them like they just asked a recent divorcee if she were going to remarry and say emphatically, "No!"

The only intelligent thing I have heard Dr. Phil say is "There needs to be a hero in every relationship." I think Colleen was the hero in our relationship. She overlooked a lot of offenses. If you talked to Colleen, she might say that I had my hero moments. I try to be the hero in my relationships. I am usually the first to apologize or quick shut up.

I recently insulted a dear friend (No, not Cathy-open-mouth-insert-foot-Cunningham). In the process of trying to apologize, I insulted them again (No, not Cathy-open-mouth-insert-other-foot-Cunningham). I have officially been defriended. It wasn't one of those things where someone doesn't call as often, or you just kind of stop doing things together, or their posts on Facebook mysteriously disappear, nope, I was told that this person is no longer comfortable calling me friend. That was it! So long! Adios! Bye-bye! Which is bad for me for many reasons, one being I don't have that many friends.

I am not writing this to try to apologize, poorly, one more time. The friend I insulted isn't a follower. I just want to remind people to "be the hero"! Don't forget to remind someone how much you love them or how important they are to you. Don't forget to bring flowers home everyone once in a while for no reason. Know when to shut up. Say thank you. Be the first to say I am sorry. Remember to forgive and forget.

Paco's Perspective

Hmmmmm, and you wonder why I don't like you.

The Flip Side

I like the treats. I like my bed. I like that lady that rolls on the floor with me.I am starting to like that bossy dog with the accent. I didn't like the shots, and you ran over my foot today. We can't be friends, yet.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stand Up For Wrangler Butts

In my younger days I have spent many hours in country western bars. My father taught my sister, Caren, to dance. Caren is very competitive, so she has to be the best at everything this includes dancing. Well, to become the best one must practice, therefore I have spent a tremendous amount of time in country bars watching Caren dance.

If one went to a country western bar, one needed to be mindful of the "uniform":Men-tight Wrangler jeans, roper boots,shirts tucked in, belt buckle the size of a dinner plate.(The size of the buckle, the size of one's hand and so forth) Women-tight Rockies, ropers, shirts tucked in, belt buckle much smaller than men's belt buckles. If one chose not to wear the uniform, one was open to ridicule.

Because I am in a wheelchair, I am at a certain eye level that emphasizes my ability to view the Wrangler butt. I appreciate the Wrangler butt. A pair of tight Wranglers can even make a buttless man have a butt. Over the years, I became quite an aficionado of the "Wrangler butt".

It has been a long time since I have been to a country western bar. When I stopped driving I stopped going places. I stopped driving twelve years ago which stopped my pleasurable journeys to The Land of the Wrangler Butts! I had to give up a lot of things when I stopped driving, but I think the loss of observation cycle of the Wrangler butt was one of the top ten losses.

I was asked to go to a country western bar with some friends the other evening. I was looking forward to parking myself in my "regular" viewing spot; next to the dance floor where many a butt passes by throughout the evening. Much to my chagrin there were very few Wrangler butts! Oh, there were butts, but not Wrangler butts, and very few people were following the uniform code! Baggie jeans and flipflops?! Shorts! Untucked shirts and tennies?! Who let this happen and why?

Ladies, we must take a stand! There is nothing attractive about baggie jeans. The buttcrack and underwear view is very offensive. Ladies, stand up for your right to see a cute arse in a pair of tight jeans. Ladies, step outside and shout, "We're not gonna take it! We're not gonna take it! We're not gonna take it any more!" Okay sing it, if you want. Stand Up for Wrangler Butts!

Paco's Perspective

You have made me wear some really ridiculous stuff, but never a pair of tight Wrangler jeans. I could be jor leetle vaquero!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hide-and-Go-Seek Mishap

I have a tendency to get in some tricky predicaments with my wheelchair. Sometimes I don't realize what my chair can't do, or I'll forget I am in my chair. For example, I have bent over to fix my shoe while still driving and rammed my head in a wall. I think my wheelchair can fit in and go places it can't. For example, I have been on hiking trails that have signs posted that say, "Not suitable for wheelchairs", and the sign makers are right they aren't. Another time I got stuck while playing hide-and-go-seek. I am embarrassed to say it didn't happen when I was a young child. This summer I got stuck while playing hide-and-go-seek, even more embarrassing, I was playing with Paco.

When I am in Montana with Caren we usually go everywhere together, I even "walk" the golf course with her every day. When I do stay home alone I usually stay outside. I don't like to stay in the house alone because if anything happened I wouldn't be able to open the door. If I could open the door, I couldn't get off the porch. I don't mind staying outside; that is where I spend most of my days in Montana. I chase the sun around the house and read books.

One day Caren and her husband, Darrell, went golfing at a course that I can't "walk". It has too many hills and no cart path. I decided to stay home. I made sure I had a pile of books to keep me busy, and I had them leave the garage open, so I could get out of the rain. In Montana storms build, burst, and blow over within minutes. It takes about four hours to play eighteen holes of golf, so I had to keep myself occupied about five hours.

Eventually, I got bored with reading. Paco was being weird barking at everything. My sentry was "on guard", so he had to let everything that moves know that he was in charge and ready to attack anytime. I noticed that when he went off to bark at something he would stop barking if he couldn't see me, and look for me. I wanted him to stop barking, so whenever he would start to bark I would move out of his line of sight, and he would look for me. Well, one thing led to another, and I was playing hide-and-go-seek with my dog. I, a fifty-three year old, fairly intelligent woman was playing hide-and-go-seek with a dog!

Paco knew all my hiding places: the garage, behind the boat in the garage, behind the woodshed, behind the car, around the corner of the house. It was time to find a new place. Darrell has a small red trailer that he usually stores in the garage, except when Caren and I am there during the summer. At that time he stores it off to the far left of the driveway. I decided it would be a great place to hide.

Paco ran across the property to bark at the wind, and I went to my "new and improved" hiding place. I haven't spent a lot of time in that area of the driveway, so I didn't know that the gravel was loose and deep. Paco, after checking all the regular places found me rather quickly. I proceeded to move from behind the trailer and my wheelchair like a car in soft mud sunk into the soft gravel. I continued to try to work my way out, and I continued to dig my chair deeper into the rocks.

It was about time for Caren and Darrell to come home, so I thought I would just wait for them. That would have been fine, if my chair hadn't started tipping to the left in my last attempt to free myself. The trailer was parked on the edge of the driveway, directly next to a eighty degree drop into a ravine filled with bushes, fallen logs, spiders, snakes, mice, and many other creepy crawly things just waiting to attack. If I went over the edge I would tumble into the ravine never to be found again, I was sure, and besides it would hurt.

There I was teetering dangerously on the edge of a precipice and a storm was rolling toward me. I decided to call Caren and Darrell and check on their arrival.

"Ummmmmmmmm, Caren when do you think you will be home?" I asked nonchalantly.

"We just got done golfing. We had to wait for the storm to blow over. Right now Darrell just went into Home Depot," she replied.

"Oh, God, not Home Depot!" I thought.

"Why do you want to know?" she inquired.

"Well...... I am kinda stuck," I confessed.

"Where are you stuck?" she asked.

"Behind the little red trailer," I sheepishly replied.

"Behind the little red trailer!"raising her voice. "What were doing to be way over there?"

"I was plamabayahideandbobeepwithPababa," I mumbled.

"What? I didn't hear you. Say that again," she demanded.

"I was plamabayahideandbobeepwithPababa," I repeated.

"I don't know what you are saying, but if we leave right now, we still won't be there for about forty-five minutes at least. You are going to have to call Grandma, and ask her to come over and help," she informed me.

Grandma is Darrell's eighty year old mother. She lives about three minutes away, five if the only traffic light in town is red. So, I called Grandma and she came to my rescue. Paco led her directly to me. Grandma might be on in years, but she is made of good, strong, farm stock. She got me out of there with some work. After I was safely away from the dangerous precipice, she asked, "What were you doing to get stuck?"

I dipped my head and quietly confessed my stupidity, "I was playing hide-and-go-seek with Paco."

She squinted her eyes, titlted her head to one side, smirked and replied, "Oh, don't you just hate it when the dog finds all your good hiding places?"

Paco's Perspective

I am the king, I am the king, I am the hide-and-go-seek king. You think I didn't see you when I went to bark at the deadly intruders.