Archive for January, 2012

Storm And Fever

Posted: January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s a twister! It’s a twister!”

The 24th of January will be something I will remember for a long time.

They had issues a TORNADO WATCH for my area until the middle of the night today, Wednesday at 5:00 AM. Stating that the brunt of the storms could be severe around 3:00 AM.

As much as this kind of weather fascinates me, being issued for MY AREA in the middle of the night is really bad juju.

What is even worse is that I started feeling bad around Monday evening. But made it until last night before I felt worse and went to bed early, nervous about the storms that were coming in the middle of the night.

Well, NO PROBLEM!! That bad boy woke me right up!! I was up and about around 2:15 AM, and watched the television’s radar for this massive red and orange blob.

About 3:05 AM, I heard the standards noises of a tornado coming and I immediately took cover. My head said “go into the closet”, but my body moved into the bathroom.

I would find out that an actual tornado did strike just a few miles north of me.

I was fine though. I was very safe. No damage to my property, and the tornado did not cause any injuries. Just that homes were damaged.  The tornado was about 50 yards across and on the ground for just a few minutes.

My area ended up with four inches of rain so we are dealing with flash flooding. Although on the other hand and a way of thinking about the rainfall positively, we really needed it. We’ve been in a drought that since October of last year, we’re behind by 19 inches of rainfall. Too bad our total rainfall didn’t do a lot for the drought.

By about 4:30 AM, my body gave out. I had been checking my body temperature and it was really, really high. So today I’ve been drinking like mad on anything I can get my hands on. My sister came by and saved me by bringing me Sprite on her way to work.

I’m so loved.

So then she sent a text message asking if I was feeling better. I told her that I had been drinking so much that I was having a pee party. And this is a very good thing because I now suspect that I am sick with a possible UTI. And that is very dangerous for me, and sometime fatal if nothing gets done about it.

I honestly don’t want to go into the hospital for this. I’m only days away from my birthday and that would really freakin’ suck to spend it there. So I’m drinking, drinking, drinking!!

Then about 9:20 PM, my entire body gave me the scare of the month! Every muscle was trembling and shaking so hard that I couldn’t concentrate on anything BUT my violent shaking. I had to abandon the text message conversation, take some medicine, and lay down until I warmed up again.

I was so cold that my finger tips were turning blue. And it actually hurt to shake or move in the least.

Fourty minutes of this before those meds kicked in and left me with a warm feeling all over. My fever is down considerably. But I am not out of the woods. I’m just glad that I stopped shaking and my fever dropped like a rock from the sky.

I promise that I am not writing this to gain any sympathy. The point of this blog post was that I came close to a tornado– at night. And it intrigued the crap outta me. But, I was sick in the middle of it all.

For those of you that do or want to, keep me in your prayers.

But as far as WordPress is concerned, “I’ll be bawk!!”.


The hockey community is at a loss now. Chaparral Ice is now closed. The building was sold and the new owners do not wish to keep it open as an ice rink. It will be something else.

Everything else is moving over to the one and only remainin ice skating rink in the community. Which means every program for figure skating and hockey will all be cramped up on a schedule at one rink left remaining.

It is personally difficult because that’s where I started my sledge hockey career so many years ago. I played my first game there. Scored my first of many goals on one of the two rinks that it housed. And my sister worked there as well. And now it is gone.

My teammates and I are now at a great concern because we wonder whether or not we will be able to continue the rest of our season with practices and everything else. I was told that they were not going to end the sledge hockey program, but getting ice time is probably going to be very few and far between. And that to me… is sad.

The program still isn’t as widely known across the area and I feel that it has the capability of gaining a lot of support from the local community, but they just don’t know that it is out there.

The game of hockey itself has become more and more popular in the state, but locally it doesn’t seem to have the support that it should have. Again, very sad.

There is the option of doing the program at the Cedar Park Center, but for one: that is a very long drive for several members of the team, and two: much more expensive to get ice time there. So I think that we are kind of stuck with the one sheet of ice as we battle it out to get ice time against the other programs who would normally use the ice.

IF we had the support, then I don’t think or believe that there would be much of a problem.

But it is what it is. The owners sold it, and the new owners want something different. So we carry on without it, and hold all the good memories that each and every one of us had within the building. Many late night practices, adult league games, and other special hockey events.

I guess the only thing that we can really do is hope for the best and see if whether or not we get enough ice time to finish out the rest of the season. Attendance for practices is always slow to start with, but by the end we always pull far ahead with many people in attendance.

The team and I know deep down that we are not a special priority. But we hold our own in some ways. Being at or near the bottom of the barrell though, sucks.

It is a bit of an ironic twist to begin with. Several of the players along with myself go out into the community and we talk and share about sledge hockey. The problems we have had with that, would be the fact that when we find someone who is really curious and interested in it… we never really know when our next practice will come. And now with there only being one rink, we REALLY won’t know for sure until we know for sure. If that makes any sense at all.

It is embarrassing to find someone excited to try it and then have to tell them, “Well, we don’t know when we are going to be on the ice again.”, or “We won’t be on the ice again for a few months.” Summer time is off season and we find ourselves in situations where we find people wanting to know more about it, but then we cannot tell them when to show up or where because we ARE off for the summer.

Therefore I don’t know what the future holds for the team and any remaining ice times or seasons in the future. We’ll have some fundraising events coming in March, but beyond that, we are unsure of when the next time we will be on the ice. Hopefully soon.

Keep your fingers crossed!!!!



'Hi Mom! I'm going to Disneyland!'

“People love coming on television, even if they have to show their miseries.”~ Victoria Abril
I stayed up kind of late last night, and I’m not sure as to why. But it would turn out to be a good idea.
Due to the fact that the NFL Playoffs were on so late and some dumb American Idol special, it caused the late local news to be VERY late news.
Before a commercial break right before the sports segment, I heard the words “sled hockey”, and I turned and looked but missed whatever they were previewing. So I sat there waiting for the news to come back on so that the sports would be shown.
Of course, with the NFL Playoffs and then the news of the death of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, these were some of the more highlighted stories of the broadcast. And I kept yelling at the television, “C’mon already!”. I was just far too anxious to see what I would see.
And then, they brought it to a “local setting”. And that’s when I would see our Paralympic Event being broadcast on television from the Cedar Park Center.
Keep in mind, nobody interviewed me while I was participating, but there was about a half of a second of video footage of me lazily skating across the ice. But they did interview a teammate and our new team leader. Both of which didn’t get a lot of face time either.
And that was my moment of glory for 2012, appearing on television in less than a blink of an eye.
This doesn’t happen to me a lot, but this is also not the first time that I’ve been on television. The moment that I saw myself last night made me think about the other times that I had been on television before when I was much younger.
Many times I’ve been in the background of some video footage as I was last night. But then when I was only eight years old, I did two commercials. It was for a fundraising event to build a wheelchair accessible swimming pool on the grounds of Camp Aldersgate in Arkansas. A summer camp designed for handicapped youth. Something I went to for six days each and every summer until I was nine years old.
The first commercial, I stood in the background with another girl who also had Spina Bifida, just like me. And the gentleman who was in charge of this project spoke. I didn’t say anything, neither did the girl.
But the second commercial, I actually had lines to speak. They attempted to make it sound like I was having a conversation with the girl about the difficulties of going to this camp and having to go completely out of the way on a rented school bus to get to the nearest public swimming pool. Other children that had disabilities more severe than my own, struggled with what seemed like to them, life and death, just to get on board the bus.
I remember when they had asked my parents if I would do it. My father would ask me if I could say words like “therapeutic” and “donation”.
It was kind of difficult because we had to say our lines and be done in 28 seconds. Not one second more, not one second less. Take after take after take before we finally got it right.
I did those two commercials. My family & I caught them on television four times at home. But it was always the commercial that I had the “conversation” with the other girl. Only once did my family catch the FIRST commercial with the gentleman who spoke that was in charge.
I became quite popular in the neighborhood, in school, and anywhere I went. People would recognize me from television. Even my own school principal and the school office staff would make a big deal out of it whenever they would see me. The principal insisting that I give an autograph. Other people wanted my autograph as well. Including the older neighborhood kids. They were kinda proud to say to their friends that they knew the kid in the commercial.
Then my family went to watch my older brother play high school basketball, and I had a crowd of people surrounding me wherever I went. It was fun, but at the same time really scary and creepy.
Shortly after that, I would be there for the groundbreaking ceremony. Myself and my co-star standing there with shovels as dignitaries and local politicians on hand to help in our needs to stabilize our balance on the uneven terrain.
The mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas stood behind me and helped as I kept digging as best I could with a shovel. I can still hear in my head his commands of “PUSH!” and “GRUNT HARDER!”, as he whispered to me that the grunting would help me dig deeper into the ground. The media was there and I ended up on the front page of the newspaper.
Who was I to argue with the mayor? I was always told to respect those who were my elders and those who were in positions of power. So when he said to grunt, I grunted!!!
It would happen again at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Front page news with photograph included.
The swimming pool was built some time later and I was the first person in it. They placed me in a wheelchair and I had scores of parents, politicians, private donators, and members of the local media, as well as the governor of Arkansas at the time, Bill Clinton, in attendance.
A few speeches were made, and there I was cutting this ribbon along side a volunteer who had been a camp counselor ever since I can remember when I would go to the camp during the summer.
The ramp was built in the shallow end of the swimming pool. But as you went further and further down the ramp, the surface of the pool water would rise. First your feet, then up to your knees, then to your waist. But by the time it got past your waist, your body freely and instinctively just floated away from the wheelchair and then VOILA!!– You were swimming.
Being a child, it was a creepy feeling. But then again, the way it worked was a complete and total success. It was the first of its kind I understand today. Probably the first wheelchair accessible swimming pool ever built.
That was probably thirteen out of my fifteen minutes of fame spent. Not bad for an eight year old boy, huh??
I’m tempted to call the television station that recorded the commercials to see if they still have it in their archives. I would love to get a copy of it. The station still exists as it was back then. But I’ve not tried it as of yet.
If they do have it and they send it to me, then perhaps I’ll upload it to YouTube or something.
But since that time, I’ve been in video footage that had been on the news at one point or another. Only one time that I can remember did I actually have an interview with the journalist who was covering a story, but I also remember they edited about 80% of what I had said. I guess for time limitations for the story. I don’t know.
They totally edited out the part where I turned and shouted, “HI MOM!!!” on camera. Sorry bastards..!
However, seeing myself on television last night was kinda cool. Nothing to write home about. But still … kinda cool. I was just at the right place at the right time.

“A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”~ Napoleon Bonaparte
The weekend has proven to have been quite exciting for me. And it isn’t even over yet at this point.
Yesterday I participated in “A Paralympic Experience”. And entire day of playing sledge hockey, which has been my favorite thing to do in the past few years.
I will admit, that I am a bit rusty. I’ve not been on the ice in over two months. But as they say, it’s like riding a bicycle.
There was a very good turnout of people there. Some who have played and others who have not, but were interested. So they split the participants into two groups.
The workout was extremely intense, having to go up against those who obviously either get a lot more practice than I do, or have been playing longer than I have been playing. But with that experience, I think brings me up to a higher level of the game.
Let’s just say that some who have never met me or seen me play, fear me on the ice! Or at least have that respect, more or less.
The day was filled with all sorts of surprises. I’ve met new people and actually ran into a few others that I had not seen in a couple of years. People that I never would have thought I would run into again. Small world, and all of that…
But everyone who was on the ice came to find out the hard way why some of my teammates call me “the scoring machine”. During a drill of shooting at the goal, I was the last one standing. If you missed, you moved to the side. If you made it, you did it again until you missed. I never missed.
When the day was said and done, we had about three hours to kill before most of the participants would come back to watch a hockey game played. And even the game was thrilling as it was tied and had been decided by a shoot out.
But I was a bit disappointed as I had been working hard on the ice, sweating and everything. And I was on the verge of a nonuple date for that hockey game in the evening. I wanted to return home to shower and get dressed up. I mean, it was a date!
That would not happen as the people who had brought me to play refused to go back home. Mainly because they were scared of getting stuck on a toll road. For whatever reason, driving on a toll road for them is the scourge of evil. I don’t get it.
So I settled for a ton of cologne, some new deodorant, and other stink pretty products. It would turn out to be overkill as some unforeseen circumstances caused some people unable to attend the hockey game. But those who did not make it, that date will be made up in March.
Nonuple turned into quadruple. But hey, I’m not going to complain. Especially now that I have made you go look up the definition of “nonuple”.
The most disappointing bit about the weekend is that my transportation fell through the bottom as I was supposed to be on the ice this morning. The puck was going to drop at 8:00 AM. Which meant, I should have arrived no later than 7:30. And the fact that it is a 40 minute drive to where I needed to go. Well, let’s just say that those who were supposed to give me a ride there were not enthusiastic about getting up and going that early in the morning, especially on a Sunday.
It was going to be my debut experience of having officials on the ice, with HUGE functioning scoreboard and ambiance to boot. But because I couldn’t find anyone willing to take me, I had to stay home today. However on the positive side, I got to sleep a little more and rest. Trust me, my back was killing me last night. My back has since calmed down, and now its the rest of my body!
Sacrifice in the name of sport. And I take it every chance I get.
Generally though, with me just coming back from Houston last week and now having this sledge hockey weekend, it’s been crazy busy. Fun, but busy. It helps with the distraction of the minutiae of life. And I cannot wait to get back on the ice. I’ll probably get severely picked on because I didn’t show up today. One of the team members called me “team star”. A nickname I am less crazy about. There’s no “I” in “TEAM”. But sometimes in life, things happen beyond our control. And this did. The team and I will just have to dust off and move on.
Plenty of more opportunities happening in the coming months. And if you know me personally, you know that I am going to be all over that like white on rice.
Stay tuned.


“What did the five fingers say to the face?”~ Dave Chappelle

Yesterday I received a call from someone that I knew so long ago. After about an hour of talking and catching up with one another, she had invited me to return to Kansas to be there to celebrate the renewing of her wedding vows to her husband.

I actually was there when she got married during a small civil ceremony. I was the one that actually walked the bride outside onto the deck where it all took place. Such an honor.

But now they are going to renew their vows this March and of course she knew that I lived so far away, and yet still felt it was important for her to invite me anyway. As they say, it was the thought that counts.

After a while, I called my friends in Kansas to talk about the fact that she had called to invite me. And then the conversation had turned to taking a few moments to remember some memories that my friends and I had. Particularly the day that I met my friend’s wife for the first time. We all agreed that this story is funny, and that I should share it on my blog.

I had been friends with Jeremy for a few years and he kept talking about this woman whom he had dated a while back. They lost touch with one another and he began to wonder about her. But then when Jeremy’s sister was going to be married, he told me that this woman, Weslyon, was going to be in attendance at the wedding. So I shouldn’t panic if he “disappeared” for a while. After all, he was my ride.

I was introduced to Weslyon and she was very smart, quirky, and funny. It would come to be that myself, along with Jeremy and his brother, and Weslyon would all hang out together for the rest of the day into the night and the following day.

I remember thinking that it was really awesome to be able to hang out with people my own age, doing whatever we wanted and having no curfews or anything. Just young adults doing what they pleased.

After the wedding, we strolled around in the Wal-Mart for several hours. I would come to find out very quickly that Weslyon was a bit of a prankster of sorts. Very fast on the comebacks. But once you’ve been had, you’ve been had. Props were to be given to her.

We then went out to eat, and then decided to go to the movies. Now this is where this blog dates the whole situation. We went to go see “Men In Black”.

From right to left, was myself-Jeremy-Weslyon-Jeremy’s brother. The “Awesome Foursome Of Friends”.

In the darkness of the theater during the silly advertisements and trivia questions and movie facts, Jeremy’s brother and I noticed that… Jeremy & Weslyon were holding hands.


Well of course now we had to pick on them. We told them that we were not going to tolerate any hanky-panky during the film. And threatened to separate them if they misbehaved.

But my general comment about it was that they’d find a way to still hold hands even if we sent Jeremy to the back of the theater.

"Nobody saw it coming in the darkness. Everyone was shocked."

In the blink of an eye, I felt an excruciating sharp pain across my collar bone. Weslyon had reached over and slapped me, while reaching across Jeremy’s chest. Jeremy to this day claims he never got touched but felt the wind of her swinging arm go by his face.

There I sat, wondering what just happened. I never saw it coming. Not while sitting in the darkness. She didn’t make a sound! For awhile, we nicknamed her “assassin”.

I didn’t say anything. Nobody said anything. Not until after the movie when Weslyon had began to profusely apologize to me for hitting me like that. I could never figure out until probably close to a year after it had happened as to WHY it happened in the first place.

She had misheard what I had said about Jeremy finding a way to still hold hands with her from way back in the theater. What she thought I had said was far worse and perverted, so she retaliated in her defense.

This is how my friendship with Weslyon had started. With a smack across the collar bone due to a misunderstanding. And we still laugh about it to this day.

I found myself with Jeremy & Weslyon one full year after it had happened. I ended up having this conversation with her from the backseat of their vehicle, talking about how it had been one year since that fateful smack. She again apologized and I told her that in memory of it being one year, and neither one of us were dead from killing one another, I bought her a gift.

“Men In Black” on VHS.

The look on her face was priceless. Jeremy lost it, laughing so hard he began to drool on himself. But then Weslyon and I hugged and she thanked me.

Weslyon still is the Queen of comebacks. I’ve not met anyone her equal. She got me good on the telephone yesterday. I was stunned to the point of being speechless. Yep, she’s still got it!! And honestly I hope she never loses it. Life would be dull if she did.

But now I can say that I understand why they say to be silent during the movie, because you never know when the backhand of death will come flying in your direction in the darkness.

“Failure is not an option.”~ NASA

There are many places in this great country that are attractions which host millions and millions of people from around the world.

I have been to Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. I’ve also been to Plimouth Plantation and Plimouth Harbor which holds The Mayflower in Massachusetts. And I have been to San Antonio, Texas to see The Alamo, twice. And now I have been to a fourth of these world famous places. Johnson Space Center.

I think that I was very fortunate that my host, Keith, works alongside NASA. And he was able to get me onto the property without any problem. And the opportunity to see things people wouldn’t normally see, or learn about NASA’s programs that people wouldn’t normally know.

On a whim, I was taken to Rocket Park. I kept seeing this huge building that had Saturn V on the side. I would learn that the building actually had the rocket inside!

But I would also learn the hard way that Saturn V, the “V” is actually a Roman numeral, and not a letter. No wonder why I would miss perfection on space quizzes in school!!

Rocket Park though had many different rockets that were in the space program a very long time ago. Missions that probably people have long forgotten. But they paved the way for programs such as Gemini, Mercury, and Apollo. And everyone knows that the Apollo program was the first successful program in NASA to put a man on the moon.

It is one thing to see these rockets in photographs or on television. It is a completely different experience to have them right there in your face. Very impressive!!

After going inside the building that holds the Saturn V rocket, I was in pure awe and glory. That rocket is so freakin’ huge!

I kept saying, “If this thing fires off right now, I will be totally obliterated! Not even dust!!”.

I guess then it was a good thing that it didn’t.

Saturn V rocket:

Height 363.0 feet (110.6 m)

Diameter 33.0 feet (10.1 m)

Mass 6,699,000 pounds (3,039,000 kg)

Payload 262,000 pounds (119,000 kg)

And this comes in three stages. So basically it is a three piece puzzle. But still, by those figures- it’s a monster!!

It was definitely something that just blew my mind. And from all that excitement and wonder I blurted out, “I can’t wait to see what they have in the gift shop.”

Ugh… okay, I’m a dork!

But that would have to wait. I would return to Johnson Space Center a couple of days later and end up at Space Center Houston.

It is more of the museum type attraction. The one that usually gets all of its millions and millions of worldwide visitors. If I only knew what was about to be ahead of me, I would have been more excited about going than I actually was.

I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to take a visit to Space Center Houston, but I did the best that I could in the time that I did have.

Almost right away, the decision came to take the tram tour. And then hopefully catch a presentation in one of their IMAX theaters.

The tram tour was an excellent idea. Not only for the knowledge of finding out what they do at Johnson Space Center, and having the additional knowledge of what certain windowless buildings were as told by Keith. But the two people running the tram…… holy smokes. These two girls were SO CUTE!!!!!!

So a 90 minute tour of Mission Control and other important buildings where certain things are on the horizon for NASA, such as the Orion program. Sandwiched by two cute girls. Fun, fun, fun! But it started out with them taking your photograph behind a green screen. Yep, you know what that means!!

My sense of humor came in very handy as I got them to smile. Even laugh when I was trying to exit off the tram to go inside a building with the rest of the tour group, and I had not realized that the straps holding my wheelchair secure, one of them was still attached. Oops!

My only moment to save face was to say, “Well, if I would have broken that, NASA would own me for the next six months!”. Ohh, how they laughed.

I had no problems flirting with them. Besides, it made them both smile more.

The tram tour actually stopped at Rocket Park. And they let everyone off and allow people to just look around as much as they want and leave. Allowing people to be picked up by another tram. But since I had already been there, I stayed aboard. That would work in my favor due to the fact that we were in a bit of a time crunch.

When it was all over and we returned to Space Center Houston, let me tell ya… Keith had my back. He made sure that he got a couple of photographs of me with his own camera, with the girls. I owe that man BIG TIME!

However, all of this talk about them being cute and me flirting with them would come to an abrupt end as I would see them walking around and overhear them talking about things like “boys”, “class”, and “their lockers”. Such deflation.

Once returning inside, everyone was immediately hit up to purchase their photo package. $30- no thanks!

I wondered if anyone who had been there to take the tram tour actually was able to bypass the photo session altogether. I wondered if anyone dared to try.

But I was not in the mood to pay that much for something like that. Onward I carried into the museum attraction again.

Next stop: Gift Shop.

All I am going to say about it are two things:

#1- I am in serious need of adult supervision.

#2- G’bye, $100+!

I think I lost my card to pick on LISAFAYECHARDONNAY for going totally ballistic in Las Vegas because of this.

I then went back out into the main part of the museum. A lot of it was really cool I thought. There was a wall of photographs of ALL the astronauts that had taken flights into space. From the very first flight to the very last mission. Let’s just say the wall is pretty big.

Other things like space suits worn by other famous astronauts were on display. And yes, I even made it into the IMAX theater and watched a program about NASA’s space shuttle program. Difficult to watch about the tragedies of Columbia and Challenger.

I overheard a very retarded and equally insensitive comment from someone saying, “NASA should keep the shuttle program. They just need to stop naming their shuttles starting with the letter C.”

I would hang out in Space Center Houston until closing time. But I left with a few more photograph opportunities.

Houston offers so many things to see and do. I think that you would have to be there for at least a year or two to see everything. And by the end of that time, you’ll have to stay longer because something brand new would have come up. One should never be able to claim that they were bored, while visiting Houston, Texas. Never.






“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”~ Unknown

As I left for Houston over the past several days, I was able to stay with friends in a place called Friendswood.

My gracious hosts, Keith & Sharon, I had known since I was a small child. The last time I had seen them, I was only nine years of age.

But last November when I went to play sledge hockey in the Houston area, they did come up to see me play. It was so long ago that it was truly something of a wonder in my mind that I would actually ever see them again.

And so when they found out that I was wanting to come back in January for the next SIX MINUTE CENTURY show, they had agreed to play host.

So much time had gone by that the last time that I saw them, I only recall them having one child. Now they have five. The youngest being a teenager. Now that’s a long time and I just aged myself.

It was a great time, needless to say. I think that I met all of their children at least once. I actually had an opportunity to arrive on the bus a few hours earlier than previously scheduled but poor Sharon, she was not ready for that kind of thing. I believed that she was kind of in a panic to make sure that the house was cleaned and ready and all of that.

I told her that she was making a mountain out of a mole hill. I even bet her $10 that things would ultimately be okay and that I would have them all laughing their butts off. It didn’t take but midnight that very first day that they were all cracking up. She lost the bet.

It kinda got a little ugly as there were two buses going in the same direction and they just couldn’t figure out which bus I was going to get on, even though my ticket said which one I needed to board.

Once that was decided, then they couldn’t get the doors open to operate the wheelchair lift on the bus. They tried and tried and tried, and even called a few people to figure out what in the world was going on. I figured that it was going to make us late. Yet I found it funny. Grown adults trying to beat up a bus in frustration because they could not get a door open.

Once I got to Friendswood, we all were just fine. Quite busy doing things and different activities to be honest. That following day I spent with Keith taking in the sights. Luckily for me, he works with NASA at the Johnson Space Center. I got to see things that people normally wouldn’t get to see. But I will talk about that more in a future post.

$10 mints left on my pillow

And I did make Sharon pay that bet though. What was so funny was that she was preparing the bed that I was going to sleep on while I was there, and she left the $10 on the pillow, like a hotel chain would leave a mint. HILARIOUS!

I KNEW that I should’ve made it $100. But I think that Keith would have had some objection to that.

So the whole thing about the “mints on the pillow” was a joke throughout my entire visit.

I would find that the bedroom that I was sleeping in, had a television which was hooked up to the cable in the house. Television in HD, baby!! I don’t have that in my home. Neither do I have cable, so I did what I could to take advantage of it all, without trying to seem like I was being anti-social. I watched as much cable as I could and enjoyed cable channels that I didn’t even know existed. I did worry about whether or not they felt that I was being anti-social though.

Keith, Sharon, and myself traded a lot of stories about our past when it was connected. We filled in a few gaps in all of those years with highlights of our lives. And even some of the lower points that we all went through.

Memories galore.

I cannot complain though. They took me into their home willingly and were very welcoming. How can anyone go wrong with that?!? It was awesome to be with them and play sort of “catch up”, as it were.

I am very grateful for their hospitality, even if they were concerned about my comfort. But hell, I was just fine.

I was so busy doing things with the family, or even if it was just Keith and I. It was a GREAT time.

But as always, it had to come to an end. They brought me back to the bus station and I didn’t want to drag out any scene of uncomfortable farewells. I knew that I had cried my eyes out last August while riding on the bus because I just didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to leave this time either. But I wanted to fight the impending tears, avoid the scene.

So as I checked in to the bus terminal, some random man was apprehended and brought into a side office for questioning. I have no idea what the problem was, and evidently from his screaming pleas- he didn’t know either.

I moved on, trying to mind my own business.

Then I got to the security checkpoint. There was this big burly, muscled man with tattoos on both arms.

He asked if I was checking any baggage and I told him that I was not. Then he asked to see my luggage.

Now what I am going to mention here is that I had a bag on the back of my wheelchair. He FAILED to notice it and never checked it.

Anyways, as he was going through my luggage he asked the standard questions:

Do you have anything in there that is going to stick or poke me?

Clearly, no.

And then he asked something that nobody could’ve predicted:

You don’t have any weapons, guns, knives, explosives, inflatable bitches, grenades, or bombs?

What the …???

I told him, “No sir!”. And then he gave me back my luggage and wished me a bon voyage.

When I got away from him far enough– I lost it. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer than I did. I will never forget that for as long as I live.

And when I finally was through the checkpoint, I stepped outside and I noticed that the very same man that was apprehended earlier was back out on the streets. Within seconds, he was screaming and cussing at someone else and just making a total dork of himself. Hmm, and he wonders why they pulled him in??

I was boarded fairly early. And we also arrived about 15-20 minutes ahead of schedule.

But one thing always seems to happen to me whenever I take these trips to Houston. Its that my CD player always seem to have dead batteries before I even leave the official city limits of Houston. It is ridiculous. I think that I am going to have to buy a bunch of batteries and just use them specifically for trips to Houston.

I can’t wait to go back again. And depending on where I am, I might connect with Keith & Sharon again. If I can do it, then I will. They have always been awesome people. They still are. And I thank them profusely for having me stay with them.