Daily Archives: November 16, 2016

Second class?

There are lots of changes going on in our area. Commercial expansion has caused a boom in construction of new homes and that is requiring infrastructure growth. Unfortunately, the changes to our roads are coming after the other projects have begun. So, we have the perfect storm – more people trying to travel on torn up roads, competing with construction equipment and vehicles for the traffic lanes that are available. This situation is giving me lots of time to sit in my vehicle, watching dirt being from here to there and back again. 

To construct more road lanes, trees and bushes are being removed. Some of these trees are old, with massive trunks and high reaching limbs. Before the trees are removed, someone goes along the roadway, putting plastic, yellow ribbons around some of the trunks. I haven’t paid enough attention to the markings to determine if that means those trees are the ones that will be retained or if those are the ones that will be destroyed.

Then, about a week ago, I noticed plastic pink ribbons have been put on some of the tree trunks. I have no idea what that means. Maybe the crew ran out of yellow tape. Or, perhaps there is a new category. Strange. 

I understand being labeled and not sure what that label means. It doesn’t just happen to trees. 

Many years ago, I had my first cross-country first class experience. Trading in frequent flyer points, I had upgraded my coach ticket to first class and I was pumped. The aircraft was a wide body and first class had two aisles; I was in the last row, in the middle section. My seatmate and I settled in for the long flight; he seemed especially happy with sitting in first class. Not long after we got our seatbelts on and had been served our first, free, before takeoff, diet Coke, he whispered to me “this is my first time flying first class.” I laughed and shared my secret. His upgrade to first class was also free, the gift of an airline employee friend.

Neither of us knew what would happen next and so we watched carefully everything that the flight attendants did. After takeoff, they came by with “warm towels.” Now, that doesn’t sound like an exciting event except when you are traveling first class for the first time – it is wonderful! We watched the flight attendants coming down the aisle, offering each person their own warm towel. They served the people in front of us and then the people on the sections to the right and left of us. And, then the flight attendants left. With dirty and cool hands, my neighbor and I looked at each other, silently questioning what was going on. A little while later, our warm towels were delivered and we settled back.

Then it was time for the meal. This flight offered several entre choices. The flight attendants came down the aisle and talked to those in front and to the side of us, marking down their menu selections. But, they did not ask us. My neighbor turned to me and asked “Do we get a meal even if we are on free upgrades?” I was sure that we did, but I commented that perhaps we got whatever was left after the paying customers had made their choices. I figured that “first class leftovers” might not be so bad.

Again, after a few minutes, the flight attendant came back to us and asked for our choices. It seemed that the leftover meals fit our choices. We decided that we had probably just lucked out; by this time, we were pretty sure that everyone in first class knew that we were there only because of free upgrades.

After the meal, warm, chocolate chip cookies were delivered. And, you are right, we were left out. After a bit, a flight attendant came and apologized to us. They had a new crew member who was having some challenges getting the “rhythm” down. She brought a whole tray of warm cookies and offered us as many as we wanted. The rest of the trip was a breeze.

Have you ever felt like the tree with a pink ribbon when all the others have yellow ones? Or, how about thinking that you haven’t earned the right to get warm, first class, chocolate chip cookies? 

During this next week of Thanksgiving, let’s look for the folks who don’t feel like they belong. Make being part of the group easy for them – they will love you for it.  


Jill (just one of God’s kids)


Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)


It’s gonna happen!

Last Sunday, one of the kids who comes to church with me got sick. You know what I mean, the “grab a trash basket now” kind of sick. What a joy! She looked green and I felt bad for her. But, as we walked by other people, wastebasket held high, they got a little green too!

Holidays – some year, somewhere, some time, somebody’s gonna’ puke. It’s just part of life. 

I’ll never forget one Saturday morning in December when were were kids. We were headed to our little church later that morning to practice for our “Christmas Program.” These were the days were nearly every child was required to memorize and recite a little rhyming poem about the Christmas story. Those poems were impossible for me to learn. 

I had worked on my “part” as had my siblings. Early that Saturday morning several of us piled into my folks’ bed as Mom started practicing our poems with us. (Funny that this is the only time that I remember doing this. It’s weird what sticks in our memories!)

Anyway, one of the sibs wasn’t excited about the day’s plan. One of my parents asked them “Are you feeling all right?” The answer came back, “No, my stomach hurts.” This was the beginning of the tragedy. 

The medical examination by parent of child began. Carefully touching the child’s abdomen, a question was posed, “Do you hurt here?” “No.” “Here?” “No.” And then, they went one question too far…”Here?” Yep, the rest of us kids were jumping out of the bed as fast was we could go…a flood had begun!  

Probably the most famous holiday “eruption” took place in our camper and involved my brother and me. The camper fit onto a truck. A bed section was over the cab with the rest of the camper sitting on the truck bed and extending out a little farther. The glass pane window had been removed from the back of the truck and a rubber “boot” connected the truck and camper, creating an open “window” between camper and truck. 

My brother and I were in the camper as were our other sibs. He was on the bed overhead. When we rode up there, we like to lay in our stomachs and watch the road ahead. 

I was also lying on my stomach. But, I was resting at the edge of the boot, watching the road ahead and talking with the people in the truck. 

It took only a second for my brother to turn around, stick his head out over me, shout “I’m not feeling well” and start showering my nearly waist-long hair with nastiness. I screamed, having not expected this “rain.” Our other siblings starting howling with laughter when my brother shouted, “Never mind, I’m ok now.” That was the day I learned to wash my own hair. 

Bottom line – some holiday it is going to happen. Sorry, but that is the truth. It’s called family!  

Even Jesus had a rough time from time to time with family. I love this passage from Mark (3:20-21).  “Then he (Jesus) went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.””  

Yep, his siblings were ready to call Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, crazy.

Family dynamics can be interesting. Sometimes we are puking on each other and other times we are calling each other crazy. You just can’t anticipate it. 

My advice? Try not to burn any bridges. You or someone else will mess up sometime – we all do. Grab the closet trash can, quit poking them in the stomach, learn how to wash your own hair and brush up your sense of humor!


Jill (just one of God’s kids)