30 December 2005

To the driver of the grey Mercedes who passed me in a no passing zone, in the pouring rain on Petaluma Hill Road this afternoon. Let me take a moment to translate my long, unintimidating horn honk: "Why are you passing me? What possible reason could you find to pass me as I slow to avoid running into the turning car in front of me? I really don't have a problem with your freedom to do stupid things, but when you put other people in danger (including me), that makes me angry. So please don't do it." I hope that extra 10 seconds was used wisely when you got to your destination. Besides your driving skills, I'm a little concerned you may be suicidal-You did cut off a bus when you turned left (for a "shortcut" I'm sure) a few minutes later. Please, don't go through with it. Even if it doesn't seem like it at the time, there is so much to live for.

To the PG&E crew in the cherry picker (that's what they're called, right?) working on power lines. Thank You. May God bless you and protect you.

To the hundreds of other cars that drove with me or passed me going the opposite direction. I wish you safe travels. And please don't let the rain make you stupid. I've seen it happen before, I'm sure it will happen again.

To the guy who makes the rain (AKA God). Thank you for providing water to nourish the fields and the animals and us. Please be merciful in this outpouring. Protect the people in the flood plains. Protect all the drivers out there and all the workers required to work in this storm. And as we enter this holiday weekend, PLEASE keep people safe and help us all to make intelligent decisions as we celebrate and travel. Thanks.


the girl in the car with the peeling paint.

28 December 2005

Fallen Soldier

Although I strongly believe that myspace is evil, I have recently (under great duress) become a card-carrying member of the myspace family. I have found that although there are many, many, extraordinarily annoying parts to it, there are some redeeming features that make up my reasons for canceling my unofficial boycott. It seems that half my high school is on myspace and that it does a much better job of keeping alumni connected than Classmates.com ever could (you can’t do anything on classmates without buying a membership). Although some people have 18,000 “friends” that they have never met, I currently have 2 and I am totally ok with that (One is Tom who started myspace and comes automatically with the membership). I hope to use myspace to get back in contact and/or keep up to date with what’s happening in people’s lives. I hereby solemnly promise to avoid posting stupid surveys, quizzes and pointless blogs as I already have a medium for that here on blogspot. Not to mention, myspace templates get very busy and frustrating. I only intend to add friends that I actually know or did know at some point. And for the time being, I don’t even NEED to add them. I’ll add them if they contact me or if I NEED to in order to contact them. I know I have friends. I don’t need myspace to validate me with virtual friends. As for news, I have discovered some classmates who have changed a lot, some classmates who have changed very little and of course those in-betweenies. There are new marriages, new babies, great careers and people (like me) who still live at home with mom and dad (although I’m trying to change that). I’ve read about their travels, some of their trials and also triumphs. It’s hard to believe I graduated 5 YEARS AGO. I was even impressed to find that our Senior Class President is still working hard for our class. She set up a group for our class to stay connected with the hopes of drawing from it for a ten-year reunion (it seems far-off, yet so close).

It was in this group, that I found a post about a classmate of ours that died serving in Iraq. I was shocked. This happened in October. He had been living in Santa Rosa and left behind a wife and a new baby. Josh Kynoch (“Kynoch” as he was referred to in school) had been a member of the wrestling team. And I was the stat-girl (scorekeeper). We weren’t close, but I spent almost all my time every wrestling season with the team—wrestling meets, weekend tournaments, even practices. I was pretty devoted to it and deeply loved the sport and all my “brothers” in the dysfunctional family that was the Casa Grande Wrestling Team. Although I had my fair share of crushes on some of the guys, I’m pretty confident that they simply saw me as “Liz, the stat-girl.” Some of the guys could be mean to me, but I enjoyed the competitive spirit and “took it like a man.” There were some who were truly and genuinely nice to me--Josh was one of them (although I don’t think I ever appreciated him enough at the time). He had a bit of a rough time trying to make it as a wrestler. The first few years were quite grueling, but he was persistent. He never gave up. I can imagine that made him a great soldier. There were many guys who joined the wrestling team (nobody was cut except for grades or behavior), got discouraged and quit. I know Josh had some discouraging times but he never ever quit. He kept trying to be a better wrestler and that was what happened. He learned new skills, he got stronger. In February of 2000 (our senior year), he earned the right to wrestle at the North Coast Section wrestling tournament in Antioch (I’ve been told that our section tournament is more intense and challenging than many state’s tournaments). I am sure he brought the same intensity, drive and passion to serving our country in Iraq. In learning about his death, I felt deep sorrow for his family as well. I met his little sister when she was probably 11. She came and watched his meets and tournaments and eventually became a stat-girl at her high school. His mom watched and cheered for him tirelessly. I remember during one of the snow trips the team (and their families) made every year, she braided my hair on the steps outside the Truckee Veterans Hall. That team was such a blend of all the families involved. I don’t believe I have ever met his wife, Sarah. But I pray that God will grant her peace and comfort, and that she will be able to share with their daughter, Savannah, all of the reasons she loved her daddy. And that she will enjoy every moment of Savannah’s life and treasure each time she sees Josh in Savannah’s eyes or expression or however his legacy lives on. I don’t intend to make any political statement by posting this. I do, however, wish to express my gratitude to those who have put and are currently putting their lives on the line to keep freedom available to us and to bring freedom to people who never had it. Regardless of whether the war in Iraq was necessary or not, our friends, brothers, sisters, parents, children, cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, co-workers, and more are risking their lives daily. And their lives are precious. God, Protect the military personnel (and civilian contractors) all over the world, who are risking their lives. I pray that you would show them beautiful things daily so they would not get overwhelmed by the violence that they see. I pray that YOU would be their guide and comfort. Remind them of all the people who love and support them. Lord, I specifically pray for the Kynoch Family. Grant them love, peace and happiness in this Holiday Season. May Josh’s memory always rest in their hearts, in their photographs and in their memories. Bring them people to be comforters and friends. Guide them down the path you have for them. Bless them immensely. Grant them “mercy, peace and love…in abundance” (Jude v.2). Amen.

I'll see if I can find any pictures of Josh from High School to post.

27 December 2005

I Couldn't Agree More

You Belong in Rome
You're a big city girl with a small town heart which is why you're attracted to the romance of RomeStrolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand and gorgeous Italian men - could life get any better?

Well, except the cappuccino part (I don't drink coffee), I couldn't agree more. I LOVE ROME. Some might even say I HEART ROMA.

25 December 2005

From Jana

Below is an autobigraphical story that Jana gave to me as part of my Christmas present. I present it to you unedited and without comment (except this: Jana Rocks!). Enjoy.

Watch Out, Crime…

Stepping over a Little Debbie Snack Cake wrapper and a discarded pack of Camels, I charge down the hall and stick the key into my mailbox. Peering out at me from the other side is something from Liz. I wind up the staircase, tearing into the envelope between my hands full of keys and cell phone and bus pass. I grin, then laugh out loud at the group of girls from Bible study posed on a fire engine.
Most of the mail that has come to my Turk Street mailbox has been from Liz. But then, I muse, that makes sense, seeing as how she is my best friend. Sending cards to people was typically Liz. Also typically Liz was the idea to make the cards in the first place. “It’s perfect!” she’d explained. We all looked fabulous and were all wearing red and green; a strange coincidence for a fall day.
As I unlocked the double bolt, to my apartment, my thoughts trailed back to that fun day. Liz had invited me weeks beforehand to join her church’s September
11th commemoration day, and I had looked forward to it since. Though she had been coming to my church for nearly a year now, I had not yet made the southern trek to Hillside.
I had joined her in the makeshift folding chair pews and we greeted one another warmly, as though it had been months since our last meeting. In fact, we
had just seen each other the night before at Hope Chapel. I was not disappointed in the service, and I couldn’t help but think how my friend’s heart must have come being soaked in this church surrounding. Later on in the day, we had sat down with our pot-luck laden plates beside Aimee’s mom. After a little small talk, she had asked, “How do you know Liz?”
I thought on that as I chewed my Veggieburger, and swallowed as I gave my reply. “We met at work.” Liz took over the explanation at that point, and I took another bite, smiling at our conspiracy to answer the phones, “Transworld Systems, what’s your favorite color?”
That, of course, was the least of the good times had by Liz and Jana, the most dynamic of all duos. It had all begun one day nearly a year beforehand, when my endless requests for “something to do” had gotten me sent to the department next door. Between un-stapling and re-stapling client contracts, I discussed my upcoming trip to France with the unfamiliar co-workers around me. Liz and I chatted happily as two who knew the magical experience that Europe can bring.
From then on, work became a pleasant an experience for me. I was always curious what fun accessories Liz might be wearing for the day, whether we’d be sharing lunch together in the breakroom, or who would be the first to e-mail the other. And whenever we both had a free evening there was always the chance to catch a movie or do some window-shopping together.
Of course, I didn’t explain all of this to Aimee’s mom. Not only was my mouth too full, but I didn’t think words could really sum up our friendship. Perhaps, I thought, it just shows.
That was a great day. A great idea, I repeat to myself as I tack the festive card onto my bulletin board. A great friend. God sure knew what we needed!
Yes, meeting at Transworld was just the beginning. Many wonderful memories would follow. Sleepovers and retreats. Movies and parties. Bibles studies and home groups. Tear gas and volcanoes. Mademoiselle Incroyable and Bomb Voyage. The dynamic duo.

16 December 2005

I'm an Auntie (AGAIN)

My mom just called to tell me that the newest addition to our family is Elijah Marlin (my dad's name is Marlin). He was born this morning at 10:40AM in Pensacola, Florida. He was 8lbs., 15.8oz (I thought he was going to be bigger). I had a feeling it was going to be a boy. They didn't know until this morning. Elijah is number 7 for nieces and nephews and he is the 3rd boy. My brother, Ben, and his wife, Lisa, have two daughters: Tara & Lonnece. My sister, Heidi, and her husband, James, now have two boys and a girl: Samuel, Bethany, and Elijah. And my sister, Kathryn, has a daughter, Cheyanne (from her first marriage), and with her husband, Paul, has a son: Dylan. Dylan was born November1st of this year and I get to babysit him tomorrow night.
Kathryn lives just a few blocks away with her family, but all the rest of my family lives far away. Ben lives near Portland, Oregon, and Heidi lives in Alabama, across the border from Pensacola, Florida. But their next station (her husband is in the Coast Guard) is going to be Point Reyes, so they will live nearby again next spring or summer. It will be nice to have more nieces and nephews around. And I think they will all be excited to play together.
My brother and his family will be visiting this weekend. So we get to have Christmas early! Woohoo! My mom is flying to Pensacola right before New Year's to see her newest grandson and to help my sister out while James is at school.
Ok, well, I don't have any pictures of Elijah yet, but I'm trying to load a picture of Dylan from the day he was born (about 6 weeks ago). Isn't his aunt awesome?

Paul, Kathryn, Cheyanne & Dylan

I hope to have pictures of Elijah soon. My sister is usually good about sending out pictures (but, this is baby number 3).

14 December 2005


Dear Friends,

Casa Grande High School students lost four classmates in a car accident yesterday afternoon. I drove past the wreckage about half an hour to an hour after it happened. I instantly knew, as I was driving pas,t that it was a very serious accident. And I could just feel that young people were involved. By the time I was driving past, there were at least four fire trucks, a couple of ambulances, several CHP vehicles and two REACH helicopters were landing or just landed. They had removed the top of the car by that point. No names have been released, but they say the female driver and a male passenger in the backseat died upon or soon following impact and two others died while being treated at the hospitals. The other two passengers are still in critical conditon.

Please take time to pray for the two who are still fighting to survive, the families of all the victims and their friends and fellow classmates. When I was a freshman in high school, two accidents in one weekend took the lives of three young people I had known and although I wasn't close at the time with any of them, it was very traumatic.

Please also pray for the driver of the truck that hit the car. CHP says that he had no way to avoid the accident, but I know that such an experience cannot be easily brushed aside.

Click here to read the Press Democrat coverage of this story.

God, we don't know why these young people are taken away. But we do know that you have a perfect plan, always. Please guide, comfort, protect, strengthen, instruct, support and love the families, friends, teachers and classmates of all involved. They need you now more than I can imagine. I pray that all eyes, ears and hearts would be open to you, Jesus. Be the strong tower.
In Jesus' Name,

God bless you all!