Friday, April 30, 2010

Trashed But Not Forgotten

© Karen A J Rinehart

This was written from a prompt in 2004 and it was my very first writing.

There's a pond, so blue, that sits by a beautiful park
Brightly lit by the morning sun from the bright blue sky
Great giant oak trees shading picnic tables and benches
Inquisitive deer peeking out from the nearby forest
Squirrels scurrying from tree to tree, gathering acorns as they go
Sounds of gentle rustling of trees, with leaves blowing about
Swans floating by in a pond so blue
There in this peaceful place sits a green park bench
A place for everyone to sit and dream

The wind so hard begins to blow
Skies bright blue turn gray above, no sun to shine
No deer peering through the forest and no squirrels scurrying about
Gentle rustling of trees now a distant memory
Leaves flying high in the sky, as if gathered by huge hands
Only to be dropped in the pond that's fiercely churning
Swans no longer floating by, now huddle close to one another
The green park bench is now chipped and fading

It's clearing now but things will never be the same
The beauty she saw is now old and ugly
Still an old woman in a purple sweater sits knowing deep inside
The park she loved is now trashed but not forgotten

Wee Alien - Part Four: Nerak meets Wals

©Karen A J Rinehart

Arriving at the ecalap, Ygg and Eyak were about to meet with King Ahtrab and Queen Terrensya. Ygg, with a shaky voice said, "It's your turn to give the news on Nerak to them." Eyak responded, "You are just afraid you will find yourself floating in the Lanac Suez with a roht on your foot."

King Ahtrab and Queen Terrensya entered the room to find Ygg and Eyak waiting on the naved. Queen Terrensya impatiently asks, "Has Count Leoj returned Nerak?" Eyak informed the Queen that Nerak and Eedyar were still in Lala Land. The King was pleased that Eedyar was able to board the Lala's ship before it left, however, the Queen was none too pleased.

Meanwhile, back in Lala Land, Eedyar and Nerak turn in their bounty and leave to have their meal. Nerak is shocked when he finds the evening meal is Srats. Although Nerak is very hungry, he passes. Eedyar, just as hungry, piles his plate full of Srats and begins eating. Nerak's stomach churns at the thought.
"How can you eat those, Eedyar?", Nerak asks.
"Easy! Take a bite, chew and then swallow!", Eedyar relies. "You should try some, tastes like nekcihc. Shaking his head back and forth, Nerak says, "No thank you."

In the sleeping room, Nerak sits down on his cot and reaches into his pocket for the evird. To his surprise he finds a Srats instead. "What the...?" Jumping up he drops the Srats to the floor. Eedyar enters the room just as the Srats is running for the door and just as he picks up speed, scoops him up.
"Lose something, Nerak?", asks Eedyar.
"No!", denies Nerak.
"So tell me how this little guy got in here. This is a Srats free zone. The Lala's have checked this area from top to bottom and sideways. Not one inch of this area has been left unchecked." Nerak responds with, "I don't know how but he was in my pocket and the golden evird is missing. Do you think the Srats ate it?"
"Sire, you must be joking. Srats eat only fruit.", said the Srats.
"Egad! It talks!", said Nerak.
"Sire, I assure you, we are intelligent beings. Do not call me It. I have a name. I am Wals from the planet Tibdit of the Ihtur System.", said Wals.
Eedyar has no comment as he stands there holding the talking Srats.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Brenda - Last Hour

©Karen A J Rinehart

I decided that standing at the nurses station waiting was going to be awhile so, I sat down in one of the chairs behind the desk listening to Brenda and the LPN talk.

The next words I hear coming from Brenda's room are from the RN, "Brenda, raise your head. Come on, sweetie, raise your head for me." My heart sank. Brenda was unresponsive, again. The RN stepped from the room saying, "I'm going to try one more thing before calling a Code." I was crushed! Within a few moments, the RN stepped out of the room, picked up the phone, dialed a few numbers and said, "Code Blue! Code Blue, ICU 402! Code Blue." My legs just about gave out on me.

I took my cell phone from my pocket and called my husband and told him, "Brenda has coded again. They are working on her." Before I could ask him to come and be with me, he said, "I'm on my way, Sweetie. I'll be right there."

Within a few minutes, Fire Rescue exited the elevator that was right by Brenda's room. The two fire fighters were two that I had helped train when they became EMT's. The look of shock on their faces was unbearable for me. Moments later, the crew from EMS arrived. The paramedic asked me on the way to Brenda's room, "Why are you here?" I said, "That's Brenda in there." The EMT-I with the paramedic said, "We'll take care of her, Karen."

Standing there at the nurses station, I could hear all that was going on. The ER doctor arrived along with several nurses. A nurse that I didn't know stepped from Brenda's room and made a phone call and within minutes another nurse was there. He walked up to me and said, "Is that your mother?" I answered, "No! It's my baby sister." Realizing why he was there, I told him he didn't have to stay with me that I was ok. He asked if he could call someone for me and I told him, "No, my husband is on the way.

With tears flowing down my face, I asked the nurse if I could have a chair to sit in. He got me one immediately. Just as I was about to sit down in the chair, Brenda's roommate arrived. I told the nurse that I couldn't deal with her right now and could he show her to the waiting room and let her know that I would be there as soon as I could. I also told him to let her know what was happening.

The ER doctor, whom I worked with when I brought a patient into the hospital when I was working the ambulance, came out of Brenda's room and made a phone call. He walked to the other side of the nurses station and began to talk in a hushed voice. He was talking to Brenda's regular doctor saying, "We've tried to get her back with no luck. There are three more things, I'd like to try. No, she doesn't have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). CPR is ongoing. Yes! She's right here. You want to talk to her? Ok." He walked over to me and told me that he was talking to Brenda's doctor (my doctor, as well) and that he wanted to talk to me on the phone. I said, "Ok." and took the phone.

Doctor told me he was sorry and told me that Brenda was a wonderful lady. He went on to tell me that the ER doctor was going to try three more medications and that CPR was ongoing. I told him I understood. He also advised me that she had been coded for 20 minutes and what did I want to do. Did I want them to call it or continue. "They will continue, Karen, if you want them to." At this point, I told the doctor. Doctor, my head knows with the length of time that she's been in the code, it's time to call it. However, my heart says no, keep trying." His voice cracked as he told me that when the ER doctor had tried the three medications that he would step to the door and look at me. If I nodded that it was ok to call it, he would.

Within a few minutes of my hanging up, the ER doctor stepped to the door. With tears in my eyes and a breaking heart, I nodded to call it. The RN that was with me said he was sorry and the ER doctor came and gave me his condolences as well. My co-workers stepped out to tell me that were sorry, gave me a hug and went back into the room. Fire Rescue came out for a few moments and did the same.

When Fire Rescue was heading back into the room, I told them, "Make her decent, I want to see her." They asked if I wanted to wait until she was back on the bed. I told them now, I would see her again, when she was on the bed but I needed to see her now. I went in to see her and broke down. I had to leave the room.

Just as I walked out, my husband arrived at the hospital. I told him she was gone. He told me he'd make the calls and I stayed by Brenda's room. They came for me and I went and got him. We went in together and said by. The RN that had been in with Brenda asked me the name of the Funeral Home I wanted and told me that they wouldn't take her away until I was ready.

I lost my last immediate family member that day. I also lost the best friend I had my entire life.

Brenda - Day Three

©Karen A J Rinehart

Arriving at the hospital a little late because I stopped to get her a card and crosswords to work on. She had ordered me breakfast and when I arrived she told me, "Karen, it's cold now. Where were you?" I told her I was sorry for being late but I was going to spend the entire day with her. She smiled.

Her roommate decided to leave since I was there with Brenda and told me that if she got to go home later to let her know and she'd come back and take her home. I told her ok and she left.

Brenda was very tired. She said, "They wake you all night long to take your vitals." "I know.", I told her. She watched a little TV and dozed. I sat beside her bed and held her hand. I was still un-nerved by what had happened the day before.

Noticing her eye was turning blue and the white was red from her hitting her head the day before, I apologized to her for not being able to keep her from falling. She told me that it was ok.

Lunch was brought in around 12 p.m. and she took one look at it and said, "I don't like this many vegetables. I want a hamburger." I told her that she only had to tolerate the food today because they said she was going home tomorrow. Her meat that she had on her tray was far better tasting than mine. She was unable to cut it and I asked her if it was ok if I cut it into bite size pieces for her. Her response, "Please. Thank you." While I was cutting her meat she ate her jello. She said, "Karen, I'm going to eat my ice cream because I fainted yesterday and I didn't get to eat it. So, I'm eating it first in case it happens again. " We both laughed while she ate her ice cream.

The nurse came in with her dose of insulin and she told her she didn't want insulin. I told her that when you are a diabetic and in the hospital, they give you insulin. The nurse said, "You only have to take the insulin while you are here. When you go home you will be back on your pills." She agreed to the insulin.

Shortly after dinner, the LPN came in to give Brenda her bath. I told Brenda, "I'll wait outside at the Nurses Station, while she gives you a bath and then I'll come right back in. The LPN told me that it wouldn't be long.

In ICU they have glass doors to close for privacy or a curtain if a lot of privacy isn't needed. The LPN closed the doors and I waited for her to come and tell me I could go back in.

About 5 minutes into the bath, the LPN stepped out and asked the RN for help as Brenda needed to use the facilities. They took a wheel chair in and as they entered the room, the LPN told me, "We are taking the wheel chair in so we can move her to her room after she is finished using the facilities." I said, "Ok."

Brenda - Day Two

©Karen A J Rinehart

I arrived in time for breakfast on Monday. We talked most of the morning and later her roommate arrived. She rested off and on during the morning. Lunch arrived and she had ordered me a tray. The three of us were eating and enjoying our lunch. My sister told me that she had to use the ladies room. Since she had an IV attached, I asked her if she needed help. She said, "No, I have it." As she was exiting the ladies room, she said, "I'm dizzy." I told her to sit down on the bed as soon as she could and she told me, "Ok."

She was sitting on the edge of the bed when she said, "I need to lean forward." I got up from my chair and walked over to her and placed my hand on her right shoulder. She told, "Move your hand. You know I have claustrophobia." I stepped away a little and she leaned forward. However, she continued leaning forward and didn't stop. I put my hand on her right shoulder and took my right hand to push her back with it, when I missed and she fell to the floor.

My training put me in motion. I walked over, knelt beside her and checked her breathing and found her gurgling. Airway not open. I tried to roll her to her back but she was so big, I was unable to do it myself. I immediately got up from the floor and went to the door and yelled down the hall, "I need a nurse in here stat!" I went back to her and knelt down beside her, still gurgling. I told her room mate to call for a nurse again. She went for the call button on the bed. I got up from the floor and yelled for the nurse again.

Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. I knew what the nurses were doing as I had been in the hospital many a time working a code blue. They were getting the crash cart and hurrying down the hall. By the time I reached my sister, knelt down beside her again, I had one nurse at her feet and one across from me. I knew the look on both of their faces. The one standing was doing a quick sweep and assessing the situation and the other was checking pulse and breathing. When I looked up, I realized what was going to happen next. "Code Blue, Room 357. Code Blue." I grabbed the room mate and left the room, with her asking me, "What is a code blue?" I told her I would tell her when we reached the hall but that we needed to get out of the room so they could work.

I explained that a Code Blue was when there were no life signs in a patient that had just gone down. Further explanation of Brenda's situation caused me to become sick to my stomach. We went to the waiting room and awaited news. I called my husband and told him that they had just called a Code on Brenda and we were on the third floor. He told me, "I will be right there."
It seemed like an eternity before he arrived.

I knew that Fire Rescue and EMS would be there because we always came to the hospital during a Code. We were the extra hands that they might need. Walking towards the room that Brenda was in, I noticed a paramedic from work and asked how she was doing. The paramedic stated, "We have it under control." I became mad because this is a paramedic has an attitude that just doesn't end. I'm not even sure she knew that Brenda was my sister. I walked back to the waiting room to wait when a nurse walked up and asked me if there was anything I needed. I told her that I wanted the Floor Supervisors name. She told me who it was and I asked if I could speak with him. The Floor Supervisor was an RN at the hospital but was also a paramedic that had helped train me when I became an EMT. He walked down the hall to talk to me.

He hadn't realized until that moment that Brenda was my sister. I asked him what the situation was in her room and he said that they were working on her but she was unresponsive. He went back to her room but within just a few minutes he was back with another report. Brenda was now breathing on her own and her heart rate was 54 with a very strong pulse. I was thrilled. They had her back.

I went and stood outside her room and thanked the Floor Supervisor for keeping me informed. Shortly he stepped out of the room and told me that she had told my boss that was in the room with her, "Please let my sister know I'm ok. " He told her he would but I had heard her and stepped into the doorway. My boss told me to come in and he told Brenda, "Sis is here so you can tell her you are ok." I took her hand and told her that I would be right outside the door. She told my boss, "You are going to need a crane to get me up off the floor." To that he replied, "Brenda, what do you want a bird in here for." They both laughed. It was really good to hear her laugh at that moment.

The Floor Supervisor said that he would take me up to ICU to her room, ICU 402. He told me, "She is only going to ICU as a precautionary procedure since she fainted." The had decided that she wasn't a Code since she came back so quickly and they had not initiated CPR. On the way up in the elevator, he asked me to tell him what had happened. After telling him, he told me, "I could never do that for a family member. You stayed calm the entire time and did what needed to be done." I thanked him for the compliment and told him that he needed to tell my boss. You see my boss doesn't think I'm assertive enough on calls when I'm working the ambulance.

Brenda - Day One

©Karen A J Rinehart

"EMS, Fire Rescue respond to 1327 N Roosevelt. Female having difficulty breathing", said the dispatcher as the pagers went off. This is a common thing for me to hear because I work as an EMT-I and those sounds are what I'm used to hearing. However, when it is a family member or a friend, those words are some of the most difficult that I hear. Even though I knew this call was going to be paged, it still made my heart sink.

My sister hadn't been feeling well for over a month. My husband and I tried to get her to go to the doctor but she always had an excuse. She had back pain, indigestion, shortness of breath and loss of appetite for almost a month. Finally one Sunday evening, she called me, "Karen, I'm going to call an ambulance and go to the hospital. I can hardly breathe." I told her I would be right there.

Upon arrival at ER, I walked into her room and asked it the doctor had been in. They had taken her blood sugar and it was high and had x-rayed her back and legs and she would be getting the results shortly. While we talking, the doctor finally came in and told her, "You have pneumonia. We will be admitting you." She was a little nervous because she'd never had to stay in the hospital before.

Her roommate and I rode in the elevator up to her room and I stayed with her while they asked her questions, got vitals, talked to her about a living will, DNR and helped her to change clothes. She didn't know exactly what a DNR was or a living will so I explained them to her. At one point I did ask her if she wanted to be resuscitated if it came to that. The look on her face broke my heart as she answered, "Yes." I told her that I would see to her wishes. They were still completing these things when I told her, "I'm going home and will be up here to have breakfast with you in the morning." I hugged her bye and left.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Very Own Leprechaun

©Karen A J Rinehart, 2006

(This is one of my first poems. It was for a prompt on WWAUW.)

I have a leprechaun of my very own.
You'll find him lurking near the blarney stone.
Searching for a shamrock just for me.
And dancing round a distant tree.
He loves music and drinking green beer.
Being drunk is his greatest fear.
You see drinking makes him rather bold.
Cause the little stinker stole my gold.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wee Alien - Part Three: Nerak Hunts Srats

©Karen A J Rinehart

Nerak couldn't believe his luck. He was having a perfectly good day on Wee. His plan, after he delivered the evird to the computer, was to play flog with Ygg and Eyak. It was his chance to use the gift that Queen Terrensya had given him, the golden eet. Instead he was on his way to Lala Land to hunt Srats.

Looking out the only window of the ship, Nerak couldn't believe how dreary it was here in the Ynoga system where the sun never shines. Lala Land only had light because they take it from the other systems. The Ihtur system had to hide their sunlight from the Lalas. Wee's sun looks like a giant sunflower. It's well known throughout the galaxy that Lalas hate flowers. Queen Terrensya is always sure to send Count Leoj a golden rose every year on the anniversary of his marriage to Countess Lorac because she knows this annoys him.

As Nerak disembarked the ship, he wondered what it was like to actually catch Srats. He'd hunted them when he was young but most Srats were elusive ugly little creatures and you hardly ever got the purple off your hands after touching one. He wasn't sure that he wanted to catch one after what he'd heard. Nerak was handed two bags and a funny looking canister. "The canister is for the dead ones, if they aren't warm. The black bag is for the dead warm ones and the white one with the holes is for the ones that are still alive. Don't mix them up or there will be Lleh to pay.", barked Lednew. Several of the Wees raised their hands with questions. Lednew responded, "There's no time for questions. Food will be served once you have returned with a successful bounty." A voice came from the back of the Wee's asking what a successful bounty was. "Who's that snarking back there?", asked Lednew. "It is I, Eedyar, from Planet Wee of the Ihtur system.", came the reply. "Shut your mouth and commence with hunting Srats or no one gets food.", barked Lednew. With much grumbling coming from the Wees, it was hard to make out what Eedyar had replied.

Nerak began searching for Srats, however, he wasn't finding any. Sitting down on a nearby rock, he began to think of home and how he missed it. Looking up Nerak saw something in the distance. Thinking it was a Srats, he got down behind the rock. Just as the being approached, Nerak jumped from behind the rock and bonked it on the head. Looking down, Nerak saw Eedyar lying there unconscious. Sitting back down on the rock, Nerak waited for Eedyar to awaken.

As Eedyar awoke so did the rock that Nerak was sitting on. Nerak looked down to find that he had been sitting on dozens of Srats. "Grab them!", said Eedyar. Nerak disgustingly replied, "You grab them!" Eedyar began grabbing Srats and placing them in the black bag. Nerak saw that he was placing them in the wrong bag and told him they needed to go in the white bag as they were still alive. With a devlish grin, Eedyar said, "Let the Lalas sort them. We are supposed to be hunting them." Nerak shook his head and sat down on the ground and reached into his pocket and pulled out the golden evird. "I will never get this back to Queen Terrensya. She will have my head for this." Eedyar was too busy collecting Srats to hear him. Nerak put the golden evird back into his pocket and picked up his hunting supplies, not realizing that he put it into the Srats hiding in his pocket.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Whirlpool

©Karen A J Rinehart

"Around and around I go"
Sure to become dizzy
"Entranced by circular flow"
"I muddle" through
"Befuddled"
"Re-shuffling"
"Mid ruffling"
"Of feathers"
"Fair-weathered" friends
Abound "in madness"
"And sadness" befalls me
"Befogging"
"Mind-boggling"
I become "entranced by circular flow"
And once again "around and around I go"

Taken from the poem by the same title by Ruthi Cox.

Following Kimberly Blackadar's Blog/Poetry Workshop:
Borrowed poetry, or found poetry, is creating an original poem by using lines from another poem, quote, or even headlines from the newspaper as a springboard.

Sir Wuffles

With approaching severe weather today, it brought back memories of a little shih tzu, Sir Wuffles, that I had before I got Zeus and Thor.

We live in Tornado Alley and our severe weather usually begins the latter part of March and lasts on into the first week or so of September. Today we have the chance for tornadoes and hail 2 inch in diameter. Being a storm spotter, I don't much care for this kind of weather, but then who does, however, it's part of nature.

When severe weather, especially tornado watches were announced for our area, I would get things together and put them in a little bag. Things that we would need in case we were hit by a tornado or that we would need in case of an emergency. In this bag, I would put water, medication, some treats for Wuffles, his leash, flash light, extra batteries, a handheld scanner, radio, umbrella and first aid kit. Then Wuffles and I would sit down in the chair and watch TV and listen for the weather to clear or in some cases being put under a tornado warning.

In the basement, we had a closet that we didn't have anything in and was in the center of the house. Wuffles knew when I grabbed the bag and headed downstairs that it was time to go too. He would follow me down to the closet and we would sit in there until the tornado warning had passed and it was clear to come out. Sometimes we were there for as long as two hours.

One particular day, I wasn't home from work and we were put under a tornado watch. There was severe lightening in our area along with hail and high winds. I waited in the car, in front of my house, for the hail to stop and ran inside. I wasn't greeted at the stairs by Wuffles and this had me a little worried.

As I was going upstairs to get the bag, I called his name but no answer. After heading downstairs to place the bag near the closet, I continued calling for him. Worried, I went back upstairs to look under the beds to get him. By this time, we had been put under a tornado warning and I needed to get to a place of safety, but not without Wuffles.

Grabbing my purse, I took it down to the closet but this time noticed that the door to the closet was open a little. I opened the door and there on his pillow sat Wuffles. He had remembered. He was supposed to go there during a storm. After that time, whenever I came home from work or storm spotting and it had been storming outside, I would find Sir Wuffles right where he needed to be. In the safest place in the house.

©Karen A J Rinehart

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wee Alien - Part Two: Golden Evird

After helping the Wees find computers for their planet, Ruthi gives Queen Terrensya a golden evird as a gift. The Queen is in awe of this wonderful gift that has been bestowed upon her and in return gives Ruthi a gift from planet Wee. It's not just any gift but it's the Golden Eet. Everyone on Wee knows you can't flog without your eet.

After returning to Wee, Queen Terrensya, places the golden evird in the center of the Ecalap, so that everyone may enjoy the gift. Queen Terrensya doesn't realize that Ruthi has placed valuable information on it. The information on the evird will help the Wees rid themselves of the Lalas.

Needing information from the golden evird, Nerak goes to the council and asks to use it as it pertains to ending the hold the Lalas have on Wee. Eedyar, Wee's yenrotta, advises the council that it would be beneficial to the well being of Wee, however, Ygg and Eyak aren't convinced. "It's the Queen's property", Ygg and Eyak say in unison. Nerak was given the golden evird and had to return it within the ruoh.

Nerak placed the golden evird in his pocket. Just then the wind began to stir and Nerak knew that the Lalas were landing because there is no wind on Wee. Lalas began rounding the Wees up to take them to Lala Land. "We are running low on Srats!", barked Lednew. "We must have more Wees or we will be hunting Srats ourselves." Unfortunately, Nerak was one of the Wees that boarded the Lalas ship.

Hiding behind the sehsub, Eedyar saw Nerak being boarded on the Lala ship but wasn't in a position to help or so he thought. You see, Eedyar is a bit of a nekcihc when it comes to the Lalas.

Eedyar, goes to the council and tells Ygg and Eyak that they must let Queen Terrensya know that Nerak has been taken to Lala Land. Ygg, in no uncertain terms states that he's not telling the Queen. Eyak, tells Eedyar that he was the one that let Nerak have the evird and he should be the one to tell the Queen. Eedyar, Ygg and Eyak stand there thinking when all of a sudden they blurt out at the same time, "Let's have Mikey do it! He'll do anything!"

Mikey approaches Queen Terrensya and in a tiny voice tells her that Nerak has the evird and that the Lalas have Nerak. The Queen in just as tiny of a voice says, "You are about to lose your head." Queen Terrensya stands, picks up her oosh, turns and cries out, "I want my golden evird! Bring me my golden evird." As she exits the room, she passes King Ahtrab and says, "Mikey's lost his head. Won't you help him find it?"

©Karen A J Rinehart

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Am A Woman With A Unique Soul

(This was written in July 2004 and with a few revisions, I felt it fit this prompt. I wanted to put it on my blog because it was started because of a special lady, Ruthi, to try and get Women With A Unique Word to flourish.)

In 2003, I was browsing through the groups in Yahoo. I came upon a group that sounded interesting and joined. There I met many people. They were chatting, singing, telling jokes and were just having a lot of fun. There were many people that had welcomed me to the group. I was totally thrilled. I thought I found a place on the net that would be fun.

It was fun. I had spent 2 wonderful weeks talking to people there. There was this one lady that always took the time when I logged in to the chat room to say “Hi” and ask me how I was or how my day had gone. She listened to me when I answered her. She always made me feel welcome and I thought I had found a friend. However, into the third week, my friend that I came to care about was gone. I was terribly heartbroken. I asked around about her but, they just told me that she was no longer in the group.

Luckily, I had added her to my address book and wrote to her to see how she was and to ask her why she left. She was totally honest with me throughout my time in the group and she was just as honest when I asked her why she left. I noticed at the bottom of her emails was her signature. Amongst other web sites that she was Webmaster of or belonged to was a group called “Women With A Unique Soul”. Just the title alone made me curious as to what it was. So I emailed my friend and she told me to go and check the site out. I did! I joined!

To my amazement, in July 2003, I was welcomed to “Women With A Unique Soul” aka WWAUS with the utmost of love. As I read the messages daily, I found this group actually really cared for one another. It just wasn’t like any other group I’d ever been in. I found that this group was a group of Sisters, with a Mom that you actually called Mom and of course every house has a baby and there was a Sissy that we called Baby! I was at a time in my life that I really needed something like this. My hubby was going through some tests and I had to be out of town. I called Mom and told her. She called to check on me at the motel along with several of the other Sisters. To me this isn’t just a group on the Internet, it’s my family.

The friend that I was telling you about is my precious friend Dianna! She showed me the way to WWAUS and I’m proud to call it home. I can never thank her enough! I love all my Sisters here at WWAUS. They are all special to me. Baby Claudia, thank you for having such a wonderful dream and making it a reality! Mom, Jules, Peaches, Nina and Denise, thank you for holding me together when I needed it most. To the founders of WWAUS, Claudia, Jan, Dianna and Peaches, thank you for giving me a home away from home. To Ruthi and Dianna, thank you for helping me to realize my dream of writing, although I feel I have a long way to go. To all the Committee Leaders of Committees that I belong to, thank you for allowing me to be part of your wonderful committees. To all my Sisters not mentioned above, thank you for the laughter, tears, joy, fears and for sharing your lives with me. Thank you for listening to me with open minds and giving me advise when I didn’t know which way to turn.

©Karen A J Rinehart

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Train Whistle

Working for EMS (Emergency Medical Services) is challenging but there are times that catch you by surprise. My partner and I took a transfer to a city four hours from our home. It was a late night transfer and we wouldn't be back to our department until 8 a.m. After picking the patient up, we headed out.

Four hours later, we arrived at the receiving hospital and took our patient to the room and headed back home. We were both very tired and she decided to drive first and then I would drive the second half home.

I thought it couldn't hurt, since I wasn't driving, to close my eyes. I'm not sure how long I had them closed but when I opened them, we were on the wrong side of the road. At this hour of the morning, there wasn't much traffic, so we were very lucky. I yelled at my partner, "Are you awake?" "Yes!", she responded. We hadn't driven more than a few more miles down the road when she pulled the unit over and said, "That's it, I can't drive any further." We switched and I drove.

After a few miles, I was having trouble staying awake. The next town was only 5 miles down the road so, I decided to drive there and told her that we would be pulling over at the EMS department, I was going to have to take a short nap.

Driving at night makes me sleepy. However, when it's daylight I don't have a problem even if I am very tired. We pulled over and I set the alarm on my cell phone and immediately went to sleep. Being in the back of the ambulance, with the motor off, it became very hot in the back, so we opened the window and rolled down one of the windows in the cab for air movement.

After an hour passed, the alarm went off. I told her it was time to get back on the road. She said, "Thirty more minutes, please." I told her I was ok now and was going to head on home. I got out of the back of the unit and started it. She was still laying on the cot in the back, needing the rest since she was going to be on shift for 24 hours when we got home. I made certain that the she had the seat belts from the cot on and exited the back of the unit to get in the cab.

I sat down in the driver's seat and started the unit and put my seat belt on and told her we were on our way. Without a response, I decided that she had gone back to sleep and I drove out of the parking lot, through town and we were on our way home.

Along the way, there are two sets of train tracks that cross the highway with tracks running along the highway for several miles. We had crossed both sets by this time and now the tracks were running parallel with the highway. Trains always blow their whistle just as they are approaching an intersection tracks and roads here in the rural areas.

Thinking nothing of it, as they always did this, I was surprised to find my partner sitting in the jump seat shortly after the whistle blew. I asked her, "What are you doing up here? I thought you were going to sleep all the way home." Came the reply, "I was! But I thought you'd fallen asleep and I heard the train whistle and thought we were going to be hit by a train and I wanted to be up here instead of back there, if I was going to die."

The train whistle was loud because we had left the window on the side door of the ambulance open. If you've ever been in an ambulance, there is only a small opening between the cab and back compartment. Most of the time it is difficult to get from the back to the front. My partner had to unbuckle all three seatbelts on the cot, get up, crawl through that small area and sit down in the jump seat and she did it all in just a matter of seconds.

©Karen A J Rinehart

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In Memory of My Aunt Nadine

Yesterday, my cousin called me to let me know that my aunt had passed away early the morning of 2 April 2010. My heart shattered into a million pieces. With all the pain I was feeling at that moment, my thoughts turned to him, his brother and sister and my uncle. Although my loss was unbearable, I knew their pain was as well. I may have lost my aunt but my cousins lost their mother and my uncle lost his sister. I could honestly say I knew the pain and loss they were all feeling for I had lost my mother and my sister.

In all my naivety, I never thought I would lose someone I loved. Over the years, I've lost so many people that I've known and loved and the pain never lessens. Losing my mother at 17, I felt my world was falling apart. At 24, my father passed away and I felt the world was ending. In 2009, I lost my only sibling, my sister, and I felt another chunk of my world had slipped away which has brought me to the realization, if my husband passes away before I do, I know that my world will cease to exist.

Although grieving through the deaths of my mother, father and sister, I have always taken the time to sit and think about what they meant to me, how they changed my life along with the lives they had touched. So many of my family and friends, before death, told me that they would not be missed and that they had not really accomplished anything or made a difference in life. I find this so untrue. People touch others lives in so many different ways without knowing it. This was true of my Aunt. She touched my life in more ways than I can count.

I admired this woman. She was a wonderful aunt, sister, mother, grandmother and daughter. She achieved so much in her life. She was an RN and she raised 3 wonderful children and taught them to have morals and to care deeply about those in their lives. To this day, my cousins, are selfless and show compassion. She worried about them as children and it continued as they became adults. There wasn't anything she wouldn't do for her children or those she loved. Material things are nice remembrances but I will always have something far better than material things, I had her unconditional love.

As I think of my aunt now, I think back to all the good times. Why the good times, you say? Good times because there wasn't any bad times. She was a lady of compassion that watched out after her sister, brother, nieces and friends and did for them what she could with what she had. Although she never knew, that I know of, she was a person I looked up to with great pride. She was beautiful inside and out, smart and wise far beyond her years.

Living several hundred miles apart, my husband and I visited her last year and the two years before. We took our vacation and spent a week each of those three years. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer and wasn't feeling the best but she allowed us to stay at her home. I will cherish that time with her and won't forget the special loving person she was.

She touched my life and for that I am so very grateful. I would not change the time that I spent with her other than to spend more of it with her. Although we lived many miles apart, she was always in my heart, thoughts, prayers and only a phone call away. Now I must say goodbye to her. I know her loss is felt by many and I know that I feel I shall never be the same without this wonderful woman to spend time with.

Goodbye my dear Aunt! You were my inspiration and you were loved by many and this niece misses you with a heart that is breaking. I love you, always.

©Karen A J Rinehart

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reverend Janitor

The night before my husband and I were to be married, I was packing my things so we could move them when we came back from our honeymoon. My soon to be husband was always the gentleman. He opened doors, let me enter a room first, never cursed, nor did he tell me jokes. As I was packing, I come across the notebook and made the decision to throw it away since my soon to be husband had never told me a joke in all the time I had known him.

Working as a waitress, at a truck stop, jokes were just part of the job. Everybody that I waited on was always telling me some kind of joke whether it be fit for a lady or not. Some even brought copies of them for me to read after work. Most of them found their way to a loose leaf notebook that I kept.

We married and he changed. This man, that had never told me a joke the entire time I had known him, became a joke machine. I heard every joke known to man, I'm sure.

Being a police officer meant shift work. The shifts changed each month and this particular month he was working 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Whenever he would come home from work and share a new joke that he had heard at work or tease me in some way. We were always trying to top each other. Sometimes I would be able to but most of the time, I would lose.

He arrived home for his lunch and we sat down to eat. Halfway through, he announces to me, that the preacher that married us was not really a preacher, but the janitor of the church. He continued, "We really didn't have a lot of money, so I paid the janitor $25, to do the ceremony."

We finished lunch and he left for work thinking his attempt at a joke had failed. He didn't realize that I was in a near panic. I was trying to figure out how I was going to tell my mother that her daughter was living in sin.

After he left, I called the Reverend that married us. After the pleasantries, I asked, "Reverend Brown, you are a preacher, aren't you?" To this he replied, "Yes! Why do you ask?" I responded with, "My husband was home for lunch and he told me that you weren't a preacher. He said that you were the janitor of the church and that he paid you $25 to marry us. I'm calling to find out if you are a janitor or a preacher. I don't know what to do if our marriage isn't valid." Reverend Brown laughed and said, "I assure you that I am a preacher. You have nothing to worry about."

Late that afternoon, my husband came home from work. I met him at the door and said, "You son of a bitch! You lied to me! He is too a preacher!" Standing there stunned, mainly because he'd never heard me curse and wondering what had me upset, he said, "What?" Telling him what I did after he went back to work, he was in shock that I would actually call the Reverend and ask him if he was a janitor.

At the police department, where my husband worked, they had a program where preachers rode along on Friday nights. When my husband went back to evening shift, that Friday night, he was the officer that the preacher rode with. He was embarrassed to learn that the preacher that would be riding along with him was none other than, Reverend Brown. Reverend Brown said, "I've been called a lot of things in my profession but never a janitor."

Reverend Brown moved away and 5 years later we ran into him at the shopping mall. Much to our surprise, Reverend Brown still remembered my calling him and asking him if he was a janitor. I guess I topped my husband with that one.

©Karen A J Rinehart

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wee Alien - Part One: I am a Wee Alien!

I am Nerak, a wee alien, from the planet of Wee. Wee is one of the many planets in the system of Ihtur! I am one of the youngest wees on the planet. I am 20,000 tricons old. The oldest wee is 100,000. My species doesn't live past the age of more than 200,000. Long ago, Wees had a life expectancy of 1,000,000. After Wees reach this age, our age reverses. What you call a never ending process. This is mainly because of the Lalas. The Lalas hunt the Wees to send them to Lala Land. Lala Land lies just outside of the Ihtur system in the Ynoga system.

The Wees are taken to Lala Land as slave labor. We hunt another species called Srats. Srats, ugly little things, all purple with green ears, are food for the Lalas. Lalas are even uglier. Purple with white ears. The Wees are the best looking species in the Ihtur system. We are pink with black ears, yellow tails, green eyes and our best feature, even if we say so ourselves is our orange noses. Wouldn't you just love to meet us sometime?

I am one of the top Wee Aliens. I am in charge of keeping Wee safe. I come to earth to try to find this thing that earthlings call computers. You see we don't have anything like this on Wee. Ahtrab, King of the Wees, says that we can use them to keep us safe from the Lala. Ahtrab met with the council and told us this was what Wee needs. At this point in time, I do not know anything about them. One of the council members, Eyak, says we need electricity to run these objects. Ygg thinks we can run them on Lalas, if we peel them just right. Can't let them ooze he says.

I have come to earth in search of these computers. Any help you earthlings can give me, I would be most grateful for. I hear that a person called Ruthi know's where I can find them. Ygg says she can program them to eat the Lalas. If this were so, we would be rid of the Lalas and be our nice peaceful flog playing planet.

©Karen A J Rinehart