Saturday, April 29, 2006

You Just never know...

Who you will end up sitting next to on a plane!!!

I came home from an editing/proofreading and grammar class that I took out of state this past week.
I was on a plane headed to Atlanta, had a lay-over, and then I'd board a plane for home. I got to the airport very early, about 2.5 hours before take off.

I went to the ticket counter and the guy behind the desk got me checked in and asked me, if you can belive it, if I was over 15 (the braces again???), and would I like to sit in the Emergency Exit row. I said "Yes...and I am 36!" A very good friend and I had discussed earlier in the week the importance of knowing where the exits were and being close to them if at all possible, specially if we had the kids with us, which I did not.

Anyhoo...I was happy to sit there. I've never had to open one of these doors, but I know I could if I had to. It would be an important responsibility if it had to be done, and I had no doubt I could do it.

So, finally I board the plane. My seat is an isle seat and I am sure someone is coming to sit next to me at the window, so instead of sitting down, I just wait kind of half standing, half resting my knee in my seat until my fellow passenger arrives.
I'm reading my ticket stuff, not paying a lot of attention, and I notice a tall (and quite good looking :) man walk up and stand just in front of me. I look up, he points to the seat next to the window, and I say,

"Is that your seat? I was waiting for you!" :) We both laugh,and he says, "thank you".

After we both get seated, and we kind of chit chat...I slightly lean over towards him-- with in a sort of serious tone, and I say,
"You do realize that you are sitting in the Emergency Exit row, right?"

He looks at me knowingly and says, "Yes..."

And I say, "You do know how to open that door if it needs to be opened right?"

Again...with a slightly curious tone, he says, "Yes...I know how to open the door."

I say, "Well, that's good...because if you didn't know how I think I am pretty sure that I could do it."

We both laugh, this guy is at least 6 feet tall, well built, and could have easily carried both the door and me off the plane without a bit of trouble at all.

A few more minuts pass, the plane is going to take off soon, and me being the smarty pants that I am I say to the very nice man next to me..."So, do you travel much?"

He smiles at me, folds his paper...and says...

"Well, yes. I'm a PILOT."

OH GOOD GRIEF!!!! The attendents come down, they go over the oxygen mask info, the seat belt rules, and the EXIT DOOR INFORMATION. At which point it dawns on me what an idiot I am...asking a PILOT if he knows which row he was on, and if he could open one of the emergency exit doors!!! LOL!!!

Oh...friends...I just looked at him and laughed. Leave it to me to question the one person on the plane who knows better than any of us how to open the emergency exit doors!

He was so nice to me the rest of the flight. I peppered him with questions about how often he flys, and where, and about guns in the cockpit and cell phones on the plane. He asked me questions about where I've traveled and what it was like to be in Asia and in South Africa. He is a Delta pilot and a quite a nice person.
I gave him my web address and told him to check it out...that I'd be writing about him this evening...

So, thanks Pilot Sean for putting up with me today, and not laughing at me when I got so serious about opening that exit door! Our encounter was just about the highlight of my day, and I have laughed about it more than once.

Now all of my friends, who laugh at me regularly, can enjoy the story too!
Hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Problem with Blogging:


I think most people have 2 sides to Pastor likes to refer to this as our "Front Stage" and a "Back Stage".

The Front Stage is what we want people to see: the polished, agreeable, friendly, somewhat spiritual, and warm persona that attracts other people to us. Or our Front Stage can be quiet and shy and reserved or even grouchy and rough, kind of a protection from people getting too close.

The Back Stage is where the maddness of producing the Front Stage takes place. The arena where we struggle with our thoughts, our insecurities, our REAL selves...the stuff we really don't want most people to know about.

I am not sure about all of points that I am going to write next, so please feel free to disagree with me (gently) or give your opinion on this matter because I really am curious...

I think that when I read some of your blogs I am getting a glimpse into your "Back Stage". I always get the feeling that I understand more about who you really are than most of the people you see everyday.

I hear you when you are having a bad day...I read the complaints you make to yourself--but you wouldn't dream of speaking them out loud to the people around you.
I read about little moments that mean more to you than if you won a million bucks. I see what you love, what you struggle with, how you process things...and mostly what I see is HOW ALIKE WE ARE!!!

And this, my friends, is what makes you special to me. If I spend time reading your blog, and replying to you, or if I send you an's because I find all the qualities in you that I look for in a friend.
It is because on some level, I consider you to be a friend.

Now, it might seem crazy, but I actually talk about you to the people around me. I'll say, "One of my friends on their blog said so and so, and I thought that was a really good point, or funny, or interesting..."
I carry your thoughts and perspectives into life with me.

Now, with that being said, I have not met any of you (obviously not including my friends who read this because I bug them to!) and I have not encountered your "Front Stage".
I have to consider that not everyones Front Stage is like mine and I DO have one. Mine is outgoing, is confident, does not express much doubt, is cheerful, helpful, and is funny. It's not the opposite of my Back Stage...but it can be...sometimes I am fearful, and have tremendous doubt, and I want to be selfish to be alone at times, and I am cynical...and unforgiving, and critical too. I don't want people to know this about me! The ones I live with, they know it, but not the general public!

From what I've read about you, I FEEL like I know you...and the people who see you everyday, they FEEL like they know you...and unless the people who see you everyday read your blog, no one really knows as well as they think they do! :)

As for me, I wonder how much of my writing reveals what I think, or what I want you to think of me? I have journal...and what I write there is not for the world to see, but some of that does spill over into this blog. I wonder, if any of us met in person, how startled would we be in the difference between what we imagined and reality.

I believe the truth of the matter is that I am safe in blog world, and I think that you like me...and if I were to appear in person, my fear would be: What if you didn't like me as much?
That would be terrible! What if I didn't like you as much? How awful!

Trust me, I don't think that would happen...but I would love to read about someone who went to a blog party to meet on line friends from another state and hear how it went. Was it just like they thought it would be, or was it was just strange?
Was it fun to put accents and dialects with hear how a person conveys their thoughts as opposed to how they write them?

Ok...enough blathering on and on! Let me know what you think if you haven't gone brain dead by now! These are the questions, so you don't have to re-read anything...

1) Is it our Front Stage or Back Stage we reveal when we blog

2) Do you think you know the Real Me? Or do the people who see me
(not the ones I live with) know the real me?

3) Do you write for approval, or out of candor?

4) Have you met another blogger after reading them for a while? What was it like?

5) Have you had an incident where you have listened to a radio personality for
years and then one day SAW them...and they just weren't ANYTHING like you
imagined? (I have!!!)

Thanks for visiting and answering! :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Worth copying...

This was on a friends blog this week (

Stat of the Week...
Abraham Lincoln's approval rating in 1864...

*** 29% ***

Just to keep it in perspective.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I am sorry I have not been here to update! I have been out of town with the kids, and will be out of town again next week for a writing class out of state!
Thank you for stopping by...I promise to spend one evening catching up with you. I have to tell you that I have missed going to your blogs and reading up on you! Isn't it funny how easily we attach to other people? How I think about each of you...Malinda, and Val, and Prism, and Sean...and Joe (my not-so-baby-brother!) and a dozen other people I failed to mention!
I have been finishing up the manuscript for my childrens book, The Little Cloud, and working on an inspirational piece for a Writing Workshop I'll attend in June in Georgia.
I appreciate your thoughts and prayers as I work through this. It is an exciting time, and kind of scary too...but all a part of the process, and I am so ready for it!
See you VERY soon!
-Cora :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Recall with me, for a moment, how it feels to stand before something enormous--
Like the sea, when the beach is empty; or the sky at night full of stars over a quiet plain.

I stand- awestruck- at the vastness that I am trying to comprehend, and yet I know that I can not comprehend it. The enormity of the ocean, or sky, or mountainside, seems to fill up my being- as if these that take up so much space must claim my space as well.

My mind, especially when viewing the ocean, likes to use the word "nothing" to describe it, as in, "nothing but sand and water as far as the eye can see", but of course, it's NOT "nothing". It's actually everything, or everything at the moment. The sea is not empty, nor is the sky, nor are the mountains. And when standing before them they eclipse and absorb me too.

Is this the "something" in our life experience that prepares us for death?
When I think about death and the finality of it I have the same feelings as when I stand before the ocean...It's huge, it's will, or can, swallow me.

I ponder death...I peer, though not too closely, because I am not able.
And even if I were able I'm still not sure I would; and what I think I can see is deceiving.
It seems tranquil and quiet, but I strongly suspect otherwise.

What I know of death is the same as what a person knows about the ocean from a photograph...or better still, what they don't know, what they can not see.
The vastness, the depth, all the huge and tiny things swimming just beneath the suface, things that one could never imagine, existing right there under the rippling blue green water.

One of my childhood friends died almost 3 years ago, she was 33. She had battled cancer off and on since she was 12, and finally the treatment caught up with her. Her radiation therapy had caused a far worse cancer to develop some 20 years after it was administered. She passed into death, and when I saw her--in her casket-- this friend I had loved and laughed with, she was no longer there. What remained was a shell...her spirit was gone. She got caught up in the tide and was swept out, past the surf, past the big waves...way out there...where I can not reach her.

Sometimes I think of her and of all the things we learned together as children...and I wish I knew, or understood, what she knows now.
I stand at the shore and I feel so small. I stand under the midnight sky and I feel so tiny and transient.

Is it work, or family, or love that makes us feel more permanent and less temporary?
Or is it simply that we long for the country of our eternity...which is not here...and we will never feel as though we quite fit it because we are not supposed to?
Tell me what you think...I'd really like to know.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Worn Out Love

Yet another conversation with my daughter (JLB), while I was cooking dinner last night. I had my back to her, cooking the lima beans, and out of the blue she said:

JLB: I love you Mom.

Mom: Well, honey, I love you too...I love you more!

JLB: NO, Mom, I love you MORE!

Mom: No sweetie, I love you MORE!!!

JLB: It is a biological and spiritual fact that I love you more, and I can PROVE it!

Mom: (Who was quite surprised at her daughters insistent tone
and surprised at her announcement that she had PROOF!)

Oh, I have to hear this! What is your proof, exactly?

JLB: Well, you gave birth to me, right? So all the love that was in you went into
me, AND since daddy helped to make me, then all of his love went into me too.
THEN I was born and I have all of this love that I made by myself...
SO, that means I have THREE kinds of love in me to love you with, and you only
have one kind of love!

Mom: (I spoke with confidence, feeling sure I had found a hole in her
Well, what about all the love from my parents that went into making me???

JLB: (Without missing a single beat, and laughing...)
Oh, mom, THAT love wore out about 20 years ago!!!

What could I say???
Dang, she's good! But, since this is my BLOG, and I have the final word


Sunday, April 02, 2006

A very sweet moment...

Some of you know that over the last few years I have lead a "Letter Writing" Ministry through my church. In a divine moment of inspirtation it occured to me that I could do the thing I love to do most in the world, writing, and use it to help and encourage other people.

I asked a few other ladies to join me and we would write to people who were sick, or had a family member in the hospital, or send little kids birthday cards. We sent a lot of cards to people we didn't know but had been given info about them via prayer requests or through the church office.

Eventually we expanded the ministry to include soldiers. This was one of the most rewarding and difficult groups to write to. We wanted to write to soldiers that someone in the church knew personally...and not just write to random men and women in the service. It was important to me that we had some kind of a personal connection to this group, because I felt that these letters would be among some of the most important we would send.

I only knew of one soldier personally that I wrote to, and he was a friend from school when I was growing up.

So, to get to the point of my story today...
Last summer a bunch of new women members of the church came to my house one night for a ladies meeting. I was sharing about the group I led (called "Love In A Letter) and I always asked 2 things, 1) would you like to join us? and 2) do you know anyone who is serving our country that we could write to?

One lady started to speak, and then filled up with tears. She had to take a deep breath and try again. Barely able to keep her composure, she explained that her son was in Iraq...he was 20. She was very proud of her son, but it was amazingly difficult for her that he was so far away and was not in the safest of places. She gave me his address and the addresses of his friends in his unit. In all we had about 7 new people to write to...and we did! We wrote to all of them.

This morning, in the newspaper, on the front page of section B....There he was, the son of the woman who had been sitting in my living room! He had come home in December and was honored yesterday in a Freedom Salute ceremony for the Butner based 217th Personnel Services Battalion. (go to to see the story "Guard members get freedom salute).

I was so touched! I held up the paper and showed it to T and the kids and said, "I wrote to this guy! I met his mom and got his address and sent him a letter in Iraq!"

Silly isn't it? Maybe. I prayed for this man, a person I've never met, to come home safely and to see his mom again. I prayed for peace and protection of him and the people aroud him. And then there he was in the newspaper this morning...and all my prayers for him had been answered.

It was a sweet moment indeed.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Tonight at dinner I was asked...

I heard that when a horse and a donkey...uhhh, re-create, they make a that right?"

"Pro-create son, pro-create...and yes, they make a mule."

Why didn't you tell me about the trip you and dad took a long time ago when you saw so and so???"

Sister answers..."That was way back when they were just past their honeymoon. When they were all huggy and smoochy."

Mom: "Do you not think that daddy and I are huggy and smoochy now?"

sister: "No, you are wayyyy past that!"

What do I do with a 10 yr old and a 12 yr old???? Let me know if any of you are interested in spending time with these 2!!! They will keep you on your toes!!! :)