When You Die, Leave a Forwarding Address!

May 30, 2008

We just received this forwarded e-mail.  I’ve deleted the name of the bank, in case it isn’t true. Unfortunately, I CAN see this happening. (Sorry about the crazy spacing — it happened somewhere between the copy and paste, and I can’t get it to change!)

”Be sure to cancel your credit cards before you die. This is so priceless, and so easy to see happening, customer service being what it is today.  

“A lady died this past January, and her credit card company billed her for February & March for their annual service charges on her credit card, & added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00,  but now it was somewhere around $60.00.

A family member placed a call to the credit card company and here’s the exchange:

Family Member: ‘I am calling to tell you she died in January.’

Company: ‘The account was never closed and the late fees & charges still apply.’

Family Member: ‘Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.’

Company: ‘Since it is 2 months past due, it already has been.’
Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?’


: ‘Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!’
Family Member: ‘Do you think God will be mad at her?’
: ‘Excuse me?’
Family Member: ‘Did you just get what I was telling you — the part about her being dead?’
Company: ‘Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor.’ 


(Supervisor gets on the phone):
Family Member: ‘I’m calling to tell you she died in January.’
Supervisor:  This
 account was never closed, so the late fees and charges still apply.’ (This must be a phrase taught by the bank!)
Family Member: ‘Do you mean you want to collect from her estate?’
: (stammering) ‘Are you her lawyer?’
Family Member: ‘No, I’m her great nephew.’
: ‘Could you fax us a certificate of death?’






Family Member: ‘Sure.’ (fax number is given)

After they get the fax:

Supervisor: ‘Our system just isn’t set up for death. I don’t know what more I can do to help.’

Family Member: ‘Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I really don’t think she will care.’


Supervisor: ‘Well, the late fees & charges do still apply.’  (What is wrong with these people?!?)

Family Member: ‘Would you like her new billing address?’




: ‘Yes, that will help.’
Family Member: ‘ Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69.’
: ‘Sir, that’s a cemetery!’
Family Member: ‘What do you do with dead people on your planet?


A Bad Memory Can Be a Good Thing!

May 27, 2008


I hate it when I forget where I have put something, what time I’m supposed to be somewhere, the name of a person I’ve known for years or the punch line to a funny story.  But, I have come to realize that there are some times when a bad memory is a good thing.

There has been a woman in the news recently who has a perfect memory — she can remember everything that has ever happened to her, exactly — and she can remember every word that has ever been said to her.  It sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

In the writing class I just completed, Dr. H told us about just such a person he once interviewed for a magazine article.  He said he asked the woman (maybe the same woman who I recently read about?), “Is it great to never have to study for a test and always know where everything is?”  She said, yes, those things were nice, but that actually the perfect memory had been a negative in her life.  Of course, Dr. H asked why.  She explained that she remembered every unkind thing that had ever been said or done to her in perfect detail — so, it made relationships very hard.  For instance, if she saw a  person on the street from her long-ago 4th grade class, she would immediately remember the time that person called her a name on the playground!  So, while the other person was just glad to see someone they recognized from a long time ago and would have loved to chat about the old days, she was immediately having to fight off the urge to call the person a name — in retaliation for that hurt from years before!

So, maybe having a perfect memory isn’t such a great thing, but how about just a pretty good one — that should be terrific, don’t you think?  Well, as much as I loved Mama, Mama had a pretttty darn good memory, and tended to hold a grudge.  When I was in high school and would get mad at one of my friends, I learned quickly to be careful not to let Mama know, because she would sometimes hold a little grudge against that friend, long after I had made up with them (and, of course, she was only hearing her “baby’s” side of the story, so I was always in the right!).  It was just simpler not to let her know. 

Mama had lots of great memories that were fun to hear her retell, but she also remembered slights and unkind acts for years, and would sometimes bring them up in conversation, so that not only she but those of us in her family too could never forget them!  Let me just say, there are many things about Mama that I have tried to emulate in my life, but this isn’t one of them and, I’ve been aided in that effort by my really bad memory.

I can think of people who I used to dislike, but now I cannot for the life of me remember why!  Thankfully, it is verrry hard to hold a grudge if you can’t remember the offense!  

Recently, a friendship of mine that seemed to be broken beyond repair has regained new life!  I am so thankful for that, and I know that the healing that we will have to go through will be aided by a bad memory.  (To help that, I have deleted e-mails and thrown away letters that I might be tempted to revisit, that would do absolutely nothing to help repair the friendship — just open old wounds.) 

Thank you God for my bad memory, and for those whom I have offended during my life who have (or have at least chosen to have) bad memories too!

Remembering on Memorial Day

May 23, 2008

A very patriotic guy we do business with sent a letter to all of his customers with the following quote in it, in honor of Memorial Day, and I think it’s worth passing on.  Thank you, Jake.

“At a Veteran’s Day ceremony in November 1985 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, then-President Ronald Reagan offered these words of praise and inspiration:

“It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away.  The imagination plays a trick.  We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise.  We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired.  But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived.  When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers.  They gave up their chance to be revered old men.  They gave up everything for our country, for us.  And all we can do is remember.”

May we never forget that freedom isn’t free — that those we honor on Memorial Day paid the ultimate price for our freedom. 

Response to Comments are Appreciated Too!

May 19, 2008

Recently there have been some posts on other blogs about how much bloggers appreciate comments.  And I absolutely agree.  They are the “paycheck” for a blogger — and comfirmation that someone is “out there.”

When I first started writing a blog, I just enjoyed reading any comments I received, and that was that.  But THEN I started reading Simple Words I Understand (see my blog roll at right, if you’d like to visit her), and noticed that she responded to comments she received.  It hadn’t occurred to me to do that on my blog, but as a commenter on her blog, I really enjoyed knowing that if I left a comment, I could go back later and see what she had replied.

So, (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?) I started responding to comments on my blog too — and then sometimes the commenter responds to my comment.  Kind of like a conversation.  It’s cool.

So, for those of you who are bloggers, I highly recommend this back and forth with your commenters.  Sometimes, two or three will re-comment, and it can get really interesting.

Just a suggestion to think about.

Eighteen to Sixty-two in the Blink of an Eye

May 16, 2008

Yesterday I turned 62 years old, and DD wrote a very nice post about me.  She doesn’t post very often since she went back to work full time, so it’s especially touching to me that she took the time to write it.  Thank you, DD.

In regard to this milestone birthday, I really do wonder, “Where did those years go?”  It’s so hard to imagine it until you get here, but it is a reallllly short trip from 18 to 62!

For all of you who are young and very, very busy with children and careers, I urge you to find some time to sit down and really think and pray about your life and ask yourself, “When I’M turning 62, where do I want to be?  What do I want to have achieved?  Most importantly, what do I want my relationships with my family to be like?”  And then, use your answers as goals to guide all the decisions you make. 

Believe me, this is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” things.  I wasn’t very good at setting a course through life, and it made life for me, and my family, sometimes very bumpy.  I thank God that Hubby, my “rock,” was there to love me and support me, and sometimes “pull my bacon out of the fire.”  I can’t imagine what my life would have been without him.

By the grace of God, my life, and those of my family, have turned out pretty well, but certainly not because of any planning or organization or goal-setting on my part!  And I know the “road” would have been smoother if I HAD taken the time to set goals.

So, my suggestion — have some goals to keep you on course and then just savor the good and diminish the bad as much as you can, and ask for God’s help and guidance in all of it.

And, by the way, all things considered, 62 isn’t so bad.  (Well, at least not as an age, but I try realllly hard to avoid it as a golf score!)

A Just Ducky Update

May 14, 2008

Beginning on Friday, I have had to resist telling you what I had seen, but now it’s time.

On Friday morning when I went out to say good morning to Just Ducky, she wasn’t on the nest and several of the eggs were laying outside the nest, broken.  I checked over and over again throughout the day, and she never returned.  Then Hubby reminded me that the Orken guy had been here on Thursday to give our foundation the every-three-month spray.  We immediately decided that that might have figured into JD’s disapearance.  The Orken guy might have sprayed too close to her nest, and somehow “tainted” it for her, so she had abandoned it, and it appeared that scavenger animals were helping themselves to the eggs.

I was very sad.  (I know, silly, but I WAS!) Then, on Saturday morning the guy who was going to put down our mulch called and said he would be there that afternoon.  We had previously told him that he would have to skip the corner where the duck’s nest was, and we would put it there later, after she didn’t need it any more.

So, when the “mulcher” called, I told him his timing was perfect because the duck had abandoned the nest, so he could just cover it with mulch.  That would also keep me from continually re-checking the nest to see if anything had changed — more a dream than a realistic hope!  So he mulched Saturday afternoon, and I was thinking that I would have to have some kind of post for those of you who had read my previous post about our duck, but I just didn’t know what to say.

Sunday, we were going to late church, so about mid-morning we were sitting in the sun room drinking coffee, reading the paper and looking out at the water.  And, then, a mother duck and three ducklings went waddling across the yard.  Hubby said, “Do you suppose that could be your duck?” (He never admitted any attachment to her, so she was always “my” duck.)

All of a sudden the nest that had appeared abandoned seemed more likely to be a “no longer needed” nest!  The broken egg shells could have been the ones these babies came out of!  And, somehow, I guess Just Ducky would have known that that was all that were going to hatch.

I was a little hesitant to embrace this happy ending to what I had considered a sad little tale, but, you know, that duck and her three babies are spending a lot of time in our yard.  I went out and spoke to her yesterday when she was “showing” her babies the deck and letting them run along the brick sidewalk, but as soon as I walked out they all headed for the water. 

What fun they are to watch.  And, Hubby just laughs when I talk about another sighting of “our ducks!

Happy Mother’s Daty to Just Ducky too!

The Best of the Blogging World — Reaching Out

May 12, 2008

I have added two blogs to my blog roll and I’d like to recommend them both to all who read this.

I Should Be Folding Laundry by Beth — DD and I attended a bloggers get-together last October that Beth had organized.  So, I’ve met Beth, and got to be a witness to her first-ever taste of guacamole!  She is a very clever blogger, but one who has recently gone through the loss of the precious twins she was pregnant with.  The outpouring of love and support on her blog by her readers for her and her husband and their two surviving children was wonderful, and two of the ways she has handled her tragedy is by getting active in causes that are dear to her heart, and also by sharing her feelings about her loss in her posts — very inspiring.  I recommend her blog for all these reasons, and also — she funny!

The other blog I’ve added is Leslie’s Journey.   I found out about Leslie and Tyson through Llama Mama’s blog.  They are a young couple from LM’s church, who are going through serious, serious health problems.  This blog tells the story of their ups and downs, and gives witness to the faith that they cling to.  Very touching and yet awe-inspiring to read.

There is alot of entertainment to reading blogs, but there are also some really touching stories on blogs that can make us think and pray and care about people whom we would never have even known about without blogging!  I believe that is God-pleasing. 

Tag Attacher says, “Oops!”

May 8, 2008

Today is the first day of my golf league.  So, I just got out a new sun visor I had bought recently.  It is one of those that has kind of a headband in it, but the headband goes across your forehead and across the top of your ears, instead of a “real” headband that goes over the top of your head.  And that, of course, is because this “headband” has a visor on it that would look pretty darn silly sticking up on top of your head, and it wouldn’t give you much shade either! (Is that clear as mud?)

Anyway, I noticed that there was a label attached to the inside.  I wondered why there would be a label on this visor.  Was it a warning that it is flammable?  Or a warning “it is illegal to remove this label” like you see on mattresses?  Anyway, I cut it out because I thought it might show, but before I threw it away, I looked to just see what it actually said, and then I laughed out loud.  I quote:

“Machine wash cold.  Gentle cycle.  Do not bleach.  Lay flat to dry.  Cool iron if necessary.  Wash separately with like colors.” 

It’s a $10 visor, for heaven sake.  But, when I read the first part, there was something in my mind that said, “Hey, I never thought about a visor being able to be washed in the machine!”  But, they lost me from “Lay flat to dry” on.  I have no idea why this label ended up sewn to a cheap, rigid, would-probably-fall-apart-even-if-you-hand-washed-it visor, but it made me laugh out loud, and I hope it makes you smile too.

Now I’m going to play golf — in the league — with many women who have played the game a long time, and are very good — and I haven’t as much as swung a club since last fall.  I hope I don’t embarrass myself (more than usual, that is — I’m not a great golfer).  One friend told me last year that I play “Army golf.”  Right.Left.Right.Left.  She’s right.  I use the WHOLE course.

Happy Thursday!

Just Ducky

May 6, 2008

About three weeks ago, a duck built her nest in the mulch about 5 ft. from the front door.  I can see why she picked it — she and her nest blended with the mulch so well that it was hard to see her from very far away.  Also, she was in an “L”  in the side of the house that must have seemed “cozy” and the spot was under the overhang, so it had some protection from being seen by any other birds flying over.

Soon after we noticed the nest four eggs appeared in it.  The next time we looked it had eight.  And then, we never saw the eggs again, because she was either patiently sitting on them, or if she was away, they would be covered with the soft, downy pin feathers she had lined the nest with.

I have to admit we did discuss removing the nest before it had eggs in it, but before we got it removed, eggs started showing up, so we said, “Why not here?”  Geese have become a little bit of an annoyance around our neighborhood, but the ducks are just fun to watch and aren’t a problem.  

Anyway, she turned out to be the perfect “guest.”  She never said a word.  Although when we had a group here about a week ago, she did turn around with her back to all the busy-ness of people coming and going.  But usually she would just sit absolutely still and looked you in the eye. 

Since “Just Ducky” came, I got in the habit of going to get the morning paper through the front door, instead of through the garage, so that I could check on her, and give her a quiet, “Good Morning.”  And she became a “check point” once or twice at other times in my day too.  And if anyone came to the house and entered through the garage, it was always fun to take them to the front door and have them stick their head out to see “our duck.” 

Well, I think this fun little episode has come to an end.  When I went out to get the paper a few minutes ago, she wasn’t on the nest, the eggs weren’t covered with the pin feathers, and one of the eggs was laying broken beside the nest.  I’m afraid something has gotten Just Ducky.

Wait!!!!!!!  Stop the presses!!! Before I closed this sad little tale, I decided to go out and walk all the way around the house to check for a “body” so that I would know for sure what had happened.  But when I walked out the door just now, she was sitting on the nest!!!  I would have hugged her if I could!

Now, I wish she could talk, so that she could tell me what the heck happened.  I’m so glad she’s back!!

Happy Tuesday. 

A Waiting Murder

May 4, 2008

They watched in silence, by design blending with their surroundings, unnoticed by the passing motorists.  They were waiting for the perfect time to make their move.

It was early in the day and there was a steady flow of traffic — too much activity for them to do anything but watch — too dangerous now.  But, they were patient.  Their time would come.

And then, when the sun was high in the sky, the traffic gradually stopped and they were alone with their prey.

The murder of crows swooped down from the high branches of the trees where they had been waiting and had their mid-day meal of road kill, in leisure.  They would be safely back in the trees before the going-home traffic on the road started (and, with any luck, supplied another meal!). 

Inspired by a conversation I had with “multi-pierced and tatooed girl”  who sits next to me in my writing class.  She gave me her latest story to read called, “The Murder.”  It involved “a flock” of crows that she told me are sometimes called “a murder.”