Missed this too much to quit for good, so I am at it again. Not so much a small town, but adventures and fun none-the-less. Check it out if you dare.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
So this is more of just an FYI, but I started a new blog. New chapter, new blog. If anyone is interested in continuing on with reading about the shenanigans of this thing called life, please feel free to join me. No pressure, just stories :) Here is the new link:
Posted by JLS at 6:52 AM
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
It has been some time since I last posted on this blog, and the irony is that this will be my final post. I moved to Small Town X August 18, 2010 and on December 9, 2011 I say farewell and move up north and back to a population exceeding 6,000 people. When I moved here I felt as though I would do nothing but celebrate the day that I found myself escaping from this place, and although the next chapter seems exciting and welcomed, I leave Small Town X with gratitude and respect for my experiences over the last year or so. But what would be a proper goodbye after a roller coaster of experiences without one last crazy story to share with you. So without further a due, I give you my last week in Small Town X.
After discovering last Tuesday that I would be moving from Small Town X in a short ten days, I was overwhelmed to say the least. My first and most nerve racking concern, where was I going to live? It was an all consuming question, and I could not stop stressing about finding a place on such short notice. But leave it to Small Town X to teach me that there are more important things to be concerned with. While meeting with a couple individuals in the office, one of my employees ran in saying there was an irate customer and that I would need to handle it, and may need to call the police. I remember thinking that I HATE irate customers and getting yelled at mostly. I ran through the doors toward the back and was not prepared for the next four minutes of activity. As I went through the doors, I could hear someone screaming in a way that I can almost not describe. There are definitely different kinds of screaming. There is screaming in fear, excitement, frustration, rage and then this, crazy incoherent screaming. I knew in an instant this was not someone upset about a price or rule, this was something very different. As I reached for the door to the outside, in came the back of another employee physically trying to keep this man out. Every expletive in the book was being used, especially a particular four letter word, but what got the blood pumping and the adrenaline increasing was what message was being yelled in between them. It went something like this, go ahead and call the police you ... I am going to kill all of you! You are all dead! At that moment another yelled call 911. We had no idea if he had a weapon, all I could do was run to the phone a few feet away and called 911 as 3 employees continued to try and get the door shut and locked and run to the other doors to get them locked.
The dispatcher answered and I gave the only information I had at that point, an irate customer is out of control at work and is saying he is going to kill us. While I stayed on the line, gave instructions to my employees and tried to get people away from the door the police arrived in record time. I heard them grab him, and I ran out in time to see them throw him against the squad car in handcuffs and take him away. So much in about 4 minutes. The next hour was spent contacting potential employees that could be involved, giving my statement, helping others give theirs, answering questions and helping those that were involved work through what had happened and how to calm down. Needless to say, I hope that this is the closest I ever come to being seriously in danger at work, but it made me grateful for all the people I work with. No matter what the disagreements, the arguments, the conflicts in personalities that have taken place over the last year, when he came through those doors spitting and assaulting the men trying to protect us, everything vanished and the focus was protecting one another. There was no hesitation, no consideration for person or self, they protected one another. It was an incredible thing to witness despite the fear associated with what was going on. No matter the ups or downs, the highs and lows, this experience, and this time in Small Town X will keep a special place in my heart. I would expect nothing less than leaving with a bang from Small Town X. And a bang is what I have gotten. Thank you Small Town X and all the people that it is composed of. Who would have guessed that this city girl could have discovered that she is a little country under it all. For the final time.
Posted by JLS at 3:17 PM
Saturday, September 24, 2011
This is a saying that I have heard for years. The first time I can actually remember hearing it was in 4th grade when my class did a musical called great kings come in small packages. The performance was all based on powerful and strong kings from the scriptures that came in less than likely packages (what can I say I went to a private baptist school). Since then it has been expressed in different experiences. It was brought to the forefront of my life today when I finished my shift at work and headed out to a service project organized by women from my stake and the surrounding area. I did not feel like I really contributed much, an hour of time crocheting closed, balls that had been stuffed with soft centers that were being sent to different parts of the world, and making school bags to be sent to Nigeria. After the project was completed we all had some soup for dinner before listening to a broadcast of speakers. At dinner however, the organizers spoke about the service that had been going on in Small Town X over the last 14 weeks. It was summarized as follows. In Small Town X in the last 14 weeks, 4000 hours of service had been given, an average of 6 quilts per week were created, there was an average of 58 people per service day working, and today alone in 2 hours 605 school bags were made, 78 hygiene kits were put together, 4 baby quilts and 2 regular quilts sewed, and over a hundred stuffed toys were completed. Being in the midst of all these caring and compassionate women was incredible. They offered their time and talents with love and joy in their hearts. I know that this kind of love is shown in places all over the world, there was just a special feeling in Small Town X tonight. That such a small and perhaps overlooked spot in the world could offer what they have to individuals all over the planet was touching. The final speaker of the evening spoke about the flower forget-me-nots. When talking about what the five petals of this small but beautiful flower represented he said, forget not that you are loved by your Heavenly Father. I can imagine that every person, including myself, has felt forgotten or insignificant at one time or another. That their existence was valueless and that their meager contributions to this earthly experience would go unnoticed. What I was reminded of tonight through both word and action is that there is no individual on this earth that lacks inherent worth and value. And though their contribution may seem small at first, it can mean so much in the life of another. Having been the recipient of others' kindness I know that sometimes it is the small acts of love that mean the most. I was the recipient of such gifts as friends I care dearly about took time out of their busy schedules to come to a birthday dinner in the middle of the week. That sent messages and texts and made calls that meant so much more than I could ever express. Small Town X has taught me once again, that it is not about the destination, but the journey and to forget not to be happy now.
Posted by JLS at 7:59 PM
Monday, August 22, 2011
The county fair came to town here in Small Town X. The fliers were out and activities planned, and this was one Small Town X activity I was definitely interested in checking out for myself. In all "fair"ness (I can't help it I am "pun"ny) to Small Town X, my memories of fairs are primarily born from the Orange County Fair in Orange County, California. Now there is a fair! Building after building of booths and merchandise, which as a child I could not get through fast enough to begin the first of thousands of rides down the super slide on a burlap sack. Wearing the wrist band that gave me access to that slide was the best accessory I owned as a youngster. So needless to say, my expectations were unrealistic to say the least. So as I perused the list of activities that might catch my eye and work into my schedule, I was preparing myself for what might be offered. Then I saw it, something that I never could have prepared myself for. Among the lists of contests and opportunities to display your creations was a giant advertisement for the BEDAZZLE YOUR BRA COMPETITION. Yes you read it right, Small Town X's County Fair included a good ole fashioned bedazzled bra contest. At first I sat silent, stunned by what I had just read. And then it came, the uncontrollable laughter. Then the thought, I have got to see this for myself. So on a Thursday afternoon after work, I headed over to the fair grounds. Having never been. I was concerned with the limited amount of time that I had, that I would get lost and not cover all the high points. Others told me I could not get lost and they were not kidding. The entire fair was smaller than the parking lot we used to have to walk through to simply get to the OC fair. But experience the County Fair I did.
First stop, BMX show watching, not bad, but nothing too spectacular. Then onto the two rows of booths (did get a cute frame for my house). On to bingo, met some fun ladies but did not win. If it weren't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all! And then to the entry displays. And there is was, the bedazzled bra booth. Now I have to say that there do exist members of this county with a healthy since of humor. As you can see I included some pictures of the entries, as a picture is worth a thousand words. I did discover that the purpose of this booth was to support breast cancer awareness, which I am always up for. However, I also had an epiphany of my own. Next year should I find myself in or visiting Small Town X, I have my contest entry already planned. I do not own a bedazzler, nor am I willing to purchase one for this entry, but I have an alternative. I am going to purchase two small cones, like the ones soccer teams use to run drills, cover them with glued beads and glitter, tie them together and call it the Madonna. It may not win, but I think it will serve its purpose. Oh Small Town X, you do have a surprisingly wicked since of humor sometimes, and for that I am thankful. As the summer comes to a close, I hope you enjoy a trip to the fair and "expose" some of your own local treasures!
Posted by JLS at 8:08 AM
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Traditions. Traditions are great things. I have many traditions, both personally and with my family. Every year I buy my Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving in order to enjoy it for the longest duration of time. Fourth of July I watch fireworks somewhere, depending on where I happen to be. Every year my two best friends and I go on a trip together, that way no matter the distance we still are able to see one another. I always thought highly of traditions, what they symbolized, the happiness they offered. I should have realized these thoughts were lulling me into a false sense of traditional security. I attended my younger brother's wedding last week. It was a little surreal to think of him as being married, starting his own little family. His new bride looked beautiful, and together seemed indescribably happy. The day of the reception we drove down from Boston to Vermont and got ready to celebrate. Now weddings, there is an events just busting at the seams with traditions. The father daughter dance, the mother son dance, the first dance as husband and wife, the dollar dance, the cutting of the cake, etc. But the most well known of these traditions, the garter and bouquet toss. Now I have been to plenty of receptions in my time, but this experience was a first! On a side note there is something that you need to know about me to truly understand this experience from my perspective. If I do not know you, I have a HUGE personal bubble. Once I know you I am all about the hugs and touch, but until then... no good. Now back to that night. It is time for the garter toss. The DJ instructs my brother to stand at the far end of the room and his wife to sit in a chair in the middle. He starts the music and my brother is to strut and dance his way to her, dance around her three times and then take off the garter. Well this is quite the spectacle as he dances his way up and around, adding a little lap dance in for his bride, and "shaking his money maker" as I have heard it described. Then the bachelors gather round and the garter is caught by one of the group. Since I only knew the family and best man, who this man was, was unknown to me. Then the bouquet toss comes around. I have never caught a bouquet, there are usually a good number of girls really fighting to the death over it, and frankly I have never viewed this as a competitive sport. This particular day all the single ladies included me, my two sisters, and a couple other girls. The bouquet was tossed and before I knew it, it was in my hands. I thought it was neat to have caught it for the first and only time at my brother's reception and went on my merry way. This is when "tradition" decided to make this an experience I will never forget.
The DJ announces that I have to now sit in the middle of the room on the chair. Confused and now very anxious he announces that the man that caught the garter will now be dancing towards and around ME before placing the garter on ME! My first thought is utter horror and that this is the worst possible situation for me. Once again, tradition and a creative man proved me wrong. As he dances towards me I can feel my face flaming red and I just kept thinking get it over with. But this man would not be outdone by my brother's performance. How can he out-perform him you ask? By starting the take his clothing OFF! It was at that moment that I thought, I am going to physically die of embarrassment and utter awkwardness. Then panic seizes me as the tie comes off on the first turn, the shirt begins to come off the second and I think, "there is at least one more round!" What do I yell out over the roaring laughter and applause going on? "I am mormon!" Why I thought that this information would save me, I have no idea, but there it was. The response that came next was also something I had not anticipated that night. As he dances around again he leans in a says, "Don't worry, me too. It won't go any further." At that point I lost it too. Relief mixed with total helplessness overcame me and I just started cracking up. After having the garter placed onto me, I jumped up and could not escape fast enough. The most ironic part of this experience, meeting this man's fiance afterwards. I think there should be an unwritten guideline for the garter toss participants. If wedding someone any time in the next 6 months, or with fiance present, pass on that tradition. Let me tell you, I have never witnessed this half of the tradition anywhere else, but now that I know it exists, that bouquet and I are mortal enemies. I will catch no more.
Posted by JLS at 6:43 AM
Monday, June 20, 2011
A top hat, cumber-bun, white gloves and a wand. Add a magic word and kazam! You have a magician. Magicians have dazzled and amazed throughout time, inspiring wonder and curiosity for the unknown. They vary in skill and ability. And yet one would think that in order to really appreciate a good magic show, the magician's skill would need to be exceptional. Today proved quite the opposite, as I witnessed the greatest show on earth (and no, this was not Barnum and Bailey). I was at work (a new job in a medicaid rehabilitation center) when I got wind of a magic show being performed for the residents. I took my seat in the audience and prepared myself to be dazzled. Well our 81 year old magician put on quite a show, but I quickly discovered it was more of a comedy act than actual magic. Let me just share with you the highlights. The stage was set for the magic of popcorn making. A silver dish with a lid was filled with un-popped kernels of popcorn, a dash of salt and oil and a glide of the magic wand. Then what should happen but that the bowls were mixed up and the one pre-filled with pre-popped popcorn spilled out right before our very eyes. But did this little mishap phase our magician, NO! He just picked up the bowls, turned around and switched them only to replace the lid and set it on the podium. The best part of witnessing this super secret switcharoo, was that after a minute or two of waiting he tapped his wand on the covered silver dish and said, "I don't know about you, but I hear some popping going on!" I am not sure if the popping he was hearing was the kernels of corn or the muffled laughter of the staff in the audience. For one of the finale tricks he placed three glasses on the table, covered by a pie tin, with three empty toilet paper rolls on top each with a plastic egg cradled atop the empty rolls. Then he emphasized that the trick should be done with real eggs, but that it was better for him to stick with plastic ones. Boy was he right! He grabbed a broom, held the bristles with his foot and catapulted the handle at the pie tin. Now because I was unable to see what should have happened with the eggs, this is how I think it was supposed to go... Broom handle hits pie tin, eggs end up in respective glasses. This is how it did go... (both attempts) broom handle hits pie tin, toilet paper rolls, eggs and glasses and everything goes flying! Needless to say, all of us in the audience were grateful that no actual eggs were harmed in the execution of this magic trick. Although some lesser magicians would have left the performance with egg on their face (both literally and figuratively), this magic man ensured to leave with pride by using plastic instead. Life is a comedy, not always a drama.
Posted by JLS at 6:14 PM