Just rambling thoughts about anything that happens to be on my mind and that usually isn't much!
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

The amazing brain

Yesterday, on the return trip from Columbia, MO, I marveled at functionality of the brain.  While passing a line of trucks at 70 mph on I-70, the one I was beside decided to merge into my lane.  The brain had to receive the information through the eyes, process the data, decide on the best approach to prevent an accident and carry out the resolution. 
Literally thousands of bodily functions were logically taking place due to this stimulus.  In a few milliseconds, I steered to the left just to the edge of the pavement, checked the rearview mirror for secondary threats, brake and hit the horn.  My brain was also processing the grass median for objects to avoid if I had to go into it.  My heart rate increased along with my respiration and both my hands gripped the steering wheel.  I noticed at the same time the Warden's hands reaching for the dashboard as she braced for impact, the flushed face and the gasp of fear.  All people have a logical path to avoid dangerous situations.
This might be called the "fear and flight" scenario.  Processes born out of experience, training and the need for natural preservation.  Next came the "anger and fight" scenario when the threat was over but it was short lived due to the fact I couldn't get my hands around that truck drivers neck, so I settled for a few chosen words.
Much later and almost home we waited beside a flagman on a two lane highway as a utility truck setup a new telephone pole beside the road.  The Warden and I watched as the various specialty and bucket trucks put men dangerously close to the live lines.  My brain was processing the immediate danger to the linemen who were working right beside high voltage electrical lines.
Then the Warden, who was watching as intently as I, said, "Scholar bowl."
My brain went into an immediate reboot sequence.  "Huh?"
"Watching that made me remember that I had some scholar bowl stuff to finish before school starts" she said matter-of-factly.
My brain was still trying to reboot. "How did that remind you of scholar bowl?"  I asked, hoping for some starting reference in my reboot process.
"The telephone pole made me think of phone.  Phone made me think of megaphone.  Megaphone -cheerleader.  Cheerleader-school.  School-scholar bowl!"  She answered as if everyone could follow the logical path.
I sat gripping the steering wheel, staring at the flagman who was frantically waving me to move on, my foot pushing on the brake and my brain somewhere between overload and shutdown.
I guess all brains don't work quite the same out side the danger zone.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A house full of kids

Yesterday I made a flying roundtrip to Columbia, MO to pick up Ruth and my newest granddaughter Tess (who are going to spend a weeklong vacation with us). Upon our return, we found the rest of the clan waiting, a welcome home and a house full of kids. So I beg of you at this time (as Paul did the Corinthian church), let me "do a little bragging". As I wrote in an earlier brag blog, let me tell you about my favorite grandkid.
The oldest and boldest.

Andrew and Faith (both 5 going on 25), being the oldest siblings of their respective clans, have most of the answers to the worlds problems. They of course can make these decisions based on their extensive life experiences. Their only need of the adult world is for the adult to reach something on the top shelf or to drive since they don't have their license yet..
Double trouble.

Aaron and Luke, (both 2) are constantly looking for something to get into.  The family can be sitting and visiting when the question arises, "Where's Luke?"  This is immediately followed by, "Where's Aaron?" (those two questions are interchangeable in order). Then there is an immediate flurry of activity, very similar to the flush of a covey of quail, as everyone scatters to find where the two are and what they are up to.
Weesome threesome.

Adah, Micah and Tess (10 months to 2 months) are of course still in the limelight with snuggles, coos and dirty diapers.  In each case, personalities are beginning to emerge.  I theorize them this way; Adah, wide-eyed and observant as if to say "Mama, did you see what they did?"  Micah, smiling and always looking around to see where the others are, "It's OK mom, I survived the last time!"  And Tess who lives the furthest from the group, quiet with wondering eyes, "Mom, are you sure I am kin to them?"
My oldest grandson Jacob (17) was unavailable, so he gets to escape this blogging!
Dennis (and proud Pappy)
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