Cookin', Critters and Chillun

Proud of Americans

I am so proud of Salem and Roanoke County people and other Americans who made the efforts to vote Tuesday.

It wasn’t easy for everybody, and yet, they voted. The lines were long much of the day. That’s a good thing. I was impressed.

I hear about a 103-year-old woman who is recovering at at Salem Rehab made her way, with help, to cast her absentee vote in person in Salem. On Tuesday, I saw a voter a wheelchair who is evidently fighting cancer, judging from her bald head. There were older people hobbling to the voting machines on walkers. An entire bus of residents from Richfield Retirement Community arrived at another poll to vote.

And Salem High School students Will Pratt, Noah Carter and Seth Green showed up outside North Salem No. 1 to hand out sample ballots. Sure, they got extra credit for their government classes, but they were there.

What got me excited were 9-year-old Dylan Copeland, 9, a Fort Lewis Elementary student, watching her mom, Tracy Iddings, vote.

And across the room, 3-year-old Jack Lawrence waved a miniature American flag while waiting with his dad, Joshua Lawrence of Glenvar, to vote at the Wildwood Precinct.

I hope these kids remember the excitement of being part of a presidential election, and that they will vote when they’re old enough.


Another love note from God


As part of my continuing absent-mindedness left over from general anesthesia – at least I’m going to blame it on that – for having my “angry gallbladder” removed two weeks ago, I couldn’t find my cell phone the other day. I’m not a person who loses my phone, even though I don’t check it constantly and it’s not a fancy, smancy smart phone. All it does it make and receive calls, store numbers and take some really bad photos.

I knew I’d had my phone on Saturday night when we called fellow University of Georgia graduate Steve Smeltzer to yell, “Goooooooooo, Dawgs. Sic ’em, woof, woof, woof, woof” after UGA defeated Ole Miss where Steve and Sandy’s son graduated.

Of course, I had turned my phone off after that so I couldn’t call and hear it ring. I did call and tell my phone I loved it, though. The message is still there.

Bill and I searched just about everywhere: in my car, in his car, on the table in the dining room, on the counter in the kitchen, in pockets of dirty clothes, in the washing machine, the dryer, underneath furniture, and then, all over again. “Please, God, find my phone for me,” I prayed. “You know I need it for my peace of mind and self confidence, that I’m not totally losing it.”

We considered that giant puppy Catawba might have snatched the phone and even swallowed it. Two weeks ago we found the kitchen phone stashed upstairs with his toys.

I repeated my prayers while on my knees searching under the bed. And shining a flashlight while kicking four inches of leaves near the mailbox. And in Bill’s car, again, for about the fifth time.

Finally, while in the back seat once more, I glanced up to see our fruit-loop Himalayan cat, Jade, sitting comfortably on the hood of Bill’s car. Just then, I noticed my cell phone in the dark behind the front seat. It hadn’t been there a moment before, I’m certain. Thank you, God, for answering my prayer. And for keeping all of us safe and relatively sane.


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