Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Packin' Heat

About a month ago, my little family and I were walking to one of the playgrounds in our neighborhood. As we crossed the street to the park, I noticed a man acting really suspiciously. I felt nervous and whispered to Jeff, "Is that guy packing heat?"

(Don't ask me why I said it that way. I really do have a degree in literature and editing. Even now I wonder why my immediate expression was "packing heat" instead of "carrying a gun" or something.)

Jeff didn't hear what I said, and the kids charged onto the playground. I felt really uncomfortable, but then a police dog showed up, and it became apparent that yes, the man was packing heat, but he was not casing the joint for a future heist. He was part of a police team training a dog.

My assumption was completely incorrect even though it was derived accurately from the appearances. The man was creeping behind a building trying to not be detected. And he was carrying a weapon.

But he was a police officer, training a dog.

(The training continued throughout the neighborhood, and I got to watch a few other maneuvers while sitting at the play ground. It was pretty interesting. What a smart dog!)

This experience made me wonder how often my assumptions are incorrect.

And it made me reflect on how dangerous it can be to make judgments based on appearances.

So often though, that's all you have to go by. So I guess the key is to be as generous as possible. To initially assume the best. And to always be open to reevaluate when new information is available.

In other news, my husband is in Africa again. Specifically Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Do you know there is an African nation whose official language is Spanish? There is. And it's Equatorial Guinea. Jeff is enjoying being in a country that speaks Spanish.

I had hoped he would get to see the volcano there, but he can't find tours to it. It seems that EQ isn't set up for tourists. The kids and I have survived three nights so far. The level of chaos in my house is high. It appears that one good thing about separation is that it increases my appreciation for having him around. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder.

And in other, other news, here is a vignette from my household.

Wife: I can't decide which frames to buy. But you know, YOLO, right?

Husband: What?

Wife: You know—"YOLO"—You Only Live Once.

Husband: I don't think anyone who uses that expression is talking about buying bright blue glasses.

Silence. A few minutes pass.


Jill is working on memorizing the Articles of Faith. I love how she says the second one: "We believe that that man must be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgressions." She feels very strongly about "that man."

My family had a reunion last month. All of my siblings made it to celebrate my mother's birthday. The oldest grandchild is 5 1/2 years old. And there are twelve grandchildren! Yes, it was a crazy week. But very fun. :)

Here are some cousins: Hallie, Annibelle, Hanna, Jill, Emily, Daniel, and Callie.

Jill LOVES having a baby sister.

Danny walked around with his baseball and bat today but couldn't find anyone to play with.
He definitely misses his daddy.


  1. Sad little boy with his baseball and bat! Oh, the image is enough to break my heart. I love Jill and her little interpretations. That man is soooo naughty. Too bad about the volcano! And did you see in the BYU alumni magazine about the Provo police force vs the campus police force? That's a funny story kind of similar to yours. Love you!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Ames. That's awesome. :)

  2. You will have to learn how to play baseball. Some days, when the boys were older, you would find me in the driveway pitching little plastic golf balls to a boy using a broom handle as a bat. Improves their ability to hit. LOL Every time I see a picture of Danny with all those girl cousins I think: "Poor boy"!

  3. how do you handle him being in Africa? Does it make you nervous that he's so far away? Eric travels for work a few times a year and I never like being a single parent but I'm used to it. He's spending almost two weeks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (that's a french speaking one) next month and I'm definitely on the fence about that....

    1. I would be lying to say if I didn't worry, but I do worry about everything. I calm myself down by telling myself that he is more likely to die driving on the interstate here than he is having something go wrong on his business trip. And I pray. :) I don't know anything about the safety of the DR of Congo, so I can't specifically speak to that, but there are a lot of places in Africa that are quite safe. We just hear about the places dealing with unrest and war so much in the news that it scares me about the whole continent. And then I have to go back to calming myself down.

  4. I think the glasses are awesome and agree with your assessment of the situation there. Maybe the police should have picked a neighborhood without a park? But I guess the dog would not have received adequate training that way. They could have posted signs though saying they would be doing a police training exercise, creepy people at parks are no good.


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