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i am

Asleep, I lie oblivious, unaware. Dawn opens the curtain of today and I am teased  awake. Now I know. Now i am. . . because of I AM.

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House Guest; Night Visitors

At 5:30 on this  Friday morning, I give up. I have spent the night with the nicest people, but they just won’t leave me alone, deciding at all hours to continue coming into my room to talk and indulge in other activities. Oh, they’re nice about it–no problem there–and when they awake me, it’s with a gentle voice. “Shirley, Shirley, are you awake?”

Around 10:00 pm, one of them shot my belly with a sharp needle. At 11:30, they did an EKG. Waiting until the EKG people were finished was a sweet girl from the lab, who sucked out more of my blood, followed by a young man pulling a machine that snapped up a recording of my blood pressure. He stuck a thermometer in my mouth, quickly removed it and said, as though quite pleased with himself, “Ninety-seven point eight.”

I was sleepy, so I settled into my bed and had drifted into a sweet sleep when I heard the pleasant voice of my nurse, Mandy…”Shirley.”


“I have pills for you.” I sat straight up in bed, smiled and said okay. The clock on the wall before me said 12:30. Mandy brought three pills, explained what they were, then handed me a white styrofoam cup. “Potassium. Your potassium is slightly low.” She smiled as she handed me the cup. “Afraid it doesn’t taste too good. I’ve mixed it with apple juice.”

She was dead-right about the taste, but as she stood by my bed and watched, I drank  down the concoction and handed her the empty cup. “I’ll be back with another dose in two hours.” Sweetly she said the words, and she smiled as she took the cup.

I couldn’t help myself. I looked again at the clock and did a quick calculation. 2:30. 2:30 am. It would be 2:30 on a Friday morning when I again would have the privilege to drink down potassium laced apple juice. She smiled, did sweet Mandy. “Anything else I can do for you?” No, I said, smiling back. I’m fine.

Sound asleep I was, when Mandy’s kind voice said, “Shirley, I have your potassium.” Sure enough at 2:30 this morning, into my already nauseated little tummy from a white styrofoam cup, I ingested a potassium/applejuice cocktail. I could hardly get it down, but Mandy was standing sweetly by, so how could I refuse her. (They’re smart here–that standing by business–for truth be told, had I been left on my own, I just might have shared that fine cocktail with the white porcelain sink that sits in a corner near my bed.)

At 4:30, I was visited by the NA with the thermometer and the blood pressure machine. “Any pain?” he asked. I muttered in the negative. He sounded out the temp: “Ninety-eight point 1.”

Into my guest room at 5:20 came the sweet young lady, who I had learned last night is from Memphis, Tenn., and who now operates one of the EKG machines here in Lake Havasu. A kind smile accompanied her soft brown face as she turned up the room lights and nicely inquired; “Did you sleep well?”

“Uh, yes, I slept well.” I paused for effect, then added. “In between visitors.” She smiled and went about the business of decorating me with sticky patches to which she fastened a bunch of different colored wires.

5:30 “I’m here from the lab. Doctor wants me to draw some blood.”

“Okay. What’s it for?”

“Heart enzymes,” she said as she dinked around with my left arm. “Little stick here.”

….so I give up. It’s now daylight. The night is far spent.


Now, don’t anybody worry about me. I had this lingering peculiar sensation in my chest yesterday, along with some nausea, and after calling my doctor’s office in California for an appointment, the nurse said go to the nearest emergency room. So they popped me in here for a 24 hour observation. Everything seems fine, a heart attack has been ruled out, the cardiologist told me last evening, he doesn’t think it is my heart at all, but I’m having a stress test this morning, then I’ll probably be released. I’m fine, but I do appreciate your prayers.

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The Mystery of Sleep

I’ve thought about it frequently. What happens? Where do we go? What are we doing?

Some people do it a lot; others a little, but everyone does it. Sleep. We all sleep. But what is sleep?

I’ve never slept a lot, and when I was in Bible school, I was selected to go from room to room in the dormitory to wake the girls every morning. I wasn’t always popular as you can well imagine.

In my childhood, I walked in my sleep, strolled around the house, and checked out things. Sometimes I would wake up, feel a little silly and find my way back to bed. Never went out of the house, or anything like that. Funny thing is the second night Jerry and I were married, I climbed out of bed and sauntered around a bit.

Jerry saw me. “Shirley, come over here and sit down.” He patted the side of the bed. I obediently walked where he indicated and sat down on the edge of the bed.

“Hmm…what’s this I married?” I believe he muttered.

I also talked in my sleep when I was young, but I have lost both skills–I no longer walk or talk in my sleep. But I’ve taken up another habit so that I’m not totally bored when I sleep: I snore. Well, at least that’s what Jerry says, but I’m not sure I can always believe him on that subject. 🙂 One more thing you need to know. I taught my children to walk and talk in their sleep. Not all of them and I’m not sure any one was as skilled in this field as I. One of the boys–can’t remember which one–walked one night to the kitchen, obviously asleep, and lifted the lid to the wastebasket, apparently thinking he was in the bathroom.

So, with such a background, I was intrigued this morning to find this study. Take a look.

(CBS) Human beings spend on average one third of their lives asleep. We know we need to sleep but most of us have never really given a whole lot of thought to why.

Why do we spend seven or eight hours a night immobile and unconscious? What really happens inside our brains and bodies while we’re sleeping?

We’ve known the purpose of our other biological drives for hundreds of years: we eat to give our bodies energy, we drink to keep hydrated, we procreate to perpetuate the species – among other things. But what is the biological purpose of sleep?

The entire extremely interesting article is here.

Any of you walk or talk in your sleep? Snore?


My devotional blog is here.

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Acclaim for Tucson Radisson

Tucson Radisson Pool, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.
As we stepped from our room onto the landing, this was our night view at the Tucson Radisson where we stayed three nights last week. It was a splendid hotel in other ways:
  • They supplied seamless internet service at no charge.
In my experience this is unusual for fine hotels. It seems strange, but cheaper lodging places seem more likely to provide free internet service.
Also very neat was a notice on the desk that down in the cafe they had laptops that any guest could use. Had my own so I didn’t need to check that out. It seems they also offer free copy services.
  • They served a spectacular breakfast buffet at no charge. (well, no additional charge. I’m sure we paid for it.)
Jerry and I both agree we have never eaten finer breakfasts anywhere. Presented on the bountiful buffet each morning were: eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, toast, quick bread loaves (banana, blueberry, oatmeal) , waffles, french toast, freshly baked muffins, oatmeal, fresh fruit, yogurt, milk, dry cereal, orange juice and outstanding coffee.
  • Our room was a two-room suite. The living room area had a couch, chairs, desk, fridge and a microwave.
  • Our mattress was a Select Comfort. Down comforter, lush pillows.
  • Parking was convenient and free.
  • The glass elevators took in the scene pictured here.
  • The prices of the rooms were reasonable.
  • The grounds were splendid.
Going to Tucson? Try the Radisson on Speedway. It’s a great place.
My devotional blog is here.


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Hanging with Teens

I haven’t determined whether we are extra smart, or extra lacking in smarts–Jerry and me–for here in the frisky days of the year 2008, we are ensconced in the towers of the Radisson in Tucson. Asleep in their beds (presumably, and hopefully!) in the adjoining room to ours are a couple of teen-aged girls that we brought yesterday from Lake Havasu to a youth conference here at Paul Conner’s church. (a seven hour trip!) Tell me–what are we doing? We’re not exactly of the age to be zipping around with young people, hanging out at youth conferences, and discussing late night “lock-ins.”

What we’re doing is making a stab at linking a couple of sweet girls to a vibrant crowd of enthusiastic young people who have decided to follow Jesus. We ‘re intent on enticing them to the Good Life by giving them a long look at the joy and beauty that emanates from several hundred young people who have dedicated their lives to righteous and godly principles.

We could do with a little extra prayer the next couple of days–Jerry and I. 🙂


My devotional blog is here.

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Asleep At the Controls

Shafts of Light Near Las Vegas, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

My favorite part of flying is the takeoff, and it goes from that to the leveling out segment, and then the landing. I love to fly and am not nervous about it at all. But when I read this report of commercial pilots being sound asleep as they approached Denver in an Airbus jet, inwardly I yelped. What? How could this be?

A pair of commercial pilots fell asleep in the cockpit on their way to Denver in 2004 and sped toward the airport at twice the speed allowed, according to an anonymous report by the captain on a federal safety Web site.The unnamed pilot of the “red eye” flight said he woke up to frantic calls from air traffic controllers and landed without a problem.

(I snapped this picture recently on my return trip from Portland. I believe we were ready to land at Sacramento here.)

The ASRS self-reporting site reveals details of the harrowing near disaster.

A commercial pilot had recently switched schedules to flying three “red eyes” in a row between Denver and Baltimore with only one hour in between flights. On March 4, 2004, during the third late-night flight, the pilot and his first officer were approaching Denver in an A319 Airbus jet — about the size of a Boeing 737 — and they were fast asleep.

“LAST 45 MINS OF FLT I FELL ASLEEP AND SO DID THE FO,” or first officer, a one-paragraph report in a NASA-run public reporting system says.

“MISSED ALL CALLS FROM ATC (air-traffic controller),” the report continues, saying that the plane was supposed to be traveling at less than 290 mph, but they were moving at a clip of about 590 mph.


Unbelievable, I say. Makes me slightly less confidence about boarding those beautiful birds and plunging into the sky.

(Approaching Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines plane.)


My devotional blog is here.

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The Mystery of Sleep

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This business of sleep and individual requirements is a fascinating one. Sleep, itself, is intriguing and somewhat mysterious. What happens when we sleep? What is our mind doing? Whence come those dreams? What occurs within our consciousness? Why is it that some people seem to need less sleep than do others? How does sleep itself replenish our energy, restock our cells, sharpen our sight and our hearing? What about naps? Do they help us sleep at night, or do they hinder our sleeping?

I’ve stood over sleeping children–or sleeping adults, for that matter–and as I watched them, I wondered about the phenomenon of sleep. It’s a bit mysterious, and though the person is there physically, their mind has traveled elsewhere.

I enjoy sleeping, but I have never been one to sleep very long hours, and observing my own children and grandchildren, the traits of sleeping either short or long amounts seem to be genetically engineered. Then there is the question of naps. Although throughout my lifetime, I have not always done so, I really like the idea of taking naps. When I was younger and rearing a family and very involved in the churches that Jerry pastored, I made it a habit to take a nap on Sunday afternoon. What a treat that was!

Now, I take more naps than I used to, although I don’t nap every day. It’s such a pleasure to stretch out on the couch and catch a few winks. I believe a short nap of 5 to 10 minutes helps me, but I prefer 30 to 45 minutes.

This morning I came across this interesting article which is suggesting the installation of “napping-spots” in workplaces. You may read the entire article here. Interesting.

I’ve come up with a short list of sleeping terms, certainly not an exhaustive one. Please add any you think of, along with your views on sleeping. Do you sleep little (5-6 hours or less), a lot, nap, sleep well, sleep poorly? Any of you suffer from insomnia? I rarely do, but I’m a restless sleeper who wiggles, twists and turns and wakes up a lot.

…sleep tight, sleep in, sleep out, sleep over, shut-eye, 40 winks, sleep like a log, snooze, nod-off, slumber, siesta…

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My devotional blog is here.