You Never Know the Minute

 

In Scotland, there are many sayings that don’t withstand scrutiny. “This has been me since yesterday” is my favorite. It doesn’t make sense, but when someone says it to you when you’re waiting for a bus in pelting rain, it kinda sorta does.

“You never know the minute” was one of my mom’s favorites. And that’s what I was thinking this morning.

Our little neighborhood in our little town has done its part volunteering for the Armed Forces. A couple Army, a couple Navy, a couple Air Force, and my two Marines. One young man I’ve known since he was born talked often about joining the USMC. His dad was special forces in the Army during Vietnam and he’s been a good friend to all my sons all his life. He dithered a bit, talked to a recruiter a few times, even got a waiver for his tattoos. But he is the youngest of five with four older sisters, and his father died suddenly when he was only 19.

For obvious reasons, I’m sure his mom was not enthusiastic at the prospect of her only son joining the Marines, and it never came to fruition. He always makes a point to stop by when my boys are in town and is an avid listener and cheerleader.

I was up late last night; around 2 am, there was a cacophony of sirens, and helicopters about a mile from where we live. There soon were Facebook postings about an active shooter at a local bar that I know of but have never been to (unusual, as I’ve lived here for 30 years and been to most). We do have good friends who frequent the bar and I was in a bit of a dither waiting for one of them to return a text.

But this morning the information had come in: a fight in a bar. Someone pulled a gun. Two victims shot and one dead.

Soon I got a text from one of my sons; one of the injured was the young man who considered the Marines but never joined. He’d been shot in the calf and already released from the hospital. Not exactly bullet dodged, but it could have been a lot worse.

We’ve heard a few hair-raising stories from our armed forces neighbors; several have been deployed and son #1 did a stint in Afghanistan.

Of all the fine young men in our little neighborhood, the kid who considered the Marines and rejected it is home now nursing a bullet wound.

You never know the minute.

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  1. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Sobering words to remember.

    • #1
  2. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    I am so sorry that this has happened, Annefy, but so glad that your sons’ friend will be ok. Prayers for the family and friends of the one who didn’t make it. I don’t know what else to say, this is so horrible.

    • #2
  3. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):
    I am so sorry that this has happened, Annefy, but so glad that your sons’ friend will be ok. Prayers for the family and friends of the one who didn’t make it. I don’t know what else to say, this is so horrible.

    Thanks Judithann. It’s been a long day; I have since found out that I have several friends at the bar last night (coincidentally not the ones I was so worried about.)

    I’ve lived in California almost all my life; back in the 80s when crime stats were going through the roof I went to several funerals. One a botched robbery. Another a gang initiation shooting. My husband had guns pulled on him twice by police when he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. My dad was driving us home from church one Sunday and he yelled at us all to hit the deck as he saw police with guns pointing in our direction.

    Things improved; not only have we never locked our back door, we didn’t even have a key for it until this past summer. I once came home from Thanksgiving weekend to find every chair in my house missing. My good friend and neighbor had found herself short on Thanksgiving Day and let herself in to grab every chair she could. I returned the favor with wine glasses a few years later.

    Those were good times, but I fear times passed.

    • #3
  4. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I’ve lived in California almost all my life; back in the 80s when crime stats were going through the roof I went to several funerals. One a botched robbery. Another a gang initiation shooting. My husband had guns pulled on him twice by police when he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. My dad was driving us home from church one Sunday and he yelled at us all to hit the deck as he saw police with guns pointing in our direction.

    I cannot imagine any of this. I am so sorry, Annefy.

    • #4
  5. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Sounds like the situation could have been a lot worse for your friend, hopefully he’s quick to mend and back on his feet.

    Its the cheesy line from Ferris Bueller, that has stuck with me:

    ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it’

     

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I’m sorry to hear such a sad story. I’m glad your young friend is reasonably okay.

    Are you in Monrovia, California? Home to Monrovia Nurseries? The best plantsmen in the country?

    • #6
  7. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    Sounds like the situation could have been a lot worse for your friend, hopefully he’s quick to mend and back on his feet.

    Its the cheesy line from Ferris Bueller, that has stuck with me:

    ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it’

    He’s a fine young man and realizes he has benefited from God’s grace. He’ll be okay but I think his mom won’t recover as quickly as his bullet wound.

    And who can blame her.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Annefy: You never know the minute.

    Indeed.

    • #8
  9. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I’m sorry to hear such a sad story. I’m glad your young friend is reasonably okay.

    Are you in Monrovia, California? Home to Monrovia Nurseries? The best plantsmen in the country?

    Yes, indeed. Monrovia Nurseries. But they relocated to Oregon a while back. I hike often in the foothills where their nursery was (20 minutes from my house). The heirs sold the property to the city about 20 years ago.

    We are also the proud home of Leslie Van Houten (of Charles Manson fame). Apparently she was homecoming queen or something at Monrovia High School. Well before my time.

    The town hit the skids in the 80s but made a fantastic comeback (my husband and I have lousy timing but we timed moving here right – at least for now). If you watch movies you’ve probably seen our town; Picket Fences, Beethoven, Gross Pointe Blank, Beauty Shop. My house was in a very forgettable cable movie, but we got to have lunch with Tom Skerritt and he used my bathroom. My claim to fame …

    • #9
  10. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I hike often in the foothills where their nursery was (20 minutes from my house).

    Wow. That would be fun.

    Sounds like a wonderful town to live in. :)

    • #10
  11. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I hike often in the foothills where their nursery was (20 minutes from my house).

    Wow. That would be fun.

    Sounds like a wonderful town to live in. :)

    Truly. As I remind my kids often: You had a wonderful childhood and don’t you forget it!

    • #11
  12. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Annefy:“You never know the minute” was one of my mom’s favorites. And that’s what I was thinking this morning.

    The older I get the wiser my mother and grandmother are/were :-)

    Beautiful post, @annefy.  Your town sounds like a great place to call home.  Hope it continues to hold its own.  Grateful your family’s friend is safe.

    • #12
  13. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Great post. Certainly makes me appreciate and value my time. You never know when it all might end.

    • #13
  14. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    You never know when it all might end.

    Like a thief in the night.

    • #14
  15. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    I lived in California from 1959 to 1999 from San Francisco to San Diego and honestly I can’t imagine not locking my doors, there or anywhere. I guess “you never know the minute” is my motto.

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Annefy: Of all the fine young men in our little neighborhood, the kid who considered the Marines and rejected it is home now nursing a bullet wound.

    This lady I used to work with had a husband in the army reserves.  She was so happy he never got called up to go to the Middle East.  However, he got killed in an auto accident on the way to one of his drill weekends.

    You never know . . .

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It’s a wonderful phrase, Annefy. It so captures the desire to feel secure and normal, and then life takes a dangerous and unexpected turn. I’m glad that no one that you know was seriously hurt.

    • #17
  18. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    I lived in California from 1959 to 1999 from San Francisco to San Diego and honestly I can’t imagine not locking my doors, there or anywhere. I guess “you never know the minute” is my motto.

    Well, I’ve lived here since the 1980s and almost never lock my bike. I cycle every day and usually park it down by the beach for breakfast. (Shh… don’t tell anyone.)

    Back in the mid 80s, a colleague who had five kids down the street from me never locked his door since the kids were always coming and going. Don’t take your cue from what’s reported in the press. It’s fake news all the way down anyway.

    My breakfast companions watch over my bike.

    • #18
  19. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    @annefy, thank you for such a touching and poignant story.  I especially appreciated learning about your town; sounds like a lovely place to live! Our town has been growing, in a way that often seems to be exponential, ever since the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina drove so many New Orleanians to seek a home elsewhere after theirs was destroyed by that monster of a storm. Thus, we are building a new home in the Florida Panhandle, seeking a little more tranquility and fewer miles-long traffic jams; only time will tell, of course, but that’s our hope, anyway.

    Please know that before I get into the next part, I am usually very reticent about quoting Scripture as I do not want to come off sounding like I am “virtue signaling”, or as it might be better  to adapt it to “Religion signaling”, but I saw your lovely essay right after I got home from Church, at which we heard the Gospel according to Mark, the pertinent part of which reads:

    “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.” Mark 13:24-37

    I hope your friend has a good and speedy recovery, and that you and yours have a Very Merry Christmas!

    Sincerely, Jim

     

    • #19
  20. Chuckles Thatcher
    Chuckles
    @Chuckles

    Annefy (View Comment):
    but we got to have lunch with Tom Skerritt and he used my bathroom.

    Instantly my mind lept to a long ago friend who collected handshakes from famous persons.  He wouldn’t wash his hand for days afterword…

    • #20
  21. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Chuckles (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    but we got to have lunch with Tom Skerritt and he used my bathroom.

    Instantly my mind lept to a long ago friend who collected handshakes from famous persons. He wouldn’t wash his hand for days afterword…

    Chuckles and Annefy, someone ought to write a “Claim to Fame” post.  As for me,  I stood behind Oscar Robertson (the Big O) in a line in the LA Airport, and I once had the oldest man in the world over for dinner.  Those are my claims to fame.

    Kent

    • #21
  22. Chuckles Thatcher
    Chuckles
    @Chuckles

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Chuckles (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    but we got to have lunch with Tom Skerritt and he used my bathroom.

    Instantly my mind lept to a long ago friend who collected handshakes from famous persons. He wouldn’t wash his hand for days afterword…

    Chuckles and Annefy, someone ought to write a “Claim to Fame” post. As for me, I stood behind Oscar Robertson (the Big O) in a line in the LA Airport, and I once had the oldest man in the world over for dinner. Those are my claims to fame.

    Kent

    Sounds like “you da man!”

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Chuckles and Annefy, someone ought to write a “Claim to Fame” post.

    That has been done before.

    • #23
  24. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Jim George (View Comment):
    @annefy, thank you for such a touching and poignant story. I especially appreciated learning about your town; sounds like a lovely place to live! Our town has been growing, in a way that often seems to be exponential, ever since the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina drove so many New Orleanians to seek a home elsewhere after theirs was destroyed by that monster of a storm. Thus, we are building a new home in the Florida Panhandle, seeking a little more tranquility and fewer miles-long traffic jams; only time will tell, of course, but that’s our hope, anyway.

    Please know that before I get into the next part, I am usually very reticent about quoting Scripture as I do not want to come off sounding like I am “virtue signaling”, or as it might be better to adapt it to “Religion signaling”, but I saw your lovely essay right after I got home from Church, at which we heard the Gospel according to Mark, the pertinent part of which reads:

    “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.” Mark 13:24-37

    I hope your friend has a good and speedy recovery, and that you and yours have a Very Merry Christmas!

    Sincerely, Jim

    Thank you Jim. I took a screen shot of that scripture. Perfect.

    • #24
  25. dajoho Member
    dajoho
    @dajoho

    Great post Annefy.  Boy if we could just live like we did know the minute.

    • #25
  26. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    As long as @Jim George opened the scripture gate – One day last week marked the anniversary of losing our son. On the day of the anniversary I opened my Bible and looked at my “read the Bible in a year” reading assignment for that day. The Psalm reading was Psalm 139. That Psalm was particularly meaningful to us at the time of our son’s passing and, of course, still is. Especially verse 16:

    Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;

    in they book were written, every one of them,

    the days that were formed for me,

    when as yet there was none of them.

    We never know the minute, but it’s comforting to know that someone does.

    • #26
  27. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Yikes!  It could have been worse.  Unfortunately for the other shot man it was.  Thanks for the story.  Your mother was right.  Always keep your soul in harmony with God.

    • #27
  28. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Jim George (View Comment):
    @annefy, thank you for such a touching and poignant story. I especially appreciated learning about your town; sounds like a lovely place to live! Our town has been growing, in a way that often seems to be exponential, ever since the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina drove so many New Orleanians to seek a home elsewhere after theirs was destroyed by that monster of a storm. Thus, we are building a new home in the Florida Panhandle, seeking a little more tranquility and fewer miles-long traffic jams; only time will tell, of course, but that’s our hope, anyway.

    Please know that before I get into the next part, I am usually very reticent about quoting Scripture as I do not want to come off sounding like I am “virtue signaling”, or as it might be better to adapt it to “Religion signaling”, but I saw your lovely essay right after I got home from Church, at which we heard the Gospel according to Mark, the pertinent part of which reads:

    “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.” Mark 13:24-37

    I hope your friend has a good and speedy recovery, and that you and yours have a Very Merry Christmas!

    Sincerely, Jim

    Thank you Jim. I took a screen shot of that scripture. Perfect.

    Wasn’t your mother referring to one’s final hour and the need to be worthy of heaven?  That’s what I think that saying is referring to.

    • #28
  29. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Kim K. (View Comment):
    As long as @Jim George opened the scripture gate – One day last week marked the anniversary of losing our son. On the day of the anniversary I opened my Bible and looked at my “read the Bible in a year” reading assignment for that day. The Psalm reading was Psalm 139. That Psalm was particularly meaningful to us at the time of our son’s passing and, of course, still is. Especially verse 16:

    Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;

    in they book were written, every one of them,

    the days that were formed for me,

    when as yet there was none of them.

    We never know the minute, but it’s comforting to know that someone does.

    Amen.  For you and your loss:

    Number 6:24-26 NKJV

    24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
    25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;
    26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace.”’

    • #29
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