This is a story I wrote at work today. ONTARIO Helen Binders found an interesting way to celebrate Christmas. Binders, 91, Ontario, portrays her strong faith and one of the most powerful symbols in Christianity into a striking display on her front lawn. The display — a tall, white cross — sparkles and shines at her home situated on 11th Ave. “We always put Santa Claus and reindeer out and I thought what would be prettier then a plain cross?” Binders said. Binders developed the idea and put the cross up on her yard with no help. So the cross is more than just a symbol, Binders said as she sat down Wednesday in one of her blue reclining chairs in her front room. The cross, adorned with Christmas lights, is a steady reminder of her strong Catholic faith and the joy of Christmas. It has special meaning now, after Binders, acting on advice from her doctor to avoid large crowds, no longer attends Mass. “This is the first year I put it up,” Binders said. Binders said she plans to continue to put the cross up each year. “As long as I live,” she said with a smile. Binders has lived a large part of her life — 45 years — in Ontario. To Binders, Ontario’s attributes are obvious. “Its a small, friendly community,” she said. The cross has gained some attention, BInders said. “I don’t know about the community, but my next door neighbor said it was lovely,” she said. Binders is the Mother of four children and grandmother of six grandchildren and was able to spend Christmas with her family on the Binders Ranch. Binders also said she’s had her brush with fame. She is the mother-in-law to the late actor John Beradino who played Dr. Hardy on the TV soap General Hospital. Her other “claim-to-fame” is the fact she is a proud Mother of a family of basketball champions, her impressive age of ninety-one and now of course, the cross in her front yard illuminated for all to see. Her house is fully decorated inside and out including more crosses, lights, plenty of pictures and Christmas knickknacks displayed for enjoyment. The cross is one of the most powerful symbols in Christianity, according to The Encyclopedia Britannica. “From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man’s civilization. Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world.”
Jeff and I made it safely to Ontario. We are staying with Clint and Patty until the 28th. We will be able to move into the house we are renting then. The house is older but really cute. When I find my camera I will have to take some pictures. I got a job at the Argus Oberserver, it is a news paper in Ontario and I will be doing a lot of different things for them. I am really excited and nervous and I start on Monday.
Sarah inspired me to write about some of my own experiences working at the information desk. I will warn you now, this story is not for the queezy, it is horrific and I hope I can fully express the trauma I experience that not-so-good day at BYU-Idaho.
It all started when I was sitting at my computer logging the question I had just answered when I young man asked if I had any bandaids. I told him we did and I got up and got him one. As I turned around to hand the bandaid to him he said, "Can you open it for me?" I thought it was a little strange but I opened it for him and threw the wraper away. Then he asked, "Can you put it on me?" He then put both hands on the counter.
When I looked down at his hands my eyes became wide in shock and horror. I don't know if I can fully desciribe what I saw that day. His hands were double the size you would think they should have been, including his fingers which were the thickness of a bananna. His skin was white and flaky looking and there were mulitple gashes which looked like they were due to the skin being stretched beyond it's ability. His finger nails were on the tips of his fingers. There were also bubbles of skin the size of silver dollars all over, including on the bottom of his fingers. There was some fluid coming from his wounds as well which added to the mangled effect.
I don't consider myself a queezy person but I began to sway a little because I couldn't believe it and I thought I might fall over. My eyes were looking right at his hands and I couldn't take them off him. I then said, "I can't fix this, a bandaid isn't going to fix this, you need to go to the health center." Then he told me he had an appointment for later that day. He then said, "Please, I can't put it on by myself and my other one fell off on a hand rail earlier." After he said that it made me even more sick because I pictured him touching all the hand rails on campus with his grotesk mutated hands.
I thought for a moment and then asked him where he wanted it. I thought he wanted to put it on one of the open wounds but he held up his large finger and held a large piece of bubbled skin on while I put the bandaid on. He said thank you and then walked away.
I was shaking when he left. I had never seen anything so disturbing in my entire life. It didn't look human and it upset me. I felt confused about my feelings toward the boy. I was angry at him for disturbing me so much and putting me in that situation, but I felt sorry for him because it looked so painful. I was scared and didn't want to catch what he had. I sprayed down the counter with lysol and then washed my hands and used antibacterial hand santizer. I was still shaking an hour later when I met with Jeff to go home. He asked me how work was and I began to cry.
Since the experience I have decided that I can say no to situations that make me feel uncomfortable. I did not have gloves or medical training and I could have just told him to go to the health center. Another little lesson I learned is that hand rails are dirty and you never know who has been touching them with their disgusting mangled hands.
Thanksgiving Break was a lot of fun. Jeff and I spent a some time in Kuna with Conrad and Sarah and Athena before going to the farm. Athena got so big she is such a cutie. We played games and watched movies and stayed up late talking and laughing. Jeff and I both got sick but we got over it really fast. When we went to the farm Carrie and John were there with Dallin. We went shopping with them and I took a family picture for them. I didn't take it with my camera so I can't post any pictures. I got all my Christmas shopping done and I even wrapped most of them. We found an apartment which was a relief because we have to move in a month and they will let us move in half way through the month. I also got some photo journalism assignments taken care of using window light. Jeff's cousins were nice little models for me.
I made my first and last shirt! I finished sewing it today. I will get five extra credit points for turning it in early. Jeff doesn't like the sleeves, he thinks they are too big. Let me know what you think. I hope I get a good grade. I will never make a blouse again, it's cheaper to buy them and they fit better. I did learn a lot of nice things while making it. It took me three tries to get the collar on the way I wanted.
I've been trying to get to know my camera better and experiment with some different lighting and other techniques. Her are just some of the pictures I've taken so of them I turned in for my class. Poor Jeff is always my model and I'm not as worried about the faces he is making as I am the lighting and the pose I put him in.
I just couldn't help myself. Dane and Laurel put their Christmas decorations up so I did today too. As you can see we have a very small tree but I dressed it up with two strands of lights, 200 bulbs to be exact. I want to put the icicle lights up on the window later. I have a candle stand and a big fleece blanket that has snow flakes on it. And we have Jeff's stocking that my Mom made on the wall. I'll have to have her send me mine.
Jeff and I have never attended a BYU-Idaho dance, so we decided to go to our first one on Friday. It was semi formal dance and they even had photographers there to take couples pictures. We didn't get the picture yet but I'll post it when we do. Before the Dance all my old roommates and their husbands got together and we had a dinner. It was a lot of fun. From the left, Megan, Amanda, Heather and me.
The Cat came back again this morning at 6:00 a.m. He was meowing so loud it woke us up. Jeff finally told me to let him into our apartment. He said shut the door so I shut the door of the bathroom after I put him in there. Then he was meowing again. I let him out and he came and slept with me for a bit, but then he was clawing at our comforter, he isn't declawed. Jeff threw him out because of the clawing and because he was jealous that I was snuggling with the cat instead of him. We finally got some rest and when we woke up he was asleep on our futon. We can't let him into our apartment anymore. People will think he is ours and we don't want to loose our deposit. it makes me sad but it needs to be done. Jeff suggested we go away for the weekend so we don't have to hear him crying outside in the freezing cold. We don't have anywhere to go though. Sigh, one day I'll have a cat of my own and he will be declawed and not so whiny.
We stole the cat that hangs around Dane and Laurel's apartment. We brought it in to our apartment just for a short visit. Jeff gave him milk so he would want to come back. He crawled into the only open hole we have in our apartment. Jeff was starting to get worried he was stuck but I have seen cats in tighter spots than that. He is a nice cat and he likes to play but doesn't use his claws. We thought is was de-clawed at first because he was so nice.
I picked this picture because it got the most votes from the family and it fits the fall theme for the photo contest. If you could go to http://www.winkflash.com and vote for this picture I would be very very happy. I don't know if there is a way to search for it, you may just have to scroll through them until you find it.