GOD PARTED THE RED SEA OF PEOPLE for (me! & my sister!), sandra, tvgp
having mentioned, in yesterday's post, about being trapped & terrified on the golden gate bridge with some 300,000 people
original posting: Tuesday, October 12, 2010
"WE FOUND OUR CALLING!" (me! and my sister -karin!)
only vague memories of glancing at the various vendor tables during the missions fair after church some several weeks ago,
nope. can't do that.. not qualified for that.. no.. maybe... probably not...
and then a great big "YES!" when i was gently recruited as a potential banner beauty for the world famous balloon platoon
"that's all you do? carry the banner in the parade? no experience necessary?"
hallelujah! i'm qualified!"
and then i immediately recruited my sister, "check out how you too can serve the Lord..." i said with a smile
-and walked her over to the balloon platoon table where we learned our very important first mission opportunity would be october 10th, for the columbus day parade in san francisco
"well, look no further!" i told them "we're your girls"
and i would later learn, my sister has always wanted to be in a parade. -i didn't know that. sisters, roommates, best friends for how many years, and i didn't know she always wanted to be in a parade
-then more talk about our childhoods, when she went to baton camp with the -waldonians? -earned a third place ribbon and everything, but was never in a parade..
always, always, remember this my friends: God knows the secret desires of your heart...
He also knows your limitations..
anyway.. there were some problems, a few obstacles.. and child care concerns, and for a short stretch it didn't look like we were going to get to participate (i mean. ... serve the Lord )
i threw it up to heaven
"it will work out if it's supposed to... the parade will take place fine without us, october 10th will come and go... the planet will keep spinnin'"
and i sweet~surrendered really, to the -maybe next time..- idea
even though... i had already hit the jackpot at kohls finding very cute & very inexpensive matching white outfits
two pairs of all white, boyfriend jeans, capri style, with a trendy hole on the write knee.. one my size, one her size, and ON SALE!
two v-neck, 3/4 sleeve, white t's -ON SALE!
two darling, white vests.. ON SALE!
and i talked to God while i was in the dressing room trying everything on. "Jesus... now i know i'm supposed to be using this money from our parents for food and gas..
but look! look how cute! -and it's really to serve you, afterall... it's for the church, Jesus! really.. and it's for the balloon platoon.. they're counting on us! -and it's family fellowship...
so if you don't want me spending this money on these cute matching outfits (ON SALE!) -then you better make sure these pants don't
[pull, squeeze, wiggle, wiggle, pull] -fit.
LOOK AT THAT! I GOT 'EM ZIPPED UP & EVERYTHING! -and once i move around in 'em for a couple days, they'll stretch to size.. [knee bend, squat, stand, jumping jack, knee bend, dance move or two..]
and so i figured, if i couldn't get the pants buttoned/zipped, that would be a sign i shouldn't spend my grocery money on cute matching outfits, but!
since i could get the pants on, with only a minimal amount of negotiation and effort.. well, then. that's was a clear sign i'd be the next one in line at the register.
so i surprised my sister with our new, matching, banner beauty outfits. "you go try yours on. i'll go put mine on. and then let's meet in front of your mirror"
and, how could the good Lord, not smile at the sight of us? ~ middle-aged, mom-sisters, in matching white boyfriend jeans, white t-shirts & vests..
and so, when it looked like we might not get to -serve the Lord- afterall, -well, i was extra grateful about kohl's amazing return policy
but this is write about when God must of whispered in our mom's ear, -because, once again.. in our great time of need, "GRANDMA SHARON TO THE RESCUE!" -and not only did she step up to watch the kids (on her wedding anniversary day)
but as she stepped up.. well, my sister noticed what cute white shoes she had on.. and how they might better match the cute white shoes she loaned me to wear...
so, -shirt off her back -shoes off her feet. we have a very generous mom
now my kids had coverage. my sister's kids had coverage. we had our cute matching white banner beauty outfits , PLUS our matching white shoes. -our next job then, was simply to show up at 10am in the parking lot @ jcpenney home store to meet with the rest of the balloon platoon & their spouses for the bus ride over
and with only one very quick, very minor, pit-stop at walgreens to pick up socks, and look! -sparkling matching earrings (and granola bars, and water...)
we made it.
having never done this before, both my sister and i had imagined 'the bus' as a middle-sized, yellow kind of thing, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a great big, fancy, tour bus in the parking lot, with "THUNDERSTAR" painted along the side
my imagination delighted immediately in the idea this was our bus.. and "our driver, calvin..."
so we mixed n''mingled with the balloon platoon, their spouses.. families... and watched them load up their gear. we got the inside scoop from centerpointe friends (& veteran banner beauties), cindy & sigrie, about what to expect -we were provided white gloves, white navy hats, & green scarves to accessorize our outfits. took a few pictures, and were off...
to san francisco! in the thunderstar! to march in the columbus day parade! with the world famous balloon platoon! -on an amazingly gorgeous, sunshiny, perfect-climate day!
so, i don't know who or how this whole thing gets orchestrated, but WOW! to everyone behind the scenes. all we did was follow orders and line up where we were told, which was between the american italian social club float (just in front of us) and lang, the bart board car (after us); wait on our que to move... wait on our que to move... wait on our que to move... then
and very helpful we just had to follow the AISC float, because we had NO IDEA where we were really, or where we were going. what a high though! with the sounds of marching bands, the gorgeous costumes, the blue skies, -the blue angels, and to round a corner which brought us in front of the fisherman's wharf, and to have the street so
first God gets me my own bus... then my very own driver... and now.. he's even parted the crowds like the red sea, so i can walk without bumping into one person..
and i just wiggled around a little.. flapping my arms... taking advantage of the incredible elbow room.
-because on my rare visits to fisherman's wharf.. to pier 39.. the crowds overwhelm me. -but not today..
today.. the streets of san francisco are MINE! and not only are the streets mine.. but look at the people all squished to the sides.. smiling... laughing... taking pictures..
it's quite amazing. and there was general parade cheering from the crowds, but every now and then the generic cheer would turn into a burst of loud laughter and applause.
i learned quickly this burst of applause was a sure sign the balloon platoon behind us had stopped to perform their world famous "shake n' bake" move. [we must add this to youtube if it's not already there]. it's a squat and a wiggle, which
well, you must picture 20, otherwise distinguished men, all lined up in a row, wearing giant wiggle~able inner tubes around their middles, underneath their over-sized white navy suits, carrying mops... shaking their booties and everything else -on command
by the admiral.
oh! talk about a crowd pleaser... the balloon platoon would steal the show at every corner with just a few select choreographed half military/ half vegas synchronized dance moves -using their mops like crosby used his cane, they'd entertain
then spread out and work the crowd. fall in line.. and march, left, write, left, write, left
for i don't know how many blocks or miles around fisherman's wharf, all along columbus, past thousands of people, families, singles, children, s.f. eccentrics
and every corner we turned it seemed i ran smack into another spectacular, unbelievable view available in every direction
streets that lead write up to heaven. the most colorful row of houses on cement ramps. coit tower over there. blue angels up there. packed restaurant patio's everywhere. cable cars, horses, double-decker tour buses with open air seats
police stopping traffic for the parade to cross.. people popping out of their sunroofs with camera's. peace and joy and...
happiness. i mean, just look at my sister. -every once in a while i'd glance over and see her smiling so big.. waving at the children, smiling for a picture
dancing to the italian music being performed live on the float directly in front of us. serenaded, we were.. and treated to an occasional sip of red wine -in the middle of the parade! by the italian -social club men
and every once in a while, we'd turn a corner and i'd get a better view of the marching band further ahead
poor kids. i'd think. had to learn a musical instrument. practice, practice, practice, and all those rehearsals
i mean.. i felt like such a cheater - just carrying the banner. but a very smart cheater. [yes! more wine.. thank you! we're serving the Lord... ]
and a fun thing too, to hear calls from the crowd. in addition to the cry out for the balloon platoon's "shake n' bake!" we'd also hear an occasional "go pleasanton!" or "hey p-town!" -and quite a big surprise to suddenly hear,
"sandra!" -and see my beloved friend carla, her son dominic and husband russ. the only familiar faces i'd see in the crowds. they got to see the blue angels from her aunt's rooftop, and i laughed so hard to learn something about a flying salame sandwich hitting carla in the head...
and there was a mystery holler out toward the end,
"did you hear that?" my sister shouted, "they just hollered out, WriteousMom!" -no idea who it was, but big thank you to you!
and speaking of big....
took my breath away to turn a corner toward the end of the parade and cast my eyes upon the most gorgeous - huge - spectacularly beautiful catholic church!
and to see nuns a couple floors up in the neighboring building standing at their windows to watch the parade.
you know i did a quick sign of the cross, said thank you to Jesus and waved a big hello to the sisters..
it was the perfect conclusion to our banner carrying debut.
i'm going to skip the story here about the hour and a half wait for a few slices of garlic bread at the first restaurant we went to for food after the parade, and just
take you with me to north beach pizza where the service was A+, the pizza was delicious, the beers were cold and tasty and the crowds were still going wild
but not for the balloon platoon. for the giants.
tv's were on inside north beach pizza, and we landed there write about when one of the next few plays would determine whether or not
"THE GIANTS WON!"
the excitement never ends in san francisco.
visited inside the saint peter & paul church for a few minutes before heading back to the thunderstorm where our driver, calvin, was waiting
the balloon platoon mentioned their next parade would be in san diego. my sister and i just smiled and said yes.