Life is all about surprises, dreams and goals

Surprises don’t always make me happy.

Like the time I drove over the Karl King Viaduct and just as I hit the road above the railroad track, a train whistle blew right below me. I nearly wet myself.

Had it been possible, I would have believed someone waited until the very second I passed over the train to blow the whistle, but the precise moment of the tooting had to be one of life’s wonders.

I always wonder what’s coming next.

By the time my heart stopped palpitating, I was sitting at my computer working. Ah heck, we all know that’s not true. If I’m at my computer, 73.6 percent of the time it’s to play Scrabble. I always sit down with the intention of researching something I’m interested in, but old-timer that I am, I cannot put my whole heart into doing that.

First, it’s not nearly as easy as it looks on TV when someone punches a few keys and all sorts of information jumps onto the screen. I punch a few keys and all I get is that rolling little empty circle saying the computer is trying to work.

A smart person would figure out how to make one of those rolling empty circles for people. Then, if it even looked like someone wanted you to do something, you could turn on your rolling empty circle and get out of the request because you already were busy.

But that’s beside the point.

The second point of a computer research non-believer is that very word. Non-believer. How do you know if what you find on the computer is true? Someone had to put it there in the first place, and who’s to say whoever did so did so correctly?

Anyway, on one rare instance of actually looking up information, I’m concentrating on the facts and my pockets starts screeching. Like the blare of tornado sirens. I nearly wet myself again.

Turns out my cell phone has the ability to scream for attention whenever an amber alert goes into effect. And while that’s a good way to get the news out, somebody might have told me I had that option when I got the phone. It’s not even a smart phone. Just the regular kind of call out-call in phone that will store phone numbers for me. Of course, I can’t always retrieve those numbers, but that’s another problem. It’s a surprise when what I want to do gets done on the first try.

Still, I dream about the possibilities. Just the thought of sitting down with a question on my mind and finding an answer I can believe keeps me trying. And when I’m doing this research, I don’t have to be dusting or cleaning, so that’s an added attraction.

Some day it will happen. I will sit down at my computer, punch a few keys and watch all kinds of answers appear on the monitor. That could be my goal in life.

After all, a goal is just a dream with a deadline.

My friend Brad Hanson told me that.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, former lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at