Archive for January, 2009

h1

Between a Rock and a Soft Place

January 30, 2009

Something’s been eating at me all day.   I left the station at 12:30 AM after Wednesday night’s news, and got stopped by a red light at Summit and Cherry…just outside the station.   When I stopped, a man started walking  across the street toward my passenger window, trying to get my attention.   I put my hand up, and told him not to come any closer…and he pointed to a woman who was standing over on the sidewalk and said “We lost our Greyhound ticket and need to buy another one.  It’s going to cost $25.  Anything you can do towards it would be great.”   

I have found myself at this crossroads before.  I am a bleeding heart.   I’ve given money to people on the streets many times before;  some who had compelling stories, and some who have not.    One obviously homeless man stopped me outside a SUBWAY restaurant one evening and told me how hungry he was…did I have any money?   I instead took him inside the restaurant and bought him a sandwich.   He seemed genuinely grateful.   One lady was all dressed up but looking panicked as she ran toward my car (during daylight hours–again at a stoplight) and told me she was on her way to a job interview–even told me the name of the business–and said she ran out of gas.  She was now running late, and really needed this job…could I help her with some gas money?    Of course, I did.  I’ve always wondered if she got the job.  

Yes, I know there’s a possibility these stories are made up…but sometimes people just need a little help.  Especially during our current economy.   Thus, my dilemma last night.   My heart wanted to give those people the money.  My brain (from working in tv news where you see lots of stories about people who offer to give someone a hand, and then get hurt or killed in the process) told me to tell him no.  Last night I didn’t have any cash, which made it easy to listen to my brain; but I wondered all night about those people and what their story was.  Maybe they were just looking for a handout.  Maybe they really found themselves in a bind and mustered up all the courage they had to ask a complete stranger for help.    That’s what’s been eating away at me all day.  I would have liked to have helped that couple.   It was cold and snowy outside…and maybe they just really needed help. 

 It angers me that so many “bad apples” have made us come to expect the worms.

Advertisements
h1

Snow Job

January 28, 2009

I must be right up front with you:  I am a warm-weather person.  I love the sun, I love the pool, the beach, water-skiing, boating, and watching baseball games in the summer.   Let’s just say Old Man Winter and I would not be paired on match.com.  

My first and happiest memory of snow was when I was 6 years old, living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.   My brother and I made a snowman,  went sledding, and my mom made “snow ice cream.”   Great memories.   Then, something happened as I grew older.  I was expected to *shovel* the snow, snow cancelled my sporting events and worst of all: my mom would NOT let me drive as a teenager when it snowed.     I went snow skiing on a particularly sunny weekend and got sun poisoning.   My face puffed up like a blowfish.   My lips swelled to 10 times the size of Angelina Jolie’s.    My eyes were swollen shut.     I didn’t want to see snow, be near snow, drive in snow and it was years before I worked up the courage to go snow skiing again…and only because it was overcast outside!     

So imagine the irony of me choosing a career in TV news…which is definitely a “Snow Job” of sorts.    While some people get a day off school or work when a snowstorm blows through, news people are called in early…getting to work however they can on roads that have not yet been driven on…much less plowed.  (For this reason, many news people consider it a necessity to have 4-wheel or at least front-wheel drive vehicles.)      I covered the “Blizzard of ’93” for days when I worked in Pennsylvania (nearly 3 feet of snow!), and some of you may remember me reporting from a snow-bound New York City in January of 1995.  I was there to do a series of reports on “Behind the Scenes at CBS” and actually ended up reporting on the 15 inches of snow that crippled the Big Apple for DAYS.   I had to walk nearly 40 blocks to get to the CBS News building because there were no taxis running.   And yes, you’ve seen me out in the snow here in Northwest Ohio as we’ve dealt with snowstorms over the years.

But a funny thing has happened as I’ve grown older:  I don’t dread the snow anymore.    I don’t have to shovel it anymore–I married a man who loves to do that.  (And when he’s out of town, my neighborhood snow wizards, Stan, Chad and Logan do it for me!)   I drive very slowly–even on the highways–to and from work,  and when fresh snow is falling and I arrive home from work at 12:30 or 1 AM, I often stand outside and admire the sparkling terrain and snow-capped trees.  In those moments, in the middle of the night, it’s so quiet you almost think you can hear the snow fall.     I’ve even been known to take a turn down the big sled hill at Northview High School with my daughter and my husband.    No…I don’t dread the snow anymore.     And that’s no snow job.

h1

Attitude Adjustment

January 26, 2009

kyle-hospitalOne of the things I love about my job is that I learn new things every day about a variety of subjects.   Today’s lesson was unusual, though because it came from a 14 year old boy. 

I had the privilege of interviewing Kyle Cannon and his dad Friday evening at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.  Kyle is the Clay High School student who was paralyzed from the neck down when he was “checked” during a hockey game back in November.  Doctors have told him he’ll never walk again.  Kyle has higher expectations of himself.   While not being unrealistic, Kyle doesn’t accept the doctors’ statistics.    He prefers to see the possibilities and hope for the future.  In fact, all he talked about was moving forward.  His life has changed completely but this young man has already started formulating “Plan B” for himself.  

Talking with him and seeing his incredible, flexible attitude made me check my own.  We all have plans for ourselves and our families…and they don’t always work out the way we want them to.   Whether it’s a physical change like in Kyle’s case, the loss of a job, or some other unexpected change, Kyle is a great example that our attitudes are often the only things we truly control in any situation, and that a positive, flexible attitude can go a long way toward the outcome.  Thank you, Kyle for reminding me of that.

To see Kyle’s story, click here.

h1

First Things First

January 21, 2009

chrys7This is my first post on my new blog. What I hope to accomplish is to communicate about experiences as a professional, as a woman, wife and mother and as an involved member of our community.

Topics will vary, but I hope to share ideas and inspiration with you, whether it’s additional information about stories we cover here on News 11,  people who are doing great things in our community, or observations about some of the crazy things that happen every day.

Also, please check out the comment feature. It’s very easy, and I want to hear from you.   Just click on the word ‘Comments” beneath the blog post.  I feel the conversation will only improve if we bring in more voices.  Also, if you ever want to contact me in a less public forum with a question, comment or idea, feel free to email me anytime at cpeterson@wtol.com

Here we go…