...i am a princess on the way to my throne...


Calgon, Take Me To The Arctic 

Ah, the air conditioner saga continues...

When I last left you, Mr. Burly Monosyllabic was going to fix my nefarious air conditioner. He did indeed return and fix said appliance, but discovered another tiny problem: the outside fan wants to run continually, whether the unit is on or not, which causes great stress on all the little gizmos. Maybe this is why my electric bill has been sinfully high this summer.

Great. Just great...

He could not fix it yesterday, but he said he would be back today. Well, did he? Not so, Grasshopper. He can't make it today: "Can you survive until tomorrow?" Gee, sure, thanks very much for asking! This is only Atlanta, we'll be fine.

Yup, that's us; fine as frog's hair.

So you see, I have to leave you all in suspense *yet again* to see what happens. Better than any daytime soap, I realize, but I just wish someone else could take over the title for a while.

Oh, stop, I know I'm really very boring. You're not telling me anything new. If an overloaded, persnickity air conditioner is the biggest hardship I deal with for the rest of this year I will be a very happy woman.

I'll tell you this, though: if he can't make it tomorrow I'm moving in with Valerie until he gets off his monosyllables and fixes my appliance. I hope she's ready to convert her son's school room into a guest room, 'cause there will be seven of us, including the cats. And they luuuuve hermit crabs.


Another Fine Monday Morning 

Good Morning, my freaky dahlings. Welcome to another fine Monday.

Yesterday our air conditioner decided to grow a mind of its own, and unfortunately it grew one that contained a stubborn streak. I'm going to do things MY way! it shouted to us, right before it packed its bags, gave us a pink slip, and swept off to Tahiti in a scented cloud of Coppertone with flowery sarong fluttering behind.

Fine. So send me a postcard, you ungrateful cretin. We didn't want you around, anyway.

Hah. As if that's true. Despite the unseasonably-like coolness we have been experiencing of late, this is still August in Atlanta. To willingly be without air conditioner during our summer's hottest month would be like going to New England to take pictures of the fall foliage and then refusing to look at the trees; Makes.No.Sense.

After a night of huddling on the couch near our tiny window unit (which has a tendency to freeze up but does the job), I awoke to the air conditioner repairman who arrived promptly at 8 AM, before coffee. Ugh. He turns out to be one of those monosyllabic grunters that comes in, assesses the situation, and then leaves to go find a working gizmo to replace the offending part. Hey, no problem, that suits me just fine; I want a repairman to fix my malcontent appliances, not engage me in witty conversation.

The problem turns out to be a burned out motor and compasitor. Mr. Air informs me in guttural tones that we are just beyond our one year warranty (figures) and our air conditioner's little trip to Tahitian paradise is going to cost us nearly $200.00 dollars in loose change (ouch!). Fine. Just get the part and change it, please, as soon as possible. He grunts something about being back after lunch and leaves, his presence here spanning little over three minutes.

Big sigh. I think I need coffee. Lots of it. Loaded with fat-free creamer and Splenda. Hot. In a biiiiiiig mug.

I'll keep you posted on what happens after lunch.. I can sense you quivering in anticipation.


Fully Caffeinated Once Again 

Well, here I am, with fully caffeinated coffee in tow and my "bug eyes" glasses on, the kind I only reserve for complete slob out, comfortable, totally-sweatshirt-and-long-skirt moments. No chocolate, but I'm hoping to remedy that situation as soon as I hit the road to the post office; Almond Joy, beware baby, I'm coming at 'cha.

G'day, everyone.

I know I've been gone nearly a month, but I've desperately needed the time. I've been stitching, enjoying my children, bonding with my husband, and all-around living life as best I know how. I've also been dealing with tremendous post-stress from David's disappearance and return, so much so that I've entered counseling with my pastor. It's been wonderful, for there is nothing like good old fashioned Biblical counsel from a man of God.:)

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know I'm back in the land of the blogging. Yes, there will still be light moments of Unconscious Mutterings, article reviews, my opinions of our modern pop culture, and occasionally some politics thrown in for good measure. For now, however, I want to share with you some truths I've learned from David's Walkabout:

1) God is Sovereign.

2) Never underestimate the intelligence and hardiness of a four-year old child.

3) Everyone is considered a suspect in situations such as these.

4) There is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the masses.

5) Don't believe everything you hear from the media.

6) Rumors can be deadly.

7) Live an honest life and you have nothing to worry about.

8) Prayer works.

9) Polygraphs are really as horrible as they sound.

10) God has a way of putting the important things in perspective.

There have also been some misconceptions I would like to clear up, and the sooner the better (although I have waited nearly a month to 'clear them up', but whose counting):

MISCONCEPTION:In regards to the polygraph tests both Robert and I had to take, I have heard reports that: A) We both passed, B) Robert failed and I passed, and C) We both failed.

FACT: Both of our tests were inconclusive, which means exactly that: they could not be scored. Apparently, there was not enough consistency in the answers, which does not surprise me. When you are being asked if you have, in essence, kidnapped and murdered your son, your heart is going to race regardless of whether you are innocent or not. The polygrapher assured me this kind of conclusion is very common when the subject is under extreme distress, and that we would probably have to be tested again a few days later (the test was given on Monday, the day after David went missing). My tearful response? "Well, then you are going to get the same results, because if my son is still missing in a few days you can believe I'm *still* going to be under extreme distress!"

MISCONCEPTION: David is mildly autistic.

FACT: David has never been diagnosed as autistic or otherwise. Even his pediatrician was puzzled over where this information came from. To this day, we have absolutely no clue where the police got that info nor how they came up with that conclusion. It is said that wandering is a facet of autism, but David did not wander; he went. There is a big difference.
We are, however, in the process of looking for a good, Christian child psychologist to test him, for he does exhibit signs of hyperactivity.

MISCONCEPTION: Channel 2 claimed in one of their news spots that we "cut off all communication with the media".

FACT: No, we did not cut off all communication with the media. What they failed to tell you was the night before that typical report ran we have TV vans camped out in front of our yard nearly all night. It was about 10 PM, and Robert had stepped outside with a couple of friends for some air (our house was packed with family and friends at the time, all of which were there for support). A very enthusiastic reporter wanted to interview him, but he was so weary he just didn't want to deal with it. One of our best friend's basically told the guy to "back off", and there was a bit of a heated argument between them. Robert finally said to the guy, "Okay, you want a statement? Fine, here's your statement, but it's off the record: Go Find My Son!" and walked inside, unable to take anymore. So much for 'cutting' off all communication with the media, hmmm?

MISCONCEPTION: Here are some things I have since heard people said about us during those two days:
1)"I heard the momma is a big time drug user"
2)"I know the father had something to do with it"
3)"I don't believe a child could do something like that"
4)"They did it, I just know it"
5)"I saw the daddy out on the front porch drunk Sunday night"

1)I don't use drugs. I'm not in college anymore, thankyouverymuch, and after a serious walk with an extraordinary God for 8 years I can say drugs could never compare.
2)Robert and I love our children. We are not Susan Smith. End of story.
3)Yes, a child *can* do this, as is proven by my son. Perhaps we ought to not underestimate the intelligence and ingenuity of our four year olds.
4)We don't even have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in our house, much less the drinking kind. Perhaps what they saw was a man crying from grief and worry, or perhaps they say nothing at all and just wanted to start a rumor.

Fortunately, God planted a lot of these nay-sayers in the path of members of our church family who were able to say, "Look, I know these people and there is *no way* they would harm this child. The momma does not do drugs, neither of them drink, and they love their children". Many people were on our side, and for that I am thankful. The nasty things I've heard, however, still hurt and I am dealing with them.

In another vein, some good things have happened to us as a result of all of this. We received an invitation to appear on The Larry Elders Show (his TV show which will be premiering in September), but we declined. We just did not feel it would be beneficial to fly both David and Jessi out to L.A. during this time, not when he needs stability most of all. He is in school and having good days and bad days, and I find that routine and structure will benefit him the most. I am thankful for the opportunity, but we think it's best to stay grounded at the moment. We've also been invited to share our story with another church in our local area in October, which we have accepted.

Interestingly enough, FOXNews wooed us and then dumped us like a hot potato all within 24 hours, but I guess that's the way things go.

Behold la story:
They called us the day David was found and through all sweetness and joy invited us to come on the morning show as a wonderful closure to the story. They asked us if we could bring David, but I told them I was not sure if we would, seeing as we were to be in Atlanta early the next morning and it would be his first morning home (my in-laws would be there with the kids). They said that was fine, and if we would consider it that would be great, but no pressure.


Well, we are up at 7AM and we are up and getting dressed in our Sunday best. The car the studio is providing is due about a quarter till 8AM, and we want to be sure and be ready. We then get a call from the studio; they want to make sure we are bringing David. We tell them that "No, we are not bringing David" (it's not even 7:30 am and he is still in bed sound asleep and it's not as if I'm going to wake him). They say, "no problemo" and hang up. We continue to powder and perfume and shave and do all the sorts of things you do when you are going on national television when not *one* minute later we get another call from the studio. They inform us that their boss says they really want David and if he doesn't come with us the interview is cancelled. Robert and I look at each other, blink, and tell them, "Well, we guess then that the interview is cancelled". They sounded rather surprised, as if they have never before delt with people who put their children's welfare over being on national television.

Well, now they have.

The car shows up, a big black number with tinted windows, and takes a park in front of our house. It just sits there, not doing anything, just looking mysterious and sinister. Okaaaaaay, so what's, like, going on? Why are they still here? I was going to go out and let them know what was going on (can you see me? tapping on the tinted window, informing Bruno and Guido that their services are no longer needed? As if!) but I figured, why bother? Since Robert and I are the only people left under the big blue sky that do not have cell phones, I figured these guys could handle themselves via modern technology. Surprisingly, we get *another* phone call from Fox again and we are asked by a very spritely and uninformed associate if we are ready for the interview! Um...didn't you people just cancel us because we refused to schlep our son up to some strange Atlanta studio at 7:30 in the morning on his first morning back after being gone for two solid days? Errrr....the voice pauses, obviously mortified he has not been privy to this shocking update, and immediately tries to backtrack in stuttering shame. He feebly thanks us for our time, and then rapidly hangs up. Three minutes later, Big Sinister Car fires up the engine and leaves.

Harumph. So much for human interest stories. If they didn't get to ooh and ahh over the kid, then they didn't want the story.

Well, I guess I can't say I'm surprised. After all, David really is cute, and his face had been plastered all over the nation, including country music stars web sites like Aaron Tippin and Trace Atkins (come to think of it, I don't think he made it to Trace's actual site, but his wife had taken all the info and sent it out to Trace's fanclub). Aaron actually held an interview with KICKS101 FM about David, and that was how some of the volunteers knew where to find us. Believe it or not, my son was quite the headline for several days. To be fair, FOX just wanted their piece of the pie. I suppose I can't really blame them for that.

I guess the problem is with us; we are just not fame seekers. Robert and I just want to go back to our quiet little life, out of the spotlight. If we lived in Tolkien's world we would be hobbits; no adventures for us, thanks. Of course, God has used this situation for some amazing things, and He will continue to do so. We may never know the true ramifications of all of this, but it amazes me that God trusted us in the way He did to live through it. I don't wish this sort of thing on anyone, but I have to say looking back from this side of the fence that it is indeed better to go through the lion's den and live to be better for it than to never have gone through it at all. Great growth comes from these kinds of challenges, if we let it. If David had been found dead I can only hope I would have the same kind of resolve, but the very fact that he wasn't speaks volumes that God has a plan and a purpose for that child's life.

And, as his mother, He has a plan and purpose for my life as well.

Now...go kiss your loved ones. Until tomorrow,



BOLO: David's Walkabout - Introduction 

So much has happened in this past week, I barely know where to begin. I've had a very difficult time organizing my thoughts into something that resembles lucidity, but I thought it might be best to start with the mundane and let the rest hash out as it so chooses.

I'm glad you found me at my new location. With all the changes that have happened in my life at the moment I thought this would be the opportune time to plunge in head first and give you 'Fully Caffeinated'. Lord knows I've been drinking my fair share of coffee lately, so the appropriateness of this change does not fail me. I was going to go for an entirely different look, but the truth is I love the feel of 'Perle Moon' and I wanted to keep its essence. The name of the blog may be changing, as have the person behind it. Perle Moon will remain, but it is here that I now live.

As for the past week, I hardly know where to begin. Most of you know my son David had been missing for 55 hours last week, and what had begun as a tiny blurb in the local papers ended up garnering national television coverage during that period of time. Sunday, August 1st began my nightmare which mercifully ended the following Tuesday, August 3rd. Those days will be forever burned in my mind as the worst and best days of my life.

Before I go on, I want to extend my intense gratitude and thanks to everyone who prayed, cried, searched, and called for my son. I have been reading blogs most of the morning and the love and concern I have seen expressed there has touched me deeply. I especially want to thank Angi and Valerie, for without their comfort and efficiency I could not have made it. Valerie was able to be here with me and Angi was my mouth piece for the thousands of dear stitchers that kept emotional vigil with me until David was found. It was not until this time that I knew just how important the internet community was to me and, in return, I had no idea how important I was to the community. This has left me feeling loved and, to be truthful, very humbled.

I want to share snippits of that time with you, for to be able to share the whole ordeal would be impossible. So much has happened in such a short amount of time that to relay more than the surface would take a lifetime. I have been given a very precious gift, in the form of a second chance with my son. I will try to be as exacting as possible, at the very least to clear up some misconceptions as reported by the media (such as David's autism, a condition he has never been formally diagnosed as having). I will share with you the nightmare of our polygraph tests and intensive questioning by the police, which occupied the majority of our time on Monday, August 2nd. Finally, I will share with you those moments right before and after David was found.

I want to be clear that I appreciate the Henry County Police Department and the media for all they have done. While accuracy in the reports were not 100%, I can honestly say both factions tried to be as clear as possible in regards the facts. I know the police were just trying to do their job, and any emotional injuries I maintain from the ordeal are not reflected at them. I understand the nature of their job is made harder from the sheer reality that some parents do indeed abduct and murder their own children, and despite our innocence I shudder to think what would have befallen us if David had been found dead.

David is currently thriving, as if nothing has ever happened. He has even earned the nickname "Bolo" (the word printed on top of the police flyer) which means, "Be on the lookout". None of us had any idea what that meant before this episode, but none of us will ever forget it.

Many of you have been wanting to hear what happened the way it really happened, and I hope I can do my best to satisfy these curiosities. I want to get back to "normalacy" as soon as possible, but changes following something like this are bound to happen; what these changes are exactly, I cannot at the moment say because I don't really know. What I do know, however, is that things that seemed so important hold less of a gilding to me now than they once did. My perspectives have changed a bit, and my faith has grown beyond anything I could have imagined. God truly delivered and showed His glory during a time when man had done all he could do. It's not about religion; it's about the incredible power of the one true God.

Thank you once again for all of your love and prayers. I wish I could contact everyone personally to let you know how much I love you, but even if I could it would never be enough to express my gratitude. May God uphold you all and know that I will forever count you all as my friends. I truly love you.

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