Pots n Pinwheels

updated 3.24.16

I know they’re just pots, but they do more than hold dirt. They retain memories and are a symbol of intentionality for our family.

6 Easters ago, we set up a scavenger hunt. The final clue led to our neighbor’s trampoline, which we had piled with four giant plastic pots, bags of soil, flats of flowers, gardening gloves, shovels, trowels, and a four unique pinwheels.

Each child thoroughly enjoyed filling their pot with a lower level of rocks, then some dirt and some carefully, some exuberantly, arranging and planting the flowers they had chosen.

We wanted these planters to be a visual reminder of the fact that Jesus died for us, that his body was placed in the ground, but that he rose again and something beautiful came out of that wondrous event.

Two years later as we packed up our belongings to move from Michigan to Georgia, I could not leave those pots. And it was a dilemma because if we wanted the pots, we had to get rid of the flowers.

I came up with a solution that seemed the best thing we could do with both. We unplanted the flowers from the pots and took half to my sister-in-law’s house and planted them in various spots around her garden and planters–hopefully they would be a sweet memory of her nieces and nephews. We watered those plants in tears that day–such a beautiful bittersweet goodbye.

The other half we took to dear friends who had just moved into their new home and added them to what we called a “friendship garden”. It colored up their back yard beautifully and we enjoyed taking a picture of the 6 “friends” in front of their newly planted friendship garden as a sweet memory before saying our goodbyes to them as well.

I emptied the big pots of their dirt and debris, washed and dried them in the sun, then made sure they–along with the pinwheels, gloves, shovels & trowels–made it into the pod for moving.

POTSOnce we unpacked, I thought the pots ought to be used for a bit more than giant baskets in a ball-toss game on the lawn. Our new house needed to look like us.

After cruising all the ads online to find the best prices, we drove to a few places and gathered a handful of plants and a few bags of dirt. We got out the pots, the gardening gloves, shovels, trowels and watering cans and we planted. Once planted, each child proudly placed their pinwheel in their garden then skipped away in glee.


It’s been 6 years since we started planting flowers for Easter. Two moves later, our kids are still looking forward to the tradition of planting something new and beautiful in their pots.

I know they’re just pots, but I hope they will last forever. That for the Great Scotts–who have more than graduated from being the Scotts Tots–these will be a constant reminder that no matter where we go, we too, are just a vessel for something beautiful that is alive in us because of Him.


It’s always at camp

Paper1Every year at camp, something happens to me.

One year it was overhearing a camper’s heartbreaking wish.

This year, it happened in a bathroom.

At first, I thought maybe my “moment” was hearing my daughter singing her heart out in the bathroom stall. Which, was indeed quite adorable. I want her to be uninhibited in her worship–even if that means belting it out in a bathroom.

But that wasn’t my moment.

As we were scuttling back to the auditorium, a leader rushed up to me and fumbled, “excuse me, could you please come help a little girl in the bathroom?

“Where is she?”, I asked.

We walked as fast as we could…he threw out, “it’s not one of my campers…my campers said there was another little girl in there just…really upset.”

My mind went to the worst place.

As I rounded the corner and reached the bathroom door, a girl emerged. She was almost as tall as me and…well…stocky. It looked like she had tried to part or style her hair, but it just came off like a bad cut exacerbated by a bad perm–like her mom knew she was struggling with her weight or size or confidence and had tried to give her the gift of a salon hair-do, but even that wasn’t working out for her.  She had red “I’ve just been crying but have pulled myself together now” eyes, so I knew it was her.

“Are you ok?”, the other leader asked.

Instantly, she melted into tears again…

“It’s ok”, I told cooed. “What’s going on?”, I asked as she tried to hustle away.

She had a panicked look on her face, but I needed to know she was alright, so I pursued her down the hallway a few steps.

I don’t exactly remember what happened next, but amid tears and a down-turned face, the story tumbled out in bits and pieces…

She had been trying to hold it…there was only 1 stall in there…everyone would laugh at her…she had peed all over the floor…she just wanted to leave…everyone was going to make fun of her…she just wanted to get back before anyone found out…

I was relieved. This was fixable. It was not the “worst thing” as I had imagined like we all do when you hear of a little girl sobbing in the bathroom…

Without thinking twice, mom-mode kicked in and I just did what I would have done for either of my own little girls, and what I would wish for anyone who was in the vicinity of one of my little girls should they ever be in a crisis of this sort.

I asked her if she was OK–she said yes.

I asked her if she was wet and needed to get changed or if she could just go back to the auditorium–she replied, ‘only a little on my shirt, I don’t think anyone will notice it’ before the crumpled-face crying and embarrassment and shame of it all hit her again.

I told her I would take care of the bathroom, then I pulled her pee-soaked, bad permed, camp-smelly self into a hug and whispered, “you’re ok, it’s all ok, you just get back to camp and all you need to worry about is having a really good time.”

Then, I went into the bathroom to take care of the mess. And it was an ocean. And there were only those thin, scratchy brown paper towels that don’t soak up a sneeze and don’t change shape or color even when immersed in a sink full of warm water.

I began covering the puddle with the brown rectangles and watched them do nothing but float on the top. I gingerly stepped on a few to see if that would help the absorbency process along any…

My new sneakers…

The smell of the urine…

My gag reflex…

The camper that had been in the stall during “the incident” and now at the sink asking, “what is that on the floor? what happened?” knowing full well what it was…

Oh God, help me!

“Oh, something just spilled…and I don’t want anyone to slip and get hurt”, I willed the words out of my mouth around the threatening gag reflex. She stood there and watched, waiting to see if I grimaced as I bent down to scoop up the sopping, dripping cloths with my bare hands.

Dear God, give me strength to do this.

Nosey Nancy finally left when she saw that I wasn’t losing my cool and wasn’t offering up any more details.

Four rounds of stubbornly impermeable brown towelettes later, I managed to dry the floor enough for it not to be a slip hazard. And my dinner was still intact.

The leader who had asked me for help was lingering in the hallway to thank me for assisting the distressed camper–apologizing for dragging me into the situation.

“Life is already hard enough for some of these kids…it’s a tough age…camp isn’t always easy…I just didn’t want her to worry about this on top of it all”.

Always. There is something that happens at camp. And it’s usually to my heart.

Batgirl: I am no longer

This is a true story that happened to me in June 2011…every year I re-post how I became…BATGIRL!

Backstory:  Beginnings
Performing amazing feats of logistics

The day 7 shot was a God-send. I called my regular physician and left a long and rambling message to see if they could help me find a place, other than the mega expensive trip the downtown ER again, to receive my rabies injection: I was having a hard time finding a place in Michigan that had any rabies serum other than emergency rooms, which are $$$ and did not want to administer them to a walk-in since they had them in stock for “emergencies only”.

In a shocking turn of events, my doctor’s office called me back to let me know that another patient at the practice had been undergoing a rabies series and never came in to get their 5th injection. The serum was not yet expired and I could come in to their office and have it administered by a nurse there. Praise God, an easy one! This shot was in my left arm, and I had to sit for 30 min at the doctors office to be observed to ensure I did not have a reaction to the injection. Hmmm…none of the other places made me sit and observed me for a reaction…

Day 14 took place while we were in Chicago. Friends had gifted us a hotel room so we could have some fun family time together after finishing our job at the church but before moving to our new location. I typed the address of the hospital (I had already called to verify had rabies serum in stock) into my GPS and put on my brave face. I found the hosptial, parked, went in and took a deep breath as I told my story. “I got bit by a bat and need to get the next shot in my rabies series…”

Because I was from out of state and because my doctor was as well, a doctor certified in the state of Illinois had to re-write my prescription so that I could get the shot. Apparently bat bites in Chicago are common–the nurses told me they had tons of vaccine here and regularly gave this series of shots–especially to entire families that wake up to find a bat in their house and don’t know whether anyone got bit or not, so they all have to go through the entire series. Yikes! This time my shot was in my right arm.

My fifth and final shot took place in Oklahoma, where the kids and I stayed with my parents for the month of July while Dan traveled the country hosting summer camps. Because we were not yet in the state of Georgia, where our new insurance would cover us, and because we were no longer covered by our “old” insurance we had to do everything out-of-pocket as if we had no insurance.

I had to be seen by a doctor licensed in the state of OK and have him re-write my prescription yet again in order to have my shot administered. My parents’ physician agreed to see me and re-wrote my script. I was the first person he had ever met that had actually been bit by a bat. Yay me!

I took my final prescription to the Urgent Care center and breezed right through, having already pre-paid for the shot at the discounted no-insurance rate (somewhere in the $200 range instead of the usual $1500)

For some reason, that shot was very painful and I was cranky and my left arm hurt quite a bit, but I was thankful to finally be done with this whole crazy process, and told my dad that he was no longer allowed to call me “Batgirl”.THE END.

(Or at least I thought it was until the bills started coming. My first ER visit was nearly $4,000. More bills to come…)

Batgirl: Performing amazing feats of logistics

This is a true story that happened to me in June 2011…every year I re-post how I became…BATGIRL!

Backstory:  Beginnings

To complete my rabies series, I would need to get injections 4 days after my original shot, 7 days after, 14 days after and 28 days after.

Kind of a pain, but REALLY a pain if:

  • No medical entities in Michigan had the serum in stock and could administer the rabies shot except for the ER downtown (and it took nearly 20 phone calls to find this out)
  • The family and I were headed to church camp the next day and would be in the boonies hours away from home and without cell coverage (unless you were standing in the middle of the soccer field) when the day 4 injection needed to take place
  • I would be in Chicago when the day 14 injection needed to take place
  • My husband’s job would be changing hence our medical insurance would be changing right in the middle of my series of injections
  • I would be in Oklahoma when the day 28 injection needed to happen and the new insurance would only cover me if I were physically in the state of Georgia

It was excruciatingly frustrating to have to try to figure out how, when, and where to get these shots on the exact dates they needed to happen and in the locations that I would be on those dates. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent making phone calls to hospitals, ER’s, med centers, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and the insurance company to get each and every poke procured.

Not to mention the cost. Google how much a single rabies shot costs. Now multiply by 5. Add in ER visits and all the miscellaneous hospital expenses they LOVE to tack on. No wonder Bill Finger made Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne, a millionaire; no one less endowed could afford to survive a bat bite!
Day 4 injection
My dearest friend, who was also volunteering at church camp, drove me 45 min to the hospital nearest to the camp that assured me they had a rabies shot to give me. We drove over what appeared to be a 27 foot long black snake on the dirt roads as we drove to get there. I walked into the ER and sat and waited, along with a man who had sliced his hand and was gushing blood, as all the old people who had fasted to take blood tests were taken BEFORE the walk-in emergencies. Again, I state, gushing blood man had to sit and wait with his arm elevated and trying to contain the blood flow with a paper towel while Alma, Cletus, Edna Mae, Walter, and Edith all got their cholesterol checked.
After finally being taken to the ICU of this very tiny hospital, I was told to sit on a bed and wait. My room adjoined another patient’s room, and he had just been helped to the restroom that adjoined our rooms. Let’s just say the sounds I heard rumbling from the bowels of that bathroom were making me ill as I waited for the nurse to decipher my chart because, “she ain’t got no stickers on here!” Lord help me! I don’t have stickers on my chart and they aren’t going to give me my shot!
Finally a nurse with a syringe entered my room and asked me where my most recent shot had been, then proceeded to inject my alternate hind-quarter before I was released. I did not get a band-aid on my injection site and my release entailed no paperwork. “Have a great day, honey–walk right down that hallway, go out the door on the right and you’ll be outside in the parking lot”.  I highly suspect that syringe was filled with nothing more than plain tap water.

2 down…3 to go…
On the drive from the hospital back to the camp, we came upon some local construction. The worker holding the “slow/stop” sign apparently didn’t think we were slowing down/stopping fast enough and started yelling at us before he literally tore his vest and shirt off to make his point. Not in a good way. If he had shaved in the past month or had his hair cut in the last year, had any teeth, or did not look like nicotine was his only food group maybe the experience would have been more pleasantly memorable. We laughed our way back from our very “rural” hospital experience.
…tomorrow it ends…

Batgirl: Pierced

This is a true story that happened to me in June 2011…every year I re-post how I became…BATGIRL!

Backstory:  Beginnings

I drove myself to the emergency room. Feeling a bit like a fool and also feeling like I was saving my own life.

I felt my cheeks blazing a bright red as I stood a pertinent distance behind the man in the wheelchair at the ER check-in desk agonizing about the sharp pains he was having when he …well…I was probably standing a little too close and he was probably talking a little too loud. After his groaning self had been wheeled off to a room, I took a deep breath that filled me with resolve and I walked up to the check-in desk where I made sure I lowered my voice as I leaned in and said, “please don’t send me to the psych ward, but I got bit by a bat and need to get a rabies shot.”

They didn’t laugh, but I could tell that they were entertained. After their previous customer, I think I would have been too.

I was taken to a room where I sat and explained my story to quite a number of different medical professionals. I have a feeling the ER was slow that day and not only was I the sanest person there, but also had the most interesting “case”. I cannot tell you how many times I heard the phrase, “I’ve never met anyone who has actually been bit by a bat before!”

Yes, thanks very much people, I’ll be here all day, apparently, unless someone wants to get around to treating me? Anyone else on duty wanna hear my freaky bat story?

A few people asked me why I didn’t catch the bat and keep it to have it tested for rabies. To which I had to restrain myself from retorting, “Gee, I just didn’t happen to have my gardening gloves, hockey mask, butterfly net, and bird cage on me while walking to the ice cream shop with my family.” Instead I reeled in my emotions and calmly told them I didn’t realize I had been bitten until well after leaving the area.

I had to fill out paperwork for the county so they could put on record that there had been a bat bite in the area. One of the questions asked if I knew the “pet name” of the animal that had bitten me. Umm…that would be a no.

An intern was assigned to administer my shots. Poor guy. He explained that the first shot was a half syringe full of serum which needed to be injected fully around the bite site.

Since the bite occurred on my ankle, where there is mainly bone rather than muscle or fat, he had to do 8 subcutaneous injections encircling the bite on my ankle. He was absolutely shaking and terrified as he warned me that this serum was one of the most painful shots when injected. I assured him that I had a very high pain tolerance and could handle it, but his arms were shaking for each shot nonetheless. Partly because the tiny needle was having a hard time penetrating my leathery ankle skin (each time, he would push and push until I heard a little “pop”…like the sound you hear when you are piercing a Capri Sun and the straw finally breaks through the little silver lining). Then he had to hold the needle in place and push with all his might to try to get the serum to come out of the needle into the bony void around my ankle bone. Honestly, I barely felt a thing besides empathy for this poor big bear of a guy who was battling a teeny tiny needle.

After the shots encompassing my ankle were complete, I got to enjoy a shot in each thigh and my right buttock. Poor intern. No one should have to look at my stretch-marky buh-boomba.

Before I could be released, I was made aware of the SCHEDULE of ensuing shots I would need to get to finish the series.

Despite all the injections I had endured that day, I wasn’t done yet. Not by a long shot.

…to be continued…

Batgirl: Dillemma

This is a true story that happened to me in June 2011…every year I re-post how I became…BATGIRL!

If you missed yesterday’s Beginnings, read it here 

“Crazy day that ended w/ a bat clinging to my ankle…& not the baseball kind. Hoping I don’t wake up with cowl & wings…always an adventure!” ~Twitter/Fbook status June 8, 2011 @ 8:43pm

I scrubbed my ankle with some rubbing alcohol hoping it would cleanse the tiny red marks on my ankle. I wondered, “Did the bat bite me? Scratch me? Or are these scratch marks from me itching mosquito bites? Did I graze my ankle on moving boxes or paint pails? Maybe something kicked up while I was mowing the lawn?”

I didn’t think too much of it as we began our nightly routine of painting the house (to get it ready to put up for sale) for as many hours as we could before falling into bed exhausted somewhere around midnight.

The next day, I did a little internet searching on bat bites just in case the writhing, squealing varmint had indeed chomped my ankle. It was some of the most dire reading I have ever done–rabies is a 100% fatal disease. Not to mention that when I told a friend that I may have possibly been bitten by a bat she freaked out on me because she knew of someone in real life whose husband had been (unknowingly) bitten by a bat, went to the hospital a few months later sick with what they thought was the flu and he actually died a few days later of rabies.

My fears were clinched by a message from my husband’s cousin, who is a doctor, recommending that even if I had come into contact with a bat–bite or no bite–rabies is indeed a 100% fatal disease, bat teeth are so small often you can’t even see their bite marks,  and in his professional and familial opinion it’s better to get a series of shots and be safe than dead.

Hence, first thing the following morning,

“Bat girl checking in. Lots of shots forthcoming…” ~Twitter/Fbook status June 10, 2011 @ 9:36am posted from Emergency Room in Grand Rapids, MI

…oh, there’s more…

Batgirl: Beginnings

This is a true story that happened to me in June 2011…every year I re-post how I became…BATGIRL!

A few weeks before moving from Michigan, we decided to take a very nostalgic “one last family walk” down the bike path to end up at the little ice cream shop in our tiny town.

We were in high spirits, so much so that we let the kids choose anything they wanted off the menu, no matter the cost, size or sugar content! You want the choco mountain sundae? Sure, let’s have two! An orange creamsicle frosty shake? Extra large! Can we get two cherries on everything, please? It’s a celebration!

On the walk back home, we stopped to talk to friends and confirm the rumor that we were moving. They live in a charming yellow house with a zipline from the tree house, a chicken coop next to the teeter totter, a climbing wall and a tire swing in addition to a random assortment of animals from an aligator in their basement to a baby zebra and a giant tortoise roaming the yard.

Not only did we attend the same church and elementary school, but I had been in Bible study with the wife, the husband helped work on our basement renovation, and they had once had us over for dinner. It was only appropriate that we stop and  say farewell to such good neighbors.

We stood outside their white picket fence exchanging pleasantries and they stood inside listening to our moving story while attempting to corral their 3 children plus the 4 they were babysitting that night. Not to mention all the animals in the yard.

As I was telling them the crazy story of the events that led up to our impending move, I felt a leaf or something blow on top of my left foot. I simply brushed the offending object off my foot using my right foot, but a tiny screeching sound caused me to look down.

It was a bat. Lying on its back. Squealing at me and baring its fangs.

Of COURSE all the kids were immediately intrigued by the tiny creature. “Did it bite you?” the neighbor asked. Since it was dusk and getting hard to see, I said, “I don’t think so, I didn’t feel anything.” I laughed it off and we commented on how strange it was to see a bat on the ground rather than flying in the air etc.

The neighbors grabbed an empty clay flowerpot to put overtop of the clearly unable to fly nasty-looking little creature in order to keep the kids from poking it with sticks or trying to touch or step on it. We finished our conversation and walked home remarking how totally weird the whole bat incident was.

After we got home and got the kids in PJ’s and settled into bed, I had a chance to take a good look at my foot in the light.

It looked like someone had stapled my left ankle.

…to be continued…