One of my kids got her first byline in the local weekly this morning. I can’t begin to describe the joy I felt as she dashed off to show her handiwork to a favorite teacher. What a great moment. I was proud of my own first byline. I think I’m even more proud of hers.
I’ve spent most of the evening enjoying life’s simpler pleasures: old truck, old road, new jeans, and a big dose of blue-eyed soul and quiet jazz.
I’ve had a good day here in Red Fork. Hope you had a good day, too, wherever you are.
Oops. I forgot yesterday was Monday. I know you’re heartbroken.
But really: This guy would be a dead ringer if not for the fact that he hits that low note in “Sweet Caroline” way too well.
And a clarification: Yesterday’s post caused a wee bit of consternation among some readers. I’m fine, thanks; just spent some time yesterday with an individual who reminded me a lot of myself a few years ago, and the whole scene felt rather surreal, like something out of a Richard Bach novel.
Trippy but harmless. You know … sort of like watching a Neil Diamond impersonator. 😉
Empathy is a rare and beautiful gift, but sometimes it leaves you feeling as if you’ve spent an afternoon on the wrong side of the looking-glass, trying in vain to kill someone else’s Jabberwock because you’ve mistaken it for one of your own.
We’re seeing the effects of Hurricane Ike here in Tulsa today. The neighborhood block party at school had to be canceled because of the wind and rain, and Songdog now refuses to go outside unless it’s a dire emergency. I don’t blame him. I went to the grocery store this evening to pick up a couple of things we’d run out of and simply couldn’t do without, and it was pretty soggy.
We went to the feed store this morning to pick up food for the dogs and chickens before I headed to the Reading Room for a meeting. After the meeting, we went to lunch at Ike’s Chili House — a good place to be on a wet, gray afternoon. When we got home, I decided the weather was perfect for a nap, so I scrapped my good intentions about cleaning the house and just curled up in bed instead.
I’ve got a meeting at church tomorrow afternoon. When I get done, I think I’m going to try my hand at wiring. Whatever rocket scientist wired this house apparently wasn’t thinking too hard when he installed the light switches, because none of the interior light switches is located anywhere near the exterior doors. This means that if I come home after dark, I have to walk all the way into a pitch-black house to turn on the light (usually while tripping over a couple of hyperactive dogs all the way). At best, this is annoying and inconvenient. At worst, it’s potentially dangerous. And after four years, I think it’s high time I installed a light somewhere within reach of the front door.
Every now and then, a situation arises that makes me so aware of the daily bread I’ve been given — the “grace for to-day,” as Mrs. Eddy puts it — that all I can do is stand back in awe and watch the Christ work.
I got an example of that the other day, when a group of people got upset with each other and lapsed into childish behavior for no apparent reason. In a matter of minutes, I found myself surrounded by angry people, and I really had no idea what had set them off.
In the past, I’ve often handled such situations by jumping into the fray, verbally roughing people up until I’ve intimidated them into silence with scathing remarks about their conduct. That sort of behavior usually ends the squabble at hand, but it also hurts people and makes me look like a mean bully who uses fear to control others — obviously not acceptable side effects.
This time around, I felt so thoroughly “clad in the panoply of Love” and in such full possession of the “daily bread” (grace) that Christ promises that it never occurred to me to run interference. I just let mortal mind have its tantrum, the way a mother waits out a toddler’s rage, refusing to take any of it personally or to give it any opportunity to draw me in.
The material picture was pretty unsettling, but when the crisis had passed, I found myself basking in the warmth of the Christ’s borrowed light as others commented on my calm. I wish I could take credit for that, but the situation unfolded so fast that I didn’t even have time to think, so I’m sure my response was nothing more nor less than a simple demonstration of “grace for to-day” as divine Love once again met “every human need.”
Is it weird that I really enjoy volunteering in the concession stand during football games? ‘Cos I do.
I like adding up the prices in my head and making change, because it keeps me sharp. I like working with our awesome PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student Association) president and her equally awesome family, because they give me hope. I like boxing up popcorn and making coffee, maybe because at some level, it reminds me of being in the kitchen at the Rock. But what I like most is seeing the kids.
You’d think after spending all week with them, I’d be tired of them, but I love seeing them in a different context, where they’re just having a good time with their friends, and where I don’t have to tell them to quiet down or get in their seats or tuck in their shirttails. They’re comfortable and happy, and so am I.
The dynamic is different, and I think that’s really important. Kids need to know that their teachers like them. Of course I adore them — how could I not, when they’re so funny and clever and full of potential? — but I’m not sure they realize that when I’m nagging them about the dress code or the cell phone policy or whatever. When I’m serving them nachos or making them hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, the vibe is different, and I think it’s well worth the effort to have those moments of simple happiness.