Wednesday, September 25, 2013

at the Jeffersons'

Roger whipped it out and peed on the strawberry patch.  Mama wasn't impressed but Virginia cackled so long we thought she might split her dress.

I could always tell where Virginia was on account of her cackling.

After Roger peed on the strawberries we all walked over to Benny's for ice-cream.  Roger got ice-cream on his nose and Virginia cackled.  It was always him doing the screwing around and her doing the cackling.  As for me, I guess you could say my role was subtle.

When we finished the ice-cream, Mama said, "Now that you've wet your whistles let's go to the Jeffersons'."

Now the Jeffersons had one of them weasels.  No, not a weasel.  What was it?  A ferret.  A long flexible creature that didn't seem to have any bones.  Mama thought it was gross.

Well, Roger ended up nearly squishing the poor thing to death with his big fat rump.  It got away and scampered into the washroom to hide behind the toilet.  Roger and Virginia, they were both cackling.

I could absolutely see the humor in it, but I had forgotten how to laugh.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

book and a hand bell

A few Sundays ago we visited a nearby Anglican church to see what it was like.  We're not looking to switch churches but I want to be in touch with different Christian groups in our area.  Because why not?  We might visit a different church once every couple of months.

We were a few minutes late because I move like a turtle, but that was not an issue for anyone.  We were greeted warmly and quietly by a few standing near the back of the sanctuary and were given a blue hymnal.

Young children gathered around a small wooden table to color while we sat nearby in the back row.  There's nothing wrong with this.

We sang songs about justice, joy, and being a neighbor.

A woman offered a brief message about radical hospitality—how Jesus said that, when putting on a feast, invite the outcasts and the ones who are shunned by society.

Someone wearing a white robe rang a hand bell at the start of communion.  Three times it was rung, I think.  I don't know what meaning the Anglicans attach to this bell.  For me, its timbre and gradually fading tone served to clear my mind and bring my focus onto the love feast in which we were about to partake.

To me it doesn't matter whether or not Anglicans agree with me that the body and blood is mysteriously present in the wine and bread.  I can still commune with them because Grace is sufficient for me—for all of us.  And Jesus is everywhere.

When I sat down again beside Kevin, I turned my eyes to the windows above and was briefly swept away in memories of receiving communion as a teenager.  There would always come that ineffable moment when I'd lift my head by the Spirit and hear those precious, timely words: "May the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you until life everlasting.  Depart in peace.  Amen." 

Now would be a good time to end this blog post.  It just feels right.  But...

I was pleasantly surprised to see a TWU alumnus at this church.  She approached me when the service was finished.  We spoke briefly while I admired her son's tousled, curly hair and during our encounter Kevin rushed out the front doors.  I bid her farewell to catch up with him.

However, I was still hugging the blue book to my chest.

I hurried back in and slipped it onto the shelf.  "Thank-you," said the man who was returning the rest of the hymnals to their places.

I got the impression he wouldn't have minded at all if I had "stolen" it.


Monday, September 16, 2013

The Hidey Hole

"I'm sorry," said Wes, "for hurting you on your birthday."

"It's okay," said Angela.  "I'm sorry, too.  Anything to do with numbers tends to go over my head and I don't remember much."

Wes looked over at the wooden door at the base of the giant fir tree.  "What are we doing now?"

"I don't know," said Angela.  "He's been hiding in there for an awfully long time."

She was referring to Stanley, of course.

"Why's he so afraid?" said Wes.

"Because he's human and there's a lot he doesn't understand," said Angela.  She crouched down and gently moved her hand back and forth across the tips of grass blades.  "I'm sure you'd agree with me we don't have the power to get him out of there."


"But we can still participate in the beckoning," she said as she got up.

"I'm not sure how," said Wes.  "At least he talks with you when you open the door.  When I try that, he says nothing and cowers in the darkest area he can find."

"True," said Angela.  "If he knows you're standing here with me right now so close to his entrance he's probably trying his hardest to pretend he doesn't exist."


She paled.  "Wes!  Your arm!  Your scar!"

He raised his limb.

"It's ripping open!" said Angela.  "What on earth?  You're bleeding!"

"Ugh," he said.  "I have to take care of this, Angela, before I participate in any beckoning."

"Okay," she said.  "Could this be the participation initiation?"

"I don't know," he said.  "It's the unseen that is the most important, so you could be right."



Monday, September 9, 2013

let's play

"Let's play Webtuckin!" said Abigail.

Henry sucked a breath in through the gap where his tooth had fallen out.

"Will knows how to play," she said.

"Yeah?" he said and tapped his fingers on the table.

"Yep!" said Abigail.  She ran into her bedroom, her black converse sneakers thumping across the floor, and returned with the breast cancer awareness scarf she had received from their mother.  It swung from her hand like a bindle.

"Oh, you and that stupid pink scarf," said Henry.

"It's not stupid," said Abigail.  She opened it and let her marbles roll onto the table.

Henry held one to the light and squinted.  "They're clear," he said.

"Not really," said Abigail.  "They're clear but they're cloudy.  Go ahead.  Have them all."
Henry put them into one of the pockets of his backpack.

Will arrived and sat down with an air of importance.  "Okay.  So.  You wanna play Webtuckin.  Let's see your marbles."

"W-what do you need to see 'em for?" said Henry.

"If we're going to do this, you've gotta get your marbles out."

"It's fine," said Abigail to Henry.

He unzipped an inside pocket of his backpack and scooped out his marbles.  They were a solid, shiny red.  He held them over the table, his hands curved as a bowl.

"That it?" said Will.

"Um, I-I got more in th-three other pockets," said Henry.

"Wow, okay, you might as well get those ones out, too."

With great caution, he set down the ones he'd been holding like he expected them to shatter into smithereens any second.  Abigail helped him extract the rest, including hers.

"Good," said Will.  He opened his satchel and grabbed a couple handfuls of his own marbles which were solid green.

"Now it's time for strategy," said Will.  "What we're going to do is put a percentage of yours with mine and put them in the middle like this.  Remember you've gotta think about what's going to happen later in the game.  This is what we're doing now, but later it's going to come together on that end of the table if you want to work your way over there."

Henry nodded.

"Actually, let's change this percentage."  Will moved more of the red marbles in with his green ones then moved them to the side.  "And let's put five of those red ones over here."  He swept them with his hand but accidentally knocked a few off the edge.

Henry was getting angrier by the minute.

"What's wrong?" Abigail said, but he refused to answer.  "If this is just making you mad then you don't have to keep playing.  You can do something else."

He stood and, with his forearm, swept as many red marbles as he could off the table into his open backpack.  "It's over!" he yelled to Will and stomped away.

"I didn't mean doing it like that," mumbled Abigail.

Will looked down and fiddled with the drawstring on his bag.

Abigail pointed to some of his marbles on the table.  "What color are those?"


She pointed to a few of the red ones Henry had left behind.  "And those?"

"Green," he said.

He cleared the table and closed his satchel.  Abigail wilted like a dying plant.

"This is all Henry's fault!" he blurted out. 


Thursday, September 5, 2013


Wen somebunny makes a misteak it means upportonity for me too show how mutch I love them ennyway!

On the other hand, I'll' mention someone's misstake if...

a) Its something that's hurrting me over and over agenn.  I meen, come on, I gots too take care for myslef.

b) I believe mensioning the misstake is part of a reconciliation process

I want to do my best not to point out people's misteaks, though, because I don't want to be a bookkeeper.  Love doesn't take inventory on what misstakes someone's made.  But I'm human so sometimes I make the misteak of pointing out someone else's misstake even if it's only a little one.

But I would rather notice all the awesome stuff about a person than let the flaws make me angry.

I'd rather live in awe and wonder.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

storm in a teacup

"If you have 'your head about you when all the rest are losing theirs and blaming it on you,' it means you don't understand the situation," said Nadine.

Elmer grunted.  "Would you pour me some tea?"

Nadine poured it into his mug, the one with the picture of a walrus smoking a cigarette, and added a teaspoon of honey the way he liked, and placed it before him at the table.

"No, not in that mug!" he said.  "In a tea cup!  It belongs in a proper teacup."

She took the mug back to the counter and poured it into a dainty flowered teacup, then placed it before him.

"What are you doing?!" he yelled.  "Where's the saucer that goes with it?  Get the cream from the fridge and a teaspoon!  Don't forget the napkin.  Come on, woman, what's your problem?"

"Well, I've given it to you in a mug before and you seemed fine with it."

Elmer shook his head in disgust.  "And there's no cookies or anything!"

"Well, no, I haven't done any baking 'cause I've been scrubbing the tile grout in the hallway like you asked."

"I should've married Pamela," he muttered.

"Um... what?"

"Nothing," he said and waved his hand dismissively.  "Go clean my washroom.  It's filthy."

Nadine went back to the hallway to finish the tile grout.

Monday, September 2, 2013

past the appearance

"In terms of statistics the prophets' statements are grossly inaccurate.  Yet their concern is not with facts, but with the meaning of facts." - Abraham J. Heschel