August 28, 2008

Babies are Weird

The half-year old, who is now 7 1/2 months wiser than the day he was born, was introduced to Cheerios yesterday. It was one of those, your-baby-food-is-defrosting-and-you're-hungry-NOW moments. I placed a Cheerio in his mouth. With minimal gagging and sputtering, the sport of Cheerio eating had begun.

Later in the evening, I, in a moment of wild freedom, snuck (yes, my spell-check insists on "sneaked", but as I am human, and my spell checker is not, "snuck" remains) out the door, childless, into the wide world to buy cheese. While I was gone, Husband coached half-year old and the art was perfected. Half-year old now ranks in the "professional" category for Cheerio eaters... as far as chewing and swallowing go.

Getting the Cheerio into his mouth on his own is another matter. He picks Cheerios off his tray with ease. And stares at them. And tosses them between his fingers. And forgets about them. Not so with leaves, airsoft bb's, bugs, and other bits of foreign matter he finds hiding in the carpet. If there's a tiny dead beetle 20 feet away from half-year old, he pinpoints its location instantly (How... smell? Sonar?), makes a beeline for the nasty creature, picks it up in one fell swoop, and slaps it in his mouth without any hesitation. And yet, he can't pick a cheerio up from his tray and get it to its destination. Maybe I need to smush cheerios and leave them strewn about the carpet.

As my mother-in-law aptly pointed out over skype, half-year old just might fit in well in rural Kenya. Ants over Cheerios any day.

August 20, 2008


Sometimes, I honestly hate true stories. This is one of them.

His name is Kenneth.
He's worked in the Post Office for eight years, the Military for twenty-five, and the FAA for five years.
I know all this because he told me.

Kenneth is a "1-Upper."
Everything anyone tells him, he has heard, seen, done, or smelled before.
Case in point:

Jamie- "Whoa. I went to bed at like midnight last night, then had to get up at 4:45am to come to work this morning. I'm exhausted."

Kenneth- "I woke up at 3:30am this morning and just didn't go back to sleep ever."

Jamie- "Oh."

*More pause-yness.


Jamie- "Weird. They're using only push-backs to move the aircraft out."

Kenneth- "I know. When I was in the Military, we didn't do it like that at all. We used Electro's, and...blah blah blah....more blah blah blah...

*Heavy breathing.
*Counting to ten.
*Somewhere someone in Asia is brushing their teeth.


Kenneth- "Did you know that they way they use their baggage carts here at Skywest is different than we used to use with our old prop planes?"

Jamie- *Blinks.

Kenneth- "Sure. What we'd do is we'd blah blah blah....blah blah....more blah."

Jamie- *Retreats to happy place located in a black hole somewhere.

*Silence at last.

I try hard to think of something he hasn't done before. Surely there is no way on earth -even if he was in the Military- he has ever sat in the cockpit of a B-1 Bomber.
What are the odds of that?
Very, very slim. Any other plane, whatever. I don't care. There's no way in heck he's ever sat in the cockpit of a B-1 Bomber. It's way to specific. Not even if he was in the FAA.
Take this, llama nest egg-stealer meanie.

So I tried it, and it worked.

Jamie- "When I was a little kid, my Dad took me up in the cockpit of a B-1 Bomber and I touched some of the controls and moved a couple of knobs when he was checking out the bomb bay in the back."

Kenneth is quiet for a moment. I totally have him. There is no way he could beat this.
I sat in the cockpit of a B-1 Bomber when I was a little kid. And I moved some of the controls around.

A moment later, and I found myself grabbing a monkey-wrench and tearing into the side of a brick building with all the wrath and fury I could muster in my wrecked, destroyed little body.
The air grew smoky with cement dust as I savagely released pent-up frustration.

"Wow. I used to build those."

© J.E., September 2007

August 16, 2008

Friends Think He's Mad

A man's retiring
3 sons
Wife of his youth
Life full and complete
+ God steps in
Working overtime
Friends think he's mad
Days trapped in a windowless cell
...A fresh start for humanity

A man's getting rich
Living near family
In a beautiful land
The American Dream
+ God steps in
No place to call home
Strangers eying his wife
...All nations blessed through his obedience


A girl's engaged
A quiet life
Preparing to be
The wife of a carpenter
+ God steps in
An unplanned child
A relationship threatened
A forced move
...Jesus Christ is born

August 15, 2008

We Just have to Take the Grace

August, 1981
"Quicherbellyachin E." threatens to toss the young bride into the swimming pool next to the wedding reception hall.
The groom and bride slip away, their faces aching from too many smiles.


A smörgåsbord of construction jobs, college classes, selling strawberries, antiques... anything


My first memories of you flicker in. It's "cowboy Bob" (now I know it was really just Daddy) dressed in a cowboy hat - come all the way from the wild west just to visit me.


Oct, 1990
A small amount of American cash, a telephone number, a business plan, and God's leading. You were on the plane to Hawaii only 2 weeks after deciding to start the business.


1990 - 1998
McDaddy's breakfast on Saturday mornings. Daddy-Daughter dates to have tea or attend a George Winston concert. Building go-karts. Long rides to and from jobs in Hilo full of conversations, "So, now that you're nine years old... have you thought about the type of man you might marry someday?"


This theme recurs over and over through my memories: You love Mom. Every year, all the kids were farmed out to family and friends while you and mom snuck away. A voice was often heard bellowing in tune through the house, " I love my wife."


February 1998
You left the Big Rock for the City Isle. Dozens of employees, late night inventories, managing managers, T-R-A-F-F-I-C: this so your own dad could retire.


1998 - 2008
Dad, you work harder than almost anyone I know.
Even when you're sitting at your desk, surrounded by papers, and screens, and a day-planner the size of Texas, and a water jug only slightly smaller than the day-planner, and two co-workers that are helping you solve a problem, and pressure to complete a task for Corporate, and telephone rings from track work customers who urgently need... even then, I never hesitated to walk into your office. I knew you'd set it aside to talk with me, 'cause I'm your daughter and you love spending time with me.


I have a vivid memory Mom sending me in to talk with you. There was an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had done something deserving grounding for 75% of the rest of my life. Funny, now I don't even remember what the something was. What I remember was your response. "O.k.... (pause too painful for words) I'm going to offer you grace. That means you don't have to pay for what you did." It seemed so wrong. I wanted to pay, to make it right somehow, to be miserable for a while for the thing I'd done. But you explained that Jesus, God's Son dying on the cross, offered us grace. We can't pay off our sin of ignoring God and going our own way... we just have to take the grace.


Thank you for loving Mom. Thank you for working hard. Thank you for showing me Jesus.

August 5, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

I don't know what to think,
You're God
Yet You chose to come and die for me.
You took great pains to let me see.
I turned away,
But still You say,
Come back, come back to Me.
Since I am a human beast,
I say, "No, no: let me feast
Here on my shame,
There on my blame.
You're the beauty, I'm the beast."
I must cause You pain and grief;
My visits to Your door are brief.
I've done bad things,
But still You sing,
"You're Mine, I took your grief."
"I took your burdens and your sorrow,
I'll take them again today and tomorrow.
Give Me your will,
It's a weary mill
Turning slowly around your sorrow."
Give Me your soiled and dirty gown;
I'll trade: My white for brown.
It will never stain.
This, you will gain,
I will see you, Beautiful, in My shining gown."
I think I've come to understand,
There's no way that I can withstand.
I am giving up my sin,
Saying I can't win.
Now relief is replaced by belief,
As I hear my God and Savior say...
"You are MY beauty,
I will take the beast.
Yes, and I'm still here,
Come back,
Come back to Me."

© D.E., June 2008