Monday, February 18, 2008


My rather long absence here has a simple and wonderful explanation: I was in Florida, with the tiniest vestige of a leftover sunburn to prove it.

It all began when Arlen the other pastor urged Paul to go to the BMA (Biblical Mennonite Alliance) Ministers Enrichment Week in Sarasota, Florida. Paul said he's not going unless I can go too, and I had a scheduling conflict. But the nice organizer lady at First Baptist switched me with the March speaker, and that was that.

I understand there are people who can just up and go to things like this. We, in contrast, had to find someone to teach school for Paul (nephew Randy), stay with the children from Wednesday to Friday (also Randy), keep the kids for the weekend, (Clugstons, Doutrichs, Ruckerts), and bring them all home Sunday evening and stay till we arrived (Grandma). Then there were the little details of making sure the animals were cared for and suppers were planned and well, if you are a parent you know all this and the rest of you probably can't comprehend anyway.

Meanwhile, in an exciting twist in the plot, Emily left the same day we did to go spend two weeks with Amy in South Carolina. A few weeks ago, in an attempt to give our very lethargic and discouraged Emily some incentive to eat and drink and take her vitamins and do her schoolwork, Paul said if she keeps this long list of requirements for two weeks she can go see Amy. Well, did that turn things around fast.

So I took her to her gate at the Portland airport on Wednesday before Paul and I left for Florida. She was a rather striking picture, with her elegant black coat and pink and green striped skirt and interesting socks (one pink, one green)(which looked cooler than it sounds) and of course "John McCane," her black cane decorated with a pink ribbon and princessy stickers.

We had Emily's ticket flagged for wheelchair service, which she utilized in both Atlanta and Charlotte. She said that she went to buy a snack and use the restroom while waiting in Atlanta, and as she and John McCane walked away, the waters parted as everyone pulled their feet back and smiled at her, and then when she returned and the seats were all full, someone went leaping out of his seat to offer it to her. How wonderful that there are still gracious people in this world.

Amy didn't show up right away at baggage claim, for reasons I still haven't heard, and Emily couldn't get hold of her on the phone, so while we were sitting in the plane in Las Vegas, we got a desperate call from Emily wondering what in the world to do. What a helpless feeling. But once again a gracious person had come forth and was staying with her til Amy showed up, (God bless that woman), and during our second phone call Amy arrived and all was well.

Meanwhile, as we sat waiting on the tarmac in Las Vegas, the plane kept shaking so bad I was getting sick. I was trying to figure out what was causing it when the pilot said that we can't take off because of high winds. 84 mph, I think. With lots of debris flying down the runway. So we were 3 hours late leaving, and the only redemptive thing in all this was that Emily was able to reach us with her frantic phone call at baggage claim, which she could not have if we had left on schedule.

Yes, well, the morning calls and here I sit typing what sounds too much like the old Yoder circle letter ("Went to the dr. on Tuesday and did the wash on Weds. Sun is shining today, 70 degrees outside.")

Check in later for more details than you asked for about the Mennonite minister's moral dilemma, the frantic phone call from home, and more Margaret Mead--this time about the Amish and Mennonites in Florida.

Quote of the Day Before We Left:
Emily: What's Moody Press?
Me: Um, a publishing company I guess. Is this a trick question?
Emily: It's a sad cow.
Me: A. . .sad. . .cow. . .?
Em: Yeah. A Moo Depress.
Ben: Mom, now you have officially heard everything.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, my friend, your daughter is in the deep south, where we wave at folks on the road, we smile even when we don't know them, a trip to the grocery store can be a social event, gentlemen hold the door for ladies, we eat grits and drink lots of iced tea! "Couldn't be finer than Carolina"
    Benita, in SC