Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Maybe If You Jiggled That Little Thingamajig Over There..."

Mike undertook a plumbing project this afternoon, and as most projects like that go, it rapidly got more involved and complicated. Two trips to the hardware store and no supper until after 7 pm. But he got the leaky pipe under the kitchen sink fixed, as well as replaced the sprayer which has not worked for several years. It will be nice to have that back.

I have learned much in the past years.

Fifteen, twenty years ago I would have been the hovering spouse, trying to be supportive, full of helpful little phrases such as "Maybe if you jiggled that little thingamajig over there, it would help get it loose," or other such ideas from a woman who has never done a plumbing job in her life but still had a better way for him to accomplish the task. And then I wasn't very happy when he wasn't very happy with me. No wonder home improvement jobs usually turned into stressful times for us all.

Now I know that the best thing I can do is just stay out of the way, preferably in another room (though available to help when he shouts out "I need you to come here a minute" to hold a tool or a light or whatever). And all he wants to hear from me is "I know you can get this done." Followed by a sincere "Thank you" when the job is done.

I've still got a lot to learn. But at least that lesson has at least had some small progress made through the years. And life is sweeter both during and after the job.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who Is God Anyway?

Mike has been off for several days and has been doing a lot of reading, as well as organizing his thinking into some written pieces. I convinced him to let me post these thoughts:


The title subject of who God is has obviously had volumes of books written, sermons preached and just plain topics of discussion over the centuries. So to attempt to answer the question in an e-mail would be inadequate to say the least. Yet it is a question that every human being needs to consider because it has eternal implications. So how do we grapple with such a weighty subject without getting lost in the discussion?

After thinking about this it seems like a good place to start might be to realize who God is not. In our day and in our society especially, the idea of who God is has become a very cloudy concept in peoples' thinking. We should understand that the god of this world (Satan) has to be the author of much of that confusion. And we must take credit for some of it ourselves as we just don't spend too much time pondering it. But let's look at some of the external forces that influence our thinking.

One thing God is not is what He is advertised as being. You don't have to look far in our present surroundings to see (or hear) proclamations about God. Well-meaning evangelical Christianity often reduces the eternal God of creation to someone (or something) that we merely need to add to our existence to make us whole (or at least happy). It is astounding to see things written on billboards or tee shirts or even church signs that say things like "Try Jesus" or "Got Jesus?" or some trite phrase that sounds like a beer commercial. These are nothing more that futile attempts to make God more palatable to people so as to give them the sense of security of knowing Him. The truth is that God Himself must reveal Himself to individuals before they can know Him. I saw Newt Gingrich this past weekend while he was campaigning in Anderson. I knew who he was, but I still don't know him because he has never introduced himself to me. And we have not had a personal conversation. Likewise, Satan himself knows who God is (probably better than most humans), but the scriptures say that he (Satan) trembles because he knows who God is. How many of us tremble because we know who God is?

So what is the big deal if we don't know God personally? Won't He sort all of that out in the end anyway? There is an infinite amount of truth to be conveyed on the subject of God and our relationship to Him. As was stated above, a person can know who God is and even be a scholar on the subject. But it is impossible to know God unless He reveals Himself to you.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Seeing Newt

About 2:30 this afternoon, after a nice visit with my cousins today and last night, I read on Facebook that Gingrich was going to be at the local Chick Fil A (the one owned by friends and where Andrew used to work) from 3:30 to 4:15. The rain had stopped - what did we have to lose - we decided to go see all the fuss.

Below: Bus pulling up at the left. The white bus on the right is the press bus.

If you look carefully, you can see Newt directly in the center between a camera and a man's head.

There was a large crush of people.

Taken through the glass window of the restaurant. I was inside with some students who offered me a seat, so I got to hear his brief speech. Mike was still on the outside and took this picture.

Newt's bus - we stood by it for quite awhile waiting for him to come back out, but he slipped out the other side of the restaurant and left in an SUV to meet up with his bus in another location. Just like a politician!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Example For the "Middle Age" File

I couldn't find my school ID tag in my pocketbook this morning. Got halfway down our street before realizing it wasn't in there as usual. Called Mike - he checked all the possible places - it wasn't in any of them. I looked down - you guessed it - it was around my neck. I just told him that "I found it" - did not admit openly where it was. Sigh.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not Happy About This. . .

I was afraid that this might happen.

I used to drive to the grocery store past a nice triangular field formed by the meeting of three roads. Once I even saw a northern harrier over the field, that looked just like this one on the left. It was riding the thermals, looking for food, just gliding and gliding. It was a beautiful sight.

Then I heard that a Food Lion was being built on the site. Hard to believe, what with another grocery store across the road and another grocery being built right there also. Also disappointing because the field had to be demolished for the store.

But I got used to it, and loved the store. It was a little smaller than the other two groceries on the corner. I know many of the staff and call them by name. One woman in the deli even knows exactly how thick to slice the meat that I buy every week for Mike's salads. (#8 on the slicer.) The atmosphere is homey with beams and indirect lighting. It's really a nice little store.

Tonight I heard on the news that this store is one of half a dozen in our area being closed. I hate it.

And the worst part of it is that the lovely triangular field is still gone. Instead of the nice Food Lion, it will now be covered by. . .an empty metal building.

Is this what "progress" is really supposed to be like?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The deluge is beginning. And I'm not talking about the rain that is supposed to come our way tonight.

I'm talking about political ads. Today is the New Hampshire primary, so the swarm is now headed our way. All I want to do this evening is watch the evening news, and I am subjected to a constant barrage of ads about how Newt has been mistaken too many times, and Rick Santorum is an insider politician, and more, and more. I'm glad that Ron Paul is good to veterans, and Rick Perry got jobs for Texas. I know enough to filter out the attack ads that are sponsored by the competition. But these are desperate times. None of those attack ads matter during this cycle. I want to be able to tell which man is the best man to defeat Obama. That is all that matters, far more this election than in many other times.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Can't believe I haven't posted for a week. It was really hard to get back into school after such a nice break. And the first week back is spirit week and homecoming, so there is a lot extra to do - in addition to starting upperclassmen on research papers. Yesterday I had a 14-hour day at school. I taught all day, took the gate $$ for the first ball game, worked the concessions for the second game and homecoming and part of the third game, then sat with Dad for the last game.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Thought - NOT Lofty!

Perhaps on New Year's Day I should be writing about resolutions and big ideas, but this is going to be far less lofty than that. I'm going to write about bowl games.

I remember fondly the days when the week between Christmas and New Year's was filled with bowl games of ever-increasing importance, up to the "big four" on New Year's Day. People were home, on vacation, not much to do, and there was a lot of football going on. Once January 2nd or 3rd got here, everyone went back to work and school, and football was over.

Now - the games between the two holidays are nothing games, and the big stuff takes place during the week(s) after New Year's Day. People are back at work, and the games are much more lost in the shuffle of everyday life.

No wonder Clemson can't get their tickets sold. Who can go to Miami on Jan. 4, a Wednesday night? At least USC is playing tomorrow and parents can more easily justify getting their children back for school, even if they may have to miss one day. I think that's a big factor in why USC has sold their tickets for Monday's game, but Clemson is having a harder time.

Somebody somewhere needs to think this through, as much as the fact that we badly need a playoff system.