In The Water (Haiku)

Ancient water flows

from arsenic-tainted spring.

Drink at your own risk!

04-29 Montezumas Well3

I was fascinated by Montezuma Well, mostly because in the desert, you don’t often come across a spring that constantly replenishes a pool of water.  Cool, right?   Of course, it figures that the water has tested for high levels of arsenic.  (I read this on a sign after my husband let one of our dogs have a drink of ‘fresh’ water flowing in a nearby stream.)

I think my husband now realizes that it’s beneficial to read the informational signs posted throughout monument grounds.  However, I don’t think it will make him any more likely to read them in future.  It’s kind of like knowing that broccoli is good for you, but choosing to eat chocolate instead 🙂


Kind Hearts and Friendships

As we walked home from school, my younger son talked non-stop.  He said something about getting $20 at school.  I thought he was talking nonsense, until he produced a $20 bill from his backpack.  With the help of my older son, I got the story about how he came to be in possession of this kind of money.

My younger son and his friend, “G”, were talking about a book my son recently ordered from the Scholastic magazine.  His friend asked if he could have the book, and my younger son told him he could – as soon as he had an iPod Touch. “G” told him, “those are expensive, you’re gonna need this,” and gave him the money.

Sweet gesture, but I knew my son couldn’t keep it.  I called “G’s mom.  As soon as I mentioned $20, she told me that she had the money on the counter and wondered where it went.  The money was for an animal rescue, specifically to help with vet care for an injured dog, which was “G’s” charity of choice.

Once the money was returned to its rightful owner, we talked about the situation.  I reassured my son he wasn’t in trouble, but explained that he shouldn’t accept money from friends.  He stood by his argument of, “But I didn’t ask for it, he just gave it to me.” 

My younger son doesn’t see the problem, but one day, I think he’ll understand.  His friend, “G” has a caring heart and I hope it’s not stolen away by kids who’ll take advantage of his kindness.

Speaking of friendships, I’ve been looking forward to what is becoming an annual sleepover at my best friend’s house.  Yes, I know, I’m a little (okay, a lot) too old for that, but it makes sense, really.

This weekend, she lost her husband to Fantasy Football (don’t worry, it’s only temporary, although it does relapse every year around this time :))  Since we live over an hour apart from each other, we don’t get to visit in person very often.  So, when we do see each other, we have lots of catching up to do.  This is why we do the overnight stay.

I hope you have a safe Labor Day weekend.  I’ll catch up on blog reading on the Monday holiday, but for now, I’m offline, sharing the necessities with my friend:

Life’s been stressful lately…we’ll medicate with chocolate and laugh ourselves back to normal

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

Why Must Even Simple Things Be So Difficult?

The past few weeks have been formed mainly of good ideas that have gone awry, easy choices that have morphed into complicated schemes resembling plans for achieving world peace, and simple decisions that have entered the never-ending loop of doubt (where no choice will ever be made.)  At various moments, my pendulum of emotions has swung from laughter to verge-of-tears; passing defeat, anger and despair along the way.  The icing on the proverbial cake was provided compliments of our washing machine.

For those who haven’t surmised as much, procrastination is a member of our family.  If we ever got around to clearing out some of our stuff, we could set up a cozy place for it to reside.  We talk about things that need to get done, we make lists, we remind each other of the items on the list, but nothing gets accomplished right away.

A couple months ago, our washing machine began making a wretched noise during the spin cycles.  Hubby and I talked about digging out the paperwork because we had purchased the extended warranty.  Neither one of us would make a move to do it.  So the next week over the noise of the washer, we would have the exact same conversation.  After seven or eight such conversations, my hubby found the paperwork and called to schedule service.  Here is the conversation he relayed to me:

Hubby:  I need to have someone look at my washer.

Repair:  What is the problem you are experiencing?

Hubby:  When the spin cycle runs, it sounds like a jet engine in our laundry room.

Repair:  I’m sorry, but we can’t schedule service just for noise.  Is it holding water?

Hubby:  Yeah, sure.  It’s holding water.  When can they come out?

The repairman came on Saturday morning.  He opened the washer door and spun the drum.  He closed the door and wrote some notes.  Yep, in fifteen seconds, he had a diagnosis and it wasn’t good:  the bearings were bad.  Instead of opening his toolbox and getting busy, he informed us that nothing would be done that day.  I was thrilled to find out we waited around all morning for nothing.

He couldn’t start the repairs because the repairs would be much higher than his authorized amount.  In fact, he doubted they would authorize the repairs, and instead, opt for replacement.  (A brand-new washer would make our dryer look like it belonged in the Smithsonian.)  Since they weren’t open on Saturday, and Monday was a holiday, we likely wouldn’t hear anything from them until later this week.

With another week of increasingly noisy laundry, I’m not sure I’ll hear anything from anyone by the end of this week.

I am armed with a large spoon, fighting the urge to take an extended break from life and hole myself up with a 1.75 qt. container of double fudge ice cream.  (Yes, ice cream companies, I have noticed that you skim off the top of my half gallon and charge me more for less.  Thank you for that privilege.)

Writing this post has provided some clarity.  I think I’ve realized why things must be so difficult:  whatever doesn’t kill me will make me crazy.  When I’ve reached the right level of crazy, frustration won’t phase me a bit.

Must.  Have.  Chocolate.  Now.

Chocolate comes in many flavors

How do you get from Crazy Town back to Normalville?  Would love to read your tips in case my GPS fails me (again).

BYOF (Bring Your Own Faith)

Before Jesus was crucified, he told Peter that Peter would disown Jesus three times before the next morning.  Peter didn’t believe it.  (Matthew 26:33-35)

Sure enough, the prediction came true.  At Jesus’ trial, Peter denied being with Jesus three different times, when asked by three different people. (Matthew 26:69-75)  Immediately after the third denial, a rooster crowed – just as Jesus said it would.  That is when Peter remembered Jesus’ prediction.  Peter broke down and cried at the realization that he failed and betrayed Jesus.

Peter.  A disciple.  A man who stood in the very presence of Jesus, the Son of God.  If he was susceptible to this denial, what does that mean for us, who believe by faith alone, sight unseen?

Peter was faced with certain death if he admitted his association with Jesus.  He chose to save himself.  The thing is, Jesus could’ve saved himself, too.  He could have called upon God to destroy His tormentors and prove (once again) that He was the Christ.  But He didn’t.  Jesus knew He had to die as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of His believers.

I’d like to say I wouldn’t have betrayed Jesus as Peter did, but I have to be honest – I can relate to him.  He had believed so strongly and yet, failed so miserably.  How horrifying it must have felt the moment he realized what he had done. 

There have been times when I have hidden my Christian beliefs to “fit in.”  I have felt remorse for being weak in the face of opposition.  I have shied away from opportunities to talk about Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  Like Peter, I have cried at my own lack of courage and absence of unwavering faith.

No, I don’t judge Peter.  I understand him…a little too well.

To me, Easter isn’t about colored eggs, chocolate bunnies and baskets of jelly beans.  I feel sadness for Jesus’ torture and execution, awe at his resurrection and gratefulness for his courageous sacrifice for me; a person who truly is not deserving. 

I ache for those who regard Jesus’ life and death as a myth or a fable.  I pray that one day their hearts will soften and melt away the layers of unbelief.

So it is with a heavy heart that I nibble the ears off my Dove chocolate bunny.  Somewhere in my subconscious I am aware that I cannot strengthen my fragile faith with milk chocolate sweetness, but I do it anyway.  This is the sick weak person that I am.

Can you relate to Peter (or my “chocolate therapy”) in any way?