Friday, July 11, 2008

Crazy Glue. It's not just for crazies anymore.

I've done it again. After years of benign glue activity I have managed to soak my finger tips in crazy glue. I caught the problem in time ... I think. After realizing that I had done this unfortunate deed I stood in the parking lot of our apartment complex turning circles with my hands and fingers pointed toward the sky. That way nothing could stick to me except a wayward sea gull (which could conceivably think I was offering up bread crumbs for a mid-day snack.) Or perhaps a Mayfly which survived the most recent manifestation. It didn't happen.

Finally, I reached oh-so-carefully into my LEFT jeans pocket with my RIGHT hand in a desperate attempt to reach my keys. Debbie realized I was acting oddly (okay, not so odd for me but still) and I told her what had happened. I got "the look." After retrieving my keys I got us into the building and, finally, our apartment. I went directly to the sink where I washed and washed and washed.

Note: You cannot wash off Crazy Glue.

I do not have access to any Crazy Glue remedy: fingernail polish remover. So I just waited until the stuff hardened. Currently I have no finger prints on the index or middle fingers of my right hand. They are glued over. And yet, like an idiot, I made my way directly to my mac and began blogging this post. I cannot feel two fingers and yet it occurs to me that I may well end up "one" with my macbook pro. I mean, I love Tess (that's her name) and all. But I also like to put her down occasionally. (I mean on a table. Not put her down like, "You're ugly.") So perhaps I best stop now. But I know what happens if I stop. I'll wind up glued to something like the TV remote. Or a book. Or a chair on the balcony. Or ... toilet paper.

Decisions never come easily these days.

Parade time on Lake Road

Well, we are experiencing our first "Community Days" in Sheffield Lake. Translation: There is a carnival down at the parking lot of a grocery store downtown. Downtown won't be downtown for long because they just announced that the grocery store will be closing in November. Hey ... more room for next years Community Days!

Anyway, our church had a float (nice job, Hicks family!) and a bunch of kids rode on it throwing candy to the crowd. Adults walked along side handing out lunch bags with information on them about our coming Vacation Bible School. I drove Emma the Mustang behind the float with kids sitting on the back throwing candy too. Debbie was having an "asthma day" and I didn't want her to try to walk the half mile parade route. Anyway, it was pretty cool. TONS of people And here are a few quick pics from the cell phone.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pieces of "The Pie" to die for

#1 - Aurelio's PIzza ... suburban Chicago
#2 - Geno's East Deep Dish Pizza ... Chicago
#3 - Gino's 140 Pizza ... Bethalto, Il (Pepperoni & Onion, please)
#4 - Giordano's Deep Dish Pizza ... suburban Chicago (ANY toppings will do)
#5 - Imo's Pizza ... St. Louis (extra sauce!)
#6 - Mama Santa's Pizza - Cleveland's "Little Italy"
#7 - Roma's Pizza - Bethalto, Illinois (White Sauce!)
#8 - J Bucks - Clayton, Mo. (BBQ Chicken. Mmmm.)
#9 - Cannoli's - Florissant, Mo. (Okay, it's actually pizza soup but it counts)
#10- Still searching!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Write right

I love to write. Sometimes I live to write. It's cheaper than a psychiatrist. And yes, I do know that for a fact. Writing is often where I take the saplings that are growing in my mind and turn them into full grown trees. Sometimes they turn into Redwoods. Sometimes they just turn into Maples or something of a lesser quality. But writing is where fledgling thoughts turn into full blown ideas for me.

If only they were always good ideas.

I have not written much lately. I suppose that is because I choose to write in a place where people (that would be you) can read what is going on in my head. In my heart. And every now and then my head and my heart gets full of things that just don't need to be published. Things that are best left between God and I.

I've watched my blogs evolve over the years. I won't bore you with the story of how or why that happened. But it did happen. And it will probably happen again. Or maybe not. One thing I have learned is certain is that I really do not know what is going to happen tomorrow. And I certainly do not know what life will be like one year from the moment I now inhabit. I suppose it is best that way. It makes it more difficult for me to screw up God's plan.

Not too long ago I spent a couple of nights in my house. No, not my apartment. My house. The one that one of you should buy but won't! (I wish you would stop being so selfish!) While I was in that house I looked at the pictures on the walls. Many were pictures of a young family. A family that has spread out now. A round trip to all of our homes would now (according the the Almighty Google Maps) take about 1,300 miles. How did that happen? I thought about the family parties and the many get-togethers with friends. It kind of made the place feel haunted.

It's not haunted. It's just empty. Nobody is asleep in that house tonight. No dogs bark. No garbage in the can. It's just a house.

But I digress.

I've said just about all there is to say about the big old lake outside my door. I no longer ride a motorcycle so I have no harrowing stories of near death experiences. The Mayflies are gone again. For now. Life is different. Life is, well, new. I don't know who plays second base for the local major league baseball team. I have no idea where to find a real honest-to-gosh shopping mall that is both indoors and also relatively up to date. Just lots of very nice outdoor shopping centers. Does it matter? No. Not even a little bit. It simply underscores the differences between life "then" and life "now."

So here is what I think. I mean, as best I can figure it all out.

Life moves fast. And then it slows down and you don't think it will ever change. I mean, EVER. And then when it finally does it totally takes you by surprise and you aren't sure what to think or what to say or how to act. And you start thinking too much. You spend too much time filtering things through your brain and not enough time smiling at God. He is, after all, smiling at you. I mean ... me.

Family is so important to me. Friends make my spirits soar. The simple pleasures of life that are actually relatively silly become treasures that provide flavor to what can easily become a mundane, tasteless life. But the really important thing in life? Well, that would be His Smile. The smile of God. It comes when I least expect it and it reminds me of the importance of order. The smile of God should be very, very high up in the order of what is important to me. Everything else ... less so. Even those things that are, rightfully, extremely valuable and of great worth. Yes, even those things should pale in the shadow of The Smile.

And so I stopped writing for a while. And I had to really push myself to write tonight. And I doubt that I have written anything at all that should be deemed worth reading. But I went to bed when my Debbie did. She was not feeling well so we retired earlier than usual. I listened to a 45 minute long podcast of a sermon. It made me think but did not motivate me to write. And then I tried to talk to God and I am pretty sure that I heard Him tell me to go on and go to sleep because He would stay up all night and watch out for the world. I'm going to do that in just a moment. But first I grabbed Tess the Laptop and made my way into my mega-chair ... better knows as my "fuzzy buddy" or simply "The Date Chair." And I typed in the appropriate web address and now here I sits. Typing. Writing. Telling whoever might take the time to read that, to me, it is so very important that I write right. And if I can't write right, well, then I won't write at all. Because I want to grow trees. Redwoods. And sometimes the seeds just are not there.

Therefore, I beg your patience. Many of you have been reading my blog faithfully for years. Do you know how much that means to me? Well, it means a lot. And I really do not want to waste your time. I want to write right. I use to write most everyday. And I am sure I will do that again. Who knows? Maybe that starts tonight. I'm not the type that can be satisfied by just writing about my day. I have done a lot of that lately. That is because what's in my head needs to stay in my head until God responds to it. What is in my heart needs to stay in my heart until God deals with it. Or shows me how to deal with it.

Because if I am going to write ... I am going to write right.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wanted: Blogging motivation

I've never felt less motivated to blog. I think I have become blog impaired. Perhaps I have been buzzed by one Mayfly too many. Maybe it was overdosing on Tahitian Treat. Or it might simply be that I've OVER-CHEERED for the Cubs to decimate the Cardinals. (They did 2 out of 3 times. Mission accomplished. We all know that it was my cheering from Cleveland that caused the victories.)

I have nothing funny, deep, inspiring, or mildly amusing to write about. My friends ... I am boring.

Tomorrow I shall take the proverbial bull by the horns. I shall step out of bounds. I shall pursue creativity and frivolity. And I will reenergize my blogging. For now it's ESPN or C-Span. I just can't decide which way to go ...