Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm Toast

I have always had a unique home. Except for when I was growing up. That was a fairly normal time. Then I got married and Debbie and I began our journey of weirdness. We have been married 31 years and we have moved 21 times. Some moves were very long distances. Some were just down the hall.

Our first home was a studio apartment in Tinley Park, Illinois. As I lay in bed I could access the television, the refrigerator, the air conditioner and, if I reached really far, the sink. Our dresser was in the closet.


We lived in a rented house once when our kids were small. Our church youth group loved to stage gorilla attacks on it. They saran wrapped our van to the front porch.


We lived in a church parsonage for seven years. It seemed like twenty-seven. Once the air conditioner (in the attic) broke and water leaked from it, through the ceiling, and pooled in the light fixture above the kitchen table. It dripped onto the table, warping and ruining it. The church trustees told us it was no big deal. "Nah. Don't worry about the electric light filled with water. It won't hurt ya."


We rented another house and lived in it for a year. The youth group attacked it with forks. They planted them in the front yard topped with pickles. Sliced pickles. I went into the crawl space of this house once and found slugs as big as my fist.


Finally we purchased our own home. We absolutely loved it. It was just made for the years of finishing up raising our kids. Of course there was the chimney fire. And the lime green fiberglass garage door. And the trees that kept getting knocked over by storms and punching holes into the roof. And the unkillable holly bush.


Of course we followed that up with our mega-apartment building in Cleveland. That's the place where I found the grad students throwing their laundry down the garbage chute (one of them would be downstairs catching it before it hit the compacter. Then they'd haul it to the laundry room.) This was the place where I froze to the patio door on the 9th floor during a winter storm. I lived alone and didn't have any furniture. So I sat in the dark leaning against it blogging ... kind of like now. When I finished writing and tried to stand up my sweat shirt had frozen to the door.


Well, now the kids have grown and abandoned home sweet home. I assumed things would calm down. Finally there would be normalcy. Nah. It's just beginning. I'm not sure how weird this place will be. We really, REALLY like it. But weird has already begun. I wanted a bagel last week. A nice toasted Cinnamon Crunch bagel. So I sliced it open and popped it into the toaster. I only turned away for a few seconds. Just long enough to grab some veggie creme cheese out of the fridge. When I turned back ... flames were leaping out of the toaster. You know. Like... fire. My bagel and my toaster was on fire. Not only is the toaster dead but so was the wall socket. (Yes, it has since been tweaked and is doing well.


I mentioned "The Great Toaster Debacle" on facebook last week. Tonight when I arrived at church for Wednesday evening Bible study there was a plastic bag hanging from my door knob. Inside? A new toaster. A really NICE new toaster! I have no idea who put it there. (If it was you ... thanks! You rock!) But perhaps the weirdness is waning? Perhaps this new toaster is a sign that goodness is fighting back? Then again, my next door neighbor has a weed growing in her yard as tall as my second floor deck and my dish washer turns itself on.


Monday, July 27, 2009

The Top 10 Days I'd Live Over And Why (just off the top of my head)

10 - My wedding day. Because it was a truly fantastic day that started with a brown sugar cinnamon pop-tart and ended with ham. Oh yeah. Other stuff happened too.

9 - The first day I skied Colorado. I was all alone and it was REALLY COLD and REALLY WINDY and REALLY SNOWING and totally worth driving 1,000 miles for.

8 - The days my kids were born. Because ... wow ... I had no idea that could really happen like that. And it didn't even hurt!

7 - The day I ate my first REAL (aka: non-frozen) pizza. It was at a place called "Veneuzio's" in Tinley Park, Illinois. My taste buds are still thanking me.

6 - The day I hiked Mt. St. Helens. Because it was amazing and started spewing stuff when I got about half way to it from the visitors center. And when I got back my wife bought me cobbler. Or maybe I ate hers. Either way.

5 - The day I first sat in a jacuzzi. Just because.

4 - The day my dad and I sat all alone in the upper deck in the right field at Old Comiskey Park and watched the White Sox beat the A's twice. Nobody was within 20 yards of us. Because, well because it was just one of the best days of my life.

3 - The day my bride and I celebrated out 10th wedding anniversary and I gave her a ring with 9 diamonds. Because she cried in a good way and I knew she loved me as much as she always tells me she loves me.

2 - The day she and I sat on a boat dock on Lake Superior and watched the northern lights. Because ... it was a moment.

1 - The day I asked Jesus to forgive and save me. Because I would love to feel that clean and fresh and unjaded again.