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Showing posts from September, 2011

Good Things

A couple of months ago, I went to a bar with my friend, Tricia.  I ordered a pale ale, and the instant she went to the bathroom, two awkward young men swooped over to flirt with me.

Before that, she and I were talking about art and about writing. She is out in California, living twenty miles from L.A. and writing screenplays. She wants to write big action and adventure movies like Cowboys and Aliens with heroes like Indiana Jones, big and blazing romps of fun.  "I just wrote a romantic-comedy," she said, and, both of us Christians, we were discussing the value of art that isn't explicitly "Christian" or that doesn't directly talk about God.

Without thinking, I said, "It is good to fill the world with good things."

Last week was strangely sad for me.  A relative of mine died of heart failure, one of my young cats suddenly fell ill and had to be put down, and my mother told me Wednesday morning that one of her patients, a 7-year-old girl, is slowly…


I went to a viewing last night.

What a strange tradition, I thought, as I think at every viewing I've been to.

Funerals I understand - the readings, the preaching, the crying, the quiet solemnity.  There's a formality and a sadness to it.

But viewings, in my experience, are family reunions with a dead body in the room.

I always have these moments where I'm catching up with friends and relatives, sometimes even laughing, but the moment I do I throw a guilty look at the coffin.  Oh right - there's a dead body here, I shouldn't be laughing.  Then I do it five minutes later, and look panicked over my shoulder, please God, tell me I wasn't laughing too loud with a dead person in the room.

Honestly, I don't think people know what to do, though.  How often are you standing around in a room with a dead body?  I think that's why we laugh.  Last night, even the adult daughter of the woman who passed away smiled several times, even laughed a little between the cryi…


I wrote this last week before our one-year-old cat, Huck, got sick.  We had to put him to sleep Friday evening around 5:30.  I miss these moments with our little buddy.

When I went out to run errands this morning, I almost didn't bring a jacket with me.  On an excessive whim, I snatched a tattered fleecy sweatshirt, the one with the cigarette hole in the elbow (I don't smoke, but I used to spend a lot of time on porchs with smokers).  The moment I stepped outside, I was reminded that it is no longer August - it was cool, lower 60s, a cold breeze and a lingering fog in the trees of the school yard.  I closed the door behind myself and quickly shoved into the sleeves, gathering the cloth around me.

Summer is saying goodbye.  I know Ohio well enough to know there are still a few hot days ahead, but I know that Summer's grasp is gone.  And our short-lived beautiful Autumn is coming into her prime.

It was a beautiful summer.

Oh, for lots of reasons.  But I say that because that…

Day 1004

Thoughts on Marriage

Quiet Time
Dave and I had a lot going on when we were first married: we were in a church that met at least three nights a week, we each had a full-time college class load, and we both had part time jobs. 

But in June of 2010, we both got our degrees.  And in October of 2010, we left that busy church.  Our lives have quieted down a lot, and the quiet has been good for us.

Dinner has become an important part of our evening rhythm.  We both get home from work at about the same time, and I put together a simple meal.  There's an unassuming melody to it, a gentle heartbeat.  I ask how many tator tots he wants, and he always says 15.  I knock on the study door when the food's about done, and he gets my silverware and napkin for me.  I hear the scraping legs of unfolding TV trays in the living room as I dish up his plate.  If it's early enough, we watch the news on PBS; if it's later, we watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, guessing aloud the questions an…