Saturday, June 9, 2007

Good morning! As expected, last night I drove to Orting WA for a jewelry-making, card-making, pizza-eating, sex-in-a-pan orgy with my church ladies. Teresa and I left there at 10:30 while the party was still going on strong. We were worn out. I didn't get home until 11:30.

Say what?!

Relax. Sex-in-a-pan is a dessert. That's as wild as things get at a typical church gathering.

The name of the dessert did elicit giggles and guffaws all around -- and a wonderful story by Vernita Porter, head of the women's ministry. It turns out that when her daughter, Niki, turned 21 she wanted to have her first drink. (Vernita winked and told us, "Yeah, right... like she was kidding me! ... her first drink... her first legal drink, maybe!" and we all laughed) so Vernita took her to a wonderful beachfront restaurant, Anthony's in Tacoma, for the event.

Well, it turns out that Niki didn't want anything that tasted of alcohol at all, so the server suggested a fruity drink called "Sex on the Beach." Niki laughed and decided that would do just fine.

On their way home that night they decided to pull one on Niki's dad/Vernita's husband. They decided Vernita would arrive home looking tense and ticked off and Niki would arrive quiet and shame-faced.

Now, you have to understand: Vernita and Hal Porter serve in our church in many capacities. This is one straight-laced -- but very funny and wonderful -- family.

When they walked through the door, Hal was there to greet them and to hear how it went. Vernita and Niki did their thing, with Vernita telling Niki, "Go ahead, grown up! Tell him all about it!"

Niki hesitated and wouldn't look her dad in the eye. He looked at Vernita and she maintained the ruse (being a part-time actress in real life), stiff and disgusted-looking.

Niki said finally, "I can't. I just can't."

By now Hal is becoming pretty alarmed.

Vernita said, "Niki, it was your decision. Tell your father what happened."

Niki looked up and said, "Dad, I had Sex on the Beach."



He just could not believe it -- and yet he had to!

Finally they both busted up and let him know that Sex on the Beach was the name of the drink she had ingested. He shook his head -- both with immense relief and wanting to clean their clocks for yanking his chain like that!


This will be a very busy day for me. I won't be able to go out and get Aunt Tod the list of goods she will need while we're away next weekend until after church tomorrow. I have to meet with the Realtor and pick up my vacuum, and straighten the garage. By that time, Aunt Tod will be having lunch and getting ready to go to dialysis... so we'll have to do it tomorrow. Usually Saturday is the day I take her out and about, because Sunday is filled with church half a day and then I go to my sister's for dinner. I usually nap on Sunday afternoon. Not this weekend! I will nap twice next weekend at the beach (with four of Jackie's grandkids along? RIGHT!). I can do this!

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I must rush off to be at ORECK when the doors open so I'm not in a line waiting to get the vacuum. Oreck opens at 10 and is fifteen minutes away and my Realtor is scheduled to arrive at 10:30, so my window of opportunity to get the vacuum is fifteen minutes. It has been away for its yearly "physical" for over ten days and with three cats in my condo and the place about to be opened to Realtors and potential buyers, I have to have that vacuum back prontomundo!

More when I get back after the Realtor leaves and I have been to Safeway for cat litter and other necessities...

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You don't have to be a supporter of the present war in Iraq (I'm not, surely) to resonate to the following UTube tribute to soldiers, created by a 15 year old girl named Lizzie Palmer... If you haven't seen it already, do it now..

I also realize that there are counterparts to soldiers for democracy and freedom battling our soldiers and our allies' soldiers. They too are someone's beloved, as hard as it is for us to think of them in those terms, in a positive light.

I'm sure God looks in on all this, both sides of a struggle, and sadly shakes his head and sighs and cries, thinking, "How easy it is to look with grace upon your soldiers and then vilify their counterparts. All of you were created to be my image-bearers. That's why I implore, Love your enemy. In another time, in another season, he might be your friend.... brother... sister... aunt... cousin...father....mother..."

War makes me cry. That's why I don't dwell on it much in this blog. It is such a failure of a nation's ability to reason and to respond to malign intent without becoming malign itself.

I pray that one day everyone will receive enough education, grace and love, that all will decide to beat their swords into plowshares and live together on this very small spaceship we call Earth. The way things are now, it hurts and it stinks... and I'm ashamed that it is this way. I have no definitive answers as to how to make it all go away -- this sense of "I'm right and you're wrong" which both sides in any war feel to the marrow of the bones. I just have questions: Why is it so hard to step back from our own paradigm and engage another's just long enough to realize how futile killing each other is?

It is impossible to destroy another's hate by doing hateful things. That's exactly why "Love your enemy" is a powerful answer and antidote to hate, when we can manage it. Only love, compassion and understanding can compel someone to step away from a hateful stance and to relax enough, and forgive enough, to find their way back to brotherhood and shalom in all its amazing manifestations, secular and divine.

Lizzie Palmer, your tribute is masterful. Keep up the good work. Your heart is in evidence. Don't let the world harden it!

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I took tomorrow's nap today. Aren't I resourceful? Sometimes I amaze myself!

Our intrepid pilgrimage trekker, Alison Winter, isn't able to blog frequently because Internet access where she's walking is prohibitively expensive. But I heard from her a couple days ago and she is still alive and thriving. She tells me a German doctor (this is a joke, relax) told her one of her feet will have to be amputated because her little toe exploded. She says she is in pain but having the time of her life. I believe that! Please, let's all keep her in our prayers! Send her an encouraging email when you can. The email address is in an earlier blog. (I would give it to you again now but hey, then you wouldn't re-visit earlier blogs! Some of them are worth re-visiting, I have noticed -- on the infrequent occasions when I re-visit them myself!) Here is Alison's blogspot:

Have a wonderful evening! Pray for peace.

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