Donut Theology

That delectable chocolate-glazed donut was calling my name.  As I rounded the last aisle of the grocery store for my weekly Big Grocery Run, I decided to throw caution (and my cholesterol count) to the wind and go for it. Go big or go home, I always say.  (As long as “home” isn’t my eternal home. Amen?)

Loading the trunk of the car with the groceries, I removed the beloved donut bag and stuck it in the front seat of my car to eat on the way home.

Only, I forgot how crumbly and messy those blasted donuts are. And how white shorts and chocolate glaze and… me, are never a good combination.

I almost giggled at the obvious comparison to my spiritual life.  The very act of living life can get messy.  And people crumble. And there will be those that smear their own “goodness” all over your white-as-snow self. And it’s not until I’m willing to get messy that I get to taste the actual fruits of faithfulness.

Pulling out of the parking lot, I reached for the bag. I was about to bring the first delicious morsel to my lips, as I saw another mama from town coming in.  She waved enthusiastically.  I, however, stashed that donut down below the steering wheel so fast it would’ve given you whiplash!

You see, I had forgotten that I was at the grocery store at about the same time as roughly half of the other mammas in our sleepy little town – and most of them with kids at the same school as mine attend.

While I consider myself quite confident in my person, I’m not so confident that I will blatantly each a chocolate slathered donut in the car while sidling up next to other moms at a stoplight.

Others, whose opinions sometimes matter far more to me than they should.

It was then that lesson number two hit hard.  Am I living to please (wo)men? Or my God?

Where has my focus been lately?

Clearly, it’s time to refocus on what Who is important.

And it ain’t the donut.

Indeed.

Galatians_1_10_Missindeedy

Land That I Love

It was one of Those Days.  Sweetboy needed to have a wart removed.  For the third time.  I thought for sure that the fact that we cleared the entire Dermatology office on our last visit with screams loud enough to shatter glass – in another state – would preclude us from any future trauma wart-removal attempts.  I was sadly mistaken.

So, we were off to the Wart Doctor, as we had affectionately dubbed Sweetboy’s Dermatologist.

Having been there twice before, Sweetboy perseverated on how this would all shake down.

Again.

Finally, The Good Wart Doctor informed us that she would make sure that he wouldn’t feel it, at all, this time.

How?

She was to numb the area.

How?

She was going to numb the area by inserting a needle. Into his knee.

Brilliant.

I asked her what army was going to hold my wiry boy down as she numbed him up with a needle to the knee.

She gamely replied, “I’m sure between the two of us, we can manage him.”

I may have retorted something along the lines of, “Unless you have a burly looking male nurse hiding behind that curtain, there is no we!”.

She may have laughed.

I may have cried.

Either way, this was going down.  And I knew, the way you know when your tires start skidding on black ice, that it was not going to go well.

I’d like to remind you all that I am allergic to needles.  I pass out upon the scent of a needle pointed in my direction.  Sweetboy’s dread for The Pointy Things is hereditary, you see.

Somehow, though, both Sweetboy and I survived.  I’m pretty sure I blocked any memories of exactly how we survived, clean out of my mind.

However, we were both so traumatized by the experience, that as we pulled out of the parking lot, I may have promised myself him a couple of donuts to ease the pain.

Donuts secure in each hand, I began to make my way out of the donut store parking lot.  The store is situated on a one way street. There is also a sidewalk running the length of this particular street. I looked left to make sure we were clear from oncoming cars so that I could make my right turn onto the one way street.

I put my foot on the gas, turned my head, and THUD!

I hit a man on a bike.

He was going the wrong way down the one way street. But I hit him, because I was looking for CARS coming in the OPPOSITE direction!

I threw the car in park, all the while hearing Sweetboy utter, “We hit a man, mama! We hit a man, mama!” over and over. I ran to the front of the car and realized that he was already up like a weeble wobble, but that both his bike and my front bumper had seen better days.

The first words out of my mouth were, “I am so sorry.  I am just so sorry!”.

The first words out of his mouth were, “Yo no comprende`! No worry! No comprende`!”

Oh, God Bless America! Land that I love…

Well, now.  We were both in a quandary.  I asked him, in my sparse Spanish quickly pulled from tenth grade Spanish class memories, if he needed to go to the hospital?  He shook his head vehemently no.

And then, as if things couldn’t get worse, because I was already standing next to a man I had hit with my car while holding a donut  IN MY HAND, the person in the car behind me, because now I’m holding up the donut shop traffic, comes over to see if she can help.

And, y’all…

It was The Good Wart Doctor, herself.

I don’t even know what else to say.

Except, that the man was fine.

And I know that because, as I was looking stupefied at the Dermatologist, he got on his bike and took off.

Oh, yes indeedy.  He surely did.

And I’ve thanked God over and over for allowing that man to be fine enough to ride away on his bike.  And I’ve asked him to take the desire for donuts away.  And I’m now asking Him to clear that awful memory from the mind of my Sweetboy.

Who has taken it upon himself to tell Every Living Human He Comes In Contact With, that his mama hit a man on a bicycle.  WITH HER CAR!

For the love!

I am truly grateful to live in this great home of the brave and land of the free. 

Happy 4th of July, friends!

*Please keep the friends and family members of the nineteen brave firefighters from Prescott, Arizona in your thoughts and prayers. Bravery, indeed!*

Captain Ahab’s Daughter: Part 2

Growing up, my family would caravan with a couple of other families, by boat, to the Bahamas for about three weeks every summer. I wrote about this a bit over here.  Along the way, we met with some Very High Seas, indeed.  Captain Ahab liked to call it “a little boat chop”.  Right, Nana?  And now, as an adult, I find myself understanding his comic use of understatement in those moments.  The following are some of the things I remember most from those boat trips on the way over to the islands.

It started the same way every single year. We all rolled out of bed bleary eyed bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 5:00 a.m.  Captain Ahab would head over to the beach and check the horizon;“Red sky at dawn, sailors warn. Red sky at night, sailors delight.”, and all that business.  If it was a go, he’d call the other families and say, “It’s a go.”

We almost always had chocolate milk and either frosted or chocolate “donettes” before loading up on the boats.  Sometimes, the Captain would make an early run to the donut shop and we’d get fresh-baked, far healthier donuts.

I believe our three or four families single-handedly kept Coppertone in business.

We drank a lot of Coca-Colas and ate a lot of Cheezits.

Anytime someone spotted a Dolphin (the “Flipper” variety), they’d get on the “horn” (radio) and announce to the entire marine community that, “There’s a dolphin! Right over there! Look!!”; because, surely, wherever in the great Atlantic ocean any other boaters were, they, too, could see our dolphin.

Keeping count of how many Flying Fish you saw was akin to the licence plate game on road trips.

We drank a lot of Dr. Peppers and ate a lot of Oreos.

Once we were old enough to do so, the adults and smallest kids would caravan in the first two or three boats (read that, the bigger boats), and they’d let us three or four oldest kids take the “dingy”. Now, this dingy was a 13′ Boston Whaler.  It wasn’t a canoe.  But when you are facing 2-4 foot seas, for three hours, it’s a bit daunting.  There were moments where we would be cresting a wave and that little boat would dip down into a crevice and I would almost swear that The Parents were all watching, a little too intently, to see if the next wave was going to slam the oblivion out of us, or if we’d make it out.  Alive. My Sweetbrother would yell “YEEHAW!” at the top of his lungs and just forge ahead through those waves like they were so many flowers in a field and he was a lawn mower.  But some of us, (me), would be holding on for dear life and wondering what in the Sam Hill we (I) did to deserve this torture?

As we became older and more stupid adventurous, we took some risks that make me shudder as a parent.  If it was a flat calm ride over, we would stop in the middle of the inky-blue 1,000-plus foot deep seas and water ski for a bit.  Yes,  water ski.  Halfway between South Florida and the Bahamas.  In the midst of the Bermuda Triangle. There.  With water skis.  And Stupidity. And, just for the record, guess what movie was number one at the box office back then?  Yup… Jaws.

One year, one of Ahab’s oldest friends, (who happened to be one of the country’s top Navy Underwater Research Diver’s at the time), and his wife, accompanied us on our yearly trip.  This poor guy’s wife was so seasick the entire trip over. The adults gave him such a hard time, cracking jokes about how “Aqua-Man” ended up with a seasick wife; only, as it turned out, the poor thing was pregnant.  So, in an act of mercy, the adults flew her back on a Chalk’s Seaplane.  So she’d be comfortable.  Because Lord knows, there’s nothing more comfortable, for a first-trimester pregnancy, than a ride on a seaplane.

When we finally arrived, the kids waited while the adults cleared everyone through customs.  And, it’s a miracle that the Bahamian authorities kept letting us come back every year.  I’m fairly certain they hurried us through customs just to stop all the caterwauling.  Or broke out the Rum as soon as they spied our boats entering their waters.  I know the parents did.

And here we are twenty-some-odd years later, and I get it.  Once again, I see the wisdom in letting kids have an “adventure” once in a while, to break up the monotony.  I now understand that teaching children games to play while on boat trips car-rides is just good parent sense.  And knowing that what lies at the end of the journey will trump even a horrible journey is a gift we give to our kids. Yes indeedy!