September 27, 2009

Love At First Sight

We went to the hot air balloon festival Friday night. Only one balloon took off. Kinda disappointing. However, there was belly-dancing. (By the way, no better way to embarrass your high school child than be one of these middle-aged ladies shaking their hips in front of a thousand people.) We came home, got kids in bed, and Melody went to take a bath. When she finished, she came in the kitchen where I was eating a Nutty Bar, and she had put the clothes she wore to the balloon festival back on. That's when I knew it was on like Grey Poupon.

I will spare you the next several hours that mostly involved me freezing and miscounting the number of breaths taken during a contraction. At 6:44 a little girl entered our world. Kinda blue from the cord around her neck, she was immediately squawking and looking around suspiciously. And I love her dearly.

Don't know what else to say. I don't know if adults experience love at first sight, but I have felt it five times. So, without further ado, here is a glimpse of Savannah Faith. (If you click on the picture, it might enlarge.)

September 22, 2009

September 17, 2009

All's Fair

Went to the West Texas Fair this week. And now I am trying to figure out why.

I like the fair, I think. Apparently a lot of people like the fair. It was packed on Monday night when we made our foray onto the midway. And I enjoy seeing lots of different kinds of people all in one place. I like running into people I know, especially those I rarely see. But I don't like crowds or waiting in line.

My kids enjoyed riding a few rides. I'm not so big on it. It may have to do with the knowledge I have of what a fair ride is. I know that last week that ride was is Colorado or New Mexico, was hastily disassembled, driven to Abilene, and hastily set up. Would you ride in an automobile that yesterday was in pieces and is a couple of bolt turns away from being in pieces again? This can't be safe can it? Then there is the rust factor. My brother studied rust in graduate school (what fun that must have been) but from him I have gleaned this knowledge: rust is bad. So when I look at a ride that is covered in it, my trust alarm goes off. And then of course there is the ralph factor. When I was young I went to the fair with my neighbors, the West's. Their son Cody was two years older than me. He convinced me (against my better judgement, which is saying something for a seven-year old) to rider The Spider. Like most fair rides, the basic premise is to go round and round. So we did. At first it was no big deal. Then I was laughing uproariously as the speed increased. Then I knew I was going to be sick. I tried to get it over the side, but Cody took a direct hit. Think it also slung some on the people below us. Cody won me a goldfish to make up for it. Died in a week. This year I only rode rides that required an adult to ride with a child.

There is a lot to see at the fair. Exhibits. Tractors. Homemade pies with ribbons on them. I enjoy the exhibits. It's fun to see what some people are willing to submit, believing they have created a work of art. My kids aren't real big on the exhibits, they prefer the noise and lights of the midway. And besides I am bitter. For a couple of years I tried to become a judge. If anybody can tell a good pie from a great one, it's me. But I was rebuffed. I think I was done in by the "Old Girls Club." That's right, the fair made me a victim of sexual and age discrimination.

But of course there is the food. I have been in love with fair food since my grandparents took me to the fair and bought me some sausage with a piece of white bread folded around it. Oh my! I like to walk past every food vendor looking for the best deal on an eclectic mix of fried foods and roasted meats. And I love topping off an evening at the fair with the deep-fried goodness that is a funnel cake. But alas, this year the funnel cake line was too long. The kids were tired. And we went home.

So, what is the pull of the fair? Greasy food? But you can get that food lots of places. If a barbecue joint started serving funnel cakes, that would be fair food without the admission price. Great rides? On most fair nights it would be cheaper to buy a ticket to Six Flags where you would get rides cemented in the ground that are much more fun and exciting. Exhibits? Maybe years ago when this was the one chance to compete with your neighbors and see the amazing quilt made by Gertrude Mapplethorpe. But now I would much rather play spades on-line than compete against others at growing a big zucchini.

So why go to the fair? Only one reason. It's fun. It's an excuse to be a kid. To stare at the size of the horns on a longhorn. To ride a mechanical bull (yes I have, and boy it hurt). To eat a deep-fried snickers with ice cream without feeling guilty. To wonder how people can make a living as a juggler or a one-man band. To run through the fun house pretending you are in the finale of Grease. It's just fun. Totally lame and completely over-done. But fun. Seems to me I know a lot of people who no longer know how to have fun. They should go to the fair.

September 6, 2009


We continue our look at Biblical words.



After the series on Faith, Hope and Love, I decided to look at other Biblical words that we often use, but sometimes their meaning and power slips away.

On a technical note, I am struggling to get the player to appear in the blog. However, if the player is not here you may click on the link to either listen or download the sermon.