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Archive for September, 2006

Worldliness makes sin look normal and righteousness look odd.

Douglas Bond

 

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Waiting and Hoping

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do. Benjamin Franklin

I love the smell of Fall. It reminds me of things I know not what, but has a nostalgic smell and feel. Of waiting and hoping. Of running around as a kid with no shoes on in cool grass and the chill of a fine rain on bare arms and hoping it doesn’t rain harder so we don’t get called in. Of the start of school when I was a kid, which always was exciting, in a muted sort of way, but had an undercurrent of fear, too. Of new paper and new crayons that you didn’t want to use because it would spoil the point. Of swirling and crunching leaves on the way to school. Of bobbing for apples. Of my brother, who was my best friend and just a year younger than me (he’s gone now). Of mud pies and playing Combat! (a tv show) in the dirt with him. Of getting china sets when I wanted a GI helmet. (You can see one of those ubiquitous china sets in the background of my profile picture — my brother got the whirlybird sitting on top. The tricycle in this picture was used for a “tank” — we’d mound up the dirt in front of base housing in Fort Benning, GA, and make a ramp, and my brother would come over the top, and shoot down GI Joe, whom we’d pretend was a Nazi.) Of the smell of burning leaves. Of playing in bedspreads on the clothesline. Of the Good Humor ice cream man. He wore a white coat, like a doctor’s or scientist’s lab coat, and a white military-type dress hat with a black leather brim — not like the long haired violently tatooed types in the eye-sore trucks you see today. And he smiled at you and seemed to like you. All their trucks played the same tune, too. Just one. And never rock and roll. When did kids get drawn to the ice cream truck by rock and roll? What happened to kid’s music? Even in the kid’s videos these days, there seems to be a lot of rock and roll type music. (Spoken by the librarian, who’s seen it all.) What happened to Yankee Doodle Dandy and Valderee, Valeraa and Oh Mr. Moon? These were the songs we sang in school when we went back. And we prayed first thing in the morning, right after the Pledge and the National Anthem. The principal prayed on the loud speaker for a good day of school and that we’d be good children. And after we got up from our nap (in Kindergarten), the teacher read to us from the Bible (Haley’s Story of the Bible, I think), and then she read us other stories. Good stories. Memorable stories. Poems from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Child’s Garden of Verses. Mother Goose, and Brothers Grimm. Ricki Ticki Tavi. Does anyone read Rudyard Kipling anymore?

This is Fall. I love it. I’m ready for it. I’m surrounded by the family and the land that I love. There’s only two things missing: Daniel, and Jesus hasn’t come back yet. I can feel Jesus in the air, like I could feel the start of school coming. He’s coming, and it’s exciting and a little scary at the same time. Still waiting. Still hoping. Soon. Soon.

 

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