Hot Water

The other night, I was cold. A damp kind of cold that i could feel deep in my bones. The girls were asleep in my room in the mountain house and I knew it was a risk to turn on the powerful blast of the jacuzzi faucet that was right there in my room. But I was moments from a hypothermic death coma, so I decided to risk it. My feet needed hot water. Immediately.

I turned the water on. The girls stayed asleep. All was well. I messed with the temperature of the water spewing from the faucet to get it just perfect. I like very hot water. I’ve been told I have the skin of a gila monster, but this is offensive and makes me picture myself as a lizard so I reject this theory. At any rate, I got the water hot and plunged my feet down in it near the faucet. Ahh. Molten lava. Perfect.

Well, if you are going to get your feet all wet right before going to sleep, you may as well be clean shaven. So I started looking for my razor. It was at the other end of the jacuzzi, so I had to wade over to it. I couldn’t help but notice how much different the temperature was at the other end of the tub. It was 2 1/2 feet away in the SAME TUB and it had come out of the faucet just a few minutes ago. How could it be that much colder? I ditched the razor and waded back to the heat, huddling close to the heat that was pouring out of the faucet. It occurred to me that things are always at their purest and best when close to the source. You pull the hot water away from the faucet and spread it out, and it gets cold. You pluck the dainty little bloom off the plant and it withers up in a matter of minutes.

This made me think about Jesus. He is the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). He is the Vine. I am the branch. If I remain in Him, I will bear fruit. If I wander off, the best I can hope for is to plunge my feet into lukewarm water.

Quite honestly, I’ve been too far away from the faucet for a long time. I’m going to try to walk back into the heat.

Gatlinburg Chronicles – Part 2 of One million Thousand Hundred

Still Present Day. Flashbacks are coming at some point…

I cannot linger over my usual wordy prose. I’ve got places to go and indian artifacts that were made in China to buy. So I will offer you a few bullet points from yesterday:

* If there is even the remotest chance that the deodorant you are about to apply is brand new with one of those harsh plastic pieces on the end of it, by all means look before you roll. Series injuries can occur. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

* We spent the day at Ober Gatlinburg yesterday and bought an armband to do all the stuff. After wandering down a series of ramps to look at hibernating bears and a few indigenous animals they scrounged out of the woods out back, AG had to go to the restroom. And I mean, he HAD to go. Right then. So we had to run back up the series of ramps to a bathroom that was clearly designed for young, spry people who only meander to bathrooms. Certainly the person who designed this restroom had never had an emergency while looking at otters in the “wildlife encounter.” At one point, while I was huffing and sucking wind, I asked AG, “Did we really come down ALL THESE RAMPS?” He said yes. I have GOT to get back in shape.

*My dad and I were flagged by the Alpine Slide guys as “too fast.” I beg to differ. I think all the other people on the mountain should have been flagged as “Go to the Lam-O Hospital or Get off the TRACK!”

* We ice skated. Beloved, AG, me, Dad, and Mama’s Boy. It went a whole lot better than I expected it to, until the last time around the rink. I always go one time too many around the rink, metaphorically speaking. Mama’s Boy was ten feet behind me, holding his own. Then I heard a combination thud splat sound and I whipped around to see him lying flat out on the ice. He had fallen on his face without breaking his fall in any way. His face hit the ice in two spots and he got a goose egg abrasion from it. Pictures to follow, at some point. The good news was that he took it well. The bad news was that I had to set aside my hopes he’ll become a figure skater.

* Somehow I can manage to even turn bullet points into books. Sheesh.

* I’m off to Cherokee in the rain to curse Andrew Jackson for forcing the Indians onto the Trail of Tears. Shame on you, President AJ. Shame on you.

Universally awkward forms of expression

Have you ever stopped for just 15 seconds to consider just how terribly awkward winking is? Stop right now and think about it. No one pulls it off successfully. Men in their 30s and 40s try it and come off looking like creepy stalkers. Toddlers try it and look like their face is spasming. We laugh at them squeezing not one eye shut, but two. No one — and I mean NO ONE — can pull off the perfect wink.

No one.

And yet, I’ve taken up the habit. I was never a winker as a younger person. I don’t know when, how, or why this occurred, but it seems to have had something to do with turning 40. Though the number 40 doesn’t bother me, it hasn’t been graceful. I’ve been packing pounds on like I’m storing nuts for a 6 year winter and my face now flinches at men, women, and children as I attempt to convince them this this is all perfectly natural.

But it isn’t.

I think it started with winking at my kids when I would deliver information that I knew they weren’t going to accept with joy. Hey kids, when we get home I’m going to scour your hands with a fingernail brush, ok? Wink, wink. Kids, we’re headed to the doctor for your booster shots. There will be about 10 minutes of searing pain when the medicine goes in. It’ll be great. Wink, wink, wink. Hey, everybody, today is cleaning day! You get to scrape toothpaste off your counters! ANDDDD, wink.

Somehow I have become convinced that the wink takes the edge off when it fact it adds a whole new edge that’s a whole lot worse than the original edgy edge. Now, not only have I hit them with bad news of some sort, I am creeping them out with facial tics.

But the biggest problem of all is this: once you start winking, you can’t stop. You’ll end up winking at the sacker in Publix, the little old man building your chicken coop, and maybe even your mother-in-law.

See ya at home, Mother-in-Law.
Wow, that was awkward.

So with this one blog and the 17 people that will see it, I am issuing a formal and sober declaration to put an end to winking. Let there be no discrimination. Young or old. Mexican-American, Norwegian, or Pakistagliafghanisargan. Guy with hook for hand. Lady who needs to pluck her upper lip. NO MORE WINKING.

I’ll do my part. If I wink at you, feel free to react with utter disdain. Or smack me. Maybe that would break the cycle…

Wink, wink.