Friday, September 10, 2010

Locked Doors

I do not know how many times we have locked keys inside a car with no keys outside the car to
- you know- open the doors.

There have been many opportunities for love and patience to grow in this exact area. I'm thinking about the time we were renting a vehicle and someone closed the doors, not realizing this car had an automatic lock.

Or this scene: I'm peacefully cleaning the house or cooking supper or any number of household tasks. The phone rings. Ellis is calling to ask if I could bring the second set of keys and meet him in some parking lot in Timbuktu. Total silence as I let the dreaded words soak in to my

"You mean I have to stop everything and pile in the second vehicle and go where?"

We finally hit upon the brilliant idea of never locking the car for any reason. If someone wants to steal this car they are welcome to it. and we do pity them . . . they have just taken on a challenge and a problem since everything in this yard has more than 100,000 miles on it . . .

We haven't had any more trouble since we came upon this wonderful plan.

[It's just about as bad to hear, "I ran out of gas. Can you grab a gas can out of the garage and bring it?" This has happened so many times we now have a garage full and overflowing with gas cans. Usually we don't have one of those beautiful red plastic containers with the bright yellow spout anywhere near us and we have to go buy a new one and fill it. If it didn't smell so ghastly I really think a container for gas should be a required piece of equipment in the vehicle.]

Yesterday I got done driving bus. Jeremy said there was a call from Deanne. She went to the library and took the keys out of the ignition and locked the car. (Her camera was in the car.) The problem is that we don't have a key to open the doors.

strange -- I know.

I drove to Austin to pick her up. Left the car in the library parking lot and hoped they wouldn't tow it away. Wait -- they do that in Chicago. We are safe and sound in MN. We went back to Blooming to pick up Jeremy. Drove home and got ready for church. Jeremy, Deanne and Josh decided to go back in and get the car.

As they were poking around with hangers a guy offered to help then suddenly abandoned them and ran for the library because he saw a police car approaching. The police radioed in the
license # -- saw Deanne was there to match the information (it's registered in her name) and offered his expert assistance. A job is so much easier with the right tools!

I am thrilled to say I must be growing up because I did not even get mad or give anyone the silent treatment or anything of that nature. God is so good. I'm glad He's still working on me.
All the glory goes to Him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Library

Krysta and I went to Barb's celebration party on Friday, August 27th. Celebrating twenty-four years as librarian in Blooming Prairie. Now she is retiring and will finally get a chance to read all those books that have been on the back burner for so long.

We each got a cookie with punch for Krysta; coffee for me. We looked around the room to see if we knew anyone else. There was room to sit at one of the tables. I recognized some of the people but wasn't sure of names to go with faces. Started chatting with one lady who is the wife of one of the school bus drivers. She also is part of a book reading club. We started talking about some of the books the club has read.

Every so often a book title is posted on the door of the library. The date for discussing it is posted. Anyone is welcome. You just ask at the desk for a copy of the book, read it and come prepared to say what you liked about it -- or didn't like -- as the case may be. The first time I ever took any notice of this was a couple years ago when Mrs. Mike was the book being read and discussed. If there is a book I practically know by heart it is Mrs. Mike.

It was interesting to read it again with the idea of discussing it with perfect strangers. I couldn't believe all the funny phrases and twists of words. It was just as captivating as the other twenty times I've read it. Oh -- by the way! Did I tell you I reread books? You might have gotten that picture by now.

Well, there we were on Friday at Barb's party eating cookies and drinking coffee. I couldn't remember her first name and she couldn't remember my first name. She told me about one of the last books their club read. It took place during WWII and told about the survivors of some of the concentration camps. She said it was just too awful. She couldn't bring herself to read it. She knows in her head that all those dreadful things happened but she can't make herself read it.

I asked if she has ever heard of Corrie ten Boom and any of her books.

No . . .

Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl?

. . . no, none of those rang a bell.

We shook our heads and clicked our tongues and agreed that these are really sad books to read about horrible horrible times. I told her if she ever comes to the place where she thinks she can start to read about that time in history I would recommend Corrie ten Boom's story told in The Hiding Place. Gave her just a brief introduction to Corrie and how she escaped from prison and went around the world after that and shared her story of hope. It was a sad time in prison but Jesus was with her. Because of Jesus she could share hope with so many people.

She told me about the book the club is reading right now. We exchanged names and she wrote down Corrie's name and the name of her book. I promptly went over to the library and checked out the book A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle.

Went home and started reading and even though I have a thousand other things I should be doing I finished it before the week end was over. It takes place in France. This couple bought a property in Provence and it tells about their adventures renovating the house. There was only one or at the most two bad words. That part was refreshing. Naturally, they drank wine like we drink kool-aid or pop. That part of it gets a little tiresome. Anyway, I got a crash course of life in France.

Some of the food . . . some of the restaurants . . . the language, some of the customs and -- of course -- when one is living in a house at the same time it is being renovated . . . . one begins to look at life from the perspective of the carpenters.

If they got up early enough they could have breakfast undisturbed by noise or people. If they waited too long -- anything could happen. One morning they were trying to eat and talk above the noise of -- something. can't remember just what it was now. Peter saw his wife's lips moving but couldn't hear a thing. She finally wrote him a note. "Drink your coffee before it gets dirty."

This is the kind of book I am reading and laughing over and Ellis says, "Okay, what's so funny? Share the joke." And then I get to read the funny part out loud. My absolute favorite thing to do . . . .

Maybe I can be a librarian when I grow up.

-- and here I will note that there are many different books and many different views on what books we should read and what we shouldn't read. If you have decided to read only books published by CLP or Rod and Staff or Pathway or other Mennonite publishers you will not want to read many of the books I've discussed in this blog. We most likely don't agree but I am always open for debate or conversation about books.