Posted by: comedyheirs | September 15, 2020

Monday, not Funday

September 14 started off with a bang here. Literally. Just after midnight, I heard a decided thump from the girls’ room. Steve went to investigate first. I don’t know how she did it. I don’t know how she does it, but she is my emergency room special, so that’s the best explanation I can give you.Yes, somehow, my ambitious Katrina, who sleeps on the top bunk, safety railing intact, mysteriously managed to catapult herself over it and land on the floor with a decided “kaplunk.”

We have no idea if she was dreaming and things got hairy with whatever was chasing her down or vice versa but thar she blew. Of course, this is the young lady who is hoping to pursue a degree in animal science and ranch management with her sights set on working cattle in the wide open spaces of wherever some sweet day, so anything’s possible, I reckon. I’m thinking she was riding off into the sunset after some imaginary errant cattle and things turned nocturnally memorable.

Poor kid. Steve took her to get examined by some kind, competent medical professionals who sent her home with a few stitches above her upper lip. For the first time in her one year working history? She called in due to injury/illness. For those of you who remember her illustrious medical history? She’s the one who lives life at a speed that’s landed her in emergency medicine on multiple occasions, including the breaking of both arms in separate incidents.She’s currently sacked out on the living room sofa.Please pray for her swift recovery.I hope it moves as fast as she does.

Crazy girl.

Boy, do I love you but, EGAD.

The trauma you inflict on your poor mother’s equilibrium.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | July 28, 2020

Putting the Picnic in Lunch

Yesterday was an adventure in high definition, emphasis on lunch.

Our church welcomed a new couple, relocating from Idaho. They’d worshiped with us for several weeks earlier this summer when they were settling a relative’s estate in the greater Houston area. Their trip was dual in purpose, they informed us. They were also looking for employment and permanent housing in our area, their former home. We were delighted when they told us they’d found what they were looking for, would be relocating and gave us their specific arrival date.

That was yesterday. Our church family showed up in happy force to help them unload that moving truck that always looms so large.

Especially in July.

In Texas.

After four days on the relentless rhythm of ribbon roadway.

We made short and fast work of it. You know, stuff like bed assembly, bringing dining room tables up to speed, organizing stuff that makes a kitchen usable, and making sure sofas are properly secured and able to be safely sat upon.

There was copious amounts of young energy holding fitness contests to see who could arm wrestle, plank, push up and, well. You get the muscular picture. I should have taken video footage so you could appreciate the noise the competition produced.

Naturally, such work whet’s one’s appetite for actual food, so we left to find lunch and leave the newly relocated to recover from the swarming Presbyterian throng. We looked up potential eating locales as we drove along and thought we had a couple of good options that might be willing to accommodate our group of around twenty. We pulled up on Main Street in the town of Navasota, still not quite firm on our final choice but, ah.

Yes. There it was. Dairy Queen. Wait. We’d parked a little too soon. It was still three-tenths of a mile down the street. We could do it, we surmised. It wasn’t that far, so off we trotted. Enroute, we passed some really cool, BIG old houses that clearly hadn’t been occupied for some time. Those of us domicile-maintaining types remarked about the fun it would be to extend hospitality with that kind of square footage at one’s fingertips, mentally buckled under the thought of trying to maintain such an edifice and completely lost our equilibrium at the reality of the energy bill such a feat would entail.

We got to our destination but what was this? Drive Thru Only? We debated. We were hot and tired, the kiddos were “starving,” and we weren’t sure where the next closest ingestion option was. Could we walk through the drive through? Ah, but all was not lost. An employee came out and told us she would take our order and we could eat at a park across the street.

She took our orders and we waited. This is not a group that waits quietly, though. Out came a phone or two because the under-twenty-one crowd still had energy and to spare, in spite of their claimed impending food deprivation demise. Did you know that you can entertain a whole line of drive through customers with impromptu, clearly unrehearsed dance numbers?

Oh, my word.

They had a ball.

Right there in the unoccupied, shaded, front-and-center parking spaces to Dairy Queen.

They even coaxed some of the reluctant among them to at least try some fancy footwork. Were my three youngest among the toe tappers? The question’s rhetorical. ‘Nuff said.

Ah, finally the food came. The long awaited, quickly devoured, much appreciated oasis for the spurting of growth. No, lunch definitely went down differently than we anticipated but ended up far more entertaining than we could have imagined.

Oh, and since we had to trek/wend/waddle back to our vehicles when we were done chowing down? Another heavy decision awaited us. There just happened to be an ice cream place located close to the end of our trek back. Would we stop there, too? We would. We did. Sundaes, cones, water ice, you name it. It was cold, sweet and spot on.

When I think about how things unexpectedly unfolded, I’m thankful. So grateful that the best memories we create are almost inevitably the ones that don’t follow the script of our day planners.

Our church rejoices to welcome new servants to our congregation.

Pray for them as they settle into their new home with new saints who welcome them with gratitude.

God is faithful to grow His church.

May we reflect His faithfulness to those around us.

No matter what lunch looks like.

Soli Deo Gloria.

 

Posted by: comedyheirs | June 29, 2020

Open Doors

Because my birthday falls at summer’s opening and because I love the out of doors-
Summer eve doors always stand ajar, beckoning
To see if you remember
To see if you’ll notice
To see if you’ll tear yourself away
From the tyranny of inside
The shutting in of din
The garish of dim
Because they know if they can just get you to nudge one foot over the threshold you’ll
Inhale the transformation
Exhale the stress
And stand transfixed
By gentle breezes
By the cricket’s song and fireflies’ intermittent, neon dance
By a sky in blazed fire or clouded with gray’s indecision
And drink in, once again, the quiet contemplation of day welcoming night.
There is much to be gained by opening doors
And closing them behind us.
Then, and only then, do we move forward.
Thank you for all your birthday wishes!
Another year,
Another, door, eh?
Absolutely.
All 54 of them, so far.
Just in case you were wondering.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Posted by: comedyheirs | June 11, 2020

Conquering Canaan Via Cuisine

My kiddos might be Reformed and Presbyterian but they happily embrace their Anabaptist roots. It pops up in different ways, including a recent manifestation during family worship. We were reading about the Israelites conquering the Canaanite tribes and marching through verses that talk about the Hivites, the Jebusites, the Hittites, etc.
One of them was apparently paying attention because up popped a snarky comment about there not being “Mennonites” in the list of tribal conquests.
I had no need to respond because another sibling promptly mowed down that sarcastic sprout with a rebuttal reminding them of the obvious timeline discrepancy of Menno Simons et. al. not overlapping chronologically with Joshua and clan. Then, in case the obvious wasn’t obvious, the offending offspring was reminded of the nonresistance to evil stance that would have altered the battle scene significantly.
It’s true, you know. If the hypothetical scene had played out? About five miles away from the peace-loving village? Those Israelite warriors would have picked up the scent of incredible edibles specifically designed to clog the arteries, trip the tryptophans into high gear and obliterate the six-pack and been drawn to it like the children who followed the Pied Piper. Weapons would have been abandoned, shields clattered to the ground and helmets removed as they ambulated forward in a salivating trance. Their “enemies” would have opened wide the gates, welcomed them in and fed them until they couldn’t move. They would have totally abandoned mission, never reported back to Josh and converted faster than you can say, “Your daughter made this bread? It’s like manna from heaven. Is she available?”
Oh, you smell the victory, too?
My kiddos are mighty fine Calvinists but their Amish gene will always keep them in Check.
Well, sort of.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Posted by: comedyheirs | May 30, 2020

Spring by the Sea

Standing in a wheat field
at Spring’s height
on a windy day
watching bright green in motion
almost leaves you seasick
because it echoes the ocean
your feet on the hard-packed soil
like those endless, prodding stretches of sand
that leave your feet rutted.
The nodding, rhythmic heads almost putting you to sleep
and you stand there remembering Kansas summers
when you got to ride atop the mounded grains
on the back of a big, old farm truck
on the way to the elevator and
grab handfuls of fresh kernels to chew down into gum
the sun beating down on you
reminding you of bread fresh from the oven
with that rich, just baked smell of golden
Riding in the combine with a cousin or uncle was the best, though
The mechanical din of harvest reminding you
of the waves’ roar
leaving you both struggling to think
and alone with your thoughts at the same time
or waiting your turn and watching the wheat get all gobbled up, threshed, the chaff spitting out the back
like bad leftovers
Akin to watching waves hurling themselves on the sand
all the little bubbles popping while the wave
retreats back into its tidal, foamy shell
And then your mind wonders back to the current sea of green’s gentle whisper of things to come
and the ocean’s teal edge whispered calling you to remember
And you’re sure, absolutely, that both of them
called your name
And time stands still as it marches on
while the stalks and the waves grow free
as do you
because it isn’t truly Spring until you
Stand tall and
Swim strong
By the sea.
Posted by: comedyheirs | May 22, 2020

Ode to Summer

Yesterday was busy from the get go. Andrew kindly took Katrina to work at 5:30 to spare his aging parents, came home from the drop off and promptly fell asleep again. At 7:30, Steve, Emily and Nicholas headed out to help some friends butcher about thirty chickens from a flock they’ve raised to sell. We always enjoy hanging out with these folks because learning about our food supply is both critical for my kiddos and highly entertaining at this house.  Yes. Much laughter commences at this hobby farm and we always look forward to our visits.

I would have joined them but I was due back at the local pregnancy center where I volunteer weekly. It was my first time back since mid-march and delightful to walk back in that door and reconnect with a stellar group I’ve been missing. Virus or no, the need for this ministry is as vital as the flow is constant and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to help in a small way.

I came home, working to get dinner on the table and looking forward to reconnecting with my clan. I have to say. It’s never boring around this table, the topics as diverse as the participants. Last night, it was observed that I’m, “the whitest white white Mom ever but at least you don’t wear those, ‘I need wine’ t-shirts everyone else does. What’s ‘Rose’, anyway?”  Huh? They’re right, you know.

I’m not big on imbibing and part of that would stem from something I learned in a science text, way back when, that has haunted me ever since. Did you know that rapid consumption of copious amounts of recreational alcohol in a compressed time frame destroys brain cells? Well, for some of us not inundated with cerebral surplus? We can’t afford the loss, so treading cautiously is imperative in maintaining one’s balance. I mean, I might as well sport a top that reads, “It’s not like I can afford to go straight from rose’ to vegetable.” Not happening.

After dinner, Steve and Nicholas headed out to buy new sneakers because structural issues in their current choices have reared their treaded heads. They returned promptly because they forgot that the mall’s store hours are still slightly modified, so we’ll try again today.

Meanwhile, my girls were engaged in their almost nightly shriekfest with whoever was on the video chat schedule that they religiously keep. In this case, the happy audio victims were a couple of their Kansas cousins. At some point in this interchange (I largely tune it out), they were actually singing to each other and I realized something.

That combination of laughter, singing and camaraderie is music you’ll never find in written composition form anywhere. Why? Because it’s automatically transcribed, embedded and echoed into one’s heart. I’m good with that level of resonance.

Meanwhile, Steve was whipping up his current new culinary venture involving sourdough starter. In this case, true to his preferences, it was a chocolate cake. Wow. The resultant deep, dark and rich intensity is something you don’t forget. I think the cacao bean sees him coming, falls in love and willingly submits to his experimentation. The original match may have been made in heaven but I’m all for the way it’s playing out in this terrestrial kitchen.

Than, one of Andrew’s buddies called and asked if he could come over. He showed up and three boys promptly went outside to sit in his car because listening to music and pressing buttons to figure out what toots and what whistles when you do is important. Or something.

Astoundingly, no need for additional sustenance emerged with the friend’s appearance. (Andrew has an undeclared penchant for late night Whataburger runs) It’s almost as if the reality of paying for college has created the slightest hesitation, actual thinking before chowing down, and an emerging financial awareness of cause-and-effect consequence. Funny how that works. Also, Andrew scored a job for this summer earlier in the week, so I’m looking forward to sampling new-to-me food from a place called Freebirds. It’s a Chipotle-style place, so I assume I’ll be ordering a “bowl” of TexMex vittles at some juncture. Gotta support my kiddos, however painful, right?

Today’s another day. School’s out and biscuits and gravy are on tonight’s menu because a couple of kiddos are sleeping in, I’m in the mood for breakfast and rose’ will never be my middle name.

Isn’t every day a gift?

Isn’t music what we hear?

Isn’t summer the best?

 

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | April 28, 2020

Waisting Aweighitis

It’s been, as they say, an “unprecedented” April. We’ve been introduced to a virus that goes by several titles – Covid-19, Coronavirus, ‘Rona, etc… We’ve been reminded that each breath we take is a gift not to be taken for granted. Some of us, sadly, have also been reminded that we need to get moving just a little faster, even if we’re not out and about as usual.

The state of Texas began its easing of restrictions this week and our shelter-in-place order is slated to be rescinded this Friday, as we usher in what we hope is a new month that takes us closer to the normalcy we once knew.  It’s this in-between time, though, that’s affected my health in a way that I have opted to self-diagnose. There’s no reason to see a legitimate physician for this one because he’d take one look at me and tell me the obvious: “Time to cut down on the upswing of your intake, Mrs. Rockhill. It’s called ‘self-inflicted’ for a reason.”

However, let’s say I did record how I imagine a health professional would document their interaction with me about my “poundage problem.” It’s been a long time since I put my John Hancock on a medical chart so I’m just going to wing it. This is going to be all kinds of unmedicated fun. Here we go.

Summary of today’s visit for Rockhill, Maria G. DOB: 06/28/1966 (although patient appears to be pushing threescore and ten for all she’s worth) Gender: Female (with clear existential issues) Race: She’s not winning any from the looks of it. Preferred language: English (frequently punctuated by dramatic, clearly menopausal sighs)

Patient (although demeanor suggests a history of both latent and overt impatience) presented complaining of weight gain over the past six weeks secondary to ingestion of foodstuffs not in accordance with Recommended Daily Intakes. Patient stated, “I just can’t stop eating,” as perceived definitive statement. Physical examination of patient’s esophagus reveals no abnormalities of the epiglottis, rendering patient’s claim both medically inaccurate and behaviorally inexcusable.

Patient further complained of abdominal girth expansion, with additional phrasing like, “muffin top jeans, ” “It’s Rona’s fault,” and “I just don’t have the energy to exercise.” The patient appears to be at an intellectual impasse in comprehending the correlation between actual muffin ingestion and subsequent metabolic adipose tissue storage. Additionally, she seems to have temporarily forgotten that it is nutritionally inaccurate to assume that “couch potato” classifies as an ingested vegetable.

Patient’s vital signs are as follows: Weight (too much) to height (way yonder too short) ratio suggests a BMI (Body Mass Index) that is, for all intents and purpose, running pell mell toward the morbid obesity cliff unless halter measures are taken. Stat. BP/HR/ RR (Blood pressure, heart rate/pulse and resting respirations) are only mildly elevated and appear to be directly related to patient’s emotionally-induced grievances/perceived injustices at any given moment. (No, wait. That was me. This PATIENT is the stresser!)

Patient appears allergic to self-control, consistency with nutrient-dense intake choices and clearly exhibits an emotional dependency on coffee. Her ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) do not appear notably compromised at this time but she was strongly advised that continued and sustained current behavior would likely lead to an overall decrease in function. Early Cognitive Dissonance is clearly both indicated and rising. There is no need to perform a urine culture at this time because patient’s demeanor is clearly lacking both decorum AND culture.

Patient was diagnosed with Waisting Aweighitis secondary to cumulative underlying desocializationing  extroverticus so I gave her a hug. It was all she needed. Well, that and the fact if she doesn’t get out and move soon, she’ll be shuffling off her mortal coil before you can say, “Coronavirus.”

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | March 27, 2020

Your Glass Isn’t Half-Full. It’s Running Over.

We are naturally ungrateful, highly demanding sinners and the current drastic rearrangement of our busy lives has brought that to the fore.

What’s also painfully clear is that our complaints rise in relative comparison to our affluence levels.

We have so much that we take for granted.

We are beginning to realize that as we are forced into this temporary slowing.

As Christians and recipients of countless gifts from The God Who is so gracious, may I suggest this alternative to complaining about your current inconveniences?

Thank God that you’re on a toilet paper hunt instead of lacking indoor plumbing or protection from open sewage.

Thank God that your current restriction on public worship hasn’t been an ongoing reality for years secondary to religious persecution.

Thank God that you have the means to continue your children’s education virtually .

Indeed, be thankful formal education is available to them at all.

Thank God that the only thing missing from your current menu is temporarily

unavailable and you’re not faced with the unthinkable reality of whether or no your

family gets to eat tomorrow.

Thank God that you’re in the comfort and safety of your home. Your homeless neighbor

would switch places with you in a heartbeat.

Thank God that there are local hospitals with highly qualified medical personnel

working tirelessly, standing ready to help you. Many other places on this globe don’t

have one ventilator in sight.

More specifically?

Pray for three people I personally know fighting Covid-19 symptoms.

Pray for one particular missionary nurse in a Bangladesh refugee camp of around one

million people. Ventilator count? Zilch. Chances of procuring any? Same.

Pray for the medical professionals that have succumbed while bringing healing to others.

Their families must significantly alter any funeral plans.

Real people.

Real faces and names.

Your neighbors and mine.

Quick Westminster Children’s Shorter Catechism review on the definition of neighbor:

“Who is my neighbor? EVERYBODY is my neighbor.”

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | March 16, 2020

When Memory Lane Gets Real

My reading has always come and gone in stages. Before I could formulate words on paper, my awesome Mom read lots of stuff to me like Mother Goose and Doctor Seuss. Rhyming stuff, you know. I had an amazing Dad who read stuff like Winne THER Pooh and The Wind Blows Wild. Adventurous stuff, you see.  It’s particularly memorable when one is read to as one nods off to daytime napping or nocturnal somnolence. Parenting at its finest, I do declare.

When I first started to read independently, I gravitated toward stuff like Robert McCloskey and Laura Ingalls Wilder, before moving on to Lucy Maud Montgomery and C.S. Lewis. Dabbling in variety, you must. Oh, and that unforgettable stint with The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Yes, indeed, Franklin Dixon and Carolyn Keene ink pulsed temporarily through my puberty-stricken veins.

My perspective on that last duo has changed considerably now that I’m a parent. You view things differently after post-partum reality kicks in. Here’s my take on some of the key differences:

As a teen? Your eyes can’t turn the pages fast enough to see how the intrepid finally solve the grand and glorious mystery. You’re thinking: “Oh, wow. They’re so brave, adrenaline-saves-the-day, their significant others are so lucky to be dating them and how amazing that lawyer dad was working on the EXACT SAME case the young sleuths are at the EXACT SAME time? Mind blown.”

As a parent? ” Wow, that’s smart. Knowing your kids routinely walk smack dab into danger and you’re nowhere to be found because you’re actually encouraging them? How do these potential victims (Namely Frank, Joe and Nancy) NOT have PTSD from multiple concussions/night terrors/even temporary amnesia? Who in their right mind would want to date these walking “I really need to write a last will and testament” magnets, and, ahem, how “coincidental” that lawyer dad is “conveniently” working on the EXACT SAME case as his prodigious littles in EVERY SINGLE book?

Their minds are all blown or, at the very least, their elevators don’t travel all the way to the top floor/they’re a few sandwiches shy of a picnic/ALL of the french fries are missing from their happy meal.”

The ending of every chapter with that trademark exclamatory sentence is still pretty stellar though, eh? Yes, I always liked that, too. It elevated the term “page-turner,” to a whole new level. We could debate the ideal literary factor of said level, but I digress.

Keep reading, folks.

Critically and reminiscently.

It’s where the humor lies.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Posted by: comedyheirs | February 27, 2020

When Words Go Unwieldy

Words are both powerful tools and weapons. Indeed, one of the downsides of loving them is that they can be so easily misused and far too often, I stand guilty as charged. So, when “pooching” popped up as a new word for me, I knew I needed to make it rhyme, side of sniglets.

By definition, “pooching” is “looking around to find information about someone’s affairs; to snoop.” In other words, it’s the precursor to gossip. Just saying the word, “gossip,” sounds juicy, doesn’t it? We love it because we’ll do just about anything to direct the spotlight away from who we truly are. Here’s how it generally goes down, down, down:

Please stoop not to pooching
It’s technically mooching

Your brain starts kachinging
Your neighbor’s ears zinging

This isn’t kombuching
It’s trouble you’re brewching

Too soon, you start slipping
Your factoids aren’t gripping

So now, you’re backpedaling
Like fury, ’cause meddling

Reveals YOUR true shading
YOUR depth of degrading

Your spite and name calling
Shouts, echoes, “Appalling.”

The fingers you’re pointing
Become your unjointing.

Your two faces showing
All egged up and glowing

The crimson tide’s spreading
Your blood’s kinda letting.

Those you were accusing
Now find YOU amusing

Cue unhappy ending
Cue major unfriending

Their business is theiring
No fishing for herring

Treat neighbors with kinding
It saves your rewinding.

I have to give myself this pep talk on a regular basis.

Thanks for listening in.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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