Sunday, November 11, 2007

Samurai, Leopards, and Pirates, Oh My!

Today was a great day! Let me tell you about it!

Yesterday I had called everyone on the church choir roll who has showed up to practice at all in the past six weeks and told them that rehearsal would be at eight fifteen this morning. At eight o’clock this morning all my children were dressed and in the parlor for morning family prayer. After a song and a prayer I noticed that the two year old had gone missing. I found him at the sink, splashing, with his sleeves soaked to the elbow and the front of his dark blue shirt stuck to his belly with day-old dirty dish water. I had to run him upstairs and get him a fresh shirt.

At least he had a fresh shirt. There was a time when I would have had no choice but to take him to church in a wet shirt simply because there was no other Sunday shirt in his size. As I went upstairs I could see the black sock collection spread out on my bed. Every week I find myself hunting for at least one more match out of the basket, but there was a time when each child had only one pair of Sunday socks and if it was missing, too bad! There was a time when Russel and I got a big laugh out of an article that lamented that young families with only one income often had to get by on less than $30,000 a year, as if this were some great hardship. Oh wouldn’t it be nice to make $30,000 a year, we thought!

But now we all have extra shirts and extra socks, not necessarily because we have enough money to buy clothes now, but just because over the years I’ve amassed enough hand-me-downs from friends and neighbors. As I brought the toddler downstairs in a shirt that my friend Mati had handed down to him just two weeks ago, I heard the sound of a machine running in the garage. It didn’t quite sound like the car. I opened the door to the garage only to find my husband vacuuming up pieces of a shattered mason jar off the cement floor. I didn’t even ask.

When I got in the van I realized that the five year old had climbed over the back seat. I climbed back there to grab him. He was hiding under the old picnic blanket. As I pulled the blanket off I saw spots of scarlet on his white Sunday shirt! He was bleeding. I looked him over. Was his nose bleeding? No. His mouth? No. At last I spotted it. His ear was bleeding! He handed me a small, sharp piece that had broken off the handle of my big yellow pressure canner, explaining that it had cut him. Telling him once again that he was not to climb into the back of the van because he might get hurt by something, I pulled him into the house, took off his shirt, put it in the sink, and went upstairs to find him a fresh one.

At last we were all in the car with no broken glass waiting to pop the tires and everyone in a clean, dry shirt. Hunting for the booster seat, I looked in the back of the van again and saw four gallons of milk sitting there. Just sitting there! “Russel!” I bellowed. On our Friday night date, Russel had told me that we needed to stop at Albertsons on the way home because I hadn’t bought any milk when I went to Costco on Thursday. I couldn’t believe it. I was sure I had bought milk on Thursday. Four gallons of it. I could remember walking up to the milk case and loading it onto my cart, or was I remembering the week before? Had I really forgotten to get the milk? It was possible. I looked in my purse for my receipt, but I couldn’t find it. I wondered if I had left the milk in the cart in the parking lot. No, I thought, I would have seen it. Puzzled, I sat there and wondered when I had gone insane as we drove to Albertsons to pick up some milk.

The mystery milk had reappeared. Russel had left it in the van when he had brought in the rest of the groceries. “When did you first think I hadn’t bought any milk?” I asked after I had told him what I had found in the back of the van.
“When there wasn’t any in the kitchen to put into the fridge.” He said.
“Why didn’t you ask me about it then?” I demanded.
That, I guess, was a rhetorical question.
At last I just laughed, “Well, at least I know I’m not going insane.”
“No, I am,” Russel said with chagrin.
Twelve dollars down the drain!

By the time we started the car it was 8:20. We were late, but not later than the choir director.
The choir sang "Now Thank We All Our God" a capella. I love that song, and it sounded great.

In Primary, one of the little eight year olds got up to read. He had this great big Bible that he could barely manage. When he got it lying open on the podium he began to read the story of the ten lepers. But when he read it, it was the ten leopards. You see, Jesus was passing through Samurai. Ten leopards came and stood afar off and cried unto him, have mercy on us! When Jesus heard them he said, go and shew thyselves unto the pirates. And as they were going they were healed. And one of them turned back and glorified God, and he was a Samurai.

So if kids knew there were Samurai, leopards, and pirates in the Bible, maybe they would be more eager to read it!

I made biscuits and gravy for dinner. Afterwards, the toddler insisted on me holding him instead of washing dishes, so I called a friend to pass the time while I held the toddler in my lap. While I was on the phone the doorbell rang.
“It was Mati,” Russel said, “She brought these,” he had a plate of cinnamon rolls.
“Mati?” I cried, “Stop her!”
“Too late,” Russel said, but I was already charging for the entry way. I grabbed the cheese grater off the little candle shelf just as her tail lights were pulling out of the view through the front door. Out the door and down the sidewalk I ran, “Mati!” I shouted, waving the grater in the air, “I have your cheese grater!” She didn’t see me.
I left Mati a message on her answering machine thanking her for the rolls and telling her I tried to chase her down with a cheese grater.
“Dad said he enjoyed your article,” my husband told me. He was on the phone for his weekly call to the folks.
“My article?” I asked, “The one in Toccare?” I was surprised. That wouldn’t come out until December. How had he seen it?
“I guess,” Russel said. “The Revolutionary Alarm Clock?”
“You mean they used my story?” I asked. This was another matter entirely, “They printed it in BYU Magazine?” I had submitted that story so long ago I had forgotten about it. I figured they would let me know if they were going to print it or not, so I gave up on thinking about it months ago.
They did print my story! I got the first slot on the page, and a very cute illustration! I want that cartoon of college student me napping in the grass with a back pack for a pillow for my web site! Click here to go take a look! I was so excited I called my mom. I could hear my sister in the background groaning when she found out that they hadn’t told me they were going to use it. They owe me fifty dollars! That’s the most I’ve ever made on a piece of writing.
To top off the day, I took the cover off my big harp for the first time in months. I had just volunteered to play background music at the church Christmas dinner in three weeks, and figured it was time to start practicing. After I replaced a string, tuned up, and tightened the screws on all the levers, Russel ran upstairs and got his new penny whistle! Whee! I had so much fun playing carols with him. Maybe the two of us should play together at the dinner.

Oh happy day! When have I had so much fun?

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