Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30 – “Seeing double”

There is something interesting going on at the newspaper offices.  Today we once again received two copies of the Galveston Daily News.  And we received two copies of the Houston Chronicle.  Wonder what the reason behind that could be.  The carrier seeing double?  A holiday ruse to get twice the Christmas tip? 
Well, speaking of Christmas, tomorrow is December again.  We actually did a little bit of Christmas shopping yesterday.  Of course we had to combine it with some Jachin shopping.  His birthday is next Monday, but his party is Saturday.  Not sure when or where, though.  Hope we get some details soon.  Actually we probably already got them, but I don't remember.  Non-essential information at the time.  Becoming more essential with each passing day. 
We saw the WalMart checker yesterday who we gave some fried turkey to on Thanksgiving Day.  She was extremely grateful.  Just raved about the juicy-ness and especially about the flavor of the spices.  Thanks again for that one, Alex McLaughlin.  Even Josh's son Zakary decided he liked fried turkey after trying it last week.  Amazing what sometimes happens when you give something a chance.  I had to say sometimes, because honestly some things just don't taste good at all.  Like Chinese food.
We also had to get some more coffee beans.  We ran out of Boyer's coffee from Denver a while back, so we have been trying some new stuff.  Looks like Starbuck's version from Southeast Asia is going to be the winner.  It's called Sumatra.  Only problem was, Starbuck's didn't have any when we went by.  We found some at Target, but it was already ground.  Randall's finally came through, though.  And Chris got two packages.  She has officially put it on her grocery rotation.  As we use up one package, she pulls a replacement from the cupboard and adds it to the grocery list.  Ideally we'll never run out that way.  We'll see.
When we got home Mom was just having breakfast.  It was 12:30.  We teased her a bit about sleeping all morning.  She stayed up a few hours, then went back to bed again, and didn't get up until suppertime.  She was ready to start the day by then.  In fact I thought she'd just stay up and watch Letterman or something when we went to bed, but she went on back to her room when we went to bed at ten.  I haven't slept that much since I was a teenager.
Isaiah 12:4-5 says, "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.  Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world."
Father, watch over Mom while she sleeps.  And help her be rested up to go to Libbie's Place today.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29 – “Unforgettable”

Today promises to be an interesting one.  We had two copies of the Galveston Daily News delivered.  I know they are proud of the big format changes, so I guess they want to get the word out. 
Speaking of the Daily News, I read a really sad article the other day about a family.  One of the lady's sons died when he was fifteen years old.  At that point she said she lost the joy of Christmas.  In the article she apologized to her other son for cheating him out of more Christmases.  Wow.  I don't understand the extent of her grief.  I've never lost a child.  I know a lot of people would say she needs counseling, and that's probably true.  But I'm not a psychologist either.  One thing I am positive about, though.  She needs Jesus.
For some reason that thought reminded me of one of the new shows on television.  It's called "Unforgettable."  Or maybe it's just "Forgettable."  I'm not sure.  The main character of the show is a lady who has some kind of medical condition that makes it impossible to forget anything.  Whatever she sees one time she can always remember.  Except of course the one thing she really wants to remember.  When she was a child she witnessed her sister's murder, and now she can't remember what the guy looked like.  So with that back story in place she decided to become a police detective.  Of course.  What else could she have possibly chosen?  Rocket scientist maybe?  Doctor?  She would have given House a run for his money.  It certainly would have been a nightmare to have her for a teacher.  Can you imagine the multiple choice questions on her tests?  "In the caption under the picture on page 2,397 of the textbook, …"  Yikes.  The show has its lighter moments.  One of the other detectives is always trying to catch her not remembering something.  One time he asked her what he had for breakfast last Thursday.  Of course she wasn't with him last Thursday, so how would she know, right?  Except she remembered that he had a small drop of egg on his tie that day.  Amazing. 
Isaiah 12:2 says, "Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.  The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."
Father, thank you for not "remembering against me" all the times I have failed you.  Amen.

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28 – “The Galveston gossip view of history”

OK.  It's officially very cold in Galveston.  Thirty-seven degrees when I woke up this morning.  Maybe that means we are done with it for the year.  Or maybe it means it's going to be an extra cold winter.  Wow.  Under 40 degrees.  In November.  What kind of tropical island paradise is this, anyway?
Mom had a visit yesterday from her two best friends in the world from her high school days.  Betty, who lives here, and Mildred, a friend who now lives in Arkansas, came by and spent the afternoon chatting and dozing with us.  They have big plans for the few days Mildred will be in town.  Their usual routine is to take a drive around town and see how things have changed, and then at some point go out to eat at Mildred's favorite hot spot on the island, Benno's.  Hope they have a grand time.
While they were here Mildred got a call from one of her grandsons.  He is in seventh grade in Arkansas and was working on a school assignment – a paper on the history of discrimination in the United States.  We spent twenty minutes or so reminiscing about when integration was forced on the high school students of Galveston by a court order in my sophomore years of high school.  At that point Mildred had a brainstorm.  She took out a little notebook and started taking notes.  She insisted that she was going to call her grandson back and fill him in on all the "Galveston gossip" view of history.  Sure enough, later on last night she called back and asked for my email address.  And within a few minutes I got an email from the student's Mom with a list of interview questions for me to answer.  Problem was, the paper was due today, so I had to get on the stick and send his something right away.  So much for any plans to relax in front of a cheesy Christmas movie.  Actually I did watch one of those cheesy Christmas movies when I finished my assignment.  On the Lifetime Channel.  Ah.  Romance.  Christmas magic.  Incredibly boring piano music.  The same tune, over and over.  Sleepy yet?
Isaiah 11:6-9 says, "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.  The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.  The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.  They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
Father, help that kid get his paper done.  And thanks for the cold weather.  It kind of makes it feel like Christmas.  I guess.  Amen.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27 – “Wedding Wiggler”

We managed to get in a Turkey Bowl yesterday just before the blustery weather arrived.  We have played football in much worse weather, but this time we were in the street in front of the house.  And we had five players whose cumulative age was 20 years old.  How's your math?  One 7 year-old.  Two 5 year-olds.  One 2 year-old.  And one-year-old Josiah ran around for a few minutes as well.  Times have certainly changed over the 40-plus years we have been playing that Saturday after Thanksgiving at high noon affair.  So has the intensity of competition.  But we sure had a lot of fun.  Of course some things never change.  I am just as sore this morning as I used to be after playing two or three hours full tilt with a bunch of weekend athletes.  Wouldn't trade it for the world.
I had a wedding to officiate last night.  Another destination wedding at the San Luis Hotel.  Interestingly enough, the couple will make their home in California.  He is a doctor there.  Why get married in Galveston?  Simple matter of logistics, apparently.  Her family is from East Texas, so they wanted to be near enough for them to come.  Two sets of grandparents and a 94 year-old great grandmother.  Good decision.
The ceremony itself went off without a hitch, except that it had to be moved indoors because of the weather.  I was glad to hear that decision had been made.  The lawn around the gazebo would have been a nasty bog.  The room was right next to their reception site, so that made everything very convenient.  There was one thing, though …
The younger of the two flower girls was barely two years old.  And needless to say, she was the life of the party, well, at least of the ceremony.  She was led down the aisle hand in hand with the other flower girl and the ring bearer, who were each four or five years old.  Her older counterpart did her best to flick flower petals out of her basket while maintaining her grip on the little one.  When they arrived at the front the ring bearer let out a sigh of relief and went to his appointed spot.  The older girl was headed to her spot when her grip slipped.  The young one was free. 
Now she didn't take off in a dead run and knock over flowerpots or anything.  She stayed right up front, right next to the groom.  In fact he squatted down and took her into his arms and directed his attention to the back of the room where the bride and her father were beginning their walk.  The groom finally stood up to greet them when they arrived, leaving the little one to explore.  The best man tried to corral her for a time, and he was successful long enough for the couple to make it up the stairs.  But once again she escaped, and struggled to join them at the top of what must have seemed like Mount Kilamanjaro to her.  At one point the bride and groom each reached down and held her hands.  That was fine until the groom realized they would need their hands for the ring ceremony.  So the Wedding Wiggler was allowed freedom of movement once again.  Cell phone cameras were clicking, as was the professional photographer, though she was trying to be discreet.  I probably could have said just about anything and no one would have noticed, except maybe the bride, who was determined to stay focused on whatever I had to say.  Finally the bride's Dad had about all he could stand.  He walked up and gently removed the little princess from the proceedings.  The rest of the ceremony was kind of anti-climactic.  But we did get them hitched.  Hope someone had a video camera going.  That was close to Funniest Home Videos material.
Isaiah 11:3-5 says, "He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.  He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.  5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist."
Father, walk with that couple into their new life, and be with that little one as she grows into what promises to be a beautiful, inquisitive young lady.  Amen.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26 – “Monamana, a fall, fish and a sleepover”

Big day the theater yesterday.  We drove clear into Texas to see The Muppet Movie with our kids and grandkids.  All of them.  And Mom even came with us.  Now that was an event.  The families were actually seated on four different rows, but right next to each other.  The theater wasn't all that crowded.  Josiah sat with us for a while in Chris' lap.  Cailyn came by to see us, too.  She was walking around in the aisle, occasionally dancing, sharing popcorn with her uncles and a bite or three of DadDad's frozen lemon cup.  I didn't know those were available anywhere except at Astros' games.  They are my all-time favorite frozen treat.  Rank just slightly ahead of Blue Bell ice cream.  We hung around after the movie while the credits were showing so the kids could run off some steam.  By then Cailyn was asleep in her Dad's arms, but Jachin was able to just touch the scree if he stretched to his limit.  Josiah let us know that his favorite part of the movie was the very last song.  Every time Chris got close to him and said, "Monamana," he would jump and laugh out loud.  By the way, that's how it is spelled.  Did I mention that we stayed for the credits? 
On our way to the car we did have a minor crisis.  There is a long sloped ramp leading outside.  Mom headed down that ramp and her walker hit the little rubber carpet connector at the bottom.  It stopped.  She didn't.  I was carrying Josiah, so I couldn't help.  Chris was walking with her and was able to slow her down enough to where she just kind of eased her way to the ground.  Thankfully she never let go of the walker, so we didn't have to worry about broken arms from trying to break her fall.  Christi took Josiah from me so I could help.  A really big guy passing by came over to help as well.  He was ready to just lift her up, but she was still tangled in her walker.  We finally managed to clear her feet and get her calmed down enough so we could lift her back to her feet.  She was kind of unsteady for a while, but she made it back to the car without further incident.  She seems OK now.  I'm sure she will be a bit bruised up for her lunch with Stan and Sue today.
After the movie it was time for the big family fish fry.  I cooked up a bunch of speckled trout fillets.  We found out that Zakary in particular likes them.  So whatever the grandkids want …  We had a bunch of fish left over.  That means we'll send home a bagful with Josh and Christi and Kel and Christina.  I sure hope we don't to throw any away.  Hate to have to spend all that time replenishing our supply.  (Insert sarcastic grin here).
The evening ended with the big cousins' sleepover in our den.  Jachin and Micah and Zakary spread out the sleeping bags all over the floor.  Chris popped some popcorn and we put in a movie - How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Caleb had a spot as well, but he ended up sleeping in the bedroom with his Mom and Dad.  Couldn't keep his hands off the under-the-tree Christmas train.  The boy loves his trains.  Another great day in the grand holiday tradition.  Can't wait to see what today will bring.
Isaiah 11:1-3 says, "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.  2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord —  3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord."
Father, let the soreness by minimal with Mom today.  Amen.

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25 – “Crazy, wonderful”

What a crazy, wonderful Vaughan Thanksgiving day we had yesterday.  Once everyone arrived it was pretty much nonstop bedlam.  Jachin, Micah, and Zakary spent most of the afternoon chasing each other around the house in circles.  I admit I was involved in one or two of those circles, but I didn't last as long as they would have liked.  Thankfully Christina's Mom was here.  She took up a lot of the grandparenting slack, and she could be just as loud as they were. Especially when counting out her turn in hide and seek.  It took Caleb about a second and a half and Cailyn just a bit longer to join in the fray, but they got into the swing of things without too much trouble. 
None of them had much time for inconsequential things like eating, though.  There was plenty available.  Fried turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes and those red potato things with marshmallows on top and some new kind of disguised vegetable.  It had squash and apples and cinnamon in it.  Not too bad.  There was just enough of the sweet stuff to mask the squash's true flavor.  Of course there was also a myriad of dessert choices.  Apple, pumpkin, pecan, chocolate pies.  Banana pudding.  Pumpkin cheesecake. 
I had some time to work on learning a new language.  Josiah.  I got the fsshhh followed by the ASL sign for fish).  His favorite, though, seems to be where the syllable "bah" can mean ball (if sounded twice), dog (if accompanied by the appropriate ASL sign), or briefcase, shopping cart, computer, or any number of other things, only translatable by his mother. 
We got our tree put up and the lower half is quite well-decorated.  I was banned from moving any furniture or getting boxes from the attic, so it was up to our boys to get that part done.  Kel finally took the plunge and got started.  Josh and Nathan timed him to see how long he would go by himself before he called out for help.  He got the tree box down by himself and probably would have made longer, but Josiah decided it would be lots of fun to join Daddy in the attic.  He started climbing the stairs and made it half way up before Nana caught him.  Kel made it a full three minutes before demanding some fuller participation from the siblings.
The mommies and daddies disappeared last night after bedtime to participate in the Black Friday on Thursday night sales.  Josh and Christi finally made it home around 1:30 or 2.  I heard Kel and Christina were just getting started at Baybrook Mall by then.  I was well into my third or fourth dream sequence.
Today promises to be even better.  Zak and Caleb are already up, playing with Legos and the train under the tree.  I think Josh has the train battery task under control.  I was scheduled to battle with Zak, and Christi is shoring up my defenses for me while I type.  Guess I need to move that direction and begin the battle, though I feel certain I am destined for ultimate defeat. 
Isaiah 9:6-7 says, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."
Father, thank you for Lego battles and trains under trees and cinnamon rolls.  A great morning.  Amen.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24 – “Thanksgiving Day”

Once again it is Thanksgiving Day.  I was up at 6 as usual.  I was particularly curious to see the newspapers, since they have been warning us all week that today's would be the "biggest paper of the year."  I wanted to see if that would all be advertisements for Black Friday or if there was really more news.  Black Friday wins.  By a landslide.  The Galveston paper – the actual news part was about the same as a usual Thursday paper.  They introduced their big changes in the format and print style today.  No longer are they the Galveston County Daily Dews (that was the big change in 1993).  Now it's just the Daily News.  Apparently they finally heard what people called it anyway.  There were a lot of ads, though.  The Houston paper was very interesting.  I couldn't find the news section at all.  Really.  The ad section was bigger than the entire Galveston paper.  I wwent through it page by page.  No news at all.  None.  Wither nothing at all happened in Houston yesterday, or they didn't even bother to throw that section.  OK.  Maybe it is under the car and I couldn't see it.  I'll go check again when the sun comes out.  But as of now, nothing but ads. 
Chris told Mom last night that she had to get up early this morning to watch the parade.  It took Mom a few minutes to register what she was talking about.  I think she thought that meant we were going to a parade.  We assured her that we were staying home and watching it on TV.  Her stress level definitely dropped.  The Thanksgiving Day parade has always been one of her favorite things.  I remember how excited she was when my brother bought her a color TV so she could watch the parade in color.  I think now she would rather watch the Dallas Cowboys play football.  We'll see.
For us Thanksgiving means frying turkeys.  We discovered fried turkeys several years ago when our friend Alex shared his mother's recipe with us.  One bite and Chris said she would never bake another turkey.  Juicy on the inside and kind of crisp on the outside.  That and the fact that she would have considerably less work to do.  This year we ended up frying nine turkeys.  With all the friends and family that come over during the holidays, we usually eat two of them.  Chris freezes a few for use throughout the year.  Sometimes we get special requests from folks to do one for them.  This year's special was for one of the fire fighter buddies of Nathan.  We invited him to join us.  Oh, and another fun thing we started a few years ago.  When we buy the turkeys, the checkers at WalMart inevitably makes a comment about why there are so many.  We tell them about frying and they lament about having to work on the big day.  By the time we pay the bill I have promised to bring them a sample.  So later on this morning I get to make a quick trip to WalMart to make some deliveries there. 
Then it's back to the house to wait for the onslaught.  Kel's family should be here around noon.  Some folks from church are joining us.  Josh and Christi and their boys are due in this evening after spending time with her family.  Nathan and April and Cailyn will get here later, too.  Things are about to get crazy around the Vaughan house again.  Er … still?
Isaiah 9:1-2 says, "Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan —The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
Father, thank you for the craziness of relationships all exploding together in a rousing display of presence and thanksgiving.  Let it happen more than once a year.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23 – “Caillou”

I really miss Mr. Rogers.  And Sesame Street, although Sesame Street always made me tired.  Bouncing from one letter to another to a number, keeping track of all those furry characters.  The only one I was ever sure about was Cookie Monster.  And then they made him start eating vegetables.  Tragedy.  Kel was really into Sesame Street.  Josh loved Mr. Rogers.  Much calmer.  Easier transitions.  Coat to sweater.  Dress shoes to tennis shoes.  And he had a whole song to do it.  One basic character to keep up with, except maybe King Friday and the puppet guys.  Mr. Rogers was a lot like the dudes I grew up with – Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans, minus the Captain's slapstick.  Or how about Mr. Caboose?  Now there was a classic.  I know there was some kind of cat lady named Kitirick, or something like that.  She always scared me.  Probably contributed to the less than positive approval rating for cats I maintain today.  I don't remember what Nathan watched.  He didn't much like staying inside and watching tv.  Too much to do outside.  On the roof.  Or up in a tree.
Yesterday I finally learned who Caillou is.  Cailyn talks about this one all the time.  It's pronounced kai-you, I think.  She wanted to see this Caillou creature, so we took a journey into Google-land to look for him.  I had no idea how to spell it, and CAIOU appears to be some kind of teachers' organization or something.  But to my amazement, there it was.  I just had the spelling wrong. 
It seems Caillou (kind of a Spanish pronunciation) is a little cartoon boy with a bald head.  He lives with his Mom and Dad and Sarah, an older sister.  He has a cat named Gilbert (or that might be a really ugly dog with a long tail and whiskers).  There is also some little dinosaur toy, but I don't remember its name.
Cailyn and I ended up playing some computer games for preschoolers.  They were educational things.  Matching.  Dress up Caillou kid for different weather conditions.  Memory.  Paint the kid – Cailyn painted him purple.  She seemed to really be enjoying it.  Honestly, it was quite annoying.  Every time we did something right, an eerily high-pitched child's voice blurted out, "Yay.  You did it."  Over and over.  Frightening.  But every time they said it, Cailyn doubled up her fist and lifted it in the air in a rousing display of victory.  So I did too.  What can I say?  I'm a granddad.  It's my job. 
Isaiah 6:1-3 says, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.'"
Father, thank you for past memories and present discoveries.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22 – “November 22nd”

November 22nd.  Wasn't this the day President Kennedy was assassinated?  I think I was in fourth or fifth grade at the time.  We were at school, with our deepest concern being Little League baseball or when was our next spelling test.  I remember first hearing the teachers talking in hushed tones.  It's always harder to eavesdrop when the target is "talking in hushed tones."  Not that I made a practice of eavesdropping, of course.  Sometimes it was helpful in furthering one's status among one's peers, however, if one knew some insider information that could be passed on.  And as I recall, I had a pretty pitiful self-image back then, so I felt like I needed all the help I could get.  Ah, the joys of life in a gossip-driven society like fourth grade. 
All I was ever able to make out from standing near the teacher conclaves that were accelerating all over the school was something that sounded like "the president has been shocked."  Now that totally confused me.  Why would it be such a big deal that he had been shocked?  I got shocked one time when I wanted to see what would happen if plugged in an old plug I found.  It was just that – an old plug.  It wasn't connected to anything but about four inches of wire.  What could go wrong?  It didn't throw me across the room or knock me off a ladder.  That happened years later when I made a foolish attempt to install an air conditioner.  Another story.  Another day.  My shock was quite minimal, though quite memorable.  It felt kind of like getting bitten by a tiny dog with very dull teeth that kept grinding back and forth.  Or maybe, as I have found out in years since, like a sheepshead fish clamping down on your finger.  Their entire mouth is covered in molar-type teeth, and once they clamp down it is hard to convince them to change their mind.  Sometimes the reason they get caught is that they have clamped down on the hook and refuse to let go, even though they are not actually hooked. 
The kids were buzzing at lunch.  Everyone it seemed could tell that something big was afoot in the world of the adults, but no one had any details.  It wasn't until we arrived in music class, with the frightening Mrs. Littman, that we heard what had really happened.  This white-haired scary lady who held us all in fear on music days was actually fighting back tears as she told us the president had been shot.  Shot, not shocked.  My hearing never was very good. 
As kids we reacted in many different ways.  Some of the girls started crying right away.  That's one thing I have always been jealous about.  Girls have the option of crying no matter what they feel.  All it means is that feel.  Something.  Guys have to be strong and masculine, right?  I remember joining the group of guys who were ready to take on the killer right then and tear him limb from limb. 
Not a single one of us understood the political ramifications of the deed, other than perhaps throwing out a negative epithet or two against "Those Russians."  We had no ideas about further terrorist activity or threats to our own safety.  We couldn't say if we were Republican or Democrat.  All we knew was the president was dead.  The guy we all identified with because he seemed so young.  And he had long hair.  And he talked funny.  And he had a pretty wife.  And two kids who were even younger than we were.  We watched the TV coverage religiously for days after.  We saw motorcades and caissons and a two-year-old saluting his Daddy.  We followed coverage of catching the bad guy, and saw him shot in the stomach while in police custody.  I don't think we understood that we were living through a significant point in history.  We just knew our teachers and our parents were visibly shaken, and that shook us as well.  And we saw them continue on.  Return to work.  Take a deep breath and do the next thing.  We saw them overcome.  And we determined to join them. 
Isaiah 1:18 says, "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord.  'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'"
Father, thank you for the lessons we learned from our parents and teacher when they didn't know they were teaching.  They sunk in the best.  Amen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21 – “X-Men meets the Disney Channel”

We had a pretty good crowd at church yesterday.  We never know what it's going to look like around the holidays.  Sometimes we are packed out with folks on vacation.  Other times we are very sparse – with folks on vacation.  Kind of an odd situation to be in a resort church.  We did have more folks stay for dinner on the grounds than we have had in a while.  Of course the food was great as usual.  And we picked up some more toys for the Galveston Urban Ministries drive. 
I stopped by WalMart on the way home to pick up a replacement windshield wiper for the truck.  The rubber part was literally flapping in the breeze.  It was easy enough to find the part, but putting it in proved challenging.  Of course there is no way the new one could match the old one exactly.  I just couldn't get it to fit.  I finally stuck the connection piece off of the old one onto the new one, and it snapped right into place.  As long as it holds I'm happy.
By the time I got done I was bushed.  Sunday afternoons are always crash time for me physically.  Not that I always get to take a nap, but I am always beat.  I dozed at my desk off and on, even after a friend came by to hang out with Chris. 
Last night we accomplished something.  Finally watched the last episode of season one of … No Ordinary Family.  Interesting show.  Kind of X-Men meets the Disney Channel.  People who come into contact with a rare plant from Brazil gain unusual super powers.  Not the same ones for everybody, though.  The lead characters are a family of four who were on vacation when their plane crashed.  The Dad ended up with super strength and invulnerability, and he could jump.  Kind of like the original Superman – "leap tall buildings with a single bound."  The wife gets super speed like Flash.  The daughter can read minds and implant thoughts in people's heads.  And the son becomes a super brain.  Of course there are the usual sidekicks – Mom and Dad each have a friend who knows about the powers.  And there are a myriad of super villains with random powers.  The main evil person has figured out a way to impart super powers, but only temporarily.  And of course the experiments were done on convicted criminals, so when they get powers their evil nature becomes … evil-er.  Lots of fun.  Hope they do a Season Two. 
Isaiah 1:16-17 says, "Wash and make yourselves clean.  Take your evil deeds out of my sight!  Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!  Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."
Father, keep all those folks safe who have to be on the road this week.  Amen.