Monday, September 29, 2014

Seven Quick Takes

1. Fall has arrived. Let us rejoice and be glad! The other night I carried some plastic out to the recycling bin and was -- for the second time since April -- cold. Cold! Mind you, it was ten o'clock at night, and I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless blouse. But I was cold. Gloriously, mercifully cold! I nearly cried.

I am sure the heat will fire once last shot across the bow, but the end is near. Let us rejoice and be glad!

2. In the spirit of the new weather, Ainsley is compiling  a Naughty and Nice List. I am happy to report that I made the Nice List. In fact, the preliminary Nice List had only three names on it: Hope, Mama, and Ainsley. I think this had less to with virtue than with the fact that these are the only three names Ainsley can spell. In a moment of charity, she asked Kolbe how to spell his name and added him as well.

The Bad List consists of the devil and, at least initially, dinosaurs. John and Ainsley had an animated discussion about dinosaurs, and John is relieved to see they have been transferred to the Nice List.

3. Tim, oh my Tim, has been burning the midnight oil. Among other endeavors, he is in the early stages of his first full length research paper. Here I must offer a shout out to one Linda Finnegan, Tim's middle school English teacher, who had her students write short research papers, MLA format and all, three years straight. Teachers get a fair amount of, ahem, push back from students and parents alike when they embark on ambitious projects and hold kids to high standards. In the long run, short term pain bears enormous fruit, and we are seeing that now.

Tim is writing about Ernest Hemingway, and I will confess right here that I encouraged him to choose a shorter novel than For Whom the Bell Tolls. Time is of the essence, and while Tim is a strong reader, he is not necessarily a fast reader, and that bad boy is 500 pages long.  Well, he chose it, and he finished it around 11:00 last night, a full twelve hours before the deadline. I made him a milkshake by way of celebration.

My bleary-eyed scholar begged me to call him late for school, and to my enormous credit, I made no smart remark linking the bleeping alarm clock and For Whom the Bell Tolls. I didn't call him in, but I did make him a big cup of coffee.

4. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd began yesterday against all odds. About two weeks ago, our directors went into the atrium and discovered we had no water. A brief investigation showed some enterprising thief with the potential to be a successful welder had crawled under our building and stolen all our copper pipes!

Note to thief who probably doesn't read family blogs: We are a non-profit organization operating on free labor and a shoe-string budget. Our plumber estimates you made a whopping $25 hawking our pipes. When it looked like we would have to delay our start day by 2-4 weeks and face thousands of dollars in repair bills, two friends stepped up and re-plumbed the entire house in twelve muddy, nasty, backing-breaking hours for a fraction of the original estimate.

2nd note to thief: The new pipes have no black-market value.

3rd note to thief: We prayed for you, prayed that God's grace would be on you, prayed that if this was to turn quick drug money, that you would be freed from addiction and restored to wholeness.

5. In preparation for our first atrium session, I had about fifty-two pieces of paper to print out including a spreadsheet we use for attendance. I tinkered, I saved, I hit print. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied a message that read something like, "printing page 1 of 2,752 pages."

Faithful readers are familiar with my long-standing feud with Hal, the device formerly known as Printer. Kris, especially, will be pleased to hear we have a new printer, a laser jet, a wireless beauty that hums and prints two-sided copies and did I mention that it is wireless and comes with all sorts of handy features that have come about in the past decade?

Sometimes, for reasons I can't fully explain, I still turn to Hal. This reminds me of when we replaced our ancient Buick with a newish van. I missed the comfy seats and the cavernous trunk.

"You are seriously complaining about the van," Dave asked me one day, wondering about the state of my mental health.

No. No. But I get accustomed to how certain things work. I used my $10 hand mixer for years before turning to my state-of-the-art Kithenaid. I am a creature of habit.

But back to yesterday . . . Hal groaned to life. I spotted the error message, and in a move that would amazed Jackie Joyner Kersee, Olympic hurdler, I lunged at Hal and yanked the plug. No messing around with "Cancel print job," a function, I am convinced, doesn't actually exist. I cancelled, I cancelled, again, I cancelled some more. If I plug Hal back in at this very moment, I am confident he would resume printing that oft-killed job.

Hal, to be honest, reminds me of something out of a Stephen King novel, and, really, I think maybe I need to carefully carry him to the backyard and dig a big hole.

6. A good friend shared this scripture the other day:

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


7. And if that isn't positive enough, let me end by saying my sweet Ainsley is lying on the bed behind me reading Bob Books. "I readed it," she tells me. "I readed it!" Cold weather, new pipes, and Bob Books? Life is good. It is very good indeed.

On that upbeat note, head over to Jen's and add your Quick Takes.


Kris said...

Hahahahaha!! The printer....! For the love of all that is holy, dig that hole. I'll help you.

Kelly Dolin said...

Thanks, Kris. I needed a laugh tonight!

Kris said...

That's what I'm here for....! :)

kviz said...

Kelly, you can make your first novel a horror story featuring a demonic laser-jet printer. I'd stand in line to buy a copy.

claire said...

I love that naughty and nice list! Hysterical!