Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Not On A Plane

So it's a Monday recently, my day off, and our little family is leaving the house to go run some errands together. The World's Greatest Husband is carting The World's Cutest Baby, and I am disorganizedly bringing up the rear.

As I come out the door, Eric freezes on the front rim of the porch. 'Bets?' he calls rarily, 'why don't you go back in...'

At the same time, I'm looking down the sidewalk, thinking 'Why would someone have left those two big garden hoses lying across the sidewalk like tha/hey wait a minute, that's not a gAAAAARRRGGGRRRRAAAAAGH!"

I FLY into the house, screaming. Not content to have a door between me and the snakes, run through 2 rooms and flatten myself against the back wall in the kitchen.

I'm not proud of this. This is a little like the time I saw a mouse - a cute little baby mouse - in the kitchen of my Baltimore apartment and found myself standing on a chair. Yeah, like the shapely torsoless housewife legs in Tom and Jerry.

Anyway, husband deposits baby inside (YES, I LEFT MY CHILD TO BE EATEN BY SNAKES.) and reports that they look like black racers, about 4-5 feet long. One had already slithered off, but the larger of the two was still sunning on the walk. And he goes back out there, where he's joined by a friend.

Minutes go by, as a pace around the kitchen trying to shake the RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRg out of my head and upper body. With the friend coaching, Eric gets a broomstick under the snake's middle and tosses it into the woods. I collect myself (about 20 minutes) and we leave, for real this time, scouting carefully with every step.

Later, I learn two things: first, that Eric had initially tried to pick up the snake with his hand behind its head - "They're helpless if you grab them right behind the head!" Oh, of course, that's a good plan, let's put our fingers as close to its face as possible. (I'm not sure which is more disturbing - the possibility of a bite or just, you know, looking closely enough at a live snake to identify its shoulder area.)

"But then it was coiling to strike(AAAGH)so I used the broomstick (good) and it actually ended up in a tree (AAAAAAAAGGGGH) and you know, it seemed fine, just slithering from branch to branch (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABLECHYUKBRRRRRAH!)

Fabulous. Now I can never leave the house again. That's just great. A couple of other snake sightings have come up in conversation, but I could ignore those with just a breif blrrrhg - that, by the way, is the sound of skin crawling. But now that I've seen some in person - we'll just have to move.

I say to Eric, 'I'll call the realtor, and set things up so we can move. You know, away. From Snakeland.'

'Oh really?' he asks. 'And where shall we move?'

'The city, of course. No snakes in the city. The urban environment is famously hostile to snakes.'

'Yeah?' says he. 'What is it that snakes eat?'

'Rats,' I murmur, disgusted. It's clear where this is going.

'And what were those snakes just lying on?'

'Sidewalk', I reply, barely audible. Okay, fine. Fine. The city is the perfect place for snakes. I'm sure Baltimore's teeming with them. Now, as well as looking up in the trees and out across the walk whenever I leave the house, I'll have to scout among the cobblestones downtown. Fabulous.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Pimp my Church

well, it's not there yet, but soon you can go here and see a video of last night's panel discussion. It featured The Godfather as well as Diana Butler Bass and Alan Jones. The presentation's called Here Come Everybody.

It includes one thing I've already seen - a 5-minute film about our church, which I believe they created to use as part of Brian's intro. I met Paul Brubaker several weeks ago, when he was at church shooting, and he sent a preview copy to us yesterday, so we could make sure everyone's name was spelled right.

The film is absolutely lovely - the filmakers, being from NYC, were positively smitten with our pastural setting. Not being an outdoorsy sort, even I have to admit that our property is unusually nice in the spring.

And the interviews are lovely; everyone talking about how they love the community, they feel right at home here, how blessed we are with the new pastor and the fabulous land and the great ministries. It makes life at church look like a little slice of heaven. The slice where white, 40-year-old suburbanites gather to hug one another. (I SWEAR TO YOU, PEOPLE OF COLOR DO ATTEND THIS CHURCH. ALSO PEOPLE UNDER 30. And I know Paul interviewed some, but they didn't make the 5-min cut.)

I know, I know - why be hatin'? I'm definately not hating. It's a terrific piece of tape. I'm proud to be part of the community that Paul saw, and that he made a film about. If I ever meet someone who first heard of us from seeing that film, I'll feel good about it.

I just have to say - working in a church (on staff, or as a volunteer), you get to see everything - teamwork and lifelong friendship but also the conflict, spiritual growth but also some terrible behavior and deep, deep hurts. We're not unusual in any way - it's just that loving people is hard. And we fail at it. Constantly. And disappoint people horribly.

And it takes a lot of time and effort, all this screwing up. Things that are working out well usually get a quick nod in the hallway, so that crises can have our undivided attention.

So it's a little weird, this 5 minutes of hugging and smiling. It's true - seriously, this stuff is true about our church, no one was faking or struggling to put a good face on thing.

It's just weird for me to see, all that sweetness, all compacted together like that.

Usually, it's interleaved with the Other Stuff.

quilt in mouth

quilt in mouth
Originally uploaded by funky fat girl.
this is a test of the photo posting function. It is only a test. This is the quilt that Beth made (along with crib bumpers and a valence - okay, Beth didn't make a valence, I draped a big scrap of the fabric with the circles over a curtain rod. If Beth had made it, it would be nicer, and have perfect quarter-inch seam allowances. Pressed. )

Anyway, if you can see a photo, the test was a success.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


and retest.

Hey, kids! I'm back!