No One Died

On TourMost passengers were from Australia and New Zealand. Some were from the United Kingdom, two from South Africa, and two from Guatemala. Toss in a tour director from Alabama and a driver from Ecuador and we were bound to have fun on the 15-day tour I was leading.

The tour began and ended in New York City, traveling by motorcoach throughout the Eastern United States and Canada. Day 9 brought us to Toronto where we were scheduled to visit the Ontario Parliament building. As we rode from our hotel to Parliament, a passenger noticed a flag at half-staff.

“Why is that Ontario flag flying at half-staff?” he asked me.

“I’m not sure,” I answered. “I didn’t hear of any death or major event on the news this morning.”

The passengers and I began to notice other flags along the route at half-staff. Our curiosity was rising by the minute. Upon arrival at the Parliament building, we could clearly see on the left lawn a Canada flag lowered and on the right lawn an Ontario flag lowered. What has happened? I mused.

We parked, unloaded, and waited on the approaching security guard for further instructions.

“Welcome! Follow me this way,” he said, pointing toward the pink sandstone building adorned with gargoyles.

I walked next to him and the group followed. “Why are all the flags in the city at half-staff?” I asked.

He laughed. “Well, no one died. Our flagpole pulley for the Canada flag is malfunctioning. It won’t allow the flag to go up all the way. Because no flag can fly higher than the Canada flag, everyone in the city has had to lower their Ontario flags until we get it fixed.”

On tour the adventures are endless and the laughs are abundant.

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“God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon” (Psalm 19:1 MSG).

Sunshine and Ice Cream

Cassie, Becky, & Ice CreamAh! The aroma of cow body odor, manure, and freshly-squeezed milk! How can I begin to describe it? Unique, maybe? Or fresh, perhaps? Memorable, for sure. That aroma is why milk makes me gag to this very day.

I blame it on my dad. When I was a kid, he took me to Wills’ Dairy Farm each week to buy milk. We’d enter the “milk parlor,” a small room with concrete-block walls and a cement floor at the front of a barn. Through a door at the back I could see cows curiously lined up in a row. Mr. Wills would fill our gallon “milk jug” from a refrigerated stainless steel tank for a whopping fifty cents. I would try not to breathe the entire time we were there. And then, after the milk sat in our refrigerator for an hour, an inch of off-white thick stuff would form on top. We’d have to shake it up before we could drink it. I’m feeling a bit sick remembering it.

So I didn’t drink milk as a kid. And I didn’t drink milk as a teenager. And I didn’t drink milk as an adult. Now I’m fifty-four years old and Dr. Schuster told me my bone density is decreasing due to a lack of calcium. Imagine that! I thought the next words out of his mouth would be to drink the white stuff. I was already formulating my protest.

“Get lots of sunshine and ice cream,” he said.

“What?” I exclaimed.

Dr. Schuster repeated, “Get lots of sunshine and ice cream.”

I liked his thinking! “Would you put that in writing?” I asked.

He opened his prescription pad and wrote: “SUNSHINE TRANSDERMAL QD, ICE CREAM PO QD.” (Translation: Sunshine on my skin daily and ice cream in my mouth every day!)

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“Oh, how sweet the light of day and how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 MSG).

Sunshine and Ice Cream

Marriage Is a Virtue

MarriageMy husband and I hardly ever argue, but we had a blow-up one this afternoon! It went something like this…

Tim was talking to my brother on the phone about where to dump gravel for the driveway.

Tim: “Just as the driveway starts to curve, dump it there on the LEFT.”

Becky: “No, the RIGHT.”

Tim (shaking his RIGHT hand at me): “What do you mean, the RIGHT? We want it on this side.”

Becky: “Look at what hand you’re shaking. That’s the RIGHT.”

Tim: “I know, but you said LEFT!”

I’ve been told I am a patient person. This is why—35 years of marriage.

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“Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV).