Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Struggling forward, stumbling forth

It's 1:30 AM. What several writers refer to as "the hour of the wolf." It is here that grim thought seem to gather...

It was a long weekend. Not a particularly happy one, but a long one.

The camping trip with the youth group, targeted originally for Friday afternoon, went by the boards on Tuesday. The land-owner who was to host our merry band of teens reneged, and no suitable replacement location could be found. I was ready to take the bullet for the boys, but I wasn't overly broken hearted, to be honest.

I traveled down to Van Wert on Thursday for the regular meeting of the group, and it seemed that everything was just "off." No one was prepared, everyone had their minds somewhere else...we still managed to make it an OK night. But it was not one of our better ones.

On and off dyspepsia of some sort did not lend itself to much socializing, since I couldn't get too far from a bathroom most of the weekend. The one chance I did have to go to an AA meeting, I did - but found that my 90-day-wonder sponsee now has a two-breasted "higher power." Despite assuring me that he wouldn't do this. Despite having tossed his sobriety repeatedly, doing this exact same thing. But he knows what he's doing this time, he tells me.

/music cue: "I'm Henry The Eighth, I am..."/


I have been struggling, on top of everything else, with a blocked tear duct, which is causing all kinds of fun in the eye/vision department. Not comfortable, not fun. It would be better if I'd gotten all this inflammation from having punched someone who deserved it, and gotten punched in return. But no such luck.

And the bad luck demons seem to be hovering over the house again. Sister's car, a 7-year old Taurus, needs various brake components. Brother-in-law's back has started acting up again, and is not responding to alternating heat/ice and massage. So it's off to the chiro-pain-inflictor for him, despite the lack of health-insurance coverage (some 3 weeks away for both of them).

And today, the side-by-side refrigerator/freezer is showing signs of failing to keep frozen food frozen. The lower levels of the freezer seems to stay frozen, but the upper levels are failing. So the service-man cometh on the morrow. And he and his ilk are rarely inexpensive.

And we won't even talk about coming to an economically-depressed and mass-transit-impaired area of northwest Ohio at the precise time when our government and the "free market" have conspired to raise gas prices to their highest levels ever - easily matching the prices of post-Katrina Chicago, will we?

I know, I know - none of this is fatal. It is annoying, but I am reminded that a lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the bed, a lump in the tire and a lump in the breast are not the same lump. I know of several others - notably, my dear brother John and his family - for whom the anguish of unsold houses, unfulfilled career promises and seemingly unending financial struggles are an every-single-day battle. For them, I pray. If we lose the car and the refrigerator, and they get to sell their house, Lord, we'll just call it even, OK?

I just wish that there was more of "St. George slaying the dragon" in me, and less of "Puff the magic dragon/sadly slipped into his cave."

The homily, this morning, will be delivered by Steven Curtis Chapman:

Sometimes I see me, a sailor out on the ocean
So brave and so sure, as long as the skies are clear
But when the clouds to gather
I watch my faith turn to fear, but...

Sometimes He comes in the clouds
Sometimes His face can not be found
Sometimes the sky is dark and gray -
But some things can only be known
And sometimes our faith can only grow
When we can't see,
So sometimes He
comes in the clouds ...

For now, I'm going to try going back to bed, and meditate on the words. Sleep will inevitably help this...

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