SEVENTY-ONE

WE STAYED HOME TODAY.  The Girl said she didn't feel good, and I honestly thought she might have been faking, but she actually had a slight fever.  I remember being her age and wanting to play hooky from church now and again.  We ALWAYS had to go to church.  I remember spending my Sunday doing the March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon, and after walking all day, I still had to drag my tired self to evening services. The worst part of it was that I almost missed seeing Sean Cassidy (kids ask your Grandma) so that I could get to church on time.

One Wednesday night, I totally faked sick because I just HAD TO see an episode of my favorite tv show.  I don't remember which one - no doubt some sad little 80s show.  I spent the whole week ramping up to the big FAKE OUT.  Monday I sort of dragged myself around looking tired.  Tuesday, I didn't eat much and coughed a lot.  Wednesday, I combined my tactics from both Monday and Tuesday, and my Mom even asked if I wanted to stay home from school.  "No, I think I can make it."  I told her bravely.

The evening went beautifully.  The family left for church leaving me behind, and I hunkered down on the couch to steal my stolen tv moments.  This was back in the day before On Demand, and DVRs.  This was right before VCRs!  Of course, we lived out in the boonies, and didn't even get cable until my senior year of high school.  

Once, when a friend of my mom's went out of town for a couple weeks, she loaned us her VCR.  We thought we were living THE LIFE.  I remember pulling all our curtains and watching rented movies in total darkness!  It was like having a THEATER AT HOME!  it was a great couple of weeks, but a real crash when we had to give the VCR back.  The worst being that we lived so far out in the country, we only got about 4 channels.

I always feel a little off if I don't got to church.  Of course nowadays, you can live stream your church service, or wait a few hours and watch it on your church YouTube channel.  It doesn't feel quite the same, though.  There is something about getting up on a Sunday morning, and dragging the whole family out of the house.  It isn't just the service itself, but the sense of routine and discipline -- that our spiritual health matters.  As any of you who've read my 500 know, I don't always agree with everything that I hear at church, but i always appreciate the way it pushes me to think and consider.  I appreciate the way it makes me not only examine myself, but also examine the way I think.  

The best and most amazing part of today, was our first rain in 5 months.  It was short-lived but so delicious.  I love the smell and sound of rain, and perfer a rainy winter day to a relentlessly hot one.  I hope that the cool winds of fall come our way soon.  I also hope that your week is filled with good surprises, and infinite kindness.  You are doing a great job -- keep going.

--Jen