Wednesday, February 17 2021

reading, inflatable dinosaurs, and predator

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to Wednesday. Though if you ask me, it feels more like a Tuesday in disguise. What a strange, condensed week we have, right?

Seth and I had a zoom call yesterday. While chatting, he described the phenomenon more elegantly than I would have.

"All of our Monday meetings just get moved to Tuesday, so the week isn't shorter. It's just more dense," he said.

Grim, but true. Indeed, my Monday meetings and responsibilities just got shoved into Tuesday. I still had a Monday's worth of messages to catch up on.

I expect things to level out. My calendar is wide open today, and the cup of coffee sitting on the table beside me is so good, it's making me emotional. February has been a rough month in our home coffee department. First we had to send our machine in to get fixed. By the time it got back, we had already run out of our good beans and the new shipment was delayed. We've been scraping by with little bags of Starbucks from Hy-Vee.

Last night, a box was dropped on our doorstep. My phone dinged with an email from FedEx. At last, our coffee department was back at full strength. My friends, the aroma escaping from that bag of fresh beans, the steam, the color, the first sip. I had the urge to run out into the street and yell out into the neighborhood much like Tom Hanks in Castaway after he made his first fire. I. MADE. COFFEE.

Sip. So how's it going? Are you reading anything? Marissa and I started Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. I think this is the first CS Lewis book I've ever read (please, nobody tell Wheaton College, or they might rescind my degree). The book is not at all like I expected. I was picturing something a little headier and scholarly, but the book is surprisingly approachable. It reads like a quaint British public radio broadcast, like something you'd listen to while folding laundry. We're working through it slowly, taking only a chapter a day, and I think that's how it was meant to be read.

I've also decided to read through the Bible. I've never actually read it cover to cover, and I'm irked that there are passages that I've never read. I've tried to get through it all before, but like many I've been doomed to run out of steam in Genesis. Genesis is a long book. It's like setting out on a road trip that begins with driving through the length of Illinois.

Yesterday was a busy day, but it was fulfilling. I battled through a busy and jarring start to the week, finishing the work day with a cathartic workout on the stationary bike. Marissa battled kids, errands, cooking, and toys. Ah, the toys. These days, toys are everywhere.

Miles is starting to play with toys on the living room. His toys are starting to mix with Rodney's, which already spill out onto the living room floor regularly like an ocean tide. Marissa pain-stakingly picks them up every evening, but the next moment Rodney is awake, they're back. Walking from one end of the living room to the other means kicking aside a cars, rubber dinosaurs, and God forbid you step on a k'nex piece!

With this dire toy situation in the backdrop of our home, Rodney opened a new box. We had ordered him some inflatable dinosaurs a few weeks ago and forgotten about them. Rodney tore open the package. Marissa used an air pump. The dinosaurs rose up out of the cardboard, springing to life with little stubby arms and silly faces.

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Marissa gave me a knowing side glance. With her eyes, she was saying and now we're going to have to deal with these in the living room too.

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Rodney was elated. He took his inflatable t-rex, stegosaurus, and (ahem) "long-a-saurus" with him to eat lunch, watch TV, and play in the corner.

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During quiet time, he arranged them on the bed around him. For two hours while I worked, I listened to Rodney's muffled play voices as he introduced each dinosaur to each other.

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If anything, I was pleased to see Hauncy, his original big green dinosaur, finally get some company. Amidst Rodney's pretend voices, Hauncy's voice was unmistakable - like a bad Jimmy Stewart impersonation. We had mixed feelings about all these new dinosaurs, but Hauncy's opinion carries a lot of weight around here. Hauncy accepted them, so we accepted them. Any friend of the hauncinator is a friend of ours.

The kids went to bed. I cleaned up the kitchen. Marissa put all the toys away yet again. We both slumped into our seats on the couch with a bottle of wine to finish our movie.

Let me say, I offer apologies for being so harsh with the movie Predator. The first half of the movie we rebuked it for its lack of real sci-fi. Predator is certainly one of those movies that's all about the ending - the final stand-off between Arnold and the Predator. Quips. Booby traps. An alien fist fight. And of course, big bulging muscles. What else could you want in a movie?

That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, everyone.