Monday, July 28, 2008

I may have played my last Chutes & Ladders game last week, well, at least with my own child. Do you remember that game?

The little pictures create a sort of morality primer of actions and consequences for children. The playing pieces all have children joyfully skipping through their game lives. I counted and there are more chutes than ladders, so at least that aspect is realistic. One picture of a child scarfing down a plateful of cookies is connected with a chute to a picture of a sick child. A boy eating vegetables is connected with a ladder to the same boy measuring his height. A girl sweeping the floor now has money to go to the movies. A boy rescuing a cat from a tree gains a loving pet with the longest ladder on the board. The longest chute involves a precariously located cookie jar and injury.

If we were to create an adult version, what would some of the chutes and ladders be? A father smiling at his child walking in with a puppy with a chute to the same man picking up poo in the yard? A plateful of cookies with a chute to cellulite in a swimsuit? A woman midway through a row of shot glasses connected by a chute to the same woman with sunglasses and a bag of ice? A man offering a little square envelope to a woman connected by a ladder to a clean bill of health?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I saw a big boat rolling down Rt 50 toward Annapolis with "Romans 8:28" in gold letters on the back. By Annapolis standards, it was a modest cabin cruiser. I couldn't remember the verse, but had a guess. I was wrong. It's the verse that says,
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

For God so loved the world so much, well, he loved some folks so much, that he gave them large recreational vehicles.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My youngest daughter just finished two weekends of nine performances of an original full length musical, "Camp Hawyah." You can read more about the show in the review I got to write for the Annapolis paper. It was great fun, very entertaining, and I'm glad it is over.

My small attempt at a garden is doing well, but I need your help. I purchased some flowers for a fund raiser and they are all thriving. The problem is that my friend accidentally gave me someone else's order too. I didn't remember what I ordered and just planted everything. My Four O'clocks look great, but what is this little red flower?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Another fun story was one our guide told us as we punted down the Cam River in Cambridge behind several universities with centuries-old rivalries: St. John's, Trinity, King's College, Magdalene.

One recent night, a King rival scaled the right spire of the school's ancient cathedral and looped a toilet seat over the top finial. Upset school officials decided to build a scaffolding to retrieve the offense. On the third night, as the scaffolding was closing in on its goal, the prankster crawled back up there like Spidey, took back the King's Crown, and replaced it on the left spire.

School officials took down the extensive scaffolding and shot the thing down with a rifle. Now, the base of the two spires are belted with lethal spikes. There has been no more of that tomfoolery. According to our tour-guide/punter, there has been collegiate mischief and mayhem along the canals for centuries.

What fun ghosts must haunt the place! But we had to leave before the ghost tour, darnit.

Included are pictures of hapless strangers who had trouble with guiding their craft.
At last...
(I guess I took my sweet time settling back into a routine. Took a while to find this new summer one.)

Here is my favorite story from our trip to England.

My son had a serious religious experience.
On the first full day of touring, he left his backpack, with the new iPod and a loaded wallet in a taxi cab. No need for scolding because he was distraught, physically ill. "I'm so sorry, Mommy, I'm so sorry." poor heartbroken guy. He just had to suck it up and continue with the afternoon's touring, which he did well. That night we filed a report with the city taxi service, but they said it takes a week to process all the stuff brought in. (Seems we weren't the only ones.)

During the week we toured several cathedrals: St. Paul's, Ely, Westminster Abbey, Canterbury. In each one, my son put down 20p for a candle, lit one and prayed that his "lost things be found." (He's carrying my backpack for me in the picture.)

Well, thank God that on departure morning, we called the taxi lost & found and they had the backpack and all of its contents. Amazing! (Enter rays of divine sunshine and angel band)

He was overjoyed but said very seriously to me, "Now I have to go to church every Sunday." Seems a deal was struck. Eureka!

His sister perked up and asked if he'd go to Youth Group now too. He insisted that he made no promises regarding youth group.

Check out Mark's great photos from our trip.

(Pardon all the parenthetical asides.)