Thursday, July 21, 2005

New York Chronicle: Issue III

Burnt and festering!

Have you ever seen what the sun can do to two fair, freckled, women? Particularly when those same two women are not particularly conscientious in their use of the sunscreen bottle. Ach! Will not I ever learn? Must I always remain so foolish a mortal?

Tuesday, 19 July, 2005. The fatal day of our destruction. We went to Jones Beach, on the south shore of Long Island. One of the best stretches of sand in the United States so I'm told. We spent a good portion of the day there, during the hottest hours naturally. I spent my time alternately rolling with the mighty waves, and attempting to build sand castles. Periodically, after having been beaten by a few too many breakers I retreated to the sand and the sanction of our very own umbrella. But, oh woe to me! I had not the wisdom to retire to the shade of that mercifully large essential. Instead I delighted in casting myself down onto a towel and giving the sun its due amount of attention.

Kristi, I repent in dust and ashes. Pray forgive my ere in judgment. I really should have listened to you. I utterly and completely admit that I was in the wrong.

And now is the part where I give you full leave to laugh at my expense. I only took the trouble to apply sunscreen to a few vitally important areas of my extremely Caucasian body:

-A smattering on the backs of my knees.
-A blob on the end of my precious nose.
-Just a pat on as much of my back as I could reach.

And that was all.

And now I am in anguish. Utter, hair-raising, extreme, agonizing, anguish. Or so I was yesterday and the day before. Its beginning to heal at last I do believe. My poor sister had an itching fit in her back today that sent her into spasms. Even little Katie, whom we dutifully slathered with SPF 45 did not completely escape some redness.

Now to make you (and I) feel better about the entire situation:

Perks to having a Sizzling Sunburn:
-Due to the fact that my entire face is the color of scarlet, there is no need for make-up except perhaps for a dab of mascara.
-I can already recognize the distinct signs of a deep tan starting beneath the dominating boiled lobster look.
-I now have every right to moan or groan or be a complete weeny if I wish. (Note: this is not intended to intimate that I am in any way succombing to the temptation.)
-I have virtually been living in my swimsuit for the past three days and will no doubt continue to do so. I cannot abide contact on my poor abused skin.

But...I enjoyed the day! The soveriegnty of our God was so evident there as wave after wave swept over me, and as I rose with the ebb and flow, the constant crash and then the inevitable under tow continued. And continues still. Faced with such great power, such a feeling of helplessness. Such an awareness of God's majesty. He created it all. He sustains it all. And this is our God. The one who predestined His Son to die for our transgressions. That kind of love belongs to that kind of power. There is no beating that.

And I know God has a plan even for sunburn. If only I knew what it was...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

New York Chronicle: Issue II

Date: July 4, 2005
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Upstate NY

Directly in front of me stands a barn--this towering structure is painted brick red, and planted round about its base, are coral-colored Day Lilys. A sweeping panarama is to my back, the amber glow of the crops, and nestled in between hills and valleys and clumps of trees, are farmhouses dating back to the turn of the last century. There is always the inevitable big red barn.

I am sitting at a picnic table, set in this very spot to sanction our own private al fresco supper. I am among friends. I am lingering over a savory meal (props to Mrs. M.). At this moment I believe that I couldn't be more glad, more content. A gallon jar is resting on the ground adjacent to our table. Perspiration is dripping down its smooth sides. It contains oh-so-glorious ice water. Earlier today I took Katie with me to the side of the barn where the tall circular silo stands erect. Together we poked our heads inside its cool, dark interior and sang up into its dome. Sang a song to our creator.

"Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving to God the creator triumphantly raise. Who fashioned and made us, protected and staid us, who guides us and leads to the end of our days."

Katie loves music. She also loves to sing. She may be heard projecting her babyish voice loud and clear during the hymns in church. It is simply enchanting. Her favorite song (incidently the only one she knows), is "All People That On Earth Do Dwell". It is number one in the red Trinity Hymnal, and is sung to the tune of the doxology. And she really sings it. She knows the tune, but doesn't quite get the words out yet.

But back to the al fresco dinner. In due course our idyllic meal came to an end, and, together we set about clearing, cleaning, and carrying everything back to the house. And as the day was coming to its restful close, so also was our brief sojourn in this beautiful place. And as I lingered to feast my eyes for the last time, the sun in all its glory, was making its final descent into the horizon. As it sunk low, I was dazzled by the hugh eminating from its core. Pink. Hot, golden pink gazed back at me for long moments, and then it was gone.

That is a taste of the beauty to behold in this state, and that was our celebration of Independance Day. Perhaps New York in some way represents the whole of this country, I cannot presume to say. But I believe that our celebration was more beautiful and more joyous than most. We were free and happy in the heart of the country. True there was no big show, no fireworks, no fuss and botheration. And that suited me fine.

And now we are half-way through July, and I have much, much, more to say. Next week is the proposed time for our trip to The City (Manhattan). But I will save that for another time. For now, life is good, because God is good. And that is all anyone need know about anything.