It was fun knowing you.
Part of me will miss you.
But part of me left you long ago
and so our parting is bittersweet.
I remember catching fireflies
And eating candy after church.
I was so proud of my first crocheted chain
And my Silly Band collection
And my first two paperbacks.
Legally, I have two years' experience with you.
I have a job, a diploma, and a paid-off car
But I don't know if I should tip at the deli
Or what to say to a dead man's wife.
It doesn't matter what I've done.
After two decades, I feel I should have done more.
Moved out. Kissed a boy. Worked a nine-to-five.
But no matter what God has in store for me
It's been a good run so far.
To be honest, I've never really liked sci-fi that much.
It all started when I was maybe six years old. One of my favorite pastimes was cracking open the door to my parents' room while my dad was watching the History Channel. I'd sit there and watch Modern Marvels or How It's Made until the commercial break, and sometimes I'd even watch the commercials depending on how interesting they were.
One of those commercials was for a show about alien abduction. It scarred me for life and I was even terrified of the little green three-eyed things in Toy Story. It took me several years (and a few episodes of Star Trek) to get over my fear of aliens.
And then I decided that reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would be fun. And I was right.
Some books you read because you love the main character. Not this book. Protagonist Arthur Dent is about as bland as a stale English biscuit, but since he's the sole survivor of the destruction of earth, he's the only guy we have to root for. He's not alone, of course. He's joined by the criminal Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy, his human girlfriend Trillian, the depressed robot Marvin, and Ford Prefect. Ford is a hitchhiker with a fondness for alcohol and an overall likeable personality, and is quite possibly my favorite out of all these characters.
What really sells this book, though, is the writing style. Author Douglas Adams does a phenomenal job of making the reader laugh with well-timed jokes and narrative improbabilities. The plot, the characters--everything except for possibly the setting--is like the cracker upon which you spread the Nutella of Adams' imaginative jocularity. And by "imaginative," I mean something less like a daydream and more like a memorable acid trip.
When you stop reading this book, it's not necessarily the characters you'll remember (although a few of them are notable for multiple heads or personality disorders). And that's alright, I suppose. While I believe that having strong, likable, and memorable characters is the most important part of a book or series, Adams proves that the opposite is true as well. In fact, fans of his work started Towel Day in March (I hope to participate next year) in honor of a simple paragraph.
Well, duty calls. Long story short, it's a good book. Read it. Laugh with it. Don't panic. And always know where your towel is.
Well, you're not raspberry.
You're not watermelon.
You're not grape or lime or cherry.
(Let me take another bite, just to be sure.)
Maybe you're your own flavor.
Maybe all White Mysteries taste the same.
Maybe I'll never know.
(Let me eat another one, just to be sure.)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
The world might have been crazy this year, but we still have plenty to be thankful for. My own family has gotten this far without a COVID diagnosis, so I'm certainly thankful for that. My father is semi-retired and has been able to provide for us financially during lockdown. We have the technology to continue on with our lives remotely (to an extent, anyway). The delivery trucks are still up and running, so despite all the panic buyers, we still have plenty of food. We have indoor plumbing, so we don't have to worry about running out of water.
And more importantly, we have each other. I spent Thanksgiving Day of 2017 in the hospital with my father, who'd had a heart attack. He's currently downstairs watching football while my mom and sister work on the stuffing and mashed sweet potatoes. (We're still going to have regular mashed potatoes; in fact, I'm in charge of making them.)
I have one set of grandparents left, and they live down the street from us. They'll be coming to our house in about three hours for dinner. My grandmother has dementia, so she doesn't really cook anymore. But I'm thankful that she's on enough supplements and medications that she's still herself, she still knows who we are, and she can carry on a decent conversation.
And my sister? Well...she can be a pain in the butt, but I'm grateful that after fifteen years, we've finally found something we have in common. We both like watching medical dramas. She's been binging House MD, and I've been joining her occasionally.
And my mom. She's awesome. I picked up a sewing machine for the first time in years and made a skirt. She's helping me figure out what to wear with it, since I'm generally terrible at fashion.
What are you thankful for this year? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to like us on Facebook!
It's a strange feeling
When you try to take a drink
And your cup is nearly empty.
You get a single drop
Of lukewarm tap water.
It's a strange feeling
When you try to do something
And your heart is nearly empty.
In five minutes you realize
You have nothing to give.
Yesterday was a good day.
A busy day, but a good one. I play piano on my church's worship team. I don't know if I've mentioned that here before. But it's true; I started playing in youth when I was fifteen or sixteen, and I've since transitioned to jamming out in the grown-up church.
The grown-up portion of the church gets called various things. I call it "big service," but it's known at church as "main service" or simply as "main." Our worship leader used to be the youth pastor. One day, youth was cancelled, so he announced over the microphone, "Next week, we will be in main."
For some reason, I thought he meant Maine, as in the state with lobsters and L.L. Bean. I wondered if the youth was taking a mission trip I hadn't been informed of.
Apparently, I wasn't the only person who thought that, because five minutes later, the youth pastor's voice came over the loudspeakers again. "Main service. Jeez. Not the state."
Anyway, I really like this guy. It's not like we know each other well or consider each other friends. We're siblings in Christ, though, which is a rather unique and hard-to-explain dynamic. So when I found out on Sunday that I was supposed to play on Wednesday--not just for a normal set, but for a set composed entirely of worship--I hesitantly said yes and immediately apologized for not having enough time to practice.
But the service went great.
We didn't even have enough time to practice all the songs together as a band. We got through five songs in forty minutes, which is good considering that we had to reconfigure how many time we were going to play the bridge on one particular song. But then, when service started, and we spent an hour and eight minutes playing and singing and worshiping God...it was great.
You know how refreshed you feel after a good talk with your best friend? How loved you feel after snuggling someone on the couch while watching a movie? How touched you feel when someone gives you a present just because? That's what spending an hour and eight minutes in God's presence is like.
Normally, by the end of the fifth song, I'm just...worshipped out. My imagination is tired of being silenced, my flesh is ready to go home and watch Criminal Minds. But not last night. I enjoyed every minute of it.
I'll have to do it again sometime. And if you've never gone to a worship night, it's a worthwhile experience. Even if you poop out after the first four songs and have to sit in the back for a while. It's okay. You have to start somewhere.
Well, I have to clean the house today. And wash my sheets. And you know...my bedroom is such a disaster area I should probably apply for federal funds to help with the clean-up. So I'd better get busy. List your favorite worship song (or your favorite song to clean to) in the comments, and have a great day, dear readers!
The doorbell rings
at eight thirty
and I start remembering.
I remember New Year's Day
at eight thirty
in the morning
it was paramedics.
They'd tried calling
to tell us
they were taking my grandmother
to the hospital.
(Our phones were turned off.)
I panic in my pajamas
at eight thirty
and I run downstairs.
It's my sister
who's been watching football
with Dad and Papa
calling me names.
(My grandmother is fine.)
Sorry for posting so late. I had two papers due for the same class (marketing) and one of them was eight pages long. Except that it was in APA formatting. So between the title page, reference sheet, and appendixes, the paper ran twenty pages.
My blog is a pretty high priority in my life. I blogged when my father was in the hospital. I scheduled a post to release when I was on my way to meet my biological mother. But there are a few circumstances in which I'll skip a post, and school is one of those things.
In fact, at this point in my life, school is my highest priority. I'm proud to say that I've gotten straight A's so far, and I'm hoping to maintain that until I graduate in 2022. Which might be a lot to ask. But I'm in a competition with one of the pastors at my church, and he got exactly one B in college. So I'm trying to beat him.
Actually, I'm in a competition with two of the pastors from our church. I'm trying to keep ahead of Pastor Duane's book release schedule. So I should probably get back to writing.
But on the other hand, I'm worded out. Those papers took a lot out of me. On Friday, I was so tired from essaying that my dad gave me $10 and told me to get out of the house and buy myself lunch. He's never done that before. And so I left, pretending that I hadn't been in my pajamas half an hour before.
It's so much fun, trying to convince other people that you're a functioning human being. Sometimes it works.
When I wasn't working on my papers or otherwise employed this week (I got to work with the precious kindergarteners again), I've been crocheting. Christmas is going to be here before I know it, and I like to make all my gifts. I have no idea what I'm going to get for my dad, but maybe he can share the blanket I'm crocheting for Mom. Grammy's getting a knitted scarf, and Papa's getting coasters. He's got a thing for coasters.
Also, I'm trying to gain five pounds by Thanksgiving. I donated blood about six weeks ago, and turns out, there's a minimum weight limit for a reason. I was two pounds above that weight limit, with shoes, and I shook the entire time. I'll be eligible to donate again right after Thanksgiving and I hope to make things a bit easier on myself.
I'm sorry for rambling. My brain is scrambled. I had to write three pages about the last online purchase I made, and turns out, it's not easy to fill three pages with why you bought a recipe box.
It's always nice to sit right down
With cozy blankets circled 'round.
My laptop on my lap I set
And all my other cares forget.
I take a breath, my fingers fly,
The words are mine, and yet not mine.
Spirit, muse, say what you will--
Borrowed words from my hands spill.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.