Once this building was the place everyone knew they could go for safety. If there was a threat you wanted to be here. Nestled in these walls dreams were happy no matter how ominous the threat.
But sometimes there is no safe place, no respite. Sometimes the onslaught is so overwhelming the very best laid plans are worthless. Those times present problems to which there is no answer. When the winds and rain are so intense that no structure is safe.
Anna huddled with her children as the wind whipped the torrential rain on her back. This was their choice.
I am sorry to paint such a gloomy story, but as many of you are I am feeling heartsick for our fellow citizens in Texas and Louisiana and specifically the Houston metropolis area. We are witnessing the second “Storm of the Century” rip apart the lives of millions less than a decade and a half after Katrina did the same to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
We had the pleasure of meeting a young man while having lunch on Sunday at a local Subway who lives in Houston and was on a truck driving run. We got to pray with him over the situation, which was all we could do to help him. He shared this photo with us.
The first couple of times and maybe for the third escape of The Red Baron the warden at West End Correctional ate boxes of antacids. His facility was nationally known for being escape proof. But then the mysterious packages were foundin his office, right on his desk. Cuban cigars, the good ones! Kentucky Bourbon from his favorite distillery. He came to realize the TRB was doing this for fun. While he could not let it go unreported or unpunished he thrilled at the possibility of the next surprise.
“Now friends we must stay together as there is several groups here today and I have to account for each of you when we return to the front. Please keep your hands off the exhibits as we want our other guests to enjoy these beautiful pieces of art for years to come,” the young male tour guide for the art museum half-whispered through the headphones everyone donned when they entered the art museum. He was right their was a couple thousand patrons playing a real life game of pin ball trying to see the exhibits.
“Oh friends I want to take an extra few moments with this one,” the young man whispered excitedly.
“Is that real blood?” Jimmy asked, his hand shooting up after his exclamation.
“No dummy, it is just corn syrup and food dye,” Susie answered before the guide could draw his breath.
“I’m gonna see,” Jimmy said licking his finger before he reached to touch the red on the sculpture.
It was an exact reproduction of her dream, which was impressive . . . and scary. You see she had not shared her dream with anyone for fear of what would follow. It was her mother that was the one with the horrible mental disease, but before anyone saw it Chrissie had endured untold horrors as her mother convinced everyone she had the problem.
More than four years after her mother’s last breath and she was seeing the real representation of the dream where her mother reappeared. Before her were those dastardly tea cups, the one her mother treasured above all. One for Papa, one for Mother and one for Chrissie. Her mother was determined to hold on to that part of her life across the pond she gave up for her love.
Chrissie drew a hard breath as she slowly approached the cups. In her dream there was items from her past hidden in each cup. If that was the case she wasn’t sure what she would do.
There was a rotation. Everyone knew it and abided by it, usually. But no one ever mentioned usual and Eric in the same sentence. Eric was a bug guy, well THE bug guy. Eric wanted his turn with the satellites and he was done waiting.
As he tapped away on the keyboard he blinked to make sure his eyes weren’t lying. Nope it was there alright, the “Firefly Conga Line Phenomenon”. He used his phone to call his mentor, thrilled to finally prove his hypothesis.
Meanwhile three states away Evan fixed his lighting issue with two strings of Christmas lights.
Alanna stood studying the piece of paper with the carefully created map. She loved puzzles immensely, so when Drew related how he decided to make her birthday a huge treasure hunt she was beyond thrilled. She absent mindedly fingered the new necklace she discovered looped around a monitor that told you when it was safe to cross the street at an intersection.
Drew knew not to make the clues too easy or she would not enjoy the game. Alanna had a sharp mind that required just the right amount of stimulation to get it firing on all cylinders. So far Drew’s plan flourished wonderfully.
Alanna screwed her pretty face into a type of snarl as she thought about what she should be looking for. Drew smiled as he knew he was making her work for this one. He was ready to “take a knee” as soon as she figured out the hiding place of the solitaire he had for her.
The bus driver had hauled untold souls from the still gleaming NASCAR track to the various parking lots ringing the massive arena billed as the “Last Great Coliseum”, seeing folks from all of the nation and world.
As always, he asked where folks were from.
“Kentucky!” one answered.
“Florida!” another voice said enthusiastically.
“Croatia!” a father offered.
“I’m sorry?” the driver said turning and expressing surprise, wondering if he heard right.
“Croatia,” the man repeated.
“Can I ask why you chose to come?”
“Because this is still the land of opportunity and we want to live here!”
I hope you will allow this fictional recount of a real life experience shared with us by a school bus type shuttle that was operating this past weekend at the massive NASCAR track in Bristol, Tennessee billed as The Last Great Coliseum, with seating for 156,000.
As we squabble about such things as statues and feel as though removing symbols of history will right the wrongs there are still plenty of people looking for a fresh start enthusiastic to take this flawed country as it is.
Jeremy was too young to remember the space race in all of its reality. He never knew how the nationalist fervor gripped both the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. as the jockeyed to be the first to pierce the blackness of space. But history is like that, sometimes coming before your time.
But that didn’t mean he could not concoct his version in the confines of his room. He took particular pains to build each of his models to look as close to the real thing as possible. Thumbtacks along with fishing line helped him make the illusion seem all the more real. Before long Jeremy had his own space race live and in color.
He managed to finish his wonder just before bed and he lay on top of the covers marveling at his creation when his mother came to tuck him in.
Mack stood speechless at the door to Kelly’s bath room. He’d spent countless hours trying to plan the perfect opportunity to pop the question. While doing so he needed a place to stash the ring. his best choice finally presented itself in the doll cabinet he never had seen Kelly open. She would never suspect a thing.
But now he stood before an empty cabinet as Kelly told him she took her friend Kristin’s advice and sold the dolls on eBay to get money for her wedding. Mack felt a wave of nausea when he considered the money he’d spent.