It's hard to believe ten years have passed since Shane died.
I remember sitting on our front steps in Mystic waiting for the police to show up, to tell us what they wouldn't say over the phone. We knew what they were going to say, but didn't want to believe it.
I remember Corinne going into the kitchen and throwing knives and dishes around in a fit of anguish... and wishing she had bought more breakable stuff because mostly it just dinged up the kitchen.
She slept a lot for weeks after that day. We had a new kitten, Kiki (who is even now crying outside my door, wondering what on God's green earth could be keeping my fingers and her fur so terribly separated), who stayed with her constantly while Corinne found a way to survive that near mortal wound.
Shane was the center of her life, and the part of herself about which she was most proud.
She's recovered beautifully, and is currently in Lancaster with her oldest, "bestest" friend. Give her a hug for me, Robin.
This is extremely strange for me, but I've been a bit obsessed with drawing lately.
That isn't to say I'm good at it. I've gone my whole life without really doing it at all. But for a few months Jim Roepcke was tweeting links to drawings people were doing in the app he was working on, DrawQuest, so I finally gave it a shot and installed the app in late November of 2013. My profile is here.. Warning, the service is flaky on that site and often stuff won't load at all.
Last month Jim was looking for work again, and then a week later DrawQuest announced they'd be shutting down. So, I started using SketchClub, which has much better tools. Here's my SketchClub profile.
I've doodled quite a bit on both, but I'm pretty happy with some of the drawings considering I've only been at this for a couple months. My favorite one is this sketch of our cockatoo, AJ, and the one every one else seems to like the most is the Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse.
Thank you, Father, for the uncountable and innumerable blessings you've poured into my life.
Thank you Corinne for the love in your eyes and the touch of your hands and your humor and for putting up with mine and for sticking with me even when all seemed lost.
Thank you Lauren for being such a sweet, smart girl and for lighting up so brightly whenever you see us. I dare say I've learned as much from you as you have from me.
Thank you Mom and Dad for raising me, for teaching me the way I should go, for helping me to see the wonder and beauty and hope and humor in this life on God's Way.
Thank you Mikel and Shannon for adopting Corinne and I as surrogate parents, for letting us love you and Richie, Lauren and Sam, for coming home again, for letting Lauren still be such a huge part of my our life.
Thank you Katie for being one of the most wonderful people I know. Come home!
Thank you Ellyn for agreeing to be my only big sister (instead of my aunt), for forgiving me for NOT being there when you needed me a few years ago, and for loving me like only a big sister can. ;-)
Thank you Ben and Mandi for becoming more than "just cousins" to me this year. I love you both.
Thank you also to Lilly for being one of Lauren's best friends!
Thank you Steve for the excellent discussions of the truth and our life in it, for the many hours together on our bikes, for your patient and constant work to reunite something which looks permanently broken to so many others.
Thank you Mark for being there whenever anyone needs you, for always trying to be The Blessing that we seek for our brothers and sisters, and for being one of my oldest friends.
Thank you Darren for keeping me sharp, as David says, "like iron sharpeneth iron!" I've learned things from you, too, that I didn't seem to be learning anywhere else.
Thank you Frank and Bonnie for loving Lauren so much, and Frank for our new friendship!
Thank you Jim and Dee for trying to see past (or ignoring) my foibles, for being our friends, and for always reminding us to keep the Kingdom of God at the top of the list and the front of our minds.
Thank you Eric and Bonny for forgiving me for my temper (which got the better of me a couple years ago) and for everything you bring to our ecclesia.
Thank you Rich for the friendship and the work over the years. 7 ½ years!
Thank you Joseph and Andy for the work and the chance to make something(s) fun.
Thank you Corinne for the love and magic you work in the kitchen, and for how much you love to share it with our brothers and sisters (and anyone else who eats real food).
Thank you Robin for coming back into Corinne's life. She's my best friend, and you've made me happy by making her happier than I could do alone.
Thank you to Kim and Dave and Tiff and Joshua and Jed and Sarah and dozens or hundreds of other people, too many to list, who have brought love or peace or adventures or joy or laughter into my life, who have taught me something, or somehow managed to learn something from me.
Thank you, Father, for blessing us all so thoroughly, and for providing each of us as blessings to each other.
(There's a point to this, but you have to read the whole thing to get it!)
I was reading a tech article and actually noticed an ad. (That's almost bizarre enough to merit a mention!) The ad was for Emirates Air. Specifically for, "First class private cabins between JFK and Milan." The ad's photo implied extreme comfort and luxury.
Note that I am NOT in the market for tickets to Milan. Or anywhere else.
Just out of curiosity, I clicked the ad and eventually figured out how to search for the fares for these first class flights.
Now I should point out that Emirates Air actually has a decent reputation, from what I've heard on NPR. They have budget seats.
These aren't them.
The highest and lowest rates are highlighted, both near the middle of the table.
Who would ever, EVER, pay that kind of money for two people to fly anywhere on someone else's plane and schedule?
The high rate is so high that the lowest rate almost seems reasonable until you think about it in the absolute sense.
But, I suppose if you're a billionaire and your private jet is in the shop or you have family going multiple directions, $44,000 (boggle...) is just money.
After all, a man with $1,000,000,000 in the bank looks at $44,000 the same way a man with $10,000 looks at $0.44.
Yeah, that's right. Forty-four cents to the man with ten thousand dollars is forty-four thousand dollars to the man with a billion dollars.
OK, so I went to the extreme by bringing in Billionaires. There are plenty of them around these days (over 1,600), but there are a lot more ten-millionaires (over a million). So how does someone with $10,000,000 in the bank see a $44,000 airfare? The same way a man with $10,000 sees a $44.00 airfare.
This brings me, in my own round about way, to something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately. I often hear people talk about how generous this-or-that rich member of their church or ecclesia has been. It's clear that there is some gratitude there, but also that a bit of pedestal building has happened. That rich person has been elevated in someone's mind because of the generous donations made to the church.
How do those generous donations compare to the person's resources, though? If you had $10,000 in the bank, would you only donate 44 cents to your worthy causes and charities?
I'm trying to make a point without being blunt or sounding accusatory, so let me finish with a quote from a much wiser man than myself:
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
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From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put. - WC