Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday of the Eighth Week

The day begins with the phone ringing obnoxiously just minutes past three a.m. and Melissa gets up saying she won’t fall back to sleep, and I do get more time before bouncing out of bed at 4:05 meaning that I must have hit snooze one and I just don’t remember. Melissa is still getting ready and Isaac is the first one of the kids up and eager to get going because today is the trip to San Diego that we have been talking about all year. Next Maddie, then Emma who is the most excited of all, and then Landen who promptly gets dressed and combs his hair. We’re on track for leaving at 4:45, and after putting the finishing touches on the house, Melissa making the bed and both of us double-checking lights and doors, we load the bags into both rental cars and we’re on the road. The boys ride with me in the red Saturn Ion that I rented in Chicago on Thursday night, and the girls ride with Mom in the white Pontiac Grand Am that we picked up at the South Bend airport yesterday. We thought it would be too early to ask somebody to drive us in our Pilot, and we’re enjoying the drive. In the front seat with me Landen is very talkative for this time of day, and ironically Isaac listens to music before passing out in the back seat. My morning child needs to ramp up with a fair amount of sleep I guess, and Landen the night owl is probably operating just fine without. We listen to various stations on the way and Landen keeps me thinking because he’s very sharp, and the girls, Melissa tells me on the phone, are enjoying country music together.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday of the Seventh Week

I wake up on time and exercise which I’m doing consistently at least five days a week now, thirty minutes each morning, and then a good swim at night, usually three times each week. I should have more to show for it, but this week I’m eating at home, not out, so I probably will. I read the book of Titus and the introduction to Praying Backwards, and watch the final scenes of Kinsey, a troubling but very well-produced story of sex education and science in the 1920’s.

Today is Tuesday of week seven and already I’ve changed offices, changed my methods of tracking projects after I figured out more or less what I was doing, and now I’m already thinking about changing my job. Melissa and I need to talk, and pray.

In the evening I fix a quick frozen dinner, shave, and go for a swim, all much earlier than usual because I’m considering going to a movie, but instead I take my computer to Starbucks and go online to catch up on a few tasks, and Melissa sends me a picture of the wall she’s painting, and then I enjoy a balmy walk back to my apartment. Emma prays with me, telling God so much about her day that she hasn’t told me yet, so I tell her just to talk to God, as if she’s actually talking to me, but she tells me she should be able to talk to God about anything just as if he’s somebody like you or me, and what can I say.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Monday of the Seventh Week

The flight from South Bend to Chicago is routine now, although it’s been about a month since I’ve gone this way. The view gets my attention and I look up for a few moments from my reading and gaze out the nearest window at the faint glow above Lake Michigan and the placid still blueness of the vast body of water below. Today I’m crossing at about six eastern, five central, and daylight hints as we race the sunrise westward. I’m sleepy and had only a few sips of coffee on the quiet drive to the airport with my wife, few words spoken and probably okay considering the mental state I’m in, or lack thereof. It’s a 23 minute flight from takeoff to landing, but seems like the longest 23 minutes ever, and I need caffeine or sleep or a the promise of a day with few demands so I’ll be ready for the rat race once all the folks from California arrive in Texas this week.

The United flight to dfw is quiet and unmemorable, except that I do finish When I don’t desire God by John Piper, my nineteenth Piper book, and a very good one it turns out even though it had been at the bottom of my list.

I arrive at work and on the elevator two ladies are coming inside from their smoke break and one complains how hard it was to get out of bed and come to work today, and I just think how she has no idea what I did to get here, but whatever.

I walk through my office door at 10:31 am, not bad considering the rigmarole of getting to work, and find e-mails already to the effect that something is going wrong with a particular project that was to run smoothly over the weekend, and it turns out that it isn’t as bad as I think, but still it consumes my first few minutes. At the same time, Melissa calls and says she went to the dentist for an emergency root canal, no kidding, and could things get any worse for my wife? I want badly to be there, and it seems everything is caving in for a moment, and what happened to the tranquility of being with friends and family last night and all that was good with the world for a while? She is going to take vicotin and Landen will take care for things for a while. Meantime I’ll check on whether our new health insurance covers an emergency root canal since dental insurance doesn’t kick in until September 1.

It sounds like I am going to have to figure out where I want to be sooner that I thought, meaning not in Fort Worth, so I'll need to either choose a job in Indiana or go back home to California. It’s shaping up to be an interesting day after all.

Just as I’m getting consumed in the flurry, I receive an e-mail from Bryan, the director of All Pro Dad, and he asks if he can re-print my adoption article in September: the one from a couple years ago before we brought Maddie home, and I reply that I’ll need to update it since she’s been home with us for a year an a half, and it reminds me how important that topic is in my life.

By the way, my niece Hannah came to me while I was eating dinner at the grown-up table with everybody last night, and she moved in close to me and asked how long I’m going to work in Texas, and why don’t I just move there, and when I tell her it’s just for a while, she asks, “Why don’t you just be a pastor with my dad?” and I smile and pull her close and hug her without saying a word.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Midwest Sunrise

In only my sixth consecutive week flying to work, I’ve lost interest in looking out the window during liftoff, and normally I choose the aisle, so it’s not the best view anyway. Today, though, as we level off somewhere in the middle of Indiana, heading south toward Cincinnati, a flat red-orange sun hints at sunrise as it emerges behind a totally flat horizon in the east, something I’ve never seen before. Since living in the Midwest I’ve watched the sunrise over houses and trees or behind clouds or other uneven obstructions, but never above a perfectly-cut, linear division between earth and sky without a cloud in sight. At first it only glows, then it takes the shape of a gold coin turned on its side and giving off a brilliant shine, and next it begins taking its recognizable fireball quality, only I can still look directly at it, mesmerized while the magazine I was reading, opened to an article I’ve since forgotten about, lies draped over my right leg. I’m not overcome with an I-love-living-here sensation, rather an I’m-glad-I-experienced-this-while-I’m here sort of snapshot to be locked into my memory.