Eaten any good books lately?

Bam! Cuteness. Don’t you love how I put a picture of my adorable little girl right up front so as to influence your perception of this post?

Ok, that wasn’t really my intention, but it works (maybe).

My little one seems to have a fondness for books already, and I couldn’t be more proud. Her favorite thing to do is to get into her closet and throw out all of her board books. Then, she’ll splay them out all over her bedroom floor, and give each one a little nibble.

Mmm…Bookie Monster.

I hope that this enthusiasm for the printed word sticks with her. My dream is that one day, she’ll be “hungover” from an all-nighter with her favorite piece of fiction, unable to tear herself away from the pages.

I was lucky enough to grow up with an English-teacher mother, and bookaholic father. Books were tucked away in every nook and cranny of our house. I can’t remember a time when most conversations with my father didn’t start with, “what are you reading now?”

He got me hooked on James Lee Burke and Martin Cruz Smith, fictional mystery series that took me away to vodka-soaked, post-Chernobyl Russia and corrupt-yet-lovable New Iberia Parish, Louisiana. Dave Robicheaux and Arkady Renko seem like crazy uncles who took me in and showed me the ropes of “reluctant good-guy” crime fighting.

If there’s one trait I hope my daughter inherits from her momma’s side, it’s the desire to devour one tasty book after another.

I’m askeered

I have a confession to make. I am terrified of flying. I love to travel, I love airports, I even love rolling my suitcase around like I’m somewhat important.

I just hate the actual flying part. Takeoff is probably the worst, but then there’s that moment mid-flight when you’ve finally calmed down and you realize, “Crap!,” I’m suspended thousands of feet above the ground with no way out. Maybe that’s what I don’t like, the lack of control.

I have a trip to Chicago on Tuesday, and while I’m excited to go where “nobody knows my name,” my stomach has been turning in knots ever since I booked our trip on Expedia.

So, any suggestions for making the skies a little friendlier?

Tolerance is not enough

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “anti-tolerance.” I just think it’s time we move beyond it. We teach and preach tolerance, when really, we need to extend ourselves to love

The Googleictionary has three definitions for tolerance:
1. Tolerance is the quality of allowing other people to say and do as they like, even if you do not agree or approve of it
.
2.
Tolerance is the ability to bear something painful or unpleasant.
3.
If someone or something has a tolerance to a substance, they are exposed to it so often that it does not have very much effect on them.

Does that really sound like the way we want to live? I understand they underlying premise, that we need to better understand our fellow man/woman and not allow room for hatred, bigotry or prejudice. There have been a lot of good things come out of the “tolerance movement,” but I feel that one of the negative side effects has been a dampening of personal convictions and passions. Many people feel so afraid of saying something politically incorrect, that they say nothing at all. I’m not sure which is worse.

Tolerance is better than hatred, but love is by far better than tolerance.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37 (New International Version)

  25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 26“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
 27He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
 28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
 30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
 36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
 37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
      Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

A great man

A good man does the dishes
A great man does them without being asked

A good man tells you he loves you
A great man shows you he loves you

A good man changes the baby’s diaper
A great man sings to her and makes her laugh while doing it

A good man asks you to dance at a wedding
A great man twirls you around the kitchen when there’s no music playing

Thank God I’ve found a great man.

There’s no place like home

“Look what y’all are missing,” said the e-mail from my sister yesterday. Attached were six or seven pictures of the bluebonnets in bloom in Texas, and I’ll admit, they were very beautiful. She said this jokingly, I assume, because she lived in Arlington, TX for several years after she was first married, and my husband and I moved to Salado, TX three weeks after we tied the knot. Our stay was short-lived, but I’m glad we went.

I miss my husband’s family in the Austin area, and we miss the easily-found live country music halls, but other than that, there’s no place I would rather call home than Kansas. I find the flatness truly calming, and the sunsets cannot be beat. Although I’m terrified of tornadoes, and dream of dying in one nearly every night (what does that symbolize?) I have to admit I like the thrill of storm season.

So you can have your oceans, your mountains, your bluebonnets. I’ll keep my glorious wheat fields and genuine people smack dab in the middle of it all, and be perfectly discontent.