May 14, 2010

Pit Stop…

Category: News — Ira @ 5:52 pm


….a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion:
for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

–Ecclesiastes 3:22

All right. Time for a little break. And a brief update.

It’s been an intense five weeks or so, since the last post. Yeah, yeah, I know. I intended to post here at least once a month, but it just didn’t happen. It’s not that I want to ignore the blog. But for the first time in three-plus years, there’s something vastly more important, writing-wise, that demands pretty much all my attention.

And you few (you know who you are) who kept harassing me with whiny emails, well, here’s a new post. Peace, I say, peace.

The week after returning from the Tyndale trip, I left again for a few days. This time to Mays Lick, KY, for my niece Laura May Wagler’s wedding to Joshua Mast on Friday, April 16th. Big Blue and I headed out late Wednesday afternoon, on leisurely road trip. Stopped at the Holiday Inn in Cumberland, MD for the night. Cumberland is a fascinating old town nestled among the steep hills. Very unique architecture, tall steeples on old churches. And the trains hiss and clack and run all night, right past the Holiday Inn.

I pulled into Mays Lick late Thursday afternoon, to all the bustle and stir associated with an Amish wedding. Guests arriving from all over. Including my parents, who technically live in Mays Lick, but had been staying in Aylmer with my oldest sister Rosemary for a few months. They arrived about the same time I did, around 3:30. Dad was all in a dither because he still had to finish his tax forms and get them mailed off before 5 PM that day, April 15th. Somehow, don’t ask me how, he got it done.

Mom looked thin and impossibly frail. My sisters led her around like a child. She smiled and smiled and claimed to know me. But she did not speak my name. And I didn’t push it. She seems to be in a peaceful place, perhaps the most peaceful since her childhood.

Then hanging around all evening with a lot of people from a lot of places. A great crowd of Waglers had assembled from various points. The Amish and the non-Amish. It was all good. A loud time was had by all.

On the day of the wedding, I heard my brother Joseph preach again. And my Dad led a song in church. One of these times will be the last for Dad. The local Bishop performed the marriage ceremony, after a rather detailed journey through the Apocryphal story of Blind Tobit and the hair-raising adventures of his son, Tobit, Jr. Who traveled through dangerous territory to court and marry an even more dangerous woman whose seven previous husbands had all been murdered on their wedding night by evil demons. I had not heard the story for many years.

In some Amish communities, they honor Tobit by painstakingly expounding on the minutest details; in some they briefly skim through the tale. And in others, they pretty much ignore it altogether. It was interesting to hear again, but in my opinion the good Bishop perhaps over expounded just a smidgen. At least for my taste. But then, no one asked for my opinion.

After all these years, I’ve finally analyzed why I have so little patience with the Tobit story at Amish weddings. It’s because that story winds up the sermon. Once it’s told, the couple is promptly married and the service is soon over. So by the time the Bishop gets around to starting it, everyone’s already been sitting for quite some time, usually two-plus hours. When the Tobit story starts, the end is in sight, and everyone stirs restlessly.

Don’t know why I’m grumbling about Tobit. The wedding was very enjoyable, from start to finish. Lots of people. Great food. Great weather.

On the day after the wedding, Saturday, a group of us drove up to the Cincinnati area and toured the Creation Museum. It was interesting, very detailed. Overall, though, mildly disappointing. Really nothing new that I hadn’t seen or heard before. It was OK once, but I wouldn’t spend the money to go through again.

And since returning from that little trip, I haven’t relaxed much. Working ten-hour days at my job, then two to three more hours every night on the computer. And emailing my editor now and then. The book’s first three chapters are in the final stages of rewriting. They are due next week. I’ll be at the computer all weekend.

Other than that, there’s not a whole lot to say about the book. Other than it’s stressful. More so than any term paper I’ve ever done in college and more than any brief ever submitted in law school. Or oral argument, for that matter. All kinds of thoughts jumble through my head. What if it’s not what they want? What if…..? Aaarrgggh..

But that’s the reason I’m turning in short segments, especially at the beginning. If I’m on the wrong track, there’s time for corrections.

A few thoughts on the passing scenes.

The little group of “dangerous” militia guys I mentioned in my last post still languish in prison. Last week a federal judge, to her credit, ordered them immediately released on bail. The thuggish Feds appealed that order to a three judge panel. So they sit, the eight misfits, rotting away, all because of words they spoke. I’ll be surprised if they ever again see any sort of freedom.

And then of course, there’s the BP oil rig that “accidentally” exploded three weeks ago. Oil has been spewing into the ocean ever since. An environmental nightmare. Right on cue for the wacko extremists to scream for a permanent ban on all offshore drilling forever. Meanwhile, a lot of other two-bit countries keep sinking wells and extracting oil at a feverish pace.

It’s all a bit too convenient, if you ask me. The accident. Better chance than not, the BP rig was sabotaged. Few things are as they seem, or as authorities claim. Neither is this, in my opinion.

Who was it? It’s anyone’s guess. Could have been “black ops” forces. Or wacko environmentalists. Maybe North Korea sent over its entire fleet, consisting of one outdated, clanking sub, and blew it up. I don’t know. But the results sure fit the political agenda of a lot of powerful people. Maybe I’m paranoid, but it just seems way too convenient. Way too convenient.

The Feds have done at least one thing right lately. They’ve honored the Simpsons with their own stamps. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie all on one sheet. Couldn’t believe it the other day when I saw them at the Post Office. I immediately bought a sheet. Won’t use them, though. I’ll store them away in my desk. Some day they’ll be worth something.

I’ve got one major break planned this summer. On the first weekend in June, I will join last year’s group and camp inside the oval at the Pocono 500 for three days. Hopefully we’re a bit more seasoned this year, and won’t have any fires inside or outside the motor home. And hopefully our neighbors will rest easier this year. I’m sure looking forward to the trip. Slurp, slurp. I will be taking my laptop, however, and try to get some writing and editing done.

Congratulations to Mervin (my nephew) and Marlene Wagler, of Worthington, IN, on the birth of their first child. A daughter, Hosanna, born on May 4th.