March 2015: Fussing Feathers, Legos, and Sausages

When I was young(er) and people asked me “What are you gonna be when you grow up?”, I usually didn’t have a definite answer. I still don’t, but “Professional Poultry Butcher” definitely wouldn’t have been on the list. Now, however, I’m rethinking my career choices.

See, our neighbors keep turkeys as pets, and when the females get injured by violent male attention, or eggs get eaten by violently protective females, our neighbor asks me if I want a turkey. I could never say no to free meat, so I accept their offer. The first time I did, I had never dressed a turkey before. I had eaten turkey, and taken all the cuts of meat off of a cooked turkey at meals many times, so I thought ‘how hard could it be?’

Heh, heh. Well, it’s not a piece of cake. But I have had some experience dissecting, so it wasn’t confusing. The hard part was separating the cuts of meat and cleaning up after. My lovely wife helped me sanitize the buckets, knife, table, my boots, pants, gloves, and shirt. Mm-mm: bleach. We weighed the bird, and sans feathers, feet, head, innards, and skin, we froze 36.8lbs of meat and bone. Way cool, man; way cool. God totally provides, dude. Gnarly.

Incongruous? Bizarre? Unexpected? That event probably would have been to most of you. It seemed almost natural to me. My history, my aptitude, and my situation made it so, and God made them what they are. God plans this stuff. He planned it all eons ago, just like tomorrow for me, for you. That’s worth thinking about.

We spent the first Monday of Spring Break on the road, and it was all of the best of a road trip. Everyone was happy, no lost tempers, no discipline issues, didn’t get lost, found some cool places to stop along Route 66, and listened to Shakespearean Star Wars! I highly recommendeth it, prithee. We visited the LEGO store in a mall in OKC, and I have to say, that was worth the trip for us. I do have some questions about what I saw in the mall, however. First, Victoria doesn’t keep anything secret, except the truth that God made marriage to be more satisfying than any picture. Second, seeing two burly, hairy men working the skin-care products store was a little strange. Third, the chocolate store with all white tile must want all the melted chocolate finger smudges to show; perhaps it’s enticing. Nah.

The rest of Spring Break involved a lot of dust, insect parts, dried mud, and moving tubs and boxes around. That’s right – I reorganized the basement/garage. The next big project is putting in a new door to the outside world, and involves masonry, hammer drills, and increased head clearance, hallelujah. When I first mounted a door on the existing wood frame to close up the gaping hole in the basement, my friend Daniel came over to help. He brought all his tools, and I brought all the wood, and after hours of cutting, arguing, measuring, calculating, and then doing it all again, we had a decent door, and still had our friendship. All this was great, but I kept bumping my head on the cross-beam, so I wanted to remove it and make the door taller. He couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. His head fit just fine with inches to spare. I couldn’t make him see it my way, but this time, I’m doing all the work…I think. The door will be taller, or heads will…get bumped, again.

Tonight, we played outside with our kids. They never cease to make me laugh and shake my head in wonder. My son took off his plaid pajama pants (in full view of the neighbors, who wouldn’t care) and put both legs back through one pant leg of his trousers. He then had me put a toy football into the other pant leg and tie it so the ball couldn’t escape. Last, he pulled up the one pant leg he was wearing and began running around the yard, which caused the ball in his other pant leg to thump him continuously on the rump, and other places. There you have it: the self-spanking wee Scottish sausage boy. I bet we could sell action figures, don’t you?

We all laughed so hard, none harder than my son who had done the inconceivable. After a few children, I stopped trying to explain everything they did. It makes life more fun if you leave room for mystery, spontaneity, and randomness, and stop trying to control it all. It’s more fun for you and for your kids, and for all those who are around you and your kids. Well, almost everyone; those people who are still trying to control it all won’t be at ease, but maybe your peace will puzzle them. Maybe enjoying your kids will remind someone that some kids can be enjoyed, and that it’s possible to train them to be that way most of the time. Maybe your kids, enjoyed by you, will wake up someone to the reality of God’s love, peace, and purpose for family. It’s hard to argue with someone’s life.

Especially if they’re a self-spanking wee Scottish sausage boy.

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