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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rainy Days and Tuesdays

It has rained so hard, and the wind gusts have been so strong for the past almost 20 hours or so, that not only was the World Series game canceled last night, but many area schools in the Poconos were closed this morning.

I just got a call from home. Ms. "I-Love-Bad-Weather" Conroy reports that it's snowing in Chatham. Says they've already gotten two inches. Parts of Rt. 80 West and East are absolutely closed, along with parts of Rt. 17 and 10. Tractor-trailer trucks have been slip-sliding away on the mix of snow/slush/sleet/rain that is part of the reality in the Northeast Corridor of God's Realm.

You should know that Ms. Conroy reports this with no small amount of glee. Not that some of the major and minor commuter routs are closed and people are inconvenienced. She suffers fools even less gladly than I, but she is a kind and deeply compassionate person. Indeed, I've often said I want to be more like Ms. Conroy when I grow up.

God knows, she's no 'drama queen' - solid as a rock, is she - but when it comes to The Weather, the poor child just can't help herself.

Besides, she never drinks milk or eats bread, and as for toilet paper, well, that's why she'll never tear an old month off the calendar. You just never know when there'll be a snow emergency.

I just think it's that she loves it when something Greater than our imagined Great Selves and Super-sized Egos has the upper hand, even in the most mundane of human activities, like trying to get from Somewhere to Somewhere Else.

I'm quite certain that the local supermarkets in Chatham are out of toilet paper, bread and milk as well as ice melt and shovels.

I don't know why that is, but you can 'take it to the bank' (Remember when THAT meant something?) that people in Northern New Jersey will absolutely, positively, have to have toilet paper, bread and milk, along with ice melt and snow shovels.

Tonight. Risking life and limb in the traffic for the 'essential' of life. That's just the way it is in my little town.

As for this part of God's Realm, tucked into one of the beautiful folds of one of the deep wrinkles in the chain of the Pocono Mountains, well, it has been blustery and wet, but there's no snow on the ground. At one point this afternoon, there were big, fat white flakes in the air, but so were there orange and read and brown leaves, swirling around in the mix.

Seems odd, doesn't it? That up here in the mountains there's no snow, but back home the beautifully manicured lawns of "Mayberry USA" are white.

Yet one more piece of prima facia evidence that God has a sense of humor.

I had a lovely full body massage today - "The Eagle's Glory", it was called - which included being massaged with warmed golf balls.

I know.

The only thing less expensive on the Spa Menu was the 60 minute Swedish massage and I simply can not abide that kind of deep-tissue work. Never could. Even less so, now.

I was considering the "Here Comes the Bride" Massage Package which included a French Clay Body Mask and Hydrotherapy, but you know, at some point, it all gets a little silly. Ultimately (and, thanks be to the Blessed Mother of Sweet Baby Jesus) pragmatics - if not finances - kicks in.

Besides, I really didn't want to show up for dinner tonight with "that radiant glow that lets everyone know you are loved."

Right. I am and have been for the past 32 years. I don't need to broadcast it.

I must say that this Clergy Retreat is much, much better than ones I've "experienced" (read: "suffered through") in the past. The speaker did not set any fires, but neither did he put anyone asleep. It was good. Solid. Not exactly compelling, but neither was it completely boring. Occasionally, it was even entertaining.

Methodist. They are some of the nicest people in the whole of Western Christendom. Sincere. Earnest. Clean. Polite. It's like there's an unwritten Methodist doctrine of "Salvation by sweet sentimentality."

It's all quite endearing, but after a while, I get to worrying about them, you know? Like, what might they consider Really Bad Behavior? What do they do to 'really cut loose'? And, might they ever wear a pair of shoes that aren't sensible but take a real 'fashion risk'?

Nah! That would be Pope Benni-Ha-Ha of the Red Leather Designer Shoes.

Okay, okay. Don't send letters. I know when I've crossed the line.

There's something about the Cold, Rainy Weather that brings out a different side of our human nature. I think we're kinder and gentler with each other. Our conversations tend to linger a little longer before we head out the door and into the rain. We hold doors open for each other. We smile warmly at each other. The sound of our laughter is more authentic, less forced and frenetic. Our conversational "body language" is more relaxed, more open.

Why, it's actually quite agreeable. A complete opposite to the foul weather outdoors.

Then again, it could just be the leadership. No, I haven't been drinking the episcopal kool aid. I just happen to think that we've elected us a first-rate bishop. Not without his faults, God knows he's human, and still on a learning curve, but he is, as they say downstairs at the bar, top-shelf stuff.

Was it The Carpenter's who sang, "Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down?"

Someone needs to write a song about "Rainy Days and Tuesdays."

I suspect it would soon become the anthem at most Annual Newark Clergy Retreats.


VTcrone said...

I'm listening to my Pandora radio stations as I read your blog and I had just gotten to part about the Carpenter's song ("Rainy days and Mondays...) when out of the speakers came Karen Carpenter's beautiful voice. Wait, no not "Rainy days" rather "Superstar," which is another of my favorites.

It's been raining heavily up here all afternoon in the Green Mountains of VT, and now it's snowing big fat, wet flakes. However, folks up here don't panic and go on "snowflake watch" the way the folks in NJ do.

JimMollo said...

I was in Newark all day - nothing but rain. A couple people out west Jersey got 8 inches of snow. Really? Doubting Thomas am I.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Ms. Conroy's favorite joke (Hand to God):

What does having sex with a man and a winter snow storm have in common?

You never know how long it's going to last or how many inches you're going to get.

Ba . .. dum . . pum . . .

Mary Sue said...

The Methodist Salvation Plan also includes cookies and casseroles decorated with Fritos and decaf coffee sipped out of 100 year old china.

That's the real reason I jumped the Methodist ship for the Episcopal Church, you know. Caffinated coffee after church, yo. It's God's will.

(P.S. The reason adult Methodists are such good, clean, sweet people is they got it all out in Methodist Youth Fellowship. I still remember that MYF snow trip where we stole beer from a convenience store.)