I spent a recent lunch hour scouring the shelves of a local discount store with murder on my mind.
Our Boo Boo kitty has apparently rented out space to a local family of fleas and they are prolific reproducers. He's miserable, and so am I. He is frequently stopped in his tracks to do battle against their feasting and I am afflicted with itchy ankles. Apparently, Danny has a natural immunity.
Once I selected the most potent weapons available, I went directly home and spent the rest of my lunch applying the noxious poisons in the recommended manner. I hope they are as effective as the labels promise.
What possible purpose can fleas have in the grand scheme of things? For that matter, what possible purpose do mosquitoes have? (They were the first "biters" I blamed when my ankles started itching. No apology for the misidentification will be forthcoming. What with West Nile virus and that annoying whine mosquitoes emit, they'll not get any good press here.)
Irritants. They're all around us and sometimes threaten to overwhelm us. Between the House, the Senate and the Executive Branch, I've had my fill of budget talk. If they are serious about reducing the deficit and balancing the budget, I'd be happy to open our household books and show them how it's done. (I'm afraid mac and cheese is so rarely served in their world, however, that it would be welcomed as a delicacy and they'd miss the point. Again.) Be that as it may, I'm sure I could easily survive in their world - I don't think they'd last a week in mine.
The latest scandal, involving News Corp, is just sad and reflects poorly on every member of the Fourth Estate. I'm not sure which came first, the population's hunger for scandal or the tabloid press, but fortunes have certainly been made, apparently at the expense of common decency. Don Henley had it right with his hit single "Dirty Laundry" released in 1982. (If I had known the need for dirty laundry was so great, I'd have offered unfettered access to my laundry room in the basement years ago.)
Each trip to the local grocer inspires another irritant as prices continue to rise. I'm not irritated with the grocer or even the free market system that drives prices. Those same irritants mentioned in the budget paragraph come into play again. Inflation is just one more symptom of a broken system they either can't or won't fix.
I'm going to give the irritants the week off, starting Monday. I'm checking out. It's time for our Colorado granddaughters to come and spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa. Television news? Banned. Newspapers? They'll just have to go to press without me. (I'm not giving up on radio just yet. In fact, the girls will get a field trip next Wednesday to see a radio show under production. Bet they don't get to do that in the big city.)
Not only that, they'll be here for fair week in Red Willow County and we're going to show our city girls how country gets it done. They're even going to help get cows ready for the beef show and help groom pigs. We'll take in the rodeo and walk the Midway after sunset. I'll bet I can talk them into trying funnel cake and kettle corn, too.
Apart from that, we'll pick up where we left off last year. We won't set an alarm clock, nor etch a schedule in stone. We'll let our conversations wind down lazy lanes. I'll answer every question with gentle honesty and for one sweet, sweet week, I will rest in the wonder of their innocence and do all I can to protect it.
It's good to step back every once in a while. Take stock. Reflect on what has come before and what lies ahead. In today's fast paced, get it done yesterday world, taking a bona fide vacation, even a "staycation," is hard to do. I'd be happy to give lessons, anytime after Aug. 1.
"...from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children --" Psalm 103:17 (NIV)
I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. Let's walk together for awhile and discover Him; together.