‘Prayer Request: For Christmas 2017’ (2017)

If all goes well with this post–and it hasn’t so far: not by a long shot!–you’ll be reading it as Patty and I zip down the Garden State Parkway for Christmas dinner at my sister’s house.


We’ll probably be back before dark, because I don’t like to drive on the Parkway at night and the local traffic’s even worse–all the nimrods cruising around with their high-beams on, trying to blind you.

I hope some of you are able to visit here today, and enjoy a carol or two.

The carol which I am attempting to post above is Charles Wesley’s Light of the World, sung by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band. It’s one of my favorite hymns, and I’m bumbling around with it today. Let’s just see if I can get it posted, shall we?

A Bit of Progress

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Under threat of rain, I managed to get outside today and finish writing the first chapter of The Wind from Heaven. Boy, I’ve sure got a lot of characters whose stories I have to pick up where they left off. May my work be fruitful in your service, Lord.

With my car’s brakes finally fixed, I was going to go to Keyport today and get us a nice seafood supper from the Keyport Fishery. But there are thunderstorms in the forecast, and I really don’t want to be on the Parkway in a heavy rain. I know what’ll happen. If I go, it’ll rain. If I don’t, it won’t–and I’ll feel like a right dicky-doo-dah.

You may have noted that I’ve avoided commenting on our nation’s absurd politics lately. You don’t need me for that; everybody else is doing it. The Democrat Party is like a giant bug that clings to our legs, sucks our blood, and trips us. It must be put out of business–forever. Nuff said.

Went for a bike ride, but had to turn back because raindrops kept falling on my head.

Oh, well, I guess I’ll have to put off the Fishery till next week. Better safe than sorry.

P.S.–We have just received our sample ballot for this year’s primary elections. There are no Republicans on the ballot. No one to vote for. *Sigh*

This Blog’s on Fire!

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I wish this heavy rain would let up, so I can walk to the post office and get a mailer for Phoebe’s book (I need the exercise). But meanwhile–

Yesterday, for the first time ever, we had over 400 views on this blog for the third day in a row–never happened before. And it’s off to a good start this morning, too. Thank you, readers! And thank you, Christian bloggers, who don’t mind me reblogging some of your posts. You’re welcome to reblog any of mine.

All this, mind you, with my Facebook referrals stripped away. In January, for instance, I had over 700 of them. Now there aren’t any. That I’m doing very well without any help from Facebook is a source of great satisfaction to me.

I look forward today to spending some hours editing the copy for Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. I was going to go to Keyport in my newly-repaired car to pick up some of the best seafood in America at the Keyport Fishery, but I’d rather not drive on the Parkway when it’s raining.

Ooh-ooh! Is that the sun out there?

Fap! My Brakes are Shot

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It’s not a nice feeling when you need to stop your car and your brake pedal goes all the way down to the floor. I got that feeling today. So my car is in the shop.

Tomorrow I was going to drive down to Keyport on the Garden State Parkway and treat us to some superb sea food from the Keyport Fishery. I try to look on the bright side. If my brakes had waited just another day, and then failed me on the Parkway, it might’ve been adios, muchacho, for me. Thankfully we have a reliable mechanic who’s serviced our cars for forty years. Whatever’s wrong, he’ll fix it.

*Sigh* It was Aunt Joan’s car originally, a 1999 Taurus. She didn’t get much use of it. I’ve tried to take good care of it, but we have no garage, it’s year-round exposure to the elements, and parts wear out.

The last time I had this experience, I owned Uncle Bernie’s car and had driven all the way down the Parkway to see my mother. I didn’t find out I had no brakes until I started back home. Made for an unsatisfactory conclusion to the day.

At least I didn’t get killed.

Back from the Parkway

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This is what your eyes look like, after 100 miles on the Parkway.

It’s 112 miles, round-trip, to and from my sister’s house, most of it on the Garden State Parkway, and although the traffic wasn’t quite as bad as usual, it’s still what I would cal a long drive; and now that I’ve done it, my eyes are all oogy.

I try, I really try, to maintain a safe stopping interval between my car and the car in front of me. I may be the only driver in New Jersey who still tries to do that. A peek into the rear-view mirror tells me that mine is indeed an archaic attitude. I expect to have disturbing dreams tonight. But at least we got to see my brother and sister for a few hours.

I have had my cigar, and now y’know what I need, before I try to take a nap? A cat video! Let’s see if I can find a good one.

OK, I’m Back

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Well, I’m back.

Remember, in Mille Bornes, how you got a Safe Trip Bonus if you made your 1,000 miles without using any “200” cards? I don’t think many of my fellow Parkway drivers were interested in earning that kind of bonus today. A lot of them drive like they’d been shot from guns.

So I thank you for your prayers, I thank the Lord for getting us there and back in one piece, and now I think I would like a nice cigar…

Where I’ll Be Today

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It’s Christmas Day, so that means Patty and I have to risk the perils of the Parkway to go to Tom’s River, at the other end of the state, to have Christmas dinner with my sister and my brother.

From the moment you get off the ramp for Ben-Hur’s chariot race across the Raritan River, driving on the Garden State Parkway is a thrill a minute. Unless it’s jammed. Then you just sit there.

Your fellow Parkway drivers will defy you to leave ample stopping space between your front bumper and the tailpipe of the car in front of you. And boy, if it snows! Then you’ll see cars strewn all around like Tinker toys, because nobody in New Jersey ever slows down for any kind of weather. Happily, the sun is out today.

I shall return to this blog later in the afternoon, presuming we return from Toms River in one piece. We dassn’t try to drive home after sundown: you could go blind from everybody’s overactive headlights. People in New Jersey have a compulsion to drive with their brights on all the time.

If you think of it, please pray for our safety today.

I’m Back (in One Piece)

It’s hard to find a photo that truly captures the Ben-Hur aspect of driving on the Garden State Parkway.

Okay, we made it back and forth to my sister’s house, 110 miles on the Garden State Parkway, without getting killed or injured.

Next hurdle: tomorrow morning, installing my aunt in the nursing home. We have grounds for hoping it might not be as bad as we feared–might even turn out to be good for her.

And so sometime early Friday afternoon, things will be back to normal around here, or as near to normal as they get.

I think maybe Joe Collidge will want to check in tomorrow to tell you about his interllectural Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Hymn, ‘We Gather Together’

This old Dutch hymn, which has become traditionally associated with our Thanksgiving holiday, was first sung in 1597, giving thanks to God for victory in a battle for religious freedom. We may someday use it again for that purpose.

Well, Patty and I now have to head down the Garden State Parkway for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house. Pray for us to come back alive! Affectionately nicknamed the Road of Death, the Parkway is incessantly under construction and relies on high-speed traffic and heart-stoppingly narrow lanes…

Gotta stop now, I seem to be hyperventilating.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.