A friend asked “How are you?” and wanted an answer beyond the superficial. After writing my answer, it struck me that this little slice of our history is typical of mortality—filled with challenges AND happy purpose.
How was my day? What a great question! Last night we hosted a party at our house for Nancy’s RS presidency and their families. We pretty much got our place in order (We’re somewhat laid back–we never dust and fret.) and I put the burgers on the grill and they locked in the heat and started a gigantic grease fire in our grill and I singed all the hair on my arms trying to put out the fire (no big deal–I never use that hair anyway) by squirting water into the grill and turned a lot of stuff black and ended up with burgers that were cooked just right on the top half and were pure charcoal on the bottom half (a couple of the teens begged to take home the remains!) and people arrived and I sent Peter Stuckey to the store for more burger and lots of people said they loved burned burgers (Makes me laugh! Charity never faileth!!) and the kids played with our pet baby squirrel (from tree cut down in daughter’s yard last Saturday) and I bustled about building a fire for S’mores (behind our house there are woods) and getting chocolate and other essentials to the appropriate places and worrying just a little about the kids on our zipline–but being glad that they were having fun (You should have seen little Lyric laugh!) and we shot our potato gun (but didn’t have any spuds so we shot apples into the woods) and coached the kids as they played with Squirt who preferred to ride around in my pants pocket, and, enjoying one of the second round of burgers that I thought was perfect but my judgment may have been influenced by the long wait for it and, by the time they all left, and the chairs were back in the house and the big table (that I am refinishing) was back in the garage, my (chronic degenerative) back was collapsing–threatening to put me into several days of bedrest since I am already at maximum dosage of anti-inflammatories so I asked Nancy if we could wash dishes in the morning (Not my usual press-forward-at-all-costs way) and we watched an episode of Lie to Me which was interrupted by some problem with our wireless router (which I tried to diagnose for half an hour (I was unusually patient for being Wally) so we hunched over the computer to watch the last of the show and collapsed into bed and woke to hug Nancy this morning for a good 45 minutes–one of my favorite things in the universe–and wash dishes and sign tax forms and dash to work with my back doing a little better but my knee complaining (too much jogging!) and wondering how to be healthy if I can’t run and facing a performance appraisal in an hour with a boss who likes to motivate through negativity and never grants any positives but who will probably give me about a 94% rating anyway and I’ll try to look past her negativity and remember that yesterday I got to buy three dozen luxury cupcakes for co-workers to celebrate junior colleagues promotion (and I personally ate a carrot cake one–yummy!—and took one home to Nancy) and I am blessed to do work I love that lets me learn, share, and create while being paid tolerably–a luxury that only a handful of people in the tortured history of this world have enjoyed and I got to read an inspiring talk by a sweet friend and remember how amazing the gospel is–that I can be a mess–full of selfishness and complaint–and God just keeps blessing me, loving me, and inviting me to the heavenly embrace–teaching me all the while.
How could life be any better???