Sunday, November 20, 2016

November 20: Shoveling, Newt Scamander, Classic Saint Marty

Heard the snowplows go by my house at around 5:30 a.m.  About 15 minutes later, I was outside with a shovel, cleaning up my driveway and front yard.  It took me over an hour.  By the time I was done, I was soaked in sweat and ready to go back to bed.

But I didn't.  I took a shower and got ready for church.  A whole morning of practicing with my praise band and then the chancel choir.  An hour of worship.  Then I went home, got changed, and drove over to my dad's house to shovel his driveway.  I have to say that I'm already tired of winter, and it's only the first snowstorm of the season.  It's going to be a long six or seven months.  (For those of my disciples not from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I am NOT exaggerating.) 

The afternoon got a lot better, though.  I went to see a movie with my kids--Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  That's right, Newt Scamander and a big bucket of popcorn did a lot to change my mood.  I will not say that it was my favorite film from the Harry Potter universe, but it was a really good way to change my rather cold and icy mood.  My teenage daughter even laughed and smiled.

Today's episode of Classic Saint Marty first aired four years ago, when my little girl was on the brink of teenagehood.  All I can say is that some things change and some things are pretty constant.

November 20, 2012:  What Did I Do?

I am tired of being the father of an almost-teenage girl tonight.  When I picked my daughter up from my parents' house this evening, she came unglued on me.  She was mad that I had showed up to bring her home.  When we got home, she came unglued on me again, this time because she had lost a notebook she needed for school.  Then, after she had calmed down, she came unglued once more because she left another school book at my parents' house.

Currently, we are sitting in silence in the living room.  We are at a stalemate.  She doesn't want to talk to me, and I don't want to be screamed at anymore.  Perhaps things will get better when we're both asleep.

I don't like fighting with my daughter.  Actually, I'm not fighting with her.  I have spoken a total of three or four times to her.  I have said "Let's get going, sweetie" and "Do you have any homework tonight?" and "What are you looking for?" and "Did you leave it at school?"  I think that's about it.  In return, I have gotten door slamming, screaming, tears, and glares.  It's like living with a skunk.  I walk around, trying not to startle her in order to avoid a big stink.

I miss the little girl who would sit in my lap while I read Charlotte's Web to her.  I have a friend who recently went on a trip to Pennsylvania.  When I asked my friend how her trip was, she said, "If I had to do it over, I would raise my kids Amish.  They're up at dawn, in the barns and fields.  They work all day and are too tired at night to cause any problems."  My friend has three daughters.  All three of them had babies when they were teenagers.

Maybe my friend is on to something.  Maybe the Amish are on to something.  No zippers.  Long, black dresses.  Church.  Barn raisings.  Arranged marriages.  Horses and carriages.

The only problem is that Saint Marty doesn't look good in a beard.

This would not be a good look for me

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