||Giggles & Games
(Go To Go To Games)
Love—People, Oppossums, and God
Aha! Ze See-zawn uv Luuuv! (That's French. Texan style.) When our hearts take off faster than the Space Shuttle the moment we see our loved one enter the room. Hormones flame brighter than the noonday sun. Passions run rampant. We quiver and quake and otherwise act completely moronic.
The price of roses hits the ceiling. They're the same growers' breed of red roses the flower shops have been selling since last November four years ago. But suddenly a dozen ruby-colored blooms cost your first child's college education. Red foil-decorated greeting cards speak of endless love, burning romance and eternal devotion. Good thing since most guys can't seem to form a complete sentence when the word L-O-V-E is involved. You can't go into a grocery store without seeing hundreds of ribbon-wrapped heart boxes bursting with "fancy" chocolates.
Which I cannot for the life of me understand. In our society we revere the emaciated model. "Can't be too rich or too thin," a popular commercial used to say. Yet guys are told to give their women chocolate. What does chocolate do? Makes us fat. Yes, it does. Who can stop at one piece of chocolate? Especially when there are so many flavors? Luckily liners of boxes have diagrams telling which chocolate is what type. Remember in the Good Old Days there wasn't a roadmap of chocolate? You always knew when you opened a box which pieces didn't have the best taste. There were teeth marks. And the fingerprints of those prying the "delicious" morsels open to see what was inside. Those mangled chunks were usually thrown out sometime around June.
I spoke too soon last month. Pride goes before a fall. Or in my case: Open mouth, Exchange feet. Zero Dark Thirty. Morgan going berserk. Half the neighborhood is awake, I'm sure. Out I go with flashlight in hand to the back yard. Morgan greets me by shoving her cold nose where cold noses should never go. Proceeds to herd me in the correct direction by poking me with her cold nose in the other place cold noses should never go. You wouldn't think an eight year old Rottweiler could move so quickly, but she manages to dodge my hand every time I swat at her.
I shine the light at the farthest back corner of the yard. Off Morgan goes faster than a speeding Toyota down I-10. There is the mountain lion-sized opossum. Backed into said corner. It is NOT a Happy Camper. It lunges at the dancing and prancing Morgan, hissing and spitting. I was certain Morgan would get bit. I had to chain her to the tree so the opossum could waddle on its merry way to wherever it goes. Morgan stood at the end of the lead, focused like a laser beam on that mini-puma, body vibrating with excitement. Here, little opossum, opossum, opossum, I heard her call. Who's ya mama? "I'm your mother, you canine twit," I informed Morgan in no uncertain terms. "Leave it!" Which means: Don't touch it. Don't look at it. Don't breathe its air.
Father, what is it with opossums and my dog? I prayed while tiptoeing through cold, damp grass. Is she an opossum magnet? Is there such a thing? Why have You deemed it necessary for my dog to be infected with this magnetic personality? Why can't that Toy Poodle down the block have Opossum Magnetism? Nobody notices when it barks its fool head off. People half a mile away hear Morgan. Why can't—Oh. Ew. What did I just step in?—they come out in the middle of the day when most people are gone to work? You know I'm going to have to tattoo this question to the inside of my eyelid. Stephen Hawking doesn't know the answer to this one.
The opossum visits have continued. Once with a smaller opossum trapped beneath the large kennel that sits atop a wooden pallet. Zero Dark Thirty. Morgan going berserk. Half the neighborhood is awake, I'm sure. This time I had to chain Morgan to the fence around the side of the house so she couldn't see the little furball waddling its way home.
Another time there were two—count 'em: TWO!—of the blasted things perched atop the telephone wires stretched along the back yard. I caught them just as they exchanged a High Five. They were laughing. I'm positive they were having a conversation. I bet it went along these lines:
"Dude. Wha'sssuup, dude?"
"The dog, dude. Like, hilarious, you know what I'm sayin', dude?"
"Totally, dude. Hang your tail down a little...wag it some."
(Morgan going berserk.)
Hysterical opossum laughter. "Dude, the dog."
"Totally, dude. Your turn. Hang a leg down too."
(Morgan going berserk.)
Hysterical opossum laughter. High five. "Dumb dog, dude."
Not sure why we call them "dumb animals." The original meaning wasn't dumb as in "stupid, ignorant." It was dumb as in "mute." Couldn't speak. Let me tell you in no way, shape, or form is Morgan mute. Ask the people three blocks over. They can tell you. Humans have come to interpret the word as "stupid, ignorant." Animals aren't that, either. In fact, Morgan is significantly more intelligent than some people I've met. She can't help it if she has Opossum Magnetism in her DNA (Doggynucleic acid).
I've suddenly—right this very second!—come to the conclusion those nasty varmints have Facebook. Yes, they do. They locate a dog they can tease, they send out Facebook updates. Every opossum within waddling distance arrives to have their turns at whipping said dog into a frenzy. At Zero Dark Thirty. (It's an Opossum Flash Mob!) So maybe it isn't Morgan's fault. Maybe it's those opossums' faults. Never mind, Stephen Hawking. I figured it out all by myself. But I'm still going to have questions tattooed to the insides of my eyelids.
I was sending my BFF Ann (I'm writing this in December) yet another Christmas card—they're like the aforementioned chocolate, can't have just eleven—when I saw a simple one. It was INTERACTIVE! so I had to watch it. It talked about Who Jesus (Yeshua, His Jewish name) is: the Christ, Teacher, Redeemer, Messiah, Savior, Lamb of God, Counselor, and so many others. I sent it to Ann. Inside I wrote,
We are nothing without ADONAI—come to earth as His holy Son, Yeshua.
Even when things are darkest and we cannot see Him, He is there.
He holds us close despite our struggling against Him, for He knows in our pain we cannot easily accept His comfort.
Made myself cry. I'm forced to admit this: I am one of the guiltiest of making an utter mess of my life then running to ADONAI for Him to fix it. I don't know how it happens most of the time. I honestly don't.
I read my Bible. Make notes in the margins. Use special underliner pens so the colors don't bleed through to the other side. I pray asking for God's guidance. I even try to listen for His answer. It's just that He takes so long. I only have so much time in the morning. He's God, for cryin' out loud. You'd think He could zip out a brilliant, profound answer during the few minutes it takes to eat a peanut butter sandwich and drink a Diet RC cola. I attempt to follow His will. Even though I don't still have one, I remember the WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets of a couple decades ago. I approach each situation thinking, WWJD? It should work, don't you think?
Yet I discover myself tangled in knots from which Houdini couldn't escape. GPS can't find a rerouting direction out of the predicaments into which I get myself. WhatTheHeck? I think. It can't be that difficult. Turn left in one hundred feet. Turn left in one hundred feet. Turn left in one hundred feet. Turn left in one hundred feet. I'm right back where I started. Just call me Jeff-Dale the NASCAR driver. They only go one direction usually, passing themselves at about the 175th lap.
Perhaps it's those tempting apples I don't recognize that get me off the Right Path. (I still blame Adam. What kind of wimpy husband permits his wife to roam willy-nilly through the Garden of Eden without watching for snakes? But does Adam take the blame? Heck, no! He passes it off on Eve. Dude, you're lame. Just sayin'....) Those dang apples—or pomegranates or kiwi fruit or raspberries with their Dr. Oz wonder fat burning-capabilities—taste good at the time I encounter them. Never seem to notice there are fang marks on the other side no matter which way I turn it.
Those Garden of Eden blue mango antioxidant tootberries should carry warnings like medication labels: Those are not dimples. They are snake bites. You are about to make a Big Mistake. You'll be sorry if you continue with this decision. Turn back. I know I'd turn around so fast my hair would fly off. My fat would boomerang me twenty feet ahead of myself. I'd leave New Balance rubber on the concrete. But are there warning labels? No. That's another question I'm going to have to tattoo to the inside if my eyelids.
So, ADONAI, during this Season Of Love, remind me Who loves me so much He sent His Son to die for me. No matter what I have done, or I will do, He will always love me with an endless love I will never understand. Knowing that is more priceless than a bazillion red roses, a megaquillion of chocolates and a Trump Tower full of red foil-decorated greeting cards. All at once. On top of Punxsutawney Phil's back door awning. Oh, look! There's a strawberry licorice-flavored chocolate....
Until next time, may you be blessed by God's tender mercies.