Whew! What an update!

Mrs. Sixline and I moved. We're about 10 miles up the road from where we were, bought a home that is way too big for us (waiting on kids and aren't moving for at least 15 years), and I have since started my job at ATK.

AND, to top it all off, we've been spending roughly $100 per day trying to get crap we need. In fact, we decided to finance a washer and dryer through Lowe's (got 10% off that way) I just got done hooking everything up. I was pretty proud of myself; normally I'm not very handy. But, with an intrepid indomitable spirit, I read the instructions of how to hook up my gas dryer, followed them, hooked it up, went to Lowe's to build a make-shift drain (I just wanted to bring a pipe up from the drain near the floor so that it would be easier for the washer hose to reach), and started a load. Well, Mrs. Sixline did. I suppose it's her right, she picked out a front loading washer and dryer from Whirlpool and I guess they're pretty. ~shrugs~ She's liking it.

I need to make sure I'm up for when I start the gas dryer. I hope that this isn't my last post ever... Don't want to blow us both to kingdom come. Anyway.

We're in our house, it's slowly being un-packed and finished (the builder's driving me a bit nuts, but I suppose most contractors are tough to deal with), and we're very much enjoying life. Once my thesis is completely defended and school is a done deal, we are going to enjoy life that much more.

On a side note, I think it's important to really enjoy life now. I mean, sure, work is going to suck sometimes (in fact, the Ares 1-X project is beating the brains out of a few guys at work) but I think most everyone has tough times at work. I really want to make sure I'm happy now. Can you imagine the crushing blow it would deal to my spirit if I wasn't happy? No, seriously. For the past 5 years I've been running a marathon-- go to school, study, take a test, get a good grade, get a degree, get a job, get money, buy a house, be happy. After all that grueling work if I'm not happy my head might explode. I will be happy. So there. Nyah.

On another side note, how come no one commented on the last entry? I thought it was pretty cool. Oh well.


Questions for Mary

Mary, you no doubt felt that Jesus could heal Lazarus when he was sick. You no doubt felt reassured that all would be well; all you had to do was send for Jesus and He would come and make things right.

How did you feel when He didn't make it on time? How did you feel when Lazarus not only died, but was placed in a tomb? Were you angry at Jesus? Were you sad? Did you feel betrayed? How-- and I mean this-- how did you gather your feelings, put aside your anger and frustration and not blame Jesus? As far as I can tell, you didn't think anything more could be done. You had begun to cope with the fact that Lazarus was no more; Jesus either could not or chose not to heal him while there was still time.

What I really want to know, Mary, is how did you feel as you watched Lazarus slip away? How deep into your stomach did that icy cold web of despair sink? Were you able to keep believing and did that belief help you not be angry? Were you just like me, did you scream and shout and swear and wonder what you did to deserve it-- or what Lazarus did to deserve being passed on for a miracle? Jesus was feeding people, changing water into wine, making the blind see and bringing the lepers back into the city clean as any of us. Was taking special attention for your brother so much to ask? Is that why you didn't go out to greet Jesus when He finally showed up? Were you the one who got Martha to ask Him "If you would have come earlier, Lazarus would still be with us?"

I'm like you, Mary. I would have sit in that house with you, not knowing how to express my guilt, remorse, sorrow, frustration, and anger.

What I really want to know, Mary, is did Jesus ask any special faith of you? Were you upset you had to be forgiven of such a natural response? Were you under any kind of condemnation because you didn't believe? Lazarus was dead. There must've been room for your doubt and anger, right? Did He cut you any slack? Did He go easy on you? Was He upset that you blamed Him? Was He mad? Or did He break your indignation with His own sorrows for Lazarus' passing? Or did He induce you to repentance with His heart piercing compassion and understanding? Didn't He forgive you and perform the miracle you had asked for, and then some?

Do you think He'll do the same for me?


toilet paper crystals

Once, I was 6. I know, it surprised me to write it as much as it surprised you to read it.

When I was at that tender age, I had a seriously nasty love affair with gemstones, rocks, and geology in general. If it was formed through pressure and mineral, I wanted to know about it. I took home National Geographic magazines from the library, Audobon Society field guides to rocks and gemstones, and I would actually go and gather rocks (gravel) and try to find out what was written about them given my limited thinking and resources.

My friend down the street kind of liked rocks too. He had hundreds of tiny crystals on his neato desk in his very own room. I had to share my room with two stinky brothers and I didn't have a desk. It goes without saying (even though I'm saying it now) that I was very envious of his only room, his desk, and of course, his collection of crystals. I asked him where he got them, because I had looked all over our neighborhood for beautiful rocks and I never saw anything. He told me he grew them. Growing crystals? Was that possible? I had no clue. So I asked how he grew them, eagerly anticipating my chance to try it out.

This is what he told me.

At night, before you go to bed, get a big wad of toilet paper, twist it up, dip it in water, and then let it dry out on the counter overnight. In the morning you'll have a beautiful crystal.

That night I went home and expended our roll of toilet paper. I twisted up over 30 clumps, setting them on the counter, the back of the toilet, and around the tub. Guess what happened to them when I got up?

I got into trouble for wasting toilet paper. Then I told why I did it, and my parents thought it was so funny they didn't punish me. I was, however, informed that I had to clean it up which was hard to bear-- not so much because of the mess I had made but because I had fully expected to collect 30 or so crystals that morning.

Upon questioning my friend as to why this experiment failed, he explained that it was the wrong brand of toilet paper. So I took some of his home and tried it. Bupkis. He got upset that I kept pestering him about how he did it and my parents put the kibosh on the toilet paper experiment and I soon got over it.

But man did I want those crystals.