Doesn’t matter what the calendar says – it’s summer here

Categorized as 05/31/10 Goshen News column

Lord, have mercy. It’s started already.

While summer isn’t yet official by the calendar, it’s been here for weeks, judging by all the activity. As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Schrock is a good six weeks late; that revolving door should’ve been installed in mid April.

What complicated things was a lot of drama. Literally. Just as number two was coming off of the spring musical and I began to breathe, he turned right around and landed a spot in the final production of the year. This sparked a fresh flurry of practices and chauffeuring, culminating in three back-to-back performances. All of which, of course, landed on the same weekend as the oldest nephew’s graduation.

Barely was the weekend done, and it was time to pack up the fifth grader and drop him off for his overnighter at Camp Amigo. Then it was a snatch-and-grab with one of us snatching him up again from the school and hauling him home while someone else grabbed his brother and deposited him at the church for his overnighter. (Did I mention the 1-1/2-hour turn-around time?)

It’s no wonder, then, that I perked up when I ran across this quote: “Silence is a great healer.”

Uh-huh, I thought. I’ll bet it is. It probably heals lots of stuff like frazzled nerves, for instance, and gastric ulcers. Or high blood pressure and insomnia. ‘Cause when the citizens are rioting or going 49 different directions, that’s exactly what I’ve got.

I’m starting to think there’s a connection between the whole “silence is golden” thing and what some folks call the “golden years.” Surely it’s no coincidence that those so-called golden years come after all the noisemakers have exited stage right and the house is silent. If that’s the case, then ours are a long ways off, and my friend, Sherry, may have been on to something when she said, “Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver.”

A Google search for more pithy quotes on silence wasn’t too helpful, but I did find a few others that resonated with me.

For instance, a bell went off when I found an English proverb that said, “A kingdom is lost for want of a shoe.” See? See? There’s a lot riding on that annual shopping trip down in Indy. That’s why it behooves me to obey this injunction, “If the shoe fits, (buy it and) wear it.” Parentheses mine, of course.

In other words, this is kingdom work, and it should be taken seriously.

This next one makes me laugh. “A miss by an inch is a miss by a mile.” That’s almost exactly what my father used to say in the church parking lot every week.

For some reason, Dad had a propensity for packing us in awfully close to the Chevys on either side. When Mom would yip and yelp in her concern, he would simply say, “An inch is as good as a mile,” and calmly squeeze out the driver’s side with his Bible.

“Don’t try to teach a pig to sing,” advised another proverb. “It doesn’t work, and you’ll annoy the pig.” Well, now. I think I’ll take issue with this one.

I understand that pigs don’t naturally sing, and you can’t make ‘em. But most boys aren’t naturally clean, either. They don’t naturally brush their teeth. Or clean their rooms. Or close doors quietly. Or sit through a sermon without wiggling. Or chew with their mouths closed. It isn’t natural, but they can learn.

They can be taught that a washcloth should be applied behind the ears. They can learn that a toothbrush is a friend. They can learn how to make a bed and where to deposit their dirty socks. They can learn that some recycling is good (plastic and glass), but some of it isn’t (undies and socks). The little piglets may be annoyed, but they can learn.

A German proverb offered this wisdom: “An example from the monkey – the higher it climbs, the more you see of its behind.” Huh. Now I can’t decide which way to go. If you’re the monkey at the top, then no one else’s tail is in your face, but yours is in someone else’s. On the other hand, if you’re the second man on the ladder, your rear bumper isn’t exposed, but you’re crowding the bumper of the guy in front.

I guess it boils down to which monkey you want to be and what view you prefer.

“If you were born to be shot, you’ll never be hanged.” This makes an odd sort of sense, but it’s cold comfort to a worrier like me. After all, you don’t usually receive advance notification of how it’s all going down, so you can’t just cross “death by hanging” off your Stuff to Worry About list, can you?

Lastly, the English offered this gem, “Falling down doesn’t signify failure, but staying there does.” And I say, not necessarily. As I see it, if I’m down anyway, I might as well take a nap while I’m there. So staying down isn’t me failing. It’s just me napping.

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