On Morning Fog, Softball Triumph, and Scam Resistant Saints


Various random thoughts, following through with the commitment to put fingers to the keyboard, even when there is no clear essay ahead to write.

For me, waking up in the morning and going through the first preliminary activities, such as brewing a pot of coffee, gives me a feel for what it must be like to grow old and experience dementia. Thoughts that come easily and rapidly when I am fully awake take extra time and concentration to process: “What is the sequence of actions required to make coffee? Ah yes, you need coffee in the filter before you pour in the hot water. In my conversation with my mother and son the other day, I said that I wouldn’t mind growing old as long as my brain could remain creative and engaged. The deterioration to the body seems secondary to the deterioration of the brain. But what will it be like when the majority of life is endured with what I now experience as early morning brain fog?

Yesterday our church softball team that pretty much never wins had an unforgettable game against a team that routinely beats us up. Memorable moments: Bob V. catching a long fly ball with a tumbling ballet pirouette; the team of Gripp and Gripp forcing numerous runners at second; centerfielder Mike throwing out a runner to Margaret (the new recruit) at home plate (generally such things just don’t happen). With our captain, Andee, home with a queasy stomach, Bob M. and Al shared the pitching load. I served as a sub runner for two of our gimpy legged batters, and my legs (as well as the legs of several of my teammates) took major beatings, and we limped around afterwards like nursing home residents. The lead changed several times, with us down by five in the bottom of the last inning. In our last ups, with the sun set and the shadows deepening, we rallied for five runs thanks in large part to some heavy hitting by Anthony. We had the winning run on third when the final out was made. A tie was a win in our books. We were strutting our stuff, even if our strut included a limp like Jacob after wrestling all night with the angel of the Lord. (see Genesis 32:22 -33)

I saw Jean’s pictures of the beautiful baby 3 month girl she will soon be adopting from Guatemala. She spent five days there recently, caring for the baby. How wonderful the baby looked, and how full of delight and wonder Jean looked in showing me the pictures.

For a week or so my blog was getting 200 hits from the raunchiest of spam solicitations. Lord, there is much sick garbage in this world. Mysteriously it dropped off dramatically.

And then there are those almost daily solicitations that come to my email from various charitable souls and one-time-high-ranking government officials from Nigeria and other parts of Africa who are moved by the Lord Jesus Christ to transfer large sums of money into my bank account. There are so many of them I think they should form a union. I have an elderly relative who succumbed to the Godly talk of the solicitation and lost a bundle.

To my dying day I will remain proud of Lois, a radiant octogenarian from our church who two years ago was approached by an elderly woman in the Pathmark parking lot, who said Lois reminded her of someone who had been kind to her when her husband was in the hospital. The old women proceeded to pour out her grief regarding her husband’s recent passing, as Lois, a compassionate soul if ever there was on, listened attentively.

Suddenly they were approached by a much younger woman who claimed to have just found a bag of cash with a note implying that the money was a payoff for “the boys in blue.” What should they do with it? Take it to the police, Lois suggested. But the old woman pointed out that the note implied that the money was illicit and that corrupt police were involved; better to deposit it in Lois’ bank account she suggested. (She seemed to know Lois’ bank was close at hand.) It just so happened that the younger woman had a lawyer friend who worked with the manager at Lois’ bank, and she would go in and ask the attorney for advice, which she apparently did, as the older woman and Lois continued to chat in the car.

The younger woman came back out of the bank five minutes later, indicating that the lawyer had advised her that making a deposit in Lois’ account was the thing to do, urging Lois to go with her into the bank to take care of business. Lois, however, had an appointment to pick up her friend Hwa from the doctor’s office, and she was going to be late if she took the time to do any transactions at the bank, so she told the two women she would be back in an hour to discuss the matter further. In Lois’ mind, being loyal to a friend in need far outweighed the prospect of getting rich quick, so off she went.

The more she thought about it, the stranger the whole thing all appeared, and so after she had picked up Hwa, they swung by to see me at the church. We went together to the bank to try and locate the lawyer who allegedly was the friend of the younger woman. No such lawyer existed. We called the police, who came, and after hearing the story, identified it
as a well known scam, perpetuated by the two women working together as a team. But Lois, clear on what was important in life, couldn’t be seduced by it.

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be too,” said Jesus.

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