We had the traditional baked pancakes for breakfast (aka Dutch Babies) and then the boys all went out to go sledding for the morning, and came back demanding hot chocolate.
Birthday presents were given, and Jet and I gave John two card games, Rook and The Monty Python version of Fluxx. Rook was something of a bust, as the game wasn't anything like I thought I'd remembered from playing it as a kid. But the Monty Python version of Fluxx was a huge hit with John for all the Monty Python references, and a huge hit with Jet for the fact that the rules change all the time.
Jet loves rules, perhaps in the way most kids love them, making them, breaking them, changing them, negotiating all the boundaries of them. To have a game where part of the way the game is played is by changing the rules really tickled him a lot.
John also asked for pumpkin pie for his birthday, instead of cake, and Isabel proposed a lovely dinner with roasted salmon with vegetables. So she made dinner while I made the pumpkin pie, and I got a little time to rp with stark in between all the other things that happened. So that was very neat indeed.
The pumpkin pie turned out gorgeous. It was fully baked by about 7, "cooled" for an hour in which time the custard finished setting, as it does that on the residual heat. But when we cut into it at 8:15, the pie was still warm. Surprisingly, it was really, really good that way. The custard was cooled enough that we could eat it, but it was still warm and smooth and lovely. Jet really enjoyed his piece, too, and everyone put plenty of whipped cream on the slices.
So by the end of yesterday, I had 49708 words.
This morning, I woke up and John had waffles on the table. So we all had breakfast and went to Sunday school and church, and I did my part of the service along with the three youth that got into it too. They did all the planning, picked the order of worship, read the Call to Worship, the Invocation, and picked the hymns. The substitute organist nearly killed all the hymns she played them so slowly. Gah. And then I said my piece:
I've always disliked Apocalyptic readings. I hate the doom and gloom, all the graphic ways people die, and how everything will be destroyed. People seem to like End of the World stories. The enormous number of media stories on how the whole world economy was going to collapse, how the market was never going to recover, or how the US economy was going to be stuck in these doldrums for years only goes to show just how much people like talking about how terrible things are.
Imagine my surprise when I went to my Disciples class and found that the traditional apocalyptic stories were intended as messages of hope, not of despair. That they were written in a sort of symbolic code to keep officials from knowing that they were talking right about the moment that they were being written. That for most everyone Now is the Ending of Times, because the world is always changing, ending what was to allow what will come. And when I read the actual books, after all the bloody bits there were always messages about how things will work out.
I also have a love-hate relationship with deadlines, remarkably similar to my relationship with the Apocalypse. I wallow in dread and worry about all the things that can go wrong that are out of my control. I hesitate to start, thinking it'll never work. But when I take that first step, it goes okay, and then it leads to the next step. And when everything is done, it's amazing, and I always wonder, "Why did I think it'd be so hard?"
Maybe I should just skip the dread, worry, and stall part of it and just figure out a single step of what I can do. Plant a garden to feed folks, keep my money still in the economy to keep the money working, write assurances that no really the economy isn't just going pop like a balloon, get the next word in on this message
There's plenty of darkness to fascinate, titillate, and depress us. Maybe in the midst of it all, our duty is also our salvation. To look for the next thing we can change, the next bit of light we can encourage, and use our faith and hope to make the courage we need to get through all that we fear and find that it really wasn't as impossible as we thought it would be. We may find that that hope or faith is all we needed all along.
The youth that went before me just blew me away with a really great message of her own, and I have to figure out when it gets posted on the church's website, so that I can point to it when its published. But my main feeling was whew... done with THAT... and after the service lots of people said that they liked my part of the sermon.
Jet went to a birthday party after the service, and is now at a friend's house playing, so I finished up my 50,000 words with more of Twin Souls, as that had been my original goal. I didn't actually get all of Twin Souls done, got too distracted by other things, but it felt good to finish on the thing that I was supposed to be working on all along. And now I have enough to carry me a bit further into the next month. I have another story I want to write tonight... but for now... I'll update it when I'm done for the day.
I am pretty proud of the word count, as many of the words were actually third or even fifth draft words, not first. Many of them got posted or will be posted in the not too distant future, too.
word count: 50,389