May 13, 2011

bad news, good news

I have good news and bad news.
I'll give you the bad news first because I like to end on a good note.

The bad news is... I have a sunburn.
Not the cute pink kind that makes you look all fresh and summery and chipper.
It's the burgundy, purpley kind that makes you look blistered.
Not the kind that makes you think, Suh-weet baby! This'll be a tan tomorrow!
But the kind that makes you think, I should probably check into medical insurance... pretty sure I just contracted skin cancer. Pretty sure chemo is in my near future. Pretty sure I should start writing my last will and testament. Pretty sure I could fry an egg on the heat coming outta my burnt skin.

You wouldn't believe all the things you can't do when you have a sunburn.
For instance, there's a tater tot under the front seat of my car from yesterday's Sonic lunch and it's gonna be there for awhile because in order to get it out, I would have to bend my arm, cram it under the seat, and risk getting my afflicted skin scraped by the seat bottom. No can do. Tater tot stays where it is.
Randy: Napoleon, give me some of your tots.
Napoleon: No, go find your own.
Randy: Come on. Give me some of your tots.
Napoleon: No. I'm freakin' starved. I didn't get to eat anything today.
(Randy kicks Napoleon's pants pocket, ruining the tater tots)
Napoleon: Ugh. Gross. Freakin' idiot!
I'm sorry. I couldn't talk about tots without mentioning Napoleon.

But summer is here! Woohoo! Wooty woot!
I think we skipped spring and went straight for summer this year. There were two or three springy days, but mostly we've just had snow and rain up until last week.
I love summer.
It has so much to offer... going to the lake, possible death by drowning if you forget your life-vest and don't know how to swim, the park, picnics, ants, parades, fireworks, possible death by firework going off in your hand, walking downtown, possible death by getting mugged by some random street bum, sunscreen, gardening, fresh flowers everyday, sweating to death, camping out, mosquitoes, possible death by contracting malaria or West Nile River fever, OFF spray, grilling hot dogs, tan lines, the sounds of people mowing their lawns, possible death by getting run over by the lawn mower, the sounds of the kids playing outside, Popsicles, Cherry limades, floating the river, possible death by drowning if you forgot your life-vest and don't know how to swim, playing in the sand on the beach, dandelions.

The beginning of summer always makes me feel nostalgic.
It makes me remember back in the day.
It makes me remember my first trip out West. I was ten. My upper lip was chapped like no other... I looked like I had been drinking red Kool-aid and it had stained all the way up to my nose. But that doesn't have anything to do with anything.
We went to the Dillion campmeeting and stayed with the Smiths. They had two little log cabins on their property that we stayed in. I smelled the sweet smell of sage for the first time. I ate red currants straight off the bush. I went hunting for crystals. I got alot of mosquito bites. I played cowboys and Indians with the Smith's son, Craig.
And I went canoeing for the first time ever. On a raging river of death.
I nearly died that day, and I've hated canoeing ever since.
I was already scared to death... since I can't swim... since I nearly drown anytime I get near water... since I don't even like taking a bath just in case I can't keep my head above the water line... since the river was raging and waiting for the first opportunity to take my life...
So when our canoe banged into a fallen tree in the middle of the river, overturned, floated down the river leaving me and my sisters and brother clinging to the fallen tree facing certain death, I went into hysterics for the first and only time in my life.
Blood curdling, non-stop shrieking. I clung to that tree and had to be pried off, one finger at a time. My toes had to be pried off, one at a time. I remember everything about that moment- the way the water sounded and felt rushing around me, the way the entire canoeing company stopped to watch my moment of terror, the bug that came out of the tree roots and crawled across my hand, how I fleetingly thought, I wonder if there's a snake living in these tree roots and if it'll come out and bite me?, how I decided that death by snakebite was better than death by drowning, how Shelly kept telling me everything would be okay, how I tried telling her no, it wouldn't but just screamed instead. And finally, how my dad came across the river, told me to shut up for heaven's sakes, pried me off the tree, and carried me to safety.
I've always been grateful to him for doing that.
I wouldn't get back in the canoe so a man from the church came and picked up me, Moma, Jack, and Abby and took us back to the cabins where I slept for the rest of the day. That night at church, a few people made fun of my hysterics, So, Sunny, how was canoeing??? HAHAHA. But I didn't care. I was alive and that's all that mattered.
But the story doesn't end there.
One very. good. thing came out of that canoeing experience.
I started thinking, what would've happened if I really had died? I thought about that for two weeks. I relived the terror of it every night when I went to bed. And finally, one night I couldn't stand it anymore. I got out of bed, crept over Karen, and wailed, I WANNA GET SAVED! Right now!
So she rushed me to Moma, and I got saved that night.
Ha, makes me laugh every time I think of it. I sat there with Moma, full of fear that I would drown and go straight to hell, but when I got up, I was calm and full of peace. Mothers, if you want your unsaved kid to get saved, take him canoeing and it'll happen pronto. Conviction sets in after a round of canoeing.
I've never doubted my salvation. All I have to do is remember that weight lifted off, and assurance is there. I heard a preacher say recently that if you don't doubt your salvation at some point, something's wrong. Well, he's definitely smoking something, because I know you don't have to doubt. The Bible says so, so there.
But, saved and all, I'm still scared of drowning. I heart life-vests. I support all life-vest wearers.

So the bad news is, I have a sunburn, but the good news is, it's summatime.
And I got saved the summer I was ten.