Well actually I was meeting more than one friend but the fellow, Paul, was drinking the coffee of Canadians — hot tea. Maybe it will help you to know that the woman I was meeting is none other than the very funny, very talented, very big-hearted Susan Isaacs, actress/comedienne & author of the very entertaining Angry Conversations with God. If you haven’t read her book yet, you should treat yourself to a copy. Funny stuff in that book.
Susan & husband Larry Wilson live in California but Larry’s an Oregonian so they make a yearly trip north to visit family over the holidays. Susan and I have been cyber-friends for some time but this was our first in-person gathering. Larry, who you may remember I interviewed for Double-Wide, was off doing some interviewing of his own in Oregon City. He is working on a wonderful story about a how the Union Gospel Mission changed the trajectory of one man’s life. When he gets it finished I’ll share it with you. So while Susan, Paul and I had a lovely visit, Larry and I met for only five minutes before he and Susan had to hop back on I-5 and head south to Sacramento.
If you get a chance to go to Oregon City, do stop by Singer Hill Cafe at 7th and John Adams Street. (And if you are posing for photos beware the finger pointing behind your back).
The Stumptown brew is worth the stop. Of course after two cups of the Ethiopian blend, I had a case of the jitters myself. But instead of hopping back on the freeway home, I drove down the street a couple of blocks to pay a visit to some pretty special fellows.
This was the first opportunity I’ve had to meet the boys. They are the third set of twins in our family that we are aware of — there may be more among the ancestors. Granny Ruth had twins the first go-round. A boy and a girl. The boy was Uncle Woody, who grew up to be a preacher man, but the girl died at birth.
That’s Granny Ruth. She died when Mama was only 19, I think. Mama was the youngest and is the only one in the Harve Mayes family still living. Granny Ruth birthed three girls and five boys but Mama was the only girl to survive past birth. I don’t think Granny Ruth had an inclination that she was pregnant with twins until she gave birth to them. Rose and David’s boys were born at the same Portland hospital that my girls were born at 28 years ago. More poetry.
Rose and David belong to a church where they get plenty of support. Since David left the Army — he served a year in Iraq with the Stryker Brigade & earned a Purple Heart in the process — he’s been pursuing his degree at Portland State University. He also works full-time. Church friends have been coming in in the evenings and helping Rose feed the boys, change them, care for them. I understand what a saving grace such help can be. When my girls were young we didn’t have any family around and Tim was working two jobs and in school. If it hadn’t been for that 3-year-old big brother of the girls I don’t know how I would have managed. Stephan was a huge help, always getting me diapers and binkies and burb rags.
All in all, it was a fun day. An opportunity to meet the newest members of the family and to catch up with new friends who feel like they’ve always been around. Paul did tell me that he finally had that private meeting with Mark Driscoll. A lively discussion. Wouldn’t you have liked to have been a fly on the wall?
A regular reader of this blog wrote to me recently and asked, Why do people have problems with Paul’s book, The Shack?
I didn’t quite know how to answer the question. The best I can offer is that a person who is literalistic has a difficult time with imagery. The type of person who gets deep enjoyment from reading law books isn’t likely to enjoy reading The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter.
I worry that in this information-driven culture of ours that we have lost, or are losing, our fanciful side. Our imagination. Our ability to read fiction and to understand it as fiction.
Can a people weaned on reality television grasp literature chocked full of imagery and allegory?
And while we are dancing around this subject, what makes a person drawn to dogma in the first place?
Most of us have no desire to be locked behind bars. Why, then, particularly in the Christian community, do we spend so much more time building fences than we do bridges?