I had two jobs this weekend.
First, I needed to get the yard in a little better shape. All week my wife and I had spent some time in the evenings doing yardwork, culminating in a serious scrub-down of the deck, back and side patios, and driveway. But we weren’t finished. I got up early Saturday morning to mow the lawn, and discovered, to my chagrin, that the mower wouldn’t start. I pulled the cord again and again but could coax nothing but a few half-hearted splutters from the vaunted Honda motor. So, I called my neighbor and asked if I could borrow his mower. Before I could get out the door, he was on my porch with an electric Black and Decker mower. I was a little skeptical at first, but once I realized that an electric mower does not need to be started, I was sold.
By the time the BYU-Washington game was on, I had done quite a bit of yardwork and was ready for a rest. But job 2 interfered just into the fourth quarter. My wife’s nephew, who is slightly retarded but has an amazing capacity to remember sports trivia, called to say he had arrived at the Wilkinson Center on the BYU campus. I drove over there and looked around. No sign of him. I wandered in through the large glass doors and looked down one hall and another without seeing a trace of him.
I thought maybe he meant he was at the Marriott Center, so I headed up there to find it completely deserted. Back at the Wilkinson Center, I parked my car outside a window and stood there for about 15 minutes in the vain hope that he might see me from wherever he was hiding. Eventually I went back into the building and undertook a more thorough search. Tucked in behind a stairway was a lounge with a TV that was showing the game. There he was, sitting next to the window. On the other side of the window was my car, where I had been standing. But he was watching the game and hadn’t seen me.
My wife’s family has had its share of horrible abuse, so whenever anyone from that side of the family comes to visit, my wife is always afraid that our kids will end up being abused. Personally, I think that if there is such a risk, we just shouldn’t have them stay with us anymore, but I digress. My job for the weekend was to stay with her nephew at all times and make sure he got up to no trouble. I think I watched about 15 hours of NCAA and NFL football over two days, but I stayed with him. He’s a good, sweet, harmless kid, and I enjoy talking to him. But knowing that he, like the rest of them, was abused, it probably wasn’t worth taking any chances.
About the only productive work I did all weekend was to get back to editing my mission memoirs. I had hit a wall a month or so ago and couldn’t figure out how to incorporate a couple of pieces into the narrative, but yesterday it just all came together. I managed to get over two-thirds of the way through the book. I’m hoping to have the manuscript done in the next week or so. Then I’ll have to figure out what to do with it. I know some of the RfM crowd would like me to publish it, so I’ll see what can be done about that. But I do feel good about actually getting close to finishing it. That’s a big accomplishment for me. If anyone has any suggestions for possible publishers, I’d love to hear it.
On top of everything, I wasn’t feeling well yesterday (I sound like an old man–oh, wait, I am an old man). My poor wife went to stake conference alone, and I missed the broadcast from Salt Lake. She said that President Packer spoke about the growth of the church, and in particular the blessings of new technology, which allowed better communication between leaders and members. But he said something I found odd. When they started these broadcasts, in which the leaders speak from a small room in Salt Lake, he wondered if people could feel the Spirit if he couldn’t see them and they weren’t in the same room with him. I still can’t figure out what he meant. They’ve been doing TV broadcasts for 50-odd years and radio broadcasts for even longer. Presumably they felt the spirit then and can do so now. Anyway, a couple of members have told me that his talk was rambling and somewhat incoherent. Maybe he’s just getting older. I don’t know.
I’m hoping for a more productive week this week.