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Archive for May, 2008


 

If I had to pick a Pevensie kid from Narnia to compare myself to, I guess I would pick Lucy. You know… courageous and humble, has faith of a child and let’s be honest… is really cute. 

Right? ha. haaaa. ok. ok. 

So, Prince Caspian. Does it compare to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? I think it would have come a lot closer without the unnecessary kiss between Susan and Caspian. Come on Hollywood. We all know adolescent romance isn’t selling movie tickets anymore. That is strike one. Strike two is the placement of the Regina Spector song at the end. First of all… its like 1945. Second of all, its a sad moment. Peter and Susan are never going back to Narnia! Dumb, but whatevs.

Let’s talk about Lucy. 

As the youngest Pevensie, she is the only one to trust that Aslan is coming to help them defeat the Telmarines. Susan, in unbelief that He is present, and Peter, thinking that He is moving too slowly, both lack the courage to trust what they cannot tangibly comprehend. After Lucy sees Aslan she tells them, “Would you please stop talking to me like you’re grown-ups? I didn’t think I saw him, I know I saw him.” In other words, “Ahem, Peter and Susan, would you stop acting like you are above believing in Aslan? And would you stop thinking can do this on your own? Because you aren’t above it and you can’t do it. (dammit).”  So Lucy goes after Him. And she finds him. And then they show up when the Narnians are almost defeated. I think this is the best scene of the whole movie. Lucy walks up and pulls out a tiny knife… like the pink swiss army knives that fit on your keys. And Aslan walks up beside her. This is the kind of person he shows up with when it looks like his people will be defeated: a little girl with a knife who’s ample use is probably whittling… or slicing cheese. And he uses people/animals like reepicheep… despite his pride. And Peter… despite his pride. And Susan… even though she’s a lip slut (joke). It’s all very romantic.

And it’s all very true. The real King choses the prideful and the mice and the cowards among us to fight for his Kingdom and that, my friends, makes me really excited.

 

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lines on the road

Alabama to California… Here we go. With finals behind us and meagan’s car strategically packed (pillows on top, chargers neatly stowed in the console, camping gear on the bottom) we left auburn. There is something a little unnerving about knowing you have to drive over 3,000 miles and three other people will be with you… the entire time. Every. Single. Mile. We know what you’re thinking. Disaster in a magenta pathfinder. But as it turned out we made it to point b with minimal frustration. Flying by the lines on the road, fights over music, rather the girls musical dominance, the continual clutter of roadside living and our sometimes not-so-reliable GPS (affectionately named Nancy) proved to be the only irksome factors. So pull up a chair and listen to the greatest story ever told (except for the story of creation, fall and redemption, of course), as told by Holly and Meagan.

day 1:

excitement. meagan loses her wallet. we press on. chris and jeff support america. photographic documentation of american churches begins and ends. conversation flows like milk and honey. consumption of soul food at Tulane Barbeque & Catering in Meridian, Mississippi. miles and miles and miles. late night spaghetti with the Cowarts!

day 2:

happy 22nd chris! breakfast with Cheri. Texas is huge. sadly, it’s too early for road side farmers market #1 to have peaches. we stop for big gulps. it is looking like there is no mexican food en route to albuquerque but take heart: El Sombrero. jeff considers ordering fajitas. texas is still huge. weave on and off of route 66. we stop for cadillac ranch: 10 graffitied cadillacs buried nose down in a cow pasture on route 66 in the 1970s. friends made with fellow american travelers here.  finally, we arrive in New Mexico (the land of enchantment). Road side farmers market #2. still no peaches but great plums! Arrival in Albuquerque (really, Tijeras) despite Nancy’s failure. Greeted by John and Lyn Dunbar & dogs. Weary travelers experience culture shock from the night before’s quintessential Dallas home. John wore a kilt in his wedding and Lyn cooks 100% organic. Sleep. Finally.

day 3:

may 9th. early morning gluten-free delight: apple cinnamon pancakes prepared by chef john.  meagan is united with her new love: the dunbar’s jetta turbo diesel wagon. awkward early morning pictures with scenic backdrops. since the day after your birthday is always the worst day ever we held chris’s birthday cake 24 hours (aka we forgot). jeff reminds us that we can’t light birthday candles on the gas station black top. chris blows out candles. cross over arizona state line. we play team building games on the rock in front of the arizona state line. jeff couldn’t stay on the rock. jeff gets temporarily kicked off team. we pass the continental divide. holly and meagan act like native americans (pc). grocery store run in flagstaff. ranger roy stalks our camera. grand canyon. breathtaking. no words. the boys cook delicious steak. the girls cook delicious vegetables and cinnamon apples. s’mores. discover cool camera effects. girls pretend to go to sleep. boys almost blow up the grand canyon. for sure one of the best days of the trip. 

day 4:

 

may 10. after claiming to rise with the sun when camping, we do not. girls reorganize the car for the first time. canyon is left without a trace. williams, arizona: coffee, giant blueberry muffin and cold interaction with a fellow young life leader. he is unimpressed that we too are leaders… from ALABAMA. come on. desert terrain is barren. and creepy. California state line has a surprisingly lame sign. miles and miles and miles of nothing except for hundreds of tennis shoes tied on a fence and a few Indian reservations. gas here is $4.50/gallon. Vineyards in the middle of the desert. Then the salton sea. Holly claims it’s the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. delirious. It is not the most beautiful think anyone has ever seen. we press on in search of Salvation Mountain. Nancy fails for the second time. Redirected  by some locals to Niland, CA, we find it. Leonard tells us he would love to show us something: God is Love. The mountain gives him everything he needs. Therefore, beauty is created from the infertile. redemptive and inspiring (see pictures). On the road again to grandmother’s house we go. Calexico. We pass through border patrol… twice, and have a scare that we had actually passed over the border. yeah, we were that close to Mexico. Finally, a change of terrain: Julian, California. Meg’s car is named and christened. Sunset in  the hills of southern California is stunning: trees, perfect lighting and cool weather are a breath of fresh air. We arrive in San Diego, where the pizzas are huge. Meagan’s grandmother = “dammit irene”… or barbara. Still dreaming of what we found in Niland, we went to sleep for the first time in the state of our destination.

Day 5:

 

 

happy mothers day! attend service at meagan’s uncle’s church: message- proverbs 31 woman, congregation-homeschool families, favorite worship song-i can only imagine. lots of awkward moments, lots of church giggles. say byebye to grandma! jeff loses his in-n-out virginity. delicious burgers/fries/milkshakes are consumed. digestive systems destroyed. chris and jeff step into a california ocean for the first time. san diego play time. stalk jeff’s great uncle. look at big ships. chris wants sushi. drive to orange county. meagan probably sleeps the whole way. find local burrito place. jeff orders fajitas. everyone wants crepes, but not enough to buy them. get to uncle gary’s and aunt stephanie’s house. socialize with the family. watch documentary about salvation mountain. boys and girls are all tired. pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time. tireeedddd, verrrrrryyyy tiredddd.

 

 

Day 6:

Exploring L.A. aka sitting in traffic all day. Lunch at the Grove. You may have seen this hipster hot spot on The Hills. Boys get philly cheese steak sandwiches. Meagan gets delicious Greek food. Holly gets a gross crepe so Megs shares. Janet Charleton (world renown gossip columnist and meg’s 2nd cousin) gives a tour of her freakishly authentic 1960’s home. Ricky Martin music videos and target commercials filmed here. You get the idea. Janet gives us the 411 on latest Hollywood gossip. She loves that Holly is a journalism major but doesn’t care that Chris is one. Both decide they will never work for Star Magazine. Paparazzi spotted at The Ivy, but no celebs. Lots of expensive stores and no money to spend results in boredom. Only one solution: Penguins frozen yogurt. Local tells us we don’t have accents. Thank you? Return to the suburbs. Uncle Gary treats us to dinner. He’s nice but a little controlling. Brownies and ice cream await us back at home. The best part of L.A. is leaving. 

 day 7:

 

 

perfect start to a perfect day: STILTS. chris pouts because he can’t walk on them. picture our post-auburn lives in orange county’s hidden treasure: pasedena. fuller theological seminary=the place to be.  find local patagonia store. duh? spend all day driving up the 1 from LA to Carmel. boys and girls all dazzled by creation. many pictures taken. listen to 3×5 at least 6 times. stop and watch sunset on the coast. meet mama gibson in Carmel. eat delicious food at clint eastwood’s Hogs Breath Inn restaurant. (note: clint eastwood was also the previous mayor of Carmel). arrive at fancy motel (a: those two words are no longer an oxymoron. b: thanks mama gibson!). almost burn the mother down with free matches. fellowship around fire pit. holly begs to go to bed. we all comply. nightnight!

day 8:

 

beautiful, BEAUTIFUL day. enjoy coffee and mint/citrus flavored water in the spa-like lobby of our motel. keep sustainable/eco-friendly room keys as a souvenir. journey to the coast for a morning hike. watch seals play. they look funny and are extremely entertaining. eat a yummy lunch at an outside cafe in carmel. jeff, holly, and meagan go on a search for a bathroom. walk into a fancy hotel. girls bathroom is closed due to construction. holly gets a nice view of the construction workers crack. end up finding a working women’s restroom in a beautiful, old church. chris stays behind to play with nancy (gps) in the car. jeff, holly, and meagan have the time of their lives exploring the church. chris really misses out. we all go to the beach and walk around. we burry our feet in the sand. chris looks like a little person. leave beach i search for the cute houses holly has seen in a magazine. never find THE houses, but find equally amazing ones. drive up to santa cruz in search for the patagonia outlet. it was sorely disappointing. we push on up the coast. stop to get chris an energy drink. doesn’t work and chris takes his first and last nap of the whole trip. we decide to stop and get fresh strawberries. the road sign is very misleading and takes us on a little cross country trip to a freaky shed where horror movies have been filmed. continue driving. cross bay bridge. end up in danville just in time for cassidy’s (meagan’s sister) softball team dinner (bbq and margaritas-yum). arrive at gibson’s house. leave immediately to make it to yogurt shack before it closes. walk around danville. come back home and show gibson family the plethora of pictures. practice doing pull ups. go to sleep. 

day 9:

day starts off slightly slow. girls have outfit problems. chris doesn’t understand. late start. drive to berkeley. pass the street where hidden valley ranch was started.  eat delicious pizza/enjoy live jazz music while sitting in the grassy median [NOTE: word of the day= H-O-T. of course we arrive in northern california during the heat wave of the century. hereinafter, all activities include sweat]. drive to park. explore park. girls are swearing skirts. skirts prove to be advantageous for keeping cool, however skirts also prove to be quite unsuitable for playing in park. boys engage in the following activities: swinging on a swing made from a rope and a skateboard, sliding down a hella cool slide on cardboard, climbing trees, playing frisbee. girls watch and regret poor wardrobe decisions. meet a man who tells us about a secret waterfall. we discover said “waterfall.” leave park to go pick up samantha. holly is driving. look for a parking space. holly still driving. we are still looking for a parking space. holly is still driving. we are still looking for a parking space. lo and behold, we find one. samantha gives us a short walking tour of campus. it’s really hot. we go see the dinosaur-partly because it’s cool, mostly because its in an air conditioned building. we walk back outside. it’s still really hot. naturally, we head to yogurt park for a tasty, hot-weather treat. go to rasputin- the bay area’s local record shop. decide we’ve had enough of walking outside and head back to danville. make a quick grocery store stop. enjoy rest and relaxation at the gibson house. eat yummy fajitas. decide it’s time to play a game. no one wants to play a game. we play scrabble. meagan’s cousin, adam, comes over and jumps in on the game. samantha/cassidy win. holly and meagan have the word “pilates” the whole game and never get to use it. clearly, the stars aren’t lined up in their favor. all in all, a nice relaxing day.  

Day 10:

 

Our last day together: San Francisco, safe and sound. We start the day with an unnecessarily long ride on the bart. “Yes! we’re the only ones on the train!!” “This is so fun!!” “Wait… did we ride it all the way to the end?” “The door is locked, how do we get off?” Despite the 1.5 hour set back, we arrive at Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf (Disney World on a dock). Everyone is unimpressed. We eat fish and chips and again, everyone is unimpressed. We make friends with the concierge at a Marriott who maps out our bus route for the day and directs us to Lombard Street. We make the hike to the crooked street and again… unimpressed. Thus begins our affair with San Francisco public transportation. We meet Eddy, a native of the town. Upon learning that we are from Alabama, Eddy sings, “Ah, Phoenix City.” Eddy briefly lived at Fort Benning and claims that he got into a lot of trouble to Phoenix City back in his day. We aren’t as far from home as we think. Two buses later we arrive at Haight Ashbury. Lots of walking. Green grass spotted in the distance and we rejoice over the chance that it’s a park. Affirmed! Sighs of relief. We walk past a circle of hippies playing worship music and want to make friends but are too shy. Naps. Tree climbing. Photography. Gibson clan (sans Andrew) picks us up for Thai food. Delicious and worth the wait! Entire Gibson clan, even Dakota, goes hiking to watch the sunset on the ridge. A perfect ending. Dakota gets sprayed by a skunk… disaster. Stop at Golden Gate Bridge vista for a final view of our destination then head home for departure preparation. It’s 1am and we have to leave at 4am to catch our flight. Logic tells us to stay up the whole night. Cake, Dumb and Dumber, packing, showers, departure. Goodbyes at airport. Holly fights tears and Meagan fights the sandman on her hour drive back home.

 

and there you have it. 

 

 

 

“Why, who makes much of a miracle? 
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, 
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, 
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, 
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water, 
Or stand under trees in the woods, 
Or talk by day with anyone I love, or sleep in the bed at night with anyone I love, 
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest, 
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, 
Or watch honey bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon, 
Or animals feeding in the fields, 
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, 
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright, 
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring; 
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, 
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place. 
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, 
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, 
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, 
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same. 
To me the sea is a continual miracle, 
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships with the men in them, 
What stranger miracles are there?”

 

-walt whitman

 

 

 

 

 

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