Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

I planned to write a long post about my wonderful visit with Millie, who has been my companion on some hilarious adventures (like "when I was in jail, my mom..."). This weekend, the adventures we chose were: a fantastic picnic dinner at Shakespeare at the Green, enjoying perfect weather on Sunday afternoon at the pool, and courageously crossing the creek to get to Abe and Josh's secret garden ---

[To get to the garden, you walk through the woods and hope to avoid any poison ivy. When you get to the creek, you can cross by:
a) the rocks: which are loose, wobbly, and home to copperheads - so you may twist an ankle, slip in to the water or die by snake bite
b) the pipe that crosses the river - which is long and narrow, and bounces some as you go ... and which my dad fell off of, into the stinky water
c) wading through the water, which would come up past my knees if I got in it, and which stinks (Can I get a witness? Oh yes, I can. Thanks, Dad).
This creek obstacle is meant to serve as a deterrent to people who might happen by and be tempted by a defenseless tomato or watermelon. (Can I get a witness? Oh no, I can't. No one has been there.) It is very effective except against brave ladies like Millie, who chose (b)]

--- high quality conversation, and celebrating the baptisms of two of Abe's siblings on Sunday. We had so much fun that going into work on Monday was exceptionally painful. So at the end of the day, I was tired, and I drove home imagining all kinds of peace and quiet. Abe was in Asheville on his own fishing/camping adventures, so I could be selfish.

Would I ...
a) watch a ridiculous girly movie online.
b) enjoy a glass of wine and read my book for a while on the porch.
c) take the cats to bed in order to rise and shine early on Tuesday.
I opted for a little of (b) and a little of (c). I had a sip of wine and ten minutes of quiet before my adventure turned into a night of babysitting a ridiculously sweet and adorable five year old girl.

The thing is, I don't think we really do always choose our own adventures. Sometimes, God picks the adventure, and our only choice is how we respond. So last night, I responded to a distraught neighbor I had never met before who was attacked by her boyfriend in the middle of the night. I helped her clean the broken glass and the beer spilled all over the carpet. I played Candy Land, horses (ironic, yes?), and dolls with a vengeance until 5 am when the woman let her boyfriend back into her apartment, and they fought while I tried to distract her daughter from the cursing and the yelling.

And I thought about all the other neighbors, who I know heard what was happening. I thought about them listening, and I thought about their choices:
a) ignore the noise - "it's not my business, so I should leave it alone."
b) come outside to see, or peek through the blinds - feeling a little curious and a little concerned.
c) care enough to get involved.
Getting involved is messy and uncomfortable. You might color pictures of puppies with a beautiful little girl. You might get cussed out by a drunk boyfriend. You might hear a woman tell a story that churns your stomach and makes you teary-eyed. You might make a world of difference, or none at all - or maybe a difference will be made in you.


  1. wow karen, it sounds like you had quite a night after i left! im sure you made a huge difference, at least to that little girl.
    i know you've made a huge difference in my life! i had a fantastic time with you this past weekend. i will be a witness as to how scary it was crossing that pipe to the secret garden. but it was fun. tell adventure spice thanks again! haha.
    &of course, thanks again to you and abe for having me! hope i see you again soon! bisous

  2. Adventure Spice says you're welcome any time. I say so too! I am excited beyond all reason about having you here for the 4th.

  3. You have had your heart pulled in so many directions this week. I hope you can find some time to just be with you and God and be reminded in the middle of all this how he made you.