I am not sure who invented summer vacation but I think they deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. Every year is worth the intense strain when there is a summer vacation to look forward to.
Ah, summer vacation. The freedom of not having anything to do. No schedule in my face. No appointments frustrating me. Just an agenda of fun and more fun and don't forget the eating.
Both the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I got up early to begin the drive to the airport to take us to our vacation location. I was so full of energy I could not sit still. It was then that I broke into singing, comfortably off key, a Carpenter's song much to the agitation of my wife.
"We've only just begun,
White lace and promises,
A kiss for luck and we're on our way."
All my wife could do was stare at me. Finally, she said, "You sure are excited. I've never seen you so excited. Are you sure you're all right?"
I could not have been more all righter.
All I could think of was a week before me surrounded by grandchildren I have not seen for over a year.
"How old is . . . ?" I went through all the grandchildren. It is easy to forget how old kids are because every year their age changes. When you get to be my age, it is hard to keep up with all of these changes.
A week of stuffing them with all the candy I could carry. Taking them out to a restaurant and showing them the proper use of the drinking straw and the fine art of a spitball battle. After all, it is a grandfather's solemn duty to teach his grandchildren the fine art of shenaniganism. Where else are they going to learn it? Their grandmother? I don't think so.
We finally arrived at the airport, parked our car, and proceeded to the check-in counter. I am not sure my feet touched the ground, so excited was I to get on our way.
"Slow down," my wife pleaded. "I can't keep up with you."
We finally arrived at the check-in counter with our baggage and one of the attendants asked me a simple question. I hate it when people ask me a question when I am in one of my silly moods. Believe me; I was in one of my silliest silly moods at this time.
"Sir," the attendant asked me very seriously, "do you have anything perishable or flammable in your luggage?"
With silliness smeared all over my mug I said, "I sure do. I got a Bible in there and it is Dyn-O-Mite." And, I had the audacity to smile very broadly.
Then it happened.
Someone said, "Did he say dynamite? Where's the dynamite?"
The attendant said, "He said the dynamite was in his briefcase."
Suddenly, lights went on, buzzers began ringing, men in uniforms surrounded me, and two grabbed and subdued me. In a few moments, the hazmat men arrived asking where the dynamite was.
The man in charge pointed to my briefcase and said, "It's in the briefcase."
They begin moving people away while the hazmat men came in to remove the briefcase with the alleged dynamite. At this time, I was absolutely stunned. Every ounce of silliness had drained from my person and I knew I was about to go to jail.
Finally, the senior security guard came and looked at me. "Where did you say the dynamite was, sir?"
I stammered and stuttered but finally I said, "I said my Bible was dynamite."
He stared at me, looked me up and down, glared at me with eyes that burned into my very soul, then he spoke.
"Would you by any chance be a minister?" He said rather gruffly.
"Yes sir," I stammered as if my life depended upon what I was going to say, "I am a minister, a preacher of the gospel." I thought the last part might do something for me. At least it was a shot, excuse me, a try.
He glared at me and shouted, "False alarm. Just another crazy preacher."
As he walked away, I could hear him muttering under his breath, "Where do all these crazy preachers come from?"
The terminal finally quieted down, I went through the inspection, and I must say, I am not complaining mind you, but the pat down was a little longer and rougher than I remembered it being in the past. They stripped me down almost to my birthday suit. Thank God for wrinkles.
As I walked down the aisle on the plane, I could hear people whispering, "That's him. That's the crazy preacher with the dynamite."
I finally sat down next to my wife who was staring out the window. In a few minutes the plane took off and as we reached our altitude she, while still staring out the window, said to me, "Next time we'll take separate planes." She paused for a moment and then said, "In fact, we'll take separate airports."
I think I am going to stick to what the Bible says.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12 KJV).