And so the other day, we were getting ready for our long bike ride; part of that preparation included slathering suntan lotion all over our legs and arms and faces so that the su wouldn’t broil us like lobsters. Jennifer handed me the lotion and I decided, in my own patented brand of logic, that it would be more efficient if, instead of pouring some lotion into my hands and spreading it on my legs, I would just upend the bottle and squeeze some lotion directly onto my leg. I squeezed the bottle just a little too much, and a large glob of lotion squirted out onto my leg and my shoe, and onto our hardwood floor.
"Honey!" Jennifer cried in her expasperated Oh- my- goodness- what- have- you- done- now voice that I’ve grown to recognize quite well in our few years together. "Look what you did!"
I was pretty nonchalant about the globs of lotion on the floor; indeed, I took one of the globs from my shoe and used it to coat my leg. "Look," I said, "No harm done."
Jennifer sighed, exasperated, and grabbed a napkin to clean up the globs of suntan lotion that had gotten onto the floor. "Honestly," she muttered, "If you only had the sense that God gave to a turtle!"
I paused at that — after all, wouldn’t you? A turtle? The sense that God gave to a turtle? Where in the world did that come from?
"Did you say ‘turtle’?" I asked my wife.
She didn’t answer me right away. I could tell from her shaking shoulders that she was just laughing too hard.
So it was a nice bike ride we went on. We had planned for a thirteen mile jaunt, but I decided it would be fun to take a 10-mile side trip, a route that I’d driven a couple of times and which I’d always wanted to bike on: down some country roads, through some orchards, past a stable or two, over a narrow bridge so covered in graffiti that there is no way to know what color it originally was. I asked my wife, just as we were turning on Schroeder, how adventurous, exploratory and, above all, how energetic she felt. It took just a little coaxing to convince her that she really wanted to take this side trip with me.
So we took that route. It was nice. The smell of fresh harvest in our part of the world is delightful, and the scenery around here is gorgeous, though uninspiringly lacking in hills or large bodies of water. And all along the ride, I got to tease Jennifer. "A turtle!" I kept bursting out. "I haven’t got the sense that God gave to a TURTLE!"
Things have been kind of like that on the whole. Last week my Linux box at home started acting up — well, okay, it’d been acting up badly for months. Then it got to the point where the X server wouldn’t start up at all; in Windows, this would mean that you couldn’t start the windowing program and all you had was the command line. While the command line is extraordinarily useless in Windows, there is still a lot you can do in Linux with just that command line, so during the day I was able to still work on my computer remotely — checking my e-mail, working on a couple of text files, and so on. But the hard drive was making a long trek south, and probably wasn’t going to last much longer. I wrote to the local Linux Users’ Group, and someone was kind enough to volunteer to come out and help me solve my problem.
After two sessions totalling fourteen hours, my computer is up and running again. I am very pleased and very grateful to LUGOD, and the folks there. And now I know what signs to keep an eye out for to make sure that this series of errors doesn’t crop up again.
Speaking of Linux, I put in my application to be site guide for an on-line Linux community. Not enough technical content. Someone else got the slot. Ah, well. I also submitted my proposal for a new fantasy campaign setting to Wizards of the Coast, just in the nick of time (I was actually standing in line at the post office when it occurred to me that I should have included a SASE with my submission — so I ended up grabbing two large envelopes, breaking the seal on the envelope I’d already enclosed my submission in, and rapidly addressing both; and now that I think about it, I don’t think I even paid for those envelopes).
Which brings us, via no discernible path, to this evening. Jennifer and I are relaxing in our office, she playing word games on her computer and me writing this entry and thinking about reading an article on D-Day in the most recent issue of National Geographic. There’s no real order to this entry. Nor is there any sense, I suppose.
But, then, as Jennifer herself pointed out: I haven’t got the sense that God gave to a turtle.
A green seaturtle, Chelonia mydas,
the God-given sense of which I do not have.