Eclipse 2017: “What I really need is a bathroom!”

When the answer to "Why are you so nice?" is "Jesus"

I salute the Paul Smucker family for opening up their house — fridge, pantry, bathrooms — to passers-by of The Great Exodus after yesterday’s total eclipse.

Total Eclipse 2017: Simone handing out free drinks at Paul's

“What I really need is a bathroom,” one woman confessed. So we made a new sign. “Restrooms Available!” And soon had a long line stretching all the way out our back hallway. Matt sat in the living room and directed people to our upstairs bathroom, while Mom showed people where the downstairs bathroom was as she mixed up batches of lemonade. Soon we had groups of people in our driveway chattering in Chinese, as children swung on our ancient tire swing.

Did you know Mennonites (or other Christians) were that hospitable? I’m certainly not! Oh, I would have enjoyed handing out free drinks and nibbles. But opening my house for an invasion of strangers to use the bathrooms, upstairs and down?! I. Don’t. Think. So.

I’ve got so much to learn and live yet…

But back to the story:

But still we gave them drinks and they used our bathrooms. Mom made tea until she ran out of ice, then lemonade until she ran out of lemonade powder, and finally we just handed out water and whatever odd grocery depot macaroons and brownie bites we could find.

I felt like Jacob who just happened to have some stew, and here were these desperate Esaus who were willing to give up their entire birthright for a cup of lemonade and a chance to use the bathroom. “Why are you so nice?” They asked, pressing money into our hands even though we insisted it was free.

Look, I know these people (to a certain extent). I vouch for their humanity (because that condition is a safe thing to vouch for). So don’t go thinking that I’m pedestalizing them. But I make no bones about hoisting them on high here as uneclipsed examples of loving their neighbors (perhaps even some on the road to Jericho).

With these thoughts in mind, I urge you to read the rest of Emily Smucker’s The Strangest Day of my Life. Like I said in my comment there:

Such pleasant Sonshine after the eclipse!

Cheers for Cash-Free Oregon DMV

Wherein the papery place finally offers a paperless payment option

If you’re an Oregonian, you may know the feeling of being in to DMV to renew license plate tags, change a vehicle title, or otherwise part with your money in one way or another. You fill out the paperwork with info and your version of John Henry. You hand over your plastic bank-in-a-wallet to pay, and . . .

“I’m sorry. We only take cash or checks.”

Oh. Right. Of course. You knew that. Great.

No more. I just saw this big, fat headline: Read it all

Oregon Coast: Helicopter Rescue

If you keep an eye on the tide and the breakers, you'll be OK...

My OregonLive RSS feed showed a dramatic helicopter rescue story. I like helicopters and Depoe Bay, so I clicked.

I looked at the photo and thought, “That rock sure looks like one I’ve climbed various times over the decades. That’s got to be at Fogarty Creek!”

Fogarty Creek (Oregon Coast) Helicopter Rescue

Sure enough: Read it all

Above all, love God!
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