Post number one hundred

According to WordPress this is my one hundredth Salvageable post. I have been enjoying, and will continue to enjoy, the people I am meeting in the blog community. A big thank you to all of you who take the time to read my Salvageable work.

This may be true for most of you, or maybe I am unique: I find that my favorite posts of the first 100 are some of the earliest posts. These are favorites because I had been thinking about them for months, if not years, before they finally got published here. That is especially true of A Day for Mary which I would like to submit to a Christian magazine or two for publication. Likewise, Why Does He Do It?  represents a long time of watching and wondering. Knowing this about my blog, I plan to visit some of your archives to read your earliest posts, so I will know what was on your minds the most when you started blogging.

A recent discussion on the always incisive and erudite InsanityBytes makes me want to revisit the post I wrote, My Best Friend’s Rotten Wife. One of the comments I made to InsanityBytes is that “organized religion” is an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp or highway safety.

This summer I was flattered to receive two nominations for this blog. The first was from the lovely Authentically Aurora, who nominated me for the Helping Hand Award back in July. That award pleased me because accepting it didn’t require much effort on my part. Thank you, Aurora, for your kind words last summer. Then in August the gentle and sensitive Ally nominated me for the Blogger Recognition award. This one does come with rules, and here they are:

“Post an image of the award.” Done. (See the bottom of the post.)

“Thank your nominator.” Thank you, Ally, for the nomination and for all the great writing you produce.

“Nominate fifteen blogs.” This I cannot do because most of my favorite blogs have already been nominated by someone else (namely, Ally).

“Write a brief description of your blog.” Salvageable is a place where I get to be a curmudgeon one day, complaining about my neighbors or about bad drivers, and then I get to be a fan the next day, celebrating the Beatles or the Chicago Cubs. At times I write about the Christian faith, and at times I write about anxiety and depression, and at times I just ramble.

“Write one or two pieces of advice for a new blogger.” Since I broke the fifteen nominations rule, I will stretch this rule and share what I told future writers in a program called Authors in the Schools. I think these three pieces of advice are as true for bloggers as for other kinds of writers. First, to be a good writer, read a lot. Your writing will improve as you see other good writing. Second, write a lot. Write something every day if you can, even if no one else ever sees most of it. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it generally makes better. Third, rewrite a lot. Only God can produce a flawless first draft. The rest of us need to return to work we have written and consider how it can be improved.

“Provide a link to the original BRA award.” Here it is.

Finally, what does the future hold for Salvageable? What will appear in the next 100 posts? I will continue to be both a curmudgeon and a fan. I will continue posting First Friday Fiction for at least a few more months. The Grammar Dalek will be back soon. And I may share parts of my next writing project, currently in the outline stage, which will be called Christ in Genesis.

Thank you all for reading and for your comments. J.

helping-hand                  bloggerrecognitionaward

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My best friend’s rotten wife

I have a very good friend, the best friend I could ever have. I like him very much; in fact, I owe everything I have to him. I want to spend more time with him, but I’ve got a problem. I don’t get along with his wife.

My friend is great, but sometimes I cannot stand his wife. My friend tells me, though, that I have to take them as a team. If I want to be with him, I also have to be with her. I know that my friend likes me, but I’m not sure about his wife. Sometimes she ignores me, and sometimes she is even mean to me. She has many moods—she can be angry and accusing, she can be dry and boring, and she can be sappy and sentimental. Sometimes she tries to dress up and look awesomely beautiful and impressive, but other times it does not seem as though she cares how she appears.

If I give a gift to my friend, I know he is going to share it with his wife. He cannot seem to stop himself. His wife is the one who reminds me how much I owe my friend. She is always prepared to take the money I give to my friend and spend it on herself. In fact, I think she’s using him. He does not go a moment of any day without loving her, but sometimes she seems to forget that he even exists.

I’d like to spend time with my friend when his wife is not around, but he won’t let that happen. Whenever the two of us are together, she has to be there too. My friend expects me to accept her, even with all her faults, if I want to be with him.

My friend is Jesus of Nazareth, and his bride is the Holy Christian Church. I love Jesus, but I don’t always love the Church. Jesus is sinless and perfect, but the Church is filled with sinners. Jesus loves me and gave himself for me, but I don’t always feel loved when I am with the Church. If I could have Jesus as my friend without the Church, I think that would make me happy, but Jesus does not give me that option. He loves the Church, and he expects me to be with her if I want to be with him.

Jesus is not blind to the faults of his Church. Yet he loves the Church and willingly serves the Church. More than that, he forgives the Church and forgives every sinner in the Church. Sometimes I struggle to understand his love and his forgiveness, but they should make me happy. After all, if Jesus can love the Church and forgive it, in spite of all its flaws and imperfections, then I know that he loves me and forgives me too.

J.

The dog and Mrs. Dim

Here is my side of a conversation I would like to have, but probably never will have:

Good morning, Mrs. Dim. You know, we’ve been neighbors for several years now. One thing I’ve noticed all this time is that, when you let your dog outside, he comes out of the house barking, and you always scold him. I suppose you don’t want his barking to bother the neighbors. If so, I appreciate your concern; but, let me assure you, your dog’s barking is far from the most bothering sounds we hear coming from your property.

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I guess it’s probably true. I think your dog enjoys hearing his name every time he comes out of the house. It assures him that you like him and that you are paying attention to him. He barks, and then you bark back. Yes, it’s tough to train an animal, but one of you is well-trained. The other one is getting what he wants every time he goes outside.

I don’t expect this little conversation to change anything. I just wanted to let you know how I feel. Your dog’s barking doesn’t bother me in the least, so please don’t worry about it anymore.

Have a nice day, Mrs. Dim.

J.

Three traffic myths

I have to drive every day, and generally I do not enjoy driving. In fact, I find driving very stressful. The commercials that claim that driving certain cars is fun do not connect with me. Part of the stress of driving is sharing the road with other drivers. They do not follow the same rules that I was taught. In fact, I have noticed three myths that seem to be believed by a large number of drivers.
Myth # 1: When two cars approach a four-way stop and one of the cars comes to a complete stop, the other car is permitted to cross the intersection without stopping. I guess I understand the logic behind this myth. Why should both of us be inconvenienced by a silly little rule? As long as one car is stopped, neither one is in any danger. If I’m always going to be the law-abiding citizen, I should expect others to take advantage of my naivety. After all, it appears that I’m inviting them to go first. That’s not how it feels to me. To me, it seems that they want to play a game of chicken in the middle of the intersection.
Myth #2: Turn signals are always optional, but the best time to signal a turn is while you are making the turn, especially if it is a left turn. I know, I know, even the best driver sometimes forgets to signal a turn. Sometimes a good driver remembers to signal when it’s too late. Even so, I’ve seen so many turn signals that began as the car was turning that I really think some drivers believe this myth. I’m just trying to get home from work, and I’m driving in the fast lane to avoid those cars coming out of parking lots and driveways. I come to a red light, and one car is in front of me at the light. The light turns green. Then the turn signal comes on, and I have to sit there while we both wait for the oncoming traffic to clear. Meanwhile all the other drivers, who weren’t fooled by this one driver’s clever trick, pass us on the right, driving in the slow lane.
Myth #3: “Right turn on red” means that the cars approaching the green light should yield to the right-turning car facing the red light. This myth seems most prominent when drivers have just gotten off the interstate and come to a red light at the top of the ramp. They have been in a situation where lanes of traffic merge, and now they are not thinking about traffic signals. Yet it happens other places too. The car with the green light has to brake to avoid hitting the car with the red light. Amazingly, I’ve even seen a driver facing a green light invite the driver of a car facing a red light to make their turn. Don’t these people know that traffic engineers set the timing of the lights for the greatest convenience of the largest number of people? On the other hand, a basic traffic rule says that one should not enter an intersection unless they are sure they can get through the intersection. Sometimes, when the traffic is heavy, I or the driver in front of me will follow that rule. Almost invariably, the driver facing the red light will accept that as in invitation to make the turn.
I encounter drivers like this every day. I was going to say that I run into drivers like this every day, but I try very hard to avoid running into them. They don’t make it easy. A little less carelessness, a little more careful and considerate (and legal!) driving, and we will all get where we are going. Could we try this some day?
J.