Doing Good, Doing Bad

It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting here enjoying a little peace and quiet and a whole bunch of coffee. Saturday is typically the day when I rest and relax and enjoy my coffee but my Saturday this week was rather more eventful than not.  Because of this, I’m postponing church until the 6 p.m. service and enjoying my Saturday morning routine on Sunday. Since I haven’t blogged in a while, I thought it best if I caught everyone up on my doings as well.

Thus far, it’s been a pretty busy weekend.  Friday started things off with a group gathering at some guy’s house to meet the founder of the Ugandan American Partnership Organization. The story of this young lady is quite amazing. At the age of 19, after her sophomore year in college, she and several friends decided to go to Africa for the summer.

You might well imagine that a young sorority girl might not care for the African heat, the mosquitos or the poverty and, it’s true, the young lady in question did not. But through a series of circumstances, she came in contact with a Ugandan woman overwhelmed by trying to care for a group of young orphans and decided she needed to help her in some way.

I won’t recount the story here but her intention to simply leave a little money and go her own way turned into a crusade to build a house for the orphans. That snowballed into the building of an orphange to house 180 kids and that grew into a non-profit responsible for five orphanages in Uganda.

The whole story is pretty impressive and certainly bears all the hallmarks of a tale in which God is at work in a big way. The thing that struck me is that she really didn’t want to do it, much as you and I don’t want to do things that might interfere with our own selfish wants and desires. But, because she said yes rather than no, God has wrought an amazing work from her efforts. It makes me wonder what opportunities I’ve turned down simply by saying no instead of yes. I encourage you to visit the site and watch some of the videos. I know we’re all inundated with images of Sally Strother and starving children in Africa but I think you’ll be struck by the founder’s tale.

And, if you are touched by the story and want to help, you can get a great deal at Tom’s Shoes. If you buy a pair of shoes through the website, Tom’s will donate $8.00 dollars and a pair of shoes to the cause. I am now eagerly awaiting the pair I purchased this morning. I got the “Brown Leaves”. Not sure I’ll wear them but, what the heck. It’s for a good cause.

So, that was Friday. Saturday was more self-centered. I didn’t get to hang in and drink coffee but did have a lot of fun. My friend Pepper invited me to accompany her and her beau to the Inman Park Festival and parade. I’d heard the parade was a lot of fun but have not had the chance previously to attend. The morning started with a bruncheon at her friend’s house and then we walked over to the parade route.

What with the large crowd, it was pretty difficult to find a good spot to watch the parade go by.  It was hot and we were being jostled and bumped and pushed and just generally having a disagreeable time.  As we made our way through the crowd, we spotted this beautiful mansion fronting the parade route. The house had a lovely rooftop patio and we thought it would be a great place from which to watch the parade, especially seeing as how there was a group of people gathered upon it to watch the parade.

What a great place to watch a parade!
What a great place to watch a parade!

We were definitely covetous of their view and their roost safely out of reach of the crowd.

We decided that, were we to loiter around the gate long enough, we could meet people as they were going in and score some kind of invitation to the gathering. So we loitered.

Much to our chagrin, many of the attendees failed to acknowledge our presence as they were climbing the stairs and passing within. It was at this time that we decided to do something bold. We simply invited ourselves.

Now, this is not something I would normally do.  Abiding by the rules is something deeply ingrained in my nature. When I’m out hiking and a sign says “don’t climb on the rocks”, I typically don’t climb on the rocks, even if no one is looking. And when someone puts up an eight-foot iron and brick wall around their beautifully manicured lawn, I tend to stay outside of it. Especially when someone is looking.

But not today. Pepper and Pete (her beau) led the way and I, sucking up my inhibitions, followed. I did tarry briefly before crossing the threshold of the gate. Apparently I’m much like a vampire. If you don’t invite me in, I have a hard time inviting myself.

Pete and Pepper surely thought I would blow their cover. The way to invite yourself to someone elses’ party is to act like you belong there. If you act like you belong, no one questions your presence. If you hesitate and look like you’re out of place, people notice and question whether or not you should be there. Knowing this, I sucked it up, kicked the rules in the stomach and passed within.

We strode boldly across the lawn to the front steps. We climbed the front steps to the porch. We crossed the porch in through the open doors, up two flights of stairs and into the line of people waiting to get on the roof. No one said a thing. We got several smiles and greetings that we returned, climbed onto the roof, found a good perch for viewing and proceeded to enjoy ourselves. It was awesome.

This was our view:

The crowd of peasants below.
The crowd of peasants below.

As you might gather from the photo, the view was not quite as grand as we imagined from the street. You really couldn’t see the parade. All you could see was the mass of people lining the route.

It was also just as hot on the roof and perhaps even more so since the sunlight was reflected off tarred shingles. There was a pleasant breeze but, after half-an-hour of mixing and mingling, we missed the vibrancy of the milling humanity. The thrill of naked and willful tresspassing faded and we descended from our perch, having conquered the castle of the bourgeoisie.

Plus, we were never able to successfully locate the keg. We were pretty sure there was one in the house somewhere.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on porches and patios, drinking and dining and whiling away the hours. It was a pleasant way to spend a day.

Now I have to get cleaned up to do it all again. Friend Kim is coming over and we’re traipsing down to the park. It’ll be good to get in some exercise but, at this point, the last thing I need is more sun. I missed a spot with the sunscreen yesterday and I look like someone tried to press the wrinkles out of my forehead with an actual iron. Either that or I’ve been suffering from spousal abuse. I look forward to the liver spots and cancerous growths of my age.

Until then, I’ll slather on more sunscreen and wear a hat. Maybe somebody will come up with a cure for all these things in the interim period. Sure hope so.

Anyway, I’m signing off. See you all soon. Thanks for stopping in. Even if you weren’t invited.