Susan, Lady of Leisure #7

A few weeks later Susan’s doorbell rang. A middle-aged gentleman stood there with a spaniel at his heel. “You must be Susan, the ever-so-helpful nurse?” he said as she opened the door.

Susan was somewhat taken aback. “Well, I am Susan and yes, I am a nurse.”

“Well, I’m James Maddox and I’m a doctor. In fact, I’m the Burchill’s family physician. Tom and Alice have told me all about how you arrived in the nick of time to save poor Tom’s life.”

“Er, well… It just happened that I dropped in. I’m sure Alice would have coped.”

“Well I’m not.” He gave her a big smile. “I think it was provident that you dropped in exactly when they needed someone like you. Since I live only four blocks away, I thought I’d knock on your door while I’m walking my pooch and say a special thank you for all the help you’ve been — and are being — to them.”

“I’m happy to do what I can for them.” Susan held the door open. “Would you like to step inside for a bit, Doctor Maddox?”

“Certainly, for just a moment. And call me James, please. We don’t need to stand on ceremony this morning.”

He turned to the spaniel. “Lie down, Fluffo.”

Susan eyes the dog dubiously. “Fluffo?”

James laughed. “I allowed the grandchildren to name her and that’s what they came up with. Now we’re stuck with it. Oh, well. Thankfully Fluffo isn’t the least embarrassed.”

During their short visit Susan told her caller, “You know, when I retired from nursing, I thought life would be so carefree, but I soon found that doing nothing isn’t healthy at all. I was feeling rather blue there for awhile. My life seemed so empty all of a sudden.”

James nodded. “Everyone looks forward to retirement, but many people find it quite an adjustment, especially if it happens all in one day. Some of my men patients have found the sudden jolt almost as hard to handle as an accident that would put them in the hospital for a month.”

“So here I was one morning,” Susan explained, “sitting here with nothing to do until I got this inspiration to go visit the neighbours. Yes, I believe it was Providence, as you say. And the feeling certainly paid off. The Burchills need me and I’m enjoying their friendship.” She smiled. “And Alice’s delicious baking. I’ll be asking you for a diet sheet before long.”

James chuckled. “Well, if you’d like more to fill your life with, there’s another elderly patient of mine not so far away who’d be happy for a bit of company now and then. She’s a widow whose children have emigrated to America and I know her evening hours get lonely.”

“So! This wasn’t an innocent visit. You had an ulterior motive.”

He laughed. “Just wanted to leave a suggestion. I hate to see a good nurse go to waste. But do whatever is best for you.”

Then he glanced up at the clock. “Now I’d better be on my way or Fluffo will get antsy. She gets bored, too, just sitting around. If you’re ever in Hickling Close, my wife and I live at #24. When I suggested to her that I might stop and say hello to Tom’s new nurse, she said to tell you you’re most welcome to drop in for tea any afternoon.”

Susan walked with him to the door. “Thank you so much. I may do that.”

James turned to her just before he stepped outside. “Oh, and I should warn you that you’ll probably get a visit from Pastor Cecil Smythe before long. When he finds out there’s a new voice in town, he tries to recruit it for the choir.” He winked at her.

Susan grinned. “Thanks for the heads up. I’ll greet him with a song; that ought to persuade him I’d be better off in the pews.”

She watched the doctor stepping briskly down her walk with Fluffo trotting at his heel. She chuckled as she closed the door. As a child she’d had a cat named Fluffo — a big gray Persian. Yes, good thing this poor Fluffo doesn’t know.

Susan, Lady of Leisure #6

So it happened that Susan knocked on the Burchill’s door at 9am sharp every morning to give Tom his insulin shot. I’m glad the Home Care nurses look after the evening medication and the couple’s well being in general, but this is one small thing I can do for them, she said to herself. And it sure helps me to get going in the morning.

Rather than feeling tied down with her new responsibility, Susan found herself enjoying the half hour she spent each morning with the Burchills. Alice often displayed her appreciation in the form of fresh baking: buns; cookies; the occasional pie.

“Mmm… You’ll have me bursting at the seams before long, Alice,” Susan said one day as she nibbled on her second gingerbread cookie. “I’ll have to do a couple more laps around the park every day if I keep this up. ”

Alice gave her a sweet smile and Tom, sitting across the table from Susan, chuckled. “We have you running around so much for us now, it’s only fitting to fill in a few calories here and there. You’re still a slim, trim thing.”

He doesn’t have his glasses on again, Susan noted wryly.

One morning a couple of weeks later, Susan drove Alice to the supermarket for her weekly necessities. In the midst of one aisle Alice stopped short as a woman about Susan’s age approached them and greeted Alice.

“Perhaps you don’t remember me, Mrs. Burchill, but I’m Heather, the daughter of your friend Lillian.”

“Oh, of course. Heather. It’s been a long time…”

“Indeed it has. How have you been keeping?”

After filling Heather in on Tom’s recent health scare and how they were coping with his diabetes, Alice turned to Susan. “And this is Susan, the nurse that helped me so much when Tom went into a coma. I had no idea what was wrong with him. If she hadn’t dropped in at that moment, I don’t know what would have happened!”

“I’m sure you would have soon realized something was amiss and called the ambulance yourself,” Susan countered. “And now you know what to do if there’s ever a next time.”

“Let’s hope there never will be,” said Heather. Then she turned to Susan. “So you’ve retired to our small town. What do you think of it so far?”

Susan soon learned that Heather was a local librarian. Of course the discussion soon turned to books and the current summer reading. Susan commented on a couple of the novels she’d just finished. “In fact, one of these days I’ll pop around to the Library and see what other books you can recommend for me.”

Heather’s eyes lit up. “I’ll be looking forward to seeing you there. Perhaps you’d even like to join our local Book Club, Susan? The group is always looking for new members, avid readers who will add their opinions to the general discussion about the latest books.”

Susan smiled. “I might just do that. I belonged to the club back home and have been missing the interaction with other bookworms. I always found it stimulating to discuss the positives and negatives of current reading. I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I’ve been missing going to those meetings.”

To be continued…

Note from me:
Poor retired nurse Susan has been neglected for too long while I wrestled with writer’s block. Hope you enjoy this ongoing tale.

Susan, Lady of Leisure #5

PART 5

The ambulance arrived within five minutes, loaded Tom on a stretcher and took him to the hospital. Susan ran home and got her car, picked up Mrs. Burchill and followed it. Half an hour later Susan was sitting in the Emergency area holding Alice Burchill’s hand as a team of medical personnel worked on Tom in the examining room right beside them.

Soon a young Resident doctor came out wearing a cheery smile and put his hand on Alice’s shoulder. “Things are looking up, Mrs. Burchill. Tom went into a diabetic coma, probably soon after breakfast. We’ve given him insulin and he’s awake now, so you can go in and spend a few minutes with him. We’ll keep him in today for observation. He’ll need insulin injections from now on to manage his diabetes; other than that he should be fine.”

“Oh, thank you so much, Doctor!” Alice stood and rushed into the examining room.

The Resident turned to Susan. “Good thing you recognized the problem and got him in when you did.”

Susan shook her head. “I’m still amazed how this all worked. I mean, I took this sudden notion to visit the neighbors this morning and here he was. Now I’m so glad I followed that little prodding, if you can call it that.”

The Resident chuckled. “I’d say you should keep on getting notions like that. You could prove very helpful to your neighbors, especially people like the Burchills who have no family living nearby.”

He paused then and Susan could see his wheels turning. “You know, I don’t believe he’d be up to doing insulin injections himself,” he told her. “We’ll probably have to arrange for Home Care nurses to come in every day and give him his needles. Unless, as neighbour who’s an RN…” he gave her a meaningful look.

Susan grinned and nodded. “I get it.”

Awhile later Alice joined Susan again and said she’d like a ride home. “I need to pick up some things for Tom and come back. I’m so sorry to take up so much of your time today. But you’ve been a real Godsend.”

Susan took hold of the old lady’s arm. “Now, dear, I had nothing else planned for today, so don’t worry about taking up my time. I’m so glad that I can be of help to you folks. Makes me feel a lot better than if I were just idling around all day.”

To be continued…

Susan, Lady of Leisure #4

PART FOUR

Susan cleared away the breakfast things and set out to call on the Burchills, an elderly couple next door. She’d exchanged a few words over the backyard fence with the couple as they sat outside in the evening; Mrs. Burchill had even suggested Susan drop in for tea some day. Maybe it would suit her this morning.

Mrs. Burchill answered Susan’s knock and welcomed her to step in, but the elderly lady seemed preoccupied about something. “Perhaps this isn’t a good time?” Susan said. “I could come back some other day.”

“Oh, no. It’s fine. I’m glad you’ve come. It’s just that Tom isn’t awake.” The old lady’s hands moved nervously over her bodice. “He said after breakfast that he was feeling a bit tired and wanted to have lie down, but I’m surprised he’s sleeping so long.”

She led Susan into the kitchen. “You’re most welcome to have a cuppa with us. I’ll just put the kettle on, then I’ll call Tom. I know he wouldn’t want to miss your visit. Sit down, Susan.”

Susan did sit, but she was anxious. Her nurse’s training was kicking in, asking the questions she’d ask at the hospital. Is Mr. Burchill having a serious health issue? Heart trouble maybe? Or was he just tired, not surprising at his age. But right after breakfast? She listened as the old woman’s voice got louder.

Soon Mrs. Burchill was back in the kitchen wringing her hands. “I don’ know what to do. Tom just won’t wake up!”

“May I have a look at him? I’m a trained nurse.”

“Oh, thank heaven! Yes, He’s in here.”

Susan followed Mrs. Burchill into the bedroom where Tom was stretched out, breathing normally. His colour was good. But when he didn’t respond to Susan’s touch she lifted his eyelid — and saw blackness.

“He’s unconscious, Mrs. Burchill.”

The old lady gasped and sat down on a nearby chair. “What can I do,” she wailed.

“The first thing is to call an ambulance.”

To be continued….

Susan, Lady of Leisure #3

PART THREE

Several mornings in a row Susan woke up feeling unmotivated and took her time getting out of bed. Buy the third morning she couldn’t even think of a reason she should get up and start her day. What was there to do? The flowerbeds were in great shape, no work needed there. Her house was spick and span since there was no one but herself to mess it up.

I could go sun myself on the beach, she thought, but I’ve done that three times already this week. I can hardly believe it, but loafing on the beach does get old after awhile. I’ve read all my new books. There’s nothing on TV in the morning but those silly game shows. I could drive into Bournemouth and do some shopping, but what do I really need? Nothing. I’ve no reason at all to get up; I can just roll over and sleep the morning away if I want to.

Then she sat up and gave herself a firm scolding. “This is enough, you loafer! Get yourself out of bed right this minute. Honestly, you’re getting to be like one of those patients we nurses gripe about, the ones who want to lie there and ring for Nurse all day. They moan about how tired they feel, or they’re too stiff to move. And we’re supposed to wait on them hand and foot while their muscles atrophy because they won’t move. That’s where you are headed, my girl, if you don’t smarten up.”

Susan had to smile as she thought how many times she longed to give one of those patients the same talking to. How many times hadn’t she “encouraged” some unwilling soul to get out of bed and move around, even if it hurt a bit, so they wouldn’t stiffen up? She slid her bare feet into her slippers and grabbed her housecoat. Ah, yes, one can always dish out good advice, but are you always willing to eat it off your own plate, Susie?

Half an hour later, showered and dressed, she was feeling more like herself. As she poured her coffee and sat down to breakfast, her mind turned over the possibilities for the day ahead. All these years dashing around on the ward, I’ve been telling myself that doing nothing would be so wonderful. Now here I am and it’s not so wonderful after all. I need to find something useful to do with myself. But what?

She glanced around the room and her eyes came to rest on the old Bible sitting on the shelf beside the microwave. It had belonged to her late husband, Harvey, and she treasured the old book as a memory of him.

She walked over and picked it up. “What advice would the Good Book have for me today?” Her words were as much a prayer as a question. The Psalms are always good for an encouraging read, aren’t they.

She sat down, opened the book, and found herself in the Gospel of Luke instead. She started to read and soon recognized the story of the Good Samaritan. She read through to the end of the account and came to the verse where the Pharisee asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

The question seemed to jump right off the page and slap her in the face.

She repeated the verse. “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” Suddenly she saw herself in that man. Wanting to mind his own business, undisturbed by other people and their woes.

Who are my neighbours? She glanced out the window toward the house next door. I honestly don’t have a clue! Here I am, surrounded by neighbours, but I’ve been so busy pleasing myself that I haven’t taken time for any of them. Perhaps they’d like to get to know me, too, but I may have come across as someone who doesn’t want to be bothered. Oh, dear!

Well, it’s high time. She shut the Bible. No man is an island, they say, and I’m starting to feel very marooned in my self-centered, leisurely life. Time to launch out and meet the neighbours.

Susan, Lady of Leisure #2

PART TWO

Susan took her time selecting and packing up her belongings, disposing of all the stuff she didn’t want to bother moving.

“Funny how one collects so much in a lifetime,” she told her daughter one morning. “But I want a life of a minimalist now. No more trying to find places to store knickknacks. No more cleaning clutter and moving it from one spot to another.”

Another task that took some of her time was saying her farewells at the various groups and clubs she was a member of through the years. She determined to be a minimalist in that regard, too.

“Now that I’m retired,” she told her friends at the book club, “I’m going to be careful what pies I put my finger in from now on. I may join the book club down there, or I may not, but I’m definitely not going to become so involved in organizations. I don’t regret the time I’ve contributed to Bake Sales or served on the Boards of MADD and the COPD Foundation, but now they will have to do without me.”

“We’ll see about that,” her friend said with a nod. “You may get bored and want to become involved in things down there.” She nudged Susan and winked. “Now that you have all this free time, you can bet different groups will be calling on you.”

Susan laughed. “As for being bored, that may take a year or two. And I can always say no to people who want to sign me up for this and that.”

The whole group then toasted her new life of ‘footloose and fancy free.”

Finally the day came when the last thing had been loaded on the moving van and it was heading off. Susan locked her apartment door for the last time, handed in the keys to the super, and drove away. She took her time driving down to the coast, hitting a few tourist spots en route. She stopped at some small village tea shops, savoring her new freedom as well as the local cuisines. Life is so good, she told herself.

She arrived at the cottage to find the moving van had already arrived and unloaded everything so she got right to work. It took her a few weeks to unpack and get her belongings stowed into their proper places in her new home. And of course yard work now occupied some of her time. The last owner had a gorgeous flower garden Susan intended to keep up. All her life she’d wanted one.

The next month flew by as Susan enjoyed her flowers, puttered around the house, and visited the local stores. Being only half an hour from the beach, she spent quite a few mornings stretched out in the sunshine. Not ever one to sit in front of the television, she spent the pleasant summer evenings reading or doing walkabouts in the neighborhood. She met and chatted with her new neighbors from time to time.

Yes, this was the retirement life she’d always dreamed of. Nothing to do, no appointments to keep. Sure, she missed the hustle and bustle of the hospital ward at times. As much as she was glad to get away from that old routine, being totally without one started to bother her a bit. The first few weeks she’d told herself, There’s no hurry. I can sleep til noon if I wish. But now she was starting to think, I can’t just let myself go to pot, either. I don’t want to morph into a couch potato here!

One day an odd, empty feeling came over her. It took her awhile to define it, but finally it condensed into a question: Do I have any real purpose in life anymore?

She brushed it away at first, yet somehow that question rose up like a mountain, looming over her, dark and scary. Susan trembled. She didn’t have an answer.

To be continued…

Susan, Lady of Leisure #1

HER LAST DAY

“Now don’t you be in here with sunstroke next week!” Lynn, the head nurse winked as she waggled her finger at Susan. She cut a piece of the celebratory cake, dropped it onto a paper plate, and handed it to Susan. “Here’s the biggest piece for our guest of honor.”

“Best of luck, girl. You’ll be a lady of leisure now,” said Ethel, another ward nurse. “I’m sure looking forward to joining you – but I’ve got ten more years to go,” she added with a sigh.

“Well, I’m cheating to retire at 55, but with the inheritance from my Uncle James adding a bit to my pension, why shouldn’t I?” Susan admired the neatly formed icing rose on her piece of cake and shoved it to the side of her plate to keep as a souvenir of this party.

Nurse Karen balanced her plate of cake in one hand and patted Susan’s shoulder with the other. “You just enjoy your retirement years. You’ve earned it. And just think: no cranky old ladies hollering ‘Nurse! I need a bedpan.’ Lucky you!”

“I prescribe sunny southern climates all winter for the next twenty years,” said one of the Residents as he shook Susan’s hand.

“That sounds great! But I probably can’t afford that lifestyle if I’m not working 8-5 every day.” Susan chuckled at the mental picture of herself basking in the sun at the Riviera. With her fair complexion, plus being rather pale from years of working indoors, she might look like a boiled lobster if she spent too much time in the sun right off the bat.

Susan’s daughter Rhoda, who had taken time off to join the celebration, told the group, “Mom may not be doing the South Seas every winter, but she’s bought a neat little bungalow in a small southern village right on the coast close to Bournemouth.”

“Good for her,” Nurse Amanda cheered. “When can I come for a visit.” Everyone laughed.

“Will you be renting out a spare room for guests?” Nurse Collin asked in a teasing tone. “My wife would love a weekend down at the coast. Stuck here in Aylesbury all our lives, never toured southern England yet.”

Susan looked around the staff’s lunch room at the coworkers, dear to her heart, who’d come to say farewell. She smiled at the “Happy Days Ahead!” banner someone had tacked on one wall. In spite of the joyful occasion, which marked the end of running back and forth along this ward, she felt tears prick her eyes.

Yes, she’d had her holidays and some hobbies that kept her busy, but the past twenty-five years of her life had been devoted to this place. She’d gone back to nursing to support herself and her two children after Harvey’s death and the work had been a lifeline for her in more ways than one. What would she do now?

Susan made up her mind right there: she would not become a lonely old widow. As she nibbled at her cake her mind started flipping through the possibilities — all the dreams she’d had, some of which she might now be able to fulfill. She chuckled. If she got too bored she could always enroll in university.

Stella, another nurse a few years younger than Susan, wrapped an arm around her and gave her a gentle squeeze. “We’ll miss you. You’ve been so good with the patients. You’ve definitely earned your day of rest, Susan. Put your feet up. Read some good books.”

Susan waved her hand upwards. “I sure will. The sky’s the limit!”

At the end of the party Susan circled around the lunch room one last time, gave everyone a hug and left them with a promise to follow the prescribed course of treatment: total rest. Together with her daughter she walked down the hall and pushed the elevator button, dabbing at a few lingering tears.

“This is so sweet,” she said to Rhoda. “Last time on this elevator. Freedom!” They got off by the staff exit and Susan walked out that door for the last time.

To Be Continued…

FULL HOUSE–Book Report

FULL HOUSE
© 2012 by Maeve Binchy

This book is classed as a “Quick Read” and it was. I picked it up at the library last week and read it in one evening. It was also a delightful tale, the story of Dee & Liam, whose adult children still live at home and are totally at ease in the old nest. The young folks are totally focused on their own personal problems and take it for granted Mom look after all their physical needs: the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.

Then Dee & Liam face a financial and emotional crash and Dee realizes this system can’t go on. But now, how to go about re-educating their offspring after years of “training” them to be careless and self-centered? A rebellion is in order here.

I think this story could be a great eye-opener for teenagers and young adults living at home as well as for parents of teens and young adults.

Back cover blurb:
Rosie moved out when she got married, but it didn’t work out, so now she is back with her parents. Helen is a teacher and doesn’t earn enough for a place of her own. Anthony writes songs and is just waiting for the day when someone will pay him for them. Until then, all three are happy at home. It doesn’t cost them anything and surely their parents like having a full house?

Then there is a crisis and Dee decides things have to change for the whole family…whether they like it or not.

Aprosopol Romance

Today’s WP Prompt says to create a new word and explain its meaning. Here’s mine:

Aprosopol

I find that in most romance novels nowadays the main characters are aprosopol.

Prosopol is a Greek word meaning respect, as in “to have respect for someone.” Hence, aprosopol means without respect or no respect.

You could say contemporary romances are contramorous. The Latin word contra means against and amor means love.

I haven’t read so many contemporary romance novels in my life, but lately have investigated this genre again via e-books and I have been quite disappointed.

It seems to me that in years gone by the male MC and female MC met and usually fell in love — or at least into like. Even where they didn’t always see eye to eye they often had a certain basic respect for one another. There was usually some hope of them actually coming to terms by the last chapter.

Modern day romances tend to be so formulaic; I think most of us could write one in our sleep. Male MC meets female MC and detests her. Blah! He’d never marry this woman; she’s haughty, impulsive, headstrong, emotional. She won’t listen to his common-sense approach at all. NO WAY will he ever get involved with her!

And/or female MC meets male MC and loathes the man. He’s arrogant, unreasonable, unpredictable, insufferable. NO WAY is she ever going to be interested in him. So Chapter Two starts out with him spitting nails at her and she spits them right back at him. Lots of glaring, head tossing, fuming, insulting.

For the first few chapters every meeting they have serves to reinforce each one’s negative opinion of the other. However, somewhere near the end of chapter Two you get some physical attractions kicking in:
A) He’s thinking, “I want nothing to do with her, even if she’s knock-down drop-dead gorgeous.”
B) She’s thinking, “I’m keeping my distance from this ruggedly handsome hunk even if his physique sends hot flashes through my system.”

So they continue to spit nails at each other for another several chapters, but by now every second page mentions how he’s struggling to resist his attraction to her and/or she’s fighting the fascination she has with him. At this point it seems to be all sex appeal; they still manifest little respect for each other — but the world is turning.

Two thirds of the way through the novel either he gets himself into some sort of predicament or she does. He rides out with the posse and gets winged by the bad guys, or she falls in the river and needs to be rescued. His ship sinks and she must alert the authorities, or he’s in jail and/or about to be lynched for some false charge and she must step forward to plead his case even if she detests him. Or maybe she is at the mercy of some villain or gossip and he must rescue her/offer her refuge/marry her even if he’s averse to doing so.

In the end they get it together somewhat grudgingly, yet with promise of lots of steamy snuggles to come. (Though in some books these start to appear about Chapter three already!) So the theme actually seems more like “lust conquers all” than “love conquers all.” You just wonder if they are really going to live happily ever after when they detested each other so thoroughly at the outset.

I contrast this with the Biblical story of Ruth, where two people who admired and respected each other worked together on behalf of a destitute widow. And in doing so they found love for each other. Here I see so much better prospects for a true “Happily ever after.”

Anyway, I’ve managed to invent a new word for the Daily Prompt — and write my rant about contemporary romance — all in one post.

Mrs Lot Muses

My conjectures of what Mrs Lot might have thought and felt. Based on the Biblical account given in Genesis 19:1-26

PART III

As I said, I never dreamed that things have gotten so bad in our city that these guests lodging in our our own house would be in danger — and our own lives as well. But a few hours after supper we begin to hear sounds, voices and then shouting, outside.

Lot sends out a servant to find out what’s what the townsmen want. Before long he returns, looking seriously scared, and says to Lot, “There’s a crowd gathered in the street out there, sir, and they don’t look friendly.”

I peeked out a window. Now that was an understatement. The gang advancing toward out house almost looked vicious!

Lot goes to the door and some one shouts that he should send these two young men out. Next thing others are calling the same thing and Lot is outside now trying to calm them down. We’re all horrified when we realize what this crowd has in mind.

I told you Sodom isn’t very safe, but really! These young men have ought to be more careful about coming into a city and upsetting everyone. People should study the travel guides and find out about the inhabitants of a place before wandering willy-nilly about the country side expecting some kind soul to take them in.

And Lot might have known better than to bring them here. Maybe he could have spoken a kind word in their ear — a bit of warning — and sent them on their way before sundown.

Wait! What was that I heard? Lot, what are you saying? Not our precious daughters. What insanity would make you offer to send our beautiful girls out to that pack of wolves just to protect these two strangers?

As a precaution I order the girls to disappear, to go with the maidservants and hide on the roof top.

Well, thank goodness! These young men showed some good sense and dragged Lot back into the house. The mob was almost at the door; I was afraid they were going to tear Lot apart. Now everyone is stumbling around out there as if they can’t figure out where they are or where they should go. I’m so thankful they aren’t battering our door down to get in!

Seeing what they’ve done to the men outside, I’m beginning to wonder if these young men really are supernatural messengers. But why have they come? In any case, I pray God will have mercy on us this night!

Lot just came to me now and said the men are telling him we have to leave Sodom, that our daughters and their families need to get out, too. Fat chance our sons-in-law are going to pack up everything and go flying out of town on the say so of two strange foreigners. (I’m not sure they believe in angels and may think we’ve lost it.)

I’m not very willing myself, but I’d better do some packing, as Lot insists. The servants are helping, but they aren’t at all interesting in joining us on our wild flight into the night. Good thing we still have the two girls at home to help. Oh, dear, we are too old for all this upheaval!

I have a pretty good idea how this will go. We’ll head off into the desert and spend a miserable night, then by morning everyone will have come to their senses and we’ll come back home again. I hope and pray once these men have left us whatever their message is and are gone on their way we can settle down and resume our normal lives.

The towns folk may be annoyed with Lot for a few weeks but they will soon forget it. Then, as I said before, the next time he wants to bring strangers home I’m putting my foot down.

They’re urging us to hurry so I’d best get moving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve told Mrs. Lot’s story in a contemporary voice, not just for fun, but because this really is a story for our times. I don’t think she had a clue what was coming, and neither do we, but the Bible tells us there’ll be a day when this world as we know it will come to an abrupt end. All the things we love and claim as our own will someday be gone. This may not come in our generation — or it may — but Jesus tells us about His return to our world, comparing it to the destruction of Sodom.

Luke 17:28-30
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

II Peter 3:9-14
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.