Sunday, July 10, 2011

cheating fate

If I were a superstitious man, I would have stayed home on Saturday.

Any Roman augur would not have needed to dig elbow deep through goat entrails to see something was amiss in the morning. 

It was right there on my screen door.  Fifteen scuttling crabs.  (Most of which had skedaddled by the time I grabbed my camera.)  Now, that is quite a sight to get your day going.

But, I am not a superstitious man.  I am a child of the Enlightenment.  Those crabs were not carrying bad news in their mismatched claws.  They were simply hunting for a mate before the rains get too heavy and drown the lot.

It was only a bit disconcerting.  Because this was a special day.  So far, I have had only two sets of friends come visit me in Melaque.  And the third set were arriving Saturday afternoon.

Brian Saunders was the second Salvation Army officer at the church I attended in Salem.  (Not in some “second officer” Navy sense.  After all this is the Army.  He was the second person to hold that position.)  He and his wife, Leticia, were my pastors.

Brian was (and is) an incredibly gifted teacher.  He is one of the few pastors who has intellectually challenged me.  And Leticia was responsible for introducing me to my favorite Bible translation -- The Complete Jewish Bible.  They have both added pieces to the creation that is me.

I told you of Leticia’s death and my strange experience while in the hospital – just over a year ago.  When she died, I opened my home to Brian and their son, Holden.  But circumstances prevented their visit.  Until Saturday.

I love taking people to and from the Manzanillo airport.  Every time I leave the terminal, I feel as if I am getting a new start here in Melaque.  It was doubly special to meet Brian and Holden there.  Because I have been anticipating this week for over a year.

After letting them settle in, we walked over to the Red Lobster (not the American chain; this Red Lobster sells good food) for shrimp dinners.  For over two hours, we sat, and dined, and reminisced, and laughed.  It was exactly the type of moment I had been visualizing.  There are very few things in this world as fulfilling as good dining companions.

But the weather was not patient with us.  While we were eating, a mild thunderstorm moved in and left us with the choice of camping in the Red Lobster or walking through the rain.  We chose the latter.

The rain, as always, was a relief.  All day the temperature had been climbing along with the humidity.  But the moment the rain started, the temperature dived into the 70s.  And, even though I was drenched to the bone, the cool felt -- well, cool.  I am glad Brian and Holden will have a bit of relief from the weather I tolerate.    

As I write this late on Saturday night, the rain has been falling for several hours.  And the corpses of little crabs float like sculling shells on the River Styx.

Dating can be the cruelest of all sports.


Laurie Matherne said...

Poor crabs. I hear Eharmony is a lot gentler than the crabs' way. 

Steve Cotton said...

Another tragic tale -- because the crabs pincers keep them from using a keyboard to sign in on Eharmony.

1st Mate said...

What I wouldn't give to walk outside and get drenched! Well, my day will come. Enjoy your visitors! What hardy souls to arrive in mid-July!

Nita said...

Your analogies are priceless!!!

Steve Cotton said...

But they come at a high cost.

Steve Cotton said...

I could not believe how refreshing it was to get drenched to the skin.

Don Cuevas said...

We had the most violent storm last night while in Tonalá, Jalisco. I'd gone up to our hotel's azotea to smoke a cigar, but rain had started. I crossed te open area to the covered section as the violence of the rain and wind increased. Then came the hail. It got so bad that I took shelter in the restroom. I took several photos (after those of or dinner restaurant, El Rincon del Sl) at

Saludos, Don Cuevas

ANM said...

No, Old Duck, mating is definitely harder.  At the end of the date, one can go home again and crawl into one's own bed to read a book and eat crackers and cheese.  But at the end of a long marriage, one no longer knows what to look for, much less what to do with it if found.

Bachelor on!


Steve Cotton said...

Nice photographs!  Catching rain at it worst is difficult. 

Steve Cotton said...

Have you ever thought of playing the world-weary Doctor Otternschlag in Grand Hotel?  But it might be a bit redundant.

ANM said...

Spiel Herr Doktor Otternschlag?  Ich bin Herr Doktor Otternschlag!

Steve Cotton said...

Type casting in the world as we know it.