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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Monday, March 29 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Do-overs

I don't remember "do-overs" in our childhood. It seems a recent idea, an invention appropriate for a generation of children who have sports with no winners or losers, who are growing up, perhaps, in a world that tells them they never have to compete or know responsibility. A "do-over," I gather as I hear the term in stand-up comedy routines and TV chat shows, is a chance to try again and do better, whether in a sport or a test in school or in play like hopscotch, marbles, or jacks. Though "do-overs" are usually offered to children in the pop culture where I encounter them, the conception may be even more appropriate for grandparents like me and others not far on either side of their threescore-and-ten.

What would you like to do over in your life? Maybe your whole marriage. Or the first encounter that led to that marriage, or the last blowup between you and your partner that ended—or nearly ended—your relationship. Maybe you'd like to revisit something you said to one of your children or failed to say to your mother or father. Occasionally, at my age, it seems almost possible to go back and get do-overs.

I was led to this train of thinking a few days ago when someone in the locker room mentioned an acquaintance who "seems to think everyone is a millionaire, like him." Immediately there formed "whole," as it were, an image of a skit on Saturday Night Live, circa 1979, which was making fun of President Carter on the topic of the runaway inflation that seemed close to toppling our economy at the time. One of the Not-Ready-for-Primetime Players, portraying Jimmah Carter, was telling his state-of-the-union audience, "think of inflation as our friend. At the rate we're going, before you know it, we'll all be millionaries." For just a second or two I was there again, thinking what I would do to make things better now that I had a second chance at 1979.

The first long roadtrip I did with my sons Mike and Kevin, when they were about 12 and 10, was up the Redwood Highway near the California Coast, from Golden Gate Bridge past Mendocino, on to the drive-through redwoods near Leggett (where we saw Fourth of July fireworks put off on the asphalt in front of the private park setting where we stayed in a rented cabin), on to Eureka. That roadtrip seems to stay so fresh in my memory that I often think I could go back to Leggett next weekend and see the burn spots on the side road where the cherry bombs were set off nearly 20 summers ago. It's still just as we left it the next morning, sparkling in the yellow-blue and dark-dark greens of the Northern California morning.

The idea of "do-overs" is appropriate to the Lenten season. Repentance is asking God for a do-over, a chance to start with a clean slate. And if we mean it, He's in the business of making all things new (Revelation 21:5).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Country wisdom

Don't name a pig you plan to eat.

—Sent by Mary Ann Losiewicz 

Lenten thought for today

Repentance may be old-fashioned, but it is not outdated so long as there is sin.

— J. C. Macaulay

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