Wednesday, December 14, 2005


It is a very expensive time of year for us. My wife's birthday was last Saturday. Mine is Friday. We're not sure when Jesus' is but we've decided to celebrate on the 25th anyway (and we're keeping the church open!). We don't do candles on the cakes anymore due to local open burning regulations, but birthdays are still fun.

I bought my wife a mink coat kit for her birthday. Well, that's what I call it: a roll of Velcro, a hundred hamsters and a hammer. She said it was an upgrade from her mother's day present which was a wonderful entertainment center (well... it was two birdhouses and a BB gun). I'm not that into getting presents for my birthday because I have so much stuff already and if I want more I am usually able to buy it. And if my wife and kids buy it for me they usually use my checkbook to do it so... take it easy, kids!

Reaching 49 is not that big a deal. All you have to do is keep eating and breathing. I think it is the mommas who gave birth to us who deserve the cake, prezzies, and day off.

Last Sunday I went to an open house for Doris Jackson, one of our dear sisters at Rochester. She was celebrating her 90th birthday. As I came in she stood up to greet Kami and me -- and that is humbling in and of itself -- and grabbed me, kissing me on the cheek saying "I prayed all my life that God wouldn't let me live to be ninety. Now I just pray for patience!" What a delightful person.

My family tends to live long but not well. That is some concern for me so I am taking preventative measures such as eating bad food and moving only when absolutely necessary. (I DID run a mile once. Worse three hours of my life...) I have enough money to live the rest of my life as long as I die next Sunday. All in all, I'm living like I'm just renting my body and my stuff. "I am a weary and a lonesome traveler..."

So happy birthday to Kami and Doris and me and Jesus, too. We made it another year. I'm told that Jews, when celebrating the Passover, say "Next year in Jerusalem!" I think I'm going to start saying, on my birthday, "Next year in heaven!" Now THAT would be a cool present.


At 12/14/2005 08:43:00 PM , Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

Another great post. You NEVER miss! How do you DO that?!

You have the best sense of humor, Patrick! Hilarious. Local open burning regs, hunh?!

I LOVE your description of your birthday gift to your wife (the "mink coat kit" consisting of the Velcro, 100 hamsters and a hammer). Although it seems to me that guinea pigs might have been a better alternative because you wouldn't have had to buy so many!

As for you, though - I doubt you're going to get off THAT easy, Patrick, per your wish "next year in heaven." You can always hope, but I wouldn't be giving away everything I own, yet, if I were you.

I say that because I tried it and it didn't work for me. It was sort of like the ancient Indian chief in the old Dustin Hoffman movie "Little Big Man" who went out to lie on his funeral "bed" and waited and waited, but finally had to give up when the rain drop fell on his face and he realized he wasn't already gone and life was going on, even though he didn't "will" it!

And, not to burst your bubble or be discouraging or anything. Just telling you you might start thinking about all of those years your family members may have spent not living well before their demises and get ready.

I've been in some of those years for the last 2 or 3, but have learned much as God's child and see great things happening all around me for good among His people. Especially since the hurricane, although, it's not easy.

I try to follow the steps of your dear friend Doris and keep praying for more and more patience, but doing all the good I can, too.

Happy Birthday to you all!

At 12/14/2005 09:39:00 PM , Blogger That Girl said...

{rim shot} Thanks folks, he'll be here all week!

You're a fun and funny guy! Hope you have the happiest 49th birthday ever!

At 12/15/2005 09:40:00 AM , Anonymous Bill Venrick said...

Hi Patrick,

49? WOW!! That's almost to the HALF CENTURY level. Keep plucking away at that acoustic and sooth the moods but watch out for the long spears with points on them! That kept David busy.

From Venrick, pulling 73 until Feb 13, then Jean and I will BOTH be 74 (her's Jan 10, in case you're into dates).


At 12/15/2005 10:08:00 AM , Blogger markemason said...

I hit 39 this year, brother. It is all uphill from here. It is great to finally hear of a fellow preacher who despises running as much as I do. It seems everyone I know embraces that senseless activity! I guess 6'6" and 275 is not really built for running shoes.

I have to introduce you sometime to my father-in-law, who lives on a farm in rural Ohio. He is a kindred spirit when it comes to guns and shootin', as they call it there. He could arm a good-sized militia, I am sure.

Have a great birthday - all ya'll!

- Mark Mason, Vienna, WV

At 12/15/2005 10:31:00 AM , Blogger David U said...

Patrick, HAPPY BIRTHDAY brother!!
You were on your A game with this were cracking me up!

I hope this is your best B-day ever! I wish all of us in the bloggin world could be with you to help celebrate this special day in your life.

I'm glad you were born 49 years ago. I'm only sorry I didn't know you sooner.


At 12/15/2005 03:02:00 PM , Blogger Amy said...

You crack me up. Happy Birthday tomorrow!
I hope my husband doesn't read this for gift ideas...Actually, I think you two may be related.

At 12/15/2005 04:59:00 PM , Blogger TCS said...

Merry Birthday!

Keep on renting...owning a body is way overrated!

At 12/15/2005 05:02:00 PM , Blogger DJG said...

I love the next year in heaven line. I may just start using it.

I hope your birthday is wonderful and that your wife forgives you before Christmas!

At 12/15/2005 06:17:00 PM , Blogger Niki said...

My grandpa used to say "49" and "50" aren't over the hill, but you can see it from there. :)

What's that quote about not arriving at the grave in a well-preserved body, but sliding into the grave sideways and screaming "What a ride!"? Can't remember, but this post reminded me of that.

I feel sorry for your wife, and her "gifts". What that woman has to put up with! lol Then again I've felt that way since I met you! :) Thanks for the laughs Patrick!

At 12/15/2005 07:22:00 PM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

Wow... with friends like these.... and to think I'm going to be stuck with you guys in heaven! Sheesh! No wonder Jesus has to stick around with the hankie (wiping away all tears from our eyes -- in case you didn't get that!).

At 12/16/2005 02:07:00 PM , Blogger Kirsten said...

Happy Birthday!! And "amen" to the idea of next year and heaven. Nathan and I have long pondered together how best to spend our time on this earth, and we think we'd like to do a lot of service things together. Praying God gives us those opportunities and for now, renting the space we've got to the best of our abilities!

At 12/17/2005 08:26:00 AM , Blogger Kara Kaleen said...

happy birthday daddy :) i love you!!!!

~your princess


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