Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New walking shoes!

8:53 p.m. Today's project was to enjoy a full day at Disney's California Adventure and Disneyland, and then have dinner with Kriss and Marisela at Downtown Disney at 6:30.
Adding to my anticipation was getting to wear my new walking shoes that had just arrived from the Magellan's--real leather, brown, pretty, and flat except for the rubber grid soles. Since Magellans is a traveler's catalog, these shoes are designed for walking all day. Perfect! If there is one thing you do at Disneyland, it's walk.
The first letdown was quite literal: my thin, ivory ribbed "trouser socks" began to fall down just as I locked the Jeep. Do-over! Praise the Lord I had hedged my suspicions about the socks' elastic grip by bringing along some regular knee-hi hose. (Dowdy, I realize, but they sure make your shoes more comfortable to wear with slacks and long skirts). Now we were ready to go.
Steve and I headed over to the amusement park section of CA Adventure, first riding the tame "Mulholland Madness" roller coaster. A nice high ferris wheel and some swinging air ships almost made Steve forget that he had passed on the wild roller coaster "California Screamin." And I think we'll try the river rafting ride during the summer. Even though today's weather was very beautiful and mild, it was still cool at 11:00. Besides, with passes, we can take advantage of all of the attractions in our own sweet time.
Lunch was actually the first disappointing meal we've had at the Happiest Place on Earth. Pizza Oo- Mow-Mow's barbeque chicken pizza slice didn't give Steve much to eat, and my large pepperoni salad was okay, a little too full of raw purple onion slices even for this onion lover. But Steve was able to have the rest of my salad and the croutons, so we had enought to last us until I spotted a candy shop over in real Disneyland, and we bought a thick square of white peanut butter chocolate swirl fudge. Absolute heaven!
"We" is a misnomer, however, because Steve got one bite and I surreptitiously nibbled at the remaining 90% in between and during rides in Adventureland. Honest and unabashed, that's me! (And needing to walk an additional two miles). I am sure any female readers will identify with me here: there was chocolate involved!
At about this point, 2:30 or so, even though I didn't want to admit it, I was beginning to notice some soreness in the back of my right heel that kept stabbing at me with every step. My new walking shoes? Say it ain't so! But it was true. One shoe was rubbing badly at the heel, and we still had the whole Disneyland portion of the afternoon left to go. I just had to keep going, now with a slightly funky limp that I tried to disguise with short steps. I distracted myself by frantically moving us from ride to ride just so I could take a load off!
The Indiana Jones ride, new to us, was dark, loud, scary and twisting, very cool. The Haunted Mansion was as creepy-funny as ever, and the Jungle Cruise had the same corny narration I remember from the days of taking our now-adult children, and before that, my Grad Night party in 1969! Steve and I have just not been Disneyland fans. I guess we've just been too busy with our large immediate and extended family, ministries, and jobs.
Steve and I both realized today that God is the One who caused us to save these fun experiences for "such a time as this" (Esther 4:14), now that we are treasuring the relationship we have, and looking for ways to rejoice like never before. Unlike most couples who can assume that each party will be rational and conversant almost all the way up to the inevitable end of life, we don't have have any such assurance. After almost 29 years of marriage, we are focusing on "us." Careers are gone (or perhaps on hiatus in my case); all the children but the youngest are self-supporting, and Steven is pretty much on his own in Fresno. The Lord is opening up new avenues of ministry for me, but they fit nicely into Steve's and my routine. Praise God's holy Name, because He has done great things, too many to number, putting every part of my life into a coherent, cohesive picture that I never could have anticipated. And honestly, I don't deserve such mercy--no one does. That's why Jesus died for me. I can now avail myself of His mercy and love, and let Him guide my life as He wills!
Eventually, the shoe became too much, so we enjoyed two complete circuits--and a nap-- around the park on the Disneyland Express train, got coffee and water on a park bench on Main Street, and made our way back to the tram and to our car. We met Kriss and Marisela at the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney for a delightful dinner and visit. She liked the birthday gifts we gave her, and I was blessed to see how well those two are adjusting to married life.
At the moment, I'm not sure whether to return the shoes, which I really like, or give them another try with socks on. I'll think about that tomorrow, for the blessings and trials of today are sufficient--for today!

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