Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dry Ice

You know they say that the Lord never gives you more than you can handle. I think that God is seriously overestimating my capabilities. Mia has been limping on her right leg on and off for the last month or so, and in the last week it's gotten so bad, she limps all day. She can't straighten her knee without pain. I took her to the doctor a few weeks ago, but she put it off as growing pains. I called a pediatrician yesterday, and he saw her right away. He thinks that she has pauci-articular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. We have an appointment with a pediatric rheumatologist tomorrow and an ophthamologist in late July. It's a rare condition that can spread to other joints and even effect her eyes. Please pray for her and us.

Molly's confirmation party on Sunday was wonderful. She looked beautiful (as you can see in the picture), and the service was lovely. She had 8 grandparents at the church, and Doug and I stood in as her sponsors. We had 34 people at the house for the meal. It was a little colder than the weatherman had forecasted, but it was still a great time. Doug's family clustered in one group, the Locksteins in another, and my friend Jenny and her husband John sat inbetween. The kids made no distinctions between families and ran around playing together. The wind made it a perfect day for blowing bubbles.

Dry Ice by Stephen White is the 15th book in his Alan Gregory series. Michael McClelland, the bad guy from the first book, has escaped from a mental institution and is after Alan's family. Meanwhile Alan still hasn't recovered from the events of the previous two books, and all of these events are shaking his family in a way that none of them may ever recover from. Add in a secret from Alan's past, and at 402 pages, the book still seems too short. Even if you are a fan of White's previous works, 14 books seems a little long to wait to bring back a villain. Unless you've recently read Priviledged Information (the first book), the events seem distant, and I couldn't remember much of anything about this super-baddie. And White expects you to be familiar with the previous two books in the series including the lackluster Kill Me where Alan barely registered as a cameo. Alan has taken up drinking and distancing himself from wife Lauren. Lauren's hostility toward Alan seems unwarranted and over the top at times, but Alan is keeping lots of secrets in this book, from Lauren and the reader. His near infidelity proves that White is trying to stretch Alan as a character. The mysteries and coincidences keep piling up and make for a quick read. One of the charms of the series is his descriptions of Boulder, Colorado: its scenery and community. White really brings the city alive. I enjoyed this book even with its drawbacks, but the ending through me for a loop. Lauren and Alan's marriage is on the rocks, Alan is still enigmatic, and his best friend, Sam's, act was shocking. It's hard to believe that Sam would do what he did and that Alan would accept it. I'm not sure where White is going next with this series, but he's certainly shaken it up.

The van wouldn't start again this morning. All I could do was put my head on the steering wheel and pray. I couldn't even find words other than "Please God." Doug picked up the kids, and God answered my prayer with my father-in-law Roger stopping by. He was able to bring Mia to school and me to work. He even took us out to lunch afterward. It's a beautiful day outside, low 80s and sunny with a little wind.