November 26, 1977

Psalm 30
Day 9

Got up medium. Dressed. Talked, had Sabbath School. Mr. O gave permission to Pops to cook. He did, we ate. Yum. Rested, read. Aunt Sinah came. She brought drawing pads, pens +embroidery. Then Mr. Click brought us potatoes + things. Pops only took potatoes. Ate. Pops told a story. Went to bag. Thank you, Mr. O.

I ate:
  • Breakfast: 1/2 pkg pnuts
  • Dinner: Nana J_rice, pink beans+string beans+squash+cucumber+green banana, pops mustard (?) sauce
  • Dinner: Home fried potatoes, egg+potatoes, ketchup.
It must have been cold for Pops to even consider cooking on the Sabbath. Back then, we were WAY strict about Sabbath; we didn't cook or light the stove. Nowadays, I actually do a lot on the Sabbath. The only thing I WONT do is go to work or take a job where I have to work on Saturdays. But that's not really good enough. Poppy is surprisingly good about not getting on us for not keeping Sabbath as strictly as we used to.

I do believe the kids have suffered for this; they have no concept of it. My bad. I ought to do something about that.

In addition to keeping strict Sabbaths, Poppy's idea of "asking permission" of God for anything was to flip a coin on it. He had a special coin that he kept in a film canister, just for flipping. I think it was a Jamaican dollar or something like that; a heavy brass coin. His theory was that there was a 50/50 chance the coin would come down heads or tails, and there was no way to predict. So if you asked a yes/no question, and flipped a coin, you'd get a definitive yes/no answer.

Now "logic" will probably have the reader say "OK, that's REALLY nuts". But I've got to say... of all the crazy things in my life, this actually made a lot of sense, provided you have absolute Faith in God, which we all had back then. Implicit trust in the power of God, and in the power that God could make that coin come down the way He wanted it to, if you asked a question and believed you were going to get the right answer.

And I will vouch that there were times when the Professor and I would want something or would want to go somewhere, and Poppy would flip the coin, and it would come down "no." And then we'd find out later that there was good reason for us not going or doing that thing we wanted to do. It also saved the parents from being the bad guys. If we asked Bigbear for something and she was unsure or we didn't like her answer we'd go to Poppy. And if we didn't like Poppy's answer we'd ask him to flip the coin. And if it came down tails=no, well, there was just no arguing with that. I still do it, sometimes, if I'm in a quandary about something. I'll flip a coin. I ought to try it when the Sun wants something I don't want to give, but I've a feeling I'm too late...

Boy, we must have seemed really destitute if Ozzie Click came up and offered friggin' potatoes and stuff. Cuz Mr. Click didn't have a whole lot himself. But it was nice he looked out for us.

Aunt Sinah knew I liked to draw. I filled up the sketch pad she gave me. I look back at those pictures and wonder why and how in the hell I managed to convince myself that I couldn't draw. I stopped drawing in about 8th grade, and didn't draw again until I got to Pratt some 20 years later...


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