Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Late last spring my son was finally able to purchase a long cherished Lego set. He had saved for months, and had done some extra chores. Here is the set he was drooling over:

The Lego Grand Emporium

Finally he had saved up enough money. We drove to the Glendale Galleria that has the closest Lego store in 7 counties. On a Saturday. Yes, I said Saturday. Silly, funny, goofy me. This is the Greater Los Angeles Area. And on any given Saturday, the crowd is stacked three high by 10:00 a.m. It took 30 minutes to drive there; 20 minutes to park and another 15 to negotiate the crowd of salivating children in the Lego Store. Finally! A salesperson came up to us and Wonderboy made his request. Alas, they were all out! But the order was to come in the next Monday. That was not going to work for us. So they offered to order it online, and waive the shipping costs. We spent another 30 minutes trying to input the order information on the play computer with the sticky keyboard that wouldn't work right, then the screen went blank. Walked down to Target and, no dice. No Grand Emporium.

When we finally returned home the following Wednesday.....ha ha, just joking. Later that afternoon, I ordered the Grand Emporium, with shipping costs.

Finally it arrive. The outside box said "Grand Emporium". The invoice said "Grand Emporium" and inside the box was


Yes, it was the Green Grocer. Close, but no cigar. After initial disappointment, I offered to send it back. Wonderboy said "No!" he would build this anyway. It was the same price. He was sure.

It was built in two days. He loved every moment of every step putting it together. I like it too. It's very cool. Lots of detail and great design.

And he began to save again for his cherished dream of The Grand Emporium. Finally, this week he had saved and done enough required chores to get it. We went to the Glendale Galleria yesterday (a Tuesday, with available parking and people stacked only on a single level). The kind sales woman again said that they are sold out. Still sold out. We told her what had happened with our last order. She was very surprised and then told us something we never ever expected to hear:

"You know, The Green Grocer is a collector's item now. Lego has discontinued making it. I have a lady comes in here every week looking for one. They go on e-Bay for a few hundred dollars. If you had ordered one you wouldn't have gotten it."

*stunned silence*

She then placed his order on their computer. One that actually worked. And on the way home, we marveled at the curious turn of fortune.

After pondering this a day and a half or so, I draw parallels to Jack and the Beanstalk and the story of Joseph and his pretty coat. Well maybe not exact direct parallels, but the concept that what you perceive as a bad situation today may actually end up being spectacularly wonderful.

At least this is what I am telling myself lately. It's far cheaper than a lottery ticket.

The Book of Lego: Chapter 5 Verses 12 - 42.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Last Day of Vacay GA Oy Vey

Today we go home from our second wonderful beach week in San Clemente. 

Thanks to WIFI, I've been able to keep up on basic e-mails and news of folks.

And the GA this year.

I'm not technically Presbyterian any more. But I'll always feel Presbyterian at heart. 

The news from friends who've kept up with the GA makes me so sad. There was no addressing why the church is losing members faster than you know what through a goose. Lots of worrying about sex. Who is having it with whom and who gets to be ordained based on where one puts one's you know whats. There is just so much skirting around the herd of elephants in the living room with the way it sounds this issue was addressed. For pete's sake, when I toured with Covenant Players I came across so many married pastors who were dipping in wells outside their marriage it became a standard joke. And that was back in the '70's! Yes, the church is mortally wounded, but this is not the wound that's killing it, IMO.

People are leaving the church in droves. I believe it is because the church is all about money, sex and politics, rather than what Jesus taught. Rather than being about mission. 

And that is just so sad. Back to your regularly scheduled news cast.