Today started out well. I arose while it was still dark, and tiptoed downstairs to start my daily morning ritual. I must admit, I enjoy getting up before the break of dawn, when all is quiet, my dear wife lay resting in bed, and my 4 daughters dreaming away among their piles of blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. It may seem vain, but I feel quite manly when I awake before everyone else.
A hungry mosquito decided to join me during the first step of my ritual, it’s high-pitched whine went from my left ear to my my right. And with that I was quickly awaken from my moment of deep reflection while sitting on the toilet. As I quickly made my way out of the bathroom I was met by one of my smiling daughters, who was probably thinking- Daddy’s doing a funny dance with his pants around his ankles and wildly swinging his arms around his head. “There’s a hungry mosquito in here, Joanna. Be careful!” I said. We embraced, and then I made my way out to the living room for a time of focused devotion.
“Great is the Lord, His Love endures forever,” was the passage in Psalms that I was reading and trying to meditate on. But this time, something else, in the form of my little daughter, woke me from this moment of deep reflection, buzzing around the living room, and with several well-aimed requests asked me to read her a story. And so, after a quick drink from the Psalms, I closed my Bible and she climbed up onto my lap for a journey into the colorful world of Foxwood Tales.
A few more daughters eventually made their way downstairs, and they began their morning chores. It was time for me to go to my office. That morning I had been reacting a little to something in the air, maybe the mildew on books that had been sitting untouched during our summer in the States. Maybe it was some pollen, or dust. But my nose was runny and it was beginning to bother me. And as I sat down at my desk, I let out a few hearty sneezes, eyes watering, and an echoing head.
It just so happened that sitting right in front of me, where the desk meets the wall, was a golden bottle of Johnny Walker and Sons, XR 21 blended Scotch whiskey. I was not involved in it’s miraculous journey from our china cabinet to my desk. I think when we came back to Taiwan a few days ago everyone was cleaning up the cupboards and one of the girls thought that the whiskey should go in Daddy’s office.
Now, let me first say that I am not a big fan of alcohol in it’s various forms. I rather prefer sweet drinks like cider over beer, wine, or the strong stuff. But someone had given us this bottle, which I thought would be a pity to waste, and another friend had previous told us how their allergies were diminished after a nightly pre-bedtime swig of some high-proof beverage.
With the feeling of another sneeze coming on I thought, “Hey, maybe this will do the trick!” So with no cup in hand, a few tugs, twists, and squeaks later, I popped the ornate cork from it’s throne, and placed the bottle to my lips. And just as I was taking this unorthodox morning swig of whiskey at my desk, my dear wife opened the office door with a greeting and a question, which quickly turned to a look of confusion, and surprise. With my right hand tightly holding the forbidden bottle, my left hand shot into the air with an index finger raised high, indicating a calm yet resolute- “Just a moment, Dear. I’m ok. No, I don’t do this every morning. Please let me finish this one gulp before I sneeze into my bottle.” I forced down one gulp and we both laughed.
My wife, with a grin on her face, and a twinkle in her eye, let me finish my explanation. Laughing, I assured her that it was not what it seemed, and that she happened to walk in at just the right time. Then she made some flirty jokes about what I do every morning before she awakes. She assured me that she trusted me. We laughed some more. She’s a good woman. Truly, great is the Lord, and His Love endures forever.