Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

When the kids were younger they used to play this goofy game with their friends where they would spin around and around until they got so dizzy they would fall down. The last one standing was the winner. Then they would stand up and do it again, still giggling and spinning in circles. Isn’t that a picture of life sometimes? Why are we playing this silly game anyway? And what’s so funny about it?

Right now in Mexico, folks are playing the “summer exodus” game. Living so close to the U.S., many missionaries opt to go to the States or Canada every couple of summers rather than investing a whole year in taking a traditional “furlough”* (not-a-vacation) like people serving in other hemispheres.

In this game, the contestants pass the contents of refrigerators from missionary to missionary, and the last one “standing” for the summer (in other words, the one who doesn’t leave the country) gets all the ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. I would use the more generic term for those items, but that’s another quirk of mine, avoiding words that start with those two syllables. You know what I mean!

Last year one of our neighbors did the unthinkable and left her refrigerator on instead of participating in the food-swap game. Let me tell you, it was not a good idea. Something electrical popped in their system, and the refrigerator went off, never to return to power. By the time I sent a maid to clean up the house for my neighbor’s return, it was nasty! Just imagine fish, meat, and chicken no longer frozen, but dripping down hidden coils in the works of the fridge. You could smell it all the way out on the road. The next time she left Mexico, I was given all the contents of her refrigerator, which I was able to pass along to a new missionary family arriving the same week.

That’s the way the game is supposed to be played.

This summer, however, there are not enough people remaining in town to bear the burden of all the (whispered) “condiments.” I mean, there are only so many bottles of ketchup a door can hold. I decided three months is a short enough trip. Why not live dangerously? I left Mexico for California last week with the refrigerator still plugged in!

A housekeeper friend of mine will go feed our cocker spaniels and check on the house while we are gone; so hopefully, she will discover any malfunction before it becomes a major stench to the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, here I am in southern California, settling in, cleaning an apartment formerly occupied by nine college men. It’s not as bad as rotten fish and meat, but, well, it did need a bit of serious scrubbing. At least they left us some ketchup and mustard on the door of the fridge. Hey, I’m back in the game!

Sometimes what we leave behind ketchups with us...

1 comment:

  1. Too funny! My sister lives in the same town that my parents "home assignment" in. (yes, not a furlough vacation ;) ) And she gets the fridge contents when they head back to Mexico. :)


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