I ended five wedding weekends in a row with my brother-in-law’s this past Saturday in South Dakota. When we were leaving the wedding we passed the Sioux Nation Pet Clinic that was fully in the Fall swing of things with an illuminated sign out front that said, “It’s here!! Pumpkin Spice anal gland milking!” I did not make that up.

When I was flying back out of Sioux Falls, the TSA agent had me step aside and put my feet on the school bus yellow footprints so he could do a further search. He looked up at a screen behind me, looked down at me, then looked back up at the screen to make sure he got it right. Then he told me he had two places he needed to search further. He had me hold out my right arm, patted it down and then said he had to pat down my hair.

I did not make that up either. He had to pat down my hair. I can’t imagine what kind of contraband he thought I might be smuggling up there. Was he searching for bad hygiene, an illegal haircut, diamonds or a weapon?

My Rasta friend, Makaba, who lived with us for two years, had enough hair with his waist long dreadlocks to conceal a toaster oven, but I don’t. Though I’m glad to still have my hair, it has gotten a lot thinner with age so it doesn’t even conceal all of my scalp let alone a handgun.

Shortly before the wedding got started the wedding planner said something like, “It’s almost show time! You’ve got a hair on your nose, do you mind if I get it off?” She went to get it off my nose and when she pulled on it we both discovered that it was a feral hair growing out of my nose! It was attached when she yanked it and we were both totally grossed out right before “showtime.” I didn’t make that up either.

I woke up at the ungodly hour of morning yesterday with a tooth ache from a recent crown that isn’t quite sitting right. My mouth felt on fire but there was also this strong waft of calm, of peace, of the presence of God in my bedroom. Why then and there I don’t know, but I know I’m not making that up either.

Life is strange and beautiful at the same time. And I’m not making that up.

Nothing But Love,
Mark