So Long, and Thanks for All the Myths

On January 23, 2003 Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman aired the first episode of a show called Mythbusters. This wild ride of science, hilarious hijinks, and massive explosions, lasted fourteen glorious years.

mythbusters

They set out with the goal of testing folklore scientifically, seeing if you could really make your stomach explode from eating poprocks and soda together, and if eating a poppy seed bagel for breakfast could really give you a false positive on a drug test. Overmythbusters-truck-explosion-o the years, they worked to make science fun for those who had begun to think it was all just book learnin. It was amazing and I learned so much. I personally have always loved science, but watching them perform tests that I would never have the ability to do, or bring up subjects that I knew nothing of, was a gift I’ll never forget.

I loved their ancient weaponry, myths, where they’d look at hwacha56o6jcenturies old manuscripts and blueprints and reconstruct the device. They  made cannons out of ice, catapults out of unfelled trees, torpedoes from 13th century Syria, and my favourite, the Hwacha!

They were well known to the public for their crazy explosions, one of my favorites still remains the time they made the creamer cannon. I love watching Kari Byron flee up the hill when the experiment went a lot better than they’d anticipated.

Their last ever episode aired on Sunday, March 5, 2016. This post is just me taking a minute to thank them. I don’t enjoy watching television as a general rule, so it’s hard to make me a loyal fan of anything on the screen. But the combination of history, science, and Adam and Jamie’s on screen chemistry won me over in total.

They’ve been open about theirs being a working relationship only, that they don’t see each Image-1other except on the set, because they don’t get along. Even if we allow for this being reality TV and some of their little tiff’s being staged or exaggerated, you can’t help but love them for how different they are. It was because of this, they made the ideal team. That was why when Jamie was asked to start this show, he asked Adam to join him, not because they were best friends, but because they made a good team.

This is gonna sound corny, but after 14 years I felt like I knew them a little. It’s like when you graduate high school or college and you give that favorite teacher one last goodbye hug. This is my hug to them. I’m going to miss you guys. Thanks for everything I learned. Thanks for jumping out of planes, getting buried alive, driving cars into swimming pools, and blowing up cement trucks. It’s been a blast.

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Text © Rachel Svendsen 2016

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What She Needs, Is What I’ll Miss

IMG_3229 From the moment I came to my in-law’s house that weekend, I’d been avoiding her room. Aunt Lori warned me that she’d been packing all week. It made sense, we were getting down to the wire. Now I stood on the threshold looking in. It was everything I expected to see, but that didn’t make the sight more palatable. The pictures were down off the walls. The bible verses tacked to her mirror were removed. All that remained of her worldly possessions were piled neatly on the floor of her room. She looked up and smiled at me, blinking her glittering blue eyes.

“Where should I sit?” I asked.

“I’ll make a place for you here.” She cleared off her desk and pulled up the chair. She pointed at a pile of clothes. “This is it. I’ve always wanted to be a minimalist.”

I chuckled and said, “You know when you get there you’re not going to come back.” I was only half joking. The expression that crossed her face made me think she half hoped I was right.

The Philippines. It already looks far on a map, long before you calculate miles or flight times or time changes. Two years. It already sounds long before you break it down to months or weeks or days. But it’s hard to hold onto my selfish desire to keep her here when she’s glowing like this.

“Rachel it’s been crazy lately,” she said. “I mean through this whole thing, God has just been changing me. Like, all these little things in my life. I feel God putting his finger on everything. ‘You need to give this to me’ and ‘You need to give this to me’. Even my desire to become a missionary. He said to me, ‘What if I don’t want you to be a missionary? What if I want you to stay in New Jersey forever?’ I’m like, ‘God, why can’t you just let me be a missionary?’ But he wanted me to give him everything, even my desire to be a missionary. And when I did, he gave it back to me. Now there’s no fear. I’m sad, I mean, I know I’ll miss a lot, like Ben and Chelsea’s baby, but if this becomes permanent there will be a lot more of that.”

I’m listening with all of me, while still acutely aware of how easily I could burst into tears and how much I wish I could stealthily record our conversation. I want to be able to remember what she said word for word. I want to be able to absorb it into me, along with her confidence in Christ’s plans and ways, the lessons she’s learned and learning, and her abiding peace.

I eyed the clothes she laid aside for her journey ahead. For some in this world it would still be a lot, but for the average American in our area, not so much. But she won’t need a lot of things where she is going. What she will need is the bit of her that I will miss the most. The part I most hate to lose.

The beauty of her gracious heart. The gentleness of her christlike spirit. Her compassion. Her wisdom. Her strength. Her passionate desire to answer God’s call. That is what drew her across the ocean, with a suitcase full of love for the newborn babies she will deliver. That is what she will bring to the poor and needy mothers at the clinic God has sent her to.

Those are the things that make her beautiful, and that is what I will miss the most.IMG_0918

Merry Christmas Little Angel

Merry Christmas Little Angel

Merry Christmas Little Angel,
Looking down from Heaven above.
Mommy’s arms are aching for you,
Wishing she could show her love.

I know you have a sweeter view,
In a painless, perfect place.
Half my heart is happy for you,
Half just wants to touch your face.

God please hold my baby for me,
Give his little face a kiss.
He was Yours, Lord, long before,
I knew his heartbeat to exist.

I couldn’t give a greater gift,
Then anything he has with You.
God, help my heart move past the hurting,
And see Christmas from his view.

My babe, I longed to see your wonder,
When we lit our Christmas tree.
But the lights you see shine brighter,
Than my blind eyes have yet to see.

God I know You know my losses,
As you watched Your own son die.
I give my child back to You Lord,
You love him even more than I.

So, blow some kisses down to Mommy,
She’ll blow some back up to you.
Merry Christmas Little Angel,
Down here I’m still missing you. ❤

© Rachel Svendsen 2014

A Second Goodbye

She ducked behind the display. Perhaps he hadn’t seen her. She felt him move towards her before she saw him. She picked up an item on the self and examined the price tag on its base. He spoke her name. It was a question. Could it really be her? His voice was all too familiar. She braced herself and turned around to look him full in the eye.

“Oh my gosh it is you!” he said. He raked a hand through his hair and looked her over. “Wow. I’d never have imagined meeting you here.”

Or anywhere… she mentally sighed.

“How’ve you been. You look great!”

“You too,” she mumbled. It was the right thing to say, but was it a lie? What she wanted to say was, “You look exactly the same.” He was smiling. Words were rolling out of his mouth. Falling from his lips. His lips. The same lips that had stolen her first kiss. The same lips that had…

He was so easy, carefree. How could he be so calm? How long had it been?

“Wow, how long has it been?” he echoed. She blushed at the absurd fear he could read her mind. “Five years right?”

“At least,” she muttered. They had been standing there several minutes. The greeting was over. Next was the horrific part.

“What have you been up to?” he asked. Perhaps he could read her mind…

“Oh this and that,” she said. He smiled.

“That’s appropriately vague,” he teased. The same smile touched his mouth. The same glint brightened in his eyes. The same sense of humor colored his words. “You here with someone?” he asked.

“No,” she said. “I’m on business. Just passing through. In fact I’ve got a meeting to run to so I should go.”

“Ah.” The knowing look in his eye. The little smirk. They knew each other too well. Three years pouring yourself, heart, soul, and body, into one person can leave little room for secrets.

“It was good to see you again,” he said. That awkward moment of saying goodbye. Do we shake hands? That seems odd and formal for two people who’ve…who’ve…known so much of each other.

He did it. He put his arms around her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. She managed to close her hands gingerly around his back. She could smell his aftershave. He hadn’t changed that either.

“Take care.”

“You too,” she mumbled back.

He was gone. It was over. The moment she had been dreading in her dreams ever since they said their first goodbye. She’d rehearsed for this meeting, aloud of all maddening things. She watched her face in the mirror, planned all she would say, and how she would behave.  Those rehearsals had been useless.  She could see them fluttering out the window with her script, each page separated and dropped lazily to the ground.

She was shaking. She went to the register and purchased the item in her hand. She didn’t see what it was until they slid it into the blue plastic bag. A paperweight? It looked like there was an insect incased in it. Gross! What was she going to do with that?

Useless memento in hand, she walked out the door. She looked both ways along the busy city sidewalk. She was looking for him. She always looked for him. Now that she knew he hadn’t changed his haircut, and still wore that same jacket, she would wonder if every look alike she spied walking away from her was him. Before now she could tell herself it wasn’t. Now…

She was walking. Where was she going? Back to the hotel she guessed. People brushed past her. Strangers. But somewhere in that mass of unknown faces, somewhere in that city…her first love. Her first kiss. Her first…everything. Shared memories and moments connected two moving bodies, two beating hearts, in this hurried mass of humanity.

He was gone again. Maybe they would run into each other tomorrow. Maybe five or ten years from now… or maybe never. That was their second goodbye. She thought the first would be their last. She’d hoped it was the last, but she made the right decision then just as now.

Hadn’t she?

© Rachel Svendsen 2014