No, really– I can stop any time I want!

It’s amazing how weird and disjointed I feel when I don’t have immediate access to the internet. Seriously, I am truly surprised at the extent of my discomfort at being ‘unplugged!’ I’m not sitting in a corner all twitchy and jonesing like a laptop junkie, or anything… (Yet.) It’s more like those stories you hear about the phantom limb syndrome– I’m used to having this other appendage and even though it’s not there anymore I still kinda feel like it is! I’m starting to realize just how many times a day I Google something without even thinking about it, like the hair salon’s phone number, or the business hours of the store down the street, or how many airports there are in the London area, or whether or not Garrison Keillor is still married. You know, important stuff that I obviously need immediate answers for. It’s actually kind of pathetic. I may need to throw myself a telethon or something: “Please Help Us Stamp Out The Heartbreak Of Internet Interruptus!!!”

Today we are going to pick Charlotte up at camp, which is always a big nostalgia moment because it is the same camp where Russ and I met and fell in love ten frillion years ago. He was a youth minister at the church there. I came out for a weekend retreat, and he made me laugh and played me songs on the guitar and I thought he was really nice. I wasn’t interested in him in THAT way, of course, but he was a nice enough guy. Next thing you know, bada bing, we’re married 30 plus years and have two teenage girls. Go figure. Life is weird.

Anyway, after we get Charlotte we are going to come back to Benton and tonight at 5:00 she is going to be baptized in a small private gathering at a local church. She wants her daddy to baptize her. Our original plan was to do it in the creek behind our house, but the recent drought has left that particular body of water more suited for sprinkling than dunking, so this is Plan B. Typical Charlotte, she does not want a lot of fuss and bother, just family. A very generous pastor here has agreed to open his church for us and let us use his sanctuary and baptistry, which we truly appreciate. Even though Madi has already been baptized she has decided that she wants to, as she said, “get in on this, too” It will be very special to have Mom and Dad there, since they weren’t able to attend when Madi was baptized at our church several years ago. So, this 4th of July will be memorable in a whole lot of ways for us.

I thank all of you for all of the prayers and encouragement you continue to send our way. I have told Daddy all about it, and he is humbled and grateful. I can tell he is getting kind of nervous about the upcoming surgery, but he is doing well. I keep bringing him all of his favorite foods, and last night when I walked in with a giant platter of St. Louis ribs from the Rib Crib (after yet another steak dinner two nights ago), Daddy grinned and said, “Well, if this kills me at least I’ll die happy!”

Gallows humor, it’s what’s for dinner!!

(BTW, his own cardiologist said, “Aw, let him eat what he wants,” so I’m not really being as irresponsible as this sounds!)

I’ll keep you updated on the surgery, if I can. I’m checking to see if the hospital has wifi not because I’m an addict, you understand, just because I’m a responsible blogger.

* twitch *

**Walking with Charlotte to the registration desk.

**My sweet camper.

16 Responses

  1. auburn60

    Ooooh! (Picture me jumping up and down and waving my hands–I know, not pretty,huh?) I knew we had a psychic connection! Matthew is being baptized tomorrow! And I have been all weepy and nostalgic all week.
    He came home from a youth group activity all ready to get it done but had a favorite youth leader that he wanted to baptize him, so we have been waiting for this guy to get back in the country. He’s on vacation. And I just have to add here how much I love my church. So many people who take an interest in my family and really love our young people–you know–are really involved in their lives,go to their ballgames and other activities. Like, well, family. And there are so many men who take time with Matt and talk to him and encourage him. And I’m grateful.
    Tori, I will set aside some time to be by myself on Mon. and pray very hard for your Dad. I’m sure he will come through with flying colors.
    I love you all and look forward to pics from the weekend.

  2. MeaganW

    What a sweet, wonderful day this is for you! It’s always so beautiful to see someone come to accept Christ! Along with celebrating our country’s freedom today, you all can celebrate her new freedom in Him. What an awesome thing! Praying all goes well for you and for your Dad, always!

  3. belinda

    Sounds like you guys have a very memorable day planned. I know it will be a very special day for each and every one of you, filled with very special memories. Enjoy each and every minute of it! What a great way to spend the 4th of July holiday. I can’t imagine any better plans. To have Russ baptize both of the girls and to have your family there to witness it, will be unforgettable. Thast is what it is all about! Can’t wait to read updates on your day.

    I’m we will have an update on Charlottes camp experience too, right?

    We have been praying for your Dad and entire family and will continue to do so. Praying for a special peace and comfort that can only come from above for each and every one of you. Give your Mom & Dad extra hugs from us.

    We love you guys!

  4. LindaB

    Garrison Keillor is single again? Okay, I had to look it up, and here’s what it said on Wikipedia:

    Keillor has been married three times:

    “To Mary Guntzel, from 1965 to 1976. The couple has one son, Jason, born in 1969.
    To Ulla Skaerved (a former exchange student from Denmark at Keillor’s high school whom he famously reencountered at a class reunion), from 1985 to 1990.
    To violinist Jenny Lind Nilsson (b. 1958), who is from his hometown of Anoka, since 1995. They have one daughter, Maia, born in December 1997.
    Between his first two marriages he was also romantically involved with Margaret Moos, who worked as a producer of A Prairie Home Companion.”

    Wow! His love life gives the title of his radio show, “Prairie Home Companion”, new meaning!

    I love to listen to his P.H.C. show! And I love the show they do once a year— “Joke Day”, I think it’s called. It’s a “laugh so hard you start to cough” program!

    But I digress. How nice that Char and Madi want to be baptized by their dad! I’d love to be there! But I’m planting flowers today. And…..I ALWAYS cry at baptisms. The bad “ugly” cryin’. You wouldn’t want me there……..just in case you were thinking of inviting me.

    Have a wonderful family baptism day! And…..what are we having for dinner?

  5. auburn60

    Linda, they showed a video of some of our church kids being baptized on Wed. night and I had big ol’ tears rolling down my face. What is wrong with us? And the first person to suggest ‘menopause’ gets dunked (or baptized) in the first avaiable body of water! I’m turning in to a weepy older woman mess.
    And I had no idea that Garrison Keillor got around so much.

  6. johnboyFL

    awwwwwwww the baptism. my parents made me get baptised when i was a kid. so i decided to be rebellious and used a few alka-seltzers hmmm bad idea. to this day i dont use those things anymore. my parents werent amused to say the least. later in life i got baptized for real though.

    of course mine was done in the lake. we didnt have those jacuzzis in church back then. LOL

    im so glad to hear ya are spending quality time with your dad. yall are eating good. thats my kinda food!!!

  7. LindaB

    Alyson, I’m glad I’m not the only baptismal “cry-er” in this group! I don’t know what it is……….it’s just so……momentous……and personal…….and sweet! Gets me every time, even though I’ve tried to steel myself beforehand, telling myself it’s a joyous occasion! Right? I cry anyway.

    Well, it’s 6:14 here in E.S.T., and I suppose Char and Madi and the whole clad is gathered around them to celebrate! I’m so happy for them! Somebody hand me a Kleenex. Tori, show us pictures!

    Johnboy, I was baptized at 10 years old in the Flint River……..the dirtiest body of water you could ever step into, and poluted with industrial wastes from the auto factories. But it didn’t hurt me. I’m horthy as a wreath.

  8. themema

    “horthy as a wreath”????

    You are a Hungarian admiral? Sorry, I had to look it up. It was a word I did not know.

    Main Entry: Hor·thy de Nagy·bán·ya
    Function: biographical name
    Miklós 1868–1957 Hungarian admiral; regent of Hungary (1920–44)

    What a wonderful way to build another memory for your family and your dear parents. None of you will ever forget this day and special service. You know, Tori. A lot of PK’s would be very resistant to having their parent baptize them. You guys are doing something right!

    Now, I just have one other thing to say. Look at those arms and eat your heart out, Michelle Obama! Tori, you are gorgeous.

  9. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Talk about putting on the greatest show on earth….your mom and dad watching while two of their grandchildren are baptized by their dad. How utterly prescious! I just love every bit of it. It’s just perfect. Well, the only way it would be more perfect is if I could be there….and I would sure cry!

    Can’t think of a better Fourth of July celebration!

  10. gracelynn

    What a wonderful day it must have been for the Taff family! Wow! It would make me want to cry. To have your own father baptize you….it just tugs at the heartstrings.

    I was baptized when I was 12 but have been wanting to be rebaptized again myself (so I understand Madi completely). I was going to ask my cousin Dan if he’d do it since he is a minister when I found out that another cousin, Jim, who is like a brother to me in every respect, was going into the ministry. Now that Jim has become a minister, I’m going to let him rebaptize me – hopefully sometime this summer. We’ll have to use a church too because the drought has dried up the creek behind his place as well. Sadly, my parents won’t be present BUT Jim’s wife and some other family will be there.

    And Tori, don’t feel bad. When our Internet went down for about 2-3 days, I went ballistic! LOL I felt like my arm was gone so I understand completely.

  11. Bloomfield Farm

    I can certainly sympathize with your lack-of-internet obsession. The half-grown calves in the back field chewed my cable wire and now my internet is hanging by a thread. The cable guy is due this afternoon, but until then things are if-y at best. Perhaps the calves were hoping to Twitter with their friends in the west, but you are not alone in freaking out when your connectivity is gone!

    Give Char and Madi a big hug for me. What a wonderfully blessed day this will be for your family. I am so glad your parents can be there at the baptism. I will be saying prayers for your dad tomorrow too. Make sure you have ice cream ready for him… LOTS of new flavors to try! God will be with you all!

  12. tori

    auburn– No kidding?! Wow. I want to hear all about Matthew’s baptism. And now I love your church, too!

    MeganW– Thank you so much. Every time I get any message that says they will be praying for Dad, I yell in to him, “Hey Daddy– someone else is praying!” It helps.

    belinda– Thanks, sweetie. (I’m yelling in to Dad again…!)

    LindaB– THANK YOU. One less thing I have to spend my precious few internet minutes looking up. (Those owlish, bookish types will fool ya, won’t they?) And you would have fit right in at the baptism– EVERYBODY cried!!

    auburn– You’re not gonna hear any m-word suggestions from me.

    johnboyFL– Thank goodness the girls did not read this before yesterday… Charlotte would especially love the Alka-Seltzer idea!

    LindaB– Yes, the ‘horthy as a wreath’ comment stymied me as well. Do you mean “healthy as a horse?” “Hairy as a wraith?” WHAT???

    themema– Well, I guess a Hungarian admiral makes as much sense as my suggestions. And bless you for the liar you are (and surprisingly flattering camera angles)– my arms are SO not Michelle-esque. More like Barbara Bush.

    Momma Lloyd– It was wonderful. I’ll never forget it.

    gracelynn– Hey, Russ has been baptized at least three times, I say go for it!

    Bloomfield Farm– HEY EVERYBODY!! I want to introduce you to Peg, who is the mother-in-law of my sweet nephew Josh (only son of my brother Matt that lives in Nashville, married to Peg’s gorgeous daughter Sarah, they have one gorgeous child Anna Rose)

    Peg? everybody. Everybody? Peg. She has the best blog, go check it out right this minute:

    She is also ridiculously talented– paints, sews, decorates, cooks like you can’t believe and is a bit of a computer whiz. Josh totally lucked out with this MIL, folks! We got to spend a lovely evening with her (and hubby Frank) at Matt’s house not too long ago and enjoyed every minute of it. First class woman, first class family.

  13. LindaB

    LindaB– Yes, the ‘horthy as a wreath’ comment stymied me as well. Do you mean “healthy as a horse?” “Hairy as a wraith?” WHAT???

    Well, I was trying to make a joke, the key word being “trying”. I wanted to say “healthy as a horse”, but transpose it to sound like I did indeed suffer brain damage as a result of toxic river water, but since “healthy” and “horse” both start with “h”, I couldn’t figure out how to switch it around so it would still be recognizable as the above mentioned saying. And my plants were drying up on the front porch and were calling me, so I hurriedly put down the first thing I thought of, which didn’t make any sense at all and defied explanation. But leave it to Betty to try to analyze and understand it! LOL Your first guess was right, Tori! Were you, by any chance, baptized in a dirty river? Just asking.

    Still praying for your dad. Let us know.

  14. carsmith

    Your Daddy and sweet Momma were in my prayers today as well as the rest of the family. I pray the surgery went well.
    Momma June called on the 4th to said she was going to church to see the girls baptised by their Dad. I can’t think of anything more special for all of you. We now live on Lake Hamilton across from the very spot (Farr’s Landing) where I was baptized at the age of 11.
    Much love to your special family from Carolyn and Jimmy.

  15. nashbabe

    I know you use it all the time, but I still love the word “frillion.”

    If you need help in nashvegas during all this stuff with your dad (who WAY does not look 93!!! good job TT’s mom!!!), you’d better not be shy now. Our mutual friends can verify I’m not an axe murderer or anything, and I’m over in that county ALL the time, pretty much every weekday, for fake son’s school.

    Being I grew up Lutheran, I’ve only been sprinkled. My momma would gasp to think I go to a southern baptist church (well, kind of).

    Frillion, frillion, frillion, frillion. ;-)

  16. johnboyFL

    12-step program of recovery for web addicts

    I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my newspaper like I used to, before the Web.

    I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing.

    I will get dressed before noon.

    I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner before even thinking of the Web.

    I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are Web-deprived.

    I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact via the Web.

    I will read a book… if I still remember how.

    I will listen to those around me and their needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music on the Web.

    I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email.

    I will try and get out of the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not.

    I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Web.

    Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed sometime … and the Web will always be there tomorrow.

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