5/03/2008

:: peace like a river/pages 129-179 - airstream ::

1. I forgot to ask one question while the Land family were still at August & Birdie's house. Why did Jeremiah fall silent upon hearing about his childhood bedroom from Reuben? [page 148] I've been thinking about that. It made me wonder if Jeremiah's childhood was not idyllic. Did that cross your mind?

2. I laughed as I pictured Swede astride her saddle, on a sawhorse, in the Airstream trailer's kitchen; typing out their journey in dramatic Western prose. That Swede is a hoot! Jeremiah really is a saint to allow her to bring along a saddle, a sawhorse, and a typewriter. My Dad is a great man, but in answer to Reuben's question on page 149, no, I don't think my father would have gone along with such a plan.

3. I found the following quote to be very powerful, as Reuben realized they really were alone, on the run from Andreeson and the North Dakota cops:

"And so still were these men, and so unmoved in their faces, and so flatout many were they, dispersed like hunters across a field, that I knew they were indeed looking for us, and for Davy through us. At once I took a fierce chill. A sob rippled up my throat and I couldn't do a thing about it. It sure is one thing to say you're at war with this whole world and stick your chest out believing it, but when the world shows up with its crushing numbers and its predatory knowledge, it is another thing completely. I shut my eyes and rocked."
[page 165-166]

Reuben sure does feel things very deeply, doesn't he?

4. I've been missing a good miracle. However, as the Land family were on the run from all those cops at each gas station, even I chose not to see the miracle. I kept thinking, "Wow. How are all those cops missing a green Plymouth wagon and a 20-foot Airstream trailer whizzing by?" Then, of course, when Reuben explained,

"They didn't get us, though; not one of them even saw us, though we saw them, as I've described; we tiptoed through that town like a fat boy through a wolf pack. Make of it what you will."
[page 167]

I said aloud, "OH. Of course." I was also intrigued that God allowed this particular miracle; as if He wanted Jeremiah to find his son. You know? Swede's reaction to witnessing her first Jeremiah-miracle was interesting, too. She dramatically likened her Dad to Moses and other Old Testament prophets, which is somewhat accurate, in my opinion. But then she missed the healing of her saddle's leather, all that time. Reuben had to point out that miracle to her, though she'd used her saddle often since Jeremiah made it like new. Which brings me to another great quote:

"It's been this part folks disbelieve - not that the saddle was made whole but that Swede had gone all this time without seeing it. Odd on the face of it, I know - I know. But we're fearful people, the best of us. We see a newborn moth unwrapping itself and announce, Look, children, a miracle! But let an irreversible wound be knit back to seamlessness? We won't even see it, though we look at it every day."
[pages 173-174]

That's another profound statement about miracles. I mean, if you really think about it, if you saw an actual miracle, it would scare the pants off you, right? That's how it would be for me; at least instill the true fear of God within my soul. I'm so used to the everyday rhythm of things - living after the Fall - that if some event contradicted the earth, I might lose my breath, or like Swede w/the saddle, miss it entirely.

I wonder what made her recognize that Jeremiah shielded their entourage from the policemen's eyes, though? That she was so enthralled with her part in escaping Andreeson (i.e. maple syrup)? She loved the drama of outrunning the police, but realized full well they shouldn't have been able to?

5. One last thing: I thought Reuben's and Swede's conversation about the Old Testament prophets was hilarious. That's all.

What did y'all find significant within these pages?

4 comments:

Crystal said...

Yeah, my Dad limited the number of coloring books we could take on long vacation trips, so I'm pretty sure the saddle, sawhorse, and typewriter would have been out. Oh, for the days you could ride in trailer in tow. Darn, seatbelt laws.

I didn't understand Jeremiah's reaction to his homeplace either. I dont' understand much about Jeremiah sometimes though. The miracle of the invisible car and trailer was a biggie though. God truly was helping them through to the other side. How many times has he done that for us and we haven't even realized it? How many miracles have passed us by because we think it is luck or technology or don't think anything at all? On the day my 2 year old brother got 3rd degree burns over 1/2 of his body why was there a helicopter parked in our little 5000 person town? Coincidence? Luck? I don't think so. God put that helicopter there so that it could be used to save a little boy's life. A little boy that is 28 years old now and serving God with all of his heart and raising his family to do the same.

kate ortiz said...

1. i found the interlude at august and birdie's house rather interesting. perhaps a bit odd? i keep wondering if the situation will come up again in the story.

2. we were strictly limited to what would fit into our backpacks as kids. then again, we never traveled by airstream either.

3. the family bypassing the eyes of the cops was one of the most mentally vivid passages to me. i could easily see this section translated onto a movie screen.

5. i agree. i love hearing kids' takes on scripture. it's almost always good for a few laughs.

Robin said...

This doesn't have to do with the reading but since this book I have been infatuated with Airstreams, and I recently saw this photo that you might like!

Airstream

jenni said...

Crystal ~ what a great story about your brother. I'd say that was a miracle indeed.

Kate ~ I've wondered what this book would be like on film. Not that I want it to be, but if the right person made the movie, it might be fantastic.

Robin ~ That is a great photo! I was infatuated w/Airstreams before this book.
:)