117 The Psalm before the Sturm and Drang

“Mrs. James. Rod Thuss.” It was early Sunday morning. “I’ve left my door ajar and a key. You made some progress. Anything I can answer for you, before I’m on my way to services?”

In new construction condos, custom upgrades are typivcally offered by the developer-above the base price-on items such as cabinets, flooring, counters, appliances, and fixtures.

In new construction condos, custom upgrades are typically offered by the developer – above the base price – on items such as cabinets, flooring, counters, appliances, and fixtures.

“Thanks for the key. Of course, I’ll always call before I come up. So far the work is raw organization, setting up a workable space. Perhaps in a few days I’ll have more specific questions about how you’d like things arranged. By the way, do you have scissors anywhere?”

“No, I don’t. I borrowed some from Gervase but gave those back. There are scissors on an order form someplace. If you come across it, it should really be sent in at once.”

“I’ll bring my own then – so useful aren’t they? – and keep an eye out for your order. What time will you be back?”

“It’s a big day today. So not until mid-afternoon, I expect.”

“I’ll work for several hours and let you know what times this week.”

“We’ll have to co-ordinate on that. And, leave me your hours for this weekend. I’ll pay you in cash every Monday.”

If she went up soon, she could get in a good six hours today, with one break for a quick lunch. She’d already packed up a box of tea things to carry along and stash in one of many empty kitchen cupboards and added a lunch before setting off to her labors on the Thussian heights, like Sisyphus condemned to roll the same rock up the hill in perpetuity, a cousin of Jack and Jill with their pail of water. Putting her lunch in his refrigerator, she noted a goodly supply of ice cubes, along with a flimsy plastic bag bursting with the cookies she’d brought him two weeks ago.

Today, she thought she’d tackle some of the heavier boxes that she’d been unable to shift the previous afternoon. She had room now to open them and lift out the contents in smaller weights. She proceeded, getting up and down until she thought she would be hearing from her knees.

Her poor, swim-less knees. The question of whether to re-open the pool was still unresolved, a full month later. Martin and Martinelli were at a standstill on both their ‘cases’ at the POPS, the likely drowning and the certain snipping and unable to ‘clear’ either. She was informed they did not ‘solve,’ the way she’d learned from mystery stories. In any case, and here she giggled at her own small pun, there was nothing doing. She hadn’t spoken to the detectives in over a week so if there was any headway, she knew nothing about it.

The association would need to make a decision about the pool; whether to re-open after some modifications, or improvements depending on who was talking about it, or close it and adjust the monthly fees to reflect that choice. Hans assured her he could run some numbers in between bouts of renovations in his new unit, or his old one.

In the meantime, she’d heard only good reports about the ping-pong activity in the solarium. Well, one old biddy had grumbled to her about stumbling over loose balls all over the floor but that was before the barriers had been set up. And the long-suffering Mr. Hazell, who regularly retreated to the solarium to escape his wife’s interminable telephone discussions with her friends about their respective health issues, hazarded his opinion that the constant pinging and ponging disturbed his reading or, more probably, slumbers. Mrs. James had encouraged him to consider the equally annoying alternative to this relative peace and to think of it instead as restful white noise, or possibly to take up the game himself with his wife.

She went back to the penthouse foyer where she’d hastily dropped her bag on the entryway table, while still juggling the box of tea things. At previous workplaces, she’d always had to secrete her purse or personal items in a lockable drawer, such was the level of modern trust. But she was a creature of habit; leaving her place without a bag was unthinkable, and she’d need her own unit key. She might just as well leave the bag here when she came in; there was nothing that she really needed, and there was certainly no convenient spot to set it in the office, at least in its current state. If she were working here alone, her things could be in nobody’s way. She fished in her bag for the scissors and summoned up R.T., once more quite happily, with his penchant for scissoring every room. He would approve of her beginning a collection here, in this many-roomed, though father-less, mansion. She’d found a blue-handled, multi-purpose pair she could easily spare pending the arrival of her employer’s lost order, and still reasonably sharp.

Chapter 117 The Psalm Before

  • * * * *

Today was a big day for the mission. Rod was to do his awaited tout, revealing some additional details as a teaser. For his text, he had chosen a Psalm. Not the one designated for the day, but Psalm 140. He’d been trying to find some additional connection with the first miracle on tap for the tour, the fishers of men. He was used to following guidelines for sermon or address topics, not thinking it through on his own. Formulas worked, so he used them most of the time.

Switching gears at the last minute, he hadn’t taken much time to prepare but he’d found this Psalm verse bookmarked in an old family Bible placed at the top of one of his boxes. It had to do with water and nets so he thought he could make it work, with a few twists of his own devising. The 5th verse read, “the proud have laid a snare for me, and spread a net abroad with cords, yea, verily, and set traps in my way.” It would make a nice juxtaposition to the reading of the miracle of the full nets that he would interject into his announcement while pitching the Miracle Tour, rounded out with the action song readied by the choir, “I will make you fishers of men.” Not the snares and traps of the Old Testament but the generosity, plenty, and abundance of the New Testament, with their Savior in full control of the forces of the deep. Nets not only full of fish but teeming with men, women, and riches, too. No matter how prosperous they already were as fishermen, as disciples James and John would again opt to give it all up to serve the Lord. This was the spirit the mission intended to inculcate, the well to tap.

On the stage with him were the crowd from last Sunday, including the Minosas, and Kitty playing at her Kathy role. Her transformation amused him but that Mrs. Minosa unnerved him, especially with her glasses on. He was reminded of some shrewish creature illustrated in a book he must have known as a child. Myrtle invoked a Mrs. Tiggy Winkle minus the generous nature of the original hedgehog, glaring, disapproving above the steel rims, listening intently to every his word, hoping to trip him up, perhaps into one of the meshy nets in the miracle he was busy declaiming.