‘Star Wars: Outbound Flight’ – Chapter 7 (Part 6)

Friday.  End of the week, payday, and the beginning of the Franklin Graham Festival.  My family knew that our weekend was going to be chaotic from this moment on.  I got up this morning and headed in REAL early (about forty-five minutes or so).  I was told at the end of the day yesterday that they wanted the auditorium completely clear.  Lights, speakers, wires, and everything had to come out.  Well, normally we don’t take the speakers out, they were in a semi-permanent set-up.  So, I had to go about taking all of my equipment out of the auditorium.  I managed to get everything set up to a reasonable amount before students even walked into the building.

My school day was full of a lot of work.  My eighth graders worked on their last keyboard song, my sixth graders watched “American Idol” and my seventh graders did a review Jeopardy game for the final exam they will have starting on Monday.  It was a fulfilling day for both students and myself.  There was a lot to do and little time to get it done in.  This is going to be the story of my life I think.  On my prep periods, I spent my entire day in the auditorium finishing cleaning it up and getting equipment out so that the dance company could use our auditorium for their recital this weekend.  It was a lot of work, but it’s done and I won’t have to do it again until the beginning of next year.  We got close to the end of the school day when the band director again came into my room and said they now needed our light board, so I gave it to him and the tech director from the high school set it up for me.  Our tech director at the high school, whose name is Larry Kassan, is truly amazing!!  He can take any space and turn it into something that anyone would want to use and he did that with our auditorium.  I checked with Larry before I left today to make sure that he had everything he needed.

Once I left school I went straight to our house.  Mom and dad were there to meet up with us to go to Franklin Graham with us tonight and over the course of the weekend.  We started to get things together so we could get going to the festival.  My wife then got it in her head that the dog was going to be crated outside.  For whatever reason, my son left the back door open this morning and our dog got out and started to run around the neighbor hood.  This was a problem all last summer and my wife and I got sick of it throughout the summer.  So, she was mad, and rightfully so.  But, instead of taking her anger out on the kids, she took it out on our poor innocent dog.  I insisted that the dog was not going to be crated outside and that I would refuse to go to the Franklin Graham Festival if that was what she was going to do.  And, like everytime my parents visit, my wife decided to push the issue.  I don’t know why and I can’t explain the reasoning, but my wife always picks a fight with me when either her parents or my parents are around.  I think she believes that the other adults will side with her.  Now, when it’s my parents, they stay out of the argument and say that it’s our problem we have to fix.  When it’s her parents, they take her side and I’m the “big bad mean son-in-law” that is taking advantage of his poor wife.  I think my wife wants my parents to feel the same way.  The problem this time around was that my parents are dog-lovers too, but Heather’s parents are not, so I think my parents understood why I was upset.

Heather left the house with my parents and went to Arby’s around the corner on Front Street.  I stayed home because I refused to give up on the issue.  After a while, Heather called me on her cell phone and told me she was coming to the house, but that I needed to brainstorm a solution to the ruined floors in our home.  Problem solved, I put the dog in the basement while we were gone.  By the way, it seemed to solve the problem even for tonight.

We got back to Arby’s late, and of course, Arby’s has two people working on a busy Friday night.  It took them FOREVER to serve me as a customer and get my food ready and to my table.  We were now running really far behind to get to the Franklin Graham Festival and they were warning people to get there early as parking would be limited with thousands and thousands of people coming to the festival.  Once we got the festival, they were right.  There were thousands there already and we were already there about two-hours in advance.  Heather and I got to enter on a special entrance that was just for choir members while grammy and papa took the kids in through the main entrance.  Heather was not so keen on the idea of the kids going through the main entrance.  There were liberal protesters there protesting the festival.  Mostly gay rights activists, and Muslims saying that Christianity is not the one true religion.  Basically, Zelot freaks!!  But, according to grammy and papa, my kids handled it well and they met up with us inside.

The Festival was packed!!  We had a short choir rehearsal and were right into the festival.  I was amazed at how few people came up front and gave their life over to Christ.  There were so few, I wasn’t really needed as a counselor.  That was okay, because we all needed to get home anyway as we had to be at the church by seven tomorrow morning anyway.  We waited for about an hour to get out of the Festival parking lot and Heather and I stopped at Wal Mart and picked up some essentials before meeting grammy and papa at home and putting the kids to bed.

Okay, let’s talk about Part 6 of Chapter 7 of “Star Wars:  Outbound Flight” by Timothy Zahn…..

Chapter 7 (Part 6):  Car’das felt that interesting was putting extremely mild!  First, there was a greeting chamber that appeared to be bland and gray.  Then, like an old 1920’s speakeasy, the room walls flipped at the touch of a button.  A dull, boring room turned into a room with hundreds of lights and switches.  Even the floors seemed to come to life.  The lights were dominated by a yellow hue, and when the visiting Chiss entered the chamber, it became apparent why.  The visiting Chiss uniforms were centered around the color yellow.  Their leader looked regal, to say the least, and Thrawn greeted them in the Cheunh language.  Although Car’das could only understand an occasional word, he knew there was some ritual behind the movements.  Car’das’ fellow shipmates didn’t seem to find much joy in the moment.  Maris hates the regalities of The Republic and this ceremony was only a reflection of that.  Qennto just looked bored.  Thrawn introduced to the group Aristocra Chaf’orm bintrano of the Fifth Ruling Family.  Chaf’orm went to say something and Thrawn asked him to say it in Sy Bisti since their guests did not yet understand Cheunh.  Then the Aristocra barked something at Thrawn and he told them that Chaf’orm did not wish to communicate with them now.  Thrawn informed Car’das that they would be assisted to their quarters and Car’das agreed, after getting a lump in his throat…..


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